Lord Rennard Portrait

Lord Rennard

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
4th Jun 2020 - 13th Jun 2020
Political Polling and Digital Media Committee
29th Jun 2017 - 20th Mar 2018
Information Committee (Lords)
25th Nov 2009 - 14th May 2014
Constitution Committee
19th Jan 2011 - 1st May 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
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Speeches
Friday 15th July 2022
Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]
My Lords, the provisions in this Bill were debated during the passage of the Elections Act earlier this year, and …
Written Answers
Thursday 28th July 2022
Cystic Fibrosis: Mental Health Services and Social Workers
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of (1) paediatric, and (2) adult, cystic fibrosis centres in England had a …
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 Rennard has voted in 307 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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 True (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(53 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(25 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Elections Act 2022
(8,696 words contributed)
Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020
(5,560 words contributed)
Health and Care Act 2022
(2,879 words contributed)
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View all Lord Rennard's debates

Commons initiatives

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

Lord Rennard has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Rennard has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


65 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
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people aged under 25 and living in London who have neither a passport nor a photographic driving licence.

The Cabinet Office commissioned a nationally representative survey in 2021 to explore photographic ID ownership of residents eligible to vote in Great Britain. The list of identification accepted for voting purposes will not be limited to UK passports or driving licences and will include a broad range of documents already in use, such as various concessionary travel passes, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards and photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme.

The survey estimates that 99% of respondents from London (with the 95% confidence interval placing this estimate between 97.8%-100%) and 99% of 18-24 year olds (with the 95% confidence interval placing this estimate between 97.5%-100%) hold at least one of the forms of photographic identification accepted under the planned policy.

Further information on photographic identification ownership for voting can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/voter-identification-photographic-id-ownership-in-great-britain.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost of printing and distributing polling cards to voters in the 2019 general election.

The cost of printing and distributing polling cards to voters at the 2019 general election will not be known until all of the Returning Officers’ expenses claims for those polls have been reviewed, agreed and settled.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Electoral Commission's publication of electoral data from the 2019 United Kingdom Parliamentary general election, what assessment they have made of (1) the reasons for tendered ballot papers having to be issued, and (2) how the number of tendered ballots compares to the total votes cast; and what plans they have to work with the Electoral Commission and professional bodies representing Returning Officers to assess the possible reasons for tendered ballot papers being issued.

A tendered ballot paper may be issued to a voter in a number of circumstances at an election; for example, if an elector goes to a polling station and finds that the register has been marked to show that somebody has already voted for them, and the elector believes this is an error. As noted in the question, the Electoral Commission included information on the number of tendered ballot papers issued in the electoral data it compiled from the 2019 General Election. The Government will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other relevant bodies to support the delivery of elections and will consider a wide range of issues as part of this work.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many attainers are currently registered to vote in (1) England, (2) Northern Ireland, (3) Scotland, and (4) Wales; and how many were registered each year from 2015 to 2020.

The number of attainers registered to vote can be found on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/elections/electoralregistration/datasets/electoralstatisticsforuk.

The number of attainers included in the local government register, by year, are:

England

Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

2020

196,346

14,640

29,599

490

2019

265,624

13,170

14,577

319

2018

268,396

13,172

20,232

574

2017

279,388

13,001

20,788

608

2016

293,430

13,810

22,035

5,000

2015

244,781

12,462

21,343

5,350

An elector must be 18 years old to be included on the UK Parliamentary register. As such, attainers are not included in UK Parliamentary registers.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 14 December 2020 (HL10908), what progress has been made on discussions between the Cabinet Office and HMRC about how to better inform people about how to register to vote; and in particular on providing (1) an electronic link, or (2) specific written reference, to the electoral registration website in the National Insurance number letters that they issue.

National Insurance Number letters issued by HMRC state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials continue to engage with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included in the letters to help inform individuals about the registration process, and whether there is scope to include reference to the Register to Vote website in the National Insurance number letters. The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is still their aim to ensure that there is a level playing field in the conduct of election campaigns; what assessment they have made of whether this aim is achievable in elections scheduled for this May, in which the delivery of campaign literature by volunteers has been discouraged by the Government whilst the delivery of campaign literature by commercial organisations for political parties is not; and whether advice to party volunteers is consistent with that for party leaders making campaign visits across the country.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Medical Officers advised Ministers in drawing up this delivery plan. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

Campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions/guidance.

The whole of England remains in a national lockdown and will do so until 29 March. The current restrictions do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual campaigners. Leaving home to undertake leafleting increases the risk of unnecessary social interactions and viral transmission both during travel and on doorsteps. Campaigners should instead ensure leafleting is carried out through existing commercial delivery services, which are already operating and delivering during the national lockdown. Any spending on this which is incurred during a regulated period must count towards a candidate’s spending limit.


From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether sufficient information concerning elections and candidates can be obtained via (1) the internet, and (2) the media; and further to this, what assessment they have made of the reasons behind the significant level of spending of political parties on unsolicited literature delivered to voters prior to the 2019 general election.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Medical Officers advised Ministers in drawing up this delivery plan. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

Campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions/guidance.

