Lord Oates Portrait

Lord Oates

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)
29th Jan 2020 - 11th May 2022
EU External Affairs Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
EU Justice Sub-Committee
26th Jan 2016 - 5th Sep 2017


Scheduled Event
Thursday 30th June 2022
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Advancing the Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa
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Scheduled Event
Thursday 7th July 2022
Debate - Main Chamber
Impacts of the current sewage disposal rates in UK rivers and the responsibility of water companies to alleviate these impacts
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Division Votes
Tuesday 21st June 2022
Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2022
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 29 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 1 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 28 Noes - 181
Speeches
Tuesday 21st June 2022
Water Companies: Sewage Discharge Monitoring
My Lords, is the Minister aware that last year South West Water discharged raw sewage into rivers and beachfronts 43,000 …
Written Answers
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Moreblessing Ali
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe regarding (1) the abduction and …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Oates has voted in 327 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Oates voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Lord Oates 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 (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(77 debate interactions)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(28 debate interactions)
Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist (Conservative)
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(26 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(16 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Oates's debates

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Lord Oates has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Oates has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Oates has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


123 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
24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend Cabinet Office Public Procurement Note (PPN) 6/21 reporting so that (1) public sector suppliers report on their food waste, and (2) they encourage the private sector to adopt this approach.

In the Resources and Waste Strategy, the government committed to consult on introducing mandatory reporting of food waste by certain businesses of an appropriate size. This builds on a voluntary approach to measuring food waste set out in WRAP delivered Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

A consultation on this will be launched in 2022 alongside the Food Strategy White Paper.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Energy Transition Council has met since COP26; and if so, which nations attended.

The Energy Transition Council (ETC) met on Tuesday 24 May 2022, for its fifth Ministerial dialogue, chaired by the UK. Egypt, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia, Morocco, Laos PDR, Philippines and Germany were represented at Ministerial and senior official level.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress the Energy Transition Council has made towards its objectives.

The Energy Transition Council’s objective is to support countries to accelerate their clean energy transition, including through national and Ministerial dialogues. The Council has mobilised assistance in the eleven Energy Transition Council partner countries including through its Rapid Response Facility, which is already responding to over twenty requests, with additional requests in the pipeline for 2022. As a result of these efforts, the Government has seen partner countries commit to raising ambition in their clean energy transition, including through declarations at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to promote wider membership of the Energy Transition Council, in particular to include more African nations.

The Energy Transition Council currently works with eleven developing partner countries across Asia and Africa, including Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Kenya to accelerate their clean energy transitions. The Council’s mandate will continue to 2025, supported by a strategic partnership with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, which will allow for the expansion of the Council’s work and for wider membership, including from African nations.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of including all energy-saving technologies that reduce the cost of heating or hot water into the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The targets for the current iteration of ECO, ECO4, are based on the Home Heating and Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) powers set out in the Electricity Act 1989, Section 41B, and Gas Act 1986, Section 33BD. This allows Government to set a target for the promotion of measures for reducing the cost to individuals of heating their homes. Therefore, measures which do not result in space heating savings are not within scope.

ECO4 is focused on installing energy-efficiency and heating measures in lower income and otherwise vulnerable households across Great Britain. The scheme will run from 2022 to 2026 and is valued at £1 billion a year. This is predicted to help an extra 450,000 families with green measures that reduce the cost of heating such as insulation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of water efficiency measures in helping achieve the government’s net zero aims.

As outlined in the Energy-related Products Policy Framework, the Government estimates 0.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be saved over Carbon Budget 5 through consumer behaviour change encouraged by a mandatory water label on taps and non-electric showers.

Defra has already committed to mandatory water labelling on taps and non-electric showers, among other products, and is working closely with BEIS officials to explore the inclusion of energy efficiency information on the labels in order to best support consumers to make energy- and money-saving purchases.

The Government will continue to explore the feasibility of other efficiency measures for these products.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to require energy suppliers to consult with vulnerable customers before increasing their direct debit payments.

All suppliers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers’ direct debit payments are based on the best available information. Energy suppliers typically review their customers’ direct debit arrangements twice a year based on an actual meter reading to ensure payments are set at a level to avoid large credit or debit balances. A supplier should explain the reasons for changes made to a customer’s direct debit arrangement with 10 days advance notice before the next payment is taken. The customer may challenge a proposed increase and renegotiate the direct debit payment level.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take, if any, to protect disabled customers from the impact of rising energy costs.

Consumers in vulnerable situations due to health issues are protected by the energy price cap if they are on a supplier’s default or standard variable tariff. They will also receive £200 discount on their electricity bill this autumn, as part of the Government’s package worth £9.1 billion to help domestic households with rising energy bills.

The Government will continue to support eligible vulnerable and low-income households through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. From April, local authorities will receive another £500 million for the Household Support Fund to provide help to the most in need.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capacity of infrared heating to support their aim of decarbonising homes.

The Government anticipates that heat pumps will be the principal means of decarbonising heat in buildings through electrification over the next decade and beyond. Evidence to date suggests that there may be a role for alternative electric heating technologies, such as infrared heating, but this should be limited to specific use cases, such as small flats with low heat demand.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have considered research published by the Environmental Technologies & Resource Efficiency Support Service (EnTRESS), at the University of Wolverhampton, concerning any cost and efficiency advantages infrared heating has over other alternatives to decarbonising home heating.

BEIS is gathering evidence on the performance of infrared heating to account for recent developments in infrared heating technology, data management and intelligent control systems. The report published by the Environmental Technologies & Resource Efficiency Support Service (EnTRESS) will be considered as part of this evaluation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks of omitting Scope 3 emissions from Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures reporting; and what plans they have to mandate Scope 3 emissions reporting for UK businesses.

In October 2021, the Government laid regulations to require climate-related financial disclosures from certain UK-registered companies. The regulations do not duplicate pre-existing greenhouse gas emission disclosure requirements under Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), which require large or quoted UK companies and large Limited Liability Partnerships to make disclosures on energy use and emissions in their Annual Reports. Scope 3 emissions reporting is not currently required by either set of regulations.

The discussion around better alignment between SECR and the TCFD recommendations, and the potential to require Scope 3 disclosures formed a part of our UK Government consultation on mandatory climate-related financial disclosures, which concluded in May 2021. Any changes to the SECR regime to require scope 3 disclosures will require a separate consultation process, and would need to take into account the costs and benefits to business of mandatory scope 3 reporting. Any changes would also need to take account of the introduction of the proposed UK Sustainability Disclosures Requirements (SDR) Regime, as set out in Greening Finance: A Roadmap to Sustainable Investment published on 18th October 2021; and the requirements introduced in the June 2021 Procurement Policy Note that require mandatory disclosures of scope 1, scope 2 and a subset of Scope 3 emissions in carbon reduction plans when bidding for major government contracts.

Following COP26, our main ask of business is to join the UN’s Race to Zero. Companies with this kitemark commit to cutting emissions across all three scopes in line with a 1.5C pathway, with clear reporting and transparency mechanisms.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of those who have been moved to a new energy supplier due to their own supplier ceasing to trade were previously on a green tariff and have now been transferred to a non-green tariff.

We do not hold information on which tariff these customers were on with their previous supplier.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the meeting on 28 June with the Norwegian Energy Minister and state-owned oil and gas company Equinor regarding the bilateral energy relationship, why an announcement was made ahead of the publication of the Hydrogen strategy of Equinor’s 1.8gw target for fossil fuel hydrogen.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy met with the Norwegian Energy Minister in Oslo to discuss ways to build back better from the Coronavirus pandemic and tackle climate change. They signed a Joint Statement reaffirming the importance of the bilateral energy relationship between the countries.

The Joint Statement marks a new phase of cross-border energy cooperation between the UK and Norway. The statement celebrated the completion last month of the construction of the North Sea link interconnector and announced that the UK and Norway are close to concluding a historic bilateral treaty on electricity interconnection. It also signalled both countries’ commitment to work together on future opportunities to support our economies’ transition to clean, green energy.

Both Norway and Equinor already play a valuable role in the UK’s energy supply. Equinor has major existing investments in wind and hydrocarbon projects on the UK Continental Shelf.

Equinor announced their latest plans for potential investment in low-carbon hydrogen production separately, following the Joint Statement. Equinor are one of several companies looking to invest in low carbon hydrogen projects in the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why emissions from international aviation and shipping are not included in the draft Carbon Budget Order 2021.

The Government has laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget and this marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050. It builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date. We have committed to include international aviation and shipping emissions in the Sixth Carbon Budget and will bring forward legislative proposals in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish regulations under section 30 of the Climate Change Act 2008 to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in the Sixth Carbon Budget.

