Lord Naseby Portrait

Lord Naseby

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 28th October 1997


Draft Deregulation Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Jul 2013 - 11th Dec 2013
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
7th Jun 2005 - 12th Nov 2009
Panel of Chairs
1st Nov 1983 - 1st Jan 2000
Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means
6th May 1992 - 1st May 1997
Public Accounts Committee
3rd May 1979 - 16th Mar 1992


Scheduled Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
11:00
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 11 a.m.
Military national service
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 184 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Overseas Territories: Tax Haven Status
My Lords, I declare an interest as I have family living in the Cayman Islands. Is that particular territory not …
Written Answers
Friday 1st March 2024
Small Modular Reactors
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to maximise the use of UK-manufactured components in small modular …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 8th January 2020
Extension of Franchise (House of Lords) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to make provision for members of the House of Lords to vote in elections to the House of …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Naseby has voted in 349 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Naseby voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
28 Sep 2020 - Coronavirus Act 2020: Temporary Provisions - View Vote Context
Lord Naseby voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative Aye votes vs 166 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 99 Noes - 198
29 Jun 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Naseby voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 198 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 234
15 Dec 2021 - Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Naseby voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 105 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 38 Noes - 205
6 Apr 2022 - Elections Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Naseby voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 127 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 24 Noes - 139
View All Lord Naseby Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(37 debate interactions)
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
(25 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(24 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020
(8,628 words contributed)
Financial Services and Markets Act 2023
(5,363 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(4,974 words contributed)
Financial Services Bill 2019-21
(4,593 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Naseby's debates

Lords initiatives

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


2 Bills introduced by Lord Naseby


A bill to make provision for members of the House of Lords to vote in elections to the House of Commons

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 7th February 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to enable the law relating to societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 or the Friendly Societies Act 1992 and certain mutual insurers to be amended to permit and facilitate the use of a new and additional class of redeemable share capital; to provide consequential rights to members of such societies or insurers; and to restrict the voting rights of certain members who hold such shares.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Monday 22nd July 2013

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


157 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why blue hydrogen was not (1) highlighted, or (2) listed on the agendas, in official events at COP26.

At COP26 the UK Prime Minister brought together world leaders and private sector representatives to launch the ‘Breakthrough Agenda’ – goals to make clean technologies and sustainable solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option globally before 2030. As part of this agenda, 33 countries signed up to the hydrogen Breakthrough, aiming to have affordable, renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030. The hydrogen Breakthrough also featured at an event on the Science and Innovation Day.

7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued to non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) concerning requests from staff in those organisations to work overseas; and in which circumstances NDPBs are expected to agree to such requests.

The government does not issue guidance to non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) on temporary working from non-UK locations. Departments have delegated policy responsibility concerning requests from staff in NDPBs to work overseas. However, they must comply with FCDO and other regulatory requirements when posting employees overseas permanently, travelling overseas for business and considering requests from employees to work temporarily overseas. Departments work with their own arm’s length body (ALB) when considering requests from staff in NDPBs to work overseas.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when the list of items used to calculate the core inflation figure were last reviewed.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Rt Hon. the Lord Naseby

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

05 June 2023

Dear Lord Naseby,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking when the list of items used to calculate the core inflation figure were last reviewed (HL8157).

The list of items used to calculate Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Consumer Prices Index, including owner occupiers’ Housing costs (CPIH), and their core equivalents, is updated on an annual basis.

Prices were first collected for the most recent update in January this year. In 2023, 26 items were added to the CPIH basket, including e-bikes and frozen berries. 16 items were removed, including digital compact cameras and non-chart CD albums bought in store.

Further information can be found in our Consumer price inflation basket of goods and services: 2023 release [1].

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/ukconsumerpriceinflationbasketofgoodsandservices/2023

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government for what reasons COVID-19 regulations permit people to socialise outside pubs but prevent them from attending four-day county cricket matches.

On 22 February, the Government published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, providing a roadmap out of lockdown restrictions in England. The Government's priority is to ensure a safe and gradual easing of restrictions, restoring freedoms sustainably, equitably and as quickly as possible without putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS and avoiding a further lockdown.

From 12 April, Step 2 of the roadmap, people have been permitted to gather outdoors in groups of up to six, or in larger groups - providing they consist of no more than two households. Outdoor hospitality service is also permitted to reopen at Step 2. Attendees must adhere to the social contact limits whilst at the venue as well as in the surrounding area, this means that crowds are not permitted to form at these venues. Venues must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers are seated whilst eating and drinking at their venue, including in any areas adjacent to their venue that are typically used to eat or drink from. This helps to maintain a controlled environment where social distancing can be maintained.

As regards to sporting events, spectators are not permitted at sporting events or live performances until Step 3, where we will begin to admit crowds again under strict capacity cap rules. However, this does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space (e.g. parks) in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.

We have chosen to take a gradual approach to relaxing restrictions to reduce the risk of an increase in infections that might delay progress through the roadmap. Our approach also reflects the additional risks which can be associated with large spectator events, for example, if large numbers of people use public transport to travel to and from the venue, if crowd behaviours lead to increased risk, or if the event leads to gatherings in shared facilities either at the venue or nearby.

The Events Research Programme (ERP) is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at large events in Step 4 of the Roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venues, and activities to gather evidence on the transmission risks associated with different settings, and how these can be mitigated.



Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many deaths in England had COVID-19 listed as the primary cause of death on the death certificate in 2020 in the months of (1) March, (2) April, (3) May, (4) June, (5) July, (6) August, and (7) September.

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

Dear Lord Naseby,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many deaths in England had COVID-19 listed as the primary cause of death on the death certificate in 2020 in the months of (1) March, (2) April, (3) May, (4) June, (5) July, (6) August, and (7) September (HL9433).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics on deaths in England and Wales and produces a weekly report[1] on provisional numbers of deaths involving COVID-19. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. National Records for Scotland[2] and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency[3] are responsible for publishing statistics on deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Table 1 provides the number of deaths registered with COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, in England, by month.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths registered where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death, 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020, England, by month[4][5][6][7]

Month

Number of deaths

March

1,568

April

28,013

May

11,404

June

3,442

July

1,008

August

363

September

572

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/latest

[2]https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/

[3]https://www.nisra.gov.uk/

[4]Figures include deaths of non-residents.

[5]Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.

[6]All figures for 2020 are provisional.

[7]The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Tata Steel's decision to close both blast furnaces at its Port Talbot plant on (1) UK primary steel production, and (2) the UK defence industry.

HMG have agreed to invest a historic £500 million at Port Talbot as part of Tata Steel's £1.25bn plan to transition to Electric Arc Furnace production.

Following the transformation, the company's modelling suggests the business will be able to produce 90% of its existing order book through the new Electric Arc Furnace. Moving to EAF production will also enable them to satisfy demand from customers who are demanding more green steel.

Tata Steel's plans to cease UK primary steel production at its Port Talbot steelworks are not anticipated to adversely impact defence. Specialist steels that are unavailable from UK sources are already procured by our prime contractors from overseas suppliers. Other grades of steel are likely to remain available from UK sources or are widely available on world markets.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the directors of Royal Mail to restore the target to deliver 93 per cent of first-class mail within one working day of collection.

It is for Ofcom, as the independent regulator of postal services, to set and monitor Royal Mail’s service standards and decide how to use its powers to investigate and take enforcement action should Royal Mail fail to achieve its obligations without good justification.

Ofcom is currently undertaking an investigation into Royal Mail’s failure to meet its quality of service performance targets, including the delivery of 93% of First Class mail within one working day of collection, for 2022-23.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following reports that Oxford PV is more likely to seek listing on the New York or Hong Kong stock exchanges, what steps they are taking to strengthen UK energy and battery technology by incentivising such companies to seek listing on the UK stock exchange.

The UK has some of the strongest capital markets in the world and continues to be Europe’s leading hub for investment, second only to the US as a listing destination. The UK is building on these strong foundations by taking forward ambitious reforms to the rules governing capital markets, including taking forward the recommendations of Mark Austin’s Secondary Capital Raising Review and launching an Investment Research Review to boost the UK’s investment research environment.

Furthermore, the Government has committed a total of £30 billion of domestic investment for the green industrial revolution. Our policy and regulatory environment has already been successful in providing investors and industry with long-term certainty. The Government also supports innovative clean energy projects and companies, and expects to invest approximately £4.2 billion in net zero research and innovation over the period from 2022-25.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to attain agglomeration effects through face-to-face working as part of their strategy to increase productivity.

The Government is supporting innovation and face-to-face collaboration through its work to develop innovation hubs, investment zones and freeports. These initiatives incentivise clustering of related industries, creating localised knowledge networks and knowledge-sharing. In addition we are investing in infrastructure development to improve connectivity and accessibility within and between urban centres, fostering proximity and interaction.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to maximise the use of UK-manufactured components in small modular reactors in the UK.

The Small Modular Reactor technology selection process, launched last year by Great British Nuclear, is an open and competitive process. The priority is to select those technologies best able to facilitate operational projects by the mid-2030s. As with any Government decision, this will be subject to value for money, relevant approvals, and technology readiness. This is an exciting time for nuclear and the scale of our ambition means there are likely to be significant supply chain opportunities associated with projects going forward.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the timeline for the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) competition, and when they expect the first SMR to come online in the UK.

On 2 October 2023 the government and Great British Nuclear announced the outcome of the latest phase of the SMR Technology Selection Process, with six technology vendors down-selected to go forward to the next stage. The next stage of the process will be launched very shortly. The ambition is to announce in 2024 which of the six companies the Government will support.

The aim is for this to be the fastest competition of its kind in the world, to facilitate operational projects in the mid-2030s.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to speed up the process for connecting infrastructure projects to the National Grid, following reports that UK energy companies are taking their investments abroad.

The Government is working with Ofgem and network companies to accelerate network connections and halve the end-to-end build time for new transmission network infrastructure. The Connections Action Plan, published in November 2023, aims to reduce transmission connection delays from 5 years to no more than 6 months after the date requested by the customer and release over 100 Gigawatts of network capacity. Projects that are able to connect faster are already being offered earlier connection dates, including 10 Gigawatts of battery storage being offered an average of a four year advance in their connection.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the closure of Grangemouth Refinery on UK energy self-sufficiency.

The owners of Grangemouth refinery, Petroineos, recently announced that they were putting in place the enabling works for a future transition to an import terminal. Petroineos have not taken a decision on when refining operations will cease but they anticipate they will continue until at least May 2025.

The impact of a cessation of refining operations on UK energy self-sufficiency will depend on the supply and demand for fuels at the time. The Government’s Net Zero policies to increase use of electric vehicles and renewable transport fuels, will progressively reduce demand for conventional fuels.

