Lord Rooker Portrait

Lord Rooker

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 16th June 2001


1 APPG membership (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Food and Health
6 Former APPG memberships
Charity Retail, Corruption, Folic Acid Fortification, Gasworks Redevelopment, Poverty, War Heritage
Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee
13th Jun 2019 - 21st Jan 2020
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
12th Jun 2015 - 2nd Jul 2019
SLSC Sub-Committee B
4th Sep 2018 - 30th Apr 2019
Select Committee on Charities
25th May 2016 - 26th Mar 2017
Draft Deregulation Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Jul 2013 - 11th Dec 2013
Draft House of Lords Reform Bill (Joint Committee)
6th Jul 2011 - 26th Mar 2012
Barnett Formula Committee
10th Dec 2008 - 12th Nov 2009
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
1st Jun 2005 - 5th Oct 2008
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food)
9th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
9th May 2005 - 27th Jun 2007
Procedure and Privileges Committee
15th Jun 2005 - 8th Nov 2006
Minister (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) (Regeneration and Regional Development)
13th Jun 2003 - 10th May 2005
Minister (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) (Housing & Planning)
29th May 2002 - 13th Jun 2003
Minister (Home Office) (Asylum & Immigration)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
Minister of State (Department of Social Security)
29th Jul 1999 - 7th Jun 2001
Minister of State (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
6th May 1997 - 29th Jul 1999
Public Accounts Committee
13th Jan 1989 - 22nd Jan 1991


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
15:00
Economic Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: How sustainable is our national debt?
12 Mar 2024, 3 p.m.
At 3:00pm: Oral evidence
Bim Afolami MP - Economic Secretary at HM Treasury
Ruth Curtice - Director for Fiscal Group at HM Treasury
At 4:15pm: Oral evidence
Sir Robert Stheeman - Chief Executive Officer at Debt Management Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
10:30
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 112 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Wednesday 28th February 2024
UNICEF: Child Poverty Rankings
My Lords, the actual Answer to my Question should be “With shame”. Can the Minister explain why child poverty rate …
Written Answers
Monday 12th February 2024
Bread and Flour: Regulation
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the publication of the consultation response to the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 on …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 30th June 2015
Bread and Flour Regulations (Folic Acid) Bill [HL] 2015-16
A bill to amend the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 to require flour to be fortified with folic acid.
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Rooker has voted in 390 divisions, and 12 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Feb 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 18 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 143 Noes - 311
9 Feb 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 15 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 127 Noes - 296
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 140 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 284
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 133 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 259 Noes - 283
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 137 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour No votes vs 15 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 153 Noes - 309
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 138 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 283
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 11 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 119 Noes - 263
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 12 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 111 Noes - 255
9 Feb 2022 - Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Labour Aye votes vs 67 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 120 Noes - 230
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 51 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
13 Jun 2023 - Public Order Act 1986 (Serious Disruption to the Life of the Community) Regulations 2023 - View Vote Context
Lord Rooker voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 10 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 64 Noes - 154
View All Lord Rooker 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 Bethell (Conservative)
(53 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(23 debate interactions)
Lord Benyon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(20 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(72 debate contributions)
Home Office
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Agriculture Act 2020
(6,972 words contributed)
Environment Act 2021
(6,084 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(5,147 words contributed)
United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020
(4,314 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Rooker's debates

Lords initiatives

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


1 Bill introduced by Lord Rooker


A bill to amend the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 to require flour to be fortified with folic acid.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 30th June 2015

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


64 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
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the average life expectancy in England (1) is currently, and (2) was in 2010.

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

Dear Lord Rooker,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what the average life expectancy in England (1) is currently, and (2) was in 2010 (HL6324).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the ‘National life tables; England’ dataset[1] on 25 September 2019. The latest available figures show that period life expectancy at birth for the years 2016 to 2018 was 83.18 years for females and 79.56 years for males. The corresponding figures for the years 2008 to 2010 are 82.33 for females and 78.31 for males.

Period life expectancy assumes mortality rates remain constant into the future. For further information, please see ‘Period and Cohort Life Expectancy Explained’[2].

The bulletin published with the national life tables contains further information about these tables[3].

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/datasets/nationallifetablesenglandreferencetables

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/methodologies/periodandcohortlifeexpectancyexplained

[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2016to2018

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
15th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the estimated energy savings that could be made by moving the UK to the GMT+2 hour time zone during the summer months, and to GMT+1 hour time zone for the rest of the year.

The Government has no plans to change the daylight-saving arrangements.

The Government believes that the current daylight-saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the National Archives file 'Organophosphate poisoning to farmers caused by sheep dip' (PIN 21/843) is open in its entirety and, if not, for what reasons any redactions have been made.

When The National Archives identifies information in an ‘open’ record which engages, or is likely to engage, an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the record in question has its access status amended to ‘Access Under Review’, which temporarily prevents the record from being orderable by members of the public.

Officials at The National Archives can confirm that the record (PIN 21/843) will revert to being orderable again shortly once the appropriate assessment of its status under the Freedom of Information Act has been carried out.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the publication of the consultation response to the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 on 17 January, when they will inform the WTO and EU Commission of the proposed changes, and how long each will have to make a response.

