Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Portrait

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 16th June 2005


Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee
17th Sep 2020 - 31st Dec 2023
European Affairs Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 31st Jan 2023
Procedure and Privileges Committee
19th Jul 2018 - 17th Sep 2020
Liaison Committee (Lords)
8th Jun 2015 - 1st Jul 2019
Procedure and Privileges Committee
8th Jun 2015 - 19th Jul 2018
Political Polling and Digital Media Committee
29th Jun 2017 - 20th Mar 2018
Select Committee on Charities
25th May 2016 - 26th Mar 2017
European Union Committee
22nd Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Soft Power Committee
16th May 2013 - 11th Mar 2014
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 4th Jul 2013
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
1st Feb 2007 - 6th May 2010
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
1st Feb 2010 - 6th May 2010
Draft Charities Bill (Joint Committee)
29th Apr 2004 - 15th Sep 2004
Minister of State (Scotland Office)
25th Jan 2001 - 28th May 2002
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development)
6th May 1997 - 25th Jan 2001
Foreign Affairs Committee
3rd Apr 1981 - 9th Jun 1983


Scheduled Event
Wednesday 13th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Discussions with the Scottish Government regarding any activities it is undertaking that fall outwith its devolved competences
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Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 112 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Environment Agency: Flood Defence Expenditure
My Lords, can the Minister tell the House what can be done to stem the flood of Tory donors to …
Written Answers
Wednesday 7th February 2024
Foreign Relations: Scotland
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Scottish First Minister to invite …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 27th January 2020
Regulation of Political Opinion Polling Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to make provision for the regulation of political opinion polling in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock has voted in 376 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 True (Conservative)
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
(74 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(53 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(48 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(105 debate contributions)
Home Office
(38 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020
(6,520 words contributed)
Energy Act 2023
(4,870 words contributed)
United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020
(3,956 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(3,372 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Foulkes of Cumnock's debates

Lords initiatives

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


2 Bills introduced by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock


A bill to make provision for the regulation of political opinion polling in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 27th January 2020
(Read Debate)

A bill to make provision for the regulation of political opinion polling in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Wednesday 14th January 2015

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


71 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
13 Other Department Questions
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to his Written Answer on 9 March (HL5913), what legislation gives the Clerk of Parliaments and the Clerk of the House the legal responsibility for safety on the Parliamentary Estate.

Under the powers conferred on the Clerk of the Parliaments by the Clerk of the Parliaments Act 1824 and the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992, the Clerk of the Parliaments is the Corporate Officer of the House of Lords and acts as the employer of the great majority of staff in the House of Lords Administration. As such he meets the various health and safety duties imposed on employers under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and regulations made under it (including the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012). The Clerk of the Parliaments also has safety-related duties under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and, in relation to visitors, the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

The Clerk of the House of Commons, who is the Corporate Officer of that House by virtue of the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992, has very similar powers, although he is not the employer of House of Commons staff. He shares the responsibility for the physical premises under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 with the Clerk of the Parliaments.

27th Feb 2023
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what is the latest estimate of the cost of the work currently underway at Peers' Entrance; by whom this expenditure was authorised; and what was the cost of the works that required the temporary closure of Peers' Entrance in August and September 2022.

The work at Peers’ Entrance during August and September 2022 was part of the same project as the work currently underway at Peers’ Entrance. For security reasons the Houses do not publish capital expenditure on security mitigating projects as providing this level of detail could enable an individual to infer the extent and nature of the works, and thus the vulnerabilities which they were intended to mitigate.

The Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk of the House, as Accounting and Corporate Officers, have responsibility for approving final business cases for security projects across the Parliamentary Estate, subject to advice from the Finance Directors and other relevant officials. The Clerk of the Parliaments’ decisions on security projects are informed by consultation with the House of Lords Commission, which ensures that the impact on Members is taken into account, and by the Finance Committee which receives regular reports regarding security expenditure. The Clerk of the House is informed by the equivalent groups and individuals in the House of Commons. Ultimately it is not the House that makes the final decision because security is a bicameral issue, and legal responsibility for safety sits with the Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk of the House.

3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how many members of the House of Lords have a (1) laptop, (2) desktop, and (3) printer (a) in their parliamentary office, or (b) at home, paid for out of House of Lords funds.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.

Since 2015, the following equipment has been paid for out of Parliamentary funds:

  • 501 Members have a laptop
  • 365 Members have a desktop
  • 186 printers have been provided to Members’ offices
  • 65 Members have been provided a printer at home.

Members are entitled to an allowance of two devices out of a choice of either a desktop (on estate installation only), a laptop or an iPad. These allowance options are flexible depending on accessibility requirements. Printers issued for onsite use are provided in addition to this and are usually assigned to an office space rather than a specific Member. The 186 printers in Members’ offices includes larger printers in shared offices and smaller printers in offices occupied by one Member.

In June 2020 as a temporary measure the Services Committee agreed to reimburse Members buying a printer for home use, for up to the value of £200. This was reviewed in light of changes to COVID guidelines and came to an end in September 2021 except for those members eligible to participate in proceedings virtually. During the time the scheme ran, 65 members claimed back the cost of a printer at home and a total of 99 Members were reimbursed for printer consumables for home printing during this period. PDS did previously provide printers to members for home use, this offer was stopped by the Information Committee in 2015. It is likely however, that very few, if any of these devices are still functioning, as these devices have surpassed their useful lifespan and are no longer supported by the manufacturer.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by Lord Touhig on 15 November (HL3572), what financial assistance is available to backbench members to employ the three secretarial and research support staff who are entitled to passes.