The UK already both imports and exports fuels to balance demand and supply. The Petroineos plans should continue to ensure that customer needs are met.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the green levy on energy bills will be introduced from 1 July after a six-month interval rather than after a two-year suspension as per their previous stated policy.

In the 2022 Growth Plan, the Government pledged to provide £150 to cover the costs ofgreen leviesincluded in energy bills for two years through the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). By the end of June, this Guarantee will have saved a typical household in Great Britain around £1,100 in total, including the £150 we committed to.

From July 2023, the Ofgem price cap will be set at £2,074, below the EPG discount level of £3,000 for a typical household.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to incentivise manufacturers to build solar panels in the United Kingdom.

The Solar Taskforce, launched on 25 May, will identify and take forward the actions needed to develop resilient, sustainable and innovative supply chains, to support the significant increases in deployment of solar panels needed to meet the UK’s net zero and energy security goals.

The Government encourages large scale developers accessing its flagship Contracts for Difference scheme to grow the supply chain through the Supply Chain Plan process. The Government supports supply chain innovation through a range of schemes, such as the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, and initiatives funded by UK Research and Innovation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to speed up the provision of connections to the electrical grid and the issuing of permits for renewable energy developments.

The Government is working with Ofgem and network companies to release network capacity and improve the connections process, which will reduce connection timescales. The Government will publish a connections action plan in the summer.

The Government has demonstrated commitment to ensuring a better, faster, greener, fairer, and more resilient Nationally Significant Infrastructure planning process by publishing an Action Plan for reform in February 2023. The Government is now implementing these reforms, including publishing five revised energy National Policy Statements in March 2023, which are currently out for consultation until 23rd June.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they propose to take in response to the Hydrogen Champion Report: Recommendations to government and industry to accelerate the development of the UK hydrogen economy, published in March; and in particular, the recommendation that blending of hydrogen with gas of up to 20 per cent for the gas supply should proceed.

The Government welcomes the Hydrogen Champion Report, and I met the Hydrogen Champion, Ms Toogood, on 21 March to discuss next steps. The Government will continue to work with Ms Toogood and industry to develop the UK Hydrogen economy and realise the potential of hydrogen. The Government is planning to take a strategic policy decision in 2023 on whether to seek to enable blending of hydrogen in the existing gas distribution network. Further details will be provided this year, including through the government response to our consultation on hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure, which we aim to publish in Q2 2023.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are their reasons for not entering into a contract with Rolls-Royce on small modular reactors.

The Government has awarded up to £210m from the Advanced Nuclear Fund to Rolls Royce SMR Ltd to support the development of their Small Modular Reactor design.

The Government intends to initiate a selection process in 2023, with the intention that we will enter negotiations with the most credible projects to enable a potential Government award of support as soon as possible.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what urgent steps they are taking to reduce the multi-year delays facing technology companies, particularly those working on fuel cells, trying to get connected to the electricity grid.

The Government is working with Ofgem, network companies and others to improve connection processes, embed best practice and release network capacity. This will help ensure timely connections to the network, including for technology companies. In addition, Ofgem's price control funds investment in the network for new connections. As part of the 2023-28 electricity distribution network price control, Ofgem will allow £3.1bn for network upgrades. These actions should translate into accelerated connection timescales for projects across the country.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the audit reforms they committed to introduce after the collapse of the construction firm Carillion five years ago.

The Government’s response to consultation on its reform proposals was published on 31 May 2022. This set out that reforms will be delivered by a variety of mechanisms, including changes already made by the regulator and by Ministerial Direction. The Government is committed to legislating when Parliamentary time allows.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possible use of hydrogen alongside existing gas boilers; and whether the use of hydrogen could remove the need for gas boilers entirely.

The Government is monitoring progress on trials that use blends of hydrogen in existing gas boilers to inform decisions in 2023 on whether to enable blending up to 20% hydrogen by volume into Great Britain gas networks. The Government is also supporting research, development and testing projects that will generate evidence on the costs, feasibility and impacts of using boilers that run entirely on hydrogen.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the profit margin per litre of petrol sold at petrol stations in (1) February 2022, (2) February 2021, and (3) February 2020.

The Government monitors the margin profits of petrol and diesel, but individual months do not necessarily reflect broader trends. Competitive markets ensure that consumers get a fair deal when they visit the pumps and that road fuel prices stay as low as possible.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with petrol retail companies regarding the reported increase in profit margin per litre of petrol; and what assessment they have made of the reasons for this increase.

The Department’s officials are in regular contact with the major companies in the fuel supply industry, including those with petrol retail operations, to discuss a range of issues.

This Department’s analysis shows that retail prices of petroleum products, such as petrol and diesel, are primarily driven by the underlying price in the global market of crude oil and by exchange rates.

The Government has kept fuel duty frozen for the twelfth consecutive year, helping the average UK driver save a cumulative £1,900.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fairness of allowing garden centres, classed as ‘essential’ retailers, to sell Christmas gift items during the new national COVID-19 restrictions in England from 5 November, while competing independent ‘non-essential’ retailers will have to close.

The Government recognises this will be a challenging time for any business which have been asked to close.

All shops can continue to offer home delivery to customers and click and collect services. Click and collect services allow for doorstep pick-up, which is safer than shopping indoors, in potentially poorly-ventilated spaces.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies have had with economists on the economic impacts of the lockdown; and if no discussions have taken place, what the reasons are for not holding such discussions.

The Government makes decisions based on the best scientific evidence, along with consideration of the economic, operational, social and policy implications of any interventions that might be introduced. The remit of SAGE is to provide science advice to the Government, but this is just one part of the picture. Scientific advice from SAGE is often considered alongside advice from other specialisms such as economics. As new scientific questions emerge, the participants at SAGE will change to provide the best available scientific evidence at that time.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to appoint an economist to the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies; and if not, why not. [T]

The Government makes decisions based on the best scientific evidence, along with consideration of the economic, operational, social and policy implications of any interventions that might be introduced. The remit of SAGE is to provide?science?advice?to the Government, but this is just one part?of the picture. Scientific advice from SAGE is often considered alongside advice from other specialisms such as economics. As new scientific questions emerge, the participants at SAGE will change to provide the best available scientific evidence at that time.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the Services Committee intends to publish a report on the trial of the revised Bishop’s Bar services which started in October 2019; and if so, when.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

At its meeting on 11 July 2019 the Services Committee agreed to trial a revised service in the Bishops’ Bar, taking effect from the return of the House in September. Due to the dissolution and recess periods the Committee agreed that the trial be extended until April 2020.

During the trial period food preparation has been removed from the Bishops’ Bar, due to health and food safety concerns. This has meant that it is no longer possible for staff to customise salads and sandwiches at the point of sale. The Committee also agreed to the removal of toasted sandwiches from the Bishops’ Bar as part of the trial. A variety of toasted sandwiches remain available for purchase in the River Restaurant, with the choice of eating in or taking away. Two plated salad options have remained on offer in the Bishops’ Bar during the trial period and should the trial changes be made permanent these plated salad options will remain.

The Committee did not introduce these changes lightly. They were the subject to several discussions by the Committee; the minutes of which are available on the Committee’s webpage.

A report on the trial and future provision of services in the Bishops’ Bar is expected to be considered by the Committee at its April meeting. Once the Committee has had the opportunity to consider the report, it will be made available on the Committee’s webpage.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the food offered in the House of Lords Bishop’s Bar prior to October 2019, particularly the customised items prepared by the chef, complied with the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Safe work in confined spaces, published in 2014.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

Under the definition in the Approved Code of Practice, the Bishops’ Bar would not be considered a “confined space”, a term which should not be confused with a small space. When the Services Committee considered the required changes to the Bishops’ Bar in July, it accepted that the Administration had a duty of care towards staff working in the outlet and that the current conditions for food preparation were unsuitable.

We have no record of any incidents of food poisoning as a result of food consumed from the House of Lords Bishops’ Bar between 2009 and October 2019.

The Services Committee has no plans to review the methodology used by the food safety auditors who evaluated the Bishops’ Bar.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what estimate he has made of the number of cases of reported food poisoning as a result of food consumed from the House of Lords Bishop’s Bar in each year from 2009 to October 2019.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

Under the definition in the Approved Code of Practice, the Bishops’ Bar would not be considered a “confined space”, a term which should not be confused with a small space. When the Services Committee considered the required changes to the Bishops’ Bar in July, it accepted that the Administration had a duty of care towards staff working in the outlet and that the current conditions for food preparation were unsuitable.

We have no record of any incidents of food poisoning as a result of food consumed from the House of Lords Bishops’ Bar between 2009 and October 2019.

The Services Committee has no plans to review the methodology used by the food safety auditors who evaluated the Bishops’ Bar.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what consideration the Services Committee (1) has given, and (2) plans to give, to the re-introduction of hot toasted sandwiches in the House of Lords Bishop’s Bar.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

At its meeting on 11 July 2019 the Services Committee agreed to trial a revised service in the Bishops’ Bar, taking effect from the return of the House in September. Due to the dissolution and recess periods the Committee agreed that the trial be extended until April 2020.

During the trial period food preparation has been removed from the Bishops’ Bar, due to health and food safety concerns. This has meant that it is no longer possible for staff to customise salads and sandwiches at the point of sale. The Committee also agreed to the removal of toasted sandwiches from the Bishops’ Bar as part of the trial. A variety of toasted sandwiches remain available for purchase in the River Restaurant, with the choice of eating in or taking away. Two plated salad options have remained on offer in the Bishops’ Bar during the trial period and should the trial changes be made permanent these plated salad options will remain.

The Committee did not introduce these changes lightly. They were the subject to several discussions by the Committee; the minutes of which are available on the Committee’s webpage.

A report on the trial and future provision of services in the Bishops’ Bar is expected to be considered by the Committee at its April meeting. Once the Committee has had the opportunity to consider the report, it will be made available on the Committee’s webpage.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

We had office desk capacity for 749 staff in our central London office prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. This has been reduced to 155 staff capacity in line with the Government's Covid-secure workplace guidance. On 2 September we had 62 members of staff in - 40% of current capacity, and 8% of our pre-Covid capacity. We expect full Covid-secure capacity to be reached this month.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success of the trials of County Cricket games; and when they estimate they will evaluate (1) how, and (2) when, to allow spectators to be physically present at live cricket games.

Evaluation of the cricket fixtures that have taken place to date are underway. As the Prime Minister set out in his roadmap on 17 July, our ambition is to have fans return to all sports who chose to admit them, with social distancing restrictions in place, by October 1st. We will look to expand and phase pilots to build up to and prepare for, a full Covid Secure return in October.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will allow county cricket grounds to open to members only in the light of their ability to provide track and trace information through membership controls and to manage their grounds to ensure social distancing.

