Lord Boateng Portrait

Lord Boateng

Labour - Life peer

National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
3rd Dec 2015 - 27th Apr 2017
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
12th Jun 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Privacy and Injunctions (Joint Committee)
5th Sep 2011 - 12th Mar 2012
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
29th May 2002 - 6th May 2005
Public Accounts Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 24th Jun 2002
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2001 - 29th May 2002
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Oct 1998 - 7th Jun 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)
6th May 1997 - 28th Oct 1998
Shadow Minister (Lord Chancellor's Department)
1st Jan 1992 - 1st Jan 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)
1st Jan 1989 - 1st Jan 1992


Scheduled Event
Monday 25th October 2021
Short debate - Main Chamber
Mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting
View calendar
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 122 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 260 Noes - 229
Speeches
Thursday 9th September 2021
Covid-19: Vaccinations and Global Public Health

My Lords, it is late and we have had an outstanding debate. It has been a rich debate; there has …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th July 2021
STEM Subjects: Ethnic Groups
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they collect regarding (1) the participation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Boateng has voted in 123 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(12 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(6 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Leader of the House
(5 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(5 debate contributions)
Home Office
(4 debate contributions)
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View all Lord Boateng's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Boateng, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Boateng has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Boateng has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Boateng has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Boateng has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


67 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their role in the process for appointments to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Appointments to the board of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are ministerial appointments, and the role of ministers in appointing EHRC commissioners is set out in the Equality Act 2006.

The appointments follow a recruitment process set out in the Governance Code for Public Appointments and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the diversity of the members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in terms of (1) ethnicity, and (2) religion; and what assessment they have made of the value that would be added to the credibility and effectiveness of the EHRC by addressing any deficit in the diversity of the organisation in that regard.

The Minister for Women and Equalities has recently announced five appointments to the board of the EHRC, to take effect from 1 December 2020. With these appointments, the EHRC board will have four permanent members, out of 14, from minority ethnic backgrounds. This exceeds the government’s aim for 14% of all public appointments to come from ethnic minority backgrounds by 2022.

One member of the EHRC board identifies as Muslim, seven as Christian, two as having no religion and four prefer not to say.

The government is committed to maintaining diversity of appointments to the EHRC board.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are (1) Black, or (2) Muslim, and what steps (a) they, and (b) the EHRC, plan to take to improve ethnic and religious diversity on the EHRC.

The Minister for Women and Equalities has recently announced five appointments to the board of the EHRC, to take effect from 1 December 2020. With these appointments, the EHRC board will have four permanent members, out of 14, from minority ethnic backgrounds, including one black commissioner. This exceeds the government’s commitment and ambition for 14% of all public appointments to come from ethnic minority backgrounds by 2022. At the moment, one member of the EHRC board identifies as Muslim.

The government is committed to maintaining diversity of appointments to the EHRC board.

At executive levels the EHRC, as an independent body, makes its own operational decisions about staff appointments.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when Ministers last met with members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement; whether any Black people were present at that meeting; and if so, in what capacity.

The Minister for Equalities, who is the sponsor Minister for the EHRC and is herself black, met the then Chair of the EHRC and its CEO on two occasions during the summer and more recently met the prospective new Chair of the Commission in mid-November. All these discussions covered, among other issues, the EHRC’s work on Covid-19 and ethnic minorities, including black people.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many employees at senior civil service grade or equivalent in the Equality and Human Rights Commission are (1) Black, (2) Asian, (3) members of another ethnic minority, or (4) Muslim.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)’s recruitment practices and human resources strategy is the responsibility of the EHRC itself, as an independent organisation who makes its own operational decisions. I have therefore asked the chief executive of the EHRC to respond directly to the noble Lord and to send me a copy of her response. Copies of the chief executive’s response will also be placed in the Libraries of the House.

14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to commemorate Black History Month in October; which Departments, if any, are supporting specific initiatives to promote a better understanding of the contribution of Black people (1) to the UK, and (2) to the history of the British Isles; and what is the nature of any such initiatives.

Black History Month is an important time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Britons throughout history. Departments across Government will be recognising contemporary and past contributions in a range of ways throughout the month of October.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the British motor sports industry regarding access to training and employment opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people.

The Government is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all sport and physical activity, including motor sport. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ sets out a clear ambition to increase diversity among sporting organisations and to help the sport sector be more inclusive and welcoming to its spectators, participants and people in its workforce. However it is ultimately for all individual sports’ national governing bodies, to decide on the specific aims and appropriate initiatives in their organisations, and to evaluate progress with these.

We welcome the work of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Sir Lewis Hamilton which is aimed at improving the representation of Black people in UK motor sport. We will continue to work across government and with sector partners to ensure that inequalities people from ethnically diverse backgrounds face in sport, including motorsports, are being tackled effectively.

Sport England, UK Sport and the other home nations’ sports councils have also recently published the results of a detailed, independent review into tackling racism and racial inequality in sport. Following the findings each Council is working to develop their own specific action plans to deliver on their initial commitments relating to people; representation; investment; systems and insight. This will involve working closely with relevant groups or communities to tackle racial inequality in sport, and bring about lasting change.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) findings, and (2) recommendations, of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Hamilton Commission report Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport, published on 13 July.

The Government is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all sport and physical activity, including motor sport. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ sets out a clear ambition to increase diversity among sporting organisations and to help the sport sector be more inclusive and welcoming to its spectators, participants and people in its workforce. However it is ultimately for all individual sports’ national governing bodies, to decide on the specific aims and appropriate initiatives in their organisations, and to evaluate progress with these.

We welcome the work of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Sir Lewis Hamilton which is aimed at improving the representation of Black people in UK motor sport. We will continue to work across government and with sector partners to ensure that inequalities people from ethnically diverse backgrounds face in sport, including motorsports, are being tackled effectively.

Sport England, UK Sport and the other home nations’ sports councils have also recently published the results of a detailed, independent review into tackling racism and racial inequality in sport. Following the findings each Council is working to develop their own specific action plans to deliver on their initial commitments relating to people; representation; investment; systems and insight. This will involve working closely with relevant groups or communities to tackle racial inequality in sport, and bring about lasting change.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to give access to documents held on Commonwealth nations and their independence movements to Commonwealth scholars unable to visit the National Archives without access to funding to meet current charges for copying and postage.

As a government department, The National Archives is obliged to charge for some of its public services, including research and record copying. These charges, agreed with HM Treasury, are set out in the Fees Regulations issued under the Public Records Act (1958) and are based on recovering the costs of providing these services. Digitised records on The National Archives’ website are always free to search but a charge of £3.50 per download generally applies to view the full transcription or download digital copies.


In line with its strategic vision of ‘Archives for Everyone’, The National Archives is engaged in a range of activities that aim to expand its audience and enhance access to its collections, both on site at its buildings at Kew and online. Recognising the particular interest in Commonwealth nations in a range of the public records in its collection, The National Archives is in ongoing and active dialogue with its peer institutions in Commonwealth nations, particularly through its membership of the International Council on Archives (ICA) and its leadership of the ICA’s Forum of National Archivists.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they collect regarding (1) the participation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in STEM subjects, and (2) their access to engineering qualifications at vocational or degree level.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency collects information from further education providers via the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). The ILR specification for the 2019/20 academic year is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ilr-specification-validation-rules-and-appendices-2019-to-2020.