Members are entitled to claim a daily allowance and certain travel expenses as detailed in the Guide to Financial Support for Members, which is available on the intranet. No financial assistance is specifically made available for those members who sponsor passes for secretarial or research staff.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what was the value of allowances for (1) Day Subsistence, (2) Overnight Subsistence, and (3) Office Costs, when they were last available to Peers; and what would be the value of those allowances today if they had been uprated in line with inflation.

These allowances were last available to Members in 2010 when they were valued as follows:

• Day Subsistence - £86.50

• Overnight Subsistence – £174.00

• Office costs – £75.00

Applying the relevant rates of inflation the values today would be:

• Day Subsistence - £123.50

• Overnight Subsistence – £249.00

• Office costs – £108.00

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what arrangements are available to help backbench Peers deal with correspondence.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.

All external physical correspondence received by Parliament is security screened off site before being brought to the estate. Appropriate cyber-security measures are in place to protect the Parliamentary network from malicious e-mails and spam.

Members are able to specify how they wish to receive internal and external correspondence including delivery to pigeon holes, member desks or Prince’s Chamber and the option of forwarding to external addresses. Member preferences can be treated as temporary or permanent arrangements and can be varied between sitting and non-sitting days.

Internal and External mailboxes are located across the estate for members sending correspondence, with stationery available from Peers’ Lobby or Millbank House Reception on request.

There are also a number of arrangements available to help members with parliamentary business more widely, including responding to correspondence:

  • Sponsorship of passes for members’ staff: members may apply for up to three passes for secretarial or research support staff.
  • IT support: Digital Services available to members to help them manage their correspondence include the provision of Microsoft Office 365, which includes email and Teams (for telephony and videoconferencing), and file storage within their Parliamentary Network Accounts. One-to-one digital coaching sessions are available to members; these are tailored to suit the specific requirements of the individual member and can be used to focus on making the most of these tools. Members are also provided with an IT allowance, which, as well as an iPhone, entitles them to choose between two different devices out of a desktop, laptop, or iPad. Members are also entitled to a printer provided by PDS, and are expected to share this where they occupy an office with other members, with printer consumables provided by the Attendants’ office.
  • The Library: the library offers a range of research and information services, resources and products to members in support of their parliamentary work.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what was the cost of the administrative team supporting (1) the office of the Lord Speaker, and (2) the office of the Senior Deputy Speaker, for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.

The Lord Speaker’s Office is a team which is part of the wider Clerk of the Parliaments’ Office. The cost of the staff within the Lord Speaker’s Office over the last 10 financial years is as follows:

2011/12: £145,933

2012/13: £142,839

2013/14: £136,500

2014/15: £147,770

2015/16: £166,852

2016/17: £192,297

2017/18: £197,142

2018/19: £200,654

2019/20: £182,904

2020/21: £205,692

These figures include on-costs such as pension and National Insurance contributions.

As explained in my answer to HL3097, a number of other staff are also co-located with the Lord Speaker’s Office and provide support to the Lord Speaker alongside other duties, but their costs are not included within these figures as they are not formally part of the Lord Speaker’s Office.

The post of Senior Deputy Speaker was created in 2016. Since then the Senior Deputy Speaker has been supported by a Private Secretary (grade HL8). Since 2018, they have also been supported by an Assistant Private Secretary (grade HL6). Given the limited number of people who have held these posts it would not be appropriate to give a detailed breakdown of salary figures, but the mid-range average annual rates for posts across the Administration at the same grade, at current rates, are as follows:

Grade HL8 post (including on costs such as pension and NI contributions): £77,368

Grade HL6 post (including on costs such as pension and NI contributions): £46,748

In 2017 an apprentice also provided support to the Senior Deputy Speaker. Their costs included time spent supporting the Senior Deputy Speaker as well as training as part of the apprenticeship programme.

Additional support, such as diary management, has also been provided to the Senior Deputy Speaker by other staff, but this has been done alongside other duties so it is not possible to split out what proportion of staff time would have been spent supporting the Senior Deputy Speaker specifically.

For both the Lord Speaker and Senior Deputy Speaker, the figures outlined above are for the staffing costs only. There will be other costs associated with the running of these teams, such as stationery, computers and other costs, but as these have been accounted for as part of the costs of running the wider departments within which these teams sit, it is not possible to quantify what proportion of those costs would have been incurred in specific support of the Lord Speaker or Senior Deputy Speaker.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what was the recruitment process for the lay members of the Conduct Committee; how many people applied for each lay member vacancy; who conducted the interviews for these positions; and what remuneration the lay members receive.

I have consulted the Chair of the Conduct Committee in preparing this answer.

The four lay members of the Conduct Committee were appointed following an open and rigorous recruitment process. In common with other senior, lay member or non-executive positions, the House engaged a recruitment consultancy to conduct a search and initial sift of candidates. A total of 322 candidates were identified through this process. Of these, 12 were invited to interview by a panel consisting of two members of the Conduct Committee (Lord Mance, Chair, and Baroness Anelay of St Johns), the then Clerk of the Journals and two external members (Sheila Drew Smith and Emily Jackson), with the four top-ranked candidates accepting the offer of appointment. Lay members are remunerated at the rate of £600 per eight hour day.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what (1) qualifications, and (2) experience, in (a) human resources, (b) parliamentary procedure, and (c) bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, the lay members of the Conduct Committee have.

The lay members of the Conduct Committee were not required to demonstrate specific qualifications or experience in any particular field, and the Committee had no preconceptions as to their professional backgrounds. Candidates were asked to demonstrate senior level experience in a complex organisation in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors; excellent analytical and decision-making skills; and personal qualities such as assertiveness and resilience. The biographies of the four lay members were circulated to members of the House at the time of their appointment, and collectively they bring a diversity of experience and an independent perspective to the work of the Committee.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what are the total costs of (1) the meetings, (2) the production of reports, and (3) other activities, of the Conduct Committee in the most recent financial year for which figures are available.