The whole of England remains in a national lockdown and will do so until 29 March. The current restrictions do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual campaigners. Leaving home to undertake leafleting increases the risk of unnecessary social interactions and viral transmission both during travel and on doorsteps. Campaigners should instead ensure leafleting is carried out through existing commercial delivery services, which are already operating and delivering during the national lockdown. Any spending on this which is incurred during a regulated period must count towards a candidate’s spending limit.


From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the legal basis for the view set out in the Minister of the Constitution’s letter of 22 January distinguishing between volunteer distribution of campaign leaflets and identical activity by people paid by commercial organisations; what reference is made to this distinction in the COVID-19 regulations, and what assessment they have made of whether holding elections on 6 May with (1) this restriction, and (2) other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, will contribute to reduced turnout and campaign activity.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Medical Officers advised Ministers in drawing up this delivery plan. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

Campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions/guidance.

The whole of England remains in a national lockdown and will do so until 29 March. The current restrictions do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual campaigners. Leaving home to undertake leafleting increases the risk of unnecessary social interactions and viral transmission both during travel and on doorsteps. Campaigners should instead ensure leafleting is carried out through existing commercial delivery services, which are already operating and delivering during the national lockdown. Any spending on this which is incurred during a regulated period must count towards a candidate’s spending limit.


From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), and the Written Answers from Lord True on 17 February (HL12832 and HL12833), what representations they received from members of political parties prior to the Minister of the Constitution’s letter of 22 January which stated the Government view that campaigning activity should distinguish between volunteer distribution of campaign leaflets and identical activity by people paid by commercial organisations; and whether they received representations on this issue from (1) Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ), or (2) people who may have been acting on CCHQ's behalf.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Medical Officers advised Ministers in drawing up this delivery plan. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

Campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions/guidance.

The whole of England remains in a national lockdown and will do so until 29 March. The current restrictions do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual campaigners. Leaving home to undertake leafleting increases the risk of unnecessary social interactions and viral transmission both during travel and on doorsteps. Campaigners should instead ensure leafleting is carried out through existing commercial delivery services, which are already operating and delivering during the national lockdown. Any spending on this which is incurred during a regulated period must count towards a candidate’s spending limit.


From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), and the Written Answers from Lord True on 17 February (HL12832 and HL12833), whether (1) NHS England, (2) the Department for Health and Social Care, (3) the Chief Scientific Officer, and (4) the Chief Medical Officer, provided advice that informed the distinction between (a) volunteer, and (b) paid, delivery of leaflets, as set out in the Minister for the Constitution’s letter of 22 January.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff. The Medical Officers advised Ministers in drawing up this delivery plan. The Government has committed to further engage with political parties through the Parliamentary Parties Panel and the Local Government Association; we are committed to ensuring we take into consideration the views of independent candidates as effectively as possible.

Campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and we have since published guidance on campaigning reflecting the updated COVID restrictions/guidance.

The whole of England remains in a national lockdown and will do so until 29 March. The current restrictions do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual campaigners. Leaving home to undertake leafleting increases the risk of unnecessary social interactions and viral transmission both during travel and on doorsteps. Campaigners should instead ensure leafleting is carried out through existing commercial delivery services, which are already operating and delivering during the national lockdown. Any spending on this which is incurred during a regulated period must count towards a candidate’s spending limit.


From 8 March, individual activists will be able to campaign outdoors in a COVID-secure way. The rules will allow for individual campaigners to deliver leaflets and to engage with electors on their doorsteps - but they should always be socially distanced and not enter inside people’s homes.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of grouping Questions for Written Answer on the quality of the information provided in response to these questions; and in particular, further to the reply by Lord True on 22 February (HL Deb col 610), whether they will now say what representations were made by political parties supporting an increase in national party expenditure limits prior to the Government’s statement made on 3 December 2020 (HLWS610) about uprating them in line with inflation since 2000.

As outlined in the ‘Guide to Parliamentary Work’, all departments must make the utmost effort to give accurate and helpful answers to all written questions.

Further to my answer in the House of Lords on 22 February, last year the Government engaged with representatives of the Local Government Association, political groups, the Parliamentary Parties Panel and other political parties last year on uprating spending limits at reserved polls. A range of views were received and following that engagement, we uprated candidate spending limits at local elections in England. We have committed to review candidate and party spending limits, at reserved polls this year, with a view to uprating them in line with inflation.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make arrangements for the local government election counts due to take place on 6 May in England to be conducted on a day soon after polling day to ensure that the counts can be COVID-19 secure.

The conduct of the count will be a matter for Returning Officers - the Government is working with the Electoral Commission to ensure guidance is available to support Returning Officers to effectively deliver the polls, as laid out in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766) and the Government’s Election Delivery Plan. In this process, we understand the importance of securing a safe environment for counts.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to introduce early voting for local elections in England, or (2) to allow polling to take place over the weekend.

Primary legislation states that the polls are to be held on 6 May. We do not consider there is a need for early voting. Advanced voting is already available to those who need or want it through postal voting on demand. Early voting in person would create unhelpful and unnecessary operational difficulties, by requiring additional polling venues and staffing requirements, in what is already a challenging environment for Returning Officers. We are instead supporting Returning Officers in delivering the elections on Thursday 6 May.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the proposal by Lord Young of Cookham on 14 January (HL Deb col 889), what assessment they have made of the suggestion that local authorities should include information about registering to vote and voting by post with council tax bills; and whether this information can be delivered safely.

