Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Independent Ulster Unionist - Suspended - 7 December 2020

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass is not a member of any APPGs
2 Former APPG memberships
Armed Forces, Veterans
Draft Civil Contingencies Bill (Joint Committee)
11th Jul 2003 - 28th Nov 2003
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
16th Nov 1994 - 21st Mar 1997
Defence Committee
9th Jun 1983 - 17th Dec 1985


Division Voting information

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass has voted in 536 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

26 Apr 2012 - Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 110 Noes - 187
24 Apr 2012 - Protection of Freedoms Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 89 Noes - 190
5 Mar 2012 - Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 238 Noes - 201
14 Feb 2012 - Welfare Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 226
13 Feb 2012 - Health and Social Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 198 Noes - 234
31 Jan 2012 - Welfare Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 230
31 Oct 2011 - Localism Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 152 Noes - 196
17 May 2011 - Postal Services Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 235
10 May 2011 - Jobseeker’s Allowance (Mandatory Work Activity Scheme) Regulations 2011 - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 122 Noes - 155
9 Feb 2011 - Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 275 Noes - 257
11 Nov 2009 - Coroners and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Ulster Unionist Party No votes vs 2 Ulster Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 175
View All Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Division Votes

All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

View all Lord Maginnis of Drumglass's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, 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 Maginnis of Drumglass has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


216 Written Questions

(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
18th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the allegations made regarding expert witnesses in the BBC Panorama programme Justice for Sale, broadcast on 9 June, they intend to review independently the evidence given by Michael Ansell in the Asil Nadir trial.

No. Michael Ansell was instructed by the defence in the trial of Asil Nadir and if the defence have concerns about the evidence given by one of their witnesses it is a matter for them to take forward.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all automatic replies acknowledging receipt of emails sent to government and ministerial accounts provide that a full response will be supplied; and if not, why not.

Cabinet Office publishes guidance for departments on how to handle correspondence including emails. Departments will make their own arrangements for acknowledging receipt of emails.

Departments are required to provide substantive responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers promptly, and no later than 20 days after receipt. In specific circumstances, Ministers may decide that a response is not necessary.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who decides whether a substantive response to an email to a Minister or Government department from a member of the House of Lords should be provided; and whether such a decision is made by the relevant Secretary of State or a departmental official.

Cabinet Office publishes guidance for departments on how to handle correspondence including emails. Departments will make their own arrangements for acknowledging receipt of emails.

Departments are required to provide substantive responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers promptly, and no later than 20 days after receipt. In specific circumstances, Ministers may decide that a response is not necessary.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Common Purpose receives financial support from (1) the EU, and (2) any external sources; and if so, how much.

The Government does not hold this information.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the total sum they have spent buying places on Common Purpose courses during each of the last 20 years; and to detail exactly (1) how, and (2) where, such expenditure is recorded.

No centrally held record of expenditure on training or learning is maintained covering the entirety of the period specified.

Common Purpose is not a provider of training through Civil Service Learning.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average age of the population of the United Kingdom in (1) 1990, (2) 2000, (3) 2010, (4) what is the current 2020 figure, and (5) the projected figure for 2050.

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

Dear Lord Maginnis,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what the average age of the population of the United Kingdom was in (1) 1990, (2) 2000, (3) 2010, (4) what is the current 2020 figure, and (5) the projected figure for 2050 (HL5312).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the latest (30 June 2019) mid-year population estimates on 6 May 2020[1]. Table MYE6 contains the median age for the years from 2001 to 2019. Median age is that at which half the population is above that age and half below. For 1990, 2000 and 2010, the ONS have used the already published median age, and, for 2020 and 2050, have taken the median age from the latest 2018-based Principal Population Projections, UK Summary[2] published on 21 October 2019. Table 1 shows the median ages for the requested years.

Table 1: UK median ages

Year

Median age (years)

1990

35.8

2000

37.6

2010

39.5

2020

40.4

2050

43.7

Source: ONS mid-year population estimates and 2018-based population projections

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/tablea11principalprojectionuksummary

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017 (HL3), 15 September 2017 (HL1448), and 13 October 2017 (HL1671), and by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 21 December 2017 (HL3975), 16 March 2018 (HL6045), 20 November 2018 (HL11393 and HL11394), and 17 May (HL15556), what plans they have to introduce legislation to prevent any abuse of the electoral system in the UK.

On 5th May the Minister for the Constitution announced a range of new measures to safeguard UK elections by cracking down on intimidation, influence and disinformation.

As part of that, the Government has committed to: legislating for a new electoral offence of intimidation; clarifying the electoral offence of undue influence of a voter; implementing an imprints regime for digital election material; and launching a consultation on electoral integrity. Before formally launching the consultation, the Government will be inviting the views of interested groups to establish what the consultation could seek to address, and also see what scope there is for broad cross-party agreement.

Any legislative changes relating to issues or specific cases in Northern Ireland would, however, be a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017 (HL3), 15 September 2017 (HL1448), and 13 October 2017 (HL1671), and by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 21 December 2017 (HL3975), 16 March 2018 (HL6045), 20 November 2018 (HL11393 and HL11394), and 17 May (HL15556), what assessment they have made of whether there was any abuse of the electoral system in the conduct of the by-election for Peterborough on 6 June; and if there was any such abuse, what assessment they have made of whether this is part of a wider pattern of abuse of the electoral system.

We take the security and integrity of our democratic processes very seriously.

The running of polls is a matter for independent returning officers, not the Government. The Electoral Commission engage with the returning officers, electoral staff and registered parties providing assistance in disseminating information and advice to individuals delivering or participating in elections.

We have processes in place to defend against electoral fraud. There is ongoing work with electoral administrators to ensure our elections remain secure and robust, both now and in the future. Measures like voter ID are the latest in our efforts to respect, protect and promote our democracy.

Where abuse of the electoral system is alleged, it is for the Electoral Commission or Police to investigate such claims.

1st May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 30 April (HL6934), when the Office for National Statistics expects to be able to produce regional price indices, including for Northern Ireland.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger CB, National Statistician, to Lord Maginnis of Drumglas , dated 3 May 2018.

Dear Lord Maginnis,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 30 April (HL6934), when the Office for National Statistics expects to be able to produce regional price indices, including for Northern Ireland (HL7465).

The Office for National Statisitcs (ONS) commissioned the University of Southampton to produce a feasibility study into producing price indices for all the Government Office Regions, including Northern Ireland, using current price and expenditure data. The results of this research were published in November 2017[1]. Following this publication, we have further commissioned University of Southampton to continue the study. While still underway, initial findings of the study suggest that we will be unable to produce reliable regional price indices without a significant increase in the price sample for this area, which would be costly. We expect the study to be completed by December 2018.

We are actively pursuing access to retailers' transactional databases as part of our work exploring alternative data sources for consumer price statistics under the Digital Economy Act’s framework to access data for statistical purposes. At such a time as we receive access to these data we will have a sufficiently detailed data source to explore more reliable regional consumer price statistics; however, our timescales are dependent on when retailers might provide us with such data.

Yours sincerely,


John Pullinger

[1] Feasibility study into producing CPIH consistent inflation rates for UK regions

16th Apr 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the percentage cost-of-living increases nationally during each of the last five years; and what was the annual percentage increase in rates in Northern Ireland over the same period.

​The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger CB, National Statistician, to Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, dated 20 April 2018

Dear Lord Maginnis,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what was the percentage cost-of-living increases nationally during each of the last five years; and what was the annual percentage increase in rates in Northern Ireland over the same period (HL6934).

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) is our most comprehensive measure of inflation, and measures the change in price of a fixed basket of goods and services. The 12-month percentage change in the index is published on a monthly basis. The table below summarises the average 12-month percentage change for each of the last five years.

Table 1: Annual average percentage 12-month change, CPIH, UK, 2013 to 2017

Year

Annual average 12-m change (%)

2013

2.3

2014

1.5

2015

0.4

2016

1.0

2017

2.6

These data are taken from Table 10 of our Consumer Price Inflation bulletin[1]. In this publication you will also find the 12-month CPIH inflation rates, and similar figures for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI, the Monetary Policy Committee’s current inflation target). CPIH is the same as CPI but includes Council Tax and a measure of owner occupiers’ housing costs, which are not included in CPI. CPIH and CPI are both National Statistics.

Unfortunately, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) does not currently produce an inflation measure for Northern Ireland. This is because the price sample is optimised at the national level and therefore regional price samples are small. Nevertheless, I do recognise that there is an important user need for regional measures of inflation, and to address this ONS have asked the University of Southampton to carry out a feasibility study into calculating regional price indices[2].

You may also be interested to know that ONS analysis suggests that prices in Northern Ireland were on average 2.3% lower than the UK average for 2016. (Note that this analysis refers to the relative difference in price between regions, which is distinct from the rate at which prices change over time). This is taken from our Relative Regional Consumer Price Levels of Goods and Services, UK: 2016 publication[3], which is based on estimates produced for Eurostat once every 6 years.

Yours sincerely John Pullinger

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/ukconsumerpriceinflationmar2018

[2] See our Consumer Prices Development Plan, section 3.3.5

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/relativeregionalconsumerpricelevelsuk/2016

5th Mar 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total number of postal votes issued in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales, and (4) Northern Ireland, for each general election from 2010 to 2017; and what were the comparative (a) percentages of the total poll in each of the four UK electoral areas, and (b) percentage increases in each region, at each general election.

The Government does not hold this information. The data required is provided by each Returning Officer directly supplying information on postal votes to the Electoral Commission, which collates and publishes it.

The information can be found at https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/our-research/electoral-data/electoral-data-new

6th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Government Ministers routinely acknowledge written communications from members of Parliament, including emails; and if not, why not.

Guidance on handling correspondence from Members of Parliament, Peers, MEPs and Members of devolved Administrations is available online.

The guidance states that:

'Individual departments' targets for routine correspondence from MPs should be a maximum of 20 working days. Departments should consider setting themselves more challenging targets'

The guidance adds that, when delays occur, Departments should:

'Ensure all correspondence is responded to as quickly as possible, keeping the MP informed at all times'

Departments should apply the same standards when dealing with correspondence from Peers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61196/guide-handling-gov-correspondence.pdf

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
6th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Government Ministers routinely inform all members of Parliament of the names, phone numbers and email addresses of their private offices; and if not, why not.

The Cabinet Office publication, the List of Ministerial Responsibilities, includes email addresses and phone numbers of Minister’s private offices. Copies are available in the Vote Office, Printed Paper Office, and the Libraries of both Houses. It is also available on GOV.UK. I have a sent a copy to the Noble Lord for his ease of reference.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that trade and business resources in the UK are not exploited by foreign businesses, in particular businesses based in China, during any economic depression resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government continues to monitor the market closely during the Covid-19 pandemic and will take steps, as necessary, to ensure that UK businesses are not exploited.

The Government has existing powers, under the Enterprise Act 2002, to intervene in mergers and takeovers under three public interest considerations - national security, financial stability, and media plurality.

In December 2019, the Queen’s Speech lobby pack confirmed the Government’s intention to legislate to “strengthen the Government’s existing powers to scrutinise and intervene in business transactions to protect national security”.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to arrange a debate on the report into the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, following its publication on 13 March.

My Noble Friend the Government Chief Whip does not intend to schedule such a debate in Government time. Members who wish to initiate a debate of their own are able to do so by tabling a question for short debate. Members can also seek to initiate a debate by entering the ballot for one of the monthly pairs of balloted debates.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they attached any conditions to the agreement for the BBC to fund TV licences for those aged over 75; what plans they have to reduce any grants to the BBC in line with the decision to discontinue free TV licences for those aged over 75; and what plans they have, if any, to meet the costs of providing such TV licences.

In the 2015 Licence Fee funding settlement, the Government agreed with the BBC that the BBC would take responsibility for the over 75s concession from June 2020. In return, the Government closed the iPlayer loophole, agreed to increase the licence fee in line with inflation for the duration of the settlement period, and reduced other BBC spending commitments. In advance of the BBC taking on full responsibility for the concession, the Government also provided phased transitional funding to the BBC to gradually introduce the cost to the BBC.

The BBC is responsible for the over 75 licence fee concession, not the Government. Following a public consultation, the BBC Board decided that from June 2020, any household with someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit will be entitled to a free TV licence paid for by the BBC. The Government is deeply disappointed that the BBC has chosen not to extend the over 75 licence fee concession in full. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC.


Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to review the involvement of Huawei in developing the UK's 5G infrastructure.

The final conclusions of the Government’s Telecoms Supply Chain Review in relation to high risk vendors were announced on 28 January. The Government has been clear, however, that as risks, threats and technology changes we need to keep the position under review. On the 15th May the US Department of Commerce announced that they were taking further action against Huawei. The National Cyber Security Centre is considering what the impact of the US sanctions might be.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reconsider the role of Huawei in the development of telecommunications infrastructure in the UK.

The final conclusions of the Government’s Telecoms Supply Chain Review in relation to high risk vendors were announced on 28 January. High risk vendors should be excluded from those parts of the 5G and full fibre networks that are critical to security (“the core”), and their presence in the rest of the UK’s networks should be limited to 35 per cent, with further restrictions in sensitive geographic locations.

The UK Government does not plan to reconsider this decision. We will be introducing the Telecoms Security Bill to implement the new security framework for our telecoms networks, including the restrictions to be applied to the presence of high risk vendors, at the earliest possible opportunity.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the World Chess Federation's decision to enforce a requirement on all competitors in the Women's World Chess Championship 2017 in Iran to wear the hijab, and what discussions they have had with, and what advice they have given to, UK Chess Associations about the safety of UK citizens competing in the event.

We have had no discussions with the World Chess Federation on this matter. Visitors to any country should refer to FCO advice when travelling abroad, including abiding by local laws and customs.

Lord Ashton of Hyde
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to allow transgender athletes to compete at the Olympic Games; what consultation they have had with the British Olympic Association about that issue; what rules apply in the UK regarding transgender athletes competing in sport; and whether they consider the IOC's ruling to be a disadvantage to non-transgender female athletes.

We have had no such discussions with the British Olympic Association. Sports competition regulations are a matter for the governing body.

Home Nation Sports Councils published the attached guidance in 2013 for national governing bodies of sport entitled "Transsexual people and competitive sport”.

Lord Ashton of Hyde
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
11th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Garden of Frognal on 10 March (HL5444), whether the guidance found within the document she has cited, and which runs to more than 60,000 words, includes, or is intended to include, any effective measures relevant to protecting the rights and sensitivities of Christians: and if so, where in that document it might be found.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is very aware of concerns about freedom to hold and express religious beliefs and the guidance it produces does specifically cover these issues: for example in guidance about employment which can be found at http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/private-and-public-sector-guidance/employing-people/religion-or-belief-guidance-employers . The EHRC recently completed a public consultation on this subject, which was its largest ever, and following that will be issuing further guidance and a report on the adequacy of the laws protecting religion or belief, to be issued later this year.

11th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Garden of Frognal on 10 March (HL5444), whether the Equality and Human Rights Commission has intervened and reported back to them on the Marks and Spencer discrimination matter.

The Equality and Human Rights commission is an independent body and is under no obligation to report back to government on specific cases. Any discussions between the EHRC and Marks and Spencer would be a matter to be dealt with between the parties.

4th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of public sensitivity caused by Marks and Spencer's refusal to acknowledge and use the words "Jesus Christ" in a greeting attached to a gift purchased within its premises, they have issued guidance on the application of equality legislation to policies to be adopted by companies in respect of words and phrases they are prepared to reproduce when offering such a service; and if so, in what terms.

Statutory guidance about compliance with equality legislation is issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is intended to give businesses and service providers the information they need to understand the Act and meet their responsibilities.

A copy of the guidance can be found at:

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/publication/services-public-functions-and-associations-statutory-code-practice

The Government has no current plans to supplement this guidance.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the intended educational outcomes for the pupils of the sexual aspects to be included in relationships education in primary schools; whether parents have the right to withdraw their children from any such classes; and what discretion head teachers have about permitting the teaching of relationships education.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. That is why we made Relationships Education compulsory for primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school pupils, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools.

There is no requirement for primary schools to cover sex education. If a primary school chooses to teach sex education, it must be covered in the school’s RSE policy. Schools are required to consult parents on a draft of their policy. The statutory guidance states that when schools consult with parents on their policy, they should also ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use in teaching the new subjects as this can be reassuring for parents and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. This will also reassure parents that the resources schools choose to use are age appropriate and do not contain oversexualised content.

The department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver the content of these subjects. On 24 September 2020 the department published thePlan your relationships, sex and health curriculum’ implementation guidance to support schools to choose appropriate resources. Training resources were also published alongside the guidance and will equip all schools to provide comprehensive teaching in these areas in an age-appropriate way. These materials should give schools the confidence to construct a curriculum that reflects diversity of views and backgrounds, whilst fostering all pupils’ respect for others, understanding of healthy relationships, and ability to look after their own safety and wellbeing. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

In primary schools, age-appropriate relationships education will involve supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. This will then provide a foundation for RSE at secondary school. Children will also be taught the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults, as the building blocks for consent in secondary school.

Where sex education is covered in primary schools, parents have an automatic right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum, although not from any sex education in the science curriculum. Head teachers must comply with these requests from parents.

The findings of the impact assessment published in January 2019 refer to the importance of teaching children and young people about healthy relationships as an element in the approach to contributing to reducing child sexual exploitation. These findings can be viewed at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/924/impacts.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there is any increased risk of primary school-aged children being targeted for child abuse as the outcome of discussions outside of the classroom about sexual behaviour arising from relationship education being taught in primary schools.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. That is why we made Relationships Education compulsory for primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for secondary school pupils, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools.

There is no requirement for primary schools to cover sex education. If a primary school chooses to teach sex education, it must be covered in the school’s RSE policy. Schools are required to consult parents on a draft of their policy. The statutory guidance states that when schools consult with parents on their policy, they should also ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use in teaching the new subjects as this can be reassuring for parents and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. This will also reassure parents that the resources schools choose to use are age appropriate and do not contain oversexualised content.