The Committee’s costs cannot be disaggregated from staff, member and publishing costs in this way, except for the lay members’ claims which amounted to £38,250 in financial year 2020–21.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker when the terms of appointment for each member of the Conduct Committee will expire.

The terms of the five peers on the Committee are due to end in January 2022, though the Committee is considering seeking extensions for some of them in order to ensure continuity by staggering departure dates. The terms of the four current lay members will expire in July 2023. The lay members may be reappointed for one further three year term.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what is the estimated cost of the external management review of the House of Lords.

The current estimate is that the External Management Review is likely to cost in the region of £135,000, based on the estimated number of days work involved, which may vary. This estimate includes the costs of recruiting the Reviewer, and the fees which will be paid to the Reviewer, as well as to any external supporting staff, but does not include the costs of any internal staff time spent working on the Review.

22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 20 February (HL5518), why revealing only the cost of (1) a car and driver, and (2) security protection, will affect the security arrangements; and whether they will now reconsider and answer the question put.

Across successive governments, it has been long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on the security arrangements for protected individuals. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals concerned.

Whilst the requested information in isolation may seem innocuous, granular information on spending – especially if mixed with other information - could allow specific individuals perceived to have lower levels of protection to be targeted by hostile actors.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the forecasted annual cost of the provision to former Prime Minister Rt Hon Liz Truss MP of (1) a car and driver, and (2) security protection.

It has been the practice of successive Administrations not to comment on the security arrangements of protected individuals.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Cabinet Office received any declaration of interests by Baroness Mone or Doug Barrowman regarding their links to PPE Medpro during the COVID-19 PPE procurement process.

It would not be appropriate for the Government to comment further while the National Crime Agency investigation is ongoing.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, or intend to make, to (1) the Scottish Ministers, (2) the Welsh Ministers, and (3) the Northern Ireland Executive, regarding their attention to reserved issues.

UK Government Ministers regularly speak to Ministers in the Devolved Administrations on a wide range of areas. It is vital that engagement takes place across the UK on the challenges that we face together, such as our recovery from COVID-19, supporting the NHS and protecting jobs across the UK. The UK Government reports quarterly on our intergovernmental engagement and activity with the Devolved Administrations and will continue this practice in line with our commitments to transparency and accountability.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many non-Irish EU citizens over the age of 65 they estimate live in (1) Scotland, (2) Wales, (3) Northern Ireland, and (4) England.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Rt Hon. the Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

20 April 2021

Dear Lord Foulkes,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many non-Irish EU citizens over the age of 65 are estimated to live in (1) Scotland, (2) Wales, (3) Northern Ireland, and (4) England (HL14730).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have estimated from data gathered by the Annual Population Survey that the numbers of non-Irish EU citizens over the age of 65 living in the countries of the UK are as shown in Table 1 below. This has been published on the ONS website[1].

Table 1, Annual Population Survey estimates of non-Irish EU nationals, aged 65 and over, residing in the UK, by UK country, July 2019 to June 2020, in thousands

UK Country

Estimate

+/- Confidence interval

England

105

18

Wales

2

2

Scotland

5

3

Northern Ireland

1

1

Source: ONS

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/adhocs/13146annualpopulationsurveyestimatesofnonirisheunationalsaged65andoverresidingintheukbyukcountryjuly2019tojune2020

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to commission a report from the Head of the Civil Service into the conduct of the civil servants involved in (1) the preparations for the trial HM Advocate v Salmond, (2) the allegations of collusion within the Scottish Government in relation to the bringing of the charges relating to that trial, and (3) the reports of problems relating to submissions to the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints.

This is a matter for the Scottish Government. There is an ongoing process to consider these issues in the Scottish Parliament. It would be premature and inappropriate to speculate on further action that may be taken until that process has concluded.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to instruct the intelligence agencies to produce a plan to address any interference by the government of Russia in UK (1) democratic processes, and (2) society.

The Security and Intelligence Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections. In July 2019 we announced the Defending Democracy programme to bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to ensure our democracy stays open, vibrant and transparent.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the National Security Council (1) last met, and (2) will next meet. [T]

It is a long established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, as well as when and how often they have met, is not shared publicly.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will announce the membership of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Members are appointed by the Houses of Parliament (having been nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition). The Committee is being formed in the normal way and as quickly as current circumstances allow.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to establishing a UK-wide constitutional convention to address issues of democratic accountability and devolution.

The Government has announced its intention to develop proposals to restore trust in our institutions and in how our democracy operates. Further announcements on this will be made in due course. We will of course consult across the UK, including with the devolved administrations, on any issues that would affect devolved competence or where devolved nations will have a significant interest.

The Government has no plans to establish a UK wide constitutional convention.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement UK-wide constitutional reform; and what steps they intend to take ensure that any such plans are inclusive of all devolved nations and regions within the UK.

The Government has announced its intention to develop proposals to restore trust in our institutions and in how our democracy operates. Further announcements on this will be made in due course. We will of course consult across the UK, including with the devolved administrations, on any issues that would affect devolved competence or where devolved nations will have a significant interest.

The Government has no plans to establish a UK wide constitutional convention.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
8th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with international partners about the creation of a global safe sports entity and framework for the elimination of all forms of violence, abuse and harassment against athletes.

The Government has not held any discussions with international partners about this specific suggestion, but remains committed to the aim of eliminating all forms of violence against, and abuse and harassment of, athletes. The safety, wellbeing, and welfare of everyone taking part in sport is paramount. We will continue to work with domestic and international partners to promote safe sport for all participants, for example through our engagement in international fora such as the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of social media platforms accessible in the UK, such as Telegram, for disseminating Russian propaganda; and what plans they have, if any, to ask those companies to remove material which may be in breach of sanctions.