The attached table contains the number of STEM enrolments for both adult (19+) education and training, and apprenticeships at all ages by people from ethnic minorities in the 2019/20 full academic year, and the 2020/21 provisional academic year. Please note that these counts are of learning aims [1]. If someone were to enrol on more than one learning aim in a given academic year they would be counted twice.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students enrolled in higher education in the UK. Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2019/20.

Data on student enrolments at UK higher education providers are available by subject of study and ethnicity in the academic year 2019/20 in Table 45 of HESA’s Higher Education Student Data pages: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-45.

Further details about data collected by HESA is available at the ‘Student record 2019/20’ and ‘Alternative Student record 2019/20’ data collection pages, available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c19051/a/locsdy and https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c19054.

More data on access to higher education are published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). These include breakdowns by subject of study and ethnicity, available in the End of Cycle Data Resources pages: https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis/undergraduate-statistics-and-reports/ucas-undergraduate-sector-level-end-cycle-data-resources-2020.

[1] A learning aim constitutes the package of learning being funded and delivered separately, such as an apprenticeship standard, an individual qualification, a module or a short non-qualification bearing course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to refer the University of London’s proposed closure of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies to the Office of Students to ascertain the potential implications of such a closure for students engaged in, or seeking opportunities to engage in, further post-doctoral studies in black British history, decolonisation and the documentation of the transition from Empire to Commonwealth.

The Office for Students (OfS), as the regulator of higher education in England, works within its regulatory framework with individual higher education providers to consider the implication for students of any decision to cease the provision of higher education. It does so independently, without reliance on referrals from the Department for Education. We understand, however, that the OfS is aware of these reported proposals and will engage with the University of London to understand them in greater depth as part of its normal engagement process.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Ofqual about examination boards developing modules on the study of migration and the UK's colonial history; how many such modules are awaiting appraisal; which examination boards have submitted modules for that appraisal; and when such appraisals will be completed.

As set out in my reply to HL8049 from the noble Lord, the department sets the high-level content requirements for GCSEs and A levels for history and within this subject content, there is significant scope for modules that cover the study of migration and the UK's colonial history. It is for awarding organisations themselves to develop specifications for GCSE and A level history that meet those requirements and for Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, to ensure those requirements are correctly met. As such, the department has not held discussions with Ofqual concerning the development of modules on these topics by awarding bodies.

21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of (1) the board of Ofqual, and (2) non-Board members of Ofqual's Standards Advisory Group, are BAME; and when the issue of the promotion of the study or assessment of modules about migration and the UK's colonial history was last discussed by either of those bodies.

These are matters for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its acting Chief Regulator, Dame Glenys Stacey, to write to the noble Lord. A copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of examination boards in  promoting a better understanding of British history; and which such boards examine modules that cover (1) the history of migration, (2) the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, (3) the contribution of Black people to British history from the Roman invasion to the end of the 20th century, and (4) race relations in the UK.

The department sets the content requirements for GCSE and A level history. Within this subject content, there is significant scope for modules that cover the history of migration, the transatlantic slave trade, and the contribution of black people to British history and race relations in the UK.

It is for awarding organisations themselves to develop specifications for GCSE and A level history that meet those requirements and for Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, to ensure those requirements are correctly met. As such, the department does not make assessments of the modules or module content offered by awarding organisations.

Two of the three main awarding bodies in England, OCR and AQA, provide an option to undertake a thematic study on migration in Britain, and how this country’s history has been shaped by the black and minority ethnic communities in the past. The 3rd main awarding body, Pearson, is currently developing a thematic study option on migration in Britain. Subject to Ofqual approval, this will provide more choice for schools.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional assistance they intend to provide to those countries in East Africa affected by COVID-19 to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the increase in locusts currently swarming in that region.

We are deeply concerned about the combined impacts of COVID-19 and the locust outbreak in East Africa. Millions of people already face food insecurity in the region caused by humanitarian disasters and conflict. These outbreaks will exacerbate these challenges.

We are using UK aid to mitigate new health, humanitarian and economic risks across Africa and have pledged £744 million of UK aid globally to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK is also supporting the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Emergency Appeal for the locust outbreak and has contributed £7 million for the spraying of pesticides on the ground and by air. We will continue taking proactive action, including adapting our existing programmes to meet urgent needs.

26th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to assist the Food and Agricultural Organisation's support to the areas in East Africa affected by locust swarms and breeding, in particular, assistance with early warning forecasts and alerts on the timings, scale and location of such swarm invasions and breeding.

We are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in East Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity in the region and this outbreak will exacerbate this challenge. A supercomputer funded by UK aid is helping countries in East Africa to tackle devastating locust outbreaks by tracking the insects’ movements around the continent. The computer based in Kenya uses data to predict where the locusts will move to and develop early warning systems so communities can prepare.

The UK has provided £5 million to support the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Emergency Appeal for the locust outbreak. UK aid is also helping to tackle this outbreak though the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has released £7.5 million. Our support is having an immediate impact. With UK aid backed funding, the FAO is spraying pesticides on the ground and by air to prevent further damage to crops and protect livelihoods. The Desert Locust Information System continues surveillance and provision of early warning information for affected countries. We believe that quick action now provides the best chance of halting the spread of locusts before the next breeding cycle when staple crops are in the field between March and July.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to help further. DFID’s existing humanitarian and development programming in the region is working to address current food insecurity and poverty challenges and is ready to flex to respond to this crisis. As rising temperatures due to climate change make such events across Africa more likely, we are also helping communities adapt longer term to climate shocks.

26th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any requests for assistance to support aerial spraying and other control activities to counter the locust swarms affecting East Africa from the affected nations; and how they have responded to any such requests.

We are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in East Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity in the region and this outbreak will exacerbate this challenge. A supercomputer funded by UK aid is helping countries in East Africa to tackle devastating locust outbreaks by tracking the insects’ movements around the continent. The computer based in Kenya uses data to predict where the locusts will move to and develop early warning systems so communities can prepare.

The UK has provided £5 million to support the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Emergency Appeal for the locust outbreak. UK aid is also helping to tackle this outbreak though the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has released £7.5 million. Our support is having an immediate impact. With UK aid backed funding, the FAO is spraying pesticides on the ground and by air to prevent further damage to crops and protect livelihoods. The Desert Locust Information System continues surveillance and provision of early warning information for affected countries. We believe that quick action now provides the best chance of halting the spread of locusts before the next breeding cycle when staple crops are in the field between March and July.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to help further. DFID’s existing humanitarian and development programming in the region is working to address current food insecurity and poverty challenges and is ready to flex to respond to this crisis. As rising temperatures due to climate change make such events across Africa more likely, we are also helping communities adapt longer term to climate shocks.

26th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the locust swarms in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia on (1) food security and agricultural livelihoods in the affected areas, and (2) their own programmes in (a) those countries, and (b) the region generally.

We are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in East Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity in the region and this outbreak will exacerbate this challenge. A supercomputer funded by UK aid is helping countries in East Africa to tackle devastating locust outbreaks by tracking the insects’ movements around the continent. The computer based in Kenya uses data to predict where the locusts will move to and develop early warning systems so communities can prepare.

The UK has provided £5 million to support the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Emergency Appeal for the locust outbreak. UK aid is also helping to tackle this outbreak though the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has released £7.5 million. Our support is having an immediate impact. With UK aid backed funding, the FAO is spraying pesticides on the ground and by air to prevent further damage to crops and protect livelihoods. The Desert Locust Information System continues surveillance and provision of early warning information for affected countries. We believe that quick action now provides the best chance of halting the spread of locusts before the next breeding cycle when staple crops are in the field between March and July.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to help further. DFID’s existing humanitarian and development programming in the region is working to address current food insecurity and poverty challenges and is ready to flex to respond to this crisis. As rising temperatures due to climate change make such events across Africa more likely, we are also helping communities adapt longer term to climate shocks.