The department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver the content of these subjects. On 24 September 2020 the department published thePlan your relationships, sex and health curriculum’ implementation guidance to support schools to choose appropriate resources. Training resources were also published alongside the guidance and will equip all schools to provide comprehensive teaching in these areas in an age-appropriate way. These materials should give schools the confidence to construct a curriculum that reflects diversity of views and backgrounds, whilst fostering all pupils’ respect for others, understanding of healthy relationships, and ability to look after their own safety and wellbeing. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

In primary schools, age-appropriate relationships education will involve supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. This will then provide a foundation for RSE at secondary school. Children will also be taught the importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults, as the building blocks for consent in secondary school.

Where sex education is covered in primary schools, parents have an automatic right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum, although not from any sex education in the science curriculum. Head teachers must comply with these requests from parents.

The findings of the impact assessment published in January 2019 refer to the importance of teaching children and young people about healthy relationships as an element in the approach to contributing to reducing child sexual exploitation. These findings can be viewed at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/924/impacts.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they have introduced compulsory relationships education for children attending primary school.

Section 34 of The Children and Social Work Act 2017 requires regulations to be made to provide for Relationships Education for primary aged pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary aged pupils. This provision also specified that the regulations must include the circumstances in which pupils are to be excused from receiving RSE or elements thereof.

The Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education statutory guidance sets out the content to be covered for each subject. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education lessons. The key aim of Relationships Education for primary aged pupils is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including those off and online.

For secondary aged pupils the emphasis under the RSE curriculum moves from the experience of the child in the context of their family to the young person as a potential partner and parent, and the characteristics of healthy intimate relationships are explored. RSE will also cover the concepts of, and laws relating to sex and relationships.

There is no prescription for primary schools to cover sex education. If a primary school chooses to deliver sex education, it must be covered in the school’s Relationships Education policy. Schools are required to consult parents on a draft of their policy. Where sex education is covered in primary schools, parents have an automatic right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum.

In making decisions about resources and materials to use in teaching the new subjects, the statutory guidance sets out that schools should assess each resource that they propose to use carefully to ensure it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils and sensitive to their needs. Schools should also be aware of their duties regarding impartiality and balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom to ensure content is handled in an appropriate way.

The statutory guidance states that when schools consult with parents on their Relationships Education and RSE policy, they should also ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use in teaching the new subjects as this can be reassuring for parents and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. The statutory guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

We will be issuing further implementation guidance on the teaching of RSE and health education shortly.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether parents of children attending primary schools can ask for their children to not participate in relationships education lessons.

Section 34 of The Children and Social Work Act 2017 requires regulations to be made to provide for Relationships Education for primary aged pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary aged pupils. This provision also specified that the regulations must include the circumstances in which pupils are to be excused from receiving RSE or elements thereof.

The Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education statutory guidance sets out the content to be covered for each subject. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education lessons. The key aim of Relationships Education for primary aged pupils is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including those off and online.

For secondary aged pupils the emphasis under the RSE curriculum moves from the experience of the child in the context of their family to the young person as a potential partner and parent, and the characteristics of healthy intimate relationships are explored. RSE will also cover the concepts of, and laws relating to sex and relationships.

There is no prescription for primary schools to cover sex education. If a primary school chooses to deliver sex education, it must be covered in the school’s Relationships Education policy. Schools are required to consult parents on a draft of their policy. Where sex education is covered in primary schools, parents have an automatic right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum.

In making decisions about resources and materials to use in teaching the new subjects, the statutory guidance sets out that schools should assess each resource that they propose to use carefully to ensure it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils and sensitive to their needs. Schools should also be aware of their duties regarding impartiality and balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom to ensure content is handled in an appropriate way.

The statutory guidance states that when schools consult with parents on their Relationships Education and RSE policy, they should also ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use in teaching the new subjects as this can be reassuring for parents and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. The statutory guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

We will be issuing further implementation guidance on the teaching of RSE and health education shortly.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent they expect explicit sexual and gender issues to be introduced in relationships education for six to 11 year olds in primary schools; and what plans they have to make a statement to both Houses of Parliament about this issue.

Section 34 of The Children and Social Work Act 2017 requires regulations to be made to provide for Relationships Education for primary aged pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary aged pupils. This provision also specified that the regulations must include the circumstances in which pupils are to be excused from receiving RSE or elements thereof.

The Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education statutory guidance sets out the content to be covered for each subject. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education lessons. The key aim of Relationships Education for primary aged pupils is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including those off and online.

For secondary aged pupils the emphasis under the RSE curriculum moves from the experience of the child in the context of their family to the young person as a potential partner and parent, and the characteristics of healthy intimate relationships are explored. RSE will also cover the concepts of, and laws relating to sex and relationships.

There is no prescription for primary schools to cover sex education. If a primary school chooses to deliver sex education, it must be covered in the school’s Relationships Education policy. Schools are required to consult parents on a draft of their policy. Where sex education is covered in primary schools, parents have an automatic right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum.

In making decisions about resources and materials to use in teaching the new subjects, the statutory guidance sets out that schools should assess each resource that they propose to use carefully to ensure it is appropriate for the age and maturity of pupils and sensitive to their needs. Schools should also be aware of their duties regarding impartiality and balanced treatment of political issues in the classroom to ensure content is handled in an appropriate way.

The statutory guidance states that when schools consult with parents on their Relationships Education and RSE policy, they should also ensure that they provide examples of the resources that they plan to use in teaching the new subjects as this can be reassuring for parents and enables them to continue the conversations started in class at home. The statutory guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

We will be issuing further implementation guidance on the teaching of RSE and health education shortly.

17th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the decision by Transport for London to stop using the term “ladies and gentlemen” for public announcements, whether they have issued guidance to local authorities and other public bodies on appropriate forms of address for members of the public; if so, what form that guidance takes and whether it has been, or will be, published; whether any such guidance specifically refers to the use of the term “ladies and gentlemen”; and if so, whether public bodies are encouraged to avoid the use of that term.

It important that our public services reflect the language used by everyone.

The Government has issued no guidance for local authorities or other public bodies on this issue but we would encourage everyone to think about how they can tailor services to be as inclusive as possible.

9th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the ongoing annual additional cost of state school teachers leaving the profession within five years of starting in 2010.

There are more than 456,000 teachers in state-funded schools throughout England – up more than 15,000 since 2010. The retention rate for new teachers is around 90% and of those that started in 2010, 70% are still in the classroom.

The Department’s Teacher Supply Model estimates the number of new teachers we need to train each year. Based on the National Audit Office Report on “Training new teachers”, it cost £700 million to train 33,200 trainees in 2013/14. This report is attached.

9th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Nick Gibb MP on 20 October 2016 (HC47083), what proportion of the state school teachers who have left the profession within five years of starting in 2010 were (1) professionally trained, and (2) 1-year post-graduate PGCE trained; and what proportion of those come from (a) the primary sector; and (b) the post-primary sector.

The statistics provided in the Written Answer from the Minister of State for School Standards on 20 October 2016 (HC47083) show that around 90% of qualified teachers are employed in a state-funded school in the year after qualification (and this has been the case since 1996). Of the qualified teachers who started teaching in 2010, 70% were still teaching in a state-funded school five years later.

These teacher retention statistics only cover qualified teachers, that is teachers who have successfully completed an accredited programme of training or assessment and have been awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Statistics on teacher retention by length of time in post are not available by school phase nor by the route through which the teacher trained.

The published teacher retention statistics are in Tables 7 and 8 of the ‘School Workforce in England: November 2015’ statistical release.

21st Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are planning to restrict the ability of local authorities to request information about children’s self-perception of their sexual orientation.

The Department for Education do not require schools or local authorities to collect any information on the sexual orientation of children. Any information collected locally by schools and / or local authorities on sexual orientation for their own purposes is a matter for them to manage locally.

The Department for Education has provided schools with guidance on complying with the Equality Act.

The Public Sector Equality Duty, at section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, is a duty on public bodies (and others carrying out public functions) to consider, in their day to day work, the needs of people who share particular protected characteristics. This includes schools and children’s services.

Under the Duty, public bodies must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conducted that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity, and;
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Equality Duty covers the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act, which includes age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Guidance on complying with the Act and the Equality Duty can be found on GOV.UK (under Equality Act 2010 guidance). Earlier guidance formed under the Coalition Government has been archived on the National Archives website (under the ‘Equality Bill’ guidance). The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also issued guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Local authorities will also have to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 on the data they collect. The Information Commissioner’s Office state that data should only be collected if organisations have legitimate grounds for collecting and using the personal data; that they do not use the data in ways that have unjustified adverse effects on the individuals concerned; that they be transparent about how they intend to use the data, and give individuals appropriate privacy notices when collecting their personal data.

21st Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidance they have given to local authorities, in particular Brighton and Hove Council, concerning requests for information about children’s self-perception of their sexual orientation.

The Department for Education do not require schools or local authorities to collect any information on the sexual orientation of children. Any information collected locally by schools and / or local authorities on sexual orientation for their own purposes is a matter for them to manage locally.

The Department for Education has provided schools with guidance on complying with the Equality Act.

The Public Sector Equality Duty, at section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, is a duty on public bodies (and others carrying out public functions) to consider, in their day to day work, the needs of people who share particular protected characteristics. This includes schools and children’s services.

Under the Duty, public bodies must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conducted that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity, and;
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Equality Duty covers the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act, which includes age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Guidance on complying with the Act and the Equality Duty can be found on GOV.UK (under Equality Act 2010 guidance). Earlier guidance formed under the Coalition Government has been archived on the National Archives website (under the ‘Equality Bill’ guidance). The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also issued guidance on the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Local authorities will also have to comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 on the data they collect. The Information Commissioner’s Office state that data should only be collected if organisations have legitimate grounds for collecting and using the personal data; that they do not use the data in ways that have unjustified adverse effects on the individuals concerned; that they be transparent about how they intend to use the data, and give individuals appropriate privacy notices when collecting their personal data.

21st Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the need for, and benefit to be derived from, the questionnaire issued by Brighton and Hove Council requesting information about children’s self-perception of their sexual orientation.

These questions refer to an answer given by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October 2016, and also link to previous questions asked by Lord Macginnis, and answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford in April 2016.

As Baroness Williams set out in her previous reply, the Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department is not responsible for the decision by Brighton and Hove Council to include gender identity information on the pupil registration form it issued in April 2016. The Council has the independence to make this decision. The Department has had no involvement and has not made any assessment of the questionnaire.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections. Brighton and Hove Council is responsible for securing answers and restricting access to information generated by any questionnaire it issues.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in Brighton and Hove and has no correspondence on the matter.

20th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October (HL Deb, col 1889), what correspondence there has been between the Department for Education and Brighton and Hove Council pertaining to questionnaires seeking information about children’s self-perception of their sexual orientation; and whether they will place a copy of that correspondence in the Library of the House.

These questions refer to an answer given by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October 2016, and also link to previous questions asked by Lord Macginnis, and answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford in April 2016.

As Baroness Williams set out in her previous reply, the Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department is not responsible for the decision by Brighton and Hove Council to include gender identity information on the pupil registration form it issued in April 2016. The Council has the independence to make this decision. The Department has had no involvement and has not made any assessment of the questionnaire.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections. Brighton and Hove Council is responsible for securing answers and restricting access to information generated by any questionnaire it issues.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in Brighton and Hove and has no correspondence on the matter.

20th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October (HL Deb, col 1889), who has responsibility for (1) securing the answers to, and (2) restricting access to the information deriving from, Brighton and Hove Council’s questionnaires to (a) young teenagers, and (b) the parents of 4 to 6 year-old children, about those children’s self-perception of their sexual orientation.

These questions refer to an answer given by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October 2016, and also link to previous questions asked by Lord Macginnis, and answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford in April 2016.

As Baroness Williams set out in her previous reply, the Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department is not responsible for the decision by Brighton and Hove Council to include gender identity information on the pupil registration form it issued in April 2016. The Council has the independence to make this decision. The Department has had no involvement and has not made any assessment of the questionnaire.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections. Brighton and Hove Council is responsible for securing answers and restricting access to information generated by any questionnaire it issues.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in Brighton and Hove and has no correspondence on the matter.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the actions of Brighton and Hove City Council regarding its inquiries into children's gender identity, rather than their physical sex, have been referred to the police in the light of any risk that such questioning might sexualise vulnerable young people.

The Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in January 2016 and has no correspondence on the matter.

The addition of gender identity information on the pupil registration form was solely a decision of the Brighton and Hove City Council. They have the independence to make this decision.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections.

The Department is not aware of any referral on this issue to the Police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish any relevant correspondence between the Department for Education and Brighton and Hove City Council following its January 2016 inquiry into the gender identity rather than the physical sex of secondary school children.

The Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in January 2016 and has no correspondence on the matter.

The addition of gender identity information on the pupil registration form was solely a decision of the Brighton and Hove City Council. They have the independence to make this decision.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections.

The Department is not aware of any referral on this issue to the Police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any guidance or instruction from the Department of Education has prompted Brighton and Hove City Council to seek to establish the gender identity rather than the physical sex of four and five year-old children, and how many other education bodies have sent similar requests to parents.

The Department for Education provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 to schools which contains advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty and on the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

The Department has not inquired into the gender identity of children in January 2016 and has no correspondence on the matter.

The addition of gender identity information on the pupil registration form was solely a decision of the Brighton and Hove City Council. They have the independence to make this decision.

The Department does not hold details of any additional information collected by local authorities outside of those required by the Department for our centrally specified, mandatory data collections.

The Department is not aware of any referral on this issue to the Police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the written answers by Lord Nash on 26 and 27 October 2015 (HL2579 and 2580), and the oral response by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 4 November (HL Deb, col 1635), what is the percentage turnover of (1) teachers who achieved Qualified Teacher Status through an undergraduate qualification, and (2) teachers who trained via the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, within (a) two years, (b) five years, and (c) 10 years, of beginning to teach.

The latest statistics show that 81 percent of qualified teachers remain in service after 2 years, 72 percent of qualified teachers remain in service after 5 years, and 62 percent of qualified teachers remain in service after 10 years. This information is available in Table C2 of the statistical first release ‘School Workforce in England, November 2014’ published in July 2015.

The requested breakdown by under/postgraduate route is not available.

13th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Nash on 17 July (HL558), what assessment they have made of the impact of the declining number of professionally trained teachers in primary schools on classroom discipline and pupil behaviour at secondary level; and whether they intend to undertake any research on that issue.

Between 2010 and 2014 the full-time equivalent (FTE) number of teachers in primary schools in England has increased by 19,100 (from 196,400 FTEs to 215,500 FTEs). This represents an increase of 9.7% since 2010.


The full-time equivalent number of qualified teachers in primary schools in England has increased over the same period by 17,100 FTEs – from 192,500 FTEs in 2010 to 209,600 FTEs in 2014.


We are determined that every child is able to work and study hard without disruption. We have given head teachers more powers to tackle poor behaviour, including strengthening their powers to search pupils and the removal of the requirement to give parents 24 hours’ written notice of after-school detention. We have revised and simplified advice to schools on promoting good behaviour and maintaining discipline, ensuring they have the confidence to exclude pupils when it is necessary.


Now we are going further by appointing behaviour expert Tom Bennett to lead a review to ensure new teachers are fully trained in dealing with disruptive children and also consider all of the challenges of managing behaviour in schools.

13th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Nash on 17 July (HL558), what assessment they have made of the impact of the declining number of professionally trained teachers in primary schools on the reading, writing and numerical attainment of children at 11 years of age; and whether they intend to take steps to reverse the decline in teachers who are professionally trained.

Between 2010 and 2014, the full-time equivalent (FTE) number of teachers in primary schools in England has increased by 19,100 (from 196,400 FTEs to 215,500 FTEs). This represents an increase of 9.7% compared with 2010.


The full-time equivalent number of qualified teachers in primary schools in England has increased over the same period by 17,100 FTEs – from 192,500 FTEs in 2010 to 209,600 FTEs in 2014.


The proportion of children in England achieving level 4 or above in reading, writing and mathematics has continued to rise over recent years; from 75% in 2013 to 80% in 2015.

17th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of primary school teachers in England have been professionally trained through recognised three-year teacher training courses, and what percentage through a one-year Postgraduate Course in Education; and how those percentages have changed since 2005.

The department does not hold data on the percentage of primary teachers professionally trained through recognised three-year teacher training courses or one-year postgraduate courses. The department does hold information on primary trainee teachers who were awarded qualified teacher status (QTS).

In the 2012 to 2013 academic year, 28% of those awarded QTS in England trained through an undergraduate programme. 72% trained through a postgraduate programme. This has changed from 37% and 63% respectively in the 2004 to 2005 academic year.

Undergraduate courses are typically three or four years. Postgraduate courses are typically for one year and the vast major lead to PGCE.

Number of primary trainees gaining QTS who were on undergraduate courses

Number of primary trainees gaining QTS who were on postgraduate courses

Total number of primary trainees gaining QTS

Percentage primary trainees gaining QTS who were on undergraduate courses

Percentage of primary trainees gaining QTS who were on postgraduate courses

2004/05

4,550

7,774

12,324

37%

63%

2005/06

4,652

7,542

12,194

38%

62%

2006/07

5,091

7,397

12,488

41%

59%

2007/08

5,335

7,916

13,251

40%

60%

2008/09

5,609

10,135

15,744

36%

64%

2009/10

5,212

10,454

15,666

33%

67%

2010/11

5,093

10,701

15,794

32%

68%

2011/12

5,381

12,101

17,482

31%

69%

2012/13

5,111

12,934

18,045

28%

72%

1) Data excludes Teach First and Assessment Only

2) Data includes Employment Based Teacher Training (EBITT)

3) Data for 2013/13 includes School Direct Trainees

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the lack of direct flights from the UK to Ercan International Airport, and (2) the reasons why there are no such flights; and what discussions they have had with airline operators about how long it is intended to divert such flights via Turkey.