The DCMS-led Counter Disinformation Unit works to identify and counter Russian disinformation targeted at UK audiences. The Counter Disinformation Unit works closely with the major social media platforms to encourage them to take appropriate action on disinformation and co-ordinated inauthentic or manipulated behaviour, as per their terms of service.

We are also strengthening our new internet safety protections in the Online Safety Bill to make sure that social media firms identify and root out state-backed disinformation. Along with the National Security Bill, this Bill provides the legislative tools to ensure that service providers are forced to take proactive action against attempts by foreign actors to manipulate the online environment to interfere in our society and democracy.

Following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, His Majesty’s Government quickly announced sanctions against Russian state media organisations, targeting the Kremlin-funded TV-Novosti which owns RT (formerly Russia Today), and Rossiya Segodnya which controls the news agency Sputnik.

More broadly, we are countering Russian disinformation through our unprecedented package of sanctions against Russia: we have already targeted peddlers of Russian disinformation, including President Putin’s key political allies, regime spokespeople including Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov and Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, and Kremlin-backed disinformation agencies.

We have also taken specific action to ban Russian propaganda online, on social media platforms, and on app stores. Our regulator, Ofcom, oversees the obligation on all UK-based entities to prevent access to propaganda services provided under the umbrella of state owned entities Rossiya Segodnya and ANO TV Novosti.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 7 May (HL3380), and following reports of threats to journalists in Northern Ireland, when they expect to (1) set up the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, and (2) publish their National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists.

Journalists play a vital role in our society and must be free at all times to do their jobs without fear of violence. The Minister for Media and Data made this clear recently when he signed the public statement issued by the National Union of Journalists, calling for the freedom of the press to be respected and protected. As he said, “Journalism is a bedrock of democracy and those who are keeping our communities informed and holding the powerful to account must not be intimidated or threatened as they carry out their work. We stand with journalists and will do all we can to support them in doing their jobs without fear or favour."

Plans for the National Committee and the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists are currently being developed, but have been necessarily delayed as the government turns its attention to supporting newspapers through the current Covid-19 crisis. However, the committee and the action plan remain priorities for us and we hope to be able to make an announcement soon.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, what assessment they have made of threats posed to press freedom (1) globally, and (2) domestically; and what plans they have to (a) establish a national committee, and (b) develop an national action plan, for the safety of journalists.

The Global Index, released by Reporters Without Borders on 21 April, showed press freedom improved very slightly around the world in 2019. While this is welcome news, the threat to free media remains very concerning, and the overall trend is downwards. There has been a rise in the suppression of media freedom by authoritarian regimes. Online threats to journalists have also increased, including through governments imposing blanket shut-downs and misinformation being used to target journalists. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already alarming situation. There are examples of states introducing disproportionate restrictions, silencing debate and abusing journalists. Some states and non-state actors are seizing the chance to propagate disinformation. Funding and advertising revenue has been significantly reduced, causing publications to close and journalists to be laid off. Without action, much of the media on which our democratic systems and values depend risks becoming another victim of the pandemic.

The UK press is among the most respected and free in the world. The government recognises press freedom is fundamental to a healthy democracy and strongly supports it. We are working to support a sustainable future for quality journalism in the UK through the government’s response to the Cairncross Review, so that it can continue to hold government and others to account.

These efforts have increased as we work to support the continued provision of news through the COVID-19 crisis. The government has ensured that the press is able to carry out their essential function at this critical time, designating them as key workers for the purpose of access to educational places, and making sure that newspaper deliveries can continue. The Government has also maximised the advertising we are placing in national and regional newspapers at this critical period, in order to use their powerful, familiar voices and reach on the government’s COVID-19 public information campaign.

The government has previously announced its intention to convene a National Committee and devise a National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists. We remain committed to this goal.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the BBC about plans to charge those aged over 75 for a TV licence, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BBC and the government continue to discuss the national Coronavirus situation.

The BBC’s priority over the coming period will be to do everything it can to serve the nation at this uniquely challenging time. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a vital role to play in supplying information to the public in the weeks and months ahead.

The future of the over 75 concession and the costs of the concession are matters for the BBC following the passage of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances, the BBC Board has decided to change the start date of the new policy. We will bring this into force on 1 August and the BBC will keep the issue under review as the situation continues to evolve.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people over 75 years old who will be confined to their homes due to COVID-19; and, in the light of that assessment, what plans they have to postpone the withdrawal of free TV licences for those over 75.

The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for the government's response to COVID-19 and any assessment of the number of people over 75 years old who could be confined to their homes due to COVID-19. Although careful and scientific consideration is being given to all policy options, no final decisions have been taken over interventions that would require this.

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is a matter for the BBC from 1 June 2020. This reform was subject to public discussion and debated extensively during the passage of the Digital Economy Act 2017 through Parliament.

However, the BBC and the government have been discussing the national Coronavirus situation. Changes to the TV licence for people aged over 75 had been due to come into effect on 1 June. But during this time we do not want anyone to be worried about any potential change.

The BBC’s priority over the coming period will be to do everything it can to serve the nation at this uniquely challenging time. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a vital role to play in supplying information to the public in the weeks and months ahead.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances, the BBC Board has therefore decided to change the start date of the new policy. The current plan is to now bring it into place on 1 August and the BBC will keep the issue under review as the situation continues to evolve.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they apply to the appointment of trade envoys; and what remuneration and expenses, including for travel, they are they entitled to receive.

Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys are drawn from both Houses and across the political spectrum. They are chosen based on relevant skills and experience required to undertake the role. This experience can be related to their assigned market or UK industry knowledge, or their Government-to-Government experience, as well as willingness and an ability to undertake some international travel.