We are working to notify the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of the legislative changes to The Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and Bread and Flour Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 in February. Notification to the EU Commission in respect of amendments in Northern Ireland will happen concurrently. The notification to WTO under the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement involves a comment period of 60 days. Any comments received will be considered, following which measures can be adopted in Great Britain subject to parliamentary process. After notifying the EU Commission under Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, for legislative changes in Northern Ireland, the Commission will provide an opinion on envisaged measures within three months. Measures can be adopted in Northern Ireland six months after notification provided the Commission’s opinion is not negative.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish their response to their September 2022 consultation on amending the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and the Bread and Flour Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998.

The full summary of responses and Government response are in the final stages of the Government clearance process, and we expect to publish in January. Officials have been carefully analysing the 369 responses received, while also discussing with the devolved administrations the best approach to consistent and effective policy implementation across the UK. We have continued engagement with industry and further assessment to ensure that any changes to the regulations successfully deliver improved public health, protect consumers, minimise impacts to industry and assist enforcement authorities.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Benyon on 11 September (HL Deb col 666), how many clothing retailers are using element analysis systems rather than paper trails to determine where the cotton in their products is grown.

Defra does not hold information on the number of retailers that are using element analysis systems to determine where cotton in their products is grown. However, Defra funds Textiles 2030 which commits signatories to meeting targets on their water and carbon usage and working towards a Circular Economy. The government’s proposals for minimising textile waste outlined in Maximising Resources Minimising Waste (MRMW) which was published in July will increase the amounts of clothing and other textiles, including ones made from cotton, that will be collected for recycling and reuse and therefore keep textiles in use for longer.

Under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, commercial businesses who operate in the UK and have a turnover of £36m or more are required to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery.

The Government encourages companies to monitor their supply chains with rigor to uncover and remedy any instances of modern slavery they may find. The UK continues to support the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UK continues to be an authority on modern slavery reporting, and we continue to share our experiences with other countries who are introducing their own transparency legislation.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the final result of the consultation on the Bread and Flour Regulations which concluded in November 2022.

We received 369 responses to this consultation from a wide range of stakeholders. We have been carefully analysing those detailed responses, while also discussing with the devolved administrations the best approach to consistent and effective policy implementation across the UK. We expect to publish a summary of responses and government response later this summer, concurrent with any necessary notification to the WTO.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the final result of the consultation on the Bread and Flour Regulations which concluded in November 2022.

We received 369 responses to this consultation from a range of stakeholders. We have been carefully analysing responses and expect to publish a summary of responses and government response later this summer.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 21 October (HL Deb, col 252), what steps have they taken to (1) detect, or (2) require others to detect, the prevalence of Xinjiang Cotton in garments (a) manufactured in, or (b) imported into, the UK.

HM Government have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We advise all businesses with Xinjiang supply chain links to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support any violations or abuses.

We have committed to introduce financial penalties for non-compliance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act, which asks large businesses to report on how they are tackling forced labour in their operations and supply chains. More widely we are committed to ongoing discussions on cotton and trade related matters at the WTO and continue to update Overseas Business Risk guidance.

13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of protective earthed neutral faults in public and street chargers for electric vehicles.

Safety requirements relating to protective earthed neutral faults, including those for electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints, are covered by The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002, BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations, the Institution of Engineering and Technology's code of practice for EV Charging Equipment, and the Energy Networks Association’s Engineering Recommendation G12. The Government has not undertaken any separate risk assessment of protective earthed neutral faults in EV chargepoints.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what limitations they have identified with respect to meeting the dates planned for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel internal combustion motor cars.

The Government has set out ambitious targets for the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and has identified three key areas which we are supporting to make that ambition a reality:

  1. Vehicles - Government grants have been in place for over a decade to help reduce the up-front purchase price of electric vehicles. Grants remain in place for harder to transition vehicles along with favourable tax incentives. In addition, as the global transition to electric vehicles quickens, the recently announced ZEV mandate on new cars and vans will ensure the UK’s share of ZEVs increases.
  2. Infrastructure – The Government is aware how important the reliability and availability of chargepoints are for EV drivers and its EV Infrastructure Strategy sets out its plans to accelerate the rollout of EV chargepoints. The rollout of EV charging infrastructure will be supported by the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund and the Rapid Charging Fund (RCF). The LEVI fund will support local authorities to work with industry and transform the availability of charging infrastructure for drivers without off-street parking. The RCF will future-proof the electrical capacity at strategic locations to support ultra-rapid en-route charging.
  3. Energy system - The Government expects the transition to EVs to create significant new demand for electricity, and it has mechanisms in place to cope with this. The capacity market is the Government’s principal tool for ensuring security of supply and is supported by the Contracts for Difference scheme which supports significant investment in low carbon generation.

With more than one million plug-in vehicles on UK roads and industry figures showing that one in five new cars sold in 2022 had a plug, we are on track for mass adoption of zero emission vehicles over the next decade.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to institute a programme of testing of domestic premises to measures the risks of neutral current diversion.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulates the safety of the public electricity network, including equipment owned by Distribution Network Operators. HSE have monitored developments carefully and continue to do so. Officials from HSE are of the view that no additional action is required by the regulator to manage this risk of neutral current diversion at the present time.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the issue of neutral current diversions leading to electricity flowing through gas meters following domestic gas explosions.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officials have advised neutral current diversions are a known phenomenon and can occur for a number of reasons. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations require additional electrical bonding when cutting conducting gas pipes to minimise the risk to workers. HSE are of the view that no additional action is required by the regulator to manage this risk at the present time but will keep emerging evidence under review.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which debt collecting agencies the Department for Work and Pensions has ceased to use within the last five years; and what were the reasons in each case.