Electoral Registration Officers have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas; decisions on what to include with local authority mailings is a matter for individual councils. The Electoral Commission (EC) also provides guidance for Electoral Registration Officers and will have a role in raising awareness of how people can vote by post or proxy. As part of their guidance to EROs on planning for the delivery of electoral registration, the EC advises that the online registration application form could be signposted on web pages that residents would most commonly use to carry out a transaction with the local authority, such as the page on which to register and pay for Council Tax.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by the Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), what representations they received from members of political parties prior to issuing the letter on campaign leaflets on 22 January.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Current National Lockdown restrictions in England do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists. However, campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. Further information on campaigning guidance and the interaction with prevailing covid restrictions will be issued in due course and well in advance of the polls.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by the Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), what was the basis for the advice on local election campaign leaflets in relation (1) to leaflets delivered by volunteers, (2) to leaflets delivered by Royal Mail and other commercial organisations, and (3) to volunteers delivering COVID-19 safety information.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Current National Lockdown restrictions in England do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists. However, campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. Further information on campaigning guidance and the interaction with prevailing covid restrictions will be issued in due course and well in advance of the polls.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by the Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) on 28 January (HL Deb col 1804), whether the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution received evidence from (1) NHS England, (2) the Department for Health and Social Care, and (3) the Chief Scientific and Medical Officers, prior to issuing the letter on campaign leaflets to political parties on 22 January.

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 8 February 2021 (HLWS766), the Government has confirmed that the set of council, mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Current National Lockdown restrictions in England do not support door-to-door campaigning or leafleting by individual political party activists. However, campaigning is an essential part of democracy. Voters deserve to be well informed before going to the polls and there must be a level playing field for candidates. Further information on campaigning guidance and the interaction with prevailing covid restrictions will be issued in due course and well in advance of the polls.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what procedures are in place for citizens to complain against an individual civil servant in instances where they are believed to have broken the Civil Service Code; and where are complaints published.

All civil servants are required to adhere to the Civil Service Code values - integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. If a member of the public wishes to complain about a civil servant, they should in the first instance contact the Department or Agency where the civil servant is employed. Each Department or Agency has its own complaints procedure that can be found on GOV.UK.

If the complainant is unsatisfied with the manner in which their complaint was handled, they can request that their Member of Parliament refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate.

Details of complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman are available in their published reports on their website, or included in the respective department's annual reports.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord True on 23 November (HL10099) and 9 December (HL10705) and the letter sent by the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to Electoral Returning Officers, published on 16 September, whether they will now answer the question put, namely, what plans they have, if any, to change requirements so (1) nomination papers require only two signatures, and (2) that nominations may be accepted by email.

The Government has considered issues around the nominations process for the May 2021 elections with the electoral sector and Public Health England and is of the view that the current process can be carried out in a covid-secure way. The Electoral Commission has published supplementary guidance to support this process and the Government is working to ensure that nominations activity is not affected by possible restrictions. There are no plans to change the number of signatures required for nomination papers at the May 2021 elections, or to allow nominations to be accepted by email. Returning Officers may allow parts of the nominations process to be carried out online, such as the arrangement of the necessary documents, but the final nomination papers must be delivered in person. The current procedures help ensure the veracity of the nominations process.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord True on 3 September (HL Deb, col 500), what plans they have to ensure that electoral registration forms are designed as effectively as possible using standards of best practice to increase the rate of return; and what steps they are taking to ensure that such forms, and any accompanying letters, consistently draw prominent attention to the legal requirements to comply with the registration process with reference to the appropriate maximum fines or penalties.

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas. The Government’s role is to ensure EROs have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes, for example, the recent changes to the annual canvass in Great Britain which will improve its overall efficiency considerably which will allow EROs to focus their efforts on hard to reach groups, and play an important role in helping to maintain register accuracy and completeness.

As it stands, National Insurance Number letters issued by HM Revenue and Customs state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials are in discussions with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included to help inform individuals about the registration process, and if it may be clarified.

The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Responsibility for the design of electoral registration forms, including the Invitation to Register form and all Canvass Communications lies with the Electoral Commission, with the Government providing final approval. The Electoral Commission undertakes extensive user testing of the forms to ensure they are as effective as possible at eliciting the appropriate response. Cabinet Office officials are regularly consulted by the Electoral Commission during the design stages of any new forms and also when changes are proposed to existing forms.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to consult with (a) Operation Black Vote, and (b) representatives of communities under represented on electoral registers, about ways (1) to increase representation on the electoral register, (2) to encourage participation in elections, (3) to increase social mobility through the availability of credit to those on the electoral register, and (4) to help to make juries, drawn from the electoral register, more representative.

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas. The Government’s role is to ensure EROs have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes, for example, the recent changes to the annual canvass in Great Britain which will improve its overall efficiency considerably which will allow EROs to focus their efforts on hard to reach groups, and play an important role in helping to maintain register accuracy and completeness.