We are working closely with the sector, including the England and Wales Cricket Board, to facilitate the return of spectators to elite sport. A multidisciplinary working group, including medical directors from a number of sports, has begun to develop guidance around the return of spectators to stadia. Guidance will incorporate medical, sports, and venue expertise as well as the experience of other sectors that will reopen to audiences. Compliance with track and trace policies would be expected of any ticket holders.

We will continue to be led by wider public health guidance such as the “one metre plus” concept and the working group will reflect on all emerging best practice, both domestically and internationally, in their work.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the continued closure of recreational cricket clubs on the development of young cricketers.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health.

Officials are working very closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board on plans to deliver the safe return of club cricket as soon as possible. We are working at pace to shape guidance that will allow the safe return of competitive cricket and other team sports. Any shared sporting equipment may risk transmission, but these risks can be mitigated with good hygiene practice as being adopted across a wide range of sectors. I hope to make further progress on this in the coming weeks so that teams can enjoy a great cricketing summer.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what scientific evidence they base their announcement that a cricket ball is a natural vector of disease and could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Officials are working very closely with the ECB and their medical experts to understand the unique qualities of cricket. We are working at pace to shape guidance that will allow the safe return of competitive cricket and other team sports. Any shared sporting equipment may risk transmission, but these risks can be mitigated with good hygiene practice as being adopted across a wide range of sectors.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report School Recovery Strategies: Year 1 findings, published on 11 January, when they plan to re-introduce sports and physical education at the daily recommended activity levels of at least 60 minutes.

The department’s COVID-19 guidance has supported schools to continue to provide physical education (PE), sport and physical activity through COVID-19 restrictions. Schools have the flexibility to decide how PE, sport and physical activity will be provided to pupils while following the measures in their system of controls.

It is this government’s ambition that 30 minutes of the 60 minutes of physical activity a day recommended by the Chief Medical Officers should be done at school. This can include all forms of activity such as PE, active travel, after-school activities, play and sports. The School Sport and Activity Action Plan, which aims to make sport and physical activity an integral part of both the school day and after-school activities, enabling all children have the opportunity to take part in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, will be updated this year. Primary schools have also continued to receive the £320 million PE and sport premium, supporting improvements in the quality of the PE, sport and physical activity which they offer.

In October 2021 the government also announced nearly £30 million a year will go towards improving the teaching of PE at primary school, as well as to improve and opening up school sport facilities in England.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Professional and Career Development Loans scheme has not been re-opened for HGV drivers.

Commercial providers of Professional and Career Development Loans have withdrawn from the scheme over the last few years. The scheme ended for new lending when the contract between the government and The Co-operative Bank expired in early 2019.

The department is providing support for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver training through other routes. We are investing up to £17 million to create new Skills Bootcamps to offer 5,000 training places in HGV driving to help tackle the current HGV driver shortage. The free, intensive courses will train drivers to be road ready and gain a category C or category C&E licence or additional qualifications, for example to haul fuel, as well as refresher courses to help drivers who have left the profession to return. An additional 1,000 people are expected to be trained through courses accessed locally and funded by the government’s adult education budget.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Department for Education staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

Staff in the department have been working remotely since the middle of March and have been focused on dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

In recent months, the Department for Education has been working to ensure all our buildings are Covid-secure and putting in place plans to welcome staff safely back to the office.

Phase 1 saw a small number of volunteer staff return to the larger offices in August. Phase 2 started on 1 September, opening up to 20% capacity across our 7 largest offices. Phase 3 is being planned and will enable 30-40% of capacity to be opened up, including at the department’s smaller sites.

We continue to see an increase in number of staff returning and on Wednesday 2 September, a total of 4% of staff who are contracted as London based worked in Sanctuary Buildings, Westminster.

As of Wednesday 9 September, 5.5% of London based staff were working from Sanctuary Buildings, Westminster.

26th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government why they are planning to require larger retailers to accept used electrical items for recycling, including products originally bought from other retailers, rather than using existing local authority facilities and specialist scrap metal recycling units.

Large retailers selling electrical products already have an obligation under the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 to take back equipment for recycling, including products originally bought by other retailers, on sale of an equivalent item. The cost of recycling that waste equipment, and the cost of collection and recycling equipment deposited at local authority household waste recycling centres, is met by importers and manufacturers.

With independent research from Material Focus indicating that at least 500,000 tonnes of waste electricals were lost through being thrown away, hoarded, stolen, or illegally exported every year, the government is consulting on proposals to make it easier for householders to responsibly recycle their waste electrical equipment, through whichever route they find most convenient.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government why the Port of Dover's border control point for imports will be located 22 miles away at Sevington, and what assessment they have made of the risks to biosecurity.

We remain committed to delivering the best border in the world. The Border Target Operating Model is key to delivering this, protecting the UK’s biosecurity, and ensuring our trading partners have confidence in our standards. The Government’s intention to consolidate SPS checks at Sevington for the Short Straits is based on the need to both safeguard the UK’s biosecurity and minimise the cost to trade.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to make an "exceptional market conditions" direction under the Agriculture Act 2020, given the disruption being experienced by egg producers and consumers.

Defra has no plans to recommend that a declaration of exceptional market conditions be made for the egg sector under Section 20 of the Agriculture Act 2020. Other sectors have experienced similar problems and supply chains have themselves adjusted to address the challenges related to rising input costs, which the egg sector has started to do.


The UK egg industry operates in an open market and the value of egg commodities, including the farm gate egg price, is established by those in the supply chain including farmers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. While government may act in exceptional circumstances, we do not set retail food prices nor comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies. In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Government has powers in the Agriculture Act 2020 to act to support farmers.

The Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries hosted a roundtable on 6 December 2022 which brought together representatives from across the UK egg supply chain to discuss the challenges the egg industry is facing. The meeting was productive and conducted in a constructive manner with a clear willingness from all parties to address issues affecting the supply chain.


We are keeping the egg situation under close review, including through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group, which was set up by Defra and the Devolved Administrations to monitor the UK market situation across all key agricultural commodities.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the assessment they have already made on the 16-week grace period for the marketing of free-range eggs in the event of mandatory housing measures imposed by the Chief Veterinary Office, whether they plan to amend existing legislation in this area.

In recognition of the pressures the egg sector is currently facing, particularly rising input costs alongside the impacts of Avian Influenza, Defra has granted a concession which will apply if the housing orders that are currently in place in England exceed the 16-week derogation period. This concession will allow producers and packers, on a one-off basis, the option to use either direct print to pack or an affixed label on free-range boxes. Accompanying clear and transparent point of sale signage should also be in place to ensure consumers are not misled and to avoid undermining consumer confidence in the free-range industry.


We are aware that there are proposals in the EU to amend the derogation period. We are closely following the negotiations on this proposal. We are under no obligation to align with the EU and Defra currently has no plans to amend the 16-week derogation period. We are keen to ensure we retain consumer confidence in our free-range brand and the need therefore to act in the interests of both UK producers and consumers


Egg Marketing Standards are a devolved matter, and so, any review of or changes to the standards would be a matter for each of the administrations in Great Britain.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to negotiations on a trade agreement between the UK and the EU, what assessment they have made of the impact of Rules of Origin requirements on (1) the UK tobacco industry, and (2) finished tobacco products imported into the UK from the EU from 1 January 2021.

In the event of a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, as with all Free Trade Agreements and all products, the Rules of Origin for finished tobacco products would be specific to that agreement. The exact rules will be discussed and decided through the negotiations, which, in this case, are still ongoing. The UK and EU have held substantial discussions on Rules of Origin and Defra has supported these conversations.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the Services Committee intends to review the methodology used by any food safety auditors who were tasked with evaluating the House of Lords Bishop’s Bar.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

Under the definition in the Approved Code of Practice, the Bishops’ Bar would not be considered a “confined space”, a term which should not be confused with a small space. When the Services Committee considered the required changes to the Bishops’ Bar in July, it accepted that the Administration had a duty of care towards staff working in the outlet and that the current conditions for food preparation were unsuitable.

We have no record of any incidents of food poisoning as a result of food consumed from the House of Lords Bishops’ Bar between 2009 and October 2019.

The Services Committee has no plans to review the methodology used by the food safety auditors who evaluated the Bishops’ Bar.

7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the International Crisis Group is in receipt of any Government funding; and if so, whether that funding is provided to the charity (1) in general, or (2) for specific projects.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) receives DFID funding through UK Aid Connect. UK Aid Connect supports programmes led by consortia of diverse organisations to create solutions to complex problems facing the poorest people. ICG is a partner within the Smart Peace programme led by Conciliation Resources and receives funding to carry out particular work within that programme.

Overall funding to the Smart Peace programme is £11.9m for the period 2018-2022. The consortium combines expertise in conflict analysis, community dialogue, elite mediation, evaluation, policy influence and behavioural science to deliver targeted and adaptive conflict resolution interventions in Central African Republic (CAR), Myanmar and Nigeria.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the 20 per cent tariff for tuna exported from the Maldives to the UK given (1) the sustainability of the Maldivian tuna industry, and (2) the zero tariff for tuna exports from all other members of the Commonwealth small island developing states (SIDS).

The UK currently applies the UK Global Tariff of 20% to imports of tuna from the Maldives. This rate is also applied to imports from all other trading partners where preferential arrangements are not in place.

The Government continues to explore pragmatic opportunities to enhance bilateral trade relations with the Maldives in areas of mutual interest, including fishing.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the imposition of the UK Global Tariff on the import of finished tobacco products from 1 January 2021 on forecast levels of smuggling of (1) tobacco products, and (2) counterfeit tobacco products, into the UK.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) remains committed to promoting compliance and tackling avoidance and evasion. Guidance on how manufacturers and importers of tobacco products can avoid the facilitation of smuggling is available on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-477-tobacco-products-duty-control-of-supply-chains.

Additionally, to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls at the border after transition period ends, on 12 July 2020, the Government announced an investment package of £705m.

Additionally, to ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls at the border after transition period ends, the Government announced on 12 July 2020?an investment?package of?£705m for enhanced infrastructure, staffing and IT.

We will publish more analysis?on the?UK?Global Tariff in?the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the impact of the imposition of the UK Global Tariff on imports of tobacco products from the EU from 1 January 2021, in the event that a free trade agreement includes Rules of Origin requirements which require more than 10 per cent originating leaf.

The UK Government intends to achieve a Free Trade Agreement with the EU by the end of December 2020.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) is tailored to the UK economy and balances the interests of UK consumers and producers. In designing the UKGT, we assessed all available evidence submitted during the public consultation in depth and considered a range of factors, such as the five principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018.

