Lord Kamall Portrait

Lord Kamall

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 28th January 2021


3 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Commonwealth, India (Trade and Investment), Management
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2022 - 29th Oct 2022
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2021 - 20th Sep 2022
COVID-19 Committee
10th Jun 2021 - 17th Sep 2021


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 5th March 2024
14:00
Communications and Digital Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The future of news: impartiality, trust and technology
5 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 185 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 227
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
NHS: Dementia Commission Report
My Lords, I would like to ask the Minister about the role of music therapy in helping dementia patients. It …
Written Answers
Thursday 15th February 2024
Recovery Loan Scheme
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Johnson of Lainston on 1 February (HL1695), what …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Kamall has voted in 328 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

28 Feb 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Kamall voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative Aye votes vs 85 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 89
View All Lord Kamall Division Votes

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
Baroness Merron (Labour)
Opposition Whip (Lords)
(71 debate interactions)
Baroness Thornton (Labour)
Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
(62 debate interactions)
Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat)
(55 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(1308 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(13 debate contributions)
Home Office
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Kamall's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Kamall has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


29 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
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Johnson of Lainston on 1 February (HL1695), what assessment they have made of the impact of not renewing the Recovery Loan Scheme on small businesses in deprived areas who have received loans from Community Development Financial Institutions after being turned down for loans from high street banks.

Lenders are currently offering over £100 million of additional lending per month through the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), with 85 per cent of facilities going to small and micro businesses. RLS is particularly effective at serving alternative and social lenders, with more than three quarters of lending delivered through smaller lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Since launch, RLS has enabled almost £50 million of CDFI lending: over 90% of the businesses which borrowed from CDFIs in 2023 had been turned down by another lender, and half were based in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Johnson of Lainston on 1 February (HL1695), what assessment they have made of the impact of not renewing the Recovery Loan Scheme on small businesses in deprived areas who have previously been turned down for loans by high street banks.

Lenders are currently offering over £100 million of additional lending per month through the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), with 85 per cent of facilities going to small and micro businesses. RLS is particularly effective at serving alternative and social lenders, with more than three quarters of lending delivered through smaller lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Since launch, RLS has enabled almost £50 million of CDFI lending: over 90% of the businesses which borrowed from CDFIs in 2023 had been turned down by another lender, and half were based in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to extend the Recovery Loan Scheme which is due to expire in June; and if so, when this will be announced, and when it will be extended until.

As at 30 June 2023, businesses had drawn more than 20,000 facilities, totalling more than £4.34bn, through the Recovery Loan Scheme.

We are consulting with lenders and business representative organisations on how best to continue to support businesses, including on the role of a government-backed loan guarantee scheme. Any such scheme would be announced in Parliament in due course.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their justification of the levy of import tariffs on goods and produce that are not produced by UK manufacturers and producers.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) applies when exceptions, such as preferential treatment under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, do not apply.

In designing the UKGT, the Government balanced the interests of UK producers and consumers, and strategic trade objectives such as its FTA agenda and its commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade. For example, tariffs on certain goods have been retained to maintain preferential access for developing countries.

As with all policy, we welcome feedback which can be submitted using the feedback form available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tariffs-on-goods-imported-into-the-uk

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that any owners of a business that is to be dissolved are aware that if they do not withdraw any money from the bank accounts of that business before dissolving the company, the amount in the account will be considered Bona Vacantia and pass to the Crown.

Companies House content on the GOV.UK website provides companies with guidance on all aspects of the dissolution process.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the withdrawal of Victoria and Alberta as hosts for the 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games respectively, whether they intend to invite expressions of interest to host the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games from UK cities and regions; whether they have spoken to any UK cities or regions interested in hosting the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games; and whether they are aware of any other Commonwealth countries that have expressed an interest in hosting the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games.

The announcement by the Victorian Government was disappointing for fans and athletes across the Commonwealth. HM Government is keen that the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia should work together to find a viable solution to hosting the event in 2026 so that athletes have the chance to compete in, and fans have the opportunity to enjoy, this incredible event.

The UK is proud to have hosted the Games twice in the past decade, including in Birmingham last year – coming in under budget and adding at least £870 million of Gross Value Added to the UK economy. We are committed to working with the Commonwealth Games Federation and other Commonwealth countries to support a sustainable future for the Games.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 8 December 2022 (HL4451), what steps they are taking to encourage place-based giving schemes following the end of the Growing Place-based Giving Programme.