The Government has laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget and this marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050. It builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date. We have committed to include international aviation and shipping emissions in the Sixth Carbon Budget and will bring forward legislative proposals in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include indirect non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation, such as climate forcing caused by condensation trails, in the UK's Emissions Trading Scheme.

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) currently captures CO2 emissions on domestic UK flights, flights from the UK to the EEA and flights between the UK and Gibraltar. We recognise that there is a case for expanding carbon pricing, especially given that the UK ETS will be the world’s first Net Zero carbon cap and trade market, a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Government continues to support work on aviation’s non-CO2 emissions, and possible mitigation measures, taking into account their trade-offs with CO2 and the importance of ensuring that the sector’s total climate impact would be reduced. The Government keeps non-CO2 emissions under review and reassesses the UK’s policy position as more evidence becomes available.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment the FlyZero initiative, announced on 20 July, has made of the research by D S Lee et al The contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018, published in volume 244 of Atmospheric Environment, which found that non-CO2 effects contribute approximately two-thirds of aviation-induced warming; and what steps, if any, they have taken to adjust the work of that initiative in the light of this research.

The FlyZero project will investigate the commercial and technical feasibility for a zero-carbon emitting aircraft. A much wider sustainability agenda is at the core of the planned aircraft studies. Beyond tail-pipe carbon emissions, FlyZero will consider full lifecycle sustainability, including other sources of environmental impact, such as non-CO2 effects.

The FlyZero team have considered the work of Prof. Lee et al, in addition to many other publications and work, such as modelling and data, from UK and international experts on the topic of non-CO2 impacts. This includes the European Commission report: “Updated analysis of the non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation and potential policy measures pursuant to EU Emissions Trading System Directive Article 30(4)” released in December 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how they can support local authorities to work together in granting permissions across multiple council areas for automated goods movement systems.

The Government’s Code of Practice for automated vehicle trialling allows trials with a safety driver to take place anywhere in the UK if carried out in line with UK law. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles works closely with local authorities and regional transport authorities across the UK that are looking to safely trial automated vehicle technologies.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to enable below surface automated delivery systems to be built in UK cities.

The Government is monitoring industry work in this area. In 2019, the Department for Transport published the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, which established principles for facilitating innovation in urban mobility for freight, passengers and services. The Strategy ?sets out the Government’s support for innovation that encourages more efficient movement of goods, reducing congestion and improving environmental outcomes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opportunities for urban fulfilment centres to connect warehousing and factories to urban customers using automated delivery systems.

The Government recognises the potential benefits of automation for the movement of people and goods. Since 2015, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has enabled joint government and industry investment of £440m into UK connected and automated mobility technology.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has engaged with the connected and automated mobility, logistics and manufacturing sectors to understand potential use cases of automation in delivery systems.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their target for the amount of green hydrogen to be produced from electrolysis by 2025.

We are committed to developing hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier for the UK. We have committed to publish a UK hydrogen strategy in early 2021. Development is well underway, including consideration of the important role that targets, alongside long-term policy frameworks, have often played in the development of low carbon technology in the UK, and how this might apply to hydrogen.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the governments of Australia and Japan about the production of hydrogen from lignite and the consequent CO2 emissions.

We are closely monitoring international hydrogen developments and participate in a range of international fora, including the International Partnership for Hydrogen for Fuel Cells in the Economy, Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial. These offer opportunity to discuss other countries’ domestic hydrogen strategies in detail.

Countries have many different drivers for their interest in hydrogen, and the scale and application of hydrogen in national energy systems is likely to differ across the globe based on national circumstances

Officials from BEIS have engaged directly with counterparts in relevant Japanese and Australian ministries to understand their hydrogen ambitions, including hydrogen production pathways; and to share the UK approach.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of firms owned by the government of China taking significant stakes in UK hydrogen technology companies.

As an open economy, we welcome foreign trade and investment where it supports UK growth and jobs. All investment must meet stringent legal and regulatory requirements to protect the UK’s national interest and security.

The UK has an outstanding innovation base with a number of world leading companies developing the next generation of hydrogen related technologies. As we develop the UK’s low carbon hydrogen economy to help meet our legally binding net zero commitments, we will seek to build on existing expertise to develop a prominent position in a growing global hydrogen market.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the level of investment that would be required for a UK hydrogen strategy.

The Government is committed to the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier for the UK. We plan to publish a Hydrogen Strategy in early 2021. The Strategy will include discussion around the costs associated with expansion of the UK hydrogen economy, and how these might be met.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of investment provided for hydrogen strategies announced by other countries.

We are closely monitoring international strategies, including strategic drivers for interest in hydrogen, levels of ambition, detail of policy support and the level and type of funding committed. This informs our own approach to developing hydrogen in the UK context. We plan to publish a UK Hydrogen Strategy in early 2021. The Strategy will include discussion around the costs associated with expansion of the UK hydrogen economy, and how these might be met.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how often the Hydrogen Advisory Council intends to meet.

The inaugural meeting of the Hydrogen Advisory Council (HAC) was on 20th July 2020. It is expected to meet quarterly for the next two years. We will schedule future meetings in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much, in total, they have committed to the development of a green hydrogen economy over the next five years.

The Government is committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. This includes business models to support the deployment of, and investment in, low carbon hydrogen production and a £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund, announced in August 2019 to stimulate capital investment. In parallel we are currently investing up to £121 million, between 2015 and 2021, in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain. This includes investment in green hydrogen both through innovation funding and other grants. An example is our support for the industrialisation of production processes at the new ITM Power Gigafactory being built in Sheffield which when complete will be the largest electrolyser manufacturing facility in the world.

The Treasury has recently announced the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020, that will allow the government to consider its priorities across all spending over multiple years. Support to develop technologies that will support the government’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a priority.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the steps taken by the EU to establish the Clean Hydrogen Alliance; and what steps they are taking to establish a formal working group for regular engagement with industry in the UK about the use of hydrogen as an energy source.

We recognise that the scale up and demonstration of hydrogen’s potential in meeting Paris commitments is a global challenge. We are an active member of Mission Innovation and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy. Since the UK has left the European Union, we are seeking to engage and cooperate with the EU on hydrogen through normal diplomatic channels. Therefore, the UK will not attend EU meetings or working groups on this topic other than in exceptional circumstances. Whilst the UK is leaving the EU single market, it remains an important part of the gas supply system for North West Europe. The UK, including industry, can expect to work cooperatively with its neighbours to sustain this mutually beneficial relationship into the future as the methane gas market is decarbonised, potentially leading to a European hydrogen market.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research funding they are providing to accelerate the development of cost-effective production of clean hydrogen through electrolysis.

The BEIS Energy Innovation Programme funded four feasibility studies into various innovative ways to produce hydrogen by electrolysis. The reports from these studies are available on the government website. Two projects went on to receive £10.6m in further funding.

ITM Power, a Sheffield based electrolyser manufacturer, received £7.5m to further develop their technology; to trial semi-automation in their production process; and work with Orsted and Phillips 66, to design a system to supply Phillips 66’s Humber oil refinery with green hydrogen.

Environmental Resources Management, a global sustainability consultancy, received £3.1m to carry out a detailed engineering design on a concept that combined floating offshore wind with electrolysis to produce green hydrogen.

In addition, several relevant initiatives are funded through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). These include “Green Hydrogen for Humberside” funded from the £170m Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy Challenge Fund, and several smart local energy system project which incorporate hydrogen electrolysis funded from the £102.5m Prospering from the Energy Revolution Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Innovate UK is supporting electrolysis projects such as the £226k Centurion Power-to-Gas feasibility study, and several electrolysis research projects are supported through UKRI’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell research hub (H2FC SUPERGEN).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Football Association about the number of stewards employed to provide security at the Wembley Euro 2020 final who were self-isolating on the day, due to (1) a positive COVID-19 test, or (2) having been instructed to do so by the NHS Covid App; and what proportion of total stewards that represents.

The UK Government has worked closely with the Football Association (FA) over the course of the Euro 2020 competition. The FA, as owner of Wembley Stadium, is responsible for safety and stewarding within the stadium footprint. Stewards scheduled to work at the Wembley Euro 2020 final who tested positive for COVID-19 or who were instructed to isolatedo so by the NHS COVID app were instructed to follow isolation procedures and not attend work.

At the EURO 2020 final at Wembley, the FA had 1,977 stewards rostered to work, with 1,937 stewards reporting for work at the start of their shift. This meant that there was a drop out of 40 stewards (this number being within the allocated contingency). The FA do not hold the data for how many of these missed work because they were self-isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test, or having been instructed to do so by the NHS COVID app.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether private holiday clubs which usually take place on school premises will be allowed to go ahead during the summer holidays; and what guidance they are providing to schools in this respect.

