Lord Truscott Portrait

Lord Truscott

Non-affiliated - Life peer

2 APPG memberships (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Maldives, Taiwan
4 Former APPG memberships
Blockchain, Polar Regions, Shale Gas, Shale Gas Regulation and Planning
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Energy)
10th Nov 2006 - 28th Jun 2007


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2022
voted Aye
One of 7 Independent Aye votes vs 3 Independent No votes
Tally: Ayes - 193 Noes - 119
Speeches
Wednesday 11th May 2022
Queen’s Speech
I commend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Guildford on his excellent and thoughtful speech.

I am very disappointed …
Written Answers
Thursday 23rd June 2022
Economic Recession
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made about the likelihood of the UK falling into recession during …
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 Truscott has voted in 164 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Truscott 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)
(18 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(11 debate interactions)
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(16 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(8 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Truscott's debates

Commons initiatives

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

Lord Truscott has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Truscott has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


201 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
10 Other Department Questions
19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce further legislation on leasehold reform.

The Government remains committed to creating a fair and just housing system that works for everyone. The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to improve fairness and transparency in the leasehold market.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 will come into force on 30 June. This means that landlords will be prevented from requiring a financial ground rent in most new long residential leases. We will also publish accompanying guidance for enforcement officers and consumers.

This is the first part of seminal two-part legislation to implement leasehold and commonhold reforms in this Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what help and advice, if any, they are giving to sponsors of Ukrainian refugees regarding the possible impact on sponsors' mortgages, tenancy agreements, equity release, building insurance, and other related issues.

Government departments are engaging with key partners in the finance, letting and insurance sectors. There are published FAQs available online at www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions which includes a link to a statement from the Association of British Insurers, whom we have consulted with at length to seek to ensure nobody generously sharing their accommodation are penalised in any way.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to increase the amount payable to sponsors of Ukrainian refugees above £350 per calendar month, especially in the case of larger families or those with special needs.

The £350 monthly sum is intended as a 'Thank you' payment to those who respond to the scheme. Any extra support required for families with special needs will be met through provision to Local Authorities, rather than the Sponsor

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker further to the Written Answer by the Senior Deputy Speaker on 23 November (HL4170), what plans, if any, the Conduct Committee has to review the rules about Members of the House of Lords working for lobbying firms.

I have consulted the Chair of the Conduct Committee in preparing this answer. The Committee has no current plans to review the rules about members of the House of Lords working for lobbying firms. If the Noble Lord has any specific issues that he would like the Committee to consider, he can of course write to the Chair.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that private property management companies are charging tenants excessive (1) commission, and (2) charges, to cover their building insurance; and what steps they intend to take, if any, to curtail the practice.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and renters and making sure that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. This commitment includes raising professionalism and standards amongst managing agents, protecting consumers while defending the reputation of good agents from the actions of rogue operatives. We therefore welcome the ongoing work being undertaken by the industry itself to raise professionalism and standards across the sector.

The Government is considering the recommendations in the report received from the working group on the regulation of property agents chaired by Lord Best. We welcome the work of the independent steering group on codes of practice for property agents, and we will continue to work with industry on improving best practice.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether there has been consideration of a prohibition on Members of the House of Lords (1) acting as political or parliamentary consultants, and (2) working for lobbying firms.

There has been extensive consideration of this issue over many years. As long ago as 2009 the Leader’s Group on the Code of Conduct proposed the prohibition of parliamentary consultancies, and this was incorporated in the Guide to the Code of Conduct that was agreed by the House on 17 March 2010. Since that time the rules on consultancies and lobbying have been regularly updated, following recommendations by the responsible committees.

Paragraphs 9(c) and 9(d) of the Code of Conduct say that members:

  • must never accept or agree to accept any financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence; and
  • must not seek to profit from membership of the House by accepting or agreeing to accept payment or other incentive or reward in return for providing parliamentary advice or services.

The details of these restrictions are set out in more detail from paragraph 15 onwards in the Guide to the Code of Conduct. Members may also seek the advice of the Registrar of Lords’ Interests.

The latest edition of the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Code was ordered to be published on 28 October 2021 and is available on the parliamentary website and from the Printed Paper Office.

16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the Crown Estate on granting it exemptions from the forthcoming second stage of leasehold reform.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. On January 7 the Government announced reforms to enfranchisement valuation, 990-year leases, removing the retirement exemption from zero ground rent measures and commonhold. This was the first part of the Government's response to the Law Commission's reports on enfranchisement, Right to Manage and commonhold.

The Law Commission's report on enfranchisement includes recommendations relating to the qualifying criteria for enfranchisement and lease extensions, including the applicability of these to leaseholders of the Crown. We will bring forward a response to these and the other remaining Law Commission recommendations in due course.

We will translate these measures into law as soon as possible, starting with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill in the current session. This is the first part of major two-part legislation to implement leasehold and commonhold reforms in this Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Greenhalgh on 20 July (HL Deb, col 201), what plans they have to grant the Crown Estate “exemptions from the parliamentary undertaking on enfranchisement rights for leaseholders in the next stage of the leasehold reform programme".

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. On January 7 the Government announced reforms to enfranchisement valuation, 990-year leases, removing the retirement exemption from zero ground rent measures and commonhold. This was the first part of the Government's response to the Law Commission's reports on enfranchisement, Right to Manage and commonhold.

The Law Commission's report on enfranchisement includes recommendations relating to the qualifying criteria for enfranchisement and lease extensions, including the applicability of these to leaseholders of the Crown. We will bring forward a response to these and the other remaining Law Commission recommendations in due course.

We will translate these measures into law as soon as possible, starting with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill in the current session. This is the first part of major two-part legislation to implement leasehold and commonhold reforms in this Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, further to the remarks by the Leader of the House of Commons on 11 March (HC Deb, col 1006), what discussions they have had with him about reports of the costs of the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster; and whether they have any plans to review (1) the feasibility, or (2) the affordability, of the refurbishment.

The Sponsor Body has regular engagement with the House of Commons Commission (which includes the Leader of the House as a member) on a range of issues relating to the Restoration and Renewal Programme, including on costs.

The Sponsor Body has a statutory duty, under the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019, to have regard to the need to ensure that the Parliamentary building works represent good value for money. Value for money is at the heart of everything we do and we have robust assurance processess in place to ensure costs are minimised.

The Sponsor Body does not recognise the reported figures of £10 to £20 billion costs for the Parliamentary building works. Supported by the Delivery Authority, the Sponsor Body is in the process of developing a detailed and costed restoration and renewal plan that will for the first time give an accurate sense of the costs, timescales and full detail of the work needed. It is the work of the detailed and costed restoration plan which will determine the forecast cost for R&R. The detailed restoration plan will be focused on delivering value for money and will be informed by more than 100 surveys and investigations of the Palace of Westminster. The detailed and costed plan will be put before both Houses for a decision before the Parliamentary building works can commence.

The Sponsor Body has recently undertaken and published a Strategic Review of the R&R Programme. The purpose of the review was to consider whether anything had changed so significantly as to warrant a change in the strategy for the Programme. The Sponsor Body invited views from Members, Members' staff, parliamentary staff and members of the public. We also consulted with the Commissions of both Houses, as well as relevant parliamentary committees, on the draft Strategic Review recommendations. The review recommends new approaches to completing the restoration while minimising costs and ensuring value for money, and provides a clear direction for the next stages of the work. The Review is available at: https://restorationandrenewal.uk/resources/reports/strategic-review

9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect critical national infrastructure from potentially hostile states, particularly in the nuclear sector.

Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) in the UK, including the Civil Nuclear sector, is subject to thorough scrutiny and must satisfy stringent sectoral regulatory and national security requirements. For the Civil Nuclear sector specifically, the Office for Nuclear Regulation independently oversees and enforces the UK’s nuclear regulatory regime.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish an independent public inquiry into their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic; and, if so, when such an inquiry will take place.

As the Government has already made clear that there will be opportunities to look back, analyse and reflect on all aspects of COVID-19. The Prime Minister has said that this will include an independent inquiry at the appropriate time. For now the Government is focused entirely on responding to the pandemic and saving lives. Further details will be set out in due course and announced in the usual way.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) close public parks, and (2) enforce only essential travel on public transport networks; and if they have any such plans, when they anticipate bringing them into effect.

On 23 March, the Government announced enhanced measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of certain businesses and venues. A full list has been published on the GOV.UK website. The Government’s priority is to save lives and the best way for people to protect themselves and others from illness is to stay at home.

Exercise is important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Parks are generally permitted to remain open, but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day in a manner consistent with social distancing measures. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches are closed.

The Government has advised that people should stay local, and use open spaces near to their home where possible to avoid unnecessary travel. Where parks cannot be used in accordance with the social distancing measures, it is up to the local authority to determine what action is necessary.

Transport should only be used for one of the limited reasons specified in the guidance: shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day; any medical need, or to provide care for a vulnerable person; and travelling for work purposes (only where working from home is not possible). The British Transport Police is deploying dedicated teams to national rail and London Underground stations to reinforce Government messaging and to help to enforce the new health protection regulations, and the Government will not hesitate to go further if that is what the evidence advises.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for the Security, Defence and Foreign Policy review; when they intend to start the consultation process; and which stakeholders will be involved.

Further to the answers given to PQ HL320 and PQ HL324, the Prime Minister has committed to undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The review will examine how we strengthen and prioritise our alliances, diplomacy and development; it will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities.

Announcement on the timings of the review will be made in the usual way.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they expect the Security, Defence and Foreign Policy review to be completed in 2020.

Further to the answers given to PQ HL320 and PQ HL324, the Prime Minister has committed to undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The review will examine how we strengthen and prioritise our alliances, diplomacy and development; it will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities.

Announcement on the timings of the review will be made in the usual way.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the University of Cambridge's Centre for the Future of Democracy Global Satisfaction with Democracy 2020 that dissatisfaction with democracy is "at an all-time high" including in the United States and the UK.

We will consider the findings of the Future of Democracy Global Satisfaction with Democracy report as part of the Defending Democracy Programme. This programme aims to safeguard our democratic processes and ensure our democracy remains safe and inclusive.

The Government is introducing measures to maintain public confidence in democracy by improving transparency and accountability. The introduction of a digital imprints regime for online advertising is one such measure. The digital imprint proposals will be published in due course.

The Cabinet Office is continuing to work closely with DCMS, regulators and other key stakeholders to confirm the extent of such regulations and how they can best be put into practice.

Voters deserve to have confidence in our democracy and the Government is absolutely committed to ensuring this remains the case.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to address the reported levels of dissatisfaction with democracy in the UK.

We will consider the findings of the Future of Democracy Global Satisfaction with Democracy report as part of the Defending Democracy Programme. This programme aims to safeguard our democratic processes and ensure our democracy remains safe and inclusive.

The Government is introducing measures to maintain public confidence in democracy by improving transparency and accountability. The introduction of a digital imprints regime for online advertising is one such measure. The digital imprint proposals will be published in due course.

The Cabinet Office is continuing to work closely with DCMS, regulators and other key stakeholders to confirm the extent of such regulations and how they can best be put into practice.

Voters deserve to have confidence in our democracy and the Government is absolutely committed to ensuring this remains the case.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contingency plans they have in place in the event of energy blackouts in the UK in the forthcoming winter.

Great Britain has one of the most reliable energy systems in the world.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy works closely with network operators, the regulator Ofgem and other stakeholders to ensure that the appropriate technical measures are able to be deployed throughout the year, to ensure the integrity of the energy system.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what exemptions will be granted for listed accommodation unsuitable for updating to modern energy efficiency standards for (1) homes, and (2) rental properties, in England.

Privately rented listed buildings and those in conservation areas may apply for an exemption from the legal requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). In these cases, they would be out of scope of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations.

The Department consulted last year on whether to require an EPC for listed buildings and those in a conservation area. A Government Response will be published in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the appropriate heat source to replace redundant gas boilers with; and if such a heat source includes heat pumps, what plans they have to make these more (1) available, (2) practical, (3) efficient, and (4) cost-effective.