Charitable giving has a proud tradition in the UK, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is keen to highlight the importance and impact of such giving.

Last year the Department encouraged charitable giving by supporting the Small Charity Week campaign (20–24 June 2022), aimed at promoting the work of small charities. As part of that work, the Department encouraged people to think about a local cause or small charity about which they care and, if they were able to do so, to consider supporting it by donating money, goods, or time.

The Department continues to endorse Payroll Giving, which allows tax-free donations to be made to charity directly from an individual’s pay or pension. In 2021 this scheme raised £137 million for charities.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness and impact of their Growing Place-based Giving Programme.

The Growing Place-based Giving Programme supported the creation of six place-based giving schemes as a means of stimulating local philanthropy and increasing investment in local communities in England. Each giving scheme received £100,000 of seed funding and development support from a specialist organisation. The schemes began work in 2019 bringing together local residents, philanthropists, corporate donors, and public sector and civil society organisations, and raising money to address local priorities.

The programme report, published in 2020, found that all six place-based giving schemes were in a position to be sustainable at the end of the programme. Based on the schemes’ initial work, the report also stresses that place-based giving can be a mechanism for fostering community cohesion and spirit, civic engagement, and meeting local needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the schemes’ development in 2020, but the report found that place-based giving can be an effective means of responding to crises. All six schemes were able to pivot their work to support local communities. For instance, Barking and Dagenham Giving developed a £100,000 Rapid Response Fund, while Totally Stoked created a hub for the local authority which co-ordinated resources and supported people who were shielding. The report found that this was only possible because of the work done during the Growing Place-based Giving programme.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in their work to help UK musicians to tour EU countries after the UK's departure from the EU.

His Majesty’s Government is committed to supporting the UK’s world-class creative industries to adapt to new arrangements following our departure from the European Union.

We have worked extensively with the sector and directly with EU Member States, and have clarified arrangements on the movement of people, goods, and haulage. We have taken steps to support specialist concert hauliers, and have worked across Government and with the sector to develop guidance including ‘landing pages’ on GOV.UK specifically for touring musicians and other professionals from the creative sectors.

Through this work, we have confirmed that:

  • nearly all EU Member States offer visa- and work-permit-free routes for musicians and creative performers. This includes – following extensive engagement by the Government and the creative sector – Spain and, most recently, Greece, which announced a visa- and work-permit-free route in June 2022;

  • portable musical instruments, carried or in a vehicle, can be transported cost-free and should not require ATA Carnets; and

  • small ‘splitter vans’ are not subject to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement limits on ‘haulage for the creative sectors’ and ‘cross trade’. In addition, the Government has introduced dual registration to support specialist hauliers, meaning they can benefit from more generous market access arrangements in Great Britain and the EU.

We continue to work closely with the sector to support musicians and other creative professionals to tour internationally, both in the European Union and more widely.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks of Lord Harlech on 21 September (HL Deb col 1533), whether any companies have asked them to maintain mandatory reporting on food waste, what were those companies, and whether any such companies have offered to pay the costs of that reporting rather than using public money.

In the 2022 consultation on improved food waste reporting, 40 companies supported introducing mandatory reporting for large businesses in England. These companies were from the manufacturing, retail, hospitality and primary production sectors. A list of respondents, excluding those who requested confidentiality, is included in the Government Response published in July 2023. If a mandatory approach were to have been taken forward, those companies in scope would be liable for the costs of reporting their food waste.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the innovation principle was not included as one of the principles in the draft environmental principles policy statement published in May 2022; and whether they will include it in the final statement.

The environmental principles in the policy statement are set out in section 17 of the recent Environment Act.


Determining which principles were included in the Act involved thorough consideration, including a public consultation and significant engagement with stakeholders. The five internationally recognised principles are the integration principle, the prevention principle, the rectification at source principle, the polluter pays principle, and the precautionary principle.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, given the absence of the innovation principle from the draft environmental principles policy statement published in May 2022, what plans they have to encourage innovation in creating a cleaner and sustainable environment.

The policy statement outlines how the five principles should be interpreted and proportionately applied when making policy. The draft policy statement recognises the importance of innovation. For example, the precautionary principle incentivises innovation by encouraging development of alternative policy options that reduce risk and uncertainty.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their justification for levying a UK import tariff on the 16 different types of mandarins when there are no domestic producers.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) sets out the UK’s Most Favoured Nation tariffs. It applies when exceptions, such as preferential treatment under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, do not apply.