As it stands, National Insurance Number letters issued by HM Revenue and Customs state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials are in discussions with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included to help inform individuals about the registration process, and if it may be clarified.

The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Responsibility for the design of electoral registration forms, including the Invitation to Register form and all Canvass Communications lies with the Electoral Commission, with the Government providing final approval. The Electoral Commission undertakes extensive user testing of the forms to ensure they are as effective as possible at eliciting the appropriate response. Cabinet Office officials are regularly consulted by the Electoral Commission during the design stages of any new forms and also when changes are proposed to existing forms.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord True on 26 November (HL Deb, col 397), what plans they have to provide a link to the online electoral registration process to those people provided with National Insurance numbers over the last two years in time for those people to register in time for the elections scheduled in May 2021; and what assessment they have made of the impact of such provision on the registration levels for that group.

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas. The Government’s role is to ensure EROs have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes, for example, the recent changes to the annual canvass in Great Britain which will improve its overall efficiency considerably which will allow EROs to focus their efforts on hard to reach groups, and play an important role in helping to maintain register accuracy and completeness.

As it stands, National Insurance Number letters issued by HM Revenue and Customs state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials are in discussions with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included to help inform individuals about the registration process, and if it may be clarified.

The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Responsibility for the design of electoral registration forms, including the Invitation to Register form and all Canvass Communications lies with the Electoral Commission, with the Government providing final approval. The Electoral Commission undertakes extensive user testing of the forms to ensure they are as effective as possible at eliciting the appropriate response. Cabinet Office officials are regularly consulted by the Electoral Commission during the design stages of any new forms and also when changes are proposed to existing forms.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord True on 26 November (HL Deb, col 397), what plans they have to ensure the provision of a link to the online electoral registration process in their electronic and other communications notifying people of their National Insurance numbers; and what steps they intend to take to consult with (1) the Electoral Commission, (2) Electoral Registration Officers, and (3) others, about the best ways of using such a process to improve the completeness of the electoral registers, without reducing accuracy, in a cost effective manner.

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas. The Government’s role is to ensure EROs have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes, for example, the recent changes to the annual canvass in Great Britain which will improve its overall efficiency considerably which will allow EROs to focus their efforts on hard to reach groups, and play an important role in helping to maintain register accuracy and completeness.

As it stands, National Insurance Number letters issued by HM Revenue and Customs state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials are in discussions with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included to help inform individuals about the registration process, and if it may be clarified.

The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Responsibility for the design of electoral registration forms, including the Invitation to Register form and all Canvass Communications lies with the Electoral Commission, with the Government providing final approval. The Electoral Commission undertakes extensive user testing of the forms to ensure they are as effective as possible at eliciting the appropriate response. Cabinet Office officials are regularly consulted by the Electoral Commission during the design stages of any new forms and also when changes are proposed to existing forms.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case to consider changes to electoral arrangements for elections to be held in May 2021; what consultations they intend to hold with the Electoral Commission and others about any such arrangements; and what plans they have, if any, to change requirements so (1) nomination papers require only two signatures, and (2) that nominations may be accepted by email.

Further to the answer I have already given to PQ HL10099, the Government is working with the electoral administrators and Public Health England to identify and resolve challenges involved in delivering the May 2021 elections, including ensuring polling stations are safe and covid-secure places to vote. People will be able participate in the polls safely, and in a way of their choice, whether by post, proxy or in-person.

This was outlined in the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution’s letter to Electoral Returning Officers, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-chloe-smith-mp-to-returning-officers

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for the next parliamentary boundary reorganisation process under the 2011 Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act; what is the estimated cost for completing the work to be undertaken by the four Boundary Commissions under present legislation; and what plans they have to suspend the process.

Under existing legislation (Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 as amended by Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011), the next UK parliamentary boundary review is due to begin in early 2021 and to be completed before 1 October 2023.

The annual expenditure of the Boundary Commissions for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is, under current legislation, published in their respective annual reports which are available on their individual websites.

The Government’s plans with respect to UK parliamentary constituencies and boundary reviews were set out in a written statement of 24 March, ‘Update: Strengthening Democracy’ (HLWS179). The Government introduced primary legislation to set the framework of future boundary reviews, including the next review due to begin in early 2021, on 19 May.

The Government has engaged with stakeholders, including the political parties represented in the UK Parliament on its proposals, and taken into account reports made by the former Political and Constitutional Reform Committee and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and representations made by Members of the House.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what basis they will consult on changes to the legislative rules applied to the Boundary Commission processes in the light of their intention to retain the number of MPs at 650; and what assessment they have made of the recommendations of the eighth report of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee What next on the redrawing of parliamentary constituency boundaries? (HC600), published on 15 March 2015.

Under existing legislation (Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 as amended by Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011), the next UK parliamentary boundary review is due to begin in early 2021 and to be completed before 1 October 2023.

The annual expenditure of the Boundary Commissions for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is, under current legislation, published in their respective annual reports which are available on their individual websites.