More analysis will be published in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to encourage or support merchant nuclear shipping.

The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution announced the Advanced Nuclear Fund of up to £385 million to invest in the next generation of nuclear technologies. This includes up to £215 million for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to develop a domestic smaller-scale power plant technology design, and up to £170 million for a research and development programme to deliver an Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) demonstration by the early 2030s. In the Net Zero Strategy the Government announced up to £120 million for a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Mayor of London about his suspension of the requirement for private hire drivers to pass an English language proficiency exam.

Whilst the Government issues guidance to assist local authorities, taxi licensing in London is a matter for the Mayor of London.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with regard to their policy that by 2030 at least 10 per cent of jet fuel used for commercial flights by UK airlines should be sustainable aviation fuel, what actions they are taking to ensure that such fuel is manufactured in the UK.

To ensure we have a resilient sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply system, the Government wants to see a balance of domestic production, imports and exports. Therefore, the SAF mandate will not differentiate between SAF made in the UK and that made overseas.

However, we recognise that SAF delivers wider benefits when produced domestically, by providing fuel security, potentially supporting up to 5,200 UK jobs by 2035 and a further 13,600 through global exports, and supporting economic growth.

Therefore, we are kickstarting a domestic SAF industry by allocating over £135m for UK SAF production facilities through the Advanced Fuels Fund and committing to design and implement a revenue certainty mechanism to support investment in SAF production.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to investigate, in conjunction with aviation regulators, allegations by Ryanair that a UK-registered company had marketed thousands of engine parts with faked certification documents for Airbus and Boeing models, and what assessment they have made of the implications for air travel safety.

This issue is subject to ongoing investigation. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is leading on investigating and addressing the UK aviation safety risks, which are currently deemed to be low.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the Rail Delivery Group regarding how ticket services not available on ticket vending machines, such as refunds and season ticket changes will be handled.

We recognise there are a wide range of fares and tickets offered to passengers, and that not all products are offered consistently online or at ticket vending machines. However, an estimated 99% of all transactions made at ticket offices last year could be made at TVMs or online.

The rail industry is looking to expand digital ticketing options and make them even easier for passengers to use through upgrades to ticket vending machines and digitisation of more tickets and processes.

When proposing major changes to ticket office opening hours, including closures, operators are required to take into account the adequacy of the proposed alternatives in relation to the needs of all passengers. This includes ensuring that passengers can easily buy the right ticket for the journey they want to make, with consideration of the product range available at the station and what support is available to help with purchase.

Passengers will not be expected to travel out of their way to buy a ticket and will be able to buy en-route or at their destination.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect the pot holes on the A1(M) to have been repaired.

Safety inspections on the A1(M) are carried out by National Highways on a weekly basis and since January this year they have identified and repaired 16 potholes on the A1(M) between junctions 15 and 16 (Alconbury to Peterborough). There are no further potholes identified or awaiting repair. A maintenance scheme to resurface and address surface defects on the northbound carriageway of this stretch of the road is planned for September/October 2023.

In the same period, National Highways has also identified over 340 potholes on the A1(M) in both directions between junctions 6 and 10. To date, they have repaired 323 and plan to carry out minor surface repairs to address the remaining 19 potholes over the next two months.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to return smart motorways to ordinary motorways in the interests of safety.

On 16 April, the Government announced that all plans for new smart motorways have been cancelled, recognising the lack of confidence felt by drivers and cost pressures. This means no new smart motorways will be built.

We are focused on investing £900m to add further safety improvements to existing smart motorways, including constructing 150 extra emergency areas – so that people can continue to get around easily and with increased confidence.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they monitor whether local authorities are using funds provided by central Government for repairing potholes for that purpose.

The Department for Transport (DfT) allocates capital funding to local highways authorities under Section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 (“the Act”) so that they can most effectively spend this funding on maintaining and improving their respective networks, based upon their local knowledge, circumstances, and priorities.

Section 31 grant funding is not ringfenced as set out in the Act; it is up to the highway authority how to spend this funding to fulfil its statutory duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980. Local decision makers are democratically accountable for the decisions they take.

DfT strongly encourages authorities to spend their allocations on highways maintenance activities and advocates a risk-based whole lifecycle asset management approach to local authority highways maintenance programmes. This considers all parts of the highway network, such as gulleys, bridges, cycleways, and lighting columns – and not just the fixing of potholes.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Swiss Federal Railways regarding its trial of laying solar panels in between railway tracks in order to generate electricity.

Network Rail has had discussions with the Swiss Federal Railways and is aware of their strategic priorities, broadly aligning with its own.

The proposed solar panel innovation is interesting, but an initial analysis suggests that the proposal underestimates the challenges of maintaining the solar panels in a dusty, vibrating environment. The business case has also not been proven, noting that the deployment of assets in a safety critical location is necessarily more expensive than using land away from the track.

Finally, Network Rail is concerned that the installation would also conceal track fastenings making it more difficult to safely maintain the railway with Network Rail’s video track inspection system.

Network Rail is aiming for 100 percent of its non-traction electricity to be from renewable sources by 2030 and has committed to seek to reduce the carbon footprint of traction electricity consumption by directly purchasing renewable electricity from specific new renewable projects. Network Rail is at an early stage in the process of reviewing options for feeding renewable electricity directly into the traction power supply. Through our First of a Kind scheme the Department for Transport has supported various projects looking at feeding renewable electricity into the railway. This includes providing £750,000 to Riding Sunbeams to develop and trial an innovative connection between renewable electricity generation and overhead electrification.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the cost to public funds of the failure of 630,000 tree saplings planted along the A14 by National Highways; and whether any lessons have been learned for future tree planting schemes.

A total of c.860,000 trees have been planted across the mainline scheme and National Highways have spent c.£2m to date. There is a further c.£2m within the original budget to undertake the necessary work and bring the planting on the scheme into a better condition.

National Highways conducted a review in the Autumn 2022 to analyse reasons for tree failures and inform a replanting strategy. This included analysing soil samples taken along the route to better understand the reasons for failure.

Based on the lessons learned, National Highways has produced a replanting strategy which includes:

  1. Replanting with cell grown trees which have a higher success rate than bare root trees.
  2. Replanting between October 2023 and March 2024 which is the optimum planting season and avoids potentially very dry summer periods.
  3. Planting the optimum species for the local soil conditions as soil conditions vary across the scale of the scheme.
Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Drivers Medical Group of the DVLA have a target to respond to letters from the general public; and if not, whether they will consider introducing a 30 day response target.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency aims to respond to 95 per cent of correspondence from the general public within ten working days.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to regulate e-scooters in the same ways as other road vehicles, including through the use of (1) speed limits, (2) number plates, and (3) mandatory insurance.

It is the intention of the Government that the Transport Bill will create a new low-speed zero emission vehicle category that is distinct from the existing cycle and motor vehicle categories. New powers in the Bill would allow the Government to decide which vehicles will fall into this category and make regulations to ensure that they are safe to use and safe for pedestrians and other road users.

The Government plans to use these powers to legalise e-scooter use, with robust technical requirements and clear expectations of users. We are currently considering options for e-scooter regulations, including such things as the requirements for users to hold a driving licence or to register and insure the vehicle, and various technical specifications for vehicles including maximum speed limits.

No decisions have been made, and we will consult before they come into force so that, all interested parties have a chance to shape the new regime.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to safeguard the role of the ticket office across the rail network.

No final decision has been taken on ticket offices. Ticket offices have seen a significant decline in use over the last decade, yet their numbers have not substantially changed. Staff will always provide face-to-face services on the railways, which can be crucial for those who need additional support and cannot, or do not want to, use contactless or mobile tickets.

There is a process for train operators to propose any changes to the opening hours of ticket offices or for closing ticket offices which is set out in the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, which regulates what train operators can do in terms of fares, ticketing and retailing across the network. This can be found on the Rail Delivery Group’s website.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect average driving test waiting times to return to the average in February 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is continuing to work hard to provide as many practical driving test appointments as possible. It is forecasting recovery to single figure waiting times by February 2023. The DVSA constantly assesses its modelling and regularly adjusts assumptions as appropriate if changing trends become apparent.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Britain's share of transshipments has fallen to four per cent from a high of 14 per cent in February 2021; and what steps they are taking to reverse this trend.

The pandemic has provided a challenging period for international and domestic freight movements due to the uncertainly in markets and supply chains. This has impacted on freight operations in the UK, Europe and globally as operators dynamically adjust to the prevailing worldwide conditions. This may have contributed to the factors being reported by FourKites over the last year, however it is too early to assess whether this indicates any broader trend. Government is closely engaged with shipping lines and ports to monitor sector developments.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of data from FourKites, reported in The Daily Telegraph on 28 February, which found that shippers spent an average of more than seven days discharging at British ports compared to a European average of five days; and what assessment they have made of the reason for this difference.

The pandemic has provided a challenging period for international and domestic freight movements due to the uncertainly in markets and supply chains. This has impacted on freight operations in the UK, Europe and globally as operators dynamically adjust to the prevailing worldwide conditions. This may have contributed to the factors being reported by FourKites over the last year, however it is too early to assess whether this indicates any broader trend. Government is closely engaged with shipping lines and ports to monitor sector developments.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what further steps they are taking to recruit HGV drivers to meet (1) the current shortfall, and (2) the predicted demand given the increase in online retail and e-commerce.

We have taken decisive action to address the acute driver shortage, with 32 specific measures taken by the Government already. These include funding apprenticeships, skills bootcamps training for jobseekers, and support for drivers to return to the sector, expanding HGV driver testing capacity and improving licencing processes.

We will continue to work with the road haulage industry and other stakeholders to evaluate the impact of these measures, identify further areas for action and monitor changes in demand.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the average processing times of applications for the renewal of driving licences made online; and what steps they are taking to reduce average processing times.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days. The average time taken to process successful online driving licence renewal applications between April and October 2021 was two working days.

There are some instances where the customer has transacted online but will need to provide further information via the paper route. For example, if the DVLA is unable to confirm identity details or if a medical condition has been declared and needs to be investigated. This can increase the processing time.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to establish an air bridge for tourists to use between the UK and Sri Lanka. [T]

The Government has published a list of travel corridors - countries and territories from which passengers arriving to the UK will be exempt from the current 14-day self-isolation requirements.

In deciding which countries to include in this initial list, we have been guided by the science. We will continue to take an objective, evidence-based approach.

Although Sri Lanka is not included in the first list of country-based exemptions to the current requirement, the Government recognises how important tourism is between our two countries.

The Government continues to work closely with international partners around the world to discuss arrangements for travellers arriving from the UK.