The UKGT has been in place since 1 January 2021. In designing the UKGT, the Government balanced the interests of UK producers and consumers, as well as strategic trade ambitions such as our FTA programme and preferential access for developing countries.

As with all policy, we welcome stakeholder feedback. Stakeholders can submit feedback via the UKGT feedback form available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tariffs-on-goods-imported-into-the-uk.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further the Local Government Association analysis identifying “dental deserts”, how (1) they, and (2) NHS England, work with dental charities to deliver dental hygiene education in areas with relatively low numbers of NHS dentists.

NHS England engages with dental charities, including on the promotion of existing services, seeking engagement from service users or the commissioning of services.

On 19 July 2022, we announced amendments to the National Health Service dentistry contract, including fairer remuneration for dentists to improve care for patients with more complex needs, supporting practices to deliver additional NHS care and improving information for patients. The Department and NHS England are working with the dental sector on further improvements to NHS dentistry to consider new payment models and encouraging dentists to work in areas of need. Further information on these measures will be available in 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has had with the Department of Health and Social Care about ensuring that analogue telecare devices continue to work safely after the digital switchover has been completed in 2025.

The Department of Health and Social Care has had frequent discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on this issue. On 7 September 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care chaired a meeting on the switchover and on 24 November, we wrote to telecare service providers and device manufacturers to request the results of testing of analogue devices on digital telephone networks. On 5 December, the Department of Health and Social Care published the online only ‘Telecare stakeholder action plan: preparations for the analogue to digital switchover’ which co-ordinates actions to support telecare service providers and encourages further testing.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they and NHS England work with dental charities to deliver dental services in areas seen as ‘dental deserts’.

NHS England engages with dental charities, including on the promotion of existing services, seeking engagement from service users or the commissioning of services.

On 19 July 2022, we announced amendments to the National Health Service dentistry contract, including fairer remuneration for dentists to improve care for patients with more complex needs, supporting practices to deliver additional NHS care and improving information for patients. The Department and NHS England are working with the dental sector on further improvements to NHS dentistry to consider new payment models and encouraging dentists to work in areas of need. Further information on these measures will be available in 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government which dental charities are working in England to promote better dental hygiene in schools and local communities, including those that donate free toothbrushes and toothpaste.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in ensuring that analogue telecare devices continue to work safely after the digital switchover in 2025.

Following a Ministerial meeting on 7 September on the telecommunications industry led digital switchover, on 24 November we wrote to telecare service providers and telecare device manufacturers to request the results of tests undertaken and recent alarm call data history, to understand the reliability of analogue telecare devices on digital telephone lines. This was supported by the Tech Enabled Care Services Association, the Local Government Association, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, TEC Cymru, the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland. Initial data will be analysed and will be available by early February 2023. We have also agreed a Telecare Stakeholder Action Plan to encourage further testing of analogue devices, which will be published shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether His Majesty’s Treasury has done any economic modelling on the impact of the new alcohol duty bands on the consumption of alcohol; and if so, whether this modelling predicts that they would (1) incentivise alcohol drinkers to drink lower-alcohol drinks, and (2) reduce their overall consumption of alcohol.

The UK’s complex and archaic alcohol duty system has been widely criticised by independent commentators including the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), the Institute of Alcohol Studies, and the World Health Organization, with many of them advocating for a strength-based system.

We are undertaking the biggest reform of alcohol duties for over 140 years and moving to a system where all alcohol will be taxed by strength. We are also introducing a new lower duty band for products between 1.3% and 3.4% ABV. As under the current duty system, products below 1.2% ABV will not incur alcohol duty. Higher ABV bands will have higher rates of duty, to reflect their greater potential for harm.

In October 2020, the Government launched a call for evidence which sought the views of stakeholders on how the system could be reformed. This closed in November 2020 with 106 responses. In parallel to the call for evidence, the Government also undertook a series of roundtables with groups of stakeholders, including public health groups, trade associations and economists. After analysing the responses to the call for evidence, the Government then launched a consultation on alcohol duty reform at Autumn Budget 2021. This consultation closed in January 2022 and received over 350 responses. Responses and evidence are published on the government website.

Similarly, the Government considered evidence which suggested that heavier drinkers consumed proportionately higher ABV drinks. For example, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published analysis that suggested that adults drinking 40 units per week consumed drinks at 18% ABV average, whereas those drinking 10 units per week consumed drinks at 14% ABV average. By failing to tax products consistently in line with their ABV, the duty system is not effectively targeted at the most harmful drinking.