The Government’s plans with respect to UK parliamentary constituencies and boundary reviews were set out in a written statement of 24 March, ‘Update: Strengthening Democracy’ (HLWS179). The Government introduced primary legislation to set the framework of future boundary reviews, including the next review due to begin in early 2021, on 19 May.

The Government has engaged with stakeholders, including the political parties represented in the UK Parliament on its proposals, and taken into account reports made by the former Political and Constitutional Reform Committee and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and representations made by Members of the House.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to modernise and codify electoral legislation as recommended by the Law Commission.

The Government welcomes the Law Commission’s recently published Electoral Law report. The Government will consider the issues raised in the report, in conjunction with our wider programme of electoral integrity reforms, and will respond fully in due course.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the most recent Parliamentary Boundary Commission Review.

The final reports of the four Boundary Commissions in the 2018 Boundary Review were submitted to the Government and laid before Parliament in September 2018.

The Government will continue to monitor closely the current legal proceedings in relation to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland’s final report.

As we set out in our manifesto, the Government will ensure we have updated and equal parliamentary boundaries, making sure every vote has equal value.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 21 January (HL Deb, cols 95–6GC), whether they will place a copy of his legal opinion commending the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism in the Library of the House.

My noble Friend, Lord Wolfson of Tredegar, is keen to stress that this opinion — which he provided pro bono — is property of the client and legally privileged. However, the client has made the opinion publicly available online at the following link: https://antisemitism.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Opinion-on-the-International-Definition-of-Antisemitism.pdf.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Baroness Berridge on 17 June (HL Deb, col 2180), when they intend to respond to the proposal to ask supermarkets involved in the free school meals scheme (1) to contribute to the cost of the scheme, and (2) to provide additional benefits to those using the vouchers; and what discussions they have had with supermarket chains about ways to support the poorest families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the duration of the free school meal voucher scheme, we have been working closely with supermarkets. We recently wrote to and met with participating supermarkets to ensure their ongoing support and welcome their efforts to support families across the country. The voucher scheme and the COVID Summer Food Fund will shortly be coming to an end as children return to school in September and school kitchens re-open, providing free meals for those that are eligible.

13th May 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 12 May (HL3709) what was the total cost in the parliamentary session 2017/2019 of allowances paid to peers elected by the process of conducting by-elections for hereditary members.

The total cost in the parliamentary session 2017/2019 of allowances paid to peers elected by the process of conducting by-elections for hereditary members was £1,674,929.

13th May 2020
To ask the Leader of the House whether, and if so how, she is assessing the arrangements for conducting ballots to fill vacancies for hereditary peers after their suspension until 8 September; and how such arrangements will be put before the House.

The House resolved on 23 March that Standing Order 10(6) be suspended until 8 September. No further decisions of the House are required before the provisions of Standing Order 10(6) resume.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is responsible for making the arrangements for individual by-elections. In all recent by-elections those eligible to vote have been able to do so by post.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
13th May 2020
To ask the Leader of the House whether any process for resuming the conduct of by-elections for hereditary peers will be put to a vote of the whole House of Lords before any more such by-elections take place.

The House resolved on 23 March that Standing Order 10(6) be suspended until 8 September. No further decisions of the House are required before the provisions of Standing Order 10(6) resume.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is responsible for making the arrangements for individual by-elections. In all recent by-elections those eligible to vote have been able to do so by post.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of (1) paediatric, and (2) adult, cystic fibrosis centres in England had a (a) social worker, and (b) clinical psychologist, vacancy for more than six months for each year since 2015.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the status of the forthcoming medicines update of the NG28 Type 2 Diabetes Guideline; and how long it will take for updated guidance to be produced.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published the updated guidance Type 2 diabetes in adults: management on 31 March 2022. A copy of the guidance is attached. NICE made new recommendations on the use of medicines for adults with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease in November 2021 and for adults with type 2 diabetes in February 2022. NICE is also updating its recommendations on medicines for type 2 diabetes in children and young people and expects to publish updated guidance in January 2024.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support patients to access (1) new, and (2) cost-effective, medicines as quickly as possible through robust oversight of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) processes.

The Department holds regular accountability meetings with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review performance against its priorities and objectives, including consideration of any capacity issues. No current capacity issues have been identified. NICE will focus on key priorities, such as addressing health inequalities, providing recommendations where its guidance will have the greatest impact. NICE has recently completed a review of the methods and processes for evaluating clinically and cost-effective health technologies to ensure rapid access for patients, the National Health Service and the life sciences industry. This review will enable NICE to be faster, flexible, more responsive and transparent in supporting the health and care system and the life sciences industry and allow new and emerging health technologies to be available patients as soon as possible.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)'s capacity to continue producing respected clinical guidance, based on up-to-date medical evidence, in order to support the best health outcomes for all patients.

The Department holds regular accountability meetings with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review performance against its priorities and objectives, including consideration of any capacity issues. No current capacity issues have been identified. NICE will focus on key priorities, such as addressing health inequalities, providing recommendations where its guidance will have the greatest impact. NICE has recently completed a review of the methods and processes for evaluating clinically and cost-effective health technologies to ensure rapid access for patients, the National Health Service and the life sciences industry. This review will enable NICE to be faster, flexible, more responsive and transparent in supporting the health and care system and the life sciences industry and allow new and emerging health technologies to be available patients as soon as possible.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capacity of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to achieve its core purpose of improving health and wellbeing by putting science and evidence at the heart of health and care decision making.