In accordance with the rest of the international community, the UK does not recognise the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ as an independent state. Additionally, direct flights to and from the UK and the northern part of Cyprus would breach the UK’s international obligation under the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. As a result, it would be illegal, as a matter of domestic law, for the UK Government to support direct flights to the northern part of Cyprus.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made, while the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 apply, to enable UK citizens coming back from Northern Cyprus, or travelling to Northern Cyprus if currently a resident there, to fly directly to avoid an additional period of isolation if they are required to stop en route and disembark at a Turkish airport.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office worked with the Government of Cyprus to secure the necessary arrangements for 154 British Nationals in the north of Cyprus to transit to the Republic of Cyprus, to then depart on direct flights back to the UK operated by EasyJet and Aegean. This meant no repatriation flights travelled via Turkey.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the proportion of the UK population over state pension age in 1990; and what is the projected figure for 2050.

In 1990, State Pension age was 60 years of age for females and 65 years for males. Based upon Office for National Statistics (ONS) mid-year population estimates, the proportion of the total UK population over State Pension age in 1990 was 18.4 per cent.

In 2050, State Pension age is legislated to be 68 years of age for both males and females. Based upon ONS 2018 mid-year population projections, the most up-to-date ONS population projections available, the proportion of the total UK population over State Pension age in 2050 is estimated to be 21.4 per cent.

Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place.

These figures have been calculated using data available on the ONS website: www.ons.gov.uk

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 10 June (HL3794), why they will not provide figures for the percentage of the population who have died from COVID-19 in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales and (4) Northern Ireland in order to facilitate a strategic assessment of comparative regional efficiencies.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes the weekly numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales, and National Records Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. The number of deaths involving COVID-19 are published rather than the percentage of the population who have died from COVID-19, as this is a more useful and accurate way of keeping a consistent record of death data.

The ONS also routinely publishes population estimates. The current data, for mid-2018, for the four nations of the United Kingdom allow the required percentages to be calculated as shown in the following table.

Registered deaths involving COVID-19

Mid-2018 population estimates

Percentage

England

45,016

56,286,961

0.080

Wales

2,300

3,152,879

0.073

Scotland

4,070

5,463,300

0.074

Northern Ireland

774

1,893,667

0.041

Source: ONS weekly figures on death registrations week ending 5 June 2020.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the populations for (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales, and (4) Northern Ireland; what has been the number of deaths from COVID-19 per country; what is the effective reproduction number of the virus in each country; and what plans they have to publish statistics on COVID-19 on this basis.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Science of Covid-19 note for House of Lords, which is attached due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the most recent figures for the percentage of the population who have died from COVID-19 in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales and (4) Northern Ireland; and in which of those regions is the rate of infections decreasing the fastest.

The Office for National Statistics publishes the weekly numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales, and National Records Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. The number of deaths from COVID-19 are published rather than the percentage of the population who have died from COVID-19, as this is a more useful an accurate way of keeping a consistent record of death data.

Public Health England are currently undertaking work on changes to the regional rate of infection.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of any positive impact in the overall health of under 35 year old smokers arising from tax and packaging measures that they have imposed.

Tobacco taxation is a proven and effective means to reduce smoking and a disincentive for young people to take up smoking in the first place. The Government consulted on the introduction of standardised packaging and published an impact assessment, which included benefits to public health. For the purposes of this impact assessment, the conservative assumption was made that no harm is incurred by smoking under the age of 35, due to the lack of precise data to quantify benefits from not smoking under this age. That said, the impact assessment notes that for every young person who no longer starts smoking for example, life expectancy improves by 2.1 years. The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 came into force on 20 May 2016; the Government has a commitment to review these regulations by 2020.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there has been any assessment made of the health hazards from illicit tobacco products compared with those that are legally produced; and if so, what future impact such hazards are likely to have on the health of smokers under 25 years old.

There are no separate assessments made by the Government on the health hazards of illicit tobacco as all tobacco products are harmful. Considerable progress has been made in addressing tobacco smuggling and the reductions we have seen have been achieved through regulatory changes, new sanctions, detection technology and partnership working across government and internationally. The Tobacco Control Plan for England, published in July 2017, set out the continued government commitment to tackle illicit tobacco, including the United Kingdom international obligation to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Protocol on Illicit Tobacco as soon as the required legislation has been approved by Parliament.

10th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the average waiting time (1) from GP referral to initial specialist surgeon appointment, and (2) from initial specialist surgeon appointment to operation, for a hip replacement in the English regions of (a) London, (b) the South, (c) the Midlands and East, and (d) the North.

The information is not available in the format requested. The information which is available is from hospital episode statistics (HES), which give a detailed breakdown of individual episodes of care by procedure, including hip replacements. Within HES, it is not possible to link the outpatient and admitted patient datasets to determine if an outpatient appointment is linked to a subsequent hip replacement. It is therefore only possible to show time waited between decision to admit and admission to hospital. A table of this data is attached.

10th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many patients per 1 million population were on the waiting list for (1) hip replacement, and (2) knee replacement, in (a) October 2012, (b) October 2014 and (c) October 2016 in the English regions of (i) London, (ii) the South, (iii) the Midlands and East, and (iv) the North.

The information is not available in the format requested. Referral to treatment data are collected by 18 treatment functions and are not condition or procedure specific. Hip and knee replacements are included in the trauma and orthopaedics treatment function. The following table sets out how many patients per one million of the population were on a waiting list in the trauma and orthopaedics treatment function at the end of October 2012 and 2014.

Table: Number of trauma and orthopaedics1 patients per one million of the population that were waiting on an incomplete pathway at the end of October 2012 and October 2014.2

Region

October 2012

October 2014

London

5,701

5,486

South

7,506

8,493

Midlands and East

6,969

7,323

North

7,372

8,182

England

7,025

7,578

Source: Consultant-led referral to treatment waiting times, NHS England

Notes:

  1. Consultant-led referral to treatment waiting times data is available for 18 treatment functions. Hip and knee replacements are included in the trauma and orthopaedics treatment function.
  2. October 2016 data will be published on 8th December 2016.

3rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Prior of Brampton on 11 and 12 February (HL5764 and HL5766) and by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 11 February (HL5765), and in the light of current information about the increased extent of dangers from the Zika virus affecting up to 20 per cent of all births, whether they intend to issue further advice about, or to reconsider, in consultation with other European governments, the long-term implications of participating in or attending the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) and British Paralympic Association (BPA) have prepared guidance to consider the health risks, including those posed by Zika, for British athletes and staff travelling to Brazil for the Olympics.

The Department of Health has convened an Olympics health advisory group on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to focus on Zika and to support the BOA and BPA to ensure that they can continue to provide the best possible information and advice.

The group will be chaired by the Department’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Chris Whitty, and will bring together experts from the BOA and BPA as well as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool, University of Nottingham, the Royal Free London, Public Health England and across Government.

Revisions of existing guidance or specific further advice will be published if it is deemed necessary.

In the meantime, Public Health England and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have developed and issued more general travel advice online to health professionals that is suitable for people travelling to Zika-affected countries, including pregnant women. A copy of the online advice is attached.

This includes a list of countries where Zika virus transmission is occurring, advice around bite avoidance measures and what and who to speak to if those travelling have concerns. PHE and NaTHNaC continue to monitor the situation very closely and update advice as needed.

29th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether health managers and practitioners in England have had access to the 2008 Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Independent Review of Autism Services or to any similar independent guidance regarding appropriate timescale targets for moving from initial autism referrals to diagnosis and appropriate care.

No formal statistics are collected of autism referrals, initial assessments or diagnoses. The Department does however commission Public Health England each year to carry out a self-assessment exercise with local authority areas on progress they are making in implementing the Autism Strategy for Adults in England. Local authorities work with their local partners including clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to informally answer a range of questions.

In the exercise based on 2013 data, all 152 local authority areas replied but some did not answer all the questions. Areas were asked how many adults have completed the diagnostic pathway in the preceding year and 111 reported a total of 4,677. They were also asked the length of the average wait for referral to diagnostic services and 117 answered this question. The average of these figures, weighted for the population in the responding areas, was 27.9 weeks.

The exercise based on 2014 data saw 149 areas respond. They were asked how many adults had received a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum condition in the preceding year and 128 reported a total of 5,109. Areas were also asked the length of the average wait between referral and assessment for all adults and 135 answered this question. The average of these figures, similarly weighted, was 19.6 weeks. Information on the waiting time between autism referrals and initial assessments, and between initial assessments and diagnosis, was not collected during these exercises. The next exercise will be launched later in the spring.

The number of children and young people diagnosed with autism by the National Health Service is not collected centrally. Latest figures from the School Census (2015) state that there were 90,775 pupils with an autistic spectrum condition at state funded schools and non-maintained special schools in England. This has increased from a total of 56,250 in 2010 who were recorded as having a primary need of autism, but it is not directly comparable to the 2015 figures because of a change in collection methodology.

New statutory guidance was issued in England in March 2015 to support implementation of the Adult Autism Strategy. This set out what people seeking an autism diagnosis can expect from local authorities and NHS bodies. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published three clinical guidelines on autism and a quality standard to assist health managers and practitioners in developing services. This includes a recommendation that an assessment is started within three months of the referral. NHS England has commenced a programme to visit CCGs to identify and share good practice in accessing autism diagnosis, and look at possible barriers. NHS England will complete a report on this by the end of April 2016.

29th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the average time between (1) autism referrals and initial assessments, and (2) initial assessments and diagnosis, for each of the past five years.

No formal statistics are collected of autism referrals, initial assessments or diagnoses. The Department does however commission Public Health England each year to carry out a self-assessment exercise with local authority areas on progress they are making in implementing the Autism Strategy for Adults in England. Local authorities work with their local partners including clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to informally answer a range of questions.

In the exercise based on 2013 data, all 152 local authority areas replied but some did not answer all the questions. Areas were asked how many adults have completed the diagnostic pathway in the preceding year and 111 reported a total of 4,677. They were also asked the length of the average wait for referral to diagnostic services and 117 answered this question. The average of these figures, weighted for the population in the responding areas, was 27.9 weeks.

The exercise based on 2014 data saw 149 areas respond. They were asked how many adults had received a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum condition in the preceding year and 128 reported a total of 5,109. Areas were also asked the length of the average wait between referral and assessment for all adults and 135 answered this question. The average of these figures, similarly weighted, was 19.6 weeks. Information on the waiting time between autism referrals and initial assessments, and between initial assessments and diagnosis, was not collected during these exercises. The next exercise will be launched later in the spring.

The number of children and young people diagnosed with autism by the National Health Service is not collected centrally. Latest figures from the School Census (2015) state that there were 90,775 pupils with an autistic spectrum condition at state funded schools and non-maintained special schools in England. This has increased from a total of 56,250 in 2010 who were recorded as having a primary need of autism, but it is not directly comparable to the 2015 figures because of a change in collection methodology.

New statutory guidance was issued in England in March 2015 to support implementation of the Adult Autism Strategy. This set out what people seeking an autism diagnosis can expect from local authorities and NHS bodies. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published three clinical guidelines on autism and a quality standard to assist health managers and practitioners in developing services. This includes a recommendation that an assessment is started within three months of the referral. NHS England has commenced a programme to visit CCGs to identify and share good practice in accessing autism diagnosis, and look at possible barriers. NHS England will complete a report on this by the end of April 2016.

29th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they maintain statistics relating to (1) autism referrals, (2) initial assessments of autism, and (3) diagnosis of autism; and if so, how many of each there were during each of the past five years.

No formal statistics are collected of autism referrals, initial assessments or diagnoses. The Department does however commission Public Health England each year to carry out a self-assessment exercise with local authority areas on progress they are making in implementing the Autism Strategy for Adults in England. Local authorities work with their local partners including clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to informally answer a range of questions.

In the exercise based on 2013 data, all 152 local authority areas replied but some did not answer all the questions. Areas were asked how many adults have completed the diagnostic pathway in the preceding year and 111 reported a total of 4,677. They were also asked the length of the average wait for referral to diagnostic services and 117 answered this question. The average of these figures, weighted for the population in the responding areas, was 27.9 weeks.

The exercise based on 2014 data saw 149 areas respond. They were asked how many adults had received a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum condition in the preceding year and 128 reported a total of 5,109. Areas were also asked the length of the average wait between referral and assessment for all adults and 135 answered this question. The average of these figures, similarly weighted, was 19.6 weeks. Information on the waiting time between autism referrals and initial assessments, and between initial assessments and diagnosis, was not collected during these exercises. The next exercise will be launched later in the spring.

The number of children and young people diagnosed with autism by the National Health Service is not collected centrally. Latest figures from the School Census (2015) state that there were 90,775 pupils with an autistic spectrum condition at state funded schools and non-maintained special schools in England. This has increased from a total of 56,250 in 2010 who were recorded as having a primary need of autism, but it is not directly comparable to the 2015 figures because of a change in collection methodology.

New statutory guidance was issued in England in March 2015 to support implementation of the Adult Autism Strategy. This set out what people seeking an autism diagnosis can expect from local authorities and NHS bodies. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published three clinical guidelines on autism and a quality standard to assist health managers and practitioners in developing services. This includes a recommendation that an assessment is started within three months of the referral. NHS England has commenced a programme to visit CCGs to identify and share good practice in accessing autism diagnosis, and look at possible barriers. NHS England will complete a report on this by the end of April 2016.

29th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are aware of the recent case of 15 year-old Matthew Garnett who, as a consequence of being on the autistic spectrum, has been confined to a psychiatric intensive care unit for six months without having been moved to a more appropriate care facility, and what action they are taking to prevent such cases arising in future.

We are aware of this case, and we welcome NHS England’s confirmation that Matthew will be moving to a more appropriate facility in the next month.

Delivery of appropriate care for the few individuals with very complex needs will always be a challenge. The people who can best assess local care needs and ensure that those needs are met are local commissioners, though some people will require care that is commissioned on a national level for rare conditions, including some mental health conditions with comorbidities such as autistic spectrum disorders or learning disabilities. This includes inpatient treatment for children and young people with mental health conditions.

NHS England is continuing Care and Treatment Reviews for children and young people with learning disabilities in inpatient settings and 52 week residential schools. These reviews ensure the care and setting are appropriate to the child or young person’s needs, and where needed, allow planned moves to community-based care or more appropriate inpatient accommodation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Department of Health has begun to carry out a survey of pregnant women where either partner has been to Brazil or other neighbouring countries where there has been a significant outbreak of the Zika virus.

Public Health England (PHE) is actively exploring the feasibility of working with other parts of the United Kingdom to undertake the systematic collection of data on pregnant women presenting to National Health Service maternity services where they have travelled to a country with active Zika virus transmission during pregnancy or within four weeks of conception. The aim of such work would be to measure the impact of Zika virus on obstetric services and on pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes for women.

PHE has been working with appropriate Royal Colleges to provide updated guidance for healthcare professionals, including midwives, on the management of any symptomatic patients (particularly pregnant women) returning from affected countries. A copy of this guidance is attached.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how and when they intend to introduce and implement a comprehensive plan in relation to the Zika virus to (1) inform fully the British public about that virus, (2) advise on travel to Central and South America in the light of that virus' prevalence in that region, and (3) clarify all known means of transmission of that virus.

Public Health England (PHE) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre have issued travel advice to people who may be travelling to the affected countries, particularly pregnant women and provided information for the general public through the NHS Choices website.

PHE has been working with appropriate professional groups to develop information and guidance on Zika for clinicians. They have worked in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop specifically targeted at primary care which is available on the PHE website and has been cascaded by the RCGP. A copy of this guidance is attached.

PHE have also issued a Central Alerting System update alert letter to clinicians, which includes specific information and guidance about Zika virus and pregnancy and general guidance on Zika virus and travel. A copy of this is attached.

Although some evidence of sexual transmission exists and there is the possibility that blood transfusions may be able to transmit the virus this will be very rare. Transmission from mother to fetus via the placenta is also possible. If a person acquires Zika abroad and becomes ill on their return to the United Kingdom, mosquito-borne transmission will not occur as the mosquito is not present in the UK.

Information on these issues is available on the PHE website. The Government continues to monitor this situation very closely and will continue to take action as appropriate.

5th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidance, if any, they give to hospitals about whether patients may wear military uniforms in waiting and emergency rooms; what assessment they have made of the recent removal of a uniformed Royal Air Force sergeant from the waiting room of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate reportedly so as not to upset other patients from different cultures; and whether they plan to issue further guidance to hospitals about whether, in the light of that incident, patients who are members of the armed forces have the right to wear military uniforms in waiting and emergency rooms.

NHS England has reviewed the action taken at East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Due to an altercation between a member of the public and a member of the armed forces in uniform that had taken place the previous day, the employee concerned was acting in good faith, but handled the situation wrongly.

The Trust is absolutely clear that members of Her Majesty’s armed forces, whether in uniform or not, should not be treated differently to others. They have reinforced this policy to all members of staff and offered an apology to the patient involved for any embarrassment caused.

Additionally, NHS England is currently reviewing the East Kent University Hospitals Trust’s Equality and Diversity and Access Policies and will agree amendments if necessary. There are no plans to issue further guidance.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in how many cases of Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis kidney disease the use of the drug Eculizumab has been identified as the only viable treatment; in how many cases its use has been refused; and what assessment they have made of the circumstances of the appeal by 15 year-old Lewis Brimble against such a refusal.

NHS England has advised that, to date, it has received three individual funding requests for eculizumab (Soliris) to treat membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis or dense deposit disease. All three requests were declined.