The DWP has a Debt Market Integrator (DMI) Contract running from 01/04/15 and runs until 20/09/22. Under this contract, Indesser manages several agreements for the provision of debt collection, analytics and litigation services.

The contract was placed in 2015, which is a joint venture between HMT and TDX Group, an Equifax company.

The Framework was formed to provide a single point of access to a wide range of debt management and collection services for government departments and the wider public sector.

DMI presents opportunities to leverage economies of scale across Government giving high power to Government Purchasers. Currently Indesser works with nine government departments: HMRC, DWP, Home Office, DVLA, Student Loans Company, MOJ, Legal Aid Agency, Local Authorities.

Indesser hold direct contracts with debt collection agencies (DCA). Each are subject to the Framework standards. They are managed and monitored for performance by Indesser. Current and Historical DCA information and further details of DWP influence on selection/removal of DCAs are outlined below.

List of current DMI DCAs that provide services to DWP

  • Advantis Credit Limited
  • BPO Collections Limited
  • CCS Collect – (full name Commercial Collection Services Limited)
  • Moorcroft Debt Recovery Limited
  • Resolvecall Limited

Any previous DCA providers over the last 5 years

  • Drydens Limited – DCA chose to exit the framework
  • Akinika Limited – DCA chose to exit the consumer debt collection market
  • Fredrickson International Limited – DCA chose to exit the consumer debt collection market

DWP influence on the selection of DCA providers

DWP does not directly influence the selection of DCA providers that provide services to them. The DWP panel was selected by TDX Group and Indesser based on the characteristics of the DWP debt and their suitability to collect the debt and the value for money offered by the DCA.

Whilst DWP do not directly influence the selection of the panel, any changes to the DCA panel will be managed through the Contract change control process therefore DWP would need to approve any changes.

DWP influence on the removal of any DCA providers

DWP do not influence the removal of DCA providers. The panel is closely monitored on a series of performance metrics and where a DCA fails to meet the framework standards they could be removed from a particular client’s panel.

Whilst DWP do not directly influence the removal of a DCA from their panel, the change would be managed through the Contract change control process therefore DWP would be required to approve the change.

16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to reply to the letter from Lord Rooker to Lord Markham of 24 August regarding the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and folic acid.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the in-patient beds at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital in Shropshire have been closed; and what plans they have to reopen them.

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin commissions Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust to provide services in Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital, including inpatient bed facilities. 16 inpatient beds were temporarily closed in October 2021 due to sustained and unacceptable nursing vacancies and concerns about the quality of care and patient safety.

In August 2023, the trust commissioned an external review of its recruitment process and on 12 June 2023 began a period of formal engagement with patients, carers, members of the public, stakeholders, clinicians, and staff to inform its final decision on whether to relinquish the contract it holds for the inpatient service.

A board meeting was held on 7 September 2023, which considered the details of the reports from all the planned engagement activity. The Board concluded that it cannot be assured the recruitment efforts have been reasonable and sufficient and further recruitment attempts are needed before withdrawing from the inpatient service. The trust will now produce a workforce and recruitment plan and re-attempt recruitment with a view to safely staffing and re-opening the beds.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they did not join Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the 27 European Union member states, Israel, Malaysia and Paraguay in putting forward to the 76th World Health Assembly, held on 21–30 May 2023, the resolution to accelerate efforts on food micronutrient fortification.

The United Kingdom actively participated during negotiations and supported the World Health Organization (WHO) Resolution on, ‘Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification’, initiated by Colombia and brought to the 152nd WHO Executive Board, which recommended adoption of the Resolution to the World Health Assembly.

During the 76th World Health Assembly, the UK intervened to welcome the Resolution and called on the WHO to release updated child wasting guidelines and commence their operationalisation in the countries of most concern. The Resolution was subsequently adopted by all WHO Member States, including the UK, at the 76th World Health Assembly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any checks have been made by the Department of Health and Social Care regarding products it uses which contain cotton about where the cotton was grown.

NHS Supply Chain, which supplies the majority of medical goods, products and consumables for the National Health Service, has had a Supplier Code of Conduct, based on the principles of the UN Global Compact, in place since 2009. Under the Code all suppliers, including suppliers of cotton products, are expected to adhere to these principles, which address issues including child labour, forced labour, wages, working hours and health and safety. NHS Supply Chain suppliers must undertake a Modern Slavery Assessment on the United Kingdom Government’s Supplier Portal.

Section 47 of the Health and Social Care Act 2022 introduced a statutory duty for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to undertake a review into the risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place in NHS supply chains, specifically focusing on cotton-based products, and to lay a report before Parliament on its outcomes within 18 months. The Review is being undertaken by NHS Supply Chain, with oversight from NHS England.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to grant the National Food Crime Unit of the Food Standards Agency powers to present its cases to the courts.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) works to prevent, detect and investigate fraud within our food system. The Unit develops and presents evidential case files to the Crown Prosecution Service in anticipation of proceedings in the criminal courts, achieving its first end-to-end conviction in 2021. Other cases are shortly to be before the courts. The NFCU’s existing suite of investigatory powers is not wide enough to enable the NFCU to carry out certain investigatory functions for criminal offences outside of general food law. The NFCU is therefore currently dependent on partners like the police to perform some functions such as obtaining search warrants.

