Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
These initiatives were driven by Lord Dubs, 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 Dubs has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Lord Dubs has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to make provision for the presumption against the granting of planning permission in respect of subterranean development where certain conditions apply; and for connected purposes
First reading took place on 15 May. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords.Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is yet to be scheduled. A Bill to make provision for members of the House of Lords to vote at elections to the House of Commons
Lord Dubs has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
The Government is providing local councils with unprecedented support during the pandemic with a £4.3 billion package, including £3.7 billion which is not ringfenced and £600 million to support social care providers. This is part of a wider package of almost £28 billion which the Government has committed to support local areas, with funding going to councils, businesses and communities. The 2020 Spending Review will look at pressures facing the sector and provide them with the certainty they need to aid financial planning.
The Government has recently completed a consultation on the Public Lending Right (PLR) Scheme rate per loan for the 2019 -20 PLR scheme year. The consultation sought views on the proposal to increase the rate per loan. We intend laying a Statutory Instrument to vary the rate per loan later this year to ensure eligible authors can receive payments by the end of this financial year.
There are no plans to increase the overall amount of the PLR central fund. The British Library administers the PLR Scheme on behalf of the Government and the funding level of the PLR would form part of the consideration of British Library’s overall funding at a future spending review.
The Department has made no recent assessment. However, Departmental officials regularly engage with stakeholders and organisations such as the MS Society, to discuss a range of issues, including concerns relating to access to treatments.
On 23 December 2020, NHS England outlined priorities for the remainder of 2020-2021, including maximising capacity to treat non-COVID-19 patients. This capacity includes services to people with neurological diseases, for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. The provision of rehabilitation support in England is a local matter, and local commissioners are best placed to provide services according to local need.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have commenced work on updating their guidance for clinical commissioning groups on commissioning accessible, high quality rehabilitation services. This has included engagement with professional bodies’ clinicians, alongside other stakeholders, societies and third sector organisations who represent the patient voice.
No specific assessment has been made.
In co-operation with the Royal College of Physicians and the Chief Medical Officer’s team, the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) published COVID-19 specific guidance for patients with neurological conditions, as well as clinicians, on 22 March 2020. The guidance identified patient groups at increased risk from COVID-19 and those for whom shielding was recommended. Early in the pandemic, the ABN recommended a reduction in face to face appointments for non-emergency care in services such as neurology, while maintaining essential care to protect patients. NHS England and NHS Improvement advised the system that in-person consultations should quickly be phased out and “should only take place when absolutely necessary”.
During the pandemic, digital and remote general practitioner consultations and outpatient appointments as means to support patients have become the norm across England. Providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with neurological conditions. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also published a range of guidance for primary and community health service to identify, support and engage people, such as those with neurological conditions, during the COVID-19 outbreak, including:
- the NHS England and NHS Improvement Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure: Community Health Services; and
- the NHS England and NHS Improvement Guidance and standard operating procedures General practice in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Copies of these as well as the ABN guidance Association of British Neurologists Guidance on COVID-19 for people with neurological conditions, their doctors and carers are attached.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that this information is not collected.
COVID-19 is a new disease with many new and unexpected complications. Clinicians in the National Health Service have adapted rapidly to this evolving situation and rehabilitation programs for COVID-19 have been developed in many parts of the NHS, providing rehabilitation both in hospital and in the community.
On 29 April, Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard published a letter on the second phase of the NHS response to COVID-19, and recommended actions for the next phase including preparing to support the increase in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and who having been discharged from hospital need ongoing community health support.
The NHS also published guidance on 5 June entitled After-care needs of inpatients recovering from COVID-19, which supports primary care and community health services to meet the immediate and longer-term care needs of patients discharged following an acute episode of COVID-19, by describing the typical expected health care needs of patients post-discharge. These include neuromuscular and neuro-psychological, amongst others.
Copies of the NHS letter and guidance are attached.
The Government is aware of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a range of sectors, including charities.