Achieving net zero carbon emissions will require almost all UK homes to be supplied with low-carbon heating by 2050. Electrification through heat pumps and hydrogen both offer potential pathways to achieve heat decarbonisation, supported by other potential solutions including biogas and heat networks, and we expect 2050 to include a mix of these technologies. Currently, electrification of heat is the only pathway to net zero that has been proven to work at scale in buildings. That is why we have committed to grow the heat pump market to 600,000 installations a year by 2028.

This commitment provides a clear long-term signal to industry on the expected scale of heat pump deployment, providing certainty and enabling investment. The Government is also undertaking a comprehensive package of measures to support the transition, including targeted public investment, proposals for regulation to decarbonise buildings off the gas grid, and establishing a new market-based mechanism. The full package of measures will be set out in our forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy. Additionally, the Government is currently trialling solutions to help overcome barriers to heat pump deployment as part of the £14.6 million Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of a mass rollout of the technology by installing heat pumps in a representative sample of homes across the UK.

The above actions by industry and the Government will help to build supply chains and develop a more cost-effective heat pump offer for consumers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ban gas boilers, and over what timescale.

In order to achieve net zero emissions, we will have to transition completely away from traditional natural gas boilers for heating homes on the gas grid.

There are a number of options with the potential to play an important role in decarbonising heat, including heat networks, heat pumps, hydrogen and biogas.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports of the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on new variants of COVID-19, what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine in tackling the new strains of the virus; and when results of any such assessment will be published.

The UK Government is currently undertaking its own laboratory work as a priority to better understand the impact of the new variants on the vaccines currently in deployment, in particular the risk of vaccine resistance.

We continue to take a portfolio-based approach that monitors the landscape of coronavirus vaccine development and remain confident that the three vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford University/AstraZeneca and Moderna) we have purchased which have been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will continue to be effective against the virus.

Even though the first three vaccines have been proven to be effective, we must continue to explore every avenue available to us.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of plans to test whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines can be combined successfully.

This is a commercial matter for AstraZeneca on which the Government cannot comment. The agreement between the UK Government and AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses of vaccine is unaffected by any further agreements by AstraZeneca with other partners.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many doses of the Sputnik V vaccine they (1) have purchased, or (2) are planning to purchase, in the event that tests show that the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines can be combined successfully.

The UK Government has not and is not planning to purchase any Sputnik V vaccines.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have sufficient quantities of effective alternative vaccines for the entire UK population following the recent AstraZeneca test results.

The UK Government has secured early access to 357 million vaccines doses through agreements with seven separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • BioNTech/Pfizer for 40 million doses.
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses.
  • GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses.
  • Novavax for 60 million doses.
  • Janssen for 30 million doses.
  • Valneva for 60 million doses.
  • Moderna for 7 million doses.
Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by Lord Callanan on 18 November (HLWS580), what estimate they have made of the additional power required from the National Grid to support their plans to increase the use of electric vehicles and to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Each year BEIS publishes updated energy projections (UEPs), analysing and projecting future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The most recently published assessment (EEP 2019) included assumptions on the transition to electric vehicles and accounted for policies which were considered firm and funded by autumn 2019. Forthcoming energy projections will be updated to account for the latest policy decisions, including ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.

We expect the transition to electric vehicles to create significant new demand for electricity but also offer opportunities for flexible management of the electricity system. Smart charging during off-peak periods, when electricity demand is low, can reduce peak demand and avoid triggering unnecessary network reinforcement. It can also maximise use of renewable electricity and can benefit consumers with cheaper electricity.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by Lord Callanan on 18 November (HLWS580), how many chargepoints for electric vehicles they estimate will be required to support their target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

The UK is a global front-runner in the provision of charging infrastructure. We want chargepoints to be accessible, affordable and secure wherever people live. While we expect the majority of EV charges will be done at home, charging provision on motorways and A-roads is needed to ensure that consumers can be confident in making the switch to electric vehicles. By 2030, we are planning for there to be around 2,500 high powered chargepoints across England’s motorways and major A roads. The Ten Point Plan confirmed £1.3 billion in funding to support the rapid expansion of the charging network in the 2020s, which includes £950 million in future proofing grid capacity along the Strategic Road Network.

We also need to ensure that sufficient charging infrastructure is provided for households that do not have access to off-street parking. This must meet the needs of current and future EV users using a mix of charging types that can be cost-effectively supported by the future electricity network. We are working with stakeholders to ensure an evidence based transition to a charging network that fulfils these objectives.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by Lord Callanan on 18 November (HLWS580), what they estimate to be the total costs, including the costs of the infrastructure required to support electric vehicles, involved in meeting their target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

The Government has backed the new phase out dates with a £2.8 billion package of investment to reduce the cost of vehicles, accelerate the roll out of infrastructure and support industry to electrify their supply chains.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by Lord Callanan on 18 November (HLWS580), what is the period over which they will invest the "£1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways" in order to meet their target to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

The Government will provide £1.3 billion over the next four years to support the continued roll-out of chargepoints on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses and on-street.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Oct 2020
Oil
To ask Her Majesty's Government what preparations they have put in place to deal with any early onset of peak oil.

The UK was the first major economy in the world to legislate for net zero and as we move to a low carbon economy, oil and gas will play a smaller role in meeting the demand for energy over time.

The oil and gas sector has an important part to play now in sustaining our energy security of supply, and in the energy transition to support net zero, having many of the essential skills and capabilities in its world class supply chain to support emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen, and through its investment in infrastructure.

We will support this energy transition with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which we have committed to deliver within this Parliament. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchor the supply chain to the UK.

The oil and gas sector supports tens of thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK. Safeguarding these jobs whilst creating new low carbon jobs will be a key consideration of the proposed North Sea Transition Deal.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of investor interest in new nuclear power plants.

Nuclear power will play a key role in the UK’s future energy mix as we transition to a low-carbon economy, and we continue to discuss new nuclear projects with viable companies and investors wishing to develop sites in the UK.

The developer-led construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset is well underway, employing thousands of workers and having already invested almost £1.7 billion in the regional economy.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Green Homes Grant Scheme has now been launched; and if so, how many (1) people have applied, and (2) vouchers have been provided, to date.

The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme launched on 30th September ready for homeowners to apply for vouchers and for installers to register with the administrator for payment. As of 3rd October, there were 7,858 applications for vouchers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) businesses, and (2) tradespeople, have to attain the PAS 2030-2019 Specification to take part in the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

In order to participate in the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, businesses and tradespeople installing energy efficiency measures must install measures against Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards 2030: 2017 or 2030: 2019 by a certification body that has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 8 September (HC Deb, cols 517-519), what is the nature of the vaccines which form the basis of the agreements in place with six separate vaccine developers; and who are the developers.

The UK has secured access to 6 different candidates, across 4 different vaccine types, reflecting the government’s strategy to ensure the UK has a supply of vaccines should any of these prove safe and effective:

  • Adenoviral vaccines (University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Janssen);
  • mRNA vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer);
  • Inactivated whole virus vaccines (Valneva);
  • Protein adjuvant vaccines (GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi, Novavax).
Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many doses for a COVID-19 vaccine they have purchased from companies based in (1) the United States, (2) China, and (3) Russia; if none, whether they plan to purchase such vaccines from those countries; and if so, when.

The UK Government has agreements in the US with BioNTech/Pfizer for 30 million doses, Novavax for 60 million doses and Janssen for 30 million doses of their not-for-profit vaccine. We are taking a portfolio-based approach that monitors the landscape of coronavirus vaccine development, both here in the UK and internationally. Although we continue to investigate further potential vaccine candidates worldwide, we are currently not able to give any further information on these candidates owing to commercial sensitivity. We will, however, announce agreements with any other vaccine developers in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how consumers can obtain the necessary vouchers to take part in the Green Homes Grant Scheme; and what plans they have to publicise that scheme.

Homeowners and landlords will able to apply for the Green Homes Grant scheme vouchers online, with alternative methods being available for those that cannot apply digitally. More details on the application process will be announced in due course.

In order to support customers to take up the scheme and to encourage industry to get involved and register with TrustMark, we are running an integrated communications campaign. Activities include social media, partnerships and a range of media and stakeholder engagements.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) businesses, and (2) tradespeople, have signed up to the TrustMark Scheme in order to take part in the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

As of 31 August, TrustMark had 681 registered businesses able to install the primary and/or secondary measures supported by the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme. These businesses range from small enterprises to large companies with significant workforces. Additionally, a further 2316 TrustMark applications were being processed, and a further 5164 expressions of interest in joining TrustMark had been received by the various trade associations and certification and inspection bodies who partner with TrustMark.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to announce details of (1) the measures to be within the scope of the Green Homes Grant scheme, and (2) how that scheme will operate.

Guidance and further details about the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme were published on 28 August on the GOV.UK website. This included information on eligibility, items where support can be claimed as part of energy efficiency measure installations, as well as items that will not be paid for under the voucher scheme.

The new scheme will see the Government fund up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction. Consumers in England will be able to claim the new vouchers, which are worth up to £5,000. Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many assessors they anticipate will be required before the launch of the Green Homes Grant; and how many such assessors they have already recruited.

A retrofit assessment will only be mandatory under the Green Homes Grant scheme in a limited number of circumstances, where installations are considered to be more technically demanding. We are confident that there are sufficient retrofit assessors in place to oversee these cases.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to draw up a list of approved contractors to operate the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Businesses and tradespeople must be registered with TrustMark – as well as certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if installing heating measures – to take part in the scheme. Homeowners and landlords will be able to use the Simple Energy Advice website to find appropriately registered and certified tradespeople in their area that are able to carry out the works, ensuring high standards and consumer protection.

TrustMark is the government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out on their home. MCS is a quality assurance scheme supported by BEIS, which certifies products, installation companies and installations to help ensure that Microgeneration products are installed to high quality standards.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to announce the range of measures that make up the Green Homes Grant Scheme; and how that Scheme will operate.

The range of measures has now been announced.

The Green Homes Grants will give homeowners, including owner occupiers and social/private landlords, vouchers to install one or more of the following:

  • Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation;
  • Air source or ground source heat pump; or
  • Solar thermal.

In addition, households can use their voucher for further energy saving measures. These include one or more of the following:

  • Double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing;
  • Energy efficient replacement doors; and
  • Hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls.

The new scheme will see the Government fund up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction. Consumers in England will be able to claim the new vouchers, which are worth up to £5,000. Households on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether they have recruited a sufficient number of assessors to launch the Green Homes Grant Scheme in September as previously announced.

Retrofit assessors will not form a mandatory part of the Green Homes Grant, although applicants are encouraged to consult an assessor if they wish.

Building the capacity and skills for retrofit assessment, and energy efficiency improvements more broadly, is an important part of the Green Homes Grant and will be achieved both through direct support and by ensuring the supply-chain has the confidence to recruit and train.

The Government endorsed Simple Energy Advice service is designed to provide households with online advice and recommendations on the energy efficiency and heating improvements which they can make to their homes. Households will be able to apply for a Green Home voucher via the Simple Energy Advice service and will be encouraged to use the service to select the most appropriate measure or measures for their property.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a list of approved contractors to operate the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

Businesses and Tradespeople must register for TrustMark accreditation to take part in the scheme if they are not already registered.

TrustMark is the Government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out on their home. Households will be able to choose from approved tradespeople in their areas to carry out the work, but only approved and accredited installers will be able to be commissioned, ensuring high standards and consumer protection.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 March (HL2389), what additional measures they are proposing to bring forward to support the self-employed.

The Government is working to minimise any social and economic disruption as a result of Covid-19.

We have introduced several measures to support the self-employed, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, mortgage holidays, the delaying of IR35 by a year to April 2021, and support for people struggling to pay their energy bills. Self-employed people will also be able to claim Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees and may be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (which is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth). We have also deferred Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020, to January 2021.

Following the Chancellor’s latest announcement, the Government have introduced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This will support self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme and we are expecting to start to pay grants by early June 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent the emergence of a black market in food, medicines, pharmaceuticals and other essential supplies as a result of any shortage in such supplies due to COVID-19.

