Lord Lexden

Conservative - Life peer

1 APPG membership (as of 25 Aug 2021)
West Papua
EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee
9th Sep 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
19th Jul 2017 - 1st Jul 2019
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
17th Jun 2015 - 27th Apr 2017
Constitution Committee
16th May 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 189 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 104 Noes - 241
Speeches
Thursday 16th September 2021
Safeguarding (Code of Practice) Measure

My Lords, my noble friend Lord Cormack referred at the start of his powerful remarks to the passion and anger …

Written Answers
Monday 26th July 2021
Metropolitan Police: Misconduct
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 8 July (HL Deb, col …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 14th January 2020
Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (Amendment) (Siblings) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to amend the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 to make transfers between siblings exempt in certain circumstances
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Lexden has voted in 122 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Lexden 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 Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(31 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(22 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(74 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(54 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Lexden's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Lexden, 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 Lexden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Lexden has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Lord Lexden


A bill to make provision about direct planning pilot schemes; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 20th November 2015

A bill to amend the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 to make transfers between siblings exempt in certain circumstances


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Tuesday 14th January 2020
(Read Debate)

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


43 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
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland on the sovereignty of the UK.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 was approved by Parliament on 23 January 2020. It implemented the agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union. It sets out the arrangements for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU including the Northern Ireland Protocol. As the Protocol itself makes clear, the UK as a whole, including Northern Ireland, has left the EU customs territory. The future of the Protocol is in the hands of the people of Northern Ireland, with Northern Ireland’s elected institutions to determine whether to extend or end its alignment provisions four years after the end of the transition period.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the principal measures they have taken to strengthen the Union between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Government is committed to protecting and promoting the combined strengths of our Union, building on 300 years of partnership. As part of this, we work closely with the devolved administrations on a variety of different policy agendas, including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the review of intergovernmental relations.

Additionally, we are undertaking a review into Union connectivity to improve links between our four nations, and to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects.

It is our intention to publish Lord Dunlop’s review of Union Capability alongside the completion of the review into intergovernmental relations, to provide as full a picture as possible. We are already in the process of implementing Lord Dunlop’s recommendations and will provide a full update when the review is published.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the principal measures they have taken to strengthen the union between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Government is committed to protecting and promoting the combined strengths of our Union, building on 300 years of partnership. As part of this, we work closely with the devolved administrations on a variety of different policy agendas, including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the review of intergovernmental relations.

Additionally, we are undertaking a review into Union connectivity to improve links between our four nations, and to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects.

It is our intention to publish Lord Dunlop’s review of Union Capability alongside the completion of the review into intergovernmental relations, to provide as full a picture as possible. We are already in the process of implementing Lord Dunlop’s recommendations and will provide a full update when the review is published.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord True on 19 November 2020 (HL Deb, cols 1535–9), whether they are now in a position to publish the Dunlop Review into UK Government Union capability.

The Government is committed to protecting and promoting the combined strengths of our Union, building on 300 years of partnership. As part of this, we work closely with the devolved administrations on a variety of different policy agendas, including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the review of intergovernmental relations.

Additionally, we are undertaking a review into Union connectivity to improve links between our four nations, and to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects.

It is our intention to publish Lord Dunlop’s review of Union Capability alongside the completion of the review into intergovernmental relations, to provide as full a picture as possible. We are already in the process of implementing Lord Dunlop’s recommendations and will provide a full update when the review is published.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Dunlop Review of UK Government Union Capability will be published.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office stated to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on 10 September, we will publish the Dunlop Review before the end of the year.

We are in the process of implementing many of Lord Dunlop’s recommendations and we will set out that work when we publish the report.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in planning Festival UK 2022; and whether events related to that Festival will be held in all countries of the UK.

In October last year we announced the 30 teams that have been selected to take part in the Festival R&D Project. This has provided paid work to our creative sectors, and an opportunity for them to work in new collaborations.