Under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care now has the power to grant through regulations access to powers such as those under the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984 to NFCU officers. Following a public consultation last summer, work is underway on the necessary secondary legislation to grant these powers and bring the FSA under the Independent Office for Police Conduct oversight. Primary legislation would also be necessary to place the use of these investigatory powers by NFCU officers under the inspection remit of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and this is expected to be legislated for when parliamentary time allows.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what engagement they have had with governments of other countries which fortify foods with folic acid in order to reduce the prevalence of neural tube defects.

The Department has engaged with New Zealand and Australia during the development of folic acid fortification policy. The proposed changes to the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, including the introduction of mandatory fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, will require notification to the World Trade Organization in respect of Technical Barriers to Trade in advance of any new requirements. When the notification is made, there will be an opportunity for WTO members, including the European Union, to comment on the proposals.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have engaged with the EU on the introduction by the UK of policy changes relating to food fortification with folic acid; and if so, what responses they have received.

The Department has engaged with New Zealand and Australia during the development of folic acid fortification policy. The proposed changes to the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, including the introduction of mandatory fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, will require notification to the World Trade Organization in respect of Technical Barriers to Trade in advance of any new requirements. When the notification is made, there will be an opportunity for WTO members, including the European Union, to comment on the proposals.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they are aware of any evidence of food manufacturers proposing to lower the level of voluntary folic acid fortification of foods.

Fortification of food with folic acid is voluntary and there is no requirement to notify the Government when it is added or removed from a product. As such, the Government is not aware of any such industry considerations. The rules on fortification under existing legislation requires that where vitamins and minerals are added to food, it must be at a minimum level of 15% of the Nutrient Reference value in Retained Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 or 200 micrograms per 100 grams for folic acid.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of lifetime direct medical costs associated with births affected by neural tube defects compared to those unaffected; and why they cited German research in the consultation on Amending the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, which ran from 1 September to 23 November, rather than UK research.

No specific assessment has been made. The consultation on amending the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and the Bread and Flour Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 cited research from Germany, as a relevant academic study in the United Kingdom was not available.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the main nutrient deficiencies within the UK population; and whether they have carried out any analysis of any gender difference in that data.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) provides information on dietary intakes and nutritional status for males and females by age group. The latest data from the NDNS 2016 to 2019 shows that dietary intakes of most vitamins are adequate, however there is evidence of low dietary intakes of vitamin D and of some minerals including magnesium, potassium, iodine and selenium. Assessment of nutritional status in the NDNS shows low blood levels for vitamin D and folate across age and sex groups. Low dietary intakes and blood levels of iron are also seen in women and girls.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether all regions of England are covered by the register of congenital anomaly cases.

The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Service collects data for all regions in England and the Crown Dependencies for births from 1 January 2018.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many blood samples connected to neural tube defects have been sent for analysis to the Centre for Disease Control in the United States in each of the last five years.

The NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme aims to detect neural tube defects through the 20-week screening scan rather than a blood sample.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the average prevalence of births affected by neural tube defects in countries applying food fortification with folic acid, compared to those who do not.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether all measures of (1) whole blood folate, and (2) serum folate, in the UK are conducted by mass spectrometry-based methods.

The information is not collected centrally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether and how they measure the effectiveness of advice given to women of child-bearing age planning a pregnancy according to their (1) socio-economic background, (2) ethnicity, and (3) regional location.

There is no specific measure on the effectiveness of advice given to women of child-bearing age planning a pregnancy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any trends in the last five years regarding the number of pregnancies terminated due to neural tube defects.

This information is not collected in the format requested. Information on neural tube defects is collected by the number of mentions, rather than number of pregnancies terminated. It is possible for a pregnancy to have multiple neural tube defects. From 2017 to 2021, there were 4,697 mentions of congenital malformations of the nervous system in Ground E abortions for residents of England and Wales. This has remained stable over the last five years, other than a small decline in 2019. Data for 2022 is due to be published in June 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many pregnancies affected by neural tube defects were second or subsequent pregnancies, in each of the last five years.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the prevalence of births affected by neural tube defects in the UK; and what assessment they have made, if any, of how this figure compares with equivalent figures in other OECD member states.

Two neural tube defects, anencephaly and spina bifida, are screened for by the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme at the 20 week scan. In England and the crown dependencies, there were 752 births with neural tube defects in 2019 and a prevalence of 12.2 births per 10,000 total births.

The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service submits data to EUROCAT, the European network of population-based registries for the epidemiological surveillance of congenital anomalies. In 2019, the overall prevalence of neural tube defects for participating full registries across Europe, including full participating regions of England, was 11.36 per 10,000 births.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many births there have been in each of the last five years that were classed as (1) spina bifida, (2) hydrocephalus, and (3) anencephaly, caused by neural tube defects.

The following table shows the number of births and birth prevalence for spina bifida, hydrocephalus and anencephaly caused by neural tube defects in 2018 and 2019. Data prior to 2018 is not available in the format requested. Data for 2020 will be published in December.