Border Force, the National Crime Agency, the Intellectual Property Office, Trading Standards, and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency work together to ensure effective controls are in place to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the supply chain, and to ensure the legitimate market for medicines and other essential products is protected.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide financial support to self-employed people who have to self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19.

The Government is closely monitoring developments of COVID-19 in relation to potential economic impacts on UK businesses, individuals, and the wider economy.

As part of an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes, the Chancellor has announced that Government will strengthen the safety net for self-employed people.

We will suspend the minimum income floor for everyone affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus, which means every self-employed person can now access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

Those measures amount to nearly £7 billion of extra support through the welfare system to strengthen the safety net and protect people’s incomes.

In order to support the self-employed through the tax system, the next self-assessment payments will be deferred until the end of the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to decriminalise the non-payment of the BBC licence fee by senior citizens.

A government response on the issue of decriminalisation of TV licence evasion was published earlier this year. The responses to the consultation show that a significant number of people oppose the criminal sanction with some highlighting the considerable stress and anxiety it can cause for individuals, including the most vulnerable in society, such as older people.

The government is therefore keeping the issue of decriminalisation under active consideration while more work is done to understand the impact of alternative enforcement schemes.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement from Annabel Denham, the Director of Communications at the Institute for Economic Affairs that after 75 years the BBC licence is “no longer fit for purpose” and should be replaced by a “subscriber-owned mutual.”

The government has committed to maintain the licence fee funding model for the duration of this 11 year Charter period, until 2027.

We will revisit the licence fee model in advance of the next Charter.

The government is committed to ensuring that the BBC and all public service broadcasters adapt to a fast changing market, and keeping them at the heart of our world class TV sector.

The BBC has already committed to consider how alternative funding models, such as subscription, could supplement licence fee income before the next Charter Review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ban charities from using street fundraisers.

Ordinarily, street fundraising is estimated to raise over £130m each year for charities. It is a popular form of fundraising for some charities as it recruits long-term supporters to the charity and builds awareness of the important work they do. The charity's trustees are responsible for monitoring all types of fundraising for their charity and for taking steps to address any methods that present a reputational risk or prove a poor investment for their charity. Charity fundraising in England and Wales is subject to independent self-regulation by the Fundraising Regulator. The Fundraising Regulator promotes best practice in fundraising and compliance with its Code of Fundraising Practice.

During this difficult time, ensuring charities can safely begin fundraising activities will be a crucial part of the sector’s recovery. DCMS has worked closely with its sectors to publish guidance relating to COVID-19. This includes practical guidance and resources from the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising supporting charities to safeguard the public, staff and volunteers as they plan to return to fundraising activities in a safe and responsible way. This can be viewed at;

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-dcms-sectors-in-relation-to-coronavirus-covid-19

There are no plans to ban charities from using street fundraisers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence.

We believe that it is right to look again at whether the criminal sanction remains appropriate for TV licence fee evasion given ongoing concerns about whether the criminal sanction is unfair and disproportionate. On 5 February 2020, the Government launched a public consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion, closing on 1 April after receiving over 150,000 responses. We will listen carefully to those that have responded before setting out our next steps.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which companies have contracts to supply free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what is the total value of those contracts.

Schools are free to decide the best approach for their free school meal pupils. They can provide lunch parcels, locally arranged vouchers, or they can use the national voucher scheme which re-opened on 18 January 2021.

School catering contracts are agreed locally, either by the school, the academy trust or the local authority. The department does not hold a contract with any provider to provide free school meals or lunch parcels to children. We do not hold information on the total value of these contracts.

Schools will be able to claim £3.50 per eligible pupil per week when providing lunch parcels or meals, which is in addition to their existing free school meal funding, taking the amount available for a lunch parcel to around £15. If schools need to purchase vouchers locally, they can claim up to £15 per eligible child per week from the department, and all valid claims will be paid in full. We will publish further details shortly.

The contract with Edenred for the National Voucher Scheme will cover voucher provision between week commencing 18 January and February half-term. Schools are able to place orders for supermarket gift cards on behalf of parents and carers worth up to £15 a week per eligible child. If using the national voucher scheme, costs will be covered centrally by the department.



30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to re-open (1) schools, (2) colleges, and (3) universities; and when they intend to announce any such plans.

As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased. We therefore anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings from the week commencing 1 June 2020. We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing. As a result we are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met.

From the week commencing 1 June 2020 at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers). We will ask secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 (and equivalent) students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the provision they are offering to priority groups.

Regarding the re-opening of universities, the department expects universities, as autonomous institutions, to make their own judgements based on the latest Public Health England guidance. Universities are continuing to provide high quality teaching online. We are working with the higher education sector to develop guidance and best practice that will be needed for universities to make informed decisions about their provision.

Additionally, we have also provided guidance to parents and carers about schools and education settings during the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to close schools, universities and colleges as a result of COVID-19; and if they have any such plans, when they intend to introduce such closures.

On 18 March, the Government announced that after schools shut their gates on 20 March, they will remain closed until further notice. That will be for all children except those of critical workers and the children who are most vulnerable.

The Government are expecting early years providers, independent schools. sixth forms and further education colleges to do the same.

Many universities and other higher education institutions are already taking necessary steps to keep their staff and students safe and, where possible, keep providing education. The Department for Education is confident that vice-chancellors are making the right decisions and will continue to support them to do so.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to ban visitors to the House of Lords.

An initial set of measures to reduce visitor access to the House of Lords and the wider Parliamentary Estate, as part of the Parliamentary response to Covid-19, were introduced from Monday 16 March. These were as follows:

  • No new banqueting bookings to be accepted. Existing bookings taking place from Monday 16 March onwards have been cancelled but deposits will be refunded.
  • No new commercial tour bookings to be accepted. Existing bookings taking place from Monday 16 March onwards have been cancelled but tickets will be refunded.
  • Events in Westminster Hall or in the larger Committee Rooms (known as ‘mass lobbies’) are not being facilitated during the period.
  • In order to limit numbers, APPGs are not to invite non-passholding guests on to the Parliamentary Estate.
  • All pass holders, including Members, are not to bring non-passholding guests on to the Parliamentary Estate who are visiting for non-Parliamentary business-related purposes or for social purposes.

Subsequently the Speakers and political leadership agreed further restrictions, which came into force on Tuesday 17 March. These extended to cover the exclusion of non-essential visitors from coming onto the Parliamentary estate, including member tours, school visits, visitors to the galleries of both Houses (save the press gallery), and democratic access tours. Currently, visitors on official business continue to be allowed onto the Estate. This includes civil servants briefing Ministers and committee witnesses.

These measures will last until further notice, and the Lord Speaker and political leadership of the House are keeping matters under review.

19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve air quality in British urban areas.

Latest published figures (which go up to the year 2020) show that air pollution has reduced significantly across the UK since 2010. Air quality is a devolved policy. The UK Government and the devolved administrations work collaboratively and consult on actions needed to improve air quality across the UK.

In England, the Clean Air Strategy sets out our ambitious programme of action to reduce air pollution from a wide range of sources. This includes setting two stretching targets for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) under the Environment Act 2021. Our dual-target approach will tackle the highest concentrations of PM2.5, usually found in urban areas, and ensure continuous improvement across the country. Our modelling shows that achieving these targets would significantly improve public health, resulting in 214,000 fewer cases of cardiovascular disease, 56,570 fewer strokes, 70,000 fewer cases of asthma and 23,000 fewer cases of lung cancer.

We have provided £880 million to help local authorities develop and implement local nitrogen dioxide (NO2) reduction plans and to support those impacted by these plans. This government is also taking action across transport by supporting the switch to electric vehicles with £2.8 billion of investment, and £2 billion in funding for cycling and walking over this Parliament.

We also have recently awarded £11.6 million from Defra’s annual Air Quality Grant Scheme to 41 local authorities in England for local projects to tackle air pollution. The scheme will reopen for applications later this year, building on more than £38 million investment so far since 2010.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce noise pollution in built-up areas.

The Government is committed to ensuring that noise is managed effectively to promote good health and minimise disruption to people’s quality of life. We have strong protections in place to avoid significant noise impacts from transport, as well as in our planning system, our environmental permitting systems, in vehicle and product standards, and noise abatement legislation. Defra helps to manage noise, mainly from transport, through the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, which aim to reduce noise exposure in the worst affected areas.

The Regulations require, on a five-year cycle:

- The determination, through noise mapping, of exposure to environmental noise from major sources of road, rail and aircraft noise including large urban areas (known as agglomerations).

- The adoption of Action Plans based upon the noise mapping results, which are designed to manage environmental noise and its effects, including noise reduction if necessary.

- Provision of information to the public on environmental noise and its effects.

The Regulations also require that the Action Plans identify ‘Important Areas’, where the 1% of the population affected by the highest noise levels is located. This approach has been taken in order to target mitigation efforts towards those at greatest risk of experiencing a significant adverse impact to health and quality of life as a result of their exposure to noise. These areas should then be prioritised for investigation and, where appropriate, action by the relevant transport authority or the relevant local authority depending on whether the noise is being caused by railways or roads.

The next Round of mapping is due to be completed later this year, with Noise Action Plans for Railways, Roads and Agglomeration due to be published in 2023.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to accelerate plans (1) to improve air quality, and (2) to reduce pollution, in city centres.

Our Clean Air Strategy sets out an ambitious programme of action to reduce air pollution from a wide range of sources in our towns and cities. We have also put in place a £3.8 billion plan to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations. Our Environment Bill makes a clear commitment to set a legally binding target to reduce fine particulate matter and enables greater local action by ensuring responsibility for tackling air pollution is shared across local government structures and with relevant public authorities. We are also strengthening the ability of local authorities to tackle smoke emissions from domestic solid fuel burning, which is a major source of fine particulate matter.

Under the Local Air Quality Management Framework, local authorities are required to review and assess local air quality and to declare an Air Quality Management Area if monitoring indicates exceedance of local air quality standards and objectives, and are then required to develop an Air Quality Action Plan to address the exceedance.

The UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations outlines how councils with the worst air pollution concentrations must take robust action to improve air quality. The plan requires local areas to produce their own plans to accelerate air quality improvement. These plans include Clean Air Zones (CAZs) which will deliver targeted action in air pollution hot spots. Bath & North East Somerset Council will introduce a CAZ on 15 March 2021 with Birmingham City Council following on 1 June 2021. We have committed a further £2.5 billion to support a number of cities improve their local transport systems through the Transforming Cities Fund - a number of these projects will help deliver air quality improvements.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of online suppliers to maintain the delivery of food and other essential products to people self-isolating due to COVID-19.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry has adapted quickly to these changes in demands, and we welcome the actions they are taking to support demand for online deliveries, including hiring more staff and prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

To help the industry, the Government has already introduced new measures to support online deliveries. We have temporarily relaxed elements of competition law to enable supermarkets to work more closely together to ensure people can access the products they need. Food retailers are now able to share data on their stock levels, cooperate to keep stores open and share staff, distribution depots and delivery vehicles. This is helping keep shops open and staffed and better able to meet high demand. Guidance has been issued to local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets to ensure shelves can be replenished more quickly. The Transport Secretary has also announced a temporary and limited relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules so that more goods can be delivered to every store every day.

The Government has begun to deliver food parcels to those identified by the NHS as being extremely clinically vulnerable.

We are working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. We will be launching a communications campaign to signpost vulnerable people to a range of support options. We are working closely with Local Authorities to direct vulnerable people to support available at the local level, as well as working in parallel with supermarkets to prioritise vulnerable individuals. Wherever possible, people should continue to rely on friends, families and wider community support.

4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the Gulf Stream is slowing; and whether any such slowing is having an effect on (1) the UK's climate, and (2) any increase in extreme weather events, including flooding.

The Gulf Stream is a small part of a large, global-scale ocean ‘conveyor belt’ of circulation, driven by winds and by differences in temperature and salinity, known as the ‘Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation’ (AMOC). The AMOC has been measured since 2004 by an international observation system called RAPID, in which the UK plays a leading role. These measurements have shown a slowing over the last decade, however much of this may be from natural variability.

A recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in the Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, found some evidence to indicate the AMOC has already weakened relative to the pre-industrial period (1850 – 1900), and finds it very likely that the AMOC will continue weakening over the rest of the 21st Century.

A large slowing of the AMOC would be expected to cause more winter storms over northern Europe, a decrease in marine biological productivity in the North Atlantic and changes in sea level. These effects would be superimposed on the effects of climate warming due to greenhouse gases, and they are included in the climate model projections used by the IPCC. At this stage we do not have evidence that the observed weakening of the AMOC has had a detectable impact on the UK climate.

The second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017 identifies risks to flooding and coastal change as one of the UK’s top six risks from climate change. The second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) published in 2018, sets out a plan of actions across Government to address these risks (amongst others identified in the CCRA) over the following 5 years. In addition, updated UK Climate Projections (UKCP18) are a key tool to help the Government, businesses and the public understand the future climate and enable them to make climate-resilient decisions.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body what plans they have to conduct an independent review (1) of the costs and benefits of the restoration and renewal scheme for the Palace of Westminster, and (2) of the attendant costs and benefits of decanting MPs and Members of the House of Lords to other sites.

The Restoration and Renewal Programme is considering the costs and benefits of a range of possible interventions for restoring the Palace of Westminster as part of the preparation of the outline business case for the works, which both Houses will be invited to endorse, as required by section 7 of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019.

On 19 May the Sponsor Body announced it would conduct a strategic review of the Programme. On 1 July I wrote to all Members of the House inviting them to make submissions to that review by 7 August, which was also notified by way of a written statement (HLWS321). Members of the House of Commons were invited to do the same by the Sponsor Body spokesperson in that House.

The costs and benefits of decanting both Houses to alternative sites was previously assessed in support of the deliberations of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster. These sites have also been considered as part of the strategic review, alongside additional alternative sites, and the outcome of that work will form part of the review’s findings.

The review will conclude in the autumn and its findings will be considered by the Sponsor Body Board and the Commissions of both Houses in the first instance.

16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money they are lending to the government of Ukraine to buy UK military equipment; and what assessment have they made of the likelihood of British taxpayers being repaid that loan.

As part of a cross-Whitehall effort to support the £1.7bn Ukraine Naval capabilities Enhancement programme (UNCEP), UK Export Finance (UKEF) has committed to provide a £750m direct government-to-government loan, as well as guarantees to support lending for the remainder of the financing.

UKEF is open for cover in Ukraine and as is the case for all transactions, will charge a fee for the provision of guarantees or direct lending that reflects the risks involved.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ban private tourist diesel buses operating in the centres of heavily polluted (1) towns, and (2) cities.

Government has no current plans to ban private tourist diesel buses from town centres.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what delays there are, if any, in processing driving licence (1) applications, and (2) renewals, at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for or renew a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. There are currently delays in processing paper applications. To help reduce waiting times for paper driving licence applications and renewals, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found on GOV.UK.

Applications where the driver has a medical condition that must be investigated before a licence can be issued will take longer.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average time it takes to renew a driving licence with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for or renew a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. There are currently delays in processing paper applications. To help reduce waiting times for paper driving licence applications and renewals, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found on GOV.UK.

Applications where the driver has a medical condition that must be investigated before a licence can be issued will take longer.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of diesel buses on respiratory illnesses such as (1) COVID-19, and (2) asthma; and what plans they have, if any, to ban diesel buses from (a) town, and (b) city, centres.

There is clear evidence to show that exposure to air pollution can exacerbate the effects of respiratory illnesses including asthma. Older buses, particularly those without emission abatement technology fitted, can be a significant source of emissions in some areas. National level estimates indicate that in 2019 buses contributed on average 8% of roadside NOx concentrations. However, no Government analysis has been carried out on the specific impact of buses in towns and cities on respiratory health.

Most buses in the current fleet are diesel and they form a key component of a sustainable transport package in towns and cities, with newer diesel buses emitting significantly lower levels of pollution than older models. Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are being implemented by local authorities in a number of areas where roads are exceeding legal limits for nitrogen dioxide, and all of these Zones will charge older buses to enter. Local authorities implementing CAZs have carried out local analysis to understand the key sources of pollution on their roads in order to identify the appropriate solution. In these and other local authorities engaged with the NO2 Plan, Government is supporting the upgrading of bus fleets to newer, cleaner standards either via replacement vehicles or grants to support the retrofit of older diesel buses with technologies to reduce emissions from their tailpipe.

The Government is also committed to supporting the introduction of 4,000 zero emission buses and achieving an all zero emission bus fleet. As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. The Government has also committed to setting an end date for the sale of new diesel buses, further incentivising the adoption of zero emission buses.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 13 January (HL11904), what advice they have provided to people whose driving licences expire in January, or later, who are having difficulty renewing online and who are self-isolating.

Drivers who cannot apply to renew their licence online will need to make a postal application direct to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

If required, a driving licence application form can be requested by contacting the DVLA’s contact centre.

Information about making a postal application and providing a new photo is available on gov.uk.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the website webchat services provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Over recent months the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has made a number of enhancements to both its webchat and associated chatbot services. It has introduced seven new services that include a webchat/chatbot service for queries relating to online driver licensing, the EU transition and the pandemic.

The DVLA intends to roll out webchat to further services over the coming months and keeps the service under continuous review based on customer feedback.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of closing the (1) telephone helpline, and (2) online advisory support service, of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority; and what plans they have to reinstate these services.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s contact centre is open between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on a Saturday.

The DVLA’s online services remain available as are the electronic contact centre services provided through email, webchat and social media support channels.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic, what plans they have to extend the renewal date for driving licences that expire in January 2021.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving a licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s online service which has worked as normal throughout the pandemic.

The Government keeps the ongoing impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic and any changes that may be needed to existing arrangements under review.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to accelerate the decarbonisation of city centres, including banning diesel and petrol vehicles from heavily built-up areas.

Tackling emissions at a local level will make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of transport. Developing solutions that consider the needs of different locations is one of our six strategic priorities for transport decarbonisation, and recognises that different decarbonisation solutions will be required and will work best in different places across the UK. Taking a place-based approach will enable us to engage communities in building their own net zero visions and encourage and enable further progress.

Heavily built up areas will also benefit from the Prime Minister’s ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking and vision that half of all journeys in towns and cities are to be cycled or walked by 2030. This includes a £2 billion package of funding for active travel over the next 5 years. Over £200 million of funding is available this year to Local Authorities through the Active Travel Fund.

The phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be 2030, and from 2035 all new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the tailpipe.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to accelerate (1) the adoption of electric and other low- or non-carbon emitting cars in the UK, and (2) any necessary infrastructure required for such cars.

The Government is investing over £2.8 billion‎ to facilitate the transition to zero emission vehicles. Of this, £1.3 billion has been ring fenced to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure, targeting support on rapid chargepoints on motorways and major A roads and installing more on-street chargepoints near homes and workplaces to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car. The Government has also pledged £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.

The Government will continue to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opportunity cost of HS2; and what plans they have to allow for further Parliamentary scrutiny should the official cost increase.

The recently published Full Business Case sets out the rationale for why HS2 is the best transport option to deliver the Government’s strategic aims of levelling up, improved connectivity and increased capacity between our biggest economic regions. It builds on the Oakervee Review, which considered transport alternatives and concluded that HS2 remained the best option to meet these goals. The Government has committed to provide six-monthly reports to Parliament on progress which will allow scrutiny of any cost increases against the agreed funding envelope for Phase 1 and the contingency provided.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to further review the costs and benefits of HS2; and whether that project remains (1) on time, and (2) on budget.

The Full Business Case for Phase One was approved in April this year which included a robust cost-benefit analysis. Ministers are updated monthly on progress through a Ministerial Task Force chaired by the Secretary of State for Transport and Parliament will receive the first of the regular 6-monthly progress reports later this year which will set out the latest cost and schedule position.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the success of New Zealand in dealing with COVID-19, what plans they have to emulate the measures taken in that country, particularly those in regard to the control of flights into the country.

The Government’s approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. ?Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the Chief Medical Officer. ?Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they expect HS2 to be completed (1) on time, and (2) on budget.

In 2019 the Government announced an independent review into HS2, led by Douglas Oakervee. Once the Government has fully considered the review’s findings, including whether and how to proceed with the project, further announcements will be made on any likely funding requirements and anticipated timescales for delivery.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what they estimate the total final cost of HS2 will be to the Exchequer.

To ensure transparency around the project, we have provided our latest cost and schedule estimates for HS2 to the National Audit Office who reported on the programme last week. These estimates depend, among other things, on the scope of what, if anything, the Government decides to build and which risks come to pass. In August 2019 the Government commissioned the independent Oakervee Review to provide advice on whether and how to proceed with HS2, including a rigorous examination of costs and schedule. The Government will make a decision on HS2 shortly.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when HS2 will be completed.

To ensure transparency around the project, we have provided our latest schedule and cost estimates for HS2 to the National Audit Office who reported on the programme last week. These estimates depend, among other things, on the scope of what, if anything, the Government decides to build and which risks come to pass. In August 2019 the Government commissioned the independent Oakervee Review to provide advice on whether and how to proceed with HS2. The Government will make a decision shortly.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HS2 Limited has revised any existing agreements with contractors.

HS2 Ltd has managed a very large number of contracts in support of the delivery of a high speed railway. These contracts cover a wide supply base, dealing with a variety of activities. As with all projects, change is inevitable and it follows that changes will result in revisions to existing HS2 Ltd contracts.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been spent on HS2 to date; and how much they estimate the programme would cost to cancel immediately.

As at 31st March 2019, £7.4bn (excluding construction VAT) had been spent on the HS2 rail project. In August 2019 the Government announced an independent review of HS2 led by Douglas Oakervee. The review was asked to consider, among other things, whether and how to proceed with the project. The Government will make a decision shortly.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to revise the proposed speed of HS2 trains.

In August 2019 the Government commissioned the independent Oakervee Review to provide advice on whether and how to proceed with HS2. The Government will make a decision on HS2 shortly, and therefore no decision has been made to revise the proposed speed of HS2 trains.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Leader of the House when Questions for Short Debate will be re-introduced as an item of business in the House.

Subject to the progress of legislative business, it is expected that questions for short debate will be re-introduced during October.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the city of Bath has had no COVID-19 lateral flow tests available for over two weeks; and what steps, if any, they are taking to rectify this situation.

No specific assessment has been made. However, since Christmas 2021, the UK Health Security Agency has increased both the supply of tests and distribution capability. Since January 2022, we have delivered seven million tests a day through GOV.UK and 90 million tests a week through all delivery channels.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hotels are accommodating patients who have been discharged from hospital whilst recovering from COVID-19; and where any such hotels are located.

This data is not held centrally. NHS England and NHS Improvement will be evaluating the use of this approach over the coming weeks.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the total cost to date of discharging patients recovering from COVID-19 from hospitals to hotels.

This data is not held centrally. NHS England and NHS Improvement will be evaluating the use of this approach over the coming weeks.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients recovering from COVID-19 have been discharged from hospitals to hotels.

This data is not held centrally. NHS England and NHS Improvement will be evaluating the use of this approach over the coming weeks.

25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what care the NHS provides to patients discharged from hospitals to hotels whilst recovering from COVID-19; and how many NHS staff are providing that support.

Any person transferring to a hotel from a hospital will do so under the normal discharge planning processes. As part of those processes a care and support plan is put in place and this will vary by individual.

The care and support provided to individuals in a hotel can be provided through a combination of unpaid and paid carers, Care Quality Commission registered domiciliary care providers, virtual ward approaches, or utilising capacity of providers on the NHS Shared Business Services Patient Discharge Service Framework.

National Health Service staffing arrangements are the responsibility of local NHS organisations and the numbers of staff working in hotels will be determined by local need and therefore is not held centrally.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of data from Israel on the effectiveness of the single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and of their decision to delay giving a second vaccine dose to people for up to 12 weeks.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed headline data from Israel on vaccine effect, particularly the vaccine effectiveness estimate at day 14 after the first dose. The JCVI concluded that the results are preliminary and there is a need for greater clarity, including full information on the data used, before further consideration or comment. The JCVI will review this data carefully once the full study details are released.