Neither the Department nor NHS England can comment on individual cases.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published a rapid evidence summary on prevention of recurrence of C3 glomerulopathy post-transplant: eculizumab on 26 June 2015. This is available at the following link and a copy is attached:

www.nice.org.uk/advice/esuom44/chapter/Key-points-from-the-evidence

19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the government of Iran has threatened to retaliate against the government of Belgium if Assadollah Assadi is found guilty of participating in preparations for bombing an international gathering near Paris in June 2018; and what support, if any, they have offered the government of Belgium.

We are aware of media reports that an Iranian diplomat, who is charged with involvement in a plot against a conference in Paris in 2018, has threatened "retaliation" should he be convicted. The UK Government does not have access to the court documents on which these reports are based. While the legal process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further on these reports and we have not made specific representations to the Iranian Government. We are not aware of any reporting suggesting that the Government of Iran itself has made any threats to retaliate against the Government of Belgium.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Iran about reports that that government has threatened to retaliate against the government of Belgium if Assadollah Assadi is found guilty of participating in preparations for bombing an international gathering near Paris in June 2018.

We are aware of media reports that an Iranian diplomat, who is charged with involvement in a plot against a conference in Paris in 2018, has threatened "retaliation" should he be convicted. The UK Government does not have access to the court documents on which these reports are based. While the legal process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further on these reports and we have not made specific representations to the Iranian Government. We are not aware of any reporting suggesting that the Government of Iran itself has made any threats to retaliate against the Government of Belgium.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 10 November (HL9658), what assessment they have made of any difference between their policies towards recognising (1) the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and (2) Taiwan; what are the reasons for any such differences; and what plans they have to treat both territories equally.

Taiwan and the northern part of Cyprus are two very different political realities. HMG's position is informed by the particular context of each situation.

A comprehensive settlement to end the division of Cyprus is the best way to resolve the challenges faced by both Cypriot communities, and the UK is encouraging the parties to demonstrate their renewed commitment to that end. In line with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. Our position respects UN Security Council resolutions on the issue. The UK recognises only one Cypriot state - the Republic of Cyprus - and only one government as the sole legitimate government.

The UK's longstanding policy on Taiwan has not changed: we have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan but a strong, unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties. We regularly lobby in favour of Taiwan's participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite.

26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they formally congratulated Ersin Tatar on his recent election as President of Northern Cyprus; if so, when; and whether the UK High Commissioner treats the governments of the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus equally diplomatically.

The British High Commissioner was in contact with Mr Ersin Tatar on 20 October, following his election as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, to congratulate him on his new role and express hope for an early return to Cyprus settlement talks. The Turkish Cypriot community is recognised in Cyprus' constitution. As such, whilst the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" and does not treat the Turkish Cypriot community equally diplomatically, we do engage with the Turkish Cypriot community.

8th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of France about that government’s actions in (1) the Mediterranean near Cyprus, and (2) the territorial waters of Cyprus and Turkey; and what assessment they have made of the actions of that government in the Mediterranean on peace and stability in the area.

We believe it is critical for stability in the Mediterranean and for the integrity of the rules-based international system that tensions be reduced and disputes are resolved through dialogue and in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We will continue to work with all parties in the region to that end. In addition, the UK is in regular contact with the French Government regarding the ongoing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean: the Foreign Secretary and the Defence Secretary discussed this with their counterparts on 10 September and 21 August respectively. We will continue to engage the French Government via our Embassy in Paris and the UK Delegation to NATO.

7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the government of France’s stationing of military aircraft in Cyprus, and (2) whether any such action is in violation of the responsibilities of the governments of Greece, Turkey and the UK under the Treaty of Guarantee.

The UK's principal responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee is to recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus. Military cooperation between France and the Republic of Cyprus is a matter for their respective governments and the stationing of military aircraft by France in the Republic of Cyprus does not violate the UK's responsibilities under the Treaty of Guarantee.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 July (HL5932), what assessment they have made of the difference in the rights of (1) Turkish, and (2) Greek, Cypriots in Cyprus since the 1974 coup d'etat; and to list each meeting the British High Commissioner to Cyprus has had with representatives of (1) Turkish, and (2) Greek, Cypriot communities since 2014.

The 2014 arrangement on non-military development of the Sovereign Base Areas is a non-legally binding arrangement between the UK Government and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. It was not debated in the UK Parliament. The arrangement was discussed with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community prior to and following its signature.

The Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) report prepared for the draft Policy Statement and zoning maps of the SBAs, all published on 10th June 2020, are the result of extensive engagement and collaboration from 2014 onwards. The public consultation on the SEIA is open to Turkish Cypriots and related documents have been made available in Turkish.

We recognise that the status quo in Cyprus causes serious difficulties for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, including as a result of dispossession of property, enforced relocation of communities, and the problem of missing persons. We believe that the best way to secure the rights of all Cypriots is through a comprehensive agreement in accordance with UN resolutions.

The High Commissioner continues to engage with representatives and members of the Turkish Cypriot community to answer questions, as do the Sovereign Base Areas Administration. The UK is committed to securing and promoting the rights of all residents and property-owners in the SBAs, regardless of whether they are Greek or Turkish Cypriot, and will continue working with all Cypriots to that end. A complete list of each of the meetings held with the two communities since 2014 is not held, given their frequency.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 July (HL5932), whether their agreement with the government of Cyprus on the regulation of non-military development in the Sovereign Base Areas in 2014 was (1) debated in Parliament, and (2) informed by consultation with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community.

The 2014 arrangement on non-military development of the Sovereign Base Areas is a non-legally binding arrangement between the UK Government and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. It was not debated in the UK Parliament. The arrangement was discussed with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community prior to and following its signature.

The Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) report prepared for the draft Policy Statement and zoning maps of the SBAs, all published on 10th June 2020, are the result of extensive engagement and collaboration from 2014 onwards. The public consultation on the SEIA is open to Turkish Cypriots and related documents have been made available in Turkish.

We recognise that the status quo in Cyprus causes serious difficulties for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, including as a result of dispossession of property, enforced relocation of communities, and the problem of missing persons. We believe that the best way to secure the rights of all Cypriots is through a comprehensive agreement in accordance with UN resolutions.

The High Commissioner continues to engage with representatives and members of the Turkish Cypriot community to answer questions, as do the Sovereign Base Areas Administration. The UK is committed to securing and promoting the rights of all residents and property-owners in the SBAs, regardless of whether they are Greek or Turkish Cypriot, and will continue working with all Cypriots to that end. A complete list of each of the meetings held with the two communities since 2014 is not held, given their frequency.

18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what basis the decision to permit the development of private property within British Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus was made; whether the Turkish-Cypriot community was consulted about this decision; if not, why not; and what is their current evaluation of the validity of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, in relation to this decision.

In 2014 UK Government and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus signed an arrangement on the regulation of non-military development in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs). On 9 June the next stage in this arrangement was reached which will lead to the lifting of many restrictions on land and property development within the non-military areas of the SBAs for all Cypriots.

The UK regularly engages with the Turkish Cypriots through our High Commission in Nicosia. This engagement has included discussions on non-military development, on which the views of the Turkish Cypriots were sought on several occasions both before and after its signature in 2014.

The UK's principal responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee is to recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) reports that COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in China; (2) the response by the government of China to the initial outbreak of COVID-19; and (3) any delay in that government informing other governments of the outbreak; and what plans they have to change their approach to relations with the government of China as a result of any such assessment.

In time we will need to work with the international community, including China, to learn lessons and look at why this outbreak happened, and how to prevent something similar in future.

China is an important partner for the UK and has a vital role in the global response to the pandemic. Like the rest of the world, China has faced an unprecedented health crisis. The Chinese people - like so many others - have faced enormous sacrifices and challenges. We have always said that transparent and accurate information about the virus is essential for an effective global response.

The Government remains clear-eyed about the challenges and risks from China, and our approach is rooted in our values and our interests. It has always been the case that where we have concerns, we raise them, and where we need to take robust action, we will.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been their assessment of the implications of the recent Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Cyprus for the Government’s role as a guarantor power under 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and for the rights of the Turkish Cypriot community to be fairly represented on the island; and what were the reasons for agreeing that Memorandum.

The Defence and Security Co-operation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Cyprus was signed on 4 April 2019, in order to build on the existing Bilateral Defence and Co-operation Programme and strengthen our cooperation. The MoU has no implications for the United Kingdom's role as a Guarantor Power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee or for how the Turkish Cypriot community is represented on the island.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made an assessment of (1) the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, published on 10 July, (2) the willingness of the Greek Cypriot representatives to resume negotiations and (3) the likelihood of such negotiations leading to an outcome where both Turkish and Greek Cypriot groups will have political equality.

​The United Kingdom welcomes the support the Security Council expressed in July for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and will continue to work with others to ensure UNFICYP can carry out its mission effectively and efficiently. We also welcome the commitment of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as announced following their meeting on 9 August, to finalise Terms of Reference to enable results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement with a sense of urgency; and the next steps agreed to achieve this.

It is for the sides to agree on the details of any final deal. A settlement will require the agreement of the two leaders, the support of Greece and Turkey and – importantly – successful referenda in each community.

The United Kingdom is a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on revolutionary guards commanders to prepare themselves for “big events”; and how they intend to respond to such reports.

We are aware of these reports. We have long expressed our deep concerns about the destabilising activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) both within and outside Iran, including its illicit economic activity and its role in Iran’s ballistic missile development and support to militant and proscribed groups around the region. We call on Iran urgently to cease all forms of destabilising activity. As E3 leaders said in their 23 September statement, “the time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on the issues related to regional security, including its missile programme and other means of delivery”.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that Hezbollah forces are being deployed along Lebanon's and Syria's borders with Israel; and what plans they have in place to protect the UK's interests in that region.

The British Government has serious concerns about the actions and behaviours of Hezbollah in the Middle East. Its continued role in Syria, amassing of weapons outside of state control and, therefore, the lack of distinction between its political and military wings is what led the former Home Secretary to extend proscription of Hezbollah to the entirety of the organisation. The former Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa raised this during his visit to Lebanon in March this year, when he expressed his concerns over Hezbollah's regional role; the former Foreign Secretary also raised concerns over Hezbollah’s destabilising activities and behaviours when he met the Lebanese Foreign Minister on 12 June. The British Government routinely discusses concerns about the actions of Hezbollah with the Israeli authorities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran intends to use its “committed forces” to respond to the seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 by the Royal Navy near Gibraltar on 4 July.

We are concerned by Iranian threats to disrupt shipping and are working hard to ensure ships are able to move freely and safely. The UK is focused on de-escalation and we continue to urge the Iranian authorities to reduce tensions. The former Foreign Secretary spoke to Foreign Minister Zarif on 13 July to discuss the importance of finding a resolution to the current situation. We have been clear that Gibraltar’s action, with UK assistance, to detain the Grace 1 tanker was to enforce EU Syria sanctions in Gibraltar’s territorial waters on the basis that the oil was being transported to a sanctioned Syrian entity. The investigations being conducted around the Grace 1 remain a matter for the Government of Gibraltar.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they still have guarantor responsibilities in Cyprus under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee; what assessment they have made of reports that a Russian-made S-200 missile was fired from Syria and exploded in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and what steps they intend to take in response to that incident.

​The UK remains one of the three Guarantor powers as set out in the Treaty of Guarantee (1960). We are aware that debris from a projectile landed in the north of Cyprus on 1 July: we believe they resulted from an S200 missile fired from Syria which missed its intended target and which may subsequently have exploded mid-air. There were no casualties. The UK enjoys excellent relations with Cyprus, including in the fields of defence and security, based on strong bonds of friendship and historical ties. We continuously assess possible threats to the island to ensure that the necessary precautions are in place.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the recent Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Cyprus for the Government’s role as a guarantor power under 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and for the rights of the Turkish Cypriot community to be fairly represented on the island.

​The Defence and Security Co-operation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Cyprus builds on the existing Bilateral Defence and Co-operation Programme and strengthens our cooperation. The MoU has no implications for the UK's role as a Guarantor Power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee or for how the Turkish Cypriot community is represented on the island.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, submitted to the UN Security Council on 16 April; and what assessment they have made of the preparedness of the Greek Cypriot political community to agree a solution on the basis of political equality with the Turkish Cypriot community within the framework of UN parameters following the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot electorate and the failure of the Crans-Montana talks.

​The UK is grateful for the ongoing work of the Secretary General and his good offices on the island, as we are to Ms Jane Holl Lute for her ongoing consultations with the parties. We endorse the Secretary-General's view that prospects for a settlement remain alive, as reaffirmed in his April report. We echo his calls for the leaders to engage constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency. We also welcome the UN Security Council's recent call for the two sides to agree terms of reference as a basis for meaningful result-orientated negotiations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, submitted to the UN Security Council on 16 April; and whether (1) it reflects the ongoing embargo of the Turkish Cypriot community on the island, or (2) recognises the impact of the Greek Cypriot approach to the negotiations since the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot electorate and the failure of the Crans-Montana talks.

​The UK is grateful for the ongoing work of the Secretary-General and his good offices on the island, as we are to Ms Jane Holl Lute for her ongoing consultations with the parties. We endorse the Secretary-General's view that prospects for a settlement remain alive as reaffirmed in his April report. We welcome his continued willingness to work with the parties to conduct further consultations on a way forward and hope that they will lead to a return to negotiations. We echo the UN's view that the status quo is not sustainable and, like the Secretary-General, we encourage all sides to engage constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency, demonstrating they are committed to making progress towards a settlement. A settlement continues to represent the most sustainable means of addressing the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community on the island.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Germany to encourage it to extradite to Belgium the Iranian diplomat arrested in connection with the planned terrorist bomb attack on the meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris on 30 June.

We have not received or made specific representations from other governments on the arrest of an Iranian diplomat in Germany but we are concerned by reports that an Iranian diplomat may have been involved with a plot against a conference in Paris. We work closely with our European partners on security and counter-terrorism issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff following the Novichok nerve agent case, they plan to expel Iranian diplomatic staff following the planned terrorist bomb attack on a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris on 30 June; if so, when; and if not, why not.

We understand that European partners’ investigations into this incident are ongoing. We continue to work closely with our European partners on security and counter-terrorism issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken with European allies, including Germany and Belgium, to ensure Iran cannot use its embassies to harbour suspected terrorists.

We work closely with our European partners on security and counter-terrorism issues. We are clear that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations requires that the premises of a diplomatic mission are not used in any manner incompatible with the functions of the mission as described in the Convention or by other rules of general international law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the arrest of an Iranian diplomat in Germany in connection with the planned terrorist bomb attack on a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris on 30 June.

We are concerned by reports that an Iranian diplomat may have been involved with a plot against a conference in Paris, and understand that investigations are ongoing in a number of European countries. We are not aware at this stage of a link to the UK.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the principle that all Cypriots should benefit equally from any potential income from oil and gas reserves adjacent to the island of Cyprus; and what is their policy towards the proposals for oil and gas sharing made by EU Member States, including Greece and Italy, and Israel, which may prevent Turkish Cypriots from benefiting equally from such income.

The UK has long recognised the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, and we want to see exploration go ahead. We believe Cyprus' hydrocarbons should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots, and urge all parties to look for ways by which the development of hydrocarbons can support the search for a settlement.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to continue to honour the UK’s responsibilities as a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee; whether they consider the Treaty still to be binding on the UK and other signatories; and if not, why the Treaty failed; and (1) when, and (2) where, any member of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister, has met with (a) the President of Cyprus, or (b) the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, in the last 30 years.

The Government considers the Treaty of Guarantee to be binding on all its signatories. The UK's principal responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee is to recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus. The Government fulfils this responsibility through supporting the UN-facilitated settlement process, which is aimed at achieving a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions. Information on meetings between members of the Cabinet and the Leaders of the two Cypriot communities in the last 30 years is not held centrally and could only therefore be obtained at disproportionate cost. The Prime Minister met with President Anastasiades in London on 17 April 2018 during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and more recently in the margins of the Western Balkans summit in Sofia on 17 May 2018. The Foreign Secretary last met with the Leaders of the two Cypriot communities at the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, Switzerland on 27 June 2017.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the extent to which Russian oligarchs have been able to acquire Republic of Cyprus nationality, (2) the extent to which such acquisitions enable those individuals to obtain visa-free access to the European Union, (3) whether EU arrangements highlight any inequity with which the EU treats the Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus, and (4) whether Brexit will enable the UK to change its policies towards the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The grant of nationality is exclusively a matter for individual states to decide in line with their law and procedures. Under EU law, any Cypriot holding a Republic of Cyprus passport enjoys equal rights of free movement in the EU, whether they are Greek or Turkish Cypriot origin. In line with the wider international community (except Turkey), the UK does not recognise the self-declared “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” as an independent state. Several UN Security Council Resolutions and other multilateral agreements also limit links between UK and the north. Our departure from the European Union does not alter our obligations in respect of such agreements. We continue to believe that a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus is the best means of resolving the difficulties caused by partition of the island.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Matthew Kidd, the British High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus, was acting on ministerial instructions when he publicly stated that recognition of the TRNC would be “dangerous”; whether they have repudiated recognition of the identity of Turkish Cypriots; and whether they intend to take any action, including disciplinary action.

Whilst the Government recognises the Turkish Cypriot community, we do not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". The Government is bound by relevant UN Security Council Resolutions condemning the Turkish Cypriot unilateral declaration of independence from the Republic of Cyprus. In a recent interview the British High Commissioner to Cyprus commented on how best to create conditions of security for the inhabitants of Cyprus, including the Turkish Cypriots. As he said, the Government continues to believe that a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus is the best means of resolving the difficulties caused by partition of the island for all its inhabitants, including matters relating to security. The High Commissioner enjoys the full and total confidence of Ministers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Amnesty International on 22 August concerning conditions imposed on political prisoners in Gohardasht and other Iranian prisons, particularly the finding that around 20 such political prisoners are on hunger-strike; and what representations they have made, or diplomatic pressure they have imposed, on the Iranian authorities to take such life-preserving action as may be necessary.