The Department holds regular accountability meetings with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review performance against its priorities and objectives, including consideration of any capacity issues. No current capacity issues have been identified. NICE will focus on key priorities, such as addressing health inequalities, providing recommendations where its guidance will have the greatest impact. NICE has recently completed a review of the methods and processes for evaluating clinically and cost-effective health technologies to ensure rapid access for patients, the National Health Service and the life sciences industry. This review will enable NICE to be faster, flexible, more responsive and transparent in supporting the health and care system and the life sciences industry and allow new and emerging health technologies to be available patients as soon as possible.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the NHS to identify people with diabetes (1) whose care has been disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) who have refrained from seeking clinical support, and (3) who require improvements in their diabetes control.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an analysis of diabetes risk, NHS England has worked with partners to publish guidance which includes how to safely maintain essential diabetes services, conduct remote diabetes reviews and methods to prioritise the review of patients as part of local recovery efforts.

Extra measures have also been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic so that people living with diabetes can continue to access support, including commissioning services to help people with diabetes of all ages self-manage their condition using online digital structured education programmes. To address the effect that COVID-19 had on referrals into the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, NHS England will use a ‘direct to consumer’ model to sit alongside Public Health England and NHS England health marketing proposals.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people with diabetes can continue to access the care and treatment they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an analysis of diabetes risk, NHS England has worked with partners to publish guidance which includes how to safely maintain essential diabetes services, conduct remote diabetes reviews and methods to prioritise the review of patients as part of local recovery efforts.

Extra measures have also been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic so that people living with diabetes can continue to access support, including commissioning services to help people with diabetes of all ages self-manage their condition using online digital structured education programmes. To address the effect that COVID-19 had on referrals into the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, NHS England will use a ‘direct to consumer’ model to sit alongside Public Health England and NHS England health marketing proposals.

28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve secondary prevention of health complications associated with diabetes in the light of the impact of COVID-19.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an analysis of diabetes risk, NHS England has worked with partners to publish guidance which includes how to safely maintain essential diabetes services, conduct remote diabetes reviews and methods to prioritise the review of patients as part of local recovery efforts.

Extra measures have also been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic so that people living with diabetes can continue to access support, including commissioning services to help people with diabetes of all ages self-manage their condition using online digital structured education programmes. To address the effect that COVID-19 had on referrals into the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, NHS England will use a ‘direct to consumer’ model to sit alongside Public Health England and NHS England health marketing proposals.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the recent survey by the Neurological Alliance, Restarting services for people with neurological conditions after the COVID-19 pandemic and planning for the longer term, published on 7 July, that (1) 47 per cent of those surveyed had had their appointments with a neurologist delayed because of COVID-19, and (2) almost 39 per cent of those who were due to see a neurologist were not given a future date for their delayed appointment; and when all NHS services for people with neurological conditions will reopen.

The Neurological Alliance report, Restarting services for people with neurological conditions after the COVID-19 pandemic and planning for the longer term, was published on 7 July 2020 and surveyed the views of over 1,600 people. Although no specific assessment of that survey has been made, the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are of course aware that the need to take pressure off NHS services, to enable it to respond to pandemic, did have an impact on the provision of routine patient care.

Early in the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement advised that in-person consultations should only take place when absolutely necessary. As a result, providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with neurological conditions.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for increasing public health funding in the light of the COVID-19 crisis; and whether future statements to Parliament on COVID-19 will address any such increase of that funding.

The public health grant to local authorities is £3.279 billion in 2020-21. This is in addition to what the National Health Service spends on public health, which included over £1.3 billion in 2019-20 on national public health programmes such as immunisations and screening.

The Government has also provided £4.3 billion of additional funding for local government to help them respond to COVID-19 pressures across the services they deliver. Local authorities will take spending decisions based on local priorities, and the Government is keeping the position under review.

Funding beyond 2020-21 will be set out at the next spending review.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase funding for public education campaigns about smoking in order (1) to encourage people who have quit smoking during the COVID-19 lockdown to remain smoke-free, and (2) to motivate people to quit smoking in coming months.

The Government has committed £70,000 to support the ‘Today is the Day’ campaign which is targeted at localities with high smoking prevalence. Public Health England’s annual Stoptober campaign will be held in October 2020 and will take account of the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the data included in Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England Quarter 4, 2019–20, published on 7 July, what assessment they have made of Greater Manchester’s Smokefree Pregnancy programme; and what plans they have to implement a national smoke-free pregnancy incentives programme along the lines of that programme.

The Government has a track record of reducing the harms caused by tobacco and is committed to achieving its ambition to reduce the rate of smoking in pregnancy to 6% or less by 2022.

The Government is aware of the work undertaken in Greater Manchester, although we have not made a formal assessment of it. The programme will be considered by officials when exploring further ways that we can protect babies and their parents from the consequences of smoking in pregnancy.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that services and treatment for patients with cancer return to the level provided before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to COVID-19, 21 Cancer Alliances across England now have arrangements in place for cancer hubs. These are hospitals dedicated to cancer care away from hospitals dealing with the virus to keep often vulnerable cancer patients safe.