The Government will keep the requirements, countries and exemptions set out in the Regulations under review. The next review of the Regulations will be carried out by 27 July 2020.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to restore sick note procedure to seven days rather than allowing workers to stay off work for 28 days without a sick note from their General Practitioner.

This measure ended on 26 January.

The government made changes to the self-certification rules for Statutory Sick Pay, so that for any sickness absences which began on or after 10 December 2021, up to and including 26 January 2022, employees were not required to provide medical evidence of sickness, such as a fit note, for the first 28 days of absence.

This was intended as a temporary measure to quickly maximise GP capacity to support the coronavirus booster campaign.

For new periods of illness starting from 26 January medical evidence can be requested from day 8 of a sickness absence.

7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that doctors who are on strike do not take up locum shifts during strike days at another hospital.

Following the High Court ruling last year it is now unlawful for employment businesses to supply workers, including doctors, to carry out the duties of striking workers. It is not unlawful however for a doctor to take up a locum shift, and current blacklisting legislation does not allow only striking doctors to be targeted and prevented from taking up local shifts.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of why there are over 90 empty care homes in England.

The Department does not monitor or publish data on the number of empty care homes within England. Adult social care services are provided through a largely outsourced market of commercial organisations and charities. Local authorities have a duty to promote the efficient and effective operation of their local adult social care market and are best placed to understand and plan for the care needs of their populations.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when the illicit vaping enforcement squad will commence work.

National Trading Standards, who are delivering the vaping enforcement work, have already commenced work on data collection and intelligence analysis of the illicit vaping market. Other activity, for example at the border, test purchasing and testing of illicit products, is likely to commence in the Autumn.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they have denied funding for domestic students at the Three Counties Medical School at the University of Worcester.

The Government continues to keep the number of medical school places that it funds under review. NHS England has been commissioned to produce a long-term workforce plan. The Government has committed to publishing the plan shortly and this will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years, taking full account of improvements in retention and productivity. The workforce plan is for the whole of the NHS workforce.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ban the importation into the UK of vapes with over 800 puffs.

For a producer wishing to supply nicotine containing vapes in the United Kingdom market they need to comply with the requirements set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 which includes notifying the products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Products that do not comply with the regulations may be subject to enforcement actions.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why the new medical schools at Worcester, Brunel, and Chester universities are primarily recruiting foreign students rather than UK-based applicants.

No specific assessment has been made. The Government has committed to publishing a workforce plan next year, which will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review their pension "abatement" rules for (1) nurses, (2) midwives, (3) physiotherapists, and (4) mental health officers, who wish to keep working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pension measures in Section 45 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 allow retired and partially retired staff to return to work or increase their working commitments without the risk of having their pension benefits suspended.

Since March 2020, abatement of ‘Special Class’ members of the 1995 Section, including nurses, midwives and physiotherapists and mental health officers with the reserved right to retire at 55 years old with pension enhancements, has been suspended. Abatement recognises that ‘Special Class’ members have a significant benefit not available to other staff in the National Health Service. Once abatement is resumed, these staff can continue working for the NHS, typically at least half time. Other staff are not subject to abatement after taking their pension.

These measures are set to expire on 24 March 2022, with the NHS Pension Scheme rules returning to business as usual arrangements. The Department is reviewing this position.

30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why all new starters to the NHS do not have to meet the same vaccination conditions as in the social care sector.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Regulations 2021, were laid on 9 November. These draft regulations would amend the previously made care home regulations to ensure a consistent approach to vaccination requirements for new employees deployed to undertake Care Quality Commission regulated activities in health and social care.

30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to set a maximum retail price for PCR COVID-19 tests, in addition to the standards for such tests.

While there are no plans to introduce a cap on the price of such tests, we are committed to working with private testing providers to reduce the cost of testing.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many General Practitioners are registered with the NHS in England; and how many of them are on part-time contracts.

The latest available data shows that as at 30 September 2021, there were 36,275 full time equivalent doctors working in general practice in England, or 45,681 by headcount. There were 26,895 qualified permanent general practitioners, excluding those in training grade and locums, by headcount who work fewer than 37.5 hours per week.

16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to Trading Standards offices to undertake enforcement actions to ensure that illegally imported e-cigarette products are removed from the UK market.

Through the introduction of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, we have introduced e-cigarette product and safety standards, along with a duty to notify a product to be placed on the United Kingdom market to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Non-compliant products are subject to local trading standards enforcement. The Department continues to work closely with the MHRA, Trading Standards and other regulatory enforcement agencies to ensure that products sold in the UK comply with regulations for all e-cigarette products and the non-compliant products are removed from the market. Central funding is provided to local authorities for local trading standards activity, including illicit e-cigarettes.

16th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to stop the importation of illegal e-cigarette products into the UK.

Through the introduction of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, we have introduced e-cigarette product and safety standards, along with a duty to notify a product to be placed on the United Kingdom market to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Non-compliant products are subject to local trading standards enforcement. The Department continues to work closely with the MHRA, Trading Standards and other regulatory enforcement agencies to ensure that products sold in the UK comply with regulations for all e-cigarette products and the non-compliant products are removed from the market. Central funding is provided to local authorities for local trading standards activity, including illicit e-cigarettes.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why COVID-19 vaccinations are compulsory for care home staff, and voluntary for NHS staff.

On 9 November the Secretary of State announced his intention to legislate to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in health and the wider social care sector. This will extend the requirement to be vaccinated to all those that are deployed to undertake a Care Quality Commission-regulated activity across health and social care. Subject to Parliamentary approval, we intend the enforcement of this condition to start on 1 April.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) dentists, (2) dental surgeons, and (3) dental hygienists working for the NHS or privately in England are required to have COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dentists, dental surgeons and dental hygienists providing Care Quality Commission regulated activities are within scope of the vaccination as a condition of deployment requirements. These requirements apply to services both privately and publicly provided.

The draft Health and Social care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations were laid on 9 November setting out the requirements. These regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure.

13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that the NHS spent £400 million per month on private sector healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, why only one third of private sector capacity was utilised.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement worked with the independent sector to secure appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource across England. Initially, contracts placed with the independent sector took 100% of their capacity, including staff and equipment. The arrangements were later refined to provide guaranteed access to sufficient capacity to carry out the required level of activity.

11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Cayman Islands are not on the list of 'green' countries for entering England.

Decisions to place countries, including Cayman Islands, on the ‘green list’ are taken by Ministers informed by evidence including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s analysis as well as other relevant information about the risk of the spread of variant. The advice, evidence and methodology which informs these decisions relates to on-going development of Government policy and therefore cannot be published at this time.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Department of Health and Social Care staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

On 2 September the Department had 1,370 staff registered as working in central London. The building pass system show that 310 staff worked in the Department’s London headquarters on that date.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with companies in the garment industry in Sri Lanka about producing and supplying personal protection equipment products to the UK.

A cross-Government personal protective equipment (PPE) sourcing unit, staffed by over 400 people, is securing new supply lines from across the world and has published rigorous standards against which purchases will be made.

We are identifying new sources of critical PPE from overseas markets, diversifying the United Kingdom’s sources of supply and strengthening the UK’s supply chains for the long term.

The Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office teams around the world are seeking new supplies, lobbying governments to lift export restrictions and helping get crucial deliveries back to the UK. We are using our wider trade tools to seek to strengthen our procurement power on PPE and medical supplies. This includes deepening our relationships with partner countries through Joint Economic and Trade Committees, including with countries in South East Asia.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to spare capacity for COVID-19 testing being used to facilitate the testing of Parliamentarians, particularly those aged over 70.

The Government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for COVID-19. As our capacity has continued to increase, we have now expanded testing to a wider range of people, including all those over the age of 65 and those unable to work from home where they have symptoms.

However, the advice remains that those over the age of 70 or considered vulnerable should follow the Government’s advice on shielding to reduce their personal risk. Where people are able to work from home they should, and we welcome Parliament’s recent changes to allow Parliamentarians to participate in business remotely.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the COVID-19 testing policy for hospital patients that have been discharged to nursing and care homes over the last four weeks.

As outlined in the Adult Social Care Plan, published on 15 April 2020, any patient who moves from the National Health Service to social care will be discharged in line with the current NHS COVID-19 Discharge Requirements. NHS England and NHS Improvement published a letter on 16 April addressed to all accountable officers of all hospitals (public and private sector) working for the NHS and discharge teams outlining the new requirement to test patients being discharged from hospital to a care home.

7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) economic, and (2) technological support they are providing, alongside the foreign aid budget, to ensure that Small Island States, particularly those that are Commonwealth members, are equipped to deal with any loss or damage that may arise due to sea-level rise.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) play a leading role on climate action due to their unique moral voice and climate vulnerability. The UK has aimed to drive support on their climate adaptation and mitigation priorities. The SIDS4 conference in May 2024 will be a once-in-a-decade opportunity for transformational action and the UK is working to drive momentum for an ambitious offer on climate action. The UK recognises some SIDS face existential threats from climate change and is committed to ensuring the package of recommendations of the new loss and damage fund and funding arrangements, as developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s Transitional Committee, is agreed at COP28.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to increase the foreign aid budget for Small Island States at risk from climate change; and to make commitments within that budget to combat the effects of sea-level rise.

The PM reaffirmed at COP27 that we are delivering on our commitment to spend £11.6 billion International Climate Finance (ICF), which includes £3 billion for nature. To ensure ICF supports the most vulnerable experiencing the worst impacts of climate change, we will triple our funding for adaptation from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion in 2025, in addition to ensuring a balance between mitigation and adaptation spend. We will ensure continued support to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to improve their climate resilience.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) economic, (2) logistical and (3) technological support they are providing to ensure that sea-level rise does not endanger the continued existence of Small Island States.

Building resilience to the impacts of climate change, economic shocks and natural disasters is at the heart of the UK vision for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Our £11.6 billion commitment for climate finance and our role as a major contributor to global climate funds has enabled the UK to support SIDS resilience. We will provide $2 billion to the Green Climate Fund's (GCF) second replenishment (2024-27). This equates to £1.623 billion and is the biggest single funding commitment the UK has made to help the world tackle climate change. We provide approximately £200 million of aid annually to SIDS, including:

• the £36 million Sustainable Blue Economies (SBE) programme supporting development of prosperous ocean-based economies while protecting nature and increasing climate resilience.

• £40 million 'Small Island Developing State Capacity and Resilience' (SIDAR) programme, supporting better access to funding and building state resilience.

• The UK's £350 million Caribbean Infrastructure Fund supports resilient infrastructure for states acutely vulnerable to natural disasters as does our £10 million contribution to the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) facility (announced at COP26 by PM Modi and PM Johnson). We are also providing further support to SIDS through other global Blue Planet Fund programmes, including being part of Defra's Ocean Country Partnership Programme (£65 million), the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (£33 million), and Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (£13.9 million).