The trade envoy role is voluntary. No remuneration is paid to trade envoys. The Department for International Trade meets the cost of travel and subsistence when trade envoys travel overseas, as well as any other incidental costs incurred by the trade envoys when they fulfil their role.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the financial support provided to the aviation sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was allocated to (1) airports, (2) airlines, and (3) other companies in that sector.

We estimate that by the end of April 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefitted from around £7bn of government support since the start of the pandemic.

This includes more than £2bn through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and we estimate that the air transport sector will have received around £1bn in support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) up to the end of April 2021.

We have guaranteed loans to airlines through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (£25m) and we expect to pay out around £80m in grants to commercial airports and ground handlers by the end of the financial year, through the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS).

Further cross-economy measures are also available to businesses in the aviation sector. Since the start of this year (2021) £3.4bn of loans have been partially supported through export development guarantees. This includes a £1.4bn loan facility for easyJet, and a £2bn loan facility for British Airways, which will be largely guaranteed by UK Export Finance.

The Chancellor has announced the renewal of the scheme to help airports and ground operators with their fixed costs, with additional grants of up to £4m between April and September, an extension of furlough payments to September, and an online jobs market matching aviation employees with thousands of vacancies.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the financial support provided to airports during the COVID-19 pandemic was issued through (1) loans, and (2) grants.

We estimate that by the end of April 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefitted from around £7bn of government support since the start of the pandemic.

This includes more than £2bn through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and we estimate that the air transport sector will have received around £1bn in support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) up to the end of April 2021.

We have guaranteed loans to airlines through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (£25m) and we expect to pay out around £80m in grants to commercial airports and ground handlers by the end of the financial year, through the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS).

Further cross-economy measures are also available to businesses in the aviation sector. Since the start of this year (2021) £3.4bn of loans have been partially supported through export development guarantees. This includes a £1.4bn loan facility for easyJet, and a £2bn loan facility for British Airways, which will be largely guaranteed by UK Export Finance.

The Chancellor has announced the renewal of the scheme to help airports and ground operators with their fixed costs, with additional grants of up to £4m between April and September, an extension of furlough payments to September, and an online jobs market matching aviation employees with thousands of vacancies.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much, in total, they have provided in (1) grants, and (2) loans, to the aviation sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We estimate that by the end of April 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefitted from around £7bn of government support since the start of the pandemic.

This includes more than £2bn through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and we estimate that the air transport sector will have received around £1bn in support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) up to the end of April 2021.

We have guaranteed loans to airlines through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (£25m) and we expect to pay out around £80m in grants to commercial airports and ground handlers by the end of the financial year, through the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS).

Further cross-economy measures are also available to businesses in the aviation sector. Since the start of this year (2021) £3.4bn of loans have been partially supported through export development guarantees. This includes a £1.4bn loan facility for easyJet, and a £2bn loan facility for British Airways, which will be largely guaranteed by UK Export Finance.

The Chancellor has announced the renewal of the scheme to help airports and ground operators with their fixed costs, with additional grants of up to £4m between April and September, an extension of furlough payments to September, and an online jobs market matching aviation employees with thousands of vacancies.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether EEA nationals over state pension age who have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June will continue to be eligible to receive (1) Pension Credit, (2) Housing Benefit, and (3) other benefits.

From 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss citizens will be required to have immigration status to carry on living and working in the UK and to access non-contributory benefits in the UK.

EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and their family members, need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

DWP are working closely with the Home Office and other government departments to ensure we are using all available resources to engage with groups who need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Support for applicants who need it remains available, including from the network of 72 organisations across the UK grant-funded by the Home Office to help vulnerable people apply to the EUSS.

Those who have made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme, but have yet to receive an immigration status before the deadline, will continue to receive benefits as long as they satisfy the entitlement conditions for that benefit.

Where an EEA or Swiss citizen, who was resident here before the end of the transition period, has reasonable grounds for missing the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to (1) meet the needs of blind and partially sighted people as the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, and (2) ensure that blind and partially sighted people are able to play an active role in society.

The Government is committed to ensuring that disabled people can play a full role in society, with a manifesto commitment to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People. All equality and discrimination laws and obligations continue to apply during the Coronavirus pandemic. We worked with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to transcribe gov.uk pages on general coronavirus guidelines and financial advice into spoken word formats. This guidance is available on RNIB phone lines. This ensures that visually impaired people without access to the internet are able to receive the same advice as sighted people with internet access.

We recognise that some people with disabilities face particular difficulty in social distancing, or are impacted by the reaction of others to their inability to socially distance. We are considering how we ensure that disabled people are able to socially distance in order to protect themselves from Coronavirus and from adverse attention from people who perceive that they are not adhering to guidelines on social distancing.

11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to increase public awareness of the challenges experienced by blind and partially sighted people (1) while the restrictions to address the COVID-19 are in place, and (2) as those restrictions are lifted.

The Government is committed to ensuring that disabled people can play a full role in society, with a manifesto commitment to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People. All equality and discrimination laws and obligations continue to apply during the Coronavirus pandemic. We worked with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to transcribe gov.uk pages on general coronavirus guidelines and financial advice into spoken word formats. This guidance is available on RNIB phone lines. This ensures that visually impaired people without access to the internet are able to receive the same advice as sighted people with internet access.

We recognise that some people with disabilities face particular difficulty in social distancing, or are impacted by the reaction of others to their inability to socially distance. We are considering how we ensure that disabled people are able to socially distance in order to protect themselves from Coronavirus and from adverse attention from people who perceive that they are not adhering to guidelines on social distancing.