The new alcohol duty system has been widely welcomed by public health stakeholders on this basis and is in line with WHO’s recommendation to base a duty system on alcoholic strength. Evidence suggests alcohol harm is linked to affordability, and the Government is addressing this through the alcohol duty reform.

These reforms have public health at its heart and the new strength-based duty system will incentivise consumption of low alcohol drinks, whilst reducing the consumption of stronger drinks more associated with alcohol harm. The Government has committed to evaluating the policy and its impacts after implementation.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to modernise, and (2) to automate, the gift aid system.

The Government recognises the important work the charity sector does in the UK, which is why we currently provide tax reliefs to charities and their donors worth over £5 billion per year, including over £1.3 billion in Gift Aid. The Government has received ideas from the sector on developing Gift Aid for the digital age and continues to keep all aspects of this important tax relief under review.

Last year 99% of Gift Aid claims were already made online by charities with only 1% submitted by paper, but HM Revenue and Customs has been engaging further with the charity sector to understand the remaining challenges. This work remains ongoing and is considering all aspects of the service including whether it meets the needs of its users, as well as the registration and claims process. One way this has taken place is through inviting charities to complete a short survey about the process.[1]

[1] https://zwgy80l7.optimalworkshop.com/questions/z6n2hh7v

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they examined the case for (1) reducing VAT on domestic fuel, and (2) raising the personal allowance for taxpayers, as an alternative to the Energy Price Guarantee before they announced the Autumn Statement on 17 November; and if not, why not.

The Government made the difficult but necessary decision to maintain income tax thresholds until April 2028 to ensure the tax system supports strong public finances.

Maintaining these thresholds is universal, progressive and fair. The highest earners will contribute more of the revenue. Even with the decision to maintain thresholds the Personal Allowance (PA) has increased by over 40 per cent in real terms since 2010, ensuring some of the lowest earners do not pay income tax. Thanks to the PA, in 2021-22 around 30% of earners didn’t pay tax.

The UK’s PA is high by international standards – it is one of the most generous personal tax allowances in the OECD and highest in the G7.

The Government also recognises that families should not have to bear all of the VAT costs they incur to meet their needs, with domestic fuels such as gas, electricity and heating oil already subject to the reduced rate of VAT at 5 per cent of VAT.

The Government's package of support to help households with their energy bills is more generous than an additional VAT cut on domestic fuel and power, and there would be no guarantee that suppliers would pass on the discounts from this relief to all customers.

As with all aspects of the tax system, the Government will continue to keep income tax thresholds and VAT under review and any decisions on future changes will be taken by the Chancellor in the context of the wider public finances.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 2 May (HL7140), which states that the Home Secretary’s comments reported in the Daily Mail on 1 April about sexual abuse of females by perpetrators described as “almost all British-Pakistani, who hold cultural attitudes completely incompatible with British values”, related only to the findings of local reviews into child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale, whether they will ask the Daily Mail to publish this clarification.

The Government is clear that child sexual exploitation is not exclusive to any single culture, community, race or religion. The Home Secretary’s comments relate to the findings of local reviews into child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale, which showed that perpetrators in those cases were overwhelmingly British-Pakistani men, and the victims were white girls. However, of course child sexual abuse offenders come from every walk of life, every ethnicity, and every background – as do their victims.

The Home Secretary has made her comments clear, including through the Written Answer mentioned and through her publication in The Spectator on 22 April 2023.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the statements that “Research has found that group-based CSE offenders are most commonly White” and “there is no factor which makes any group of children uniquely vulnerable” in the Home Office report Group based Child Sexual Exploitation: Characteristics of Offending, published in December 2020, what new evidence they received following that report which led the Home Secretary to claim that perpetrators of child sexual exploitation are “almost all British-Pakistani” and that victims are “overwhelmingly white girls from disadvantaged or troubled backgrounds”.

We know that child sexual exploitation is not exclusive to any single culture, community, race or religion. The Home Secretary’s comments relate to the findings of local reviews into child sexual exploitation cases in Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale, which showed that perpetrators in those cases were overwhelmingly British-Pakistani men and the victims were white girls.

The 2020 Home Office report on group-based Child Sexual Exploitation set out the best evidence on ethnicity, age, offender networks, the context in which these crimes are committed and implications for national and local policy. As noted within the report, beyond those specific high-profile cases, the academic literature highlights significant limitations to what can be said about links between ethnicity and group-based child sexual exploitation.