Number of births in 2019

Prevalence per 10,000 total births and 95% confidence interval in 2019

Number of births in 2018

Prevalence per 10,000 total births and 95% confidence interval in 2018

Spina bifida

335

5.4 (4.9-6.1)

336

5.3 (4.8-6)

Hydrocephalus

266

4.3 (3.8-4.9)

242

3.9 (3.4-4.4)

Anencephalus and similar

317

5.2 (4.6-5.8)

277

4.4 (3.9-5)

Source: The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service

Note:

The denominator used to calculate prevalence is obtained from the Office for National Statistics and reflects all live and still births in 2018 and 2019. These figures are for England and the crown dependencies.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what Government-sponsored research is currently underway regarding neural tube defect births.

Through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Department funds research into the safety of maternity and neonatal services and the national maternity ambition to halve maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths and brain injury by 2025. The NIHR’s Oxford Biomedical Research Centre has supported 19 studies on neural tube defects. The NIHR has also funded a £2.2 million multicentre randomised controlled trial, which included children with neural tube defects, to determine the optimal type of shunt to treat hydrocephalus and reduce infection rates. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including research on neural tube birth defects.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Kamall on 6 July (HL Deb cols 1001–2) regarding the scientific evidence available regarding folic fortification, whether they will publish the science brief referred to by Lord Kamall referencing heliocentrism versus geocentrism.

The scientific contestation referred to is summarised in the paper Folic acid and neural tube defects: Discovery, debate and the need for policy change by Professor Nicholas Wald. Professor Wald asserts that the United Kingdom should pursue a higher level of fortification than would be permitted by the UK’s Tolerable Upper Level (TUL). A copy of the paper is attached.

The Government and its independent scientific advisory bodies have agreed that fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, at a level informed by the guidance for supplemental intake of folic acid intake advised by the UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, is a safe and effective measure to reduce the number of neural tube defects (NTDs).

This view is supported by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). In 2018 COT published Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: COT position paper on the current upper level for folic acid intake in response to a previous paper by Professor Wald, addressing the technical points raised in objection to the TUL and continuing to recommend its use. A copy of this paper is attached.

Deaths associated with high levels of folic acid refers to potential unintended harms which may arise following the fortification of flour with folic acid, such as an increase in the potential masking of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia where the deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage which can lead to death if untreated.

No recent discussions have taken place with countries which have implemented folic acid fortification on unintended consequences of the policy. However, evidence from a number of countries, including those which have implemented folic acid fortification policies, was considered by the SACN and COT to establish the safety and efficacy of fortifying food with folic acid. Analysis by COT and the SACN found that there was insufficient evidence to discount a number of potential risks at very levels of fortification.

While there is no specific scientific briefing relating to the debate between heliocentrism versus geocentrism, as I stated in the debate, we will routinely review the policy post-implementation to ensure it meets the objective of reducing NTDs while avoiding any unintended consequences. The forthcoming consultation will outline the proposed fortification levels with the supporting scientific rationale.

7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with governments of other nations which operate a policy of mandatory fortification with folic acid regarding any unintended consequences which have arisen.

The scientific contestation referred to is summarised in the paper Folic acid and neural tube defects: Discovery, debate and the need for policy change by Professor Nicholas Wald. Professor Wald asserts that the United Kingdom should pursue a higher level of fortification than would be permitted by the UK’s Tolerable Upper Level (TUL). A copy of the paper is attached.

The Government and its independent scientific advisory bodies have agreed that fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, at a level informed by the guidance for supplemental intake of folic acid intake advised by the UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, is a safe and effective measure to reduce the number of neural tube defects (NTDs).

This view is supported by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). In 2018 COT published Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: COT position paper on the current upper level for folic acid intake in response to a previous paper by Professor Wald, addressing the technical points raised in objection to the TUL and continuing to recommend its use. A copy of this paper is attached.

Deaths associated with high levels of folic acid refers to potential unintended harms which may arise following the fortification of flour with folic acid, such as an increase in the potential masking of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia where the deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage which can lead to death if untreated.

No recent discussions have taken place with countries which have implemented folic acid fortification on unintended consequences of the policy. However, evidence from a number of countries, including those which have implemented folic acid fortification policies, was considered by the SACN and COT to establish the safety and efficacy of fortifying food with folic acid. Analysis by COT and the SACN found that there was insufficient evidence to discount a number of potential risks at very levels of fortification.

While there is no specific scientific briefing relating to the debate between heliocentrism versus geocentrism, as I stated in the debate, we will routinely review the policy post-implementation to ensure it meets the objective of reducing NTDs while avoiding any unintended consequences. The forthcoming consultation will outline the proposed fortification levels with the supporting scientific rationale.

7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Kamall on 6 July (HL Deb col 1000), whether they will give details of the cases where people “have died because of high levels of folic acid”.

The scientific contestation referred to is summarised in the paper Folic acid and neural tube defects: Discovery, debate and the need for policy change by Professor Nicholas Wald. Professor Wald asserts that the United Kingdom should pursue a higher level of fortification than would be permitted by the UK’s Tolerable Upper Level (TUL). A copy of the paper is attached.

The Government and its independent scientific advisory bodies have agreed that fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, at a level informed by the guidance for supplemental intake of folic acid intake advised by the UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, is a safe and effective measure to reduce the number of neural tube defects (NTDs).