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to ensure that states currently at risk from sea-level rise will not lose their current territory and other entitlements under international law.

We acknowledge that sea level rise poses challenges with respect to the stability of maritime boundaries and we recognise that this is a significant concern for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other coastal countries including the UK. We have taken careful note of the Pacific Islands Forum declaration on this topic and are considering it in detail. The UK acknowledges that this is a matter of considerable importance to (SIDS) who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We continue to work with SIDS to drive global ambition of emissions reductions, and support adaptation and resilience in SIDS including through accessing finance. The UK Government has a number of programmes which will support SIDS and which aim to strengthen resilience against climate change, such as the global £500 million Blue Planet Fund.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the position adopted in the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise, published in August 2021 by the Pacific Islands Forum, including that no state should lose territory of any kind as a result of human-caused climate change.

We acknowledge that sea level rise poses challenges with respect to the stability of maritime boundaries and we recognise that this is a significant concern for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other coastal countries including the UK. We have taken careful note of the Pacific Islands Forum declaration on this topic and are considering it in detail. The UK acknowledges that this is a matter of considerable importance to (SIDS) who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We continue to work with SIDS to drive global ambition of emissions reductions, and support adaptation and resilience in SIDS including through accessing finance. The UK Government has a number of programmes which will support SIDS and which aim to strengthen resilience against climate change, such as the global £500 million Blue Planet Fund.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they have given to the government of Sri Lanka to help meet that country's emergency needs for (1) life saving drugs, and (2) other medical equipment.

The UK is closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka, particularly as it relates to the supply of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment supplies. The UK contributes to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Operation in Sri Lanka. The DREF is supporting the Sri Lanka Red Cross with an allocation of CHF691,002 in response to shortages and civil unrest. It will support with the provision of essential medicine, first aid and psychosocial support. We are also working to support the United Nations (UN) and its agencies in the coordination of their response based on the UN's recent joint Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) Plan, launched on 9 June. This called for US$47.2 million to provide life-saving assistance to 1.7 million people who are most at risk and need immediate support. The World Bank have announced assistance of US$400 million, which includes funds to meet medicines and medical equipment needs. The UK is a major donor of the UN and World Bank.


The UK recognises the difficult economic situation and welcomes the ongoing in-depth discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on reforms needed to bring the economy back to a sustainable path. The Prime Minister spoke to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe on 30 May and underlined the UK's continued support to the people of Sri Lanka during these economic difficulties.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the new Strategy for International Development between 20 March and 8 April.

The Government will publish a new International Development Strategy this Spring, that will guide our work for the coming decade and beyond. It will align our development work with the aims and objectives of the Integrated Review.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was changed in June.

In line with FCDO appointment procedures, Sir Laurie Bristow was appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to Afghanistan in June this year, following the end of tour of his predecessor Alison Blake who had served as Ambassador in Kabul since April 2019.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the UK Minister responsible for Pakistan made contact with the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs envoy to Afghanistan in (1) June, (2) July, and (3) August.

On his visit to Pakistan on 3 September, the Foreign Secretary met Ambassador Sadiq, PM Khan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, alongside Foreign Minister Qureshi, as well as Prime Minister Khan, and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa. The Foreign Secretary has also had telephone conversations with the Foreign Minister Qureshi on 15 and 27 August. Lord Ahmad visited Pakistan on 23-24 June and met Foreign Minister Qureshi and Prime Minister Khan, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. British officials, including the High Commissioner, have been in regular contact with Ambassador Mohammed Sadiq since his appointment as Special Representative for Afghanistan in June 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they used to assess the credibility of evidence reports they have received which related to the situation in Sri Lanka during the civil war in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009; and whether it has ever been their practice to accept reports from unnamed sources.

Reports from UK Military attachés and diplomats take a wide variety of forms. Some report events which they have directly observed; some report the views or assertions of others; some focus on judgements or provide analysis. These, along with other sources, contribute to the UK government's overall understanding of events overseas.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what sources they used to inform their assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka during the civil war in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009.

The UK government's assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka during the civil war was informed by a broad range of internal and open source reporting, including from our High Commission in Colombo, international organisations, civil society and media.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the information contained in despatches written by UK defence attachés must be independently verified before submission; if so, whether it is standard practice to ensure that such attachés are briefed to that effect; and if so, what record, if any, they hold of Lieutenant Colonel Gash, being so briefed.

Reports from UK Military attachés and diplomats take a wide variety of forms. Some report events which they have directly observed; some report the views or assertions of others; some focus on judgements or provide analysis. There is no blanket requirement for information to be independently verified before submission, which in many situations will not be possible. The context of reporting will inform the weight that is attached to it. Reports from our defence attachés, together with many other sources, contribute to the UK government's overall understanding of events overseas.

21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the despatches written by Lieutenant Colonel Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka about events in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009 relating to the civil war, whether they consider all reports by UK military attachés and diplomats to be evidence based-assessments.

Reports from UK Military attachés and diplomats take a wide variety of forms. Some report events which they have directly observed; some report the views or assertions of others; some focus on judgements or provide analysis. These, along with other sources, contribute to the UK government's overall understanding of events overseas.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were aware that the UN Human Rights Council was putting together a report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka between 1 January and 18 May 2009.

The UK government has not received a request from any UN Human Rights Council mechanism for copies of despatches written by the former defence attaché Lieutenant Colonel Gash, and has no plans to provide any.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 16 February (HL13011), what plans they have to supply the UN Human Rights Council with a copy of the despatches written by Lieutenant Colonel Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka about events in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009 relating to the civil war.

The UK government has not received a request from any UN Human Rights Council mechanism for copies of despatches written by the former defence attaché Lieutenant Colonel Gash, and has no plans to provide any.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have supplied any (1) redacted, or (2) unredacted, copies of despatches written by Lieutenant Colonel Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka about events in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009 relating to the civil war to (a) the UK representative in the Chair of the UN Core Group on Sri Lanka, and (b) to the other country representatives on the UN Core Group on Sri Lanka.

The UK Government has not received a request from any UN Human Rights Council mechanism for copies of despatches written by the former defence attaché Lieutenant Colonel Gash, and has no plans to provide any.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they notified the UN Human Rights Council about the existence of despatches written by Lieutenant Colonel Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka about events in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009 relating to the civil war; and if so, when.

The UK Government has not received a request from any UN Human Rights Council mechanism for copies of despatches written by the former defence attaché Lieutenant Colonel Gash, and has no plans to provide any.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have supplied to the UN Human Rights Council any (1) redacted, and (2) unredacted, copies of despatches written by Lieutenant Colonel Gash, the former defence attaché of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka about events in that country between 1 January and 18 May 2009 relating to the civil war.

The UK Government has not received any request from the UN Human Rights Council for copies of despatches written by the former defence attaché at the British High Commission in Sri Lanka, Lieutenant Colonel Gash, about events in Sri Lanka related to the civil war, and has not provided any.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

We continue to make our workplaces safe and accessible in line with the latest public health advice in England and Scotland and have taken a phased approach to increasing the number of desks available. Those who are able and willing to return are being encouraged to make full use of the available desks. The FCDO operates a set of desk-booking systems that allows it to track and trace which members of staff attended on any given day.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to facilitate the return to the UK of those British citizens stranded abroad due to the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic. [T]

British travellers who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. Since the Foreign Secretary announced £75m to support repatriation efforts on 30 March, the Government has so far delivered a programme of over 183 charter flights from where commercial options are no longer viable. These flights have brought?over 37,700?people from?52?countries and territories, back to UK airports in the East Midlands, London and Manchester. We have also supported repatriation of more than 19,000 British passengers from cruise ships.

Our consular team continues to work around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The situation is fast moving, and our advice at this time is for British nationals to secure safe accommodation and to speak to their tour operator, airline and or insurance company to discuss the options available to them. We are working intensively with the governments of those countries that have closed their borders to people travelling to and from the UK, to enable airlines to bring British nationals home.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they met with Navi Pillay, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, during her visit to London in May; and, if so, what topics they discussed.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not aware of this event.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office attended an event on 20 May that was addressed by the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not aware of this event.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK Ambassadors and High Commissioners in southern Asia have been instructed to approach their respective host governments to assess the possibility of establishing joint ventures in the production of personal protective equipment. [T]

The Government is working tirelessly to secure vital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) from overseas partners to meet UK demand. A joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office-Department for International Trade team was established to work with our network of overseas Posts to identify leads for medical equipment, conduct due diligence, and support the Department for Health and Social Care with the procurement process.

We are also working to establish relationships with suppliers in priority markets, including South Asia, where excess manufacturing capability exists and export restrictions aren't in place, with a view to securing the UK's future PPE supply. We have asked Posts to begin engagement with potential suppliers, and engaging governments where appropriate.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have, or seek, a two-state solution for Sri-Lanka.

The British Government does absolutely not have or seek a two-state solution for Sri Lanka.​

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the historic vehicle tax exemption by altering the 40-year rule to 30 years.

At Budget 2014 the Government announced that it would introduce a rolling 40-year Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) exemption for classic cars in recognition of their important contribution to UK heritage and culture.

The Government has set 40 years as being a fair cut-off date to distinguish classic cars from those that are simply older vehicles and there are no current plans to reduce the tax exemption age to 30 years.

As with all taxes, VED is kept under review and any changes are considered and announced by the Chancellor.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with regard to recent meetings between Treasury ministers, food suppliers and retailers and the Competition and Markets Authority, what assessment they have made of the existing benefits to consumers of price competition between major supermarkets.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury spoke to supermarket representatives on 11 May 2023, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer met with food manufacturers on 23 May 2023 about the cost of food in the UK.

The Competition and Markets Authority announced on 15 May 2023 that it would conduct further work in the grocery sector to understand whether any failure in competition is contributing to grocery prices being higher than they would be in a well-functioning market. Once published, the Government will consider the Competition and Markets Authority’s findings.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
24th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure all illegal crypto ATMs are removed from retailers.

Cryptoasset exchange providers, which includes Crypto ATM operators, in the UK must be registered with the FCA and comply with the UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs). None of the cryptoasset firms registered with the FCA have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally.

The FCA has previously warned operators of crypto ATMs in the UK to shut their machines down or face enforcement action. Additionally, the FCA publishes a list of cryptoasset businesses that it suspects are operating without registration to help firms and customers make sure they only deal with registered firms.

The FCA works with the National Economic Crime Centre to plan and coordinate action with law enforcement partners in relation to operators of illegal crypto ATMs. Recently it has used its powers to inspect sites in Exeter, Nottingham and Sheffield suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs. This action follows the FCA’s inspection of several sites in East London and Leeds that were suspected of hosting unregistered crypto ATMs and is part of a continued crackdown on this illicit sector.