The 30 teams include two from Scotland, two from Northern Ireland, and two from Wales, and two from England. The remaining 22 teams are cross-UK teams, with representatives from at least two of the nations. They bring an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and creativity from the very best of our country’s creative talent. The final 10 teams will be announced this year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the papers of Sir Malcolm Arnold are preserved for future historical study.

The National Archives and the Ministry of Justice are currently liaising regarding records of the Office of the Public Guardian and the Chancery Division of the High Court which pertain to Sir Malcolm Arnold which are currently held by the Ministry of Justice. Whilst discussions are ongoing the records are secure within the custody of the Ministry of Justice and are not at imminent risk of destruction.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to issue formal guidance on the safe resumption of choral singing following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to ensure appropriate support and guidance is given to the cultural sector, DCMS has established the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Entertainment and Events working group which include extensive membership from artists and performers. Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Digital and Culture, has also held a roundtable with representatives from the choral sector to enable choral groups to feed in views to the development of guidance.


The Taskforce and Working Groups will be focusing on ensuring that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phasing ambitions and public health directions, building on the existing guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input. Full details of the Taskforce can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/culture-secretary-announces-cultural-renewal-taskforc,e and the Entertainment and Events Working Group can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/cultural-renewal-taskforce-and-supporting-working-groups#entertainment-and-events-members.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Berridge on 21 June (HL Deb, col 14), what is the average annual cost of a place in a (1) children’s home, and (2) boarding school.

A summary of a project commissioned by the department to understand fees paid by local authorities for children’s homes in England was published in November 2020. It can be found at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analytical-associate-pool-summary-of-projects.

This reports a mean average fee for children’s homes of £3,962 per week.

The department does not collect data on the cost of boarding schools for children in care.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what restrictions will apply to camps for schoolchildren this summer under COVID-19 regulations.

Since 17 May, all out of school settings, which includes youth residentials and summer camps, have been able to undertake residential visits for children. From 21 June, these settings have been able to do so in groups of 30 children, in line with the position for school residential visits. The Department has provided updated guidance on ‘Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children’, which sets out how providers can conduct residential visits safely. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, in particular from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its subgroups, when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. Gathering in larger groups, including as part of residential visits, does increase the risk of transmission. COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors, especially over prolonged periods, for example in shared sleeping arrangements, which increases the risk of residential visits. The Department continues to keep these restrictions under constant review and will ensure they remain proportionate to the threat to public health posed by COVID-19.

It is important that education and childcare settings continue to be supported with appropriate guidance on safety measures. The Department remains committed to ensuring that schools and colleges can effectively manage risks, create an inherently safer environment, and that we can maximise face-to-face education wherever possible. As new evidence or data emerges, the Government will act accordingly to ensure that all settings have the right safety measures in place.

The advice on residential visits will be reviewed again in advance of Step 4.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to give schools in the Crown Dependencies access to the Department for Education's Barred List Checking Service Sign-in portal.

The regulations that are used to determine the eligibility for access to the Department for Education's Barred List Checking Service apply to England only.

The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 are for maintained schools and can be accessed here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2680/regulation/24/made.

The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 are for academies, free schools and alternative provision academies, and can be accessed here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3283/pdfs/uksi_20143283_en.pdf.

The Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015 and The Further Education (Providers of Education) (England) Regulations 2006 can be accessed here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/728/contents/made and https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/3199/contents/made.

The Department has no plans to give schools in the Crown Dependencies access to the replacement service for Teacher’s Pension Online, the Children’s Barred List Status Check. Teacher’s Pensions Online hosted the standalone barred list check service until 31 March 2021. The replacement service transferred to the Teaching Regulation Agency on 1 April 2021. Schools in the Crown Dependencies should contact the Disclosure and Barring Service directly to obtain an Enhanced plus Barred List information check for those employed in regulated activity.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Berridge on 1 March (HL Deb, col 1002), how the education recovery schemes they are designing will operate; and what opportunities independent schools will have to contribute to any such schemes.