​Reports about mistreatment of political prisoners in Iran are deeply concerning. I urge Iran to allow the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country in order to carry out an independent assessment of prison conditions and the wider human rights situation in the country.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 23 January (HL Deb, col 513) committing to action on the reported massacre of political prisoners by the government of Iran in 1988 if there were corroborated evidence, what assessment they have made of the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, published on 14 August; and what action they intend to take in the light of that report.

The UK Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. Whilst at present we have no plans to raise the 1988 executions, we continue to take action with the international community to press for improvements on all human rights issues in Iran, including ending the death penalty and by supporting the work of the Special Rapporteur.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government, following the collapse of the Cyprus Talks at Crans Montana, and in the light of their responsibility to guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of Cyprus, whether they are planning to adopt new or revised tactics to achieve their strategy towards Cyprus; whether their strategy will support the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus achieving international recognition; and whether they will seek to establish direct flights between the UK and Ercan.

It is disappointing that the Conference on Cyprus at Crans Montana ended without agreement. The Government continues to work for a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus that will benefit all Cypriots. We are encouraging all parties to reflect on the outcome and consider the best path ahead.

On the question of direct flights, the UK Court of Appeal has confirmed that direct flights from the UK to Ercan would breach obligations under international law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Somalia pirates’ hijacking of an Indian vessel on 1 April, whether they intend to further press the government of India regarding the release of the British ex-servicemen known as the Chennai Six who were arrested while on anti-piracy duties in October 2013; and what representations they have made to the government of India about the proportion of the five-year sentences which should be served.

The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Asia and the Pacific have all raised this case in meetings with counterparts during recent visits to India and made clear the importance of seeing progress. Most recently the Foreign Secretary raised the case with Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar during his visit in January.

While we do not seek to interfere in the legal process of another country, we continue to urge swift due process and await the verdict of the men's appeal.

30th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy towards the new legislation passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus officially commemorating the 1950 Enosis referendum; what assessment they have made of the impact of that legislation on the Cyprus Talks process; and what representations they have made to President Anastasiades.

The Government takes every opportunity to support the Leaders of both communities in their efforts to seek a solution to the Cyprus issue. This includes encouraging them to overcome potential setbacks such as this. The Foreign Secretary discussed this and other issues relating to a Cyprus settlement with both Leaders last month. We are therefore encouraged by the Leaders' joint statement of 2 April reconfirming their commitment to finding a solution taking into account the concerns of both communities, and we welcome the announcement that talks will resume on 11 April.

28th Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the warning by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 November that countries should not establish or maintain military ties with Taiwan; and what is their assessment of the impact of this warning on UK–Taiwanese relationships and on the interests of international navigation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The UK does not recognise Taiwan and neither maintains, nor has any plans to establish, military ties with the territory. As such, this announcement will have no impact on our wider, unofficial relationship with Taiwan which includes strong trade, education and cultural links.

The UK supports the right of all States, to exercise Freedom of Navigation and Overflight in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

7th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 6 September (HL Deb, col 936), and in the light of the release of the Montazeri audiotape regarding the massacres in Iran in 1988, whether it is still their position that there is little corroborated evidence of such a massacre taking place.

The UK Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The Iranian Government has repeatedly denied that a mass execution took place, though we know that between July 1988 and January 1989 executions did take place. However, even with the recording and media reporting on the incident, we have no confirmation of the numbers involved.

5th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 25 July (HL1110), whether they are at variance with the government of the Republic of Cyprus regarding its unilateral call for an end to current trade and economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU; and what assessment they have made of whether that call casts doubts on the Republic of Cyprus' sincerity and dependability in other areas of common interest, including the Talks Process.

On 1 July 2016, the European Council unanimously agreed to prolong economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2017. The EU remains united in its strategy of resolving the Ukraine crisis through diplomacy underpinned by robust sanctions pressure. All EU Member States have agreed that the duration of the sanctions is linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The UK has a strong relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. With respect to the Cyprus settlement talks, we commend the courageous leadership of President Anastasiasdes and Mr Akıncı. As The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Sir Alan Duncan) made clear during his visit to Cyprus on 6-8 September, the UK will continue to support the efforts of both communities to reunite Cyprus.

11th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action, if any, they plan to take in the light of the resolution of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on 7 July calling for an end to the trade and economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU, and what their current policy is regarding those sanctions.

The EU remains united in its strategy of resolving the Ukraine crisis through diplomacy underpinned by robust sanctions pressure. The UK fully supports this policy and will continue to play a central role in calling for a firm response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. On 1 July the EU unanimously agreed to renew economic sanctions on Russia for a further six months, in line with the March European Council’s commitment that the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

7th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the call by Amnesty International for an investigation into the missile attack on Camp Liberty on 4 July.

We strongly condemn the attack against the civilian residents of Camp Liberty in Iraq on 4 July. We are aware of Amnesty International’s call for an investigation into the attack and we have publically called on the Government of Iraq to investigate the attack and bring the attackers to justice.
25th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the recent elections in the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus on the UK's aims for the talks process on the reunification of Cyprus, and on their foreign policy position regarding that island.

Following elections to the legislature in the Republic of Cyprus, the UK will continue to support strongly the efforts of the two communities to reunite Cyprus. We also look forward to continuing to work closely with the Republic of Cyprus across a range of shared interests, including security and defence issues, and reinforcing the values that underpin the Commonwealth.
23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what have been the practical benefits to the UK of the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, and of the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Iran in August 2015, in respect of obtaining the release back to the UK of prisoners such as Kamal Foroughi, and Nazanin Ratcliffe and her child.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action applies only to Iran’s nuclear programme, but offers a real opportunity for Iran to normalise its relations with the international community. Reopening our Embassies in August 2015 offers greater opportunity to discuss a range of issues, including consular cases. We regularly raise our concerns on all consular cases, both in London and Tehran. Most recently the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), raised them with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on 17 May, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), raised them with the Iranian Charge d’Affaires in London on 18 May.

23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Iranians have been executed since the visit of the Foreign Secretary to Iran and the re-opening of the UK embassy in Tehran last year, and what assessment they have made of whether that figure indicates any improvement in the human rights position of Iranian citizens.

The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran believes that between 966 and 1,025 people were executed in 2015. The UK repeatedly calls on Iran to bring an end to the use of the death penalty.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions the Cabinet had prior to the visit of the President of the United States to the UK about any remarks that he might make regarding the EU referendum, and who was responsible for advising him regarding normal courtesy and protocol for such state visits.

The views expressed by the US President during his recent visit to the UK were his own.

I refer the noble Lord to the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron)'s oral response to the Rt Hon. Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw), on Wednesday 27 April, Official Report, Column 1427, which is copied below for ease of reference:

'Obviously I think we should listen to our friends and our allies, and as I look around the world it's hard to find the leader of a country that wishes us well that wants us to do anything other than stay inside a reformed European Union.'

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to invite any leaders of foreign countries to come to the UK ostensibly on a courtesy visit but with the intention that they should canvass directly on any internal national issue.

The views expressed by the US President during his recent visit to the UK were his own.

I refer the noble Lord to the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron)'s oral response to the Rt Hon. Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw), on Wednesday 27 April, Official Report, Column 1427, which is copied below for ease of reference:

'Obviously I think we should listen to our friends and our allies, and as I look around the world it's hard to find the leader of a country that wishes us well that wants us to do anything other than stay inside a reformed European Union.'

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there is any precedent for an invitation to the leader of a foreign country to visit the UK in order to campaign on an internal national issue such as the forthcoming EU referendum.

The views expressed by the US President during his recent visit to the UK were his own.

I refer the noble Lord to the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron)'s oral response to the Rt Hon. Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw), on Wednesday 27 April, Official Report, Column 1427, which is copied below for ease of reference:

'Obviously I think we should listen to our friends and our allies, and as I look around the world it's hard to find the leader of a country that wishes us well that wants us to do anything other than stay inside a reformed European Union.'

11th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 30 December 2015 (HL4261) and 2 February (HL5328), how many UK nationals or dual nationals they have succeeded in having repatriated, following incarceration by the Iranians, since 1 January.

The Government is not aware of any UK nationals who have been repatriated following incarceration by the Iranians in 2016. Mr Bahman Daroshafaei, a UK/Iranian dual national who was arrested in Iran in February 2016 was released on bail later that month.

11th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 30 December 2015 (HL4261) and 2 February (HL5328), how the US and Canada have succeeded in having political prisoners in Iran freed while dual UK national Kamal Foroughi remains incarcerated.

We welcome the release of US and Canadian prisoners held in Iran. Iran has not changed its policy of not recognising dual nationality. However we continue to raise our own consular cases, including Mr Foroughi, with the Iranians at the highest levels and to urge for their release, including during Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s recent visit to London.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to revise their position on the Cyprus peace talks in the light of the negotiations by President Anastasiades with President el-Sisi on strategic military co-operation, with President Putin on similar issues, and with Prime Minister Netanyahu on oil exploration.

It is for the Republic of Cyprus to decide on its external relations. Given the threats facing the Eastern Mediterranean, the need for improved co-operation across the whole region remains crucial. A Cyprus settlement would provide an important boost for regional stability. The UK commends President Anastasides and Mr Akinci for their positive leadership in the Cyprus settlement talks. As the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), made clear during his visits to Cyprus last year, the UK will continue to do whatever we can to support the efforts of both communities, and their leaders, to seize the historic opportunity that exists to reunite Cyprus.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether, in the event of successful Cyprus peace talks, the entire island of Cyprus, including both traditions, would be inextricably tied to outcomes deriving from strategic decisions that may, in the interim, have been agreed exclusively by Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades.

It is for the Republic of Cyprus to decide on its external relations. Given the threats facing the Eastern Mediterranean, the need for improved co-operation across the whole region remains crucial. A Cyprus settlement would provide an important boost for regional stability. The UK commends President Anastasides and Mr Akinci for their positive leadership in the Cyprus settlement talks. As the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), made clear during his visits to Cyprus last year, the UK will continue to do whatever we can to support the efforts of both communities, and their leaders, to seize the historic opportunity that exists to reunite Cyprus.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there is any viable evidence that President Anastasiades’ current negotiations with President el-Sisi, with President Putin and with Prime Minister Netanyahu are taking place based on agreement among the current parties participating in the Cyprus peace talks.

It is for the Republic of Cyprus to decide on its external relations. Given the threats facing the Eastern Mediterranean, the need for improved co-operation across the whole region remains crucial. A Cyprus settlement would provide an important boost for regional stability. The UK commends President Anastasides and Mr Akinci for their positive leadership in the Cyprus settlement talks. As the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), made clear during his visits to Cyprus last year, the UK will continue to do whatever we can to support the efforts of both communities, and their leaders, to seize the historic opportunity that exists to reunite Cyprus.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether President Anastasiades’ approach to President el-Sisi on the basis of strategic military co-operation, to President Putin on similar issues, and to Israel on oil exploration, while claiming commitment to bilateral negotiations with Turkish Cypriots are a contravention of that procedure.

It is for the Republic of Cyprus to decide on its external relations. Given the threats facing the Eastern Mediterranean, the need for improved co-operation across the whole region remains crucial. A Cyprus settlement would provide an important boost for regional stability. The UK commends President Anastasides and Mr Akinci for their positive leadership in the Cyprus settlement talks. As the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), made clear during his visits to Cyprus last year, the UK will continue to do whatever we can to support the efforts of both communities, and their leaders, to seize the historic opportunity that exists to reunite Cyprus.

21st Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 30 December 2015 (HL4621), whether they consider the four prisoners, including Jason Rezaian, recently released by Iran to the US each had dual citizenship, and whether they will use those cases as precedents in their approach to the case of Kamal Foroughi.

We welcome the release of US prisoners held in Iran. The agreement between the US and Iran was a bilateral one, and has not changed Iran’s policy of not recognising dual nationality. We continue to raise our own consular cases, including Mr Foroughi, with the Iranians at the highest levels and to urge for their release.

16th Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the P5+1 agreement with Iran, what evidence they have that political prisoners such as Kamal Foroughi and Jason Rezaian have been released, or are being considered for early release, from detention; and what specific evidence they have of any overall progress in respect of such prisoners with UK or US passports.

We have no evidence that dual national political prisoners such as Kamal Foroughi and Jason Rezaian have been, or are being considered, for early release from detention. Nor have we received specific evidence of any overall progress in respect of these dual national cases. Iran does not recognise dual nationality and as such we are not granted consular access in these cases. We continue to lobby the Iranian Government at the highest level. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised these issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani during his trip to Iran in August. The Foreign Secretary also raised it with Foreign Minister Zarif at the UN General Assembly in September. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) raised the case with President Rouhani during a telephone call in July, and wrote a further letter on this matter in October.
1st Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they were consulted and informed about the US decision to lift its arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus, and by whom; how and when that decision is to be implemented; and what assessment they have made of the impact of that decision on the current Cyprus talks process.

We understand that, contrary to media reports in Cyprus, the United States (US) government has not decided to lift its International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions on its defence trade with the Republic of Cyprus. The US has amended Section 1276 of its National Defence Authorisation Act so that the US Departments of State and Defence are required to submit a report to Congress assessing the US-Cyprus security relationship, including the impact of US trade constraints on defence-related goods and services to the island. This does not affect the US ITAR restrictions on defence trade with the Republic of Cyprus.

25th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of India concerning the case of six British ex-servicemen who were members of the crew of the US ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio, and who have been held in India since 2013.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers have raised this case at the highest levels nearly thirty times since November 2013, making clear the enormous stress and difficulty the situation has caused these men and their families.

We will continue to use every opportunity to raise this case. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), raised it most recently for the third time with Prime Minister Modi during his visit to the UK in November. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), raised the case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs at the UN General Assembly on 29 September, and Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), raised it on 24 November with Indian High Commissioner Mathai.

We cannot interfere in the Indian legal process, but will continue to press for this case to be resolved.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Iranian refugees with United Kingdom connections have been assessed in either Camp Ashraf or Camp Liberty since they were first left to the responsibility of the government of Iraq; how many such refugees have been admitted to the United Kingdom in the interim; and what assessment they have made of how many refugees overall have died as a result of (1) violence, or (2) lack of access to proper medical care.

We have re-admitted four individuals from Camp Ashraf who hold valid UK travel documents. The Home Office exceptionally agreed to consider whether 52 residents of Camp Liberty previously settled in the UK, but who left many years ago, should be readmitted. Seventeen residents approved for resettlement in the UK by the Home Office are now in the UK. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has also referred 34 further residents and a decision from the Home Office is pending. We do not keep records of fatalities at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. We continue to engage with the Government of Iraq on the welfare of the residents of Camp Liberty. Our Embassy in Baghdad regularly raises this issue with the Government of Iraq. We support UN calls for more to be done to protect residents, but remain of the view that the Government of Iraq is responsible for security at the camp. Officials from our Embassy visited Camp Liberty on 28 April and stated that the camp hospital and dentist clinic appeared well maintained and stocked. UN Assistance Mission for Iraq monitors confirmed that, when needed residents, are permitted to leave the camp to attend hospital appointments and for treatment.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in line with the United States State Department admitted practice, United Kingdom officials based in Iraq continue to avoid visiting Camp Liberty; and whether they will place in the Library of the House the latest monitor's report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and those from the government of Iraq.

We continue to engage with the Government of Iraq on the welfare of the residents of Camp Liberty. Our Embassy in Baghdad regularly raises this issue with the Government of Iraq. We also support UN calls for more to be done to protect residents, but remain of the view that the Government of Iraq is responsible for security at the camp.

Officials from our Embassy in Baghdad do not avoid visiting Camp Liberty. Embassy officials last visited the camp on 28 April to assess living conditions, which the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq judge to be well in excess of basic humanitarian standards. Officials plan to visit again soon, provided the security situation allows, and are arranging to meet with the residents’ representatives.

While the Government of Iraq maintains records of the management of the camp, we are not aware of a regular, consolidated report produced by the government.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq's monitoring reports have a restricted distribution. As we are not the owners of this information we are unable to place them in the Library of the House.

9th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of Cypriot President Anastasiades' recent visit to Moscow and his indication that Russian military basing facilities may be made available in Cyprus, what they now consider may be the strategic impact of the Prime Minister’s agreement made during President Anastasiades' visit to the United Kingdom in January 2014 regarding a right of development within the United Kingdom’s Sovereign Base Areas.

We have been, and remain, in frequent discussions with the Republic of Cyprus about security and defence matters, and have been briefed on the agreements signed in Moscow. It is our understanding that the defence and security aspects of these formalise arrangements already in place. President Anastasiades has also explicitly ruled out the use of Limassol port for military purposes.

The visit of President Anastasiades to London in January 2014, and the arrangement on Non Military Development (NMD) reaffirmed the strong bonds of friendship and partnership which exist between Cyprus and the UK across many areas, notably defence, security, EU reform, and foreign policy cooperation. NMD is a further measure of normalisation of administrative planning rules, and shows that the UK and Cyprus are serious about working together on our shared interests.

3rd Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they were consulted by the London School of Economics concerning its decision to refuse admittance to previously invited guests at a lecture by the Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ozdil Nami, on 17 February, because of threats of violence by Greek-Cypriot activists, and if so when; whether the Cyprus Embassy lodged any form of objection with them; and what response was tendered.

We were not consulted by the London School of Economics on the matters referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Maginnis, nor did the High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus lodge any objection with us.

7th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have actively sought to ameliorate the embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community in accordance with Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 573 (1974); whether they consider that the resolution continues to be binding; and what measures they have taken to ensure that they have exercised equity and equality in dealing with both communities in Cyprus.