This view is supported by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). In 2018 COT published Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: COT position paper on the current upper level for folic acid intake in response to a previous paper by Professor Wald, addressing the technical points raised in objection to the TUL and continuing to recommend its use. A copy of this paper is attached.

Deaths associated with high levels of folic acid refers to potential unintended harms which may arise following the fortification of flour with folic acid, such as an increase in the potential masking of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia where the deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage which can lead to death if untreated.

No recent discussions have taken place with countries which have implemented folic acid fortification on unintended consequences of the policy. However, evidence from a number of countries, including those which have implemented folic acid fortification policies, was considered by the SACN and COT to establish the safety and efficacy of fortifying food with folic acid. Analysis by COT and the SACN found that there was insufficient evidence to discount a number of potential risks at very levels of fortification.

While there is no specific scientific briefing relating to the debate between heliocentrism versus geocentrism, as I stated in the debate, we will routinely review the policy post-implementation to ensure it meets the objective of reducing NTDs while avoiding any unintended consequences. The forthcoming consultation will outline the proposed fortification levels with the supporting scientific rationale.

7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Kamall on 6 July (HL Deb col 999), whether they will cite the “scientific contestation” referred to concerning folic acid fortification as part of the Bread and Flour Regulations review.

The scientific contestation referred to is summarised in the paper Folic acid and neural tube defects: Discovery, debate and the need for policy change by Professor Nicholas Wald. Professor Wald asserts that the United Kingdom should pursue a higher level of fortification than would be permitted by the UK’s Tolerable Upper Level (TUL). A copy of the paper is attached.

The Government and its independent scientific advisory bodies have agreed that fortification of non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid, at a level informed by the guidance for supplemental intake of folic acid intake advised by the UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, is a safe and effective measure to reduce the number of neural tube defects (NTDs).

This view is supported by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). In 2018 COT published Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: COT position paper on the current upper level for folic acid intake in response to a previous paper by Professor Wald, addressing the technical points raised in objection to the TUL and continuing to recommend its use. A copy of this paper is attached.

Deaths associated with high levels of folic acid refers to potential unintended harms which may arise following the fortification of flour with folic acid, such as an increase in the potential masking of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia where the deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage which can lead to death if untreated.

No recent discussions have taken place with countries which have implemented folic acid fortification on unintended consequences of the policy. However, evidence from a number of countries, including those which have implemented folic acid fortification policies, was considered by the SACN and COT to establish the safety and efficacy of fortifying food with folic acid. Analysis by COT and the SACN found that there was insufficient evidence to discount a number of potential risks at very levels of fortification.

While there is no specific scientific briefing relating to the debate between heliocentrism versus geocentrism, as I stated in the debate, we will routinely review the policy post-implementation to ensure it meets the objective of reducing NTDs while avoiding any unintended consequences. The forthcoming consultation will outline the proposed fortification levels with the supporting scientific rationale.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Written Statement by Lord Kamall on 11 October (HLWS298), what progress is being made in introducing mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

Officials from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are working to implement folic acid fortification, as part of the review on the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and the Bread and Flour (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1998.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations have engaged industry on the decision to fortify non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid and are now developing draft legislation and an impact assessment for future consultation.

15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their response to the Forty-Second report of the Public Accounts Committee 2019–21 on 28 April, what steps they will take to incentivise the NHS Supply Chain to buy PPE which is made in the UK.

NHS Supply Chain is working with 30 United Kingdom manufacturers to build resilience within the manufacture of personal protective equipment. This also includes addressing innovation, sustainability and fit testing of masks for the National Health Service and social care.

15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to purchase UK-made biodegradable PPE products as opposed to single use plastic products.

The Department has investigated biodegradable personal protective equipment (PPE) from United Kingdom and overseas suppliers. However, waste stream channels from health and social care settings do not facilitate the separation of these products, unless they have been used for non-healthcare functions, such as catering. Most biodegradable products are single use and contribute to the environmental impacts from excessive manufacture, transportation and storage. Therefore, biodegradable products are not the most effective solution for single use health care infected PPE. The Department is exploring reusable products for Type IIR masks, eye protection and transparent masks.

15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to update Table A in their COVID-19 guidance 'Personal protective equipment (PPE) made in the UK as at 1 December 2020', published on 9 March, to set out the UK-made items of PPE compared to expected demand.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) made in the UK as at 1 December 2020 reported on the delivery of a specific commitment to ensure that UK Make supply would be sufficient to meet 70% of demand for the coming winter, for all items except gloves, by 1 December 2020. The table referred to reports on that commitment and confirms that it was met therefore there are no plans to update or modify it. In practice, we found that UK Make supply met 82% of the demand for that period.

14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 13 July (HL Deb, col 1701), what plans they have to consult scientists on folic fortification, following their consultations with the devolved administrations.

There are no current plans to further consult scientists on flour fortification. We are finalising agreement of a four-nation response to the United Kingdom-wide consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which ran from 13 June to 9 September 2019. The next steps will be laid out in the Government’s response.

14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Bethell on 13 July (HL Deb, col 1702), what are the stated "implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol" in respect of folic fortification, given that nutrition is a matter for EU member states.