17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the implications of the Adult Social Care Reform White Paper for (1) housing-with-care, and (2) integrated retirement communities

The white paper commits to incentivise the supply of supported housing, including housing-with-care and integrated retirement communities through the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, with £213 million available over the next three years. This is alongside a new £300 million investment to connect housing with health and care, increase the supply of supported housing and local expenditure on services for those in supported housing.

We will work with local authorities, housing providers and others to design and establish this new investment. Further detail on how this will be targeted and the impact we expect to deliver will be made available as it develops. We are engaging with stakeholders from the private and social sectors, including the Associated Retirement Community Operators, to inform future cross-Government action to stimulate a specialist housing market. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models, including proposals for a cross-Government taskforce.

17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what form of cross-government work they are undertaking on expanding housing-with-care.

The white paper commits to incentivise the supply of supported housing, including housing-with-care and integrated retirement communities through the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, with £213 million available over the next three years. This is alongside a new £300 million investment to connect housing with health and care, increase the supply of supported housing and local expenditure on services for those in supported housing.

We will work with local authorities, housing providers and others to design and establish this new investment. Further detail on how this will be targeted and the impact we expect to deliver will be made available as it develops. We are engaging with stakeholders from the private and social sectors, including the Associated Retirement Community Operators, to inform future cross-Government action to stimulate a specialist housing market. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models, including proposals for a cross-Government taskforce.

17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposal from the Associated Retirement Community Operators on setting up a cross-government task force on expanding housing-with-care.

The white paper commits to incentivise the supply of supported housing, including housing-with-care and integrated retirement communities through the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, with £213 million available over the next three years. This is alongside a new £300 million investment to connect housing with health and care, increase the supply of supported housing and local expenditure on services for those in supported housing.

We will work with local authorities, housing providers and others to design and establish this new investment. Further detail on how this will be targeted and the impact we expect to deliver will be made available as it develops. We are engaging with stakeholders from the private and social sectors, including the Associated Retirement Community Operators, to inform future cross-Government action to stimulate a specialist housing market. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models, including proposals for a cross-Government taskforce.

17th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Associated Retirement Community Operators on expanding housing-with-care.

The white paper commits to incentivise the supply of supported housing, including housing-with-care and integrated retirement communities through the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, with £213 million available over the next three years. This is alongside a new £300 million investment to connect housing with health and care, increase the supply of supported housing and local expenditure on services for those in supported housing.

We will work with local authorities, housing providers and others to design and establish this new investment. Further detail on how this will be targeted and the impact we expect to deliver will be made available as it develops. We are engaging with stakeholders from the private and social sectors, including the Associated Retirement Community Operators, to inform future cross-Government action to stimulate a specialist housing market. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models, including proposals for a cross-Government taskforce.

22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the Scottish First Minister to invite a foreign head of government to a meeting where no official of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is present.

Following a meeting between the Scottish First Minister and the Turkish President, which took place without an FCDO official being present, the Foreign Secretary wrote to Scottish Cabinet Secretary Robertson. He made it clear that the Scottish Government must respect the relevant protocols for the overseas visits of devolved Government Ministers, for continued FCDO facilitation. We remain open to discussing a constructive way forward, but the UK's foreign policy must be communicated consistently and coherently to our international partners.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to investigate whether Scottish Government spending on overseas embassies is appropriate.

International relations is a matter reserved to the UK Government (UKG), but the UKG recognises that the devolved governments have legitimate interest in international activities which affect delivery of devolved objectives. The Scottish Government currently operates eight overseas offices and has an office in London. Most overseas offices are physically co-located with the UK Mission. As the UKG highlighted in its evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, there are a wide range of positive examples of engagement and co-operation between FCDO and Scottish Government staff based at UK Missions, delivering for Scotland and the UK.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the impact of UK development aid on local NGOs working in East Africa in 2021, and (2) whether the current model, which channels the majority of foreign aid to the United Nations, is compatible with their commitment to localising humanitarian aid.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) play a central role in delivering UK funded humanitarian support in East Africa. For example, in 2021 the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, supported by the UK, reached 3.2 million people with life-saving aid with more than 30 national and international NGOs involved in delivery. More broadly, the FCDO supports a number of Country based Pooled Funds (CBPF) and in 2022, 21.7% of funding allocated by CBPFs went directly to national NGOs. The UK also uses its voice on multilateral boards to ensure decisions align with UK priorities such as the International Development Strategy's commitment to locally-led decision-making.

8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opposition movement in Belarus; and what plans they have, if any, to meet with the opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya last visited the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on 9 March 2022, where she met the Rt. Hon. James Cleverly, then Minister for Europe. Although there are currently no firm plans in place for a future visit, the UK remains in regular contact with Mrs Tsikanouskaya and other prominent Belarusian civil society figures.

The UK Government continues to urge the Belarusian authorities to end their repression of their own citizens, enter into an inclusive dialogue with the democratic opposition and civil society, and offer the Belarusian people the genuine choice of government that they both want and deserve.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the governance of the British Virgin Islands.

The UK Government agreed earlier this year with the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry that identified poor governance in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The new BVI Government and Premier Wheatley also agreed change was needed and committed to a substantial reform plan. Legislative changes have been made, policy reviews begun and several criminal investigations and audits are under way, with the UK Government providing some funding and expertise. The Governor and UK Government will assess progress quarterly with the first assessment at the end of September.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government where Ministerial responsibility lies in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for inclusive societies; and which Minister is responsible for ensuring that the work of the Department takes account of the rights and needs of (1) older people, and (2) people with disabilities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, UN and the Commonwealth, is the Minister responsible for policy on open societies and Minister Morton is responsible for gender and equalities, including the rights and needs of older people and people with disabilities.