24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Institute for Public Policy Research’s findings, published on 24 September, that people from BAME backgrounds are (1) twice as likely as the wider population to expect to face financial difficulty in the next quarter, and (2) more than twice as likely to have lost their jobs or access to paid work during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic; and what steps they are taking to address this discrepancy.

This Government is committed to levelling up opportunities for everyone, we have already taken action to set up the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which will review inequality across the UK. The Commission will set out a new, positive agenda for change, balancing the needs of individuals, communities and society, maximising opportunities and ensuring fairness for all. This is in addition to the work we are taking forward on the findings of the Public Health England review into disparities in the risks and outcomes of COVID-19, published on 2 June.

Throughout these unprecedented times the Government has provided a crucial safety net to record levels of claimants, ensuring all our customers receive the support they need, when they need it. We know some people might require additional help to get back into work so we have launched our Plan for Jobs, including the Kickstart scheme, the expanded youth offer, the Job Entry Targeted Support and the Sector-based Work Academy Programmes to offer new support to those who lose their job as a result of COVID-19, investing £90 million towards activities that address disparities in youth unemployment – with a focus on the data from the Government’s Race Disparity Audit - and more. The Government is working to ensure that ethnic minority customers have the opportunity to benefit from this extensive package.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people; and what action has been taken by (1) Public Health England, and (2) the NHS, taken to address any such impact.

Public Health England (PHE) has been monitoring the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19, including the impact on people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The latest report concluded that the evidence of association between ethnicity and pandemic related impacts on mental health and wellbeing remains inconclusive; some studies report disproportionate effects on some but not all BAME groups, and others reporting no relationship. PHE continues to track and report on the impact as more evidence becomes available.

NHS England is working closely with ethnic minority experts by experience, health professionals, voluntary and community partners and others to support rapid knowledge and information sharing to encourage timely access to National Health Service mental health services, and just as importantly, good ethnic minority experiences within those services.

PHE is running the Better Health-Every Mind Matters campaign to support children and young people’s mental wellbeing. It is working with BAME organisations and experts to deliver campaign messages in culturally-appropriate ways, through dedicated BAME media channels, translated into other languages, where required.

10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many suicides by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic people have there been in each of the last three years for which figures are available, by (1) gender, and (2) ethnic origin.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is any disparity in the rate of suicide between different (1) ethnic groups, and (2) genders within those groups, in England; and what plans they have to address any such disparity in the implementation of the suicide prevention strategy for England.

We do not currently have official data on suicide rates broken down by ethnicity. We are exploring ways to improve the quality and timeliness of suicide and self-harm data, including for ethnic groups, to allow national and local partners to monitor rates, identify trends and develop effective prevention plans.

Preventing suicide in England: Fourth progress report of the cross government outcomes strategy to save lives, published in 2019, recognises that there are certain groups, including the black, Asian and minority ethnic community, with specific needs and characteristics that may expose them to more risk factors for suicide. We expect local agencies to work together to ensure that their plans are tailored to meet the needs of these groups.

10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the incidence of stress-related illness and suicide amongst Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff working for the NHS (1) before, and (2) after, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; and what action has (a) Public Health England, and (b) the NHS, taken to address this.

Data on the incidence of stress-related illness and suicide amongst black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) National Health Service staff is not made publicly available due to concerns about misuse.

In April, the Chief People Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement launched a comprehensive programme to address the impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in the NHS. This has included work to update the health and wellbeing offer which is available to all staff to specifically address BAME staff.

Public Health England is developing a Real Time Suspected Suicide Surveillance system. The pilot is currently collecting data from local areas in England, as this system is in the pilot stage, data are not yet available. Ethnicity and employment status are specified within the requested minimum dataset, with the option to include occupation as an additional data item.

26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the World Bank about making concessionary finance available to Caribbean States adversely affected by the volcanic eruptions on St Vincent with a view to addressing (1) immediate health related needs, (2) the (a) short, and (b) long term, infrastructure requirements of the region, and (3) the impact on livelihoods as a result of the eruptions.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian crisis resulting from the volcanic eruptions on St Vincent; what further assistance they intend to provide to (1) finance, and (2) strengthen, the capacity of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency; and what plans they have to deploy HMS Medway to support the relief effort.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Holy See has met the Vatican Secretary of State following the visit by Cardinal Parolin to Cameroon in February; what (1) financial, and (2) other, support they have provided to faith-based groups working in conflict resolution in that country; and if none, what plans they have to provide such support in future.

Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Holy See is in regular contact with the Vatican and met Cardinal Parolin following his visit to Cameroon.

The FCDO is committed to conflict resolution and finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis is the Government's top priority in Cameroon. The UK continues to work with the Catholic Church on a range of global challenges. In financial year 2019/20, FCDO provided a grant of £20,000 to the Peace and Justice Commission of the Bamenda Archdiocese to fund a project to document and report on serious and systemic human rights violations in Cameroon. During his visit to Cameroon, the Minister for Africa and the UK High Commissioner to Cameroon met religious leaders from a number of faiths to hear first-hand their accounts of the crisis in the North-west South-west regions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to raise the issue of the conflict in Cameroon in the UN Security Council in the near future; and what plans they have to ensure that there are no further delays to the publication of the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights following her 2019 visit to Cameroon.

The UK Government regularly raises our concerns about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon in multilateral fora, including the UN. Most recently, we raised the crisis at the UN Security Council on 9 December 2020, calling for an end to human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and the security forces. The Minister for Africa also spoke to the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Joseph Ngute, in December 2020. He reiterated the UK's commitment to supporting a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

We also encourage the Government of Cameroon to remain engaged with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and would welcome publication of the report of her 2019 visit soon.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the decision by the government of Uganda to suspend the Democratic Governance Facility, and (2) the implications of that suspension for the continuation of other development programmes in that country that are supported by UK Official Development Assistance.

The UK withdrew its membership and funding for of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) in 2017. We are also aware of reports that the Government of Uganda suspended the DGF in February 2021. Given this, Any suspension of the DGF will not have an impact on our Overseas Development Assistance in Uganda. Whilst not members of the DGF, we maintain a close relationship with it. Achieving long-term success for Uganda requires strong, independent and effective institutions that uphold the rule of law and democratic principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the passing of resolution S.Res.684 on 1 January by the United States Senate relating to violence in Cameroon, what discussions they have had with the government of the United States about relations with the government of Cameroon since the resolution; and what assessment they have made of (1) the impact of this resolution on the human rights situation in that country, and (2) the willingness of that government to revive the peace process.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, including about reports of human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and the security forces. As Rita French, the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights set out at the UN Human Rights Council session on 15 September 2020, those who have abused and violated human rights in Cameroon must be held responsible. The UK Government regularly raises the crisis with international partners, including the United States, and in multilateral fora. Given the short period of time since resolution S.Res.684 passed, it is too soon to determine what impact it will have. The UK Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.