The government’s overriding priority remains keeping the public safe. Any steps taken as part of a phased lifting of restrictions need to therefore be measured and guided by the science. It is for this reason that, while we have set out that primary schools can now welcome back some of their pupils as part of a phased and cautious approach, we are advising that out of school settings, including private holiday clubs, should remain closed for the time-being.

The government will keep this position under review and continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time.

12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether joint working is taking place between the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department and HM Treasury to explore bespoke funding pots to enable the roll-out of water saving technologies.

We are collaborating with BEIS to produce a joint water efficiency label to enable the roll-out of water saving technologies. Water companies are already funding water saving measures for their customers and we continue to work towards delivering our 2021 Written Ministerial Statement on reducing demand for water.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recommendations set out in the National Food Strategy published on 15 July 2021, what plans they have to commission a dedicated strategy that (1) tackles food waste and its climate impact, and (2) includes mandatory food waste reporting.

The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how the Government will work with WRAP to address both supply chain and household food waste from farm to fork and included a commitment to consult on introducing mandatory reporting of food waste.

The Government will publish its response to the National Food Strategy in due course.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for a public information campaign to increase public understanding of the impact of food waste on (1) UK, and (2) global, emissions.

We support Food Waste Action Week, and the year-round consumer campaigns delivered by WRAP to reduce and prevent food waste. These include Love Food Hate Waste which seeks to help citizens reduce their food waste and make the connection with climate change including using the banner Wasting food feeds climate change. The current campaigns do not differentiate between UK and global emissions but look to make the broad connection between food waste and climate change and empower citizens to throw away less.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relative Greenhouse Gas Emissions arising from UK and Australian farming products; and whether such an assessment was considered when concluding its agreement in principle on a free trade agreement with Australia.

The Government has always been clear that any free trade agreement it signs will not threaten the UK’s ability to meet its environmental commitments or its membership of international environmental agreements. The Government is seeking a deal with Australia that will further environmental and climate policy priorities and the UK will not compromise on high environmental protection.

The Government carried out a public consultation and scoping assessment for its free trade agreement negotiation with Australia, which can be found on the Government’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uks-approach-to-negotiating-a-free-trade-agreement-with-australia/uk-australia-free-trade-agreement-the-uks-strategic-approach). This preliminary scoping assessment considered illustrative scenarios and served as a point of reference when concluding the agreement in principle. Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contributions they have made to support the implementation of the UK-SACU Economic Partnership Agreement as required under Article 12 of that Agreement.

Britain is working hard to understand the requirements of Southern Africa Customs Union and Mozambique (SACUM) to implement our Economic Partnership Agreement effectively, which is due to enter into force at the end of the transition period. This is part of a broader programme of £8 million of technical assistance to the region that was announced in August 2018.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the parties to the UK-SACU Economic Partnership Agreement have ratified that Agreement.

As of 4th August 2020, Botswana and South Africa have completed their domestic ratification procedures. Britain completed her own domestic scrutiny procedures, in accordance with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, on 5th February 2020. We continue to monitor progress closely in the remaining countries.

Our preference is that all our Southern Africa Customs Union + Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement partners ratify the agreement, so that it can enter into force at the end of the transition period. Nevertheless, we will consider all possible options to maintain continuity, including provisional application, if not every partner is able to ratify the agreement before the end of the transition period.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many parties to the UK-SACU Economic Partnership Agreement they expect to have ratified that Agreement by 1 December.

As of 4th August 2020, Botswana and South Africa have completed their domestic ratification procedures. Britain completed her own domestic scrutiny procedures, in accordance with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, on 5th February 2020. We continue to monitor progress closely in the remaining countries.

Our preference is that all our Southern Africa Customs Union + Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement partners ratify the agreement, so that it can enter into force at the end of the transition period. Nevertheless, we will consider all possible options to maintain continuity, including provisional application, if not every partner is able to ratify the agreement before the end of the transition period.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow provisional application of the UK-SACU Economic Partnership Agreement if the parties to that Agreement have not ratified it in time for it to come into force on 1 January 2021.

As of 4th August 2020, Botswana and South Africa have completed their domestic ratification procedures. Britain completed her own domestic scrutiny procedures, in accordance with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act, on 5th February 2020. We continue to monitor progress closely in the remaining countries.

Our preference is that all our Southern Africa Customs Union + Mozambique Economic Partnership Agreement partners ratify the agreement, so that it can enter into force at the end of the transition period. Nevertheless, we will consider all possible options to maintain continuity, including provisional application, if not every partner is able to ratify the agreement before the end of the transition period.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to Ryanair about that company's practice of requiring South African nationals to fill in questionnaires in Afrikaans before boarding flights in the UK.

The recent language test requirement for passengers travelling with Ryanair was not a UK Government requirement. My officials have engaged with Ryanair on this matter and they have since confirmed that the language test is no longer in use.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential of green hydrogen to replace existing maritime fuels.

DfT-commissioned analysis supporting the publication of the 2019 Clean Maritime Plan provided an assessment of emission reduction options for shipping such as low emission fuels. This includes hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels such as ammonia and methanol.

The Government’s approach is technology neutral and it would be premature to speculate precisely which technologies might and might not be able to deliver our long-term ambitions.

The Government announced the winners of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition on 15 September. Some of the winners of the competition are working on hydrogen maritime solutions.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the International Civil Aviation Organisation about the inclusion of indirect non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation, such as climate forcing caused by condensation trails, in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

Currently, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) only applies to CO2 emissions. Due to the uncertainties surrounding aviation’s non-CO2 climate impacts, ICAO does not include these in its climate policies.

The UK continues to negotiate in ICAO for increased environmental ambition and supports continued work on aviation’s non-CO2 climate impacts and possible mitigation measures, taking into account their trade-offs with CO2. As a UN specialised agency, ICAO’s policies are the result of extensive technical work and negotiation between its Contracting States.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what analysis they have carried out into the trade-off between additional CO2 emissions generated by rerouting aircraft for contrail prevention and the climate mitigation benefits of condensation trail prevention.

Alongside “Aviation 2050 – The Future of UK Aviation: A Consultation”, the Government published a short paper commissioned from Professor David Lee of Manchester Metropolitan University entitled “The current state of scientific understanding of the non-CO2 effects of aviation on climate”.

This paper makes clear that contrail avoidance through rerouting would require accurate meteorological prediction of potential contrail-forming areas and an agreed metric by which to ascertain that the flight’s total climate impact was being reduced. Neither of these are available today but the Government continues to follow developments closely.

The Government has not commissioned any further analysis into the climate trade-offs associated with rerouting aircraft for contrail prevention, though we continue to keep the issue under close review and in this vein I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave on 22 December 2020 to Question UIN HL11424

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) linear motor technology developed in the UK, and (2) how such technology can be used to decarbonise the transfer and delivery of goods.

Decarbonising transport will require us to embrace new technology and innovation, and multiple solutions will have essential parts to play. Innovate UK is currently part-funding a UK based project to identify the standards and procedures required to design, build, operate and qualify an Underground Freight Transportation system using linear motors, which will report in 2021.

Testing new technology and business models at scale is essential and that is why we have already invested £92 million in four Future Transport Zones (FTZs). These will support local leaders and industry to trial new approaches and we have committed £20m towards mass scale demonstration of zero emission freight in the next year. Our further plans for the decarbonisation of freight will form part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan which is due to be published by Spring 2021.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for existing road and rail corridors to be utilised for automated goods movement systems; and whether they have included technologies such as linear motors in any such assessment.

Decarbonising transport will require us to embrace new technology and innovation, and multiple solutions will have essential parts to play. Innovate UK is currently part-funding a UK based project to identify the standards and procedures required to design, build, operate and qualify an Underground Freight Transportation system using linear motors, which will report in 2021.

Testing new technology and business models at scale is essential and that is why we have already invested £92 million in four Future Transport Zones (FTZs). These will support local leaders and industry to trial new approaches and we have committed £20m towards mass scale demonstration of zero emission freight in the next year. Our further plans for the decarbonisation of freight will form part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan which is due to be published by Spring 2021.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the climate from indirect warming caused by condensation trails from cruising aircraft.

The recent publication “The Contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018” by Lee et al., 2020 presents the most up to date scientific analysis of aviation’s climate impacts, including contrails. The publication shows that contrail cirrus formation accounts for a large proportion of aviation's climate impact, however large uncertainties remain in determining the climate effects of contrail formation.

As stated in the 2018 Aviation 2050 consultation, the Government will continue to keep non-CO2 emissions from aviation under review and adjust its policy as more evidence becomes available.