8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the gift aid review launched in their policy paper Summary of tax administration and maintenance: Spring 2023, published on 27 April, what progress they have made so far in that review.

The Government is undertaking a review of the administration of Gift Aid. It is considering areas for improvements suggested by representatives of charities. Since the announcement HMRC has undertaken analysis of its systems that administer Gift Aid and also undertaken research on charities use of Gift Aid. HMRC has not completed this review of existing processes and research into challenges and possible improvements.

HMRC works closely and regularly with representatives from across the charity sector reviewing Gift Aid, as well as raising awareness amongst donors. It places a high priority on this collaborative work and is always interested in ideas to improve the administration, take-up and awareness of Gift Aid.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the gift aid review launched in their policy paper Summary of tax administration and maintenance: Spring 2023, published on 27 April, how many meetings they have had with charities in the past six months as part of that review.

As part of the Government’s review of the administration of Gift Aid processes, and to fully understand the current Gift Aid Service and associated processes and challenges, HMRC has conducted in-depth research interviews with officials responsible for Gift Aid from 17 charities across the country, ranging in size from micro to large. These represented charities across a range of different sectors and included some that claim Gift Aid, don’t claim or partially claim, to help understand the reasons, challenges and needs.

HMRC also conducted internal user research with members of its charities operations team to understand the challenges and to inform its research with charity officials.

Prior to the announcement, HMRC met with 6 charity officials responsible for Gift Aid at their respective charities to test changes to the charities online service. This followed research conducted with 5 charities in November 2022.

In total, there have been 28 research sessions with distinct, individual charities, and two sector meetings. 18 of these meetings have been in the past 6 months, with the remaining 12 having happened in the past 12 months.

This review of existing processes and research into challenges and possible improvements is still ongoing.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to investigate whether Scottish Government spending on independence campaigning is appropriate.

The Government is concerned by the First Minister’s decision to appoint a Minister for Independence. This decision is out of step with the real priorities of the public, which include continuing to tackle the cost of living, growing Scotland’s economy, tackling NHS waiting lists, ensuring energy security and improving transport links.

The Government is committed to uphold the reputation and impartiality of the civil service in Scotland and appreciates that this is a matter for the Scottish Government Permanent Secretary who has been asked to consider this matter.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they intend to take to review whether any money allocated to the Scottish Government for a particular purpose has been spent on a different area without agreement with His Majesty's Government.

The Treasury are in regular contact with each of the devolved administrations to discuss the funding arrangements set out in the Statement of Funding Policy.

It is for the Scottish Government to decide how to spend their Barnett-based block grant in areas of devolved responsibility. However, ringfenced funding provided by the UK Government can only be spent for the purposes it was given and any underspends must be returned to HM Treasury.

The devolved administrations provide regular updates to HM Treasury on their spending through existing reporting channels. This includes spending against ringfenced funding.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by HonestReporting Help Combat Hamas Terrorism, published on 2 February; and what assessment they have made of the warning within the report by Lloyd's of London against its members doing business with Hamas.

The UK has a robust legislative framework which criminalises the financing of terrorism in all its forms. The Government regularly meets with the banking sector, regulators and non-profit organisations to identify, assess and understand the risk of terrorist financing and collaborate to respond to the risks that are identified, including producing appropriate guidance and best practice on risk mitigation measures.

The Home Secretary extended the proscription of Hamas to cover the organisation in its entirety in November 2021. The extension makes all of Hamas’ assets ‘terrorist property’, it also makes it illegal for people to be members or supporters of Hamas, with a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Hamas is also subject to an asset freeze under the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The investigation and prosecution of offences is a matter for the police and Crown Prosecution Service. It would be inappropriate for the Government to comment further on such matters

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how EEA nationals with settled or pre-settled status will be covered by the Right to Rent scheme checks after 30 June; and what the position will be for EEA nationals who are (1) tenants, or (2) prospective tenants, but fail to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June.

EEA citizens with settled or pre-settled status granted through the EU Settlement Scheme will evidence their right to rent digitally using the Home Office online service on GOV.UK, ‘prove your right to rent in England’.
https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent
Where the landlord has carried out checks, in the prescribed manner, on or before 30 June, there is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks or evict a tenant, as they have a continuous statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty.
Where an EEA citizen has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given an opportunity to make a late application. Any EEA citizen encountered by Immigration Enforcement after 30 June 2021, who may be eligible to apply to the EUSS, will be issued with a notice which provides a further 28 days for the individual to submit their application.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reasons have been identified for unsuccessful applications for the EU Settlement Scheme from people over 65 living in Scotland; under what circumstances late applications will be permitted; what exceptional circumstances will be permitted; and how mitigation for (1) illness, and (2) disability, will be taken into account.

The latest published information to the end of December 2020 shows 3,670 people over the age of 65, resident in Scotland, were granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and a further 1,080 were granted pre-settled status, representing 98.5% of applications concluded for over 65s resident in Scotland. 20 applications were refused on eligibility or suitability grounds, 40 were withdrawn or void and less than 10 were invalid.

The latest figures can be found in table EUSS_04 on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2020

The published figures for the EUSS refer specifically to applications made to the scheme and cannot be directly compared with Office for National Statistics estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published EUSS figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in ONS estimates of the resident EU/EEA national population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

On 1 April 2021, the Home Office published non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EUSS by those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by the end of the transition period. This will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, including in light of illness and disability issues.

The guidance can be found in ‘Making an application: deadline’ in ‘EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members’ at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance

12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many non-Irish EU citizens over the age of 65 living in Scotland they estimate have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The latest published information to the end of December 2020 shows 3,670 people over the age of 65, resident in Scotland, were granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and a further 1,080 were granted pre-settled status, representing 98.5% of applications concluded for over 65s resident in Scotland. 20 applications were refused on eligibility or suitability grounds, 40 were withdrawn or void and less than 10 were invalid.