We urge all sides to remain engaged with the Swiss-led process to facilitate talks. The Minister for Africa spoke to the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Joesph Ngute, in December 2020 to stress the need for inclusive dialogue and a peaceful solution which addresses the root causes of the crisis.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the presidential election in Uganda, and (2) whether that election was free and fair; and what representations they have made to (a) President Museveni, and (b) the government of Uganda, about the conduct of the security forces (i) during, and (ii) in the period after, that election towards opposition candidates and parties.

Voting in Uganda's Presidential election concluded on 14 January and we note the re-election of President Museveni. However, significant concerns remain unaddressed including the treatment of opposition candidates in the run-up to and following the elections, the internet shutdown during the elections and subsequent restrictions on social media, and the treatment of journalists throughout this period. The UK deployed 51 Election Observers across Uganda on election day and reported back to our High Commission in Kampala. We have been consulting with international partners, civil society actors, other international observers, and the Government of Uganda to ensure we have a comprehensive and accurate picture of the elections. We have also urged the Government of Uganda to respond to the concerns raised.

Following the arrest of opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, and subsequent violence in November, the Minister for Africa tweeted his concerns on 20 November 2020 and called for the authorities to respect the rights of all Ugandans to express their views in a peaceful manner. He also raised these concerns with the Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa on 26 November 2020 and sought assurances that the Ugandan security forces would show restraint. Following the Presidential election results on 16 January, the Minister for Africa set out in a statement our significant concerns about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and has urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. The treatment of opposition figures post-election, including Robert Kyagulanyi, has been unacceptable and the Minister for Africa expressed his concerns about this in his tweet on 19 January. We welcome the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January that the detention of Robert Kyagulanyi was unconstitutional and unlawful and that these restrictions are now lifted. The British High Commission Kampala pressed the Ugandan authorities to end these unacceptable restrictions on his liberty. Our High Commissioner in Kampala continues to meet political actors from all parties and met Robert Kyagulanyi on 27 January 2021. They discussed the political situation in Uganda, the restrictions to political freedoms before and after the elections and the concerns raised over electoral processes. The High Commissioner urged Kyagulanyi and all parties to reject violence, engage in peaceful dialogue and follow due process to address any electoral irregularities. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, and a steadfast advocate for Ugandan democracy, the United Kingdom will continue to follow post-election developments closely.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when their High Commissioner to Uganda last met (1) Bobi Wine, and (2) President Museveni; what assessment they have made of continuing to provide any Overseas Development Assistance to Uganda; and what plans they have to make representations to the government of Uganda about (a) the release from house arrest of Bobi Wine, and (b) ending any harassment of opposition parties.

Following the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi on 18 November 2020 which sparked violent protests in Uganda, the Minister for Africa spoke to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, on 26 November 2020 and raised the UK's concerns about the violence that took place. The Minister for Africa sought reassurances that Ugandan security forces would show restraint and raised the importance of the rights of Ugandans to freely express their views. Ahead of the elections, the Minister for Africa spoke to Foreign Minister Kutesa again on 12 January 2021 and expressed the importance of independent observation of the elections on 14 January.

Following the elections on 14 January 2021, the Minister for Africa set out in a statement our concerns on 17 January 2021 about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and has urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. The treatment of Robert Kyagulanyi has been unacceptable and the Minister for Africa expressed his concerns about this in a tweet on 19 January 2021. The Minister for Africa welcomes the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January 2021 that the detention of Robert Kyagulanyi was unconstitutional and that these restrictions have been lifted. The British High Commission Kampala pressed the Ugandan authorities to end these unacceptable restrictions on his liberty. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, and a steadfast advocate for Ugandan democracy, the United Kingdom will continue to follow post-election developments closely.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of reports that the government of Ethiopia has denied unfettered access to aid agencies and development workers to regions where humanitarian aid is needed; and what representations they have made to the government of Ethiopia about the impact of any such actions on (1) citizens in areas affected by conflict, (2) the humanitarian crisis, and (3) the continuation of the provision of Official Development Assistance to that country.

We continue to work with the UN to promote and monitor access and delivery of humanitarian support to those who need it including to civilians in contested areas in line with the guiding humanitarian principles laid down by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Two joint UN and Government of Ethiopia assessment missions to Tigray have taken place with assessment reports expected soon.

The UK has been at the forefront, liaising closely with the United Nations (UN) and partners, in calling for sustained, free and unfettered humanitarian access across Tigray. We continue to press for the supply of humanitarian assistance to all those who need it, including in the recent December visit by the Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs.

We have assessed the appropriateness of UKAid programmes in Ethiopia in light of the developments of the Tigray conflict. We are clear that our priority is supporting Ethiopians in need and we continue to support critical services including health, nutrition, education, food security and water, the COVID-19 response and humanitarian needs across the country.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) conflict in Tigray, (2) the actions of combatants in that region against historic places of Christian and Muslim worship, (3) reports of the arrest of leading clerics including the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and (4) reports of the disappearance of Bishop Mehdin, priests, and followers from the Eparchy of Adigrat.

It is clear that the conflict in Tigray has had significant consequences for many tens of thousands of people, displacing them internally and externally, and adversely impacting those that were already in need of humanitarian assistance. We are saddened by reports that some places of worship may have been damaged in the conflict. Access to much of the region remains constrained, and reports difficult to verify.

We are aware of no reporting to suggest that Patriarch Abune has been detained, and this issue has not been raised with our Embassy in Addis Ababa by our friends at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Embassy in Addis Ababa have received indications that Bishop Mehdin is well and at liberty, and are attempting to contact him directly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of carpet bombing by Eritrean and Ethiopian forces on villages in Tigray; and what steps they intend to take (1) themselves, (2) with the African Union, (3) with EU member states, (4) with the government of the United States, and (5) with other interested parties, to safeguard the civilian population of Tigray from such action.

We are concerned at reports of violations and atrocities in Tigray. Access to much of the region remains constrained and reports are difficult to verify. We have consistently called, in concert with international partners, for all parties to the conflict to prioritise the protection of civilians. We continue to call for independent investigation of allegations of abuses and violations of International Humanitarian Law. The British Ambassador in Eritrea and other international partners continue to raise questions about the mounting reports of Eritrean involvement in the conflict in Tigray. The Eritrean Government continue to deny their involvement.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the numbers of displaced people escaping conflict in Tigray (a) internally, and (b) externally into Sudan, and (2) the implications of that conflict for food security in that region.

We await the results of the joint UN - Government of Ethiopia needs assessment missions. The UN estimates that up to 1.3 million people affected by the conflict in Tigray need humanitarian assistance, on top of an existing humanitarian caseload of one million people in the region. As of 4 January, 55,500 people have sought refuge in Sudan.

We are concerned about the impact of the conflict and displacement on food security and nutrition in Tigray and understand that up to 1.26 million people could be in need of humanitarian food assistance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of small international development charities on (1) the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and (2) furthering the international reputation of the UK and its contribution to overseas development.

Through FCDO's UK Aid Direct programme, we have a portfolio of 89 live grants to small international development charities (those with an annual income under £250,000); who are contributing to 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. As of August 2020, 54 of the small international charities supported through the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) had reached 197,411 beneficiaries, in 22 developing countries, 53% of whom were women. The FCDO's funding to small charities supports building the capacity of small charities in order for them to continue their work after the funding is over. We also recognise the important role they play in raising awareness in the UK of the issue of global poverty and the role UK Aid can play.