The FCA contact centre is the point of contact for people wishing to report Crypto ATMs. Contact details can be found on the FCA website in the ‘Contact Us’ section.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
9th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to raise the £410,000 Lifetime ISA (LISA) limit to £607,500 to reflect average house price growth in the UK since 2017.

The Government is committed to supporting people of all incomes and at all stages of life to save, and to making the aspiration of home ownership a reality for as many households as possible.

The Lifetime ISA is intended to support younger people saving for their first home or for later life by offering a generous government bonus of 25% on up to £4,000 of savings each year. These funds, including the government bonus, can be used to purchase a first home up to the value of £450,000.

The Government keeps all elements of the Lifetime ISA under review, as it does all aspects of the tax system.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
9th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow savers to use Lifetime ISA (LISA) monies without penalty to buy a home of a value that would otherwise incur a penalty when the money was withdrawn.

The Government is committed to supporting people of all incomes and at all stages of life to save, and to making the aspiration of home ownership a reality for as many households as possible.

The Lifetime ISA is intended to support younger people saving for their first home or for later life by offering a generous government bonus of 25% on up to £4,000 of savings each year. These funds, including the government bonus, can be used to purchase a first home up to the value of £450,000.

The Government keeps all elements of the Lifetime ISA under review, as it does all aspects of the tax system.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they propose to uplift the maximum property allowance for Lifetime ISAs from the current cap of £450,000, set in April 2017.

The Lifetime ISA is intended to support younger people saving for their first home or for later life by offering a generous government bonus of 25% on up to £4,000 of savings each year. These funds, including the government bonus, can be used to purchase a first home up to the value of £450,000.

The Government considers that the £450,000 price cap remains suitable to support the majority of first-time buyers across the UK who typically purchase less expensive properties than other buyers.

The most recent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast stated that bonus payments will have an exchequer cost of £3.7 billion between 2021 and 2027. The price cap ensures that this significant investment of public money is more precisely targeted towards households that may find it more difficult to get onto the property ladder.

First-time buyers who can purchase a home valued over £450,000 are likely to have an income significantly above that of the average household in the UK and are therefore more likely to be able to purchase a first home without the support of this scheme.

The Government continues to keep all aspects of savings policy under review.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) they, or (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, approved the use by the Financial Ombudsman Service of 'mass claims' to deal with claims against consumer credit companies.

The Treasury is in regular dialogue with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) including on matters relating to consumer credit affordability and redress claims.

To help alleviate the pressure on firms, the FOS currently sets the number of free cases at 25. From the 26th complaint onwards, businesses are currently charged a £650 case fee to cover the cost of subsequent complaints brought against them, regardless of outcome. It is estimated that nine in ten businesses whose customers bring complaints to the FOS won’t pay any case fees.

It is important to note that the FOS is an independent non-governmental body which makes decisions within the statutory framework agreed by Parliament. The Government is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the FOS.

The independence of the FOS is vital to its role. Its credibility, authority and value to consumers would be undermined if it were possible for the Government to intervene in its decision making.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Financial Ombudsman Service about (1) the Ombudsman's mass claims unit, and (2) the affordability of mass claims relating to consumer credit companies.

The Treasury is in regular dialogue with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) including on matters relating to consumer credit affordability and redress claims.

To help alleviate the pressure on firms, the FOS currently sets the number of free cases at 25. From the 26th complaint onwards, businesses are currently charged a £650 case fee to cover the cost of subsequent complaints brought against them, regardless of outcome. It is estimated that nine in ten businesses whose customers bring complaints to the FOS won’t pay any case fees.

It is important to note that the FOS is an independent non-governmental body which makes decisions within the statutory framework agreed by Parliament. The Government is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the FOS.

The independence of the FOS is vital to its role. Its credibility, authority and value to consumers would be undermined if it were possible for the Government to intervene in its decision making.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Her Majesty's Treasury staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

HM Treasury does not hold this information.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the implementation of the forthcoming VAT reverse charge for construction services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the construction sector, the Government has decided to delay the introduction of the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services, to 1 March 2021.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans he has to ensure that plated salad is served in the House of Lords Bishop’s Bar.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

At its meeting on 11 July 2019 the Services Committee agreed to trial a revised service in the Bishops’ Bar, taking effect from the return of the House in September. Due to the dissolution and recess periods the Committee agreed that the trial be extended until April 2020.

During the trial period food preparation has been removed from the Bishops’ Bar, due to health and food safety concerns. This has meant that it is no longer possible for staff to customise salads and sandwiches at the point of sale. The Committee also agreed to the removal of toasted sandwiches from the Bishops’ Bar as part of the trial. A variety of toasted sandwiches remain available for purchase in the River Restaurant, with the choice of eating in or taking away. Two plated salad options have remained on offer in the Bishops’ Bar during the trial period and should the trial changes be made permanent these plated salad options will remain.

The Committee did not introduce these changes lightly. They were the subject to several discussions by the Committee; the minutes of which are available on the Committee’s webpage.

A report on the trial and future provision of services in the Bishops’ Bar is expected to be considered by the Committee at its April meeting. Once the Committee has had the opportunity to consider the report, it will be made available on the Committee’s webpage.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans he has to revert to the pre-October 2019 House of Lords Bishop’s Bar food service, in particular the provision of customisable salads and sandwiches.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee to respond to these questions on his behalf.

At its meeting on 11 July 2019 the Services Committee agreed to trial a revised service in the Bishops’ Bar, taking effect from the return of the House in September. Due to the dissolution and recess periods the Committee agreed that the trial be extended until April 2020.

During the trial period food preparation has been removed from the Bishops’ Bar, due to health and food safety concerns. This has meant that it is no longer possible for staff to customise salads and sandwiches at the point of sale. The Committee also agreed to the removal of toasted sandwiches from the Bishops’ Bar as part of the trial. A variety of toasted sandwiches remain available for purchase in the River Restaurant, with the choice of eating in or taking away. Two plated salad options have remained on offer in the Bishops’ Bar during the trial period and should the trial changes be made permanent these plated salad options will remain.

The Committee did not introduce these changes lightly. They were the subject to several discussions by the Committee; the minutes of which are available on the Committee’s webpage.

A report on the trial and future provision of services in the Bishops’ Bar is expected to be considered by the Committee at its April meeting. Once the Committee has had the opportunity to consider the report, it will be made available on the Committee’s webpage.

10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to curb the illegal use of e-scooters.

Enforcement of road traffic law, including in relation to the illegal use of e-scooters, is an operational matter for Chief Officers who will decide how to deploy available resources, taking into account any specific local problems and demands.

The Government will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation, including those relating to offences involving e-scooters.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in the negotiations between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Home Office regarding the approximately 1,000 foreign GPs working for the NHS who are threatened with deportation because they do not meet the requirements of the skilled worker scheme.

Deportation relates to the removal from the UK of Foreign Nationals who are serious or persistent criminal offenders. It is wrong to suggest 1,000 foreign national GPs fall within this category or to imply they have been threatened with this by the Home Office. We therefore would not be having any negotiations with the Department for Health and Social Care on this basis.

General Practitioner (GP) is a role which qualifies for the Skilled Worker Visa, in particular the Health and Care visa which makes it easier, cheaper, and quicker for health workers – including GPs - to come to the UK to work compared to other immigration routes. This route also exempts them from the need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Home Office works with employers in the sector to ensure they can recruit under the Skilled Worker route by becoming a licensed sponsor, with tens of thousands of employers having done so, including many small and medium size businesses. Those who are licensed sponsors can recruit for any role which qualifies for the Skilled Worker Visa.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the post of director general of Border Force and Immigration Enforcement continues to be vacant.

We are in the process of recruitment for a new joint Borders and Enforcement Director General.

In the interim we have appointed two temporary Director Generals for Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of Home Office staff based in central London were working from their office desks on 2 September.

The Home Office is only able to provide this information for 2 Marsham St where it is recorded.

On 2 September 2020, 173 members of Home Office staff were working in 2 Marsham Street office, which is 30 % of Covid compliant occupancy.

*Note: available desks is currently 577 due to social distancing. Desk numbers for Home Office staff in 2 Marsham Street total 2072 but due to social distancing this has been reduced to 577.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Sri Lankan nationals sought asylum in the UK in (1) 2018, and (2) 2019, and how many were successful.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on the number of asylum applications from Sri Lankan nationals and the initial decision on such applications are published in the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets).

Table Asy_D01 contains information on the number of asylum applications. Table Asy_D02 contains information on initial decisions on such applications. In addition to those granted at initial decision, some will be granted following appeal. Data on the number of appeals lodged can be found in Asy_D06, and data on the outcome of such appeals in Asy_D07.

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. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020.

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)

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Royal Air Force Regiment was not deployed to support the evacuation operation in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence deploys the appropriate unit to each operation dependent on a number of factors. These include readiness, capability and the required task, as well taking into account current commitments. Consequently, elements from the RAF Regiment were deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation PITTING.

4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made to ensure the safety of multi-storey car parks given the increasing number of heavy electric vehicles.

Responsibility for the safety of a building and its occupants rests with building owners and is covered by Occupiers Liability and Health and Safety legislation. A building designed to carry vehicles on multiple levels will have an engineered load bearing capacity; it is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that operational weight limits take into account the type or structural condition of the building and its capacity to support vehicles. The standards used for the structural design of buildings (Eurocodes) and referred to in the statutory guidance to the Building Regulations with regards to structural safety (Approved Document A) are currently under review by a panel of international experts. We expect the review of these standards to include considerations associated with electrical vehicles.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect cladding manufacturers to make an appropriate contribution to fix cladding issues identified following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

I refer the noble Lord to my answer to question HL 5795 on 8 March 2023. The Government expects developers to do the right thing irrespective of where they are based.

To date, 49 developers have signed a developer remediation contract with the Government, committing to remediate or pay to remediate buildings that they developed or refurbished. Several of those signatories are foreign-owned.

On 3 July 2023, we made regulations to establish a Responsible Actors Scheme. Members of the Scheme will be required to enter into and comply with the developer remediation contract. Any eligible developer who does not do so will be prohibited from carrying out major development and from securing building control approval. Any overseas-based developer that meets the criteria will be eligible for the Scheme. Similarly, the Government's Building Safety Levy will apply to in-scope developments by all developers, irrespective of where the developer is based.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to persuade foreign developers to contribute to fix cladding issues identified following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

I refer the noble Lord to my answer to question HL 5795 on 8 March 2023. The Government expects developers to do the right thing irrespective of where they are based.