It is essential for police and local authorities to have a good understanding of offender characteristics and the drivers of child sexual exploitation in their areas, so that they can uncover and tackle offending effectively. That is why the Prime Minister and Home Secretary have announced a number of steps to improve our data on, and our response to, group-based child sexual exploitation, including a new Taskforce, regional analysts in every police region, a new Complex and Organised Child Abuse Database hosted by the Taskforce and the roll out of the Tackling Organised Exploitation Programme, which brings together force-level, regional, and national data and intelligence.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what legal asylum or immigration routes there are for Afghan academics who worked with visiting British academics under the Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) scheme, and who have subsequently been threatened by the Taliban regime, but have had their application to come to the UK under Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) rejected.

The UK has made one of the largest commitments to support Afghanistan of any country and, so far, we have brought around 23,000 people affected by the situation in Afghanistan to safety. This includes more than 6,300 vulnerable Afghan nationals through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

This is one of the most ambitious resettlement schemes in our country’s history and we are proud to offer a safe and legal route to those affected by events in Afghanistan.

Those who are not offered resettlement under the ACRS or ARAP including Afgan academics will need to apply to come to the UK under our existing economic or family migration rules.  Further information can be found on the website at:

https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration

Whilst the UK has made a generous resettlement commitment, we must bear in mind the capacity of the UK to resettle people is not unlimited and therefore difficult decisions about who will be prioritised for resettlement have to be made.

12th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how they determine whether asylum seekers who arrive in the UK without documentation are genuinely from a country not on their list of safe countries.

The Home Office employs various processes to establish the identities of asyum claimants, in circumstances where it is not sufficiently evidenced in reliable documentation. These processes include checks of all relevant Home Office databases (such as biographic and biometric checks of previous visa applications), biometric checks with partners in the United States and other countries, and – where there are concerns about a person’s claimed origin - robust nationality testing may be carried out during a substantive asylum interview. The checks and the testing employed during interview may be applied to any person claiming asylum, including those from the ‘safe country’ list.

If any documents are presented by claimants in support of either their identity or their claim, the reliance to place on them is assessed in the round, alongside these checks and wider evidence in the case, in line with our published guidance: ‘Assessing credibility and refugee status’.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the (1) shortest, and (2) longest, time taken to process applications for asylum.

The Home Office is unable to state what the shortest and longest processing time is for asylum applications as this information is not published and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost because it would require a manual search through individual records.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics: List of tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Home Office also publish data on the percentage of asylum applications processed within 6 months of the date of claim. Data showing the number of asylum claims received from 2014 – 2022 that were processed within 6 months can be found at Asy_01 of the Asylum Transparency Data: Immigration and protection data: Q3 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bellamy on 2 May (HL6631), how many times magistrate courts have awarded a sentence of more than the Sentencing Council's maximum sentence for any offence, where the legal maximum is longer than the Sentencing Council's guidelines, in the past five years.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold this information in the format requested. To obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost.

Further to PQ HL6631, you may be interested to know that the Council listened to the concerns raised by stakeholders in response to its consultation and decided to increase the sentencing range upper limit for the most serious animal cruelty offences to 3 years and 6 months custody.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
20th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Sentencing Council Animal Cruelty Guidelines, published on 10 May 2022, why the Sentencing Council have proposed changing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty from five years as agreed in the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021, to three years' custody for the most serious offending.

The maximum penalty for any statutory offence is prescribed by Parliament. There are no plans to reduce the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences from the current five years.

Sentencing guidelines are produced by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, which is independent of the Government. The guidelines set out factors which courts must consider when deciding on a sentence and are designed to increase consistency and transparency in sentencing.

The Sentencing Council has consulted on revisions to the animal cruelty guideline to reflect recent legislation. The Council has proposed a sentence range of a fine up to three years imprisonment. As the consultation document explains, the upper limit for a sentence range is often lower than the maximum penalty set out in legislation to allow headroom for sentencers dealing with cases of exceptional seriousness. In such cases, statute permits a sentencer to step outside the offence range and impose any sentence up to the maximum.

The Sentencing Council’s consultation closed on 1 August. The Council is expected to publish the final guidelines in May of this year, having taken time to consider the consultation responses and make any revisions that they consider appropriate. Once published they would come into effect in July 2023.The consultation paper can be found here: Animal cruelty sentencing guidelines consultation (sentencingcouncil.org.uk).

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)