The first round of SCCF grants are currently coming to an end and the FCDO will assess their achievements against agreed outcomes and numbers of beneficiaries supported; their overall impact, the strengths and challenges of delivering projects through small charities as well as the lessons that can be learnt from their approaches. This will contribute to our understanding of their contribution to furthering the reputation of the UK and its contribution to overseas development.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the (1) funding, and (2) operational sustainability, of small charities working in the field of international development.

The FCDO recognises that this is an uncertain time for the charity sector and we continue to work flexibly with civil society partners to respond to the pandemic, maintain delivery of essential programmes and manage the impacts on organisations and staff. We have kept informed of the level of risk to the sector by the BOND survey of its members. Many charities have benefited from the existing measures announced by the Government to support employers and businesses and all charities have also been eligible for the job retention scheme.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from the Small International Development Charities Network on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continuing viability of such charities; and what plans they have to meet with representatives of the Network.

The FCDO has received a number of MP's letters requesting a response to their constituents who have expressed support for the Small but Mighty campaign championed by the Small International Development Charities Network. The FCDO currently has no specific plans to meet representatives of the Network. However, as an organisation, we attach immense value to engaging with civil society organisations which, like the FCDO, are at the forefront of delivering aid. We will continue to engage directly with organisations that share our objectives in international development and contribute to delivering UK Aid to poor and excluded communities around the world.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of threats to the safety of opposition candidates in elections in Uganda, what assessment they have made of the prospects for conduct of a free and fair election in that country; and what support they are giving (1) to civil society organisations, and (2) to other organisations, to monitor these elections.

The UK continues to call on all parties to reject violence in relation to the recent elections, work to de-escalate the situation and to respect the rights of all Ugandans to express their views in a peaceful manner, as the Minister for Africa outlined in his tweet on 20 November. The British High Commissioner in Kampala has raised the importance of free and fair elections and respect for human rights directly with senior Government Ministers and will continue to do so. We are aware of a number of organisations that will be monitoring the upcoming elections in Uganda. As with previous years, staff at the British High Commission are planning to observe the election on the day.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from (1) Commonwealth governments, (2) the Commonwealth Secretariat, or (3) other interested parties, about the proposed closure by the University of London of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Several Commonwealth stakeholders have made representations to us about the proposed closure of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies by the University of London. This is a matter for the University; but, as I have made clear to the Vice Chancellor, we are aware of the important role the Institute has played in fostering a greater understanding, particularly a contemporary understanding, of the Commonwealth, both within the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and in the wider world. While recognising the financial difficulties facing the University of London and the School of Advanced Studies, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope a solution can be found which recognises the value of an academic institute located in London with mandate and means to be a focus for study of the Commonwealth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the proposed closure of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies by the University of London on (1) the UK's reputation as a global centre of academic excellence, (2) diplomatic relationships with other Commonwealth countries, and (3) the training of British diplomats.

Several Commonwealth stakeholders have made representations to us about the proposed closure of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies by the University of London. This is a matter for the University; but, as I have made clear to the Vice Chancellor, we are aware of the important role the Institute has played in fostering a greater understanding, particularly a contemporary understanding, of the Commonwealth, both within the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and in the wider world. While recognising the financial difficulties facing the University of London and the School of Advanced Studies, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope a solution can be found which recognises the value of an academic institute located in London with mandate and means to be a focus for study of the Commonwealth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the British High Commissioner to the Cameroon last visited Kumba in the Southwest Region of that Country; what plans there are for another visit in order to assess the human rights situation following the attack on primary school children at a school in that city; and what steps they intend to take to restart the peace process in the Cameroon between government and armed militia groups.

The Government remains deeply concerned about the situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon including reports of human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and security forces. We are appalled by the attack on the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, Cameroon, on 24 October and the horrific killing of innocent children. We offer our condolences to the families of those affected. The British High Commissioner to Cameroon publicly condemned the attack on 24 October, and on 25 October the Minister for Africa publicly called for the perpetrators of this vile act to be held accountable, reiterating that every child has the right to a safe education. The British High Commissioner to Cameroon regularly visits the South-West region, and remains in close contact with a range of groups affected by the crisis.

We continue to call for restraint, an end to the violence and inclusive dialogue about the root causes of the crisis. The Minister for Africa has committed to visiting Cameroon in the coming few months and will again raise the Government's concerns about the crisis directly with the Government of Cameroon. The UK has shared experiences of conflict resolution with the Government, and through the British High Commission in Yaoundé we are also supporting local partners in their efforts to promote peace. We continue to urge all parties to remain engaged in ongoing Swiss-led efforts to facilitate talks and remain ready to support all credible peacebuilding efforts.

16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance on the flooding that has affected people in West and Central Africa, and (2) the impact of those floods on (a) food security, and (b) the mass displacement of peoples, in the affected regions; and what steps they are taking to address the implications of the floods for each region in which they have existing development programmes.

We are concerned by the risk posed to populations in West and Central Africa where approximately 760,000 people have been affected by floods in recent weeks across Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria. Humanitarian partners are assessing the damage, including number of houses destroyed, people displaced and crops losses.

The UK is the largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response which has already begun to mobilise funds in response (including a £5 million allocation in Niger).

In Niger and the Sahel the UK is working with existing partners to ensure work can continue and integrate flood response into established programmes where possible.

We are also working to reduce flooding risks through the UK funded Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa programme. This support to the work of meteorological and associated offices in West Africa helps strengthen weather forecasting and early warning, as well as longer term climate forecasts. Access to early warning is one important aspect of building resilience to floods and other climate shocks. The UK has also supported the World Bank's Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) with £50 million over five years (2015-2020) to build the capacity of Sahel countries to develop their own social protection systems to support the poorest during climate related and weather shocks, including floods.

Flooding can also increase the risk of desert locusts spreading within the area. We are taking steps to mitigate this risk by strengthening surveillance and control in the region through the Food and Agriculture Organization. We are also conscious of alternative drivers such as conflict which has created a food security situation in the Sahel which is of chronic concern.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation, including through dialogue with OCHA at regional level. Increased flooding in Africa demonstrates the need for action on climate change which HMG is driving forward through COP26 preparations.

8th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the continued imprisonment of Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and nine other members of the Southern Cameroon’s Liberation Movement on the likelihood of a successful peace process in Cameroon; and what representations they have made for the release of those imprisoned without due process of civilian law in Cameroon.

The British High Commissioner in Yaoundé has repeatedly raised the status of political prisoners in discussions with the Government of Cameroon. The British High Commission has been part of successful efforts to negotiate access to lawyers and family members for political prisoners and we continue to call for due process to be followed for all those in detention. We note reports that Mr Tabe and the Government of Cameroon have been engaged in direct talks, held outside of prison, about the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions. We urge all parties to support credible peacebuilding efforts and to remain engaged in the ongoing Swiss-led efforts to facilitate talks.

8th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of the Commonwealth in promoting peace and reconciliation between the Anglophone and Francophone Communities in Cameroon; and what discussions have taken place (1) within the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, and (2) with the government of Cameroon, on that issue.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, which is affecting both Anglophone and Francophone communities. We welcomed the joint visit to Cameroon in November 2019 by the Commonwealth Secretary General, the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. They met the President of Cameroon and a range of political and civil society actors and encouraged peacebuilding and national cohesion. As we set out at the UN Security Council on 8 September, the UK continues to encourage international partners and multilateral organisations, including the Commonwealth, to support efforts to end violence and restore peace in the affected regions.

While the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) is a confidential forum, the Commonwealth Secretary General typically provides members with updates on engagement in Commonwealth member states. CMAG provides a space for sensitive discussions, which in turn facilitate discreet engagement. On that principle, we are not able to comment on the nature or substance of its discussions.