I will place a copy of “The Contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018” by Lee et al., 2020 in the libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which regulatory arrangements to limit the impact on the climate of aviation once the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU has ended will be sufficiently collaborative across adjoining airspaces.

The Government remains committed to leading ambitious and concerted international action to combat the contribution of aviation to climate change.

At the end of the Transition Period, EU airspace regulations covering requirements on flight efficiency will be retained as UK law.

The UK will also establish a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that supports our world leading climate ambition. The UK ETS will include aviation and impose surrendering obligations on the following routes from day one: UK domestic flights, flights departing the UK to aerodromes in the European Economic Area (EEA), and flights between the UK and Gibraltar.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the regulatory framework for climate impact offsetting to account for both the direct and indirect climate impact of aviation.

As a contracting state of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) the UK will participate in the globally agreed Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) from January 2021. Under the scheme, aeroplane operators on routes between participating states will be required to offset the CO2 emissions above 2019 levels by purchasing and cancelling approved offset credits.

Currently, CORSIA only applies to CO2 emissions. Due to the uncertainties surrounding aviation’s non-CO2 climate impacts, ICAO does not include these in its climate policies.

The UK played an instrumental role in agreeing CORSIA through ICAO and continues to negotiate for greater environmental integrity within the scheme.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possible (1) technological, and (2) regulatory, solutions available to help prevent the formation of aircraft contrails.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently produced a report titled “Updated analysis of the non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation and potential policy measures pursuant to EU Emissions Trading System Directive Article 30(4)” for the European Commission, which identified three policies that could be implemented to prevent the formation of aircraft contrails: a reduction in aromatics in jet fuel; mandatory use of sustainable fuel; and avoidance of ice-supersaturated airspace.

The UK is pushing internationally for investigation of how to reduce aromatics in jet fuel and plans to consult domestically on a sustainable aviation fuel mandate. However, significant uncertainties remain meaning that policies which risk increasing aviation CO2 emissions, such as rerouting aircraft, cannot be taken forward with confidence that aviation's total climate impact would be reduced.

The Government will continue to keep this issue under review and adjust its policy where necessary.

I will place a copy of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency report in the libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their target for the number of operational hydrogen filling stations in the UK by 2025.

The Government does not have targets for the number of operational hydrogen filling stations and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles owned and in operation in the UK by 2025. We are confident that the UK is well placed to be a leader in hydrogen fuel cell powered transportation and we are supporting hydrogen where the market favours its use. The UK already has one of the largest hydrogen refuelling station networks in Europe, and our £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is delivering new refuelling stations, upgrading some existing stations as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their target for the number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles owned and in operation in the UK by 2025.

The Government does not have targets for the number of operational hydrogen filling stations and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles owned and in operation in the UK by 2025. We are confident that the UK is well placed to be a leader in hydrogen fuel cell powered transportation and we are supporting hydrogen where the market favours its use. The UK already has one of the largest hydrogen refuelling station networks in Europe, and our £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is delivering new refuelling stations, upgrading some existing stations as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential role of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of bus and coach transport.

In 2018, the Department for Transport published the outputs of the Transport Energy Model. The model provides a clear assessment of the relative environmental impacts of a range of fuel and powertrain options for cars, vans, buses and heavy goods vehicles over the period to 2050, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing a requirement on petrol forecourts to provide (1) electric recharging, and (2) hydrogen refuelling, facilities; and what assessment they have made of the feasibility of such a policy.

The Government’s view is that the market is often better placed to identify the right locations for chargepoints and we encourage the private sector to invest in and operate a self-sustaining public network supported by the right policy framework. On 1 April 2020, there were 17,947 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK, 3,107 of which were rapid devices. In the first three months of 2020, 1,436 more devices were available in total, an increase of 9%. Rapid devices also increased by 283, up 10% on the previous quarter.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act (AEVA) provides the Government with a range of powers to improve the charging experience for current and future users, including compelling fuel retailers to install chargepoints. The Government has had a number of discussions with representatives of fuel retailers about the provision of electric vehicle chargepoints at service stations and petrol forecourts, and we shall continue to explore options with them.

In May, the Government published an ambitious vision for rapid charging infrastructure along strategic roads in England over the next decade, setting out the number of rapid chargepoints that will be located across motorways and major A roads to meet the future demand for electric vehicle charging. Currently, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid (50 kilowatt) chargepoint anywhere along England’s motorways and major A roads, with a total of 809 open-access rapid chargepoints, as of 1 January 2020. This includes an average of 2 rapid chargepoints at motorway service areas with more being rolled out over the next year.

The UK is well placed to be a leader in hydrogen fuel cell powered transportation and we are supporting hydrogen where the market favours its use. The UK has one of the largest hydrogen refuelling station networks in Europe. The Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is increasing the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles and delivering new refuelling stations and upgrading some existing stations, as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to incentivise the production of hydrogen through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.

Under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) certificate trading scheme, renewable hydrogen supplied in the UK for use in road vehicles and certain non-road mobile machinery is eligible for support. It is categorised as a development fuel, which potentially benefits from a higher tradeable certificate value.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support consumers who need to use electric medical devices at home, such as monitors or ventilators, given the impact of rising energy prices.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Zimbabwe about entering a partnership agreement concerning the recruitment of health care workers from that country.

We have made no specific assessment of the impact on the Zimbabwean healthcare system of recruitment by the National Health Service. We have had no discussions with the Government of Zimbabwe on entering a partnership agreement.

International recruitment is regulated through the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel. The Code includes a ‘red list’ of 47 countries identified by the World Health Organization as having the most pressing health and social care workforce challenge, from which active recruitment is prohibited. The Government monitors international recruitment activity and where there are significant workforce flows into the NHS, particularly from low and middle-income countries, we engage with partner Governments on how this recruitment could be managed.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect recruitment of Zimbabwean health care staff in the UK has on the health services in that country.

We have made no specific assessment of the impact on the Zimbabwean healthcare system of recruitment by the National Health Service. We have had no discussions with the Government of Zimbabwe on entering a partnership agreement.

International recruitment is regulated through the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel. The Code includes a ‘red list’ of 47 countries identified by the World Health Organization as having the most pressing health and social care workforce challenge, from which active recruitment is prohibited. The Government monitors international recruitment activity and where there are significant workforce flows into the NHS, particularly from low and middle-income countries, we engage with partner Governments on how this recruitment could be managed.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to review the COVID-19 travel red list; and what factors they will take into account when conducting that review.

Decisions on COVID-19 travel red list assignment are taken by Ministers. They are informed by evidence, including a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) risk assessment, alongside wider public health factors. The UKHSA risk assessments cover a range of information and take place every three weeks. The last UKHSA risk assessment of countries was carried out on 13 December 2021, with the next assessment made before 3 January 2022.

Risk assessments take into account the assessment of sequencing capability of countries, available surveillance, epidemiology in country, recent genome sequencing data, evidence of in-country community transmission of COVID-19 variants, evidence of exportation of new variants to the United Kingdom or other countries and travel connectivity with the UK and other countries.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by Lord Kamall on 29 November (HL Deb, col 1223), what discussions they have held to ensure that countries are not disincentivised from transparent reporting of variants to the World Health Organisation.

On 29 November 2021, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care chaired a meeting of G7 Health Ministers to discuss the spread of the Omicron variant. G7 Health Ministers praised the exemplary work of South Africa in detecting the variant and alerting other countries. Health Ministers committed to working with other nations to share information and ensure transparent reporting of variants.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people arriving from amber list countries subject to home quarantine and who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have tested positive for that virus.

This information is not collected centrally.

24th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people arriving from red list countries subject to hotel quarantine and who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have tested positive for that virus.

This information is not collected centrally.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific evidence they have on the effectiveness of the (1) Pfizer, and (2) Astra Zeneca, vaccines in reducing (a) hospitalisations, and (b) symptomatic infections, linked to the B1.351 COVID-19 variant; and what plans they have to publish this evidence.

Public Health England (PHE) is researching the effectiveness of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines against the B1.351 variant. PHE will publish advice in the weekly COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report once sufficient data is available.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to cooperate with the scientific community of South Africa on genomic sequencing relating to COVID-19.

The United Kingdom has large-scale sequencing capacity and extensive specialist expertise and is uniquely positioned to help address global sequencing capability gaps. Through the New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) programme, Public Health England (PHE) will work to support global partners to strengthen their genomic sequencing capability, either by building on existing infrastructure or by conducting sequencing and analysis of samples in the UK if there is no in-country capability.