The latest figures can be found in table EUSS_04 on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2020

The published figures for the EUSS refer specifically to applications made to the scheme and cannot be directly compared with Office for National Statistics estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published EUSS figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in ONS estimates of the resident EU/EEA national population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

On 1 April 2021, the Home Office published non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EUSS by those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by the end of the transition period. This will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, including in light of illness and disability issues.

The guidance can be found in ‘Making an application: deadline’ in ‘EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members’ at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance

12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme from people both over the age of 65 and living in Scotland have been successful.

The latest published information to the end of December 2020 shows 3,670 people over the age of 65, resident in Scotland, were granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and a further 1,080 were granted pre-settled status, representing 98.5% of applications concluded for over 65s resident in Scotland. 20 applications were refused on eligibility or suitability grounds, 40 were withdrawn or void and less than 10 were invalid.

The latest figures can be found in table EUSS_04 on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2020

The published figures for the EUSS refer specifically to applications made to the scheme and cannot be directly compared with Office for National Statistics estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published EUSS figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in ONS estimates of the resident EU/EEA national population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

On 1 April 2021, the Home Office published non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EUSS by those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by the end of the transition period. This will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, including in light of illness and disability issues.

The guidance can be found in ‘Making an application: deadline’ in ‘EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members’ at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance

18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks of the Cabinet Secretary in evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution on 18 July, what action they have taken to review the position of the Scottish Minister for Independence and the team of civil servants who currently support him.

I am aware that the Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, has stated that he is considering this matter.

All civil servants must abide by the Civil Service Code and the law, and that applies to civil servants working for the Scottish Government.

People expect their Governments to be fully focused on the issues which matter most to them: driving down inflation, growing our economy and maintaining the UK’s energy security by making Britain more energy independent.

Lord Evans of Rainow
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much public funding was provided to the Scottish National Party for the last financial year for which figures are available.

Eligible political parties can receive a limited amount of public funding each year. Information on this is held by the Cabinet Office.

Political parties are required to report the funding that they receive, including public funding, directly to the Electoral Commission as part of their wider financial reporting obligations. The Electoral Commission publishes this information on their online database for transparency and public scrutiny.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when the task force on housing for older people will be launched as promised in the White Paper, Levelling up the United Kingdom, published on 2 February.

Ensuring older people have access to the right homes that suit their needs can help them to live independently for longer and feel more connected to their communities.

We announced in the Levelling Up White Paper an older people’s housing taskforce, to explore how we can improve the choice of and access to housing options for older people.

We are continually increasing our understanding of this market, and note the recommendations in Professor Mayhew's recent review alongside contributions from other stakeholders.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the International Longevity Centre UK The Mayhew Review – Future-proofing retirement living: Easing the care and housing crises, published on 1 November; and in particular the recommendation that His Majesty’s Government should aim to build 50,000 new homes for older people each year to address issues in the (1) housing, and (2) social care, sectors.

Ensuring older people have access to the right homes that suit their needs can help them to live independently for longer and feel more connected to their communities.

We announced in the Levelling Up White Paper an older people’s housing taskforce, to explore how we can improve the choice of and access to housing options for older people.

We are continually increasing our understanding of this market, and note the recommendations in Professor Mayhew's recent review alongside contributions from other stakeholders.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who has replaced Chloe Smith MP as the Minister in the Cabinet Office responsible for the Constitution and Devolution; and in particular, for the work on Common Frameworks.

Following the recent Government reshuffle, Neil O’Brien MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has taken on the role of Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and the Constitution. As part of this role, Minister O’Brien has assumed responsibility for the Union and Constitution, including the Common Frameworks programme.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in setting up the task force on housing with care; and what is its remit.

Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care are committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people. We are engaging closely with both the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models including proposals from the sector for a cross-Government taskforce.

1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposal for the creation of a new task force on meeting the current and future housing and care needs of people as they age in communities, as recommended by the Associated Retirement Community Operators in its report Planning for retirement: How retirement communities can help meet the needs of our ageing population, published in June; and what plans they have, if any, to establish such a task force.

The Government welcomes the work of specialist older people’s housing providers in building homes and meeting the needs of our aging population. We are already engaging with specialist providers as we take forwards our plan to build the homes our country needs including through our reform and modernisation of the planning system. Ministers and officials will continue to engage with this sector going forward.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 9 September (HL2410), what topics were covered in the 11 letters (attached to emails) that the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland received from Scottish Ministers in relation to reserved matters; and what plans they have to publish these letters.

UK Government Ministers and Scottish Government Ministers regularly communicate on a range of matters. There is a strong public interest in allowing Ministers a private space within which to communicate, discuss and share information. Therefore, we do not routinely publish interministerial letters and we have no plans to publish these letters or their contents.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compliance of the Scottish Government in respect of their actions in areas reserved under the devolution agreements.

The UK Government is committed to respecting and strengthening the devolution settlements. We engage closely with the Scottish Government on Scotland Act Orders, which were established under the Scotland Act 1998, to help manage the Scottish devolution settlement. The Scotland Act 1998 sets out mechanisms in the event of activity which may be contrary to the Scottish devolution settlement.

The UK Government engages regularly with the Scottish Government in a wide range of other areas, including on the collective challenges we face, such as our recovery from Covid-19. The UK Government reports quarterly on intergovernmental engagement and activity with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from Scottish Ministers, by (1) email, (2) letter, and (3) other means of communication, since August 2020 on matters which are reserved.

In the time period outlined, the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has received 11 letters (attached to emails) from Scottish Ministers in relation to reserved matters.

There are no further communications to report.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)