8th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what humanitarian assistance they have provided to address the needs of the those displaced by conflict in Cameroon both internally and into Nigeria and other countries; and what steps they have taken to support civil society organisations working in both Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon to promote conflict resolution in that country.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. These regions are suffering from high levels of violence, which has driven almost 740,000 people from their homes.

The UK is committed to supporting civilians affected by the conflict. On 9 September, the Minister for Africa announced that the UK will contribute an additional £4.5 million towards humanitarian efforts in Cameroon, including in the North-West and South-West regions. This brings the UK's humanitarian support to crisis-affected populations in Cameroon in 2020 to £13.5 million, including £2.2 million for COVID-19 support. The new package of funding will provide tens of thousands of vulnerable Cameroonians with vital food packs and sanitation provisions. It will also provide nine health facilities across Cameroon with medical supplies and the training of essential health workers, and support vaccination campaigns to prevent the spread of disease.

Through the British High Commission in Yaoundé we are also supporting local partners in Cameroon to promote conflict resolution and the resumption of children's education in the North-West and South-West regions. Inclusive dialogue remains vital to ensure a just, peaceful and durable resolution to the crisis. We have shared experiences of conflict resolution with the Government of Cameroon, and remain ready to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives.

7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of UN Resolution 68/237 and the impact of the promulgation of the International Decade for People of African Descent; and what steps they propose to take in support of that Resolution's stated goals to promote the recognition and inclusion of the African Diaspora in society and opposition to all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The UK supports, and joined consensus on UN Resolution 68/237, which proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent. We will continue to work to eradicate discrimination and intolerance at home, and use the FCDO as a force for good in addressing injustices overseas. Domestically, our focus is on creating a fair society where all people, regardless of ethnic origin or background, are valued and able to participate fully and realise their own potential. Internationally, we believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate for respect amongst different ethnic groups is to encourage countries to uphold their human rights obligations, particularly through international institutions such as the United Nations. I discussed this important issue during the UK's closing statement at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, on 26 June 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they are taking to support the participation of civil society in the upcoming elections in Burundi.

The elections scheduled for May this year represent an important moment for the people of Burundi. We remain very concerned that the elections will not take place in a fair and peaceful environment and we therefore call on the government and international community to minimise the risk of violence and work towards an inclusive electoral process where all parties are free to participate peacefully. In coordination with key partners, the UK has raised our concerns with the Government of Burundi, in the UN Security Council and in other multilateral bodies, and has urged the international community to ensure that the focus remains on reducing the risk of violence in Burundi.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the government of Burundi in ensuring that the upcoming elections in that country are free and fair.

The elections scheduled for May this year represent an important moment for the people of Burundi. We remain very concerned that the elections will not take place in a fair and peaceful environment and we therefore call on the government and international community to minimise the risk of violence and work towards an inclusive electoral process where all parties are free to participate peacefully. In coordination with key partners, the UK has raised our concerns with the Government of Burundi, in the UN Security Council and in other multilateral bodies, and has urged the international community to ensure that the focus remains on reducing the risk of violence in Burundi.

25th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they have taken to support the UN Special Envoy for Burundi in their efforts to ensure the equal treatment of all candidates in the upcoming elections in that country.

The elections scheduled for May this year represent an important moment for the people of Burundi. We remain very concerned that the elections will not take place in a fair and peaceful environment and we therefore call on the government and international community to minimise the risk of violence and work towards an inclusive electoral process where all parties are free to participate peacefully. In coordination with key partners, the UK has raised our concerns with the Government of Burundi, in the UN Security Council and in other multilateral bodies, and has urged the international community to ensure that the focus remains on reducing the risk of violence in Burundi.

6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the degree of engagement of the (1) Commonwealth, and (2) UN, in (a) resolving the tensions in Cameroon between Anglophone and Francophone communities, and (b) alleviating the conditions of internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing that conflict.

The British Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, which is affecting both Anglophone and Francophone communities. These regions suffer from high levels of violence, which has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

We continue to raise our concerns with the Government of Cameroon, and discuss in multilateral fora including the Commonwealth and the United Nations (UN). We welcome the joint visit to Cameroon in November 2019 by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of La Francophonie and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The three leaders urged the Government of Cameroon to make every effort to restore security, justice and the conditions for the resumption of normal life in the regions affected by the crisis. The UK also welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) in its ongoing work to monitor peace and security developments in the country, and engagement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who visited Cameroon in May 2019. We urge continued cooperation between the Government of Cameroon and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The UK continues to call for inclusive dialogue which addresses the root causes of the crisis. We have made a £2 million contribution to the UN response, supporting 34,000 people with essential supplies, such as mosquito nets, hygiene kits and nutrition support, and continue to call for unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population. The UK stands ready to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives and believes that the regional and wider international community has an integral role to play, including in responding to the growing humanitarian need.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the progress in Cameroon in enhancing the security and human rights of Anglophone and Francophone communities in that country.

The British Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, which is affecting both Anglophone and Francophone communities. These regions suffer from high levels of violence, which has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

We continue to shine a spotlight on the crisis and raise our concerns on human rights at the highest levels, including with the Government of Cameroon, at the United Nations (UN), and with international partners. The Government of Cameroon convened a National Dialogue in October 2019, and legislation concerning bilingualism and special status for the North-West and South-West regions was passed in December. These are welcome initial steps forward. Commitments and legislation now need to be implemented in a timely manner to support genuine decentralisation of power and to tackle the root causes of the conflict. The UK has shared experiences on conflict resolution with the Government of Cameroon and remains ready to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to support the creation of a permanent mechanism under the UN for the systematic comprehensive and permanent restructuring of sovereign debt, and (2) to set up a programme of continuing technical assistance to improve (a) debt transparency, and (b) the debt management offices, of those countries worst affected by the COVID-19 related debt crisis.

The UK has been vocal in its support for the IMF, helping economies facing liquidity pressures as a result of Covid-19, including supporting the IMF exploring an SDR allocation. Moreover, the UK has helped the worst affected countries by contributing £150m to the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust which provides debt service relief to the lowest-income countries. This has allowed 28 countries to alleviate their funding pressures and helped them increase their social and Covid-19 related spending. The UK has also provided a new £2.2bn loan to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust to provide financial assistance to low income countries at concessional rates to respond to Covid-19.

The UK has engaged with the UN on debt issues, reaffirming our commitment to support debt relief initiatives for vulnerable countries. However, we have not supported the creation of a permanent debt resolution mechanism at the UN. Previous discussions at the IMF could not secure consensus on such a mechanism and we do not judge that this has changed. Instead, the UK has worked through the G20 and Paris Club, first to deliver the Debt Service Suspension Initiative which has paused payments from the poorest 46 countries until at least mid-2021 and second to develop a Common Framework for future debt treatments which will facilitate quicker and simpler restructurings where required. This historic achievement marks the first time traditional creditors from the Paris Club, and emerging G20 creditors, such as China, the largest bilateral creditor, have agreed to participate in coordinated debt restructurings where they are needed.