Essential and urgent cancer treatment has continued throughout the pandemic period, and we are now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services.

As part of the restoration of services, NHS services will continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, as well as delivering treating patients in cancer hubs, to ensure that referrals, diagnostics and treatment are brought back to pre-pandemic levels.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to deal with the backlog of cancer treatments that have been delayed or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to COVID-19, 21 Cancer Alliances across England now have arrangements in place for cancer hubs. These are hospitals dedicated to cancer care away from hospitals dealing with the virus to keep often vulnerable cancer patients safe.

Essential and urgent cancer treatment has continued throughout the pandemic period, and we are now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services.

As part of the restoration of services, NHS services will continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, as well as delivering treating patients in cancer hubs, to ensure that referrals, diagnostics and treatment are brought back to pre-pandemic levels.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to increase the use of digital technology in care pathways for people with diabetes.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken several steps to promote access to digital self-management support for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

They are currently working to widen access including by redeveloping and supporting implementation of an online, self-management support tool called ‘Healthy Living for People with Type 2 diabetes’ and are actively considering ways to educate the public on the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. They are also investing in the wider adoption of several digital interventions and commissioning a package of new online self-management courses to help people living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefit of offering digital (1) coaching, (2) education, and (3) weight management, programmes to people with type 2 diabetes.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken several steps to promote access to digital self-management support for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

They are currently working to widen access including by redeveloping and supporting implementation of an online, self-management support tool called ‘Healthy Living for People with Type 2 diabetes’ and are actively considering ways to educate the public on the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. They are also investing in the wider adoption of several digital interventions and commissioning a package of new online self-management courses to help people living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for suspending charging for prescriptions in England to assist pharmacies and patients by removing the need to collect and pay such charges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prescription charge is a valuable source of income for the National Health Service. We have no plans to suspend them.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people in England with asthma who do not currently have prescription prepayment certificates.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Medical conditions are not disclosed when a prescription pre-payment certificate is purchased.

27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to provide a greater police presence at polling stations for different types of elections or votes.

The police assess the needs for security at polling stations in their area and respond accordingly.

Planning and oversight of election issues during campaigns is overseen by a NPCC lead and a network of local Electionco-ordinators, who work closely with the candidates and others involved in the process, to ensure the democratic process.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Leader of the House what assessment she has made of whether there has been any reduction in the capacity of the House to scrutinise the policies of Her Majesty’s Government caused by the suspension of by-elections for hereditary peers until 8 September; and what consideration she has given to extending that suspension to limit the size of the House and reduce costs.

The House has agreed to a number of temporary changes to its usual working practices and procedures in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these changes was to delay any by-elections under Standing Order 10 until at least Tuesday 8 September. Without this delay a by-election would have had to be held before 26 June owing to a retirement.

In practical terms it is possible to put the arrangements in place for by-elections to be held in a way that reflects our current circumstances and ways of working. So a further extension is not necessary.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase national party expenditure limits in general elections in line with the written statement made by Lord True on 3 December 2020 (HLWS610); and whether any such increase will take place before July 2023.

Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. This requires them to be updated by inflation from time to time. The underlying primary legislation passed by Parliament explicitly provides for this.

In 2020 government officials consulted with representatives of the Local Government Association, political groups, the Parliamentary Parties panel and other political parties on uprating spending limits at reserved polls. Naturally a range of views were received during these consultations, however, it is for these groups to make public their position on this matter, not the Government.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statements published on 3 December 2020 HCWS618; HLWS610 (attached) the Government intends to review both candidate and party spending limits, at reserved polls with a view to uprating them by inflation. We cannot, however, comment on any specific figures until the necessary review has concluded.

28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of political parties that would be able to raise and spend more than the present national limit on party expenditure in a general election, based on expenditure in general elections since 2000; and which parties that includes.

Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. This requires them to be updated by inflation from time to time. The underlying primary legislation passed by Parliament explicitly provides for this.

In 2020 government officials consulted with representatives of the Local Government Association, political groups, the Parliamentary Parties panel and other political parties on uprating spending limits at reserved polls. Naturally a range of views were received during these consultations, however, it is for these groups to make public their position on this matter, not the Government.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statements published on 3 December 2020 HCWS618; HLWS610 (attached) the Government intends to review both candidate and party spending limits, at reserved polls with a view to uprating them by inflation. We cannot, however, comment on any specific figures until the necessary review has concluded.

28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the rate of inflation between 2000 to 2022; and what assessment they have made of the effect on national spending limits for a registered political party contesting every constituency in Great Britain of increasing the present limit by the rate of inflation.

Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. This requires them to be updated by inflation from time to time. The underlying primary legislation passed by Parliament explicitly provides for this.

In 2020 government officials consulted with representatives of the Local Government Association, political groups, the Parliamentary Parties panel and other political parties on uprating spending limits at reserved polls. Naturally a range of views were received during these consultations, however, it is for these groups to make public their position on this matter, not the Government.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statements published on 3 December 2020 HCWS618; HLWS610 (attached) the Government intends to review both candidate and party spending limits, at reserved polls with a view to uprating them by inflation. We cannot, however, comment on any specific figures until the necessary review has concluded.