The JCVI continues to recommend that as many people on the JCVI priority list as possible should be offered a first vaccine dose as the initial priority. One dose of the vaccine offers important protection until the second dose can be administered. All individuals will subsequently receive a second dose in due course.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at (1) vaccination centres, and (2) associated transport hubs.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have stated that vaccination sites should be administering the vaccine in line with best infection prevention and control procedures, including social distancing, ventilation and wearing masks. Large scale centres should have an environmental risk assessment in place which is expected to cover requirements for ventilation in a pandemic when transmission and virus shedding is a significant concern. A copy of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s guidance COVID-19 Vaccination Centres: Operating Framework. Information and guidance on operating Vaccination Centres is attached.

The Department for Transport has produced guidance for transport operators to help them keep transport settings safe and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes regular disinfecting and thorough cleaning of transportation, ensuring availability of hand sanitiser and enabling social distancing at transport hubs. A copy of Coronavirus: Safer transport guidance for operators is attached.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to include (1) community, and (2) independent, pharmacies in their plans for the administering of COVID-19 vaccines.

Some pharmacists and members of their team are already working with general practitioners to deliver the vaccine in many areas of the country and, as more supply becomes available, community pharmacies, including independent pharmacies, will play a major role in the programme. Some pharmacies have started to offer COVID-19 vaccinations from 11 January.

6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Israel's approach to administering COVID-19 vaccinations.

We have not made any formal assessment of the vaccine deployment outside the United Kingdom’s own programme.

However, Ministers and officials continue to monitor vaccine deployment programmes across the world, including Israel’s, and share learnings and collaborate internationally on the role of deploying safe, effective vaccines in response to COVID-19.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to put all of the NHS Nightingale hospitals into operation so that patients with COVID-19 can be admitted.

The Nightingale hospitals support the National Health Service in a number of different ways depending on the need of the local communities, therefore they also operate on different clinical models.

Patients are currently being treated in Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Exeter, Bristol and Harrogate. With the rise in Covid-19 inpatient numbers, the remaining Nightingale hospitals are being readied to admit patients once again should they be needed.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan (1) to re-equip, and (2) to open, the NHS Nightingale hospital in London so that patients with COVID-19 can be admitted.

The Nightingale hospital in London is undergoing preparations to be activated if needed. It will open and treat patients in line with the advice from local clinicians.

30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any link between poor air quality in city centres and any increase in (1) COVID-19, and (2) respiratory diseases, in urban areas.

There is currently no clear evidence to suggest that air pollution has a direct link to the spread or severity of COVID-19. Public Health England (PHE) and Government departments are continuously reviewing whether air pollution may influence the health impact of COVID-19.

PHE has made no specific estimation of the impact of air pollution on respiratory disease in urban areas in the United Kingdom.

14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to rollout the combined Oxford/AstraZeneca Sputnik V vaccine, and on what scale, in the event that tests show that these vaccines can be combined successfully.

The science is currently uncertain about whether using a mixed schedule of vaccines could produce an even better immune response; and when a booster dose might be needed. For this reason, we will begin a series of trials to test various combinations of vaccines and to test booster doses. These trials do not currently include the combined Oxford/AstraZeneca Sputnik V vaccine.

9th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential benefits of including blood donors in the priority groups of those to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

In line with the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the vaccine is being rolled out to priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 years old and health and care workers. The vaccine is then being prioritised amongst the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and all individuals aged 16-64 years old with underlying health conditions.

Blood donors range between those aged 17 years old to over 70 years old. While blood donors are not in the priority group to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, some donors are likely to receive a vaccine as part of the national roll-out.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK citizens will be given a choice of COVID-19 vaccine.

Both vaccines give very high protection against severe disease, which is the primary aim of the first phase of the programme, and both vaccines have good safety profiles. The logistical challenges posed by the storage and distribution requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine mean that in some populations, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is the only vaccine which can be deployed rapidly, and without substantial vaccine wastage. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation does not advise a preference for either vaccine in any specific population. For operational and programmatic reasons, such as to enable more extensive and timely vaccine coverage, one vaccine may be offered in certain settings in preference over another vaccine.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to (1) the private health sector, and (2) independent pharmacies.

Vaccinations are being delivered at a wide range of sites across the country, including independent pharmacies. The COVID-19 vaccination is only available through the National Health Service to eligible groups and it is a free vaccination.

24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish an independent public inquiry into their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Government has already made clear there will be opportunities to look back, analyse and reflect on all aspects of COVID-19. The Prime Minister has said that this will include an independent inquiry at the appropriate time. For now, the Government is focused entirely on responding to the pandemic and saving lives. Further details will be set out in due course and announced in the usual way.

7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement of Professor Gabriel Scally on 6 September that the UK Government has 'lost control' of COVID-19.

The Prime Minister announced a set of measures on 23 November 2020 as part of the Government’s COVID-19 winter plan, including the introduction of a tiered approach to be adopted from 2 December 2020 in order to control the virus. This included confirmation that we have ordered over 350 million doses of vaccine for the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and that the National Health Service is preparing a roll-out programme. Further details will follow in due course.

NHS Test and Trace are working with local leaders and communities to curb the spread of the virus and the contact tracing team ensures individuals and their close contacts isolate, preventing others from being infected. In addition, we have announced £3 billion of extra funding to the NHS for the winter and secured personal protective equipment to ensure front-line workers are protected.


2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the per capita COVID-19 death rate in England relative to other countries; and what assessment they have made of analysis which indicates that England has one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world.

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

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there is any correlation between the COVID-19 death rate in the UK and spare bed capacity in the NHS.

The National Health Service’s response in ensuring that there has been sufficient capacity in place to manage COVID-19 demand has been exceptional. We ensured that we had as many beds available as possible to care for patients with severe respiratory problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHS expanded its critical care capacity significantly to cope with the predicted demand from COVID-19 patients. This included an increase in critical care beds, ventilators and provision of oxygen.

All COVID-19 patients who were admitted received the urgent treatment that they needed.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) reports that care homes have had to accept patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 from hospitals, and (2) the impact any such patients have had on deaths from COVID-19 in care homes. [T]

The safety of residents and staff is always a priority and patients should not be discharged unless it is clinically safe to do so.

We are determined to make sure discharges into nursing or social care do not put residents currently in those settings at risk. We have introduced a policy of testing all residents prior to discharge to a care home.

If appropriate isolation or cohorted care for an individual is not available with a local care provider on discharge, the individual’s local authority has been asked to secure alternative appropriate accommodation and care for the remainder of the required isolation period.

We are continuing to monitor care home deaths and are working closely with local authorities, the care sector and NHS England to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care homes and ensure everyone has access to the right care, in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to work closely with the sector to keep our policies and data under review as the pandemic goes on.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any relationship between spare bed capacity in the NHS and deaths from COVID-19 in care homes and the community.

To date, we have not undertaken an assessment of the relationship between spare bed capacity in the National Health Service and deaths from COVID-19 in care homes and the community. The safety of residents and staff is always a priority and patients should not be discharged unless it is clinically safe to do so.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue new guidance on the admittance of patients at an earlier stage of showing symptoms of COVID-19 to improve survival rates.

The Government continues to be led by the evidence in our response to COVID-19. Public Health England has published guidance on the investigation and initial clinical management of possible COVID-19 cases, including on admission to hospital, which is kept under review. A copy of the latest guidance COVID-19: investigation and initial clinical management of possible cases is attached.

In addition, a suite of guidance has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to ensure the best treatment for people with COVID-19.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in care and nursing homes in the UK; and over what period that testing took place.[T]

Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 125,000 workers in care settings and over 118,000 care home residents have been tested through Departmental and Public Health England’s testing routes.

On 11 May we launched the ‘whole care home’ portal. We have the capacity to deliver up to 30,000 tests a day to residents and staff in care homes, making sure that all residents and asymptomatic staff can all be tested.

This information is for England only and supplements the local systems already in place for testing residents. We are working with the devolved administrations to support their needs around adult social care testing.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 6 April (HL2662), what assessment they have made of the particular vulnerability of hay fever and asthma sufferers to COVID-19.

At present there is insufficient evidence to determine whether there is any particular vulnerability of hay fever and asthma sufferers to COVID-19.

The British Thoracic Society’s Advice for Healthcare Professionals Treating People with Asthma (adults) in relation to COVID-19 and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s COVID-19 rapid guideline: severe asthma, recommend that patients should continue taking their regular medications in line with their personalised asthma action plan. Some patients with severe asthma have been identified as being potentially extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and been placed in the shielding group.

With regards to hay fever, the Global Initiative for Asthma and the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma organisation recommend that people with allergic rhinitis should continue to take their nasal corticosteroids, as prescribed by their healthcare professional.

24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much personal protection equipment NHS England has (1) purchased, and (2) supplied, to frontline NHS staff in the last four weeks.

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers. We have provided PPE equipment to over 26,000 care homes including home care and hospices across the country. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, over 48 million PPE items have been delivered.

We are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We have brought together the NHS, industry and the Armed Forces to create a new nationwide PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it.

We have a 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline for those experiencing supply disruption with business as usual ordering channels. Where there may be any shortages, we act on this immediately. Local Resilience Forums are also supporting care homes, hospices, home care and primary care in getting hold of PPE equipment.

18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to advise that the House of Lords be suspended to protect members, staff and the general public from COVID-19 infections.

In line with the latest Government advice and guidance from Public Health England, all visitor access to the Parliamentary estate stopped from 17 March. Access will be restricted to passholders and those on essential Parliamentary business.

This decision has been taken by the Speakers and supported by clerks of both Houses, and Parliamentary authorities. Hon. Members, noble Lords, Parliamentary staff and other members of the Parliamentary community will continue to be able to work on the estate where necessary but are being strongly encouraged to work from home where possible and to follow the latest guidance on social distancing.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Imperial College COVID-19 response team Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand, published on 16 March; and in particular that report's assessment of the impact of the UK's mitigation measures on (1) deaths, and (2) the capacity of the NHS.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is responsible for ensuring that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to decision-makers, to support United Kingdom cross-Government decisions.

In fulfilling this role, SAGE considers a wide range scientific evidence. SAGE is supported in this role by a sub group (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, SPI-M) that consists of members from Public Health England and experts from several academic research groups at UK universities. SPI-M considers the modelling work of all its members to reach a consensus view.

The report Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand, published on 16 March, is an important strand of the scientific evidence informing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the most effective measures adopted by other countries to address COVID-19.

The Government are working closely with the World Health Organization, along with advice from leading scientists to ensure that the most effective measures are adopted for the United Kingdom.

Public Health England is also in regular contact with laboratories and public health organisations across the world in order to understand the processes they have adopted in relation to contact tracing, risk assessments, guidance and laboratory processes.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that the projected peak of COVID-19 will coincide with the hay fever season, what advice they are giving to hay fever sufferers

Individuals who suffer from hay fever should refer to the National Health Service and Public Health England guidance regarding the most common symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if these are present. A copy of the online guidance is attached.

No specific guidance is planned for hay fever sufferers in relation to COVID-19, but NHS guidance on hay fever is attached.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of mass testing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the UK.

The number of people tested in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is set to rapidly increase in the coming weeks. This will help identify whether there is a need for individuals to be self-isolating, as well as those people who have already contracted and fought the disease and are safe to return to work or go out in public. This includes National Health Service staff.

There is now capacity to carry out over 10,000 tests a day and this will rise to 25,000 by the end of April.

Widespread diagnostic testing during a pandemic is enormously important to controlling the spread of infection.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to establish a centralised disease control centre, similar to the National Heath Command Centre in Taiwan.

The Department has a dedicated COVID-19 incident response team, set up in January 2020, which works closely with the National Health Service and Public Health England to co-ordinate central Government’s response to the virus.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the projected UK death toll from COVID-19

The Government relies on modelling work undertaken by several academic groups, who report to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) through its various subgroups. SAGE will continue to publish the evidence that it considers.