To support charities in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8 April 2020, of a funding package of £750 million for the wider voluntary and charity sector. Of this, £370 million will support charities working with vulnerable people. In England, £200 million of this support will be provided through the National Lottery’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, to which charities can apply for funding. Applicants will be assessed on the extent to which they meet the objectives of the fund, which are to reduce temporary closures of essential charities and to reduce the burden on the public services, including the National Health Service.
In addition, charities can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and are able to benefit from the three-month VAT deferral scheme. Charity shop premises will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100%.
We continue to engage with the EU on the long-term arrangements for the EU Delegation to the UK, and it would not be right to pre-empt the outcome of those discussions. Pending the conclusion of an Establishment Agreement, the Head of the EU Delegation and their staff enjoy privileges and immunities under Protocol 7 to the EU Treaties.
Her Majesty's Government does not have any presence in Al Hol or Al Roj internally displaced persons camps in north-east Syria. The UK suspended all services of the British Embassy in Damascus and withdrew all diplomatic personnel from Syria in 2012.
The UK Government is clear that those individuals who have fought for, or supported Daesh, whatever their nationality, should face justice and accountability through prosecution in the most appropriate jurisdiction: often in the region where the crimes took place. Her Majesty's Government is not aware of any current trials in north-east Syria involving British nationals.
We are aware that some British nationals are living in internally displaced persons camps in Syria. This Government's highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of the UK. It is essential that we do not make judgements about the national security risk someone poses based on their sex or age. Women who travelled to join Daesh can, and in many cases do, pose as significant a risk to our national security as returning male fighters. Her Majesty's Government's assessment remains that risks posed by those adults who travelled to Syria are best managed outside the UK, however each case is considered on its own merits. Where we become aware of British unaccompanied or orphaned children, or if British children are able to seek consular assistance, we will work with relevant UK and international partners to facilitate their return where feasible, subject to national security concerns. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The UK Government is monitoring the arrest of Mr Bala closely. The Minister for Africa raised Mr Bala's case with the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs during a call on 21 May. Our High Commission in Abuja has also discussed the case with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Police. The recent update from the Nigerian authorities is that Mr Bala has been charged with 'insulting contempt of religious creed and insulting public disturbances' under the penal code and racist and xenophobic offences under the cybercrime act. The charges are made under Kano State Law.
The Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Rehman Chishti MP, is also personally looking into Mr Bala's case on an urgent basis, and has raised this matter with international counterparts. On 6 May, Mr Chishti spoke with the Chief Executive of Humanists UK and stressed the UK's engagement on this case. The Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, also discussed Mr Bala's case with the Chief Executive on 20 May.
We will continue to stress the importance of a transparent investigation that respects Mr Bala's human rights, the rule of law, and the Nigerian constitutional right to freedom of religion or belief. Defending freedom of religion or belief for all remains a UK policy priority and we will continue to use our voice internationally to protect this human right, championed by Mr Chishti.
Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making continuous progress towards achieving our commitment of relocating 480 unaccompanied children. We will publish the current number of transfers under section 67 on 21 May 2020 along with the publication of the quarterly immigration statistics.
Between 2016 and 2019, 590 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were transferred to the UK under articles 8.1 and 8.2 of the Dublin III Regulation – the two principle articles in Dublin that allow an unaccompanied child to join a family member lawfully present in the UK.
The mandatory retirement age for most judicial office holders, including magistrates and judges, is 70. The Lord Chief Justice (or in some instances the Senior President of Tribunals) may, with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor, extend the appointment of judges below the High Court following their compulsory retirement date for a period of one year and for further one-year periods, up to the point at which the judge turns 75, where it is in the public interest to do so. In addition, many salaried judges may be authorised to sit in retirement on a fee paid basis.
The government intends to legislate to raise the judicial mandatory retirement age (MRA) to 75 through the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill, to be introduced shortly. The legislation will include a transitional provision to enable retired magistrates who are younger than the new MRA to apply to return to the bench, subject to business need. The process by which such applications are to be made and considered will be set out in due course.
These and other measures to increase judicial capacity to meet demand are crucial to ensure we can continue to support the recovery of our courts and tribunals and reduce delays in hearings.