The NVAP will also enable the biological assessment of emerging variants, strengthening horizon scanning and public health decision-making, both in this country and abroad. This includes a risk assessment from the point when a mutation is first identified, to ongoing assessment as more information becomes available. The platform will also agree pathways for biological analysis, diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics as appropriate. PHE is working with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to deploy a Technical Advisor for regional level support.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the latest evidence base which has led to the B1.351 COVID-19 variant being categorised as a variant of concern, particularly in regard to its transmissibility.

The B.1.351 COVID-19 variant was categorised as a variant of concern (VOC) on 23 December 2020 by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group. The decision to raise this lineage to a VOC was taken on the basis of reports indicating that the strain had replaced pre-existing strains in parts of South Africa and that there were two cases of B.1.351 identified in the United Kingdom with links to travel from South Africa. The genetic variations identified in the spike protein of B.1.351 were also cause for concern.

The three substitutions in the receptor binding domain, and in particular the E484K substitution, were thought to result in weaker neutralisation by some monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal neutralising sera. Although at the time there was no formal modelling from South Africa, the rapid spread of the variant could be consistent with increased transmissibility, which was also biologically plausible. More recent data has shown that B.1.351 has greater transmissibility than the original Wuhan strains of the virus. Evaluation was at an early stage when the recommendation to escalate this lineage was taken. A copy of PHE Risk assessment for SARS-CoV-2 variant: VOC-202012/02 (origin: South Africa) of 23 December is attached.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 7 September (HL5229), whether at any point since 31 January a COVID-19 test comprising of a swab of the back of the throat and the nose (1) taken at the same time, (2) at the same testing venue, and (3) from the same person, was counted as (a) one test, or (b) two tests.

The 'people tested' measure for United Kingdom statistics was initially used to avoid counting one person tested several times in a short space of time. Many people are now retested multiple times for valid reasons, such as regular testing of health and care workers over several months. This means that the 'tests processed figure', which we have published from 4 July, is a better headline to measure the scale of the testing service.

Our priority is to make sure that we are sharing data in the most clear and transparent way. We are working closely with the country’s statisticians including the UK Statistics Authority and the Office of National Statistics to make sure that we provide the most relevant data that helps the public understand how the service is operating.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a COVID-19 test comprising of a swab of the back of the throat and the nose, (1) taken at the same time, (2) at the same testing venue, and (3) from the same person, is counted as (a) one test, or (b) two tests. [T]

For the purposes of diagnosing COVID-19, we are using Polymerase Chain Reaction tests that involve a nasopharyngeal swab sample taken from the back of the nose and throat, searching for virus DNA in the sample.

Tests that do not reach far enough back or swab just the nose or throat alone are likely to be less effective as there is a lower likelihood of collecting the virus in the sample material. For this reason, we recommend both clinician-administered and self-administered tests available for home testing swab both the nose and throat. This will count as a single test.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe regarding (1) the abduction and murder of opposition political activist Moreblessing Ali, and (2) the steps being taken by the Zimbabwe authorities to investigate this.

The Minister for Africa and I [Lord Goldsmith] were appalled to hear of the murder of Moreblessing Ali. The British Ambassador in Zimbabwe publicly expressed her sadness at this tragic news and passed on our condolences to Moreblessing's family and friends. It is important that the Zimbabwe police continue to investigate her murder to establish the facts, and those behind this terrible crime are brought to justice. The Minister for Africa recently wrote to Foreign Minister Shava to reiterate the importance of demonstrable progress on the human rights and political reforms that the President of Zimbabwe committed to in his inauguration speech in November 2017.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to lead an international response to prevent widespread famine in (1) East Africa, and (2) the Horn of Africa.

The humanitarian situation across the Horn and East of Africa is extremely concerning. Conflict and drought are the main causes of humanitarian need. The region is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in history with more than 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia assessed to be acutely food insecure, according to the UN. Nearly 500,000 people in Ethiopia and Somalia are experiencing famine-like conditions.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the region. In 2022 the UK has provided £72 million to support more than one million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan affected by conflict, drought and flooding. Across the region UK funded humanitarian activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Kenya the UK is providing 26,000 children with life-saving nutritional support. In Ethiopia a further 200,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern and eastern regions will receive similar aid. The UK also played a critical role in convening the recent UN Horn of Africa Drought Roundtable which took place in late April in Geneva. This included working with states in the region and the UN to ensure appropriate levels of participation. It helped to bring much needed focus on the drought and it mobilised roughly US$400 million in new funding.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects. In Somalia the UK has been supporting over 220 rural communities in three large urban cities with durable solutions initiatives for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million individuals as a part of our emergency humanitarian response.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what humanitarian assistance they are providing to the 5.7 million children in the Horn of Africa who are expected to suffer acute malnourishment this year as a result of the ongoing drought.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the East Africa region. In 2022 the UK has provided £72 million to support more than one million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan affected by conflict, drought and flooding. Across the region UK-funded humanitarian activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Kenya the UK is providing 26,000 children with life-saving nutritional support. In Ethiopia a further 200,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern and eastern regions will receive similar aid. The UK also played a critical role in convening the recent UN Horn of Africa Drought Roundtable which took place in late April in Geneva. This included working with states in the region and the UN to ensure appropriate levels of participation. It helped to bring much needed focus on the drought and it mobilised roughly US$400 million in new funding.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects. In Somalia the UK has been supporting over 220 rural communities in three large urban cities with durable solutions initiatives for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million individuals as a part of our emergency humanitarian response.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health Workforce Support and Safeguard List will be updated; and what discussions, if any, they have had with the WHO about this.

The World Health Organisation have confirmed that they will be preparing a 2022 update of their Health Workforce Support and Safeguard list for publication in early 2023, alongside their regular reporting on their Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. The UK will participate in their first Member State consultation on this update later this month.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the shortage of health care workers in Zimbabwe, what discussions, if any, they have had with the (1) government of Zimbabwe, and (2) World Health Organisation, about Zimbabwe remaining on the World Health Organisation Health Workforce Support and Safeguard Green List.

We regularly engage with the Government of Zimbabwe on a breadth of health care issues. Our Embassy officials met with the Permanent Secretary for Health and Child Care at the beginning of March. The UK is one of the largest donors to Zimbabwean health care. Between 2017 and 2022, the UK will have provided £130 million of support through the pooled Health Development Fund (HDF). The HDF focuses on delivering sexual, reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and nutrition services including support to health workers in primary health care facilities. The UK also provides critical support to Zimbabwe's health sector via global health initiatives like the Global Fund, GAVI and the Global Finance Facility.

The UK supports the freedom of movement of skilled workers and follows the guidelines as set out in the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguard Green List. We will continue to engage the World Health Organisation to ensure a strategic approach to health worker recruitment, retention and migration.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have offered to the governments of (1) South Africa, and (2) other African countries, in view of the economic impact of being placed on the UK's COVID-19 travel red list.

Through our bilateral programmes, and the UK's important role working through the International Financial Institutions, we are helping governments and businesses in both South Africa and across the continent to access affordable financing and advice; and establish safety nets to support the most vulnerable. In April 2021, the UK, with other G20 countries, extended its suspension of debt service repayments for the poorest countries to the end of 2021. The travel red list was a short term measure in direct response to the latest scientific and medical data showing an increased risk to UK public health. The measures ended at 4am on Wednesday 15th December.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the economies of African countries as a result of being placed on the UK's COVID-19 travel red list.

The travel red list was a short term measure which ended at 4am on Wednesday 15th December. Through our bilateral programmes, and the UK's important role working through the International Financial Institutions, we are helping governments and businesses in southern Africa access affordable financing and advice; and establish safety nets to support the most vulnerable.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the African Union regarding political violence in Zimbabwe.

The UK remains concerned about the political situation in Zimbabwe, particularly the lack of accountability for human rights violations and restrictions to freedom of assembly. The recent attacks on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa were concerning. In response, on 22 October, the UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe called for all citizens' freedoms to be guaranteed as set out in Zimbabwe's constitution, all incidents to be investigated, and for all violence and threats to be unequivocally condemned. The former Minister for Africa raised the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with Foreign Minister Shava on 9 June.

The UK regularly discusses the political situation in Zimbabwe with its international partners, including South Africa and the African Union, and we remain committed to working in partnership to identify solutions. We continue to monitor developments closely, regularly encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to their own constitution and ensure the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of South Africa about political violence in Zimbabwe.

The UK remains concerned about the political situation in Zimbabwe, particularly the lack of accountability for human rights violations and restrictions to freedom of assembly. The recent attacks on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa were concerning. In response, on 22 October, the UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe called for all citizens' freedoms to be guaranteed as set out in Zimbabwe's constitution, all incidents to be investigated, and for all violence and threats to be unequivocally condemned. The former Minister for Africa raised the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with Foreign Minister Shava on 9 June.