Under the terms of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, European Union legislation will apply in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland. Regulation 1925/2006 on the Addition of Vitamins and Minerals to Foods is included the Northern Ireland Protocol. Consideration is therefore necessary in discussion with the devolved administrations to ensure the consultation response and any proposed fortification policy takes into account the Northern Ireland Protocol.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of research conducted by the University of Southampton into foodborne pathogens and the effect of chlorine washing of salad products and meat, in particular the study Viable but nonculturable Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica Thompson induced by chlorine stress remain infectious, published on 18 April 2018.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has advised that it is aware of this research. The FSA’s view is that whilst it is plausible that viable but nonculturable cells could potentially cause foodborne disease, to date there is no documented evidence that demonstrates this occurs in the food chain. There remains a high level of uncertainty over the likelihood of occurrence and conditions that would be needed for this to happen but the FSA will continue to review the literature and monitor the latest developments on the topic.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of local authority food hygiene inspections that have been carried out over the last (1) 12 months, (2) five years, and (3) 10 years.

Data for 2019/20, the most recent reporting period, is not yet available. Data for 2010/11 to 2018/19 in provided in the following table. Interventions include hygiene inspections and audits, verification and surveillance, sampling visits, advice and education and intelligence gathering.

The total number of interventions for the period 2015/16 to 2018/19 and for the period 2010/11 to 2018/19 are also shown.

Local authority food hygiene and other interventions - 2010/11 to 2018/19

Year

England

Northern Ireland

Wales

Scotland

United Kingdom total

2018/19

305,483

14,076

25,182

38,753

383,494

2017/18

306,419

16,037

27,892

41,715

392,063

2016/17

306,646

19,425

24,627

43,494

394,192

2015/16

318,461

16,325

25,203

44,562

404,551

2014/15

314,292

13,354*

28,802

46,027

402,475

2013/14

319,072

19,681

30,689

41,635

411,077

2012/13

324,394

18,204

28,822

43,879

415,299

2011/12

327,677

19,989

30,139

45,001

422,806

2010/11

331,915

21,150

31,187

47,600

431,852

2015/16 to 2018/19

1,237,009

65,863

102,904

168,524

1,574,300

2010/11 to 2018/19

2,854,359

144,887

252,543

392,666

3,657,809

Note:

* Based on 9 months data for Northern Ireland.

24th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people claiming contributory benefits as a result of the change to National Insurance contributions.

At Spring Statement 2022, the Government announced increases to the earnings thresholds from which Class 1 and Class 4 National Insurance is paid.

This change does not affect eligibility for contributory benefits entitlement as the Lower Earnings Limits and Small Profits Thresholds are unchanged.

Therefore, no change in the number of people claiming contributory benefits is expected.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which debt collecting agencies Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has ceased to use within the last five years; and what were the reasons in each case.

HMRC does not have a direct relationship with debt collection agencies. It draws their services from a panel provided by a joint venture private and public sector framework contract, which is managed by the Cabinet Office.

In the last five years, seven debt collection agencies have ceased to provide a service to HMRC via the joint venture. They either withdrew voluntarily or they ceased providing services due to commercial reasons.

HMRC cannot provide more details, including the names of the agencies or specific reasons they ceased providing services, due to commercial interests.

Debt Collection agencies form an integral part of HMRC’s debt collection strategy.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK citizens are employed by the General Secretariat of INTERPOL; and how many of these are serving police officers.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number UK citizens permanently employed by INTERPOL. Currently seven UK officials are seconded to INTERPOL, four of which are law enforcement officers.

In the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) acts as the National Central Bureau for INTERPOL.

INTERPOL receives statutory contributions from member countries. In 2021, the UK’s financial contribution to INTERPOL was € 2,875,173 Euros

(approximately £2,461,205.59 GBP). Additional contributions to specific projects are agreed between UK Government Departments and INTERPOL on an ad hoc basis. Information on INTERPOL’s funding is published by the INTERPOL General Secretariat (IPSG) and can be accessed on the Interpol.int website.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which body they have appointed to be the National Central Bureau of the UK, as required by Article 32 of the INTERPOL constitution.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number UK citizens permanently employed by INTERPOL. Currently seven UK officials are seconded to INTERPOL, four of which are law enforcement officers.

In the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) acts as the National Central Bureau for INTERPOL.

INTERPOL receives statutory contributions from member countries. In 2021, the UK’s financial contribution to INTERPOL was € 2,875,173 Euros

(approximately £2,461,205.59 GBP). Additional contributions to specific projects are agreed between UK Government Departments and INTERPOL on an ad hoc basis. Information on INTERPOL’s funding is published by the INTERPOL General Secretariat (IPSG) and can be accessed on the Interpol.int website.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current UK financial contribution to INTERPOL, in relation to (1) membership subscriptions, and (2) other gifts, grants and subsidies.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number UK citizens permanently employed by INTERPOL. Currently seven UK officials are seconded to INTERPOL, four of which are law enforcement officers.

In the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) acts as the National Central Bureau for INTERPOL.

INTERPOL receives statutory contributions from member countries. In 2021, the UK’s financial contribution to INTERPOL was € 2,875,173 Euros

(approximately £2,461,205.59 GBP). Additional contributions to specific projects are agreed between UK Government Departments and INTERPOL on an ad hoc basis. Information on INTERPOL’s funding is published by the INTERPOL General Secretariat (IPSG) and can be accessed on the Interpol.int website.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they make, if any, of a nation’s adherence to the rule of law in determining who to support in elections held by INTERPOL.