From modelling and current data on the outbreak, it is likely that the United Kingdom death toll will rise, but it is not possible to estimate how many individuals will die currently. This will be dependent on the implementation of and adherence to public health measures, and the success of those measures in suppressing transmission of the virus and the numbers of cases of infection.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of herd immunity as a way to minimise UK deaths from COVID-19

Herd immunity is not part of the Government’s action plan but is a natural by-product of an epidemic. Our aims are to save lives, protect the most vulnerable, and relieve pressure on the National Health Service.

We have now moved out of the contain phase and into delay, and we have experts working round the clock. Every measure that we have or will introduce will be based on the best scientific evidence.

Our awareness of the likely levels of immunity in the country over the coming months will ensure our planning and response is as accurate and effective as possible.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of checking passengers temperatures at airports to counter the spread of COVID-19.

Our experts made an early assessment that stopping flights and screening at airports would not make a significant difference as the effect on delaying the peak of the outbreak would be minimal.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to close Parliament and advise peers to work from home.

In line with the latest Government advice and guidance from Public Health England, all visitor access to the Parliamentary estate stopped from 17 March. Access will be restricted to passholders and those on essential Parliamentary business.

This decision has been taken by the Speakers and supported by clerks of both Houses, and Parliamentary authorities. Hon. Members, noble Lords, Parliamentary staff and other members of the Parliamentary community will continue to be able to work on the estate where necessary but are being strongly encouraged to work from home where possible and to follow the latest guidance on social distancing.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) staff, and (2) ministers, at the Department of Health and Social Care have been tested for COVID-19.

The Department does not discuss specific and personal details around individuals tested for COVID-19. The Department’s staff are advised to follow Public Health England advice to stay at home if they have COVID-19 symptoms and use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service if their symptoms persist beyond seven days.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many staff in Number 10 Downing Street have been tested for COVID-19.

As of 9am on 16 March 2020, a total of 44,105 people have been tested in the United Kingdom. These numbers are updated and published daily. Information on patient specifics is not collected centrally.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Government ministers have been tested for COVID-19.

As of 9am on 16 March 2020, a total of 44,105 people have been tested in the United Kingdom. These numbers are updated and published daily. Information on patient specifics is not collected centrally.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success of measures adopted in Taiwan to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

United Kingdom officials continue to work closely with key multinational partners to ensure that the Government’s response to COVID-19 is guided by the international situation, the advice of organisations such as the World Health Organization, surveillance, data modelling and the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which provides expert medical scientific advice.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer is due to have a conversation with key experts in Taiwan to learn further information about their approach. We are enormously grateful for the support from others around the world,f including Taiwan.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ban gatherings of over 1,000 people in the UK as a result of COVID-19.

The Government have now put measures in place that recommend against all non-essential travel and mass gatherings, additionally the enforced closure of schools. businesses and other venues commenced on 20 March, with previous social distancing and sheltering advice updated as of 22 March.

Our approach has been, and will continue to be, guided by the evidence and latest advice from medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer.

It is absolutely critical in managing the spread of this virus that we take the right decisions at the right time based on the latest and best evidence.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they are giving to people with suspected COVID-19 about how they should care for themselves during periods of self-quarantine.

The advice to people with suspected COVID-19 about how they should care for themselves during periods of self-quarantine focuses on keeping away from others, staying at home to stop the infection spreading, and avoiding public transport. The Government’s COVID-19 campaign posters are attached.

Public Health England advice online on the GOV.UK website about COVID-19 is regularly updated as our understanding grows and the guidelines evolve.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether staff at NHS 111 are given uniform advice scripts on how to respond to suspected COVID-19 cases.

NHS 111 call handlers work off algorithms rather than ‘scripts’. This enables the call handler to give proper advice that is tailored to the caller’s needs.

A process for COVID-19 has been worked through between NHS 111 and Public Health England.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what further plans they have to give advice to the public on how to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and how to cope with periods of self-quarantine.

The advice to the public on how to minimise the spread of COVID-19 focuses on hand hygiene and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ advice for coughs and sneezes. COVID-19 campaign posters are attached.

Our new national communications campaign will set out the latest clinical advice and this can be found online by searching for Public Health England advice on the GOV.UK website. We can all continue to do our bit by continuing to wash our hands more often for 20 seconds or more and having plenty of tissues around.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources they intend to allocate to deal with a COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

We have made £20 million available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness which will support work developing new vaccines for epidemics, including four new programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

We have also launched a £20 million rapid response call to support research on the novel coronavirus.

During the announcement for the 2020 Budget, the Chancellor further detailed how we will be allocating funds.

The Chancellor has set out a £12 billion package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Government continues to work closely with the Bank of England and international partners and announced a three point plan at the Budget.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the NHS has sufficient resources to manage a UK-wide pandemic.

The Government, the National Health Service and Public Health England are extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections. As with other cold and flu viruses, they are using tried and tested procedures to prevent further spread. We continue to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.

The NHS has expert teams in every ambulance service and a number of specialist hospital units with highly trained staff and equipment ready to receive and care for patients with any highly infectious disease.

We are working through our clear action plan. Like all our decisions, the plan is based on the expertise of world leading scientists. We will do the right thing at the right time, based on the best available science.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to manage a COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

The United Kingdom is well prepared for disease outbreaks, having responded to a wide range of infectious disease outbreaks in the recent past, and having undertaken significant preparedness work for an influenza pandemic for well over a decade.

Our plans have been regularly tested and updated locally and nationally to ensure they are fit for purpose. This experience provides the basis for an effective response to COVID-19, which can be tailored as more specific information emerges about the virus.

These plans ensure the UK is equipped to deliver a co-ordinated multi-agency response to minimise wider societal impact that could arise from a significant outbreak. An effective response also requires the active participation of a well-informed public and all service providers.

Publicly available advice recommends the best way for people to protect themselves from infections like coronavirus is to wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel, as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin.

We have a plan based on the expertise of world leading scientists. We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.

16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what diplomatic effort they are making to revive the Minsk Agreements.

As G7 Foreign Ministers made clear in their 12 December statement, we support the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to achieve full implementation of the Minsk agreements in order to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Prime Minister underlined to President Putin on 13 December that Russia had to respect the terms of the Minsk agreements. The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK's support for the Minsk agreements in her 2 December meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and in her 8 December talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba. The UK regularly calls on Russia to end the conflict by immediately ceasing its support for the armed formations it backs, withdrawing its military personnel and weapons from the territory of Ukraine and fulfilling its obligations under the Minsk agreements.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had within NATO to maintain an Alliance presence in Afghanistan.

We have spoken a number of NATO Allies in recent days about the situation in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister has spoken to US President Biden, French President Macron, German Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Rutte and the NATO Secretary General. The Foreign Secretary has spoken to his US, French, Dutch, Danish and Turkish counterparts. We continue to work closely with our partners to assess how to address risks concerning terrorism most effectively and will continue to be at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Afghanistan.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timescale for the repatriation of Afghan refugees who have supported the British mission in Afghanistan; and how they intend to achieve that repatriation, particularly for refugees located outside Kabul.

Our absolute priority has been to evacuate as many people as possible. However the terror attack outside the Kabul airport tragically demonstrates the complex and vulnerable situation that impacted operations on the ground. We will continue to do all we can to support British Nationals and those Afghans who have supported us, and to put pressure on the Taliban to allow safe passage. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme remains open to anyone who is eligible, and we will work with international partners on establishing potential routes for those eligible for ARAP to get to the UK.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to supply Taiwan with COVID-19 vaccines; and what is the timetable on any such plans.

The UK remains committed to equitable access to safe and effective vaccines and the Prime Minister has stated that we will share vaccines with COVAX and has called on G7 leaders to vaccinate the world by end of next year. We will continue to discuss this issue with our G7 partners and will issue details of the quantities and timeframe for sharing vaccine doses soon.

Taiwan has had one of the lowest incidences of Covid-19 in the world since the outbreak of the pandemic. We are continuing to engage with the relevant authorities locally through the British Office in Taipei as it faces its first significant occurrence of community transmission of the virus. Taiwan has so far received 609,600 doses through the COVAX platform. We will continue to work with all of our international partners to deliver a strong global response to the pandemic.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to HSBC Bank following that bank's suspension of the bank accounts of pro-democracy campaigners from Hong Kong.

We are in close contact with a wide range of businesses in Hong Kong, but it is for businesses themselves to make their own judgement calls. We are concerned that a number of recent decisions by the authorities in Hong Kong are further evidence of a determined campaign to stifle opposition and silence dissent. As a signatory to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, China must abide by the legally binding commitments it made to uphold fundamental rights and freedoms, and respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years from 1997. The UK will continue to pursue an approach in Hong Kong that is rooted in our values, defends the rights of the people of Hong Kong and respects the provisions of the Joint Declaration.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential implications of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill for upholding international agreements, including the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

The Joint Declaration made clear that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms would remain unchanged for 50 years. We have not breached it and call on China not to do so.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in relation to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy; whom they have consulted as part of that Review; and when they anticipate it will be completed.

In a phased approach, Her Majesty's Government is undertaking detailed horizon-scanning, covering future trends, opportunities, risks and threats; gathering evidence and conducting policy analysis; and developing policy, capability and systems reform options.

Her Majesty's Government is engaging with external experts and wider stakeholders with an interest in our nation's security and prosperity, and the global challenges the UK will face over the coming years. This includes our allies and partners, building on an ongoing dialogue about COVID-19 response and recovery, the Devolved Administrations, civil society and external experts in the UK and overseas. Her Majesty's Government has also launched a Call for Evidence to hear from the public and stakeholders to inform the long-term strategic aims of our international policy and national security, rooted in our national interests.

The Integrated Review process remains closely aligned with the Comprehensive Spending Review, to be published in autumn. This allows the Government to ensure that departments have the resources they need to deliver the Integrated Review's conclusions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made with the Integrated Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Review; with whom they have consulted about that Review; and when they estimate that Review to be completed.

The Government paused its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy in April due to the pressing need to focus on COVID-19. We have formally recommenced the Review, building on the work done since the Review was first launched in February.

Our aim continues to be for an ambitious and bold Integrated Review that is guided by the UK's foreign policy and national security objectives.

We will be engaging with Parliament, the Devolved Administrations, external experts and wider stakeholders with an interest in our nation's security and prosperity. This includes our allies and partners, building on our ongoing dialogue on COVID-19 response and recovery.

The Government will conduct targeted engagement that will bring crucial external voices and expertise to bear in defining our ambition for the UK's role in the world and setting the country on the best possible trajectory for the future.

The Integrated Review will remain closely aligned with the Comprehensive Spending Review, to ensure that departments are equipped with the resources they need to enact the Integrated Review's conclusions. The Comprehensive Spending Review will be published in the autumn.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to coordinate an international response to support the rights of Hong Kong citizens in response to China's planned security law for Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary is engaging actively with a range of international partners to explain our position and impress on them the gravity of situation. We want to build up a groundswell of those who share our commitment to international law. We believe that is the most effective means of getting China to live up to its obligations and responsibilities as a leading member of the international community. We will also work within international institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that China upholds the commitments they made as co-signatory to the Joint Declaration. The UK and the US raised the issue at the UN Security Council on 28 May.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they have provided to the White Helmets in Syria since 1 January; and what assessment they have made of that organisation’s alleged links to terrorist groups.

The UK provided £716,000 from the Conflict Stability and Security Fund to the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, in the Financial Year 2019/2020. This funding has supported the White Helmets' emergency search and rescue work in Idlib. We assess that allegations linking the White Helmets to terrorist groups are baseless and are part of a concerted disinformation campaign by the Syrian regime and Russia seeking to undermine the White Helmets' valuable work.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made with the Integrated Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Review; and when they expect it to be completed.

Following the Chancellor's announcement that the Comprehensive Spending Review is being delayed, the Integrated Review has been paused given the pressing need to focus on COVID-19. We will return to the Integrated Review when appropriate to do so, ensuring that we engage with all relevant stakeholders.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have asked for assistance to help address the COVID-19 pandemic from countries less affected by COVID-19; and if so, what kind of assistance they have requested.