The UK regularly discusses the political situation in Zimbabwe with its international partners, including South Africa and the African Union, and we remain committed to working in partnership to identify solutions. We continue to monitor developments closely, regularly encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to their own constitution and ensure the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe following the two recent attacks on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

The UK remains concerned about the political situation in Zimbabwe, particularly the lack of accountability for human rights violations and restrictions to freedom of assembly. The recent attacks on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa were concerning. In response, on 22 October, the UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe called for all citizens' freedoms to be guaranteed as set out in Zimbabwe's constitution, all incidents to be investigated, and for all violence and threats to be unequivocally condemned. The former Minister for Africa raised the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with Foreign Minister Shava on 9 June.

The UK regularly discusses the political situation in Zimbabwe with its international partners, including South Africa and the African Union, and we remain committed to working in partnership to identify solutions. We continue to monitor developments closely, regularly encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to their own constitution and ensure the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to apply sanctions against the Zimbabwean Presidential adviser, Kudakwashe Tagwirei.

We are aware of the report by the Sentry Shadows and Shell Games, published on 1 July, about the offshore business empire and corruption dealings of Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The UK is deeply worried about the state of the Zimbabwean economy, which continues to face unprecedented challenges largely due to corruption, poor fiscal policies and economic mismanagement by the Government. The UK remains committed to reducing poverty and helping the people of Zimbabwe secure their constitutional freedoms.

We continue to look at how all the tools available to the UK, including the full range of sanctions regimes, can be used to encourage accountability and reform in Zimbabwe. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by The Sentry Shadows and Shell Games: Uncovering an Offshore Business Empire in Zimbabwe, published on 1 July; and what steps they intend to take as a result.

We are aware of the report by the Sentry Shadows and Shell Games, published on 1 July, about the offshore business empire and corruption dealings of Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The UK is deeply worried about the state of the Zimbabwean economy, which continues to face unprecedented challenges largely due to corruption, poor fiscal policies and economic mismanagement by the Government. The UK remains committed to reducing poverty and helping the people of Zimbabwe secure their constitutional freedoms.

We continue to look at how all the tools available to the UK, including the full range of sanctions regimes, can be used to encourage accountability and reform in Zimbabwe. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the economy of South Africa of the UK’s decision to put South Africa on the red list for COVID-19 travel restrictions; and in particular the effect on (1) the tourism industry, and (2) funding for conservation programmes.

The current traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19.

South Africa is an important partner for the UK, including in the tourism industry, which pre-pandemic saw approximately 400,000 British Nationals travel to South Africa annually. While we hope that travel for tourism purposes will resume soon between the UK and South Africa, public health remains our number one priority.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on South Africa's economy, with real GDP growth at -7 per cent in 2020. The situation remains challenging for 2021, although GDP forecasts are more positive. Many sectors of South Africa's economy have been affected, including the tourism industry, with South Africa receiving 72.6 per cent fewer tourists from countries worldwide in 2020.

There is no direct link between UK travel restrictions and funding for conservation work, the UK remains committed to working with South Africa on environmental and conservation issues.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact of mitigating climate change on reducing conflict in sub-Saharan Africa.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the contribution that renewable energy projects could make to (1) economic development, (2) skills development, and (3) job creation, in the Horn of Africa region.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to renewable energy projects in the Horn of Africa region.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proportion of (1) UK, and (2) global, climate finance that is directed to sub-Saharan Africa.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) technical, and (2) financial, support they are providing to the Palestinian Central Elections Commission to help ensure free and fair elections are able to take place in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

The UK does not financially support the Palestinian Central Elections Commission. However, UK officials at the British Consulate General in Jerusalem will continue to work closely with the parties involved, including the Central Elections Commission and the UN.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel to ensure free access to Gaza for campaigning in Palestinian elections.

We continue to encourage all parties to respect and facilitate the democratic process fully, including during the campaigning period.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel to ensure that Palestinian voters in occupied East Jerusalem are able to take part in elections to the Palestinian National Authority.

Minister James Cleverly spoke to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 19 April to reiterate the importance of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem being permitted to vote in Palestinian Legislative Council elections. The UK continues to work closely with the Palestinian Authority and international partners to support Palestinian elections.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Palestinian National Authority to ensure that Palestinian elections take place to the existing timetable.

We have welcomed President Abbas' announcement of legislative and Presidential elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the first time since 2006. We encourage the Palestinian leadership to work toward strong, inclusive, accountable and democratic institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights. Free and fair elections are an important and necessary step to this.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Save the Children on 3 February that the "number of displaced Palestinian children is at a four-year high as demolitions in the West Bank continue".

We are aware of the Save the Children statement on 3 February. Our Ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised the issue of ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities, most recently in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February. The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised his concerns about demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures with the Israeli Ambassador on 29 October 2020. UK officials from the British Consulate in Jerusalem have made regular visits to areas at risk of demolition and eviction to reiterate UK support for those communities. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians, including Palestinian children, and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what ministerial-level discussions they have had with the government of Ethiopia about the conflict in Tigray.

The Foreign Secretary spoke to Prime Minister Abiy on 10 November to relay the UK's concerns over the conflict in the Tigray region and the risk it poses to civilians. He stressed the urgent need for political dialogue and a peaceful solution to the conflict, as well as the need to prioritise the protection of civilians and unhindered humanitarian access. On 18 November, Minister Duddridge reinforced this message with the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Chair of the African Union about (1) the conflict in Ethiopia, and (2) the potential of that conflict to destabilise Ethiopia and the wider region.

The UK welcomes the statement by African Union (AU) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, of 9 November about the conflict in Ethiopia in which he appealed for the immediate cessation of hostilities, called on all parties to respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians, and urged dialogue between the parties. Through our Embassy in Addis Ababa, officials continue to engage with senior counterparts in the AU Commission to discuss the situation in Tigray and its impact on neighbouring countries.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to government of Zimbabwe about the detention of Hopewell Chin’ono.

The UK is deeply concerned by the continued prosecution of Hopewell Chin'ono. Media freedom is an essential quality of any open society. People must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make decisions informed by a strong and robust media. Zimbabwe is one of the UK's Media Freedom Focus Countries: we have called on the Government of Zimbabwe to end the harassment of journalists, improve legislation and work with the international community to protect media freedom.

Our Embassy in Harare are closely following developments on Mr Chin'ono's case, including through attendance at court. They continue to raise our concerns directly with the Government of Zimbabwe. Most recently, the Minister for Africa tweeted on 13 November and 23 July to express his concern; reiterating that the UK is committed to defending media freedom and human rights in Zimbabwe. When the Minister for Africa spoke to Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, he urged the Government of Zimbabwe to make concrete progress on human rights and respect the rule of law. The British Ambassador to Harare also met with the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 14 August and raised our concerns.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports (1) that state agents and Impala car rental in Zimbabwe colluded to abduct and torture political opponents, and (2) that Impala car rental has not complied with an order of the High Court in Bulawayo to hand over information about (a) the identity of those who hired the vehicle used to abduct Tawanda Muchehiwa on 30 July, and (b) the route that vehicle travelled on that day; and what discussions they have had with the government of Zimbabwe about imposing economic measures on Impala car rental and its directors.

We are aware of reports that a car hired from Impala Car Hire was used in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa, and that the matter is subject to a high court order. HMG has been clear, including in an international statement on 28 August, that the Government of Zimbabwe has a responsibility to investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating human rights. The Minister for Africa regularly engages with the Government of Zimbabwe to raise serious concerns about the political, economic and human rights situation in Zimbabwe and reinforce the need for accountability. He clearly conveyed our views when he spoke to Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, and in a letter to the Foreign Minister on 12 August.

28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe about the detention of Joana Mamombe in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

The UK is deeply concerned by the arrest of Joana Mamombe. Following her return to prison on 24 September on the grounds of requiring a medical examination, she was released on 7 October following an order by the High Court. Our Ambassador in Harare publicly welcomed her release but reiterated her concern at the need for her detention on 8 October. When the Minister for Africa wrote to Foreign Minister Moyo on 12 August, following a telephone call with him on 8 June, he raised specific human rights violations, including the treatment of Ms Mamombe, Ms Chimbiri, and Ms Marowa. He made it clear that whilst the UK will support genuine reform in Zimbabwe we are yet to see the necessary meaningful progress, including on human rights. Our Ambassador in Harare reinforced these messages when she met Foreign Minister Moyo in Harare on 14 August.