The Government recognises that the status quo in Cyprus causes serious difficulties for Turkish Cypriots, and we support measures aimed at reducing their isolation. We remain committed to supporting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community including through financial aid and trade liberalisation from the EU. At Cyprus' Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council, the UK suggested that measures should be taken to enable Turkish Cypriots to participate effectively in cultural, social and economic life and public affairs. We also support the European Commission’s proposal for a direct trade regulation to enhance the Turkish Cypriot community’s access to EU markets. Disagreements over the legal basis mean that this has unfortunately not yet been agreed.

While resolutions of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly are not legally binding, the hope expressed in Resolution 573 for a lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem remains pertinent today. Indeed, the best way of resolving the challenges faced by both communities is through a comprehensive settlement to end the division of the island. We therefore continue to support strongly UN-led efforts to reunify Cyprus through a lasting and just settlement. The UK supports all communities on the island in their efforts towards this goal.

6th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the 29 December 2014 statement by the Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II in respect of civil and human rights for Turkish Cypriots; what recognition they accord to the role of the Archbishop in Greek Cypriot decision-making; and what impact this statement will have on their current policy towards the Cyprus.

The Government is aware of the statement made on 26 December by Archbishop Chrysostomos II. While we have not made an assessment of that statement, we recognise that the unresolved political situation in Cyprus has also given rise to human rights challenges for both communities and for religious minorities on the island. The recent UN “Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the question of human rights in Cyprus” notes that the persisting division of the island remains an obstacle to the full enjoyment of human rights by all Cypriots. The report concludes that the human rights situation in Cyprus would be greatly improved by the achievement of a comprehensive settlement. The Government shares this assessment.

We recognise the importance of the Church of Cyprus in Greek Cypriot society. Civil society, including religious leaders, can play a vital role in supporting efforts towards reunification by building bridges between communities. Archbishop Chrysostomos II has himself played a role in nurturing inter-faith dialogue, notably through his role in the 2014 Good Friday service in Famagusta.

The Government continues strongly to support UN-led efforts to end the division of the island through a lasting and just settlement.

4th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 24 October (HL2012), what assessment they have made of the impact the public support for the Greek-Cypriot case by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has had on (1) the general perception of their policy on Cyprus, and (2) public confidence in their stated Northern Ireland policy.

We have made no such assessments. Further to my previous reply on 24 October 2014, Official Report, column WA106, the Government’s policy with regards to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus has not changed.

4th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 21 October (HL2010), what ongoing assessment they have made of the status of, and variations in, the human rights of Turkish-Cypriots since the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

We maintain an interest in the human rights situation in Cyprus. Especially since the start of intercommunal tensions, the human rights of Cypriots of both communities have been affected. With regards to Turkish Cypriots, at Cyprus’ recent Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council, the UK suggested that measures should be taken to enable them to participate effectively in cultural, social and economic life and public affairs. We recognise that the political situation has also given rise to human rights challenges for Greek Cypriots and for religious minorities on the island.

The most recent “Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the question of human rights in Cyprus” highlights a number of positive developments, as well as ongoing concerns. The UN notes that the persisting division of the island remains an obstacle to the full enjoyment of human rights by all Cypriots. The report concludes that the human rights situation in Cyprus would be greatly improved by the achievement of a comprehensive settlement. The Government shares this assessment.

4th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 21 October (HL2011), what is the basis for their "genuine hope for a lasting settlement" in Cyprus; and what degree of resolution they consider the United Nations talks process to have achieved since 1975.

The two communities resumed their negotiations on 11 February 2014. The Joint Declaration contains an agreed set of parameters which give clear direction to the negotiators and the leaders. Talks have made progress since then, ordinary citizens on both sides of the Green Line are engaged, and the international community is supportive. There is also an improved appreciation, in Cyprus and in Turkey, of the political, economic, and security benefits of a settlement. The leaders of the two communities, Mr Anastasiades and Mr Eroğlu, have repeatedly confirmed their wish to reunify Cyprus.

The UN-facilitated talks have not yet achieved the ultimate goal of a comprehensive settlement. We are encouraging the communities to maintain their dialogue, so that the UN can continue supporting the Cypriots’ desire to reunify their shared island.

4th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 21 October (HL2011), what tangible support for Turkish-Cypriots they have provided since the Greek-Cypriots’ rejection of the 2004 Annan Plan and the Republic of Cyprus' admittance to the European Union.

I refer the noble Lord to the response the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, the noble Lord Deighton, gave on 7 January 2014 to the noble Lord Sharkey, Official Report, column WA251-WA252.

Since 2004 the Government has funded projects for the Turkish Cypriot community worth a total of approximately £4.2m. These projects have accompanied a sizeable EU aid programme, and have helped prepare the Turkish Cypriots to reach and implement a sustainable and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

27th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 24 October (HL2012), what is their assessment of the conduct over 40 years of the UN-led talks on the Cyprus problem that began in 1975; what impact they consider that the Greek<b>-</b>Cypriot rejection of the United Nation’s Annan Plan in 2004 has had on the right of Turkish-Cypriots to recognition; and on what grounds they still subscribe to an international embargo in respect of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Over the years, variable progress has been made to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. In 2004, the Government assessed that the Annan Plan represented the best available blueprint for settlement. Although the Greek Cypriots did not accept that plan, UN-led efforts continued. We support the current round of talks, which resumed in February on the basis of the Joint Declaration agreed by the two communities. A comprehensive settlement remains the best way to address the concerns of both communities, and for all Cypriots to enjoy the benefits of EU membership.

No country, except Turkey, recognises the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. However, the UK strongly supports the ending of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. We continue to work with European Commission to promote economic development and other opportunities for the Turkish Cypriots. We would also support measures to increase trading opportunities for the Turkish Cypriot community, including across the Green Line.

27th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 24 October (HL2012), on what moral or humanitarian basis they have developed their policies in respect of (1) Bosnians, (2) Palestinians, and (3) Turkish-Cypriots; and what underlying principles are being applied in each case.

UK interests and values remain at the heart of our foreign policy development. We also take into account international law (including human rights treaties and obligations), relevant UN resolutions and applicable provisions of the relevant regional organisations. However, a one-size-fits-all approach to countries or territories, or to groups of countries or regions would fail to recognise the often varied, complex and unique circumstances in which the international community and we are engaged.

27th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari on 25 October, what evidence they have to demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s resumption of direct contact with Iran on 20 February has had a positive effect in reducing capital punishment in Iran; and what are the comparative figures for male and female prisoners executed in Iran during each of the last four 6-month periods.

We were saddened to hear of the execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari, especially as there were questions around due process in her case. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), made a statement on 25 October urging Iran to put a moratorium on all executions.

Obtaining accurate figures on executions in Iran is difficult. The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran reports of 852 executions in Iran between July 2013 and June 2014. However, as the Iranian government does not publicise every execution, it is difficult to obtain reliable figures.

The UK opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, and we will continue to use our bilateral relationship to encourage Iran to improve their human rights situation.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of any relationship between their support for Palestinians’ right to self-determination and their position in respect of Turkish-Cypriots’ rights since 1963, in the light of their status as a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

We have made no such assessment. The historical context for both is very different. The British Government’s long-standing position is that we support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair and agreed settlement for refugees.

On Cyprus, the Government remains committed to supporting the UN's efforts to achieve a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, as a guarantor power under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, they are aware of the Akritis and Ifestos plans advocated by EOAK-B between 1963 and 1974; and what assessment they have made of whether the situation has substantially changed since then.

The British Government recognises the suffering endured by the Turkish and Greek Cypriots as a result of intercommunal violence between 1963 and 1974, a difficult period of history that continues to have an impact on the island today. We believe that there is now genuine hope for a lasting settlement, and will continue to support both communities and the UN in facilitating that Settlement.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, during his recent discussions with President Rouhani, the Prime Minister raised the issue of human rights in Iran and the imprisonment of Ghoncheh Ghavami for attending a men’s volleyball match; and, if so, whether the matter has been followed up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), raised the treatment of UK/Iranian dual nationals, including the case of Ms Ghoncheh Ghavami, during his meeting with President Rouhani on 24 September. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), also raised the matter with Foreign Minister Zarif on 22 September. Since then, our non-resident Chargé d’Affaires has raised the case with his Iranian counterpart on a number of occasions.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the public support of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for the Greek-Cypriot cause reflects the Cabinet’s position in respect of Cyprus; and, if not, what action they intend to take.

The UK remains committed to supporting the UN's efforts to achieve a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions. We will continue to encourage the leaders of both communities to keep up the momentum on the talks which restarted in February this year.

14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 9 July (WA 44), whether any Foreign Secretary has, since 1974, hosted any senior elected representative of the Turkish Cypriot tradition.

This information is not held centrally and to collate it would incur disproportionate cost. However, we are aware that the then Foreign Secretary, the right Hon. Member for Blackburn (North West) (Mr Straw), met Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Talat in London in July 2004. Mr Talat also met the then Prime Minister, the right Hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown), in London in December 2009. Ministers have frequently met elected leaders of the Turkish Cypriot community when visiting Cyprus.

14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 9 July (WA 44), how their "full support for the goal of reunification" of Cyprus creates a practical working basis for a solution; and what consideration they have given within that policy in respect of resolving the legacy of EOKA-B activity prior to the Turkish intervention in 1974.

The leaders of the two Cypriot communities agreed the basis for a solution in their Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014. We fully support them in turning that set of principles and parameters into the reality of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality.

The UK’s approach on Cyprus is unrelated to the past activities of EOKA-B. The British Government recognises the difficult history of Cyprus, but we will continue to urge both sides to look forward towards a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement.

14th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 9 July (WA 44), whether their "policy on recognition" remains a negative one; and how such a policy contributes to "renewed efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement".

The UK recognises the Republic of Cyprus. Like all other states, except Turkey, we do not recognise the self-proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". It is for the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement on how to live together on their shared island. It is on that basis that the UN has supported the two communities in their negotiations since 1977. This approach is in line with our international commitments, and we will continue to support UN efforts to facilitate a comprehensive and lasting settlement.

1st Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports in the Cypriot media that the President of the Republic of Cyprus or his Foreign Minister have rebuked countries whose ambassadors have consulted with the TRNC's Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami, whether this has included the United Kingdom's High Commissioner; and, if so, whether they have issued or intend to issue any reprimand.

On 1 July 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus circulated, to all accredited diplomatic missions including the British High Commission, a Note Verbale concerning meetings and contacts with the Turkish Cypriot community. We have not issued, and do not intend to issue, any formal response.

We consider it important to maintain a range of contacts across both Cypriot communities, particularly in the context of renewed efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement. The UK's good relations and long-standing contacts with the Turkish Cypriot community are maintained in a way which is consistent with our policy on recognition, and in full support of the goal of reunification.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the closure of bank accounts belonging to the Core Issues Trust by Barclays Bank; and what steps they are taking to ensure that bank accounts are not closed as a result of any unfair bias or unlawful discrimination against Christian organisations.

Decisions about whether to provide specific products or services to individuals or businesses remain commercial decisions for banks, building societies and alternative finance providers. It would therefore be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in these decisions.

The Government believes that any dispute arising between financial services firms and their customers is usually best resolved by the parties involved. Should a customer be dissatisfied with a firm’s response to their complaint, then they may wish to consider an approach to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The government established the FOS to provide a free, independent dispute resolution service for bank customers, including eligible small businesses.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all regulations relating to the actions that banks are legally required to take when there has been unauthorised or fraudulent activity on a customer’s account also apply to building societies.

Banks and building societies are both regarded as credit institutions under the EU Capital Requirements Regulation. As such, where there are obligations for unauthorised or fraudulent activity in relation to a credit institution, these apply equally to banks and building societies, unless stated otherwise.

Every industry has a role to play in protecting themselves and their customers from fraud - from keeping their customers’ personal and card payment details safe, to ensuring they have adequate mechanisms in place to spot and stop fraudulent transactions. The scale of fraud requires a unified response with the private sector, particularly the banking industry, retailers, telecommunications industry and social media companies.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
29th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money UK banks have reported as having been stolen from customer accounts through hacking in each of the last three financial years.

UK Finance collects voluntary information on fraudulent transactions in the finance sector, which is published on their website.

Gross losses from unauthorised fraudulent transactions going back to 2012 have been published in UK Finance’s “2017 Annual Fraud Update”.

29th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether banking laws and regulations apply consistently across all regions of the UK.

Financial services, including banking, is generally a reserved matter under the devolution settlements for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The majority of banking laws and regulations therefore apply consistently across all regions of the UK.

29th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what statutory reporting systems banks in the UK are subject to in respect of money stolen from customer accounts through hacking.

Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, both the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have powers that require regulated firms to report to them when that firm suffers operational disruption from a cyber attack.

Under the European Banking Authority’s Payment Services Directive 2 regulation, firms are also required to report operational or security disruption of payments services to the Financial Conduct Authority.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the Tobacco Manufacturing Association's recent survey finding that over 70 per cent of tobacco used in the UK is obtained from illicit sources abroad; and what is their assessment of the impact of that finding on health and tax revenues.

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association survey reports that 72.5% of smokers purchased tobacco from non-UK duty paid sources. This included legitimate cross-border shopping, which provided it is for personal use, is not subject to UK duty. Therefore, this is not a direct measurement of the illicit market or tax gap.

HMRC publishes annual estimates of the tobacco illicit market on the GOV.UK website. Its latest estimate of revenue losses associated with illicit tobacco was £2.4 billion in 2015-16.

Tackling illicit tobacco, which undermines government taxation and public health policy is a government priority. Since 2000, when the government launched its first strategy to tackle illicit tobacco, the percentage tax gap for cigarettes has reduced in 2015-16 from 22% to 13% and for hand-rolling tobacco from 61% to 32%.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have about whether French border patrol ships are systematically monitoring or shadowing migrant boats across the English Channel into UK waters; and what that evidence shows, if anything, about the outcome when such boats reach the English coast.

Border Force vessels covering the South East Channel are usually tasked to identify migrant events by the Coastguard, with the priority being search and rescue and the safety of life. Border Force work closely with the Coastguard and French authorities to ensure we provide an effective response to migrant events at sea. Migrants undertaking these dangerous journeys in unsuitable and overloaded small boats are putting the lives of themselves and others at considerable risk and the priority for all assets deployed at sea is safety.

At sea, under international law, the preservation of life is paramount. In some cases, French boats will remain with migrants if they refuse rescue. But we are clear no-one should be crossing at all and we are developing plans to reform policies and laws to help to stop these crossings completely.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal migrants coming to the UK via France were apprehended by UK authorities (1) since the COVID-19 lock-down began, and (2) in each month since May 2018; and what percentage of those apprehended in each of those months have been successfully repatriated.

We do not routinely publish the information you have requested, we are unable to provide this information, as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The number of migrants arriving in the UK crossing the Channel by small boats for the months of January to March 2020 is approx. 450.? These are provisional figures based on operational management information. The figures for April and May have not passed through a data quality check and cannot be assured. The final figures for all months will be published at a later date, once they have been verified and fully quality assured.

The UK continues to work closely with France and other countries to return migrants who have entered the UK by small boat in order to provide a strong deterrent against these dangerous crossings.

Since January 2019, over 155 people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe. However, as a result of COVID-19 the vast majority of EU member states have temporarily paused accepting returns under the Dublin Regulations, but we are tracking those individuals and where appropriate will seek to return them when routes are available

It is the policy of this Government to return those not in need of protection.

The majority of countries who are signatories to the?Dublin?Regulations which governs the return of those seeking asylum in the UK to a third country have announced temporary suspension of transfers to and from all EU Member States due to the Corona virus.

Returns?to third-countries can still take place where there is a suitable route of return.

We are ready to resume?Dublin?returns?as soon as travel restrictions are lifted

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets). Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin regulation.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’ (attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Full guidance on Dublin III Regulation was published on 30/04/2020 and can be found via the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882400/Dublin-III-regulation-v3.0ext.pdf

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) whether France has taken effective action to apprehend those who accommodate illegal migration to the UK, and (2) how many arrests and convictions of such people traffickers have been recorded and reported by France over the past two years.

The Home Office liaises directly with the French Interior Ministry on addressing the issue of illegal migration, engaging at an official, diplomatic level and supported at an operational level through regular UK-French Migration Committees.

Through joint-working with France, the UK has funded the continued deployment of French law enforcement along the coast of northern France, who are patrolling constantly in order to detect attempted crossings by migrants. Funding has been allocated, among other projects, for further security improvements at ports in northern France and on the ground, which includes drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop small boats leaving European shores.

Intelligence flows are also key to dismantling the organised crime groups behind crossings. We have restructured and repurposed our approach to support to better inform and direct how and where law enforcement is deployed.

We do not hold data on French arrests and convictions.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial payments the UK has made to France to assist in the prevention of illegal migration in each of the last five financial years.

The UK and France maintain a longstanding relationship on tackling illegal migration at the shared border; since 2015 the UK has committed several funding packages to supporting this work. In 2015, both countries signed a Joint Declaration which committed £10 million towards security reviews of the juxtaposed controls and to moving migrants into reception centres across France. This was followed by payments in 2016 (£17 million) and 2017 (£36 million) to further strengthen the border and maintain the operation of the juxtaposed controls.

In January 2018 both countries signed the Sandhurst Treaty. The UK made a commitment of €50 million (£45.5m) to implement the terms of the Treaty, which adopted a “whole of route approach” to tackling illegal migration. This was followed in 2019 by the signature of the Joint Action Plan on Combatting Illegal Migration Involving Small Boats. Under paragraph 11 of this plan, the UK committed €3.6m (approximately £3.25m) to tackling the issue. This was supplemented with a further €2.5m (£2.25m) in the 19/20 Financial Year, which was dedicated to the deployment of gendarme reservists and further strengthening preventive security measures at the French coast.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017 (HL3), 15 September 2017 (HL1448), and 13 October 2017 (HL1671), and by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 21 December 2017 (HL3975), 16 March 2018 (HL6045), 20 November 2018 (HL11393 and HL11394), and 17 May (HL15556), what has been the total number of criminal charges for electoral abuse in (1) Northern Ireland, and (2) elsewhere in the UK, since 2010.