The UK is leading with partners and allies to: support an effective and co-ordinated global health response led by WHO, reinforce the resilience of vulnerable countries, pursue a vaccine, support the global economy, and enable travelling nationals to return home where necessary. The UK will work with all our international partners to achieve these objectives, including with the G7, G20, as well as the UN and other multilateral institutions, in order to galvanise a stronger global effort.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement regarding COVID-19 by the Prime Minister of France on 18 March that "if neighbouring states such as the United Kingdom spend too long continuing to avoid these containment measures, then we would have difficulty accepting British nationals who would move freely in their own country and then come to our country."

We are working closely with the international community, including the Government of France, to ensure that we respond appropriately to COVID-19. The Foreign Secretary spoke to his French counterpart, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, to discuss the international community's response to COVID-19 on 24 March.

The UK's global priority is to support the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other multilateral actors to contain COVID-19 and mitigate secondary health and socio-economic impacts. Our approach is guided by the Chief Medical Officer, working on the basis of the best possible scientific evidence.

13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they define their Global Britain policy concept.

Global Britain is this Government's vision for renewing the way in which we engage on the global stage. Leaving the EU is an opportunity for us to show what Global Britain means: A new relationship with our EU and other partners; striking trade deals with new markets, reasserting ourselves as a liberal and free trading nation; and acting with strong moral anchors, as a force for good in the world.

We want Global Britain to lead by example. Our hosting of COP26 in Glasgow demonstrates exactly this: Global Britain leading on the international stage to galvanise worldwide efforts to tackle climate change.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which Government departments are working on their Global Britain policy.

Global Britain is this Government's vision for reassessing the way in which we engage on the global stage. The Government is undertaking a thorough review of the UK's place in the world through the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review. This will be a whole of government exercise and will ensure we have a fully integrated strategy in our approach to defence, diplomacy and development.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC’s World Service as an example of the UK's soft power; and what consideration they have given to providing future direct Government funding of the World Service.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office strongly supports the BBC's mission to bring high quality and impartial news to global audiences, including where free speech is limited. As part of this, the BBC World Service brings the UK to the world, providing a link to the UK for people and communities who wouldn't otherwise have this opportunity. This is invaluable for our soft power and influence at an important time.

The British Government is investing £377m during 2016-2021 to support the BBC World Service through the World 2020 Programme, which has expanded the BBC World Service's digital, TV and audio offering. In 2019, this helped the BBC reach a global audience of 426 million people weekly (of which World Service constitutes 319m); a 50m increase on the previous year. Future funding for the Service will be determined at SR20.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made about the likelihood of the UK falling into recession during the course of this year; and what plans they have to avoid it.

Like other advanced economies, the UK is affected by global economic challenges, including the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. Support provided over the past two years has put the UK economy in a good position to deal with these challenges, with a record number of employees on payrolls and a strong economic recovery from the pandemic. Annual growth in 2021 was the fastest in the G7, and GDP data for Q1 2022 showed the UK had the joint fastest growth in the G7.

The government continues to make progress against our plan for growth to support the economy, including a landmark capital uplift in the Spending Review 2021, the creation of the UK Infrastructure Bank, more funding for apprenticeships and skills training, a commitment to double public investment in R&D, and the launch of the UK-wide Help to Grow scheme. We are also taking significant action to support households with the cost of living totalling around £37bn this year.

The Office for Budget Responsibility are the government’s official forecaster, and they will update their forecasts for UK GDP in the Autumn.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report OECD Economic Outlook, published on 8 June; and what assessment they have made of the prediction in that report that Britain will experience zero economic growth in 2023.

The OECD’s latest Economic Outlook underlines the uncertainty around the global economic outlook. The OECD forecast global growth will slow sharply this year and to remain at a subdued pace in 2023 linked to the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflationary pressures across many economies and continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The OECD estimates global growth of 3.0% in 2022 and 2.8% in 2023.

The OECD forecast that the UK economy will grow by 3.6% this year, the second fastest in the G7, while growth in 2021 was the highest of the G7 (7.4%). Looking ahead, we face challenges across the global economy – common challenges with other countries including high inflation. This is why we are taking significant action to support households with the cost of living totalling around £37bn this year. We also continue to make progress against our plan for growth to support the economy, including a landmark capital uplift in the Spending Review 2021, the creation of the UK Infrastructure Bank, more funding for apprenticeships and skills training, a commitment to double public investment in R&D, and the launch of the UK-wide Help to Grow scheme.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the conflict in Ukraine on the cost of living in the UK.

The conflict in Ukraine has affected the global economy. The government is closely monitoring developments and the channels through which they may affect the UK economy, and we remain committed to supporting businesses, people, and jobs.

The high inflation seen recently has largely been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as global supply chain disruption has pushed up goods prices, and higher global energy prices. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has added to inflationary pressures and the cost of living- it has already pushed up the prices consumers pay for fuel, some goods and is contributing to higher expected energy prices in the autumn.

We know that millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the cost of living. That is why the government is providing over £15bn of additional support, as announced by the Chancellor on 26 May 2022. This is in addition to the £22bn announced previously, with government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37bn this year.

More information on government support for the cost of living can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
19th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review their decision not to impose a windfall tax on energy companies in response to the increased cost of living.

The Government is introducing the Energy Profits Levy, a new 25% surcharge on the extraordinary profits the oil and gas sector is making.

The new Energy Profits Levy will raise around £5 billion over the next year which will go towards supporting people through the new cost of living measures announced by the Chancellor.

As part of the levy, a new tax relief is being introduced to encourage firms to invest in the UK. The new 80% Investment Allowance means businesses will overall get a 91p tax saving for every £1 they invest.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to reconsider the scheduled end of the Stamp Duty holiday on 31 March 2021.

The temporary SDLT relief was designed to create immediate momentum in a property market where property transactions fell by as much as 50 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown in March. This measure will also support the jobs of people whose employment relies on custom from the property industry, such as retailers and tradespeople.

The Government will continue to monitor the market. However, as the relief was designed to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the combined economic cost to the UK of Brexit and COVID-19.

HM Treasury does not produce forecasts of the economy or public finances.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing forecasts of the economy and public finances. Their forecasts incorporate their assessment of the economic and fiscal impact of EU exit.

On 14 April the OBR published a reference scenario assessing the potential impact of coronavirus. In this scenario GDP is assumed to fall by 35 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 before recovering in subsequent quarters. The OBR note that the Government’s policy response should help limit the long-term damage to the economy and public finances.

The economic impact of our relationship with the EU is subject to thriving public debate amongst analysts. The specifics of EU exit depend on the outcome of detailed negotiations. We will continue to keep Parliament informed with appropriate analysis at appropriate times in a way that does not impede our ability to strike the best deal for the UK.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many public sector workers have been furloughed with (1) full, and (2) reduced pay; and what is the total cost to the taxpayer of such furloughs.

It has not been possible to provide an answer to these questions as the figures requested are not readily available.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of private sector workers who have been furloughed with (1) full, and (2) reduced, pay; and what is the total cost to the taxpayer of such furloughs.

It has not been possible to provide an answer to these questions as the figures requested are not readily available.

19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many self-employed workers are on furlough with (1) full, and (2) reduced, pay; and what is the total cost to the taxpayer of such furloughs.

It has not been possible to provide an answer to these questions as the figures requested are not readily available.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase Stamp Duty Land Tax for foreign buyers.

At Spring Budget 2020, the Government announced that from April 2021, non-UK residents will be charged a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 2%.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to bring forward the start date for the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Delivery of the SEISS is a substantial operational task for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) because it requires an entirely new system to be built and tested from scratch in a matter of weeks. In early May HMRC began contacting individuals who may be eligible for the scheme, and HMRC have invited them to claim using the GOV.UK online service. This service will open on 13 May, ahead of schedule, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account?by 25 May, or within six working days?of completing a claim.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the operation of UK credit scoring agencies; and (2) reports that such agencies have closed their telephone helplines but continue to blacklist customers whilst their automated systems are not functioning effectively.

The Government recognises that the outbreak of COVID-19 may lead to consumers facing financial difficulty and uncertainty. The Government is working closely with industry, including credit reference agencies (CRAs) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the regulator responsible for CRAs – to ensure that consumers are not treated unfairly as a result of this crisis.

Some CRAs have experienced operational difficulties with respect to its telephone helplines due to a reduction in call centre capacity. CRAs’ online portals are available for customers to make any inquiries while these issues are being resolved.

17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they are planning to give to the leisure and entertainment sector, including theatres, restaurants and pubs, if any such businesses cannot claim against their insurance for any losses incurred as a result of COVID-19.

The government understands that the leisure and entertainment sectors are particularly affected by this crisis. For businesses which have a policy that covers pandemics, the government’s actions will allow them to make an insurance claim against their policy. In addition, the government is providing £10,000 grants to over 700,000 small businesses across England, and increased grants for qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up to £25,000 per property.

More generally, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect businesses and workers, including an initial £330 billion of loan guarantees. This is on top of compensation for statutory sick pay announced in the Budget. On Friday 20 March the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. Businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed.

The government stands ready to take whatever action may be necessary to support businesses through this economic and human crisis.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of what the expenditure on HS2 could otherwise have been spent on; and whether any such assessment included consideration of the number of affordable homes which could be built with the equivalent funds.

The Government is committed to delivering value for taxpayers’ money and all decisions on spending take account of a range of factors including costs, benefits, and alternatives.

The Prime Minister has now confirmed that the Government will proceed with HS2 to deliver essential North-South connectivity, greater capacity, and shorter journey times. Investment in infrastructure will level up opportunity and connectivity across the country.

The Government is also committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and has made £9bn available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 and in 2018 announced an additional £2bn beyond that. In the manifesto the government committed to renewing the Affordable Homes Programme. In 18/19, 57,485 affordable homes were completed in England, up 22% on the previous year.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
26th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of Ukrainians who have left Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion of that country; and how many have settled in the UK to date.

Information on the number of arrivals can be found in our published Homes for Ukraine data: Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme: Visa data by country, upper and lower tier local authority - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and under the Homes For Ukraine and Ukrainian Family Scheme data lists: Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) visa data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Summary table: data as received from the Home Office as at 7 June 2022

LocationSponsorNumber of visa applicationsNumber of visas issuedNumber of arrivals in the UK by sponsor location

England

Sponsored by individuals

69,065

62,662

40,085

Northern Ireland

Sponsored by individuals

1,159

993

231

Scotland

Sponsored by individuals

3,691

3,348

2,035

Sponsored by the Scottish Government

9,170

8,183

2,236

Total

12,861

11,531

4,271

Wales

Sponsored by individuals

2,839

2,538

1,609

Sponsored by the Welsh Government

3,116

2,693

590

Total

5,955

5,231

2,199

Notes to the summary table

1. These data are provisional management information from live operational systems and are subject to change. The data have not gone through the same levels of quality assurance as official statistics.

Total Ukraine Scheme visa applications received: 154,500

Data is as of 7 June 2022 and comprised of:

  • Ukraine Family Scheme: 47,300
  • Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme: 107,200

Total Ukraine Scheme visas issued to people: 124,400

Data is as of 7 June 2022 and comprised of:

  • Ukraine Family Scheme visas: 41,000
  • Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme visas: 83,400

Total arrivals of Ukraine Scheme visa-holders in the UK: 70,500

Data is as of 6 June 2022 and comprised of:

  • arrivals via Ukraine Family Scheme: 24,000
  • arrivals via Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme: 46,500
Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow Ukrainians living in the UK, regardless of their immigration status, the right to bring dependants or spouses into the UK.

As set out in the Home Secretary’s statement to the House on 1 March, a fee free, bespoke Ukraine Family Scheme has been introduced.

The route allows both the immediate family members (spouse, civil partner, durable partner, minor children) and extended family members (parent, grandparent, adult children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in laws and their immediate family) to join their relatives in the UK. The UK-based sponsoring relative must be a British citizen, a person who is present and settled in the UK (including those with settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme), a person in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection or an EEA or Swiss national in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU (pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme). This route was launched on 4 March.