Our Embassy in Harare will continue to monitor developments on the case of Ms Mamombe, Ms Chimbiri, and Ms Marowa closely. We will continue to call on the Government to uphold the rule of law. This includes respecting the Zimbabwean Constitution which clearly prohibits enforced disappearances, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to work with other countries to draw up a strategy for the delivery of aid in southern Africa which would (1) promote democracy and human rights, and (2) help to deliver prosperity to the people of that region.

HMG is a leader on aid and development in southern Africa. We will continue to work in close partnership with African countries and international partners - including the African Union, UN, EU and US - on delivering aid across the region. Our Missions in the Region are engaged in extensive work to promote democracy, human rights and prosperity, working closely with other countries.

28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had at ministerial level with the (1) government of Zimbabwe, (2) the government of South Africa, and (3) the African Union, about (a) Zimbabwe's political and economic situation, and (b) any human rights abuses which are perpetrated against Zimbabweans; and when such discussions last took place.

The Minister for Africa regularly engages with the Government of Zimbabwe to raise serious concerns about the political, economic and human rights situation in Zimbabwe. We have been clear that the Government of Zimbabwe must meet its international and domestic obligations by respecting the rule of law, safeguarding human rights, and committing to genuine political and economic reform for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. This is a prerequisite for further international support. The Minister for Africa delivered these messages when he last spoke to Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, and in a letter he wrote to the Foreign Minister on 12 August. Our Ambassador in Harare reinforced these messages when she met in person with Foreign Minister Moyo on 14 August and also raised concerns on the chronic economic situation Zimbabwe is experiencing with Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli on 28 September. We will continue to call out the Government of Zimbabwe where we believe abuses of human rights have taken place including monitoring enforcement of the lockdown regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK regularly discusses the political, economic, and human rights situation in Zimbabwe with its international partners, including South Africa. On 16 July the Minister for Africa spoke to the Deputy Foreign Minister of South Africa about the situation in Zimbabwe. The UK is committed to working in partnership with South Africa, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union as well as other international organisations. The UK will continue to work alongside the international community to support good governance, respect for human rights, and genuine political and economic reform in Zimbabwe, to help secure a better future for all Zimbabweans.

28th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of their policy in respect of Zimbabwe.

Our policy remains to support the people of Zimbabwe in moving towards a more democratic, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe. We meet regularly with the full range of stakeholders, from across the political spectrum including members of the ruling and opposition parties, judiciary and civil society, to ensure we understand how best to do that. Further engagement and support for Zimbabwe is contingent on genuine political and economic reforms but the onus must be on the Government of Zimbabwe to deliver this change. So far they have been unable to.

The Minister for Africa engages regularly on Zimbabwe. He spoke with Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, where he made it clear that the Government of Zimbabwe must make concrete progress on economic and political reform, including human rights. Progress has so far been poor and in some cases has gone backwards.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe about the detention of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono. [T]

The UK is deeply worried by the arrest of Hopewell Chin'ono on 20 July, and by his continued detention. The Minister for Africa tweeted on 23 July to express his concern at the treatment of Mr Chin'ono and to urge the Zimbabwean authorities to uphold the right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Zimbabwe's constitution. The British Ambassador to Harare has sought a meeting with the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, to discuss our concerns, and officials at the British Embassy in Harare are closely following developments on his case. When the Minister for Africa spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June, he urged him to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights and respects the rule of law.

The UK is committed to the promotion of media freedom and the protection of journalists. Media freedom is an essential quality of any open society. People must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make decisions informed by a strong and robust media. Zimbabwe is one of the UK's Media Freedom Focus Countries: we have called on the Government of Zimbabwe to commit to the Global Pledge on Media Freedom and to end the harassment of journalists, improve legislation and work with the international community to protect media freedom.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have considered further targeted measures against leaders of the Zimbabwe security apparatus following reports of the violent assault and torture of Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.

The UK is seriously concerned about the challenging human rights situation in Zimbabwe. It remains one of the UK's 30 Human Rights Priority Countries globally. The Minister for Africa spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June and expressed his deep concern regarding recent reports of the abduction and torture of three female opposition activists, including a Member of Parliament - Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova. He urged the Foreign Minister to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights, including investigations into violations. The UK will continue to monitor developments closely and urge the Government of Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights.

Currently, the EU has an arms embargo against Zimbabwe and active targeted measures against the company Zimbabwe Defence Industries. There are also suspended targeted measures in place against three current and former security sector chiefs. The UK remains aligned to the EU's restrictive measures on Zimbabwe during the Transition Period. The UK will continue to assess the appropriateness of these measures in light of recent developments on the basis of human rights and progress towards genuine political reforms.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had ministerial discussions with the government of the Republic of South Africa on a joint approach to the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe following (1) reports of the violent assault and torture of Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, and (2) the decision of the Zimbabwe authorities to conduct a trial against them for demonstrating against food shortages in hospital.

We have not discussed the situation in Zimbabwe with South Africa at a Ministerial level since recent reports emerged regarding the abduction and torture of three female opposition activists in Zimbabwe. However, the UK regularly discusses the economic situation in Zimbabwe with its international partners, including the Republic of South Africa. The UK is committed to working in partnership with South Africa, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union as well as other international organisations.

The UK is seriously concerned about the challenging human rights situation in Zimbabwe and these recent reports regarding the treatment of three opposition activists. The Minister for Africa spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June and expressed his deep concern. He urged the Foreign Minister to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights, including investigations into violations.

It is vital that the Zimbabwean authorities adhere to their international human rights obligations and respect their Constitution, which prohibits enforced disappearances and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The UK will continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe closely and call for the Government of Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights.

25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will replace the revenue lost by charities as a result of HMRC's decision to ban the use of red diesel in tractors for charity events from 1 April.

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel for most uses from April 2022, other than for defined agricultural purposes and a limited number of other uses. This will help to ensure fairness between the different users of diesel fuels and that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies.

Under the existing rules, agricultural vehicles, such as tractors, are currently entitled to run on rebated fuel when using public roads only for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry, as well as cutting verges and hedges that border a road, clearing snow and gritting. Agricultural tractors will remain entitled to run on rebated fuel on public roads after April 2022 for these specific purposes only, as well as for purposes relating to fish farming and for clearing or otherwise dealing with flooding. The activities accepted as purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry are defined in HMRC Excise Notice 75.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have considered the impact on the (1) farming community, and (2) charitable sector, of the requirement from 1 April for farmers to drain tractor tanks and purge lines before taking part in (a) charity tractor events, and (b) community events.

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel for most uses from April 2022, other than for defined agricultural purposes and a limited number of other uses. This will help to ensure fairness between the different users of diesel fuels and that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies.

Under the existing rules, agricultural vehicles, such as tractors, are currently entitled to run on rebated fuel when using public roads only for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry, as well as cutting verges and hedges that border a road, clearing snow and gritting. Agricultural tractors will remain entitled to run on rebated fuel on public roads after April 2022 for these specific purposes only, as well as for purposes relating to fish farming and for clearing or otherwise dealing with flooding. The activities accepted as purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry are defined in HMRC Excise Notice 75.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on charitable activity in the agricultural sector that will result from HMRC’s decision to ban the use of red diesel in tractors for charity events from 1 April.

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel for most uses from April 2022, other than for defined agricultural purposes and a limited number of other uses. This will help to ensure fairness between the different users of diesel fuels and that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies.

Under the existing rules, agricultural vehicles, such as tractors, are currently entitled to run on rebated fuel when using public roads only for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry, as well as cutting verges and hedges that border a road, clearing snow and gritting. Agricultural tractors will remain entitled to run on rebated fuel on public roads after April 2022 for these specific purposes only, as well as for purposes relating to fish farming and for clearing or otherwise dealing with flooding. The activities accepted as purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture and forestry are defined in HMRC Excise Notice 75.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to implement net-zero carbon emissions transition plans on a mandatory basis to avoid (1) regulatory uncertainty, and (2) delays, in transitioning London to a net-zero financial centre, as part of the Greening Finance: A Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, published in October.

At COP26 Finance Day the Chancellor announced that the UK will move towards making transition plans mandatory. Initially, asset managers, regulated asset owners and listed companies will need to publish a transition plan or provide an explanation if they have not done so.

Recognising that there is not yet an agreed standard for transition plans, the Chancellor also announced that the Government will set up a Transition Plan Taskforce. This will bring together the best of British industry and academia with regulators and the third sector to develop recommendations on transition plan disclosures in the UK.

As standards for transition plans emerge, the Government and regulators will take steps to incorporate these into the UK’s Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and strengthen requirements to encourage consistency in published plans and increased adoption by 2023.

19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the Bank of England, and (2) the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, regarding foreign currency regulations; and whether those regulations were complied with during the reported purchase of a Rolls Royce Phantom for a minister in the government of Zimbabwe.