The Home Office holds data for the outcomes of crimes recorded by police forces in England and Wales.

Since 2010 there have been 231 known recorded charges for the Home Office criminal offence codes which cover crimes related to electoral abuse.
This does not include offences of tampering with nomination or ballot papers which cannot be separately identified in the data held centrally.

As policing is a devolved matter, data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are not held by the Home Office.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the authority of Nottinghamshire Police to categorise wolf-whistling as a hate crime rather than a public nuisance; and whether they consider that such a decision may derogate from the seriousness of classification of hate crime.

The five strands of monitored hate crime (race, religion, sexual orientation transgender identity and disability) are the minimum categories that police officers and staff are ex-pected to record. There are, however, many other groups in society who have been targeted with hostility and crime. Any specific incidents of Hate Crime are an operational matter for the police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to refuse the Home Office the right to deport six individuals, allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, to Algeria; and what is their current assessment of the total cost implications of complying with that ruling without further appeal.

The Government is disappointed by the 18 April 2016 decision of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission which relates to cases dating back over ten years.

There are no separately identifiable costs for complying with that ruling.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what, if any, extra security measures are being implemented, and at what cost, following the decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to refuse the Home Office the right to deport six individuals, allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, to Algeria.

We do not comment on security matters. However national security remains our primary consideration and we have taken, and will continue to take, all necessary measures to protect our national security.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the Islamic doctrine of hijrah for the United Kingdom and Europe in the context of increased migration from the Middle East and North Africa; and whether in the light of that assessment increased resources are being given to police and security agencies within the United Kingdom to manage any potential threat.

We work closely with our European partners to assess the threat we face from terrorism and to respond appropriately. This includes ensuring that appropriate screening processes are in place where necessary with regard to individuals entering and exiting our borders.

A Written Ministerial Statement in December 2013 confirmed that the police counter terrorism resource budget would be at least £564 million for 2014-15. A further Written Ministerial Statement in December 2014 confirmed at least the same amount would be available for 2015-16. In addition, HM Treasury has increased funding in 2015-16 for counter terrorism policing by a further £14.9 million to strengthen our capabilities in response to the increased threat from terrorism.

In the Summer Budget this year, the Chancellor announced that counter terrorism spending will be protected in real terms for the 2016/17 - 2020/21 Spending Review period. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing the resources needed to tackle threats from terrorism.

18th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to consider further the banning of the use of masks by demonstrators in order to avoid identification; and what assessment they have made of the current policy's impact on police forces and members of the community.

Face coverings can be worn in public places for a variety of legitimate reasons. In the context of a public order situation, where face coverings are being worn with the express intention of concealing identity, section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 enables a police officer in uniform to require any person to remove any item which the officer reasonably believes is being worn wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing their identity. Section 60AA also enables a police officer in uniform to seize any item which they reasonably believe any person intends to use to conceal their identity.

A refusal to comply with a direction under this section of the Act is punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 and/or one month’s imprisonment.

These powers only apply in the locality and for the period for which an authorisation under section 60 or section 60AA of the Act has been given by a police officer of the rank of inspector or above. An inspector’s authorisation lasts for a maximum period of 24 hours, unless a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above authorises their use for a further 24 hours.

There are currently no plans to ban the use of masks in public order situations.

12th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Christian street preachers have been (1) arrested and questioned, (2) charged with an offence, and (3) convicted, in each year from 2010; why Christian preaching in public may be deemed offensive; whether similar measures are applied to other religions; and if so, whether they will provide comparable statistics.

The Home Office does not hold information on arrests and convictions in relation to Christian or other religious preachers.

We have a proud history in this country of allowing free speech. Speakers must stay within the law and the police have comprehensive powers to take action against those who glorify terrorism or stir up hatred on the grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation. The right to free speech must be balanced with the right of others to not be caused harassment, alarm or distress.

The law provides equal protection for all ethnic and religious groups, and applies to crimes that are committed both offline and online, including through social media.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, following the United States removal of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) from the list of foreign terrorist organisations and a French court’s dismissal of terrorism and financial misconduct charges, they will lift the bar on Maryam Rajavi visiting the United Kingdom.

The Home Office do not routinely comment on individual cases. The Home Office has obligations in law to protect this information. This case is also subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any member of (1) the British Armed Forces, and (2) a police force, has been sent on a leadership course run by Common Purpose; and, if so, (a) how many during each of the last 20 years, and (b) for what reason.

Information about the courses attended by the British Armed Forces personnel during the last 20 years is not held in a way which would allow a fuller answer without incuring disproportionate cost. Some records, however, show that between 2014 and 2019 six Army officers, one in each year, attended leadership development courses provided by Common Purpose. The RAF and the Royal Navy have not used programmes run by Common Purpose to train personnel.

Some individuals may have undertaken training with this company during their resettlement period on leaving the Services. The comprehensive leadership skills and qualifications attained in the Armed Forces means that such training is rarely considered necessary


Confirming this would require manually checking all service leavers’ Joint Personnel Administration records to identify, retrieve and collate the details. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

No information is held centrally by the Home Office about external courses attended by individual police officers. Police training and development is a matter for the College of Policing and for police forces locally.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average compensation paid to the families of British servicemen killed by EOKA; whether the government of Greece has paid any compensation to those families; and what assessment they have made of the government of Greece’s support for EOKA.

The families of British Service personnel killed by EOKA will have received payments in accordance with the rules of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and the War Pension Scheme in force at the time. This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We are not aware that the government of Greece made any such payments to those families.

Her Majesty's Government’s focus is now upon a forward looking and positive relationship with an important partner for the UK in eastern Mediterranean security. The UK and Greece work closely together across a range of issues, including irregular migration and tackling organised immigration crime.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
29th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what basis they have paid £1 million in compensation to 33 former members of EOKA; on whose authority such a payment was made; and what assessment they have made of the impact of that compensation payment on the families of the British servicemen killed by EOKA.

The Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, without admission of liability, have settled the claims in order to draw a line under this litigation, to avoid the further escalation of costs, which would ultimately be borne by the taxpayer, and focus on future relations with Cyprus. This course of action was authorised by Ministers in both Departments.

Her Majesty’s Government reaffirms its highest respect for the memory and sacrifice of British and Cypriot Service personnel and employees of the Crown who gave their lives, who lost family members or loved ones, or whose lives suffered permanent disruption as a result of the Emergency.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
3rd Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Astor of Hever on 2 December 2014 (HL3199) and 20 January 2015 (HL3958), whether, and to what extent, the change in the administration of the Wayne’s Keep service and their lack of representation at the Girne Remembrance Sunday services is the result of diplomatic concessions.

There has been no change in the administration of the United Nations service of Remembrance at Wayne's Keep in Nicosia, which continues to be organised by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). As Wayne's Keep is located in the UN Buffer Zone, UNFICYP makes the arrangements so that relatives and guests can visit the cemetery. It remains a matter for UNFICYP to determine the guest list for the annual United Nations Remembrance Sunday Service. The British Government continues to commemorate all UK Service personnel killed in Cyprus at this event.

3rd Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Astor of Hever on 2 December 2014 (HL3199) and 20 January (HL3958), why, and since when, they have transferred the administration of the Remembrance Sunday events at Wayne’s Keep in Cyprus to UNFICYP; why family members of those who died during the Cyprus Emergency were not invited, or their attendance facilitated; and why they do not support the accessible Memorial Service at the British Cemetery in Girne where family members and regimental representatives are able to be present.

There has been no change in the administration of the United Nations service of Remembrance at Wayne's Keep in Nicosia, which continues to be organised by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). As Wayne's Keep is located in the UN Buffer Zone, UNFICYP makes the arrangements so that relatives and guests can visit the cemetery. It remains a matter for UNFICYP to determine the guest list for the annual United Nations Remembrance Sunday Service. The British Government continues to commemorate all UK Service personnel killed in Cyprus at this event.

26th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government who carried out the annual wreath-laying at Wayne’s Keep on the Cyprus Green Line on Armistice Sunday this year; how many attended the event; whether there was any religious element to the event; and how many relatives were invited and attended.

The British High Commissioner laid a wreath on behalf of the British Government at the Armistice Sunday ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Wayne's Keep in Nicosia on 9 November 2014. Approximately 270 guests attended the service, which was led by three padres from the United Nations personnel based there. No relatives of the deceased were formally invited to the ceremony and we do not believe any attended the event.

20th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any provision comparable to that made by the United States towards the creation and retention of a service dedicated to cyber warfare technology; and whether there is a services' cyber commander in post.

The United Kingdom’s approach to military cyber operations recognises that the contemporary operating environment now requires commanders at every level to understand cyberspace. The Ministry of Defence is therefore mainstreaming cyber throughout the Department and the Armed Forces to ensure that every part of Defence sees cyberspace as part of their responsibilities. For those elements of Defence that are cyber specialists, the Chief of the Defence Staff has issued direction to the four star commander of the Joint Forces Command appointing him as the Joint Commander for the planning and conduct of Defence’s cyber operations. Responsibility is delegated through the Chief of Defence Intelligence to the Joint Forces Cyber Group, who plan and direct the activities of our Joint Cyber Units. The Senior Responsible Owner for the integration of Cyber across Defence is the two star Director of Cyber Intelligence and Information Integration.

15th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend at any point to send a Minister to observe Armistice Day at the British Cyprus Memorial in Kyrenia; and if not, why not.

There are currently no plans to do so. The British Government will continue to be represented by the High Commissioner at the annual ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Wayne’s Keep in Nicosia, where we commemorate all UK Service personnel killed in Cyprus.

7th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many serving officers in the armed forces have attended Common Purpose courses during each year since 2010; and at what total cost for each year.

Common Purpose has not been used by the RAF or the Royal Navy to train officers between 2010 and 2014. One Army Officer attended the Common Purpose CSC Leaders Global Leadership Programme in 2014, at a cost of £6,000.

Some individuals may have undertaken training with this company during their resettlement period. However, the comprehensive leadership skills and qualifications attained in the Armed Forces means that such training is rarely considered necessary.

Confirming this would require manually checking all service leavers’ Joint Personnel Administration records to identify, retrieve and collate the details. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review their decision to dismiss Sir Roger Scruton from his post as Chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, in the light of reports that his opinions have been misrepresented.

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is an independent body that will advise Government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new-build homes and neighbourhoods. In the light of the recent decision to discontinue the role of Sir Roger Scruton as Chair of the Commission, the Secretary of State will be selecting and announcing a new Chair in due course. In the meantime, the work of the Commission will continue with Nicholas Boys Smith as interim Chair, with the aim of producing an interim report to the Secretary of State in July and final report in December.

10th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what stage they have reached in their consideration of amending legislation in order to ensure that convicted murderers who persist in refusing to reveal the location of bodies of victims are prevented from being released on parole; and when they expect to introduce legislation to that effect.

I can sympathise with the anguish caused to the families of victims where the whereabouts of their loved one is unknown and the offender wilfully fails to co-operate. Such behaviour is already taken into account by the court when sentencing the offender, and by the independent Parole Board when assessing an offender’s eligibility for possible release. The Prisons Minister has written to the Parole Board asking it to consider reviewing its guidelines on this issue.

20th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, as a consequence of the Lord Chancellor’s disciplinary ruling in the case of Richard Page JP, they will indicate how they intend to ensure that those in public office find no hindrance in expressing, promoting or practising Christian morals and principles as a result of the Government's equality policies.

Her Majesty’s Government’s firm view is that Christianity is a very important part of our society and national culture. The Lord Chancellor is himself a strong defender of Christian freedom of expression, and is categorical that a judicial office holder would never be, and has not been, disciplined solely on the basis of their religious views.

The disciplinary ruling in the case of Richard Page JP reflected the long-standing principle that cases before any court in the land are decided wholly on their facts, not on personal beliefs. This essential tenet for any fair and impartial justice system, and the oath magistrates take upon appointment has been in place since 1868 for that very reason.

This Government has actively promoted the great Christian heritage of this country and believes that Christianity plays a vital role in our national life and that faith inspires people to become involved in public service including providing help to those in need.

13th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the Law Society about its practice note on Sharia-compliant wills.

Her Majesty’s Government has not made any representations to the Law Society about its practice note on Sharia-compliant wills.

The legal profession is independent of government, and is regulated by Approved Regulators, for which the Legal Services Board (LSB) has oversight responsibility. The Approved Regulators and LSB are also independent of government, as are the bodies which deal with complaints about those in the legal profession.

18th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the allegations made regarding expert witnesses in the BBC Panorama programme Justice for Sale, broadcast on 9 June, they will review and publish a list of the occasions on which the expert witnesses identified in that programme gave evidence under oath in criminal trials since June 2010.

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service does not record which experts are called to give evidence in trials, and this information is therefore not available.

18th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the allegations made regarding expert witnesses in the BBC Panorama programme Justice for Sale, broadcast on 9 June, they intend to revise the rules regarding the use of expert witnesses in criminal trials.

There is no place in the justice system for corrupt expert witnesses. Those who are found guilty can face prosecution for perjury, or for perverting the course of justice which carries the maximum penalty of a life sentence.

Following the Government's response to the Law Commission's report into Expert Evidence, the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee was asked to make changes to the Rules which will clarify the duties of expert witnesses and remind the parties, and the courts, of the vital importance of distinguishing between those conclusions that expert evidence can support, and those which it cannot. The Committee has agreed to do so and I expect these new Rules to come into force in October.

1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to (1) reports that the Northern Ireland Executive has failed to implement the Victims’ Payment Scheme for victims of terrorism successfully, and (2) the UK’s historical responsibility and involvement in the 1969–1994 counter terrorism campaign in Northern Ireland, what plans they have to take direct responsibility for the implementation and operation of that Scheme.

The Government provided a legislative framework for this scheme in the absence of an Executive and the Executive must now deliver. The Government is taking this matter very seriously and we are extremely disappointed by the current delay.

The Executive needs to designate a department that can own the policy and implement the scheme so that applications can be processed and payments made to victims. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland remains in regular contact with the First and deputy First Ministers on progress towards this priority.

We do not recognise the relevance of the reference to “the UK’s historical responsibility and involvement in the 1969–1994 counter terrorism campaign in Northern Ireland” in relation to delivery of the Victims Payment scheme. The Executive committed to “find a way forward” on this issue in 2014. We have provided that way forward. This is clearly a devolved matter and it is imperative that the Executive sets aside its political differences and delivers for victims.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what lessons they learnt from the (1) process followed by, and (2) conclusions of, the Iraq Historic Allegations Team; whether any such lessons are applicable to any ongoing investigations into soldiers who served in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1994; and what plans they have, if any, to establish a similar team to oversee any such investigations.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made clear that the Government is committed to introducing legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles. This legislation will place information recovery and reconciliation at the heart of a revised legacy system that puts victims first. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has begun the process of engaging key partners on a way forward which will focus on reconciliation, delivering for victims and ensuring that all Service Personnel who served in Northern Ireland are treated as fairly as those who served overseas.

Where appropriate, we will draw on the lessons from the Iraq Historic Allegations Team. In Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, the Armed Forces acted in support of the civil powers, within the UK. This is different to military action outside the UK.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who authorised the payment to a civil servant as a result of offence allegedly caused by a royal portrait on display in the Northern Ireland Office; from which Department's budget that money came; whether that civil servant remains employed by the Northern Ireland Office; and if so, in what role.

It would not be appropriate to comment on an individual case. Any compensation payments made by the Northern Ireland Office would be dealt with in line with the guidance in Managing Public Money.

Information on employees’ personal data is sensitive, so I am unable to provide any details on staff members’ current employment or otherwise.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
1st Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Lord Duncan of Springbank on 27 June (HL16506), whether they will now answer the question put, namely whether the appointment of Lindy Cameron as a new Director General at the Northern Ireland Office was a Foreign and Commonwealth Office initiative; what discussions they had with the government of the Republic of Ireland prior to that appointment; and whether they will place a non-redacted copy of the mission-statement for that post in the Library of the House.

Pursuant to my response of 27 June, the appointment of the Northern Ireland Office’s Director General was a routine civil service appointment approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. It was not a Foreign and Commonwealth Office initiative nor were there, and nor would it have been appropriate to have had, prior discussions about this appointment with the Irish Government.

In line with the procedures for routine civil service appointments there is no ‘mission-statement’; however I will arrange for an unredacted copy of the job description to be placed in the Library of the House.

19th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the appointment of Lindy Cameron as a new Director General at the Northern Ireland Office was a Foreign and Commonwealth Office initiative; what discussions they had with the government of the Republic of Ireland prior to that appointment; and whether they will place a non-redacted copy of the mission-statement for that post in the Library of the House.

The appointment of a new Director General to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Permanent Secretary of the Northern Ireland Office was a Northern Ireland Office initiative, made in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines and with established protocols for Senior Civil Service appointments at this grade. This appointment was approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and salaries of the senior management team are published in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts.

6th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish a detailed job description for the Director General of the Northern Ireland Office and their annual salary.

The Northern Ireland Office appointed a new Director General to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Permanent Secretary at a challenging time for Northern Ireland and the wider UK. The appointment was made in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines and approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and salaries of the senior management team are published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts.

6th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consulted the government of the Republic of Ireland on the appointment of the new Director General of the Northern Ireland Office; and which UK political parties, if any, they consulted.

The Northern Ireland Office appointed a new Director General to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Permanent Secretary at a challenging time for Northern Ireland and the wider UK. The appointment was made in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines and approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and salaries of the senior management team are published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts.

6th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the business case for appointing a new Director General in the Northern Ireland Office; who approved the business case; and to whom the Director General will report.

The Northern Ireland Office appointed a new Director General to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Permanent Secretary at a challenging time for Northern Ireland and the wider UK. The appointment was made in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines and approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and salaries of the senior management team are published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts.