The government is committed to helping all children and young people make up learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is why the government has invested £1.7 billion to give education settings support to help pupils get back on track, including additional funding, tutoring, early language support and summer schools. We will provide further guidance to schools on the operation of new education recovery programmes shortly.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, committed to work with parents, teachers and pupils to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up their learning over the course of this parliament. We have appointed Sir Kevan Collins as the Education Recovery Commissioner to advise on this broader plan. The objectives of the Education Recovery Commissioner, as outlined in the Terms of Reference, are to advise on the design and implementation of potential interventions that will help students catch up learning lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Education Recovery Commissioner will be expected to engage with a range of education experts and settings to improve implementation and refine proposals to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of outcomes.

Independent schools have been actively involved in cross-sector partnerships, forming impactful and mutually beneficial partnerships with state school colleagues across several areas including curriculum development, quality of teaching, school leadership, and other school improvement initiatives. Independent schools are also involved in the Broadening Educational Pathways programme aimed at increasing the support of the sector for vulnerable children. All of this is consistent with the department’s joint understanding with the Independent Schools Council, which outlines how independent schools can work in partnership with state schools to help raise attainment and, in particular, help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. I would very much like to see this spirit of collaboration extended to our COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The terms of reference for the Education Recovery Commissioner is published here (and can be viewed in the attached document):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/960070/Terms_of_reference.pdf#:~:text=Education%20Recovery%20Commissioner%3A%20role%20specification%20and%20terms%20of,approach%20for%20education%20recovery%2C%20with%20a%20particular%20focus.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Independent Schools Council’s Partnership Week 2020.

We are delighted to celebrate the success of cross-sector partnerships and welcome the hard work that has gone into promoting this work across our country by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and others such as the Schools Together Group.

The department continues to encourage and support new partnerships between independent and state-funded schools. In line with the department’s joint understanding with the ISC, we want to see more schools forming impactful and mutually beneficial collaborations across the areas of curriculum development, teaching quality, governance and leadership, and other targeted forms of school improvement.

As disruptive as COVID-19 has been, we hope that more schools will see the opportunity to work together to find solutions to common problems and to build a more collaborative system. Partnerships Week and other forms of promotion, such as the ISC’s recently published Celebrating Partnerships booklet, are key to ensuring that more schools hear about the good work already happening in this field and encourage more to join.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of teachers recruited by maintained schools after participating in school-centred initial teacher training programmes in independent schools.

The information requested is not held centrally on the number of teachers recruited by maintained schools after participating in school-centred initial teacher training programmes in independent schools.
Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the terms of reference of the National Tutoring Programme so that independent schools can participate fully in it.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), our delivery partner on the Tuition Partner strand of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), launched the funding criteria on 31 August. Organisations will be selected to become NTP Tuition Partners through an open competition. The process is set out on the EEF’s website, together with information on criteria and expectations of tuition partners: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/ntp-tuition-partners/for-tuition-partners.

EEF are seeking high quality tutoring organisations who can manage delivery in line with robust quality, capacity and evaluation requirements. As this is a competitive process, we have no plans to change those terms. However, as well as existing tutoring providers, EEF are happy to accept applications from other organisations, such as associations of independent schools, charities or universities, who are able to meet the necessary criteria. Applications will also be welcome from partnerships made up of a number of organisations with differing, but relevant experience.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many school playing fields have been sold in each year since 2010; and what steps they will take to reduce the number of applications for further sales being given consent by the Secretary of State for Education.

The department records and publishes details of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education’s consents for schools to dispose of areas of publicly funded playing field land. Disposals may take the form of freehold sales, long and short-term leases and grant of rights regarding access and use of land.

The definition of “playing field land”, as set out in the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 (SSFA 1998), is “land in the open air which is provided for the purposes of physical education or recreation”. This is a wide definition and it does not matter if the land is not currently in use for sport or recreation or is not laid out for formal team games. Disposals of any size require consent so the listed transactions do not necessarily represent the loss of whole pitches, courts or playgrounds.

Year

Number of Secretary of State consents given to disposal of areas of playing field land

2001 – Apr 2010

242

May 2010 – Dec 2010

11

2011

9

2012

11

2013

37

2014

23

2015

22

2016

25

2017

49

2018

12

2019

11

2020 (up to July)

13

Undated

12

Under existing legislation, no-one may dispose of publicly funded playing field land without reference to the Secretary of State. The current departmental advice to local authorities, maintained schools, special schools, academies and free schools regarding disposal or change of use of playing field and school land (May 2015) clearly states that “all maintained schools and academies must provide suitable outdoor space to enable physical education in accordance with the school curriculum and to enable pupils to play outside” and that “there is a very strong policy presumption against the disposal of school playing field land”.

Further disposals that meet specific criteria can be made under a General Consent Order (GCO). Details can be found in Annexes E to H of the department’s current guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/430705/Disposal_or_change_of_use_of_playing_field_and_school_land.pdf.

In summary, GCOs can be used for transactions that represent no net loss of playing field land to the school estate or where the loss is temporary. Disposals made under a general consent order are not published by the department and are not included in the figures above.

Examination of the decisions where the Secretary of State has given consent for the disposal of playing field land demonstrate that the majority of cases fall into two categories:

1) the disposal of land at closed school sites where these closures may be the result of school relocation, school merger or lack of demand for school places due to demographic changes. The Secretary of State will seek evidence that the site is no longer needed for the purpose of running a school, that pupils previously attending the closed school have access to equivalent or better sport and recreational facilities and that proceeds from the sale contribute to betterment of sporting and recreation facilities across the wider school estate; and

2) the disposal which results in the betterment of recreational and sports facilities at the school site e.g. where sports clubs or community groups fund investment in enhanced facilities, protect their investment by taking a lease from the school (which is a disposal of playing field land) and the facilities are subject to joint use agreements allowing the school to use the facilities during school operating hours and other users outside these hours.

There are a minority of instances where a disposal of playing field is required with little or no betterment in sporting or recreational facilities e.g. a boundary rectification; compulsory purchase; provision of sub stations or other utilities. In these instances, the Secretary of State requires applicants to demonstrate a benefit and that any loss has been minimised both in quantum and quality of the land disposed of.

The government therefore does not have any plans to change its policy position. The department does have plans to refresh the published guidance with respect to the application process which with reiterate the presumption against a loss.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow boarding houses at residential schools to provide accommodation for students to self-isolate to comply with COVID-19 public health advice; and whether, and if so, when they will issue guidance about this to residential schools.

Our latest guidance on isolation for residential educational settings is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings.

It contains advice on managing isolation for individuals or groups in the event that a child, young person or staff member in a residential setting either shows symptoms of COVID-19 or is confirmed as having the disease.

This guidance applies to mainstream boarding schools as well as to all other residential educational settings.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of section 63 of the Children and Families Act 2014 in ensuring that parents of children with special educational needs or a disability are able to choose an independent school if that is their wish.

Section 63 of the Children and Families Act (2014) sets out the local authority’s duty to pay fees for special educational provision where an institution, including an independent institution, is named in a final education, health and care (EHC) plan.

The process by which parents’ wishes are considered is, instead, set out within the ‘Special Educational Needs & Disabilities 0-25 Code of Practice’, attached, and under section 39 of the Children and Families Act (2014).

Chapter 9 in the ‘Special Educational Needs & Disabilities 0-25 Code of Practice’ sets out the duties of local authorities and the rights of parents regarding the naming of schools in EHC plans. When a local authority is finalising an EHC plan, parents can ask for a particular school to be named in the plan. This can be any maintained nursery school; maintained school; any form of academy or free school (mainstream or special); non-maintained special school; independent special school or independent specialist college, where they have been approved for this purpose by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, under section 41 of the Children and Families Act (2014). These schools are published in the section 41 list, which is available to all parents and young people.

The local authority must name the parent’s or young person’s choice of school in the EHC plan unless the school would be unsuitable for the child or young person’s age, ability, aptitude or special educational need or unless the child or young person’s attendance would be incompatible with the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources.

The child’s parent or the young person may also make representations for places at independent schools, independent colleges or other post-16 providers that are not on the section 41 list. However, these schools are not obliged to admit children with EHC plans and local authorities are not under the same conditional duty to name these schools in EHC plans.

As at January 2019, there were 17,362 children and young people with EHC plans in independent schools. This figure represents 4.9% of all children and young people with an EHC plan.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to make bells or hooters mandatory on all bicycles and scooters being ridden on public highways.

Rule 66 of the Highway Code recommends that bells are fitted and used as necessary. All bicycles are required at point of sale to be “fitted with a bell which is of a category intended for use on bicycles”. The Regulations do not compel cyclists to keep a bell fitted to the bicycle after purchase. The Government has no plans to make bells for bicycles mandatory.

The Department for Transport is rapidly developing plans for e-scooter trials, having recently consulted on this. Electric scooters used in trials will be required to have a bell or horn.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which countries have yet to ratify Protocol 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and what reasons any such countries have given for the delay.

Of the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, 46 have signed and ratified Protocol 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Italy is the only Member State that has signed but not yet ratified the protocol. I understand that the Government of Italy has assured the Council of Europe that the parliamentary procedures required for ratification are currently in progress, and that a date for discussion of Protocol 15 at the plenary of the Senate will be decided in due course.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 13 October (HL8595), what was the reply given by the government of Indonesia to Heather Wheeler’s representations about West Papua at their meeting in January 2020.

We do not usually publish records of conversations - doing so may set a precedent whereby Her Majesty's Government is pressured to publish further conversations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia about police action in response to peaceful protests by students at Cendewasih University in West Papua.

We are aware of the protests by students on 28 September 2020 at Cenderawasih University in Papua. We have not raised this specific case with the Indonesian authorities, but we regularly press them to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of peaceful protest. The former Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, raised Papua with the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahendra Siregar, during her visit to Jakarta in January 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the government of Indonesia about the case of Buchtar Tabuni, who has been charged with treason after participating in peaceful protests.

We are aware of the arrest, and subsequent charging, of Buchtar Tabuni. We have not raised this specific case with the Indonesian authorities, but we regularly press the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of peaceful protest. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua. The then Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, raised Papua with the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahendra Siregar, during her visit to Jakarta in January 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remove the application of VAT to sales of audiobooks.

An extension of the zero rate of VAT has been introduced to provide consistency in approach between certain physical and digital publications.

Audiobooks are already taxed consistently at the standard rate in both physical and digital format.

There are no current plans to extend the VAT zero rate to audiobooks. However, the Government keeps all taxes under review, including VAT.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
19th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with insurance companies about whether independent schools, particularly small independent schools, are able to obtain compensation for business interruption as a result of the COVID-19 emergency measures.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. It is also working closely with these educational institutions to understand the financial implications of COVID-19 and to provide financial support where it is needed and is appropriate.

For those businesses and charities which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics and unspecified notifiable diseases, including independent schools, the Government’s social distancing advice of both 16 and 20 March is sufficient to allow them to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. However, most businesses and charities have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19.

The Government recognises that businesses and charities who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, they should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor in the Budget, on 17 March, and on 20 March.

As the Chancellor announced on Tuesday 17 March, the Government will do whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of COVID-19.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 8 July (HL Deb, col 1429), what plans they have, if any, to establish an independent investigation of alleged misconduct during Operation Midland, including that of the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Following the receipt of responses by the Metropolitan Police Service and Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to the Home Secretary’s letter of 16 March, the Government is considering whether further steps are necessary to address concerns raised about Operation Midland, and the subsequent IOPC investigation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 8 July (HL Deb, col 1429), when the inquiry by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into the alleged misconduct by former Chief Constable Mr Mike Veale will be concluded; and when it will publish its report.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct’s investigation into the alleged misconduct by former Chief Constable Mike Veale was completed in February this year and their report has been shared with the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland. It is now for the PCC to take forward any actions arising – after which the investigation report will be published.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 16 March (HL Deb, col 167), what discussions they have had with the Independent Office for Police Conduct about the reasons (1) why the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was not cross-examined in relation to allegations of misconduct during Operation Midland, and (2) for the length of time it took to complete its inquiry.

Operational decisions made as part of its investigations are a matter for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). In response to Sir Richard Henriques’ recent letter to the Home Secretary, she has written to the IOPC asking that it replies directly to Sir Richard about its decisions concerning Operation Midland.

This letter is available on gov.uk at the following address:-https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/970281/HS_Letter_to_Michael_Lockwood_-_Op._Kentia.pdf

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 16 March (HL Deb, col 168), what independent public scrutiny of Operation Conifer has been carried out.

Operation Conifer has been subject to scrutiny by its own Independent Scrutiny Panel, which checked and tested the decision-making and approach in the investigation; two reviews by Operation Hydrant in September 2016 and May 2017 which concluded that that the investigation was proportionate, legitimate and in accordance with national guidance; and a review in January 2017 by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (as it then was) of whether the resources assigned to the investigation by the Home Office were being deployed in accordance with value for money principles. In addition, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has also considered specific allegations related to the former Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the outcome of part one of their review into the role of Police and Crime Commissioners which was due to have reported to the Home Secretary by October.

On 22 July, the Government announced a two part review into the role of Police and Crime Commissioners. Part one of the review, which is internal, is underway and is focused on strengthening the accountability of PCCs in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment. The review will report to the Home Secretary later this month.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have been (1) interviewed, and (2) charged, in connection with the removal of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol on 7 June; and what estimate they have made, if any, of the cost to Avon and Somerset Police of policing the Black Lives Matter protest on that day.

The investigation in to this crime is an operational matter for Avon and Somerset Police, and these questions are better directed at them.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 25 February (HLWS118), when they will give their response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s report on Westminster, published on 25 February.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse investigation report, ‘Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to Westminster’, was published on 25 February and is available at https://www.iicsa.org.uk/publications/investigation/westminster/executive-summary. The Government is considering the report’s recommendations carefully and will respond in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to reduce the noise made by police and ambulance helicopters circling over London during the weekends.

The decision of when to deploy helicopters over London is an operational matter for the police and the London Air Ambulance.

The London Air Ambulance only operates during daylight hours due to operational reasons and this reduces noise during night time hours.

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) provides aircraft, including helicopters, and in London, NPAS responds to requests for support predominately from the Metropolitan Police Service but also British Transport Police and the City of London Police.

NPAS deploys helicopters after completing a threat, harm and risk assessment; and only deploy them when necessary. In 2019 a total of 3727 calls for service were delivered to the Metropolitan Police Service or City of London Police, an average of 10 per day.

The existing fleet of aircraft are compliant with regulation [International Civil Aviation Authority, Chapter 8 noise, Chapter 8 and Annex 16] and are amongst the quietest within their category.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in reaching a resolution with the Society of Antiquaries with regard to the rent paid for its premises in Burlington House.

The Society of Antiquaries, along with four other Learned Societies, pay rent under the current rent agreement which was formally agreed between the Learned Societies and the Government following a High Court settlement in 2005. The agreement was also approved by the Charities Commission.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to assist with the extension of the Defamation Act 2013 to Northern Ireland.

The civil law of defamation is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland. As such, the development of, or any reform to, the law in this area is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly to consider.

I note that the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance, Conor Murphy MLA, updated the Assembly late last year and that work is underway in his department to review defamation law. An MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) has also been granted consent by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to introduce a Bill into the Northern Ireland Assembly on this issue. I understand that the proposed Bill is currently being considered by the NI Assembly Speaker as per usual processes.

Lord Wolfson of Tredegar
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the United Kingdom Government–Northern Ireland Executive Joint Board last met; and what was discussed.

The most recent meeting of the Joint Board was on 21 October 2020. Consistent with the Joint Board’s purpose, a number of issues relating to the implementation of the New Decade, New Approach agreement were discussed.

It was acknowledged that whilst Covid-19 has impeded the implementation of the ambitious programme of public service transformation set out in NDNA, good progress has been made on investing the £50million worth of funding for decarbonisation, in particular on addressing public transport emissions.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to mark the centenary of the opening of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

In line with the Government's New Decade, New Approach commitments, Northern Ireland’s centenary provides an opportunity to facilitate national recognition and international awareness of this important anniversary, in which we will both reflect on the past and build for the future. There are a number of key historical milestones which fall during the centenary year, one of which is the anniversary of the opening of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, which we are keen to see marked.

There are a number of important strands to our centenary programme, including historical understanding and engagement, as well as supporting trade and investment which will showcase Northern Ireland’s rich potential, giving crucial support to its recovery from the pandemic. We also want to focus on the future, especially our young people, and will ensure that their voices are heard in the centenary programme.

We are currently developing these plans and will be publicising them over the coming months.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 6 October (HL Deb, col 510), when a fiscal council for Northern Ireland will be established.

The Fiscal Council is an important new part of the governance of Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Department of Finance is leading on developing the Terms of Reference for the Fiscal Council. This will subsequently be agreed through the UK Government-NI Executive Joint Board, which has been established under New Decade, New Approach. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland continues to emphasise the need to press ahead with an Independent Fiscal Council as a priority for the Executive. This was discussed at the first meeting of the Joint Board. The Joint Board will meet again shortly to discuss progress on the fiscal council, amongst other issues.

The Fiscal Council has the potential to make a huge contribution to fiscal sustainability in Northern Ireland over the long-term and strengthen Northern Ireland’s fiscal performance.

The UK Government will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to agree terms of reference that reflect our joint ambitions for this new institution and get it up and running as soon as possible.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 19 March 2019 (HL Deb, col 1407), what discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Executive about steps the Executive are taking to mitigate the impact of changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

In October 2019, the Department for Economy (DFE) appointed energy expert Andrew Buglass to consider the issue of hardship relating to participants in the NI Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (NIRHI). Mr Buglass was asked by the DfE to develop a relevant definition of hardship, investigate its presence as a result of NIRHI participation, and make recommendations to the Department on any appropriate course of action. The report of Mr Buglass has just recently been provided to the DfE and will be considered by NI Ministers in the coming weeks.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capacity of the Ulster Defence Association and other loyalist gangs to commit crimes in Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Defence Association and other loyalist groupings remain proscribed under Schedule 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland recently confirmed that the Assessment of Paramilitary Groups in Northern Ireland, published in October 2015, remains current. You may wish to refer to the assessment in conjunction with the Second Report of the Independent Reporting Commission, published in November 2019, for an up to date assessment of the capacity of the Ulster Defence Association and other loyalist groupings in Northern Ireland. The Independent Reporting Commission was established to monitor the progress of the Northern Ireland Executive’s programme of work to end paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

For your convenience, links to both of these reports are provided below:

Paramilitary Groups in Northern Ireland - 19 October 2015

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/469548/Paramilitary_Groups_in_Northern_Ireland_-_20_Oct_2015.pdf

Second Report of the Independent Reporting Commission - 4 November 2019

https://www.ircommission.org/sites/irc/files/media-files/IRC%20-%202nd%20Report%202019_0.pdf