To date, 49 developers have signed a developer remediation contract with the Government, committing to remediate or pay to remediate buildings that they developed or refurbished. Several of those signatories are foreign-owned.

On 3 July 2023, we made regulations to establish a Responsible Actors Scheme. Members of the Scheme will be required to enter into and comply with the developer remediation contract. Any eligible developer who does not do so will be prohibited from carrying out major development and from securing building control approval. Any overseas-based developer that meets the criteria will be eligible for the Scheme. Similarly, the Government's Building Safety Levy will apply to in-scope developments by all developers, irrespective of where the developer is based.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that once buildings are remediated, there is a mechanism to remove the non-qualifying status so that it does not affect (1) property valuation, (2) mortgage lending, and (3) saleability in perpetuity.

There is no test of ability to pay for freeholders; the £2 million ‘contribution condition’ merely determines whether freeholders must meet all remediation costs for qualifying leaseholders or whether they can seek capped contributions from them. Likewise, the ‘annual profit condition’ of £10 million is an initial level above which we are seeking to apply the Responsible Actors’ Scheme to developers; it is not a figure below which developers are somehow exempt from meeting the cost of remediation.

Once a building is remediated, the qualifying status of a lease should not have an impact on valuation, or mortgage lending. Major mortgage lenders made clear in a statement in March 2022 they would lend on buildings subject to remediation and guidance from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published in December 2022 provides a clear approach on valuing properties impacted by building safety issues.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of a non-qualifying leaseholder's ability to pay for building safety remediation, given that developers must meet an annual profit condition of £10 million and freeholders must meet the net wealth test of £2 million per relevant building.

There is no test of ability to pay for freeholders; the £2 million ‘contribution condition’ merely determines whether freeholders must meet all remediation costs for qualifying leaseholders or whether they can seek capped contributions from them. Likewise, the ‘annual profit condition’ of £10 million is an initial level above which we are seeking to apply the Responsible Actors’ Scheme to developers; it is not a figure below which developers are somehow exempt from meeting the cost of remediation.

Once a building is remediated, the qualifying status of a lease should not have an impact on valuation, or mortgage lending. Major mortgage lenders made clear in a statement in March 2022 they would lend on buildings subject to remediation and guidance from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published in December 2022 provides a clear approach on valuing properties impacted by building safety issues.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what analysis they have carried out to assess the impact of recent and forthcoming legislation on the supply of new and existing rental accommodation in the private sector.

The number of rented properties has almost doubled since 2004 – peaking in 2016 and remaining roughly stable since. In fact, the most recent data shows that the number of PRS properties increased by 11,000 in the year to March 2022.

We are committed to robust monitoring and evaluating of the private rented sector reform programme and its impact on the sector. The Renters (Reform) Bill Impact Assessment is currently being scrutinised by the Regulatory Policy Committee and we will publish it during the Bill's passage through Parliament.

We recognise that good landlords play a vital role in providing homes for millions of people across the country. We have designed our reforms to ensure landlords can continue to invest and have confidence in the market.

The government has made a number of interventions to support the Build to Rent sector, boosting housing supply, diversifying the private rental sector, and increasing quality and choice for renters in cities and towns across England.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what work has taken place to create a series of "green towns" around the concept of Welwyn Garden City.

Well planned, well-designed, locally led garden communities will play a vital role in helping to meet this country’s housing need well into the future, providing a pipeline of new homes. Our Garden Communities Programme supports 47 locally led garden communities, which have the potential for around 300,000 homes by 2050. We have not prescribed a single template for a garden community, as each will have its own clear sense of identity and are expected to exhibit exemplary place-making qualities.

The Garden Communities programme recognises that strong local leadership is crucial, and this locally-led programme relies on local authorities identifying appropriate locations, developing and delivering a long-term vision for these new communities.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to make an announcement on the next generation of new towns.

Well planned, well-designed, locally led garden communities will play a vital role in helping to meet this country’s housing need well into the future, providing a pipeline of new homes. Our Garden Communities Programme supports 47 locally led garden communities, which have the potential for around 300,000 homes by 2050. We have not prescribed a single template for a garden community, as each will have its own clear sense of identity and are expected to exhibit exemplary place-making qualities.

The Garden Communities programme recognises that strong local leadership is crucial, and this locally-led programme relies on local authorities identifying appropriate locations, developing and delivering a long-term vision for these new communities.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are approaching foreign developers and cladding manufacturers to secure contributions to fix cladding issues.

The Government have made it clear that they expect all those who contribute and profited from affected buildings to take responsibility for fixing them. As part of this, we expect developers to do the right thing, irrespective of where they are based. The developer remediation contract published on 30 January is an important step towards making sure this happens. A number of developers with overseas owners have been invited to sign the contract.

Furthermore, the Building Safety Levy can be charged on new residential developments that require building control approval. As it will be charged as part of the building control process, all developers will have to pay it on developments that are in scope - regardless of whether they are based in the UK or not.

The Department's Recovery Strategy Unit has also spearheaded legal action against recalcitrant freeholders and is actively investigating the concerning conduct of various companies across the built environment, including contractors and construction product manufacturers.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they are proposing that UK housebuilders pay for remedial work to buildings other than those they built, following the Grenfell fire.

Developers must make a fair contribution to the overall costs of making buildings safe, reflecting the wider benefit they derive from a well-functioning market, and the substantial funding and support the government has and continues to provide to the housing market.

The Government has already committed £5.1 billion to fund remediation of unsafe cladding. The Building Safety Levy is a key element of ensuring that the burden of paying for fixing historic building safety defects does not fall on leaseholders and does not further burden taxpayers.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to support first-time buyers of houses once the current Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme finishes on 31 January 2023.

The Government is committed to helping first time buyers to get on the housing ladder. We operate a range of other government schemes including First Homes, Shared Ownership and the Lifetime ISA and we continually keep options to support first-time buyers under consideration.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total (1) number, and (2) proportion, of households in England in the private rented sector in each year since 2017.

The English Housing Survey collects data on number and proportion of households in each tenure and publishes this every year in our Headline Report, with details at Annex Table 1.1.

The totals for the private rented sector from 2017 are as follows:
2016-17: 4,692,000 households; 20.3% of households
2017-18: 4,530,000 households; 19.5% of households
2018-19: 4,552,000 households; 19.3% of households
2019-20: 4,438,000 households; 18.7% of households
2020-21: 4,434,000 households; 18.5% of households

20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to make the provision of long-term homes for private rent more appealing than supplying holiday lets.

The sharing economy has brought many benefits to the tourism sector and wider economy, as well as creating an additional income stream for homeowners. However, we recognise that the increase in short-term letting has also prompted some concerns. These include the impact on the housing market and local communities particularly from those living in our most popular tourist destinations.

The Government committed in the Tourism Recovery Plan, published in June last year, to consult on a possible Short Term Accommodation Registration Scheme in England. A call for evidence as the first stage of that consultation process was published on 29 June and runs until 21 September. We will listen carefully to what local people and affected stakeholders have to say to make sure we respond appropriately with evidence-based policy proposals.

20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the demand for homes for private rent.

The English Housing Survey provides information on housing stock. There was an expansion in the proportion of Private Rented Sector households from 2008 which peaked in 2017. Although there has been a slight downward trend since 2017, the proportion has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade at around 19% to 20%.

20th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the size of the private rented housing sector; and whether their policy is to decrease that size.

The proportion of households living in the private rented sector (PRS) has remained relatively stable over the past decade. The English Housing Survey shows that in 2012-13, the PRS accounted for 18% of households in England. In 2015-16, this increased slightly to 20%, decreasing slightly to 19% in 2019-20, and remaining stable at 19% households in 2020-21.

Most people want to buy their own home one day and the government is firmly committed to helping Generation Rent to become Generation Buy. However, we also appreciate that this is not everyone's aspiration and that there are many people for whom renting a home is either a more practical or more affordable option. The PRS remains an important part of the housing market for the 4.4 million households who live there.

The recent White Paper, 'A Fairer Private Rented Sector', sets out how the government will deliver a fairer, more secure, and higher quality PRS. The reforms are designed to provide good landlords with the support they need, and to make sure they have the confidence to continue operating in the market. We will continue to talk to landlords, local councils and other interested groups while monitoring the impact of our reforms on the sector.

The government also strongly supports the expansion of the Build to Rent (BtR) market. BtR boosts housing supply, diversifies the private rental sector and increases quality and choice for renters in cities and towns across England. To support this, we have revised the National Planning Policy Framework and issued a new chapter of planning guidance to support the delivery of more BtR homes, including affordable rental homes.

14th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reports about their tower block safety plan, whether the UK house building industry will be required to pay for remedies to buildings constructed by overseas developers; and if so, why.

The Secretary of State’s statement made clear that no leaseholder living in a building above 11m will ever face any costs for fixing dangerous cladding. We expect industry to make right their historic mistakes by funding and fixing the stock of unsafe buildings they have built over decades.

We are offering industry a window of opportunity, to work with the department through open and transparent talks to agree a settlement that will restore confidence and ensure the industry that caused the problem pays to fix it. Over recent weeks we have held several roundtables with developers and cladding and insulation to make our position clear, and talks are ongoing.

In addition, the residential property developer tax (RPDT) will be charged on the profits of companies carrying out residential property development. The tax is part of a wider plan to bring an end to unsafe cladding, provide reassurance to homeowners and support confidence in the housing market.

The Building Safety Levy will be charged on any residential building that requires building control approval. It is not based on developer location or profit margin. Moreover, if amendments to the Building Safety Bill are enacted, courts will also be given new powers to grant Building Liability Orders to allow developers to be sued where they have used shell companies to manage specific developments and avoid taking responsibility for their actions. The court may choose to apply a Building Liability Order to a developer based overseas if it is an associated company, which would be enforced in the normal manner.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to end any temporary restrictions in place for the (1) sale, and (2) purchase, of residential property. [T]

The government removed restrictions on the sale and purchase of residential property in England on 13 May. Restrictions remain in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish the details of the factors being considered in relation to the possible offering of amnesties as part of a proposed truth and reconciliation commission to deal with alleged crimes during the Northern Ireland troubles.

On Tuesday 17 May, the Government introduced the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill in the House of Commons.

The Bill sets out that individuals who were involved in Troubles-related deaths or serious injuries will only be eligible for immunity on the basis of cooperation with a new information recovery body, named the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what matters are outstanding preventing the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission in relation to Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday 17 May, the Government introduced the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill in the House of Commons.

This legislation will establish a new information recovery body, named the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery. This Body will carry out robust and thorough investigations - supported by full state disclosure - for the primary purpose of information recovery, which can potentially deliver better outcomes for victims and survivors of the Troubles.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)