6th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the process for the appointment of a new Director General in the Northern Ireland Office; and what was the cost of that process.

The Northern Ireland Office appointed a new Director General to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Permanent Secretary at a challenging time for Northern Ireland and the wider UK. The appointment was made in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines and approved by the Civil Service Senior Leadership Committee and Cabinet Secretary. Roles, responsibilities and salaries of the senior management team are published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts.

7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many registered voters applied for proxy votes in each local government district in Northern Ireland elections on 2 May; and what percentage of the (1) total electorate, and (2) votes cast, that represents in each of those districts.

The information below has been provided by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland. The table shows how many proxy votes were applied for in each local government district for the local elections in Northern Ireland on 2 May and what this represents as a percentage of (a) the total electorate and (b) the votes polled in each of those districts.

Local Council

Total Proxy

Eligible Electorate*

% Eligible Electorate

Total Votes Polled*

% Votes Polled

Antrim and Newtownabbey

205

98,899

0.21%

48,526

0.42%

Ards and North Down

150

116,536

0.13%

50,866

0.29%

Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon

414

147,977

0.28%

79,309

0.52%

Belfast

1533

224,628

0.68%

114,664

1.34%

Causeway Coast and Glens

575

98,930

0.58%

51,212

1.12%

Derry and Strabane

1174

107,975

1.09%

61,798

1.90%

Fermanagh and Omagh

1601

84,313

1.90%

52,620

3.04%

Lisburn and Castlereagh

127

102,151

0.12%

50,747

0.25%

Mid and East Antrim

227

98,410

0.23%

47,383

0.48%

Mid Ulster

1090

100,238

1.09%

60,180

1.81%

Newry Mourne and Down

986

125,496

0.79%

70,428

1.40%

Totals

8082

1,305,553

-

687,733

-

*Source: https://www.eoni.org.uk/getmedia/8b059a6e-c7bc-4644-ae35-9dbf293d0665/Local-Council-Elections-2019-Turnout-final

7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposal by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 19 March (HL Deb, col 1408) that the Department of the Economy Northern Ireland would establish a unit under independent chairmanship, to examine the case of every individual who has received funds from the Renewable Heat Incentive initiative and believes they have experienced hardship, whether that proposal has been implemented; if so, who has been appointed as chairman; what appointment criteria were applied to any such appointment; and whether the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland discussed this appointment with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Economy Northern Ireland.

The Department for the Economy has undertaken to set up an RHI Hardship Unit. They repeated this commitment during their evidence session to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 8th May. Given the complexities and skill-sets required, the Department is currently considering an independent panel rather than just an independent chair. As this is a devolved matter it will be for the Department for the Economy to set the necessary criteria, and ensure that the Hardship Unit is made up of suitably qualified and independent members. The Department plans for the panel to have its first sitting by the end of the summer.

30th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 April (HL14966 and HL14967), whether they will answer the questions originally put instead of referring to a website.

As health is a devolved matter, the appropriate body to respond to questions on the detail of medical practices, and the owner of health statistics in Northern Ireland, is the NI Department of Health. The UK Government does not hold or have access to the additional statistics asked for (beyond those already provided), as this policy area is devolved.

29th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 April (HL14966 and HL14967), how many patients per General Practice in Northern Ireland there (1) are currently, and (2) were in 2010.

Health is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, has asked that such detailed questions be sent to the department. I therefore request that the Noble Lord contact Mr Pengelly directly. His email is:

richard.pengelly@health-ni.gov.uk.

29th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 April (HL14966 and HL14967), how many General Practices there (1) are currently, and (2) were in 2010, in Northern Ireland.

Health is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, has asked that such detailed questions be sent to the department. I therefore request that the Noble Lord contact Mr Pengelly directly. His email is:

richard.pengelly@health-ni.gov.uk.

29th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 April (HL14966 and HL14967), how many (1) full-time GPs, and (2) part-time locum GPs (a) are currently employed, and (b) were employed in 2010, by the Northern Ireland Health Service.

Health is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, has asked that such detailed questions be sent to the department. I therefore request that the Noble Lord contact Mr Pengelly directly. His email is:

richard.pengelly@health-ni.gov.uk.

1st Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information and guidance the Department of Health, Northern Ireland, has issued to individual patients belonging to General Practices in Northern Ireland that have given notice of impending closure.

Health is the responsibility of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and figures relating to GP closures and mergers are available on the website of the Health and Social Care Board. Although there have been a small number of closures, the average number of patients per practice has increased and the number of GPs has increased. Some practices have merged in order to provide a broader range of services.

1st Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government which NHS General Practices in Northern Ireland have ceased to function as such in each of the last three years; how many patients belonged to those Practices; which NHS General Practices in Northern Ireland have currently given notice that they intend to cease to function; and how many patients will be affected in each of those Practices.

Health is the responsibility of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and figures relating to GP closures and mergers are available on the website of the Health and Social Care Board. Although there have been a small number of closures, the average number of patients per practice has increased and the number of GPs has increased. Some practices have merged in order to provide a broader range of services.

27th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 19 March (HL Deb, col 1408), what progress they have made in appointing an independent chairman to examine the case of every individual who received funds from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and experienced hardship as a result of that scheme.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) delivers the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme in Northern Ireland. The £1.3bn figure was the DfE estimate assuming a scenario of the original 2012 tariffs remaining unchanged. It is of course now no longer relevant as these tariffs no longer apply.

On the combining of Rates and RHI into one Bill; Parliamentary Counsel advised last year that this was an appropriate pairing for these measures. Given the current pressures on Parliamentary time, and the limit on available legislative slots, we adopted exactly the same approach this year.

I welcome the commitment made by the Department for the Economy to appoint an independent chair to examine the cases of individuals who received funds from the RHI initiative and believe they have experienced hardship. The appointment of the Chair is a matter for that Department, but we will continue to work closely with DfE on this important matter.

27th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they combined the collection of regional rates in Northern Ireland and the administration of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme under the Northern Ireland (Regional Rates and Energy) Act 2019; and whether the Northern Ireland Office or the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was responsible for that decision.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) delivers the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme in Northern Ireland. The £1.3bn figure was the DfE estimate assuming a scenario of the original 2012 tariffs remaining unchanged. It is of course now no longer relevant as these tariffs no longer apply.

On the combining of Rates and RHI into one Bill; Parliamentary Counsel advised last year that this was an appropriate pairing for these measures. Given the current pressures on Parliamentary time, and the limit on available legislative slots, we adopted exactly the same approach this year.

I welcome the commitment made by the Department for the Economy to appoint an independent chair to examine the cases of individuals who received funds from the RHI initiative and believe they have experienced hardship. The appointment of the Chair is a matter for that Department, but we will continue to work closely with DfE on this important matter.

27th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will re-examine the estimated £1.3 billion cost of the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to the public purse over a 20 year period; how that figure was calculated; whether it was inflated; and if so, why.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) delivers the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme in Northern Ireland. The £1.3bn figure was the DfE estimate assuming a scenario of the original 2012 tariffs remaining unchanged. It is of course now no longer relevant as these tariffs no longer apply.

On the combining of Rates and RHI into one Bill; Parliamentary Counsel advised last year that this was an appropriate pairing for these measures. Given the current pressures on Parliamentary time, and the limit on available legislative slots, we adopted exactly the same approach this year.

I welcome the commitment made by the Department for the Economy to appoint an independent chair to examine the cases of individuals who received funds from the RHI initiative and believe they have experienced hardship. The appointment of the Chair is a matter for that Department, but we will continue to work closely with DfE on this important matter.

29th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the total continuing payment to Members of the Legislative Assembly in each party in the Northern Ireland Assembly since the Assembly ceased to function; and what has been the overall payment to each of those party's staff during that period.

The budget for the payment of salaries to MLAs, along with the associated financial figures, is held by the Assembly Commission. This is the corporate body of the NI Assembly. They are the appropriate body to advise on exact figures paid. Details of this expenditure are not held by the Northern Ireland Office.

29th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 29 January (HL13010), whether the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland meets Northern Ireland-based peers as a group; if not, why not; and what assessment they have made of the contribution those peers can make using their collective experience of (1) the period since 1994, and (2) the 1998 Belfast Agreement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the whole Ministerial team recognise the huge contribution of this group of Peers. Indeed I have paid tribute to them on the floor of this House so it is a matter of record. The Secretary of State holds meetings to hear views and advice from interested peers and those with experience in NI issues, and will continue to do so. Due to the large volume of engagements that the Secretary of State is obliged to undertake, I, as per my ministerial role, lead on the day to day engagement with peers and therefore regularly meet this group of peers.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government how often the current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has met those members of the House of Lords who are based in Northern Ireland as a group; and if she has not met them, whether there is a reason for this.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland meets regularly with parliamentarians from across both Houses to discuss matters relating to Northern Ireland.

12th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017, 15 September 2017, and 2 October 2017 (HL3, HL1448, and HL1671) and the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 21 Dec 2017 (HL3975), what assessment they have made of the risk of abuse of the electoral system in future elections in (1) Northern Ireland, and (2) elsewhere in the UK; and what steps they are taking to mitigate that risk.

Proxy and postal voting is a permitted part of elections. Any allegations of electoral fraud are referred to the PSNI, and the Chief Electoral Officer has made clear that she is content that applications are processed and approved in accordance with the law. The Chief Electoral Officer has also made it clear that she has seen no evidence of systematic electoral abuse.

The Government continues to consult with key stakeholders and keeps electoral legislation under review. We are committed to tackling possible abuse through a number of measures including piloting voter ID in Great Britain, supporting the Private Member’s Postal Voting Bill and consulting on the recommendations of the Committee of Standards in Public Life relating to intimidation of Parliamentary candidates and other public office-holders.

12th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017, 15 September 2017, and 2 October 2017 (HL3, HL1448, and HL1671) and the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 21 Dec 2017 (HL3975), what assessment they have made of the case for (1) increased safeguards against organised abuse of the electoral system in Northern Ireland to take account of the 2017 figure for proxy vote applications being 555 per cent of that in 2010, and (2) a further review of absent voting procedures by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

Proxy and postal voting is a permitted part of elections. Any allegations of electoral fraud are referred to the PSNI, and the Chief Electoral Officer has made clear that she is content that applications are processed and approved in accordance with the law. The Chief Electoral Officer has also made it clear that she has seen no evidence of systematic electoral abuse.

The Government continues to consult with key stakeholders and keeps electoral legislation under review. We are committed to tackling possible abuse through a number of measures including piloting voter ID in Great Britain, supporting the Private Member’s Postal Voting Bill and consulting on the recommendations of the Committee of Standards in Public Life relating to intimidation of Parliamentary candidates and other public office-holders.

12th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the letter from the Chief Electoral Office for Northern Ireland to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland dated 21 December 2017, what discussions they have had with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PNSI) about the (1) eleven cases of potential electoral fraud it had identified from the 2017 General Election, and (2) progress made on the four cases it was proceeding with; and whether they have received any further information from the Chief Electoral Office for Northern Ireland or the PSNI about any other cases which may have come to light since.

Investigation of allegations of electoral fraud in Northern Ireland are a matter for the PSNI. The Chief Electoral Officer has informed me that she understands that three of the cases reported of possible abuse in relation to the 2017 General Election have resulted in referral to the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 20 June (HL8501), what assessment they have made of the comments of the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, about the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in July as a forum for working “to achieve the earliest operation of the devolved institutions”; whether restoring the operation of the devolved institutions will be discussed with the government of Ireland at the Conference; and if so, why.

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) is concerned with non-devolved Northern Ireland issues. It is not an executive body and as the Belfast Agreement states ‘there will be no derogation from the sovereignty of either government’.

11th Jun 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to hold a meeting of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference; if so, who would represent the UK at such a meeting; what preparatory consultations, if any, they have had with those architects of the Belfast Agreement who are still in Parliament; and what matters would be scheduled for discussion at any such meeting.

This Government remains focused on our efforts to restore a locally elected, devolved Government in Northern Ireland. We have regular discussions with the Irish Government in full accordance with the well-established three stranded approach.

5th Mar 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July 2017 (HL3), 15 September 2017 (HL1448), and 13 October 2017 (HL1671), whether the Chief Electoral Officer (Northern Ireland) has completed her enquiry into the increase in proxy voting by over 500 per cent between 2010 and 2017; whether she initiated any further investigation; if so, whether that investigation involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland; when any further investigation was initiated and commenced; and when a definitive outcome is expected to be published.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has completed her post-election review into absent voting and has written to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland regarding the findings of this review. A copy of this letter has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

These are operational matters for the CEO. However, I am aware that a very small number of cases were referred to the PSNI for investigation last year. The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland pass all cases of possible fraud to the PSNI however, the CEO’s review did not reveal any additional cases that warranted investigation.

7th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 13 October (HL1671), 15 September (HL1448) and 3 July (HL3), whether they are now able to provide an update, including a summary of activity, on the review of absent voting procedures undertaken by the Chief Electoral Officer of Northern Ireland; and if, and when, any matters resulting from the review were referred to the Police Service of Northern Ireland for criminal investigation.

The Chief Electoral Officer has indicated she will write to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before the end of the year concerning her review of absent voting procedures at recent elections. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

These are operational matters for the Chief Electoral Officer who has been clear that all allegations or evidence of possible electoral fraud have been referred to PSNI for investigation.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 15 September (HL1448), whether there is a specific timescale for the outcome of the Chief Electoral Officer's review regarding absent voting in Northern Ireland;  whether the details of the outcome of that review will be conveyed to Members of the House; and if so, how.

The review of absent voting procedures, including the timescale for completion, is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

Once the review process is complete the Chief Electoral Officer will write to Northern Ireland Office Ministers to inform them of her findings. Any recommendations will be considered carefully and a copy of the letter will be placed in the libraries of the House.

7th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions the current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has met with and consulted each of the Belfast Agreement participants, (1) Lord Alderdice, (2) Lord Empey, (3) Lord Kilclooney, (4) Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, and (5) Lord Trimble, (a) as a group, or (b) individually; and what are the details of those meetings.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has regular meetings with Parliamentarians, including regular events for members of the House of Lords with an interest in Northern Ireland affairs, to which these five members are invited.

7th Sep 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 3 July (HL3), what discussions, if any, they have had with (1) the Police Service for Northern Ireland, and (2) the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland, regarding evidence of abuse of the proxy voting system in Northern Ireland during the last General Election; and what are the details of those discussions.

The administration of proxy votes, including any related engagement with the PSNI, is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer.

The Chief Electoral Officer has regular discussions with Government Ministers and officials on a range of issues relating to elections and electoral registration, including absent voting procedures.

The Chief Electoral Officer is currently carrying out an administrative review of all operational procedures in respect of absent voting in Northern Ireland and the Government will consider carefully any recommendations that result from this review.


21st Jun 2017
Her Majesty's Government how many proxy vote applications there were in each Northern Ireland constituency for the general elections in (1) 2010, (2) 2015, and (3) 2017; and whether they intend to investigate possible electoral fraud in relation to proxy voting in Northern Ireland.

The administration of proxy voting is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland. All evidence received by the Chief Electoral Officer regarding possible electoral fraud is passed to the PSNI for investigation.

The following table has been provided by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland and contains the number of proxy vote applications in each constituency in Northern Ireland for the Parliamentary general elections in 2010, 2015 and 2017:

Constituency

2010

2015

2017

Belfast East

36

124

279

Belfast North

91

177

739

Belfast South

47

114

318

Belfast West

115

168

1026

East Antrim

51

137

353

East Londonderry

62

143

360

Fermanagh & South Tyrone

470

1454

1707

Foyle

159

339

1282

Lagan Valley

47

87

230

Mid Ulster

213

488

1127

Newry & Armagh

101

870

1304

North Antrim

71

224

507

North Down

63

85

193

South Antrim

58

106

285

South Down

130

203

564

Strangford

41

73

197

Upper Bann

65

135

322

West Tyrone

289

505

914

Total

2109

5432

11707

23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by Lord Keen of Elie on 11 May (HLWS694) regarding the increasing threat from dissident Irish republicans, what plans they have to establish a means for liaising more regularly and effectively with members of both Houses of Parliament from Northern Ireland on such matters.

A number of established mechanisms already exist for the purpose of communicating the threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism to both Houses. These include the biannual written security statements to Parliament setting out details on threat levels, oral and written Parliamentary questions, meetings of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and briefing meetings with Peers and MPs. It is also open to MPs and Noble Lords to use procedures of both Houses to raise these matters and hold ministers to account.

10th Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Dunlop on 9 December (HL4222, HL4272 and HL4321), which peers and MPs who are based in Northern Ireland were invited by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, to her briefing on the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill on 23 November; at what time and where the briefing took place; and why no peer or MP from Northern Ireland appears to have received the invitation circulated electronically.

An invitation to the briefing on the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill was circulated electronically to all Peers via the Usual Channels. The briefing was held on Monday 23 November at 12 noon in Committee Room 4A at the House of Lords.

3rd Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Peers and MPs who are based in Northern Ireland were invited by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, to her briefing on the Northern Ireland political agreement prior to her statement in the House of Commons on 19 November.

There was no briefing for Peers or MP’s prior to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s Statement to the House of Commons on Thursday 19 November.

An invitation to the briefing on the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill held on Monday 23 November was circulated electronically to all Peers via the Usual Channels.



9th Dec 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the roles played by Lord Trimble, Lord Kilclooney, Lord Empey and Lord Maginnis of Drumglass during the talks that led to the 1998 Belfast Agreement, when the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland last consulted them; and whether they intend to do so before attending the proposed final talks this week.

The cross-party talks are ultimately a process owned by the political parties. It is the parties’ responsibility to decide which of their representatives should be participants in the talks. The Government is doing all it can to move the process forward towards a shared future in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland provides regular briefings for Peers.

Baroness Randerson
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)