The Government has not had specific discussions with the Bank of England or Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on this issue. The UK does not have any foreign currency controls in place.

Separately, under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs), regulated entities are required to conduct enhanced due diligence if a transaction or a business relationship involves a ‘politically exposed person’ such as a Minister from another country. The MLRs also require that regulated entities conduct enhanced due diligence on transactions and businesses relationships involving individuals established in a high risk country. The UK’s High Risk Countries list is specified under the MLRs and aligns with assessments made by the Financial Action Taskforce, the global anti-money laundering standard setter.

Where financial institutions are in scope of the MLRs, they are supervised by the FCA. Where high value dealers are in scope of the MLRs, they are supervised by HMRC.

19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what requirements UK companies have to conduct due diligence on the source of funds when selling goods to (1) members of, or (2) representatives of the (a) government of Zimbabwe, and (b) governments of other countries, where widespread corruption is evident.

The Government has not had specific discussions with the Bank of England or Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on this issue. The UK does not have any foreign currency controls in place.

Separately, under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs), regulated entities are required to conduct enhanced due diligence if a transaction or a business relationship involves a ‘politically exposed person’ such as a Minister from another country. The MLRs also require that regulated entities conduct enhanced due diligence on transactions and businesses relationships involving individuals established in a high risk country. The UK’s High Risk Countries list is specified under the MLRs and aligns with assessments made by the Financial Action Taskforce, the global anti-money laundering standard setter.

Where financial institutions are in scope of the MLRs, they are supervised by the FCA. Where high value dealers are in scope of the MLRs, they are supervised by HMRC.

17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average waiting time for callers to the self-assessment helpline  of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in each month so far of the current tax year.

HMRC publish information on average speed to answer monthly and quarterly. Breakdowns for individual helplines including self assessment are contained in the quarterly reports. Times for the Self Assessment helpline are provided below:

Month

April

May

June

July

August

September

Mins: Seconds

14:10

24:14

12:57

10:46

13:07

08:42

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what processes they follow to implement the judgments of the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

Published guidance in relation to implementing allowed appeals can be found here - Implementing allowed appeals (publishing.service.gov.uk).

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average time between a judgment being made by the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and implementation of that judgment by the Home Office, in each of the past five years.

The requested information cannot be accurately extracted from our internal systems. To provide this information would require a manual trawl of successful appeals and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Where an appeal has been allowed in favour of the appellant, and is not subject to onward appeal, we take all reasonable steps to implement the allowed appeal in a timely manner.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any of those facing deportation to Zimbabwe on 2 March were British citizens whose citizenship has subsequently been revoked; and if so, what were the reasons in each case.

We do not comment on individual cases, but I can confirm that we only ever return those who the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and who have no legal basis to remain in the UK. By definition, they do not need protection and not at risk on return.

Individuals being returned have had the opportunity to raise claims, including protection and modern slavery claims prior to their deportation or administrative removal. All claims raised will be fully considered and decided – we would not remove someone where there were outstanding claims or concerns. Each case is considered sensitively, appropriately and on its individual merits. All available evidence is carefully and sensitively considered against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues. Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically.

Since January 2019 we have returned 10,017 foreign national offenders (FNOs) and since April 2020, we have utilised over 110 charter flights to deport FNOs and other immigration offenders to countries across Europe and around the rest of the world.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of returns from the UK, by nationality, including Zimbabwe, in the Immigration statistics quarterly release which can also be found on gov.uk.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all of the Zimbabwean nationals they intend to remove from the UK on 2 March have been convicted of a criminal offence; and whether any of them have been convicted only of an immigration offence.

We do not comment on individual cases, but I can confirm that we only ever return those who the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and who have no legal basis to remain in the UK. By definition, they do not need protection and not at risk on return.

Individuals being returned have had the opportunity to raise claims, including protection and modern slavery claims prior to their deportation or administrative removal. All claims raised will be fully considered and decided – we would not remove someone where there were outstanding claims or concerns. Each case is considered sensitively, appropriately and on its individual merits. All available evidence is carefully and sensitively considered against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues. Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically.

Since January 2019 we have returned 10,017 foreign national offenders (FNOs) and since April 2020, we have utilised over 110 charter flights to deport FNOs and other immigration offenders to countries across Europe and around the rest of the world.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of returns from the UK, by nationality, including Zimbabwe, in the Immigration statistics quarterly release which can also be found on gov.uk.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they will give to the (1) political, and (2) human rights, situation in Zimbabwe when determining whether to go ahead with the planned deportation of Zimbabwe nationals on 2 March.

We do not comment on individual cases, but I can confirm that we only ever return those who the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and who have no legal basis to remain in the UK. By definition, they do not need protection and not at risk on return.

Individuals being returned have had the opportunity to raise claims, including protection and modern slavery claims prior to their deportation or administrative removal. All claims raised will be fully considered and decided – we would not remove someone where there were outstanding claims or concerns. Each case is considered sensitively, appropriately and on its individual merits. All available evidence is carefully and sensitively considered against a background of relevant case law and in light of published country information, which covers country specific issues. Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically.

Since January 2019 we have returned 10,017 foreign national offenders (FNOs) and since April 2020, we have utilised over 110 charter flights to deport FNOs and other immigration offenders to countries across Europe and around the rest of the world.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of returns from the UK, by nationality, including Zimbabwe, in the Immigration statistics quarterly release which can also be found on gov.uk.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Metropolitan Police Officers were self-isolating on the day of the Wembley Euro 2020 final due to (1) a positive COVID-19 test,  or (2) having been instructed to do so by the NHS Covid App.

The Home Office has worked closely with the NPCC throughout the pandemic to monitor the impact of covid on police forces and to ensure they have the tools and capacity to continue to respond and keep the public safe. However, the Home Office does not centrally hold the specific data requested. The Metropolitan Police Service may hold this data.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to respond to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Africa Visa problems for African visitors to the UK, published on 16 July 2019.

The Home Office continues to plan to respond to the report and will do so before the conclusion of the current parliamentary session.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much, in total, has been paid to the victims of the Windrush scandal as part of the Windrush Compensation Scheme to date; what proportion of the funds allocated to that scheme that amount represents; and how many victims have been compensated.

Information on the amount of compensation paid and the number of people compensated under the Windrush Compensation Scheme is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020.

Information relating to estimated costs and allocations, including compensation payments, is contained in the Home Office’s Impact Assessment IA No: HO 0329 dated 29/1/20. The Home Office has secured funding from HM Treasury for the scheme, and there is no cap on the amount of compensation an individual can receive.

tab WCS-01 (see other tabs WCS-02, WCS-03, WCS-04, WCS-05, WCS-06 and WCS-07 for further information.

WCS_01: Number of Windrush Compensation Scheme claims received1-3

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Quarter/Month

All claims received

All Primary Claims

All Estate Claims

All Close Family Claims

2019 Q2

529

452

21

56

2019 Q3

336

285

14

37

2019 Q4

243

205

11

27

2020 Q1

167

135

11

21

2020 Q2

117

87

3

27

Jul-2020

88

66

5

17

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they use the civil test of 'the balance of probabilities’ or the criminal law test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to assess claims to the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme awards compensation to individuals according to both actual losses that an individual may have suffered, and tariff-based awards. Where compensation is awarded for actual losses it is right that we seek to obtain an appropriate level of assurance that these losses were incurred, in order to fulfil our duty to properly manage taxpayers’ money.

We do not expect those seeking compensation to meet the criminal standard of proof. The Windrush Compensation Scheme rules and caseworker guidance, which set out the criteria by which claims under the scheme are considered, are currently being revised to confirm this. The revised rules and guidance will be published on gov.uk later this month.

The current compensation scheme rules are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-full-rules

and the current caseworker guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-casework-guidance

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to suspend all removals of Zimbabwe citizens from the UK in the light of the political, economic and humanitarian situation in that country.

All asylum and human rights claims are carefully considered on their individual merits in accordance with our international obligations. Each individual assessment is made against the background of the latest available country of origin information and any relevant caselaw.

The Home Office only seeks to return those whose claims have been unsuccessful and who, by definition, do not need our protection and are not at risk on return. We work closely with other countries to ensure people are returned safely and with dignity.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the indirect impact on the climate of RAF flights from the formation of aircraft contrails.

There has not been a direct assessment of contrails formed by RAF flights. However, the Department for Transport has published scientific assessments covering all aviation.

The most recent scientific assessment of the historical, global, impact of aviation on the environment, including through contrails, is presented in the recent publication "The Contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018" by Lee et al., 2020, a copy of which is available in The Library of the House.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)