Ukrainian nationals in the UK with temporary permission stay are not permitted to sponsor a relative under the Ukraine Family Scheme. However, on 18 March the Government launched the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, which enables individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, forced to escape their homeland. Ukrainian nationals’ resident in the UK with at least six months’ leave can qualify to sponsor under this scheme if they are able to offer suitable accommodation and pass security checks. Further information about the Homes for Ukraine Scheme has been published here:

https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/

Ukrainian nationals in the UK who do not hold a valid immigration status will continue to be prohibited from sponsoring a spouse or dependant to enter the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to waive visas requirements for Ukrainians fleeing war.

Russia’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign, democratic state. We stand with Ukraine.

We have already made changes to the immigration system, to support British Nationals, and those settled in the UK, and their families in Ukraine

Visas are an important security tool. There is a risk that hostile actors or other individuals with links to serious and organised crime or corruption could exploit the arrangement to travel to the UK undetected if security checks are not in place. Similarly, our visa process allows safeguarding checks to be undertaken to protect vulnerable people who will be travelling to the UK.

Due to Russia’s invasion, there are no direct travel routes from Ukraine to the UK. The safest route for people to leave Ukraine is via neighbouring countries to the West. From the safety of these countries, those escaping the war can benefit from the support we have already announced to reunite with UK-based family, or should they otherwise wish to travel to the UK.

The UK Government has an extensive visa application centre (VAC) network in neighbouring countries. Ukrainians safely in these countries can access these services and apply for visas, including the new family scheme. Capacity in those VACs has been extended and a fully online process for those with a valid Ukrainian passport has been implemented.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to prevent the illicit flow of surplus arms from the war in Ukraine into the UK.

The UK and our international partners condemn Russia’s assault on Ukraine, which is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state, and a violation of international law.

This Government is committed to tackling the threat posed by trafficking and the misuse of illicit firearms. The UK has some of the toughest firearms controls in the world. To protect public safety, the Government keeps them under constant review to safeguard against abuse by criminals and terrorists.

The Government will monitor the situation in Ukraine, using intelligence to continuously assess the threat of surplus arms being trafficked into the UK.

To tackle the flow of illicit firearms being trafficked into the UK, Border Force and its partners ensure that we have the right intelligence, detection and enforcement capabilities at the border. Alongside this, the National Crime Agency and our international partners tackle the threat upstream by engaging with source and nexus countries.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ban shotgun licences for those living in urban areas.

While the UK has some of the toughest firearms legislations in the world the Government has no plans to ban shotguns in rural or urban areas.

Following the tragic shootings in Plymouth on 12 August, the Home Secretary has, as a matter of urgency, written asking all police forces in England, Wales and Scotland to review their current firearms licensing processes set against the current Home Office guidance and legislation. This review will help to reassure people that all necessary checks have been made to keep them safe. In particular, all forces are asked to carry out a full review of all certificates that have been seized, refused, revoked or surrendered in the past twelve months, and subsequently approved by the police.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 29 November (HL Deb, col 1128), what are their reasons for believing that an accidental war with Russia "would obviously be a very negative and unwelcome outcome".

It is difficult to envisage any scenario in which war, whether accidental, thermonuclear or otherwise, and irrespective of which other parties may be involved, would be a welcome outcome. Her Majesty's Government is committed to resolving issues peacefully and diplomatically wherever possible.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 29 November (HL Deb, col 1130), what are their reasons for believing that a thermonuclear war with Russia would be an "unwelcome outcome".

It is difficult to envisage any scenario in which war, whether accidental, thermonuclear or otherwise, and irrespective of which other parties may be involved, would be a welcome outcome. Her Majesty's Government is committed to resolving issues peacefully and diplomatically wherever possible.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the remarks by Lord West of Spithead on 29 November (HL Deb, col 1130) that "the greatest risk to the survival of mankind is not global warming, it is an accidental thermonuclear war".

The UK faces a range of risks as outlined in the Integrated Review published in Spring 2021. Her Majesty's Government is at the forefront of work internationally to champion stability, to descalate the risk of nuclear conflict, and to enhance mutual trust.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 6 July (HL 1576) and her remarks on 30 June (HL Deb, col 793) that HMS Defender was “conducting an innocent passage through a stretch of water open to international navigation”, what military operation HMS Defender was engaged in on the Black Sea on 23 June.

HMS DEFENDER was in the Black Sea from 14 June - 2 July 2021 to conduct planned defence engagement activity with the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Georgia as a disaggregated unit of the Carrier Strike Group. These events focused on the UK's commitment to Black Sea security through capability demonstrations and exercising with other NATO allies and partners who operate in the Black Sea.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) on what date, and (2) at what time, they were made aware by the BBC that classified documents relating to HMS Defender’s Black Sea mission had been discovered at a Kent bus stop.

The Ministry of Defence were informed by the BBC of the discovery of documents before publication, due to the sensitivity of the material we are unable to comment on specific timelines.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the reported comments by General Sir Nick Carter that incidents such as the recent confrontation with Russia off the Crimea are giving him “sleepless nights” and are an example of where a miscalculation could come from an “unwarranted escalation”.

The Ministry of Defence conducts careful assessment of the risks associated with all operations to avoid miscalculation and unintended escalation.

With regard to HMS DEFENDER’s route through the Black Sea, freedom of navigation is a fundamental right exercised by all nations. HMS DEFENDER was conducting innocent passage, taking the most direct route from Odesa to Batumi through Ukrainian territorial waters using an internationally recognised Traffic Separation Scheme. The UK does not recognise Russian claims to the waters in question, nor do we recognise the Russian assertion that HMS DEFENDER was in violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The UK takes its Treaty obligations, including the management of operational risk, very seriously and it remains essential that all conduct is safe and professional and in accordance with international law. The Royal Navy’s presence is about cooperating with our partners and Allies to advance regional security, stability and freedom of navigation.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which media representatives were aboard HMS Defender in the Black Sea on 23 June; and what was the reason for their invitation.

The BBC and Daily Mail defence correspondents were aboard HMS Defender on 23 June. The Ministry of Defence regularly grants access for media outlets to military operations. The practice of embedding journalists on military operations has been commonplace for decades as this helps facilitate independent reporting on defence activity and matters of national and international security.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the anticipated deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific is part of a wider policy for an increase in the UK's involvement in international Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea.

The deployment of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH will demonstrate the UK's commitment to upholding a rules-based international system and showcase our world-leading carrier capability. Detailed planning continues but the Government has yet to announce its programme or destination. Once plans have been agreed, the Government will bring a statement on the deployment before Parliament.

The UK has enduring interests in the region and is committed to maintaining regional security, including asserting its rights to freedom of navigation and overflight as laid out in UNCLOS. Wherever the Royal Navy operate, they do so in full compliance with international laws and norms and exercise their rights to freedom of navigation and overflight provided for by UNCLOS.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the anticipated deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific is part of a new regional foreign policy strategy; and if so, what is that new strategy.

The Indo-Pacific region is increasingly important for the UK, as it is at the centre of global economic growth, and a region of increasing geostrategic significance. Across Government, plans are being developed for broader and deeper engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. These plans will be informed by the Integrated Review.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2020
The Senior Deputy Speaker what is his roadmap for restoring the (1) procedures, and (2) sitting patterns, in place in the House of Lords before COVID-19.

The Procedure and Privileges Committee has been meeting weekly and has made a series of changes to procedure to allow the House to sit first virtually and then as a hybrid House. We will continue to keep procedures under review and listen to feedback from members and staff. Advice from Public Health England has been central to all the Committee’s considerations and plans to return to physical sittings and procedures will depend on how and when that advice changes.

The sitting patterns of the House are a matter for the Usual Channels.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce new legislation on the regulation of property agents.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. This commitment includes raising professionalism and standards amongst property agents, protecting consumers while defending the reputation of good agents from the actions of rogue operatives. We therefore welcome the ongoing work being undertaken by the industry itself to raise professionalism and standards across the sector.

Government welcomes the work of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town as the Chair of the independent steering group on codes of practice for property agents, and we will continue to work with industry on improving best practice.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to seek a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights in order to achieve comprehensive leasehold reform.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

We will reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value.

These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease. Our reforms to enfranchisement valuation also ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment and a section 19(1)(a) Human Rights Act 1988 statement on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, introduced into Parliament on 12 May, will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by legislating to prevent landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent.

The Government considers the provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Specifically, we consider that the Bill engages with the following ECHR rights: Article 6: right to a fair trial; and Article 1 of Protocol 1: protection of property, that the proposals are compatible with the ECHR, and that any interferences can be justified.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will take into account the European Convention on Human Rights when assessing their proposals for comprehensive leasehold reform, including the abolition of marriage value.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

We will reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value.

These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease. Our reforms to enfranchisement valuation also ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment and a section 19(1)(a) Human Rights Act 1988 statement on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, introduced into Parliament on 12 May, will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by legislating to prevent landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent.

The Government considers the provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Specifically, we consider that the Bill engages with the following ECHR rights: Article 6: right to a fair trial; and Article 1 of Protocol 1: protection of property, that the proposals are compatible with the ECHR, and that any interferences can be justified.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the application of the European Convention on Human Rights to the rights of freeholders.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

We will reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value.

These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease. Our reforms to enfranchisement valuation also ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment and a section 19(1)(a) Human Rights Act 1988 statement on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, introduced into Parliament on 12 May, will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by legislating to prevent landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent.

The Government considers the provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Specifically, we consider that the Bill engages with the following ECHR rights: Article 6: right to a fair trial; and Article 1 of Protocol 1: protection of property, that the proposals are compatible with the ECHR, and that any interferences can be justified.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the claims by some large freeholders and hedge funds that the abolition of (1) ground rents, and (2) marriage value, will breach their human and property rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

We will reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value.

These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease. Our reforms to enfranchisement valuation also ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment and a section 19(1)(a) Human Rights Act 1988 statement on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, introduced into Parliament on 12 May, will make homeownership fairer and more transparent for thousands of future leaseholders, by legislating to prevent landlords under new residential long leases from requiring a leaseholder to pay a financial ground rent.

The Government considers the provisions of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill are compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Specifically, we consider that the Bill engages with the following ECHR rights: Article 6: right to a fair trial; and Article 1 of Protocol 1: protection of property, that the proposals are compatible with the ECHR, and that any interferences can be justified.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of leaseholders who will be able to afford extending their leaseholds by 990 years.

Long leases provide long term security for leaseholders and save them money by avoiding the need for multiple lease extensions


The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Our reforms seek to achieve this, by taking account of the legitimate rights of freeholders but addressing historic imbalance to ensure fairness for leaseholders. We will continue to ensure we meet this objective as we bring forward reforms.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact that proposals to extend leases to a minimum of 990 years could have on the interests of freeholders.

Long leases provide long term security for leaseholders and save them money by avoiding the need for multiple lease extensions


The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Our reforms seek to achieve this, by taking account of the legitimate rights of freeholders but addressing historic imbalance to ensure fairness for leaseholders. We will continue to ensure we meet this objective as we bring forward reforms.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the affordability of leaseholders extending their leases by 990 years.

Long leases provide long term security for leaseholders and save them money by avoiding the need for multiple lease extensions


The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Our reforms seek to achieve this, by taking account of the legitimate rights of freeholders but addressing historic imbalance to ensure fairness for leaseholders. We will continue to ensure we meet this objective as we bring forward reforms.

In line with usual practice, the Government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 11 January (HCWS695), whether leaseholders will retain the right to extend their leases by 90 years.

The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Through our reforms the length of a statutory lease extension will increase to 990 years, replacing the current 90 years for flats and 50 years for houses. Long leases provide long term security for leaseholders now and in the future and save money by avoiding the need for multiple lease extensions.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of their proposed leasehold reforms on the break-up of large freehold estates in major cities like London.

The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Our reforms seek to achieve this, by taking account of the legitimate rights of freeholders but addressing historic imbalance to ensure fairness for leaