Lord Lexden

Conservative - Life peer

1 APPG membership (as of 15 Jun 2022)
West Papua
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
10th Jul 2017 - 16th Sep 2021
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


Scheduled Event
Monday 18th July 2022
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Date for the start of the misconduct hearing relating to Mr Mike Veale announced by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland in August 2021
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 27th April 2022
Elections Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 194 Conservative No votes vs 3 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 202
Speeches
Monday 27th June 2022
Schools Bill [HL]
My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, is taking part remotely and I invite her to speak.
Written Answers
Wednesday 27th April 2022
Schools: Playing Fields
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 15 September 2020 (HL7666), how many …
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 263 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

14 Dec 2021 - Charities Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Lexden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 80 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 18 Noes - 81
22 Feb 2022 - Procedure and Privileges Committee - View Vote Context
Lord Lexden voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 94 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 144 Noes - 133
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Lexden voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative Aye votes vs 102 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
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)
(40 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(29 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(70 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(65 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


60 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
1 Other Department Questions
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they maintain a central register of cities and towns in England with international twinning arrangements; if so, whether it shows which cities and towns are twinned with cities and towns in Ukraine; and what discussions they have had, if any, with local authorities in England about encouraging twinning arrangements with cities and towns in Ukraine.

The Government does not maintain a central register of cities and towns in England with international twinning arrangements. Whilst twinning is a matter for councils themselves, the Government has recently used the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ daily local government bulletin to highlight the Cities4Cities initiative; an on-line platform, sponsored by the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, that matches the demands and needs of Ukrainian cities with the capacity and know-how of local authorities across Europe, including those in the United Kingdom.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what work they are undertaking under their Official History Programme; and when they intend to publish it.

Volumes 4 and 5 of the Official History of the Criminal Justice system and volume 2 of the Official History of the Joint Intelligence Committee will be published in due course.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward legislation to provide for the rescinding of the peerage held by Lord Ahmed.

Nazir Ahmed retired from the House of Lords as a result of a complaint before the House of Lords Conduct Committee in 2020, which recommended he be expelled from the House. He is therefore no longer a member of the House of Lords, retains no privileges and may not return.

Whilst Peers may voluntarily stop using their titles, there is currently no formal mechanism for revoking their titles, which would require bespoke primary legislation. The Government currently has no plans to bring forward such legislation.

The Government is firmly committed to tackling all forms of child sexual abuse, whether it takes place online or in families, institutions or communities, here in this country or overseas.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
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)
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)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the success of Festival UK 2022 will be assessed.

The evaluation of the UNBOXED programme (formerly known as Festival UK* 2022) is led and managed by the company Festival 2022 Ltd. Festival 2022 Ltd has commissioned KPMG (in collaboration with Sound Diplomacy) to oversee, project-manage, and lead the evaluation of UNBOXED.

As part of this evaluation, KPMG will consider seven major outcomes. These include the creation of engagement opportunities and shared experiences, increasing social cohesion across the four nations of the UK, and supporting international collaboration as well as enhancing our reputation abroad.

KPMG will evaluate each UNBOXED project against these outcomes. Preliminary findings from this evaluation will be published in early 2023.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
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 Education)
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 Education)
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 Education)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 15 September 2020 (HL7666), how many school playing fields were sold in the years (1) 2020, and (2) 2021.

The number of school playing fields disposed of in 2020, either by way of sale or grant of a long lease was 21. The number of playing fields disposed of in 2021, either by way of sale or grant of a long lease was 14.

Further disposals that meet specific criteria can be made under a General Consent Order (GCO). 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 GCO are not published by the department and are not included in the figures above.

In instances of schools wishing to sell playing fields, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, requires applicants to demonstrate a sporting and/or playing benefit as part of any mitigation measures, and that any loss has been minimised both in quantum and quality of the land disposed of. No open school has been allowed to sell all its playing fields.

The Secretary of State for Education is keen to protect school playing fields. Schools are only able to sell or otherwise dispose of playing fields when they can demonstrate to the Secretary of State that they have explored all possible alternatives to the disposal, and that the disposal does not adversely impact upon the school’s curriculum.

The department periodically updates a playing field disposal list, accessible here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-land-decisions-about-disposals.

The next update to this will be in May 2022. The list was last updated in July 2021. The department is currently collating data for this update.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Barran on 24 February (HL Deb col 340), what plans they have to involve independent schools in the National Tutoring Programme.

The National Tutoring Programme is delivered using high-quality tutoring organisations that have been selected against a robust set of criteria, including ‘safeguarding’, ‘understanding schools working and challenges’, and ‘excellence in delivery’, following applications from hundreds of organisations. Further information on these criteria is available here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/tuition-partners/.

As well as working through established tutoring providers, the programme is happy to accept applications from other organisations, for example, associations of independent schools, who meet the necessary criteria.

Following feedback from schools, funding has also been provided directly to state-funded schools so that they can use their own staff for tutoring. Potential tutors are required to be qualified teachers or undertake bespoke training. Schools may engage tutors from their local networks, including from independent schools through new or pre-existing partnership arrangements.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
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.

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.

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.

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.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reciprocal benefits that independent schools and schools maintained by their local authority have derived from working together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Independent Schools Council. The department wants 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 we move forward from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, 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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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)
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia, if any, regarding the displacement of villagers in West Papua; and what response they received.

We are aware of reports of internal civilian displacement in the provinces of Papua and West Papua following recent violent clashes between separatists and Indonesian security forces. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Within this framework, we strongly support the efforts of the Indonesian authorities and civil society to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Papua and West Papua provinces, 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 the proposed visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Papua and encourage both sides to agree on dates for a visit.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia in support of a visit to West Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and what response they have received.

We are aware of reports of internal civilian displacement in the provinces of Papua and West Papua following recent violent clashes between separatists and Indonesian security forces. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Within this framework, we strongly support the efforts of the Indonesian authorities and civil society to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Papua and West Papua provinces, 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 the proposed visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Papua and encourage both sides to agree on dates for a visit.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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)
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.

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.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 April (HL Deb col 2185), whether the legally qualified chair of the misconduct hearing against Mike Veale has extended the time-limit on starting the proceedings; and, if so, (1) why, and (2) for how long.

Independent Legally Qualified Chairs of police misconduct hearings have the discretion to extend the period of time in which the respective case is heard where they decide it is in the interests of justice to do so.

The misconduct hearing arising from the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s investigation into alleged misconduct by former Chief Constable Mike Veale is a matter for the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (PCC). It is for the PCC to manage any actions arising from it.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 April (HL Deb col 2185), whether the 100-day limit on starting a misconduct hearing against Mike Veale has expired; and, if so, when it expired.

Independent Legally Qualified Chairs of police misconduct hearings have the discretion to extend the period of time in which the respective case is heard where they decide it is in the interests of justice to do so.

The misconduct hearing arising from the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s investigation into alleged misconduct by former Chief Constable Mike Veale is a matter for the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (PCC). It is for the PCC to manage any actions arising from it.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 April (HL Deb col 2185), what information they have sought from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland about a date for starting the misconduct hearing against Mike Veale.

Independent Legally Qualified Chairs of police misconduct hearings have the discretion to extend the period of time in which the respective case is heard where they decide it is in the interests of justice to do so.

The misconduct hearing arising from the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s investigation into alleged misconduct by former Chief Constable Mike Veale is a matter for the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (PCC). It is for the PCC to manage any actions arising from it.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many inquiries into allegations of police misconduct have been conducted in the last 12 months; and how many such investigations are under way now.

The Home Office does not currently hold misconduct data concerning the last 12 months, however we are currently developing a new stand-alone publication on police misconduct statistics. An initial statistical publication is due to be published in May 2022 and will include high level analysis of allegations of police misconduct recorded under the reformed disciplinary system and subsequent outcomes in the financial year 2020/21. A further publication containing 2021/2022 data is scheduled for later in the year. Exact publication dates will be preannounced in the Home Office Statistical release calender.

Police Misconduct data from previous years can be found in the Police Workforce Statistics, which are available on gov.uk.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 March (HL Deb col 1118), whether there is a time limit on the start of misconduct hearings announced by Police and Crime Commissioners; and if not, what plans they have to introduce one.

Police misconduct hearings are dealt with under The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020


This sets out that the Chair of the hearing must ensure that the hearing commences within 100 working days of the date an officer is served with a notice informing them their case is being referred to disciplinary proceedings


This period can be extended at the discretion of the independent Legally Qualified Chair (LQC), where it decides it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 2 February (HL Deb col 898), what actions the Independent Office for Police Conduct have taken in response to remarks made by the Home Secretary on 15 June 2021 (HC Deb col 128), where she stated that "profound concerns exist about the handling of the IOPC’s investigation into Operation Midland".

The IOPC’s Director General set out its own response to criticisms of its handling of the investigation into Operation Midland in his letter to Sir Richard Henriques of 31 March 2021. The letter is available on the gov.uk website. The IOPC publishes further information on its performance and plans on its website. As noted in the debate on 2 February (HL Deb col 898), a review of the IOPC by an independent reviewer (as announced by the Home Secretary on 15 June 2021) is due to start this year. This will consider the organisation’s effectiveness and efficiency, including its decision-making processes.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s report on police failures in investigating the murders committed by Stephen Port in 2014 and 2015.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is currently considering whether to re-open its investigation in light of the evidence provided to the Coroner during the course of the inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor.

The IOPC will not publish the investigation report whilst consideration whether to re-open the investigation is ongoing so as not to prejudice any potential future proceedings.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue guidance to ensure that independent sixth-form colleges that lose their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies accreditation are re-inspected without delay.

The requirement for Student sponsors, including independent sixth-form colleges which hold a sponsor license, to maintain Educational Oversight (EO) is a core principle of the sponsorship system for the Student and Child Student routes. This requirement ensures the quality of education offered to international students is of sufficiently high standard.

Institutions which do not meet the required rating following an inspection by the relevant Educational Oversight body will lose the ability to assign Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) to prospective students.

To facilitate sponsors regaining the ability to sponsor new students as soon as they have rectified the issues which led to them losing EO, a sponsor can regain EO following a partial reinspection, or monitoring review, which confirms those issues have been resolved satisfactorily rather than having to wait for a full reinspection. Sponsors which regain Educational Oversight will have the ability to assign CAS reinstated.

The Home Office does not set inspection schedules for independent EO bodies, beyond requiring those for private providers must take place at least once every 4 years.

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), 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)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about extending by regulation the disregards and pardons for now abolished offences under section 166 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

The Government remains fully committed to considering any further representations regarding the disregard scheme and upholding its intent and purpose.

Work is ongoing across government to explore the feasibility of extending the scheme under Section 166 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 and to identify what further offences might be added to the list of offences currently eligible for a disregard under Part 5 of the Protections of Freedoms Act 2012.

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.

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