To ensure that the multilateral development banks are able to continue mobilising large amounts of financing during the crisis, the UK and the G20 has supported the MBDs taking a “net positive flows” approach to DSSI participation. This ensures that borrowing countries receive significantly more funds from the MDBs in 2020 than they repay. For the most vulnerable, much of this funding will be on grant terms. We are disappointed that there has not been significant DSSI implementation by private sector creditors. Our assessment, which is shared by the IMF and the World Bank, has been that this has primarily been driven by a lack of willingness from borrowing countries to request suspensions from private creditors due to risks to their sovereign credit ratings. We strongly encourage private creditors to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries.

Technical assistance and capacity building are critical to ensuring long-term debt sustainability in developing countries and even more important during crises. The UK is a donor to the joint IMF-World Bank Debt Management Facility (DMF), a world leading facility which provides high quality technical assistance in a wide range of areas, ranging from debt monitoring, recording and transparency to debt crisis response. The UK is providing £4m over 5 years to the DMF. We have also recently announced new funding for the African Legal Support Facility, providing £1m over two years, which supports countries to build negotiation capacity and engage with their creditors on a level playing field.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for responding to COVID-19-related sovereign debt issues in Africa (1) by allocating special drawing rights by the International Monetary Fund to the worst affected countries, and (2) extending the G20's debt service suspension initiative to permit the participation of multilateral development banks and private sector creditors.

The UK has been vocal in its support for the IMF, helping economies facing liquidity pressures as a result of Covid-19, including supporting the IMF exploring an SDR allocation. Moreover, the UK has helped the worst affected countries by contributing £150m to the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust which provides debt service relief to the lowest-income countries. This has allowed 28 countries to alleviate their funding pressures and helped them increase their social and Covid-19 related spending. The UK has also provided a new £2.2bn loan to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust to provide financial assistance to low income countries at concessional rates to respond to Covid-19.

The UK has engaged with the UN on debt issues, reaffirming our commitment to support debt relief initiatives for vulnerable countries. However, we have not supported the creation of a permanent debt resolution mechanism at the UN. Previous discussions at the IMF could not secure consensus on such a mechanism and we do not judge that this has changed. Instead, the UK has worked through the G20 and Paris Club, first to deliver the Debt Service Suspension Initiative which has paused payments from the poorest 46 countries until at least mid-2021 and second to develop a Common Framework for future debt treatments which will facilitate quicker and simpler restructurings where required. This historic achievement marks the first time traditional creditors from the Paris Club, and emerging G20 creditors, such as China, the largest bilateral creditor, have agreed to participate in coordinated debt restructurings where they are needed.

To ensure that the multilateral development banks are able to continue mobilising large amounts of financing during the crisis, the UK and the G20 has supported the MBDs taking a “net positive flows” approach to DSSI participation. This ensures that borrowing countries receive significantly more funds from the MDBs in 2020 than they repay. For the most vulnerable, much of this funding will be on grant terms. We are disappointed that there has not been significant DSSI implementation by private sector creditors. Our assessment, which is shared by the IMF and the World Bank, has been that this has primarily been driven by a lack of willingness from borrowing countries to request suspensions from private creditors due to risks to their sovereign credit ratings. We strongly encourage private creditors to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries.

Technical assistance and capacity building are critical to ensuring long-term debt sustainability in developing countries and even more important during crises. The UK is a donor to the joint IMF-World Bank Debt Management Facility (DMF), a world leading facility which provides high quality technical assistance in a wide range of areas, ranging from debt monitoring, recording and transparency to debt crisis response. The UK is providing £4m over 5 years to the DMF. We have also recently announced new funding for the African Legal Support Facility, providing £1m over two years, which supports countries to build negotiation capacity and engage with their creditors on a level playing field.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when any (1) minister, or (2) senior civil servant, last visited the refugee accommodation at Napier Barracks; and what assessment they made of the living conditions there.

There is a weekly home office presence at Napier Barracks, with senior civil servants regularly visiting the site, most recently on 2 June. Significant improvements to conditions at Napier have been recognised.

Ministers Foster and Philp have visited Napier Barracks.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is being given to employers to avoid racial discrimination when verifying employees' eligibility to work; and what redress is available to people who may have been racially discriminated against in this manner.

The Home Office has published statutory codes of practice on GOV.UK for employers on how to avoid unlawful discrimination when undertaking checks. This guidance clearly stipulate that employers should provide individuals with every opportunity to demonstrate their right to work and should not discriminate on the basis of race, or any of the other protected characteristics.

We are clear that those who discriminate are breaking the law. Anyone who believes they have been discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, may bring a complaint before the courts or before an employment tribunal. The Equality Advisory Support Service is there to support people who may have experienced discrimination in England, Scotland or Wales, and an equivalent is provided by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Avoiding discrimination while preventing illegal working: code of practice, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-code-of-practice-on-avoiding-discrimination.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the numbers of street homeless people of the Home Office’s decision to restart asylum evictions from 15 September in England; and what plans they have to delay the proposed extension of this policy to Scotland and Wales until the data to permit such an assessment is available.

We have worked, and continue to work, with colleagues at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to understand rough sleeping pressures within Local Authorities in England. We have considered guidance from MHCLG on the aforementioned pressures as part of the phased resumption of negative asylum support cessations.

Cases continue to be triaged for cessation in a manner that considers feedback and guidance from colleagues at MHCLG but above all considers that those receiving a cessation notification will have a route of return as well as access to assistance to leave the country through a Voluntary Returns Service without impacting on Local Authority rough sleeping pressures.

Discussions are ongoing with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as to when negative asylum support cessations will resume in there.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will arrange for a Minister to meet representatives of the No Recourse to Public Funds Network, following a request for such a meeting in their letter to the Prime Minister on 1 October; and if not, why not.

The Home Office has a long-established partnership with the NPRF Network and officials meet representatives from the network on a regular basis. This dialogue is supported by shared use of the Connect database.

The Connect database allows the Home Office to assist local authorities in confirming immigration status and prioritising the resolution of local authorities’ NRPF caseloads.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of voluntary organisations in meeting the needs of asylum seekers in terms of the supply of (1) accommodation, (2) food, and (3) other essential items, where there is no eligibility or access on the part of individual asylum seekers to public funds; and how they consult such organisations to inform their understanding of (1) the nature of unmet needs, and (2) the impact on affected individuals and local services, of asylum seekers.

In March the Home Office set up a dedicated engagement channel with the Voluntary and Community sector on asylum and resettlement matters related to Covid-19. The British Red Cross were nominated by the sector as the single point of contact, and they were provided with a dedicated single point of contact within the Home Office. This allowed the Home Office to better understand the impact of Covid-19 on affected individuals and local services, and to work collaboratively with the sector to keep people safe. At the request of the sector, we have returned to a business as usual approach, but are continuing to speak regularly with relevant organisations.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are provided with free accommodation and other assistance to cover their essential living needs.

The accommodation is arranged by private sector providers through contractual arrangements with the Home Office. There was extensive consultation with the voluntary sector about these arrangements before the contracts were let. Support to cover essential living needs is generally proved through a weekly cash allowance, currently set as £39.60 for each person in the household. The level of the allowance is reviewed annually, and voluntary groups are invited to submit their views.

Discussion about on-going matters generally takes place through the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum, which includes key voluntary groups such as the Refugee Council, Refugee Action and the British Red Cross.

The Home Office engages with non-government organisations (NGOs) on the needs of asylum seekers primarily through the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum (NASF). This consists of two Strategic Engagement Groups (SEG), one for asylum and one for resettlement. Underpinned by NASF Sub-Groups; including groups focused on asylum decision making, asylum support, integration and mental health. These forums provide a strategic and constructive space for discussion and consultation on asylum and resettlement matters, identifying areas where the Home Office and stakeholders can work jointly to make improvements to the asylum and resettlement systems and their underpinning policies and processes. SEG and NASF meetings are held quarterly and are jointly chaired by senior Home Office officials and their NGO counterparts.

