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 Harries of Pentregarth, 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 Harries of Pentregarth has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Lord Harries of Pentregarth has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Lord Harries of Pentregarth has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Lord Harries of Pentregarth has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) is provided by official bodies only. In 2018, Department for International Development accounted for 74.9% of UK total ODA, other Government Departments and agencies for 20.4% and non-departmental ODA (such as Scottish and Welsh Government) for 4.8%.
UK official bodies can deliver ODA programmes using non-government agencies such as charities, and agencies such as the UN.
We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle, and have made that clear to the Government of Pakistan. We are deeply concerned at the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. We continue to press for speedy and fair trials for those accused of blasphemy, including cases such as Qaiser and Amoon Ayub, and urge the authorities to ensure the safety of those charged and those later released.
The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, which includes the provinces of Papua and West Papua. We regularly discuss Papua with our Indonesian counterparts and a team from the British Embassy Jakarta visited Papua in March 2022 where they met with government officials, law enforcement representatives, local businesses, young entrepreneurs, educators and religious leaders to discuss a wide range of issues including the security situation and economic development in the province.
The UK Government continues to support the efforts of the Indonesian authorities and civil society to address the needs and aspirations of the Papuan people, including strengthening human rights protections, providing humanitarian assistance and ensuring that all Papuans benefit from the sustainable and equitable development of their province. We support Indonesia's engagement with the UN, including the proposed visit on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Papua and encourage both sides to agree on dates.
We are following former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili's arrest and imprisonment closely. Her Majesty's Ambassador to Georgia discussed Mr Saakashvili's detention with the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament on 15 October, and our Deputy Head of Mission highlighted our concerns with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs on 11 November. Senior Officials further raised Mr Saakashvili's treatment with the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1 December in Tbilisi. We were pleased that Mr Saakashvili ended his hunger strike on 20 November and agreed to receive medical treatment at a military hospital. It is important that Mr Saakashvili receives treatment in line with international human rights standards, and that any further hearings are in line with the rule of law and due process.
We will continue to monitor developments around Mr Saakashvili closely in the future.
I have raised our concerns on this matter with the Indian High Commissioner, most recently on 1 October. Our Acting High Commissioner in New Delhi has also raised this with the Indian Prime Minister's Office, most recently on 29 September. We have requested Amnesty's accounts be unfrozen while the investigation is ongoing. In our contacts with the Government of India, we have noted the important role of organisations like Amnesty in a democracy.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office remains in contact with Amnesty International on this matter. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Government of India, where we have them.
Our Embassy in Tbilisi have reviewed the amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications, and discussed with other Embassies and NGOs in Georgia. The UK's view, and that of the stakeholders we have consulted, is that these amendments seek to address national security concerns, and have been put in place to protect Georgia's critical digital national infrastructure.
The case involving Caucasus Online is currently under arbitration, and therefore it is inappropriate for the UK Government to comment at this time. We will continue to monitor developments in this case closely.
The legislative reforms announced in A Smarter Approach to Sentencing White Paper will be brought forward in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill. This bill was introduced on 9 March and, as confirmed in the Queen’s Speech, has been carried forward to the next session.
For the first time, sentences over four years will be able to become spent, and rehabilitation periods will be reduced for community and custodial sentences of less than four years. These changes will come into effect once the PCSC Bill has received Royal Assent.
Work is also underway on the non-legislative reforms set out in the White Paper. We are on track to deliver the Pre-Sentence Report pilot on time, and the Community Sentence Treatment Requirement Programme is now operating in courts across 14 areas in England, with eight more to come online during 2021. The Call for Evidence on Neurodiversity also set out in the White Paper closed on 15 January 2021, and evidence from this is being reviewed with a full report due this Summer.