28th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 10 March 2021 (HL13610), what representations they received from (1) the Local Government Association, (2) political groups, (3) the Parliamentary Parties Panel, and (4) other political parties, in 2020 on the issue of uprating spending limits at reserved polls; and in particular, which political parties expressed support for increasing such spending limits for national elections in line with inflation since 2000.

Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. This requires them to be updated by inflation from time to time. The underlying primary legislation passed by Parliament explicitly provides for this.

In 2020 government officials consulted with representatives of the Local Government Association, political groups, the Parliamentary Parties panel and other political parties on uprating spending limits at reserved polls. Naturally a range of views were received during these consultations, however, it is for these groups to make public their position on this matter, not the Government.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statements published on 3 December 2020 HCWS618; HLWS610 (attached) the Government intends to review both candidate and party spending limits, at reserved polls with a view to uprating them by inflation. We cannot, however, comment on any specific figures until the necessary review has concluded.

25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what levels of documented scrutiny, including photo ID, is expected to apply in future for voters at a polling station; what assessment they have made as to how far this documentation may be more easily available for (1) older voters, (2) younger voters, and (3) people who move their address most frequently; and how this scrutiny will compare to that applied to UK citizens applying to register as overseas voters who are not recorded on previous electoral rolls.

The Elections Bill will bring in the requirement to show a photographic identity document when voting in polling stations. The Government has carried out research on the levels of ownership of relevant forms of identification amongst various demographics including age. This research is available here (attached) - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/voter-identification-photographic-id-ownership-in-great-britain>

Following the extension of the overseas electors franchise, the identity of all applicants will (as now) need to be verified as will their connection to an address in the UK before they can be added to the electoral register. Further detail can be found in the Government’s policy statement, “Overseas electors: Delivering ‘votes for life’ for British expatriates”
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-electors-delivering-votes-for-life-for-british-expatriates/overseas-electors-delivering-votes-for-life-for-british-expatriates>

25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to facilitate more rapid (1) distribution, and (2) return, of postal votes to UK citizens overseas who are registered voters in general elections.

Returning Officers are responsible for the issue of postal votes at elections. The Electoral Commission guidance advises Returning Officers that they should prioritise postal votes that are to be sent overseas in order to maximise the time that postal voters have to receive, complete and return their postal vote.

The Government has recently taken steps to enhance the postal vote system for UK citizens living overseas. At the 2019 General Election, the Government funded a scheme to expedite the issue of postal vote ballot papers to overseas electors via Heathrow Airport. The Government has also funded the use of the International Business Response Licence which expedites the return of ballot packs from overseas, as well as covering any postage costs that might otherwise be incurred.

The Elections Bill includes measures that will make it easier for overseas electors to participate by enabling them to remain registered for longer with an absent vote arrangement in place. The registration period for overseas electors will be extended from one year to up to three years, and electors will be able to reapply or refresh, as appropriate, their absent vote arrangements at the same time as renewing their registration. The Bill also provides for an online absent vote application service to be introduced that will enable electors, including overseas electors, to apply for a postal vote online.

25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to removing the means by which a voter at a polling station who finds that their name has already been crossed off the list of voters issued with ballot papers may then be given an extra ballot paper to ensure that their vote can be counted if appropriate.

The Electoral Commission gathers and publishes data on all major elections. Their report on the 2019 General Election included figures on how many tendered ballot papers were issued. This information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website.

25th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have requested, if any, from (1) returning officers, and (2) the Electoral Commission, regarding the number of people arriving at polling stations in elections in the last five years who have had to claim a tendered ballot paper; and what assessment they have they requested as to how many of those people had to ask for an extra ballot paper as someone else had already claimed their vote.

The Electoral Commission gathers and publishes data on all major elections. Their report on the 2019 General Election included figures on how many tendered ballot papers were issued. This information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of (1) civil servants, (2) legal regulators, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and (3) legal trade bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (a) to investigate, and (b) to adjudicate, complaints about antisemitism fairly; and of the effectiveness of those groups' (i) antisemitism procedures, and (ii) handling of accusations of antisemitism.

The Government regularly engages with legal regulators and representative bodies to understand the effectiveness of the regulatory system. No specific assessment has been made of the ability of legal regulators or legal trade bodies to investigate or adjudicate complaints about antisemitism fairly, or of the effectiveness of these groups’ procedures or handling of accusations of antisemitism.

The legal profession in England and Wales is independent of government and lawyers are regulated by approved regulators. There is an independent oversight regulator, the Legal Services Board, which has a statutory duty to approve the regulatory arrangements of the regulatory bodies covered by the Legal Services Act 2007. This includes conduct rules which set out the conduct and behaviour expected of licensed legal practitioners, which include matters of discrimination relating to the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is a professional organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute resolution practitioners. As a UK registered charity, it is regulated by the Charity Commission.

The Government is clear that all forms of discrimination are unacceptable. The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. All civil servants are expected to adhere to the core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality as set out in legislation. Each Department or Agency has its own complaints procedure.