The UK delegation to the General Assembly of INTERPOL, which will be held in Turkey from 23-25 November, will be led by Stephen Rodhouse, Director General of Operations in the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which candidate, if any, they intend to support at the election for the new President of the General Assembly of INTERPOL on 21 November.

The UK delegation to the General Assembly of INTERPOL, which will be held in Turkey from 23-25 November, will be led by Stephen Rodhouse, Director General of Operations in the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
21st Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people who (1) pay a bribe, or (2) use a personal connection, in order to access public services in the UK; and what assessment they have made of comparative numbers in the UK’s main trading partner countries.

The UK regularly assesses the threat from bribery and corruption, including through intelligence assessments and research.

The most recent published update on implementation of the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy includes comparative global indicators of national data on bribery and corruption threats. The UK also actively participates in reviews of its adherence to international standards, including: the UN Convention against Corruption; the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption.These processes allow the UK to compare its performance and systems with that of other countries.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 22 June 2022 (HL Deb col 224), what was the result of the inquiries that were made regarding cotton products used by the Royal Navy.

It is longstanding policy that the use of slave labour is a mandatory exclusion from contracts with the Ministry of Defence; this policy is currently captured within the Procurement Contract Regulations (2015). In line with this policy the current supplier of combat clothing follows a code of practice under which cotton sourced from countries or regions at high risk of forced labour or child labour is prohibited, including the Xinjiang province of China. This is subject to regular review, and inspections of overseas suppliers are performed to ensure adherence to this policy.

13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have received any representations from interested parties regarding restrictions for making submissions to the review into the number of prisoners who died on Alderney during the Nazi occupation, and what steps the review has taken to obtain relevant material from such parties.

The UK’s Post Holocaust Issues Envoy, Lord Eric Pickles announced the review into the number of prisoners who died on Alderney during the Nazi occupation on July 27, 2023. He has appointed a team of eleven independent, experienced, and internationally recognised experts led by Dr Paul Sanders the renowned French academic. The review is also receiving expert assistance from the Archives at Yad Vashem, the world’s preeminent Holocaust Centre. Lord Pickles has publicly encouraged all interested parties to put forward their evidence and has met with several groups and individuals who have expressed their interest in the review.

The department works closely with the Channel Islands on Holocaust issues.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers from Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 26 June (HL8412, HL8413 and HL8414), when they expect the Building Safety Regulator will undertake the cost benefit analysis of making regular inspections and testing of electrical installations in relevant buildings.

Under Section 21 of the Building Safety Act, the Building Safety Regulator must carry out a cost-benefit analysis of making regular inspections of, and testing and reporting on, the condition of electrical installations in relevant buildings. This report will be provided by 1 October 2026. The Regulator remains on track for completing this activity within the agreed timeframe.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether, for electrical testing in tower blocks where cladding needs to be replaced, they plan to institute a testing regime whereby an electrical engineer, rather than a competency body, is named and assessed as competent to supervise such work.

All buildings should meet existing safety standards.

We do not hold records of voltage surges or numbers of extra electrical safety checks for these buildings. The Building Safety Regulator will be undertaking a cost benefit analysis of making regular inspections and testing of electrical installations in relevant buildings.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there is any record of voltage surges in residential tower blocks where cladding needs to be replaced.

All buildings should meet existing safety standards.

We do not hold records of voltage surges or numbers of extra electrical safety checks for these buildings. The Building Safety Regulator will be undertaking a cost benefit analysis of making regular inspections and testing of electrical installations in relevant buildings.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether extra electrical safety checks have been carried out in residential tower blocks where cladding needs to be replaced.

All buildings should meet existing safety standards.

We do not hold records of voltage surges or numbers of extra electrical safety checks for these buildings. The Building Safety Regulator will be undertaking a cost benefit analysis of making regular inspections and testing of electrical installations in relevant buildings.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of delays in funerals being caused by (1) the existing system for registering a death, (2) the number of available pathologists, (3) delays in completion of Medical Certificate Cause of Death forms and access to local GPs, (4) the availability of mortuary storage at local hospitals and public mortuaries, and (5) any delays by medical examiners.

Whilst the Government does not have operational responsibility for the provision of funeral services, we are aware of funeral delays in some areas and acknowledge that these are often exacerbated by pressures from within the wider death management system.

Government departments are taking a collaborative approach to reforming the death registration system as part of the roll out of the statutory medical examiner scheme which will come into force in April 2024. The doctor who attended the deceased during their last illness has a legal responsibility to complete a Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) as soon as possible to enable the registration of the death to take place. Guidance for doctors on completing an MCCD, available on Gov.uk, emphasises this point. As part of the work on the statutory medical examiner scheme, the Department of Health and Social Care is looking at expanding the pool of doctors who can sign the MCCD forms. When the demand on civil registration services is high, death registration appointments will always take priority over other registration appointments.

The Government continues to look at wider improvements to the death management system’s capacity and resilience, including mortuary capacity. The shortage of pathologists is a long-standing and cross-cutting issue. The Government is determined to make progress as soon as practicable. To that end, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State is engaging with Ministerial colleagues to implement effective solutions through a cross-government action plan.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)