The last Asylum SEG was held on 11 June 2020, the next being 17 September 2020. Immigration ministers have met with NGOs previously, such as Caroline Noakes, the then Immigration Minister, in July 2019.

In addition, the Home Office regularly engages with the sector through informal routes such as bilateral or small group meetings.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of (1) homeless, and (2) unaccompanied child, asylum seekers (a) in total, and (b) in each local authority area.

(1) Homeless

The Government publishes quarterly statistics on statutory homelessness, and the latest published statistics covering January – March 2020 are available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910414/DetailedLA_202003.xlsx.

The number of households that have been initially assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness can be found in Table A1 in the link below. Tables A5P and A5R show the household composition of those owed a homelessness duty.

(2) Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

The number of looked after children who are unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) are published annually in the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions’. The latest data refers to the year ending 31 March 2019 and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019. Figures by local authority are available in table LAA4.

UASC are not distributed evenly around the country. The National Transfer Scheme (NTS) was established in July 2016 to achieve a more equitable distribution of UASC. We have worked with local government partners to develop proposals to further improve the NTS. On 28 August we launched an informal consultation with local authorities on these proposals.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional funding is available to local authorities to meet the needs of (1) homeless, and (2) unaccompanied child, asylum seekers; and what plans they have to address the impact of disproportionate patterns of settlement on specific local authority areas.

(1) Homeless

We provided £4.3 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of COVID-19 which includes their work to support homeless people, including £3.7 billion which is not ringfenced, and £600 million to support social care?and a further £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers.

On 18 July, we launched the Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP). This makes available the financial resources needed to support local authorities and their partners to prevent people from returning to the streets. The NSAP?is?made up of two?sources?of funding: £161?million?to?deliver 3,300 units of?longer-term move-on accommodation?in 2020/2021; and £105 million?of additional funding to pay for immediate?support?to ensure that people do not return to the streets.

£23?million?will be provided so that vulnerable?individuals experiencing rough sleeping, including those?currently in emergency accommodation?as a response to COVID-19,?can access the specialist help they need for substance?dependency?issues, in order to rebuild their lives and move towards work and education.?This funding is part of the £262?million?funding announced at Spring Budget 2020.

274 local councils will share £91.5 million of government funding to ensure interim accommodation and support for the most vulnerable people, including by helping people into the private rented sector, secure interim accommodation such as supported housing, and assess the wider support these people need in order to rebuild their lives. An additional £13.5 million fund will be used to enable local authorities to tackle new or emerging challenges.

(2) Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

In addition to the money paid to local authorities through the local government finance settlement the Home Office provides additional funding contributions to the costs incurred by local authorities looking after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) and former UASC care leavers. Increases to these contributions for 2020-21 were announced on 8 June.

For each former UASC care leaver supported, local authorities now receive £240 per person per week. This represented a 60% increase to the lowest rate that was previously paid.

Local authorities supporting UASC totalling 0.07% or greater of their general child population receive £143 per person per night for each UASC. All other local authorities receive £114 per person per night for each UASC in their care.

The National Transfer Scheme (NTS) was established in July 2016 to achieve a more balanced distribution of UASC. The scheme was initially successful, achieving nearly 900 voluntary transfers of UASC from entry local authorities between July 2016 and December 2018.

More recently the NTS has not been working as intended and there is a need to achieve a more equitable distribution of UASC. We have therefore worked with local government partners to develop proposals to further improve the NTS. On 28 August we launched an informal consultation with local authorities on these proposals.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Greenhalgh on 14 October (HLWS505), how the additional support for rough sleepers will be accessed by those evicted from asylum accommodation after a negative decision; and what plans they have to review their policy requiring such evictions to ensure that people are protected “from life threatening cold weather and risks posed by COVID-19”.

Those evicted from asylum accommodation after a negative decision will not be eligible for the additional support for rough sleepers specifically cited in Lord Greenhalgh’s written statement of 14 of October.

For those whose asylum claims have been rejected and have appeal rights exhausted, they will be expected to leave the country, assistance is available to those who opt to leave the country voluntarily.

The Voluntary Returns Scheme will pay for travel and provide a cash amount, and that can and should be utilised whenever possible.

Failed asylum seekers who are unable to leave the UK or take the necessary practical steps to enable them to leave will continue to be eligible to receive support from the Home Office.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the administration of justice, and in particular on (1) victim services, (2) litigants in person, and (3) defendants.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working hard to keep our justice system functioning during this unprecedented public health emergency. Our priorities are to maintain access to justice and to protect the safety of all who work in the courts and tribunals.

We are continuously reviewing our approach in light of PHE advice and to understand impacts on our all our users, particularly those who are vulnerable.

(1) Victim services

We are committed to ensuring victims continue to receive the support they need during this challenging time, and have robust and flexible plans in place to ensure that we can continue to deliver key services across the justice system, including the support of victims.

We have been working across government and with justice partner agencies to ensure that there will be comprehensive support for victims and witnesses across England and Wales.

(2) Litigants in person

The recently agreed Legal Support for Litigants in Person Grant will invest £3.1m over two years to enhance support for litigants in person. We are working closely with delivery partners in the advice sector to ensure the department’s grant funding to litigants in person support services remains responsive to the needs of those self-representing in the justice system, including the impacts of COVID-19. This new funding is in addition to the approximately £8m invested through the Litigants in Person Support Strategy (LIPSS) since 2014/15.

(3) Defendants

We are working very closely with the judiciary to prioritise caseload and case types, and continually reviewing procedures to support access to justice during the emergency period, particularly for the most time-critical and sensitive cases. In the Crown and magistrates’ courts, bail applications and cases where the defendant is in custody awaiting sentence have been prioritised.

30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about the impact of COVID-19 on the (1) livelihoods, (2) retention, and (3) recruitment of lawyers who are dependent on the legal aid scheme; and what action they intend to take as a result of any such representations.

The measures introduced by HM Treasury have provided some support to the profession. We are working closely with legal practitioners and other providers of legal support across the justice system at official and Ministerial level, to understand their concerns and the immediate and longer-term support needs to keep the justice system running during the crisis and beyond.

The Legal Aid Agency, which administers legal aid on behalf of the Lord Chancellor, has taken steps designed to help support legal aid provision during this period including making money available to draw down as interim payments and halting debt collection.

On 1 May, new hardship payment rules came into force for criminal practitioners allowing them to claim 1 month after they were first instructed instead of 6 months and to lower the threshold for work done on the case from £5,000 to £450. We estimate up to 20,000 cases under the LGFS (Crown Court litigators’ fee scheme) and 27,000 cases under the AGFS (Crown Court advocacy fee scheme) could be eligible under the new provisions, increasing the amount of funding brought forward (when combined with the interim payments already available) from £45m to £140m.

We also recognise the impact of covid-19 on third sector advice organisations. This is why the Government announced that it is allocating £5.4 million in funding to specialist legal advice not for profit organisations, including Law Centres, in addition to the funding that the National Lottery Communities Fund is administering.

We will continue to work with practitioners to support a strong legal services sector, which includes consideration of recruitment and retention within the professions with the ultimate aim of ensuring that the most vulnerable in society are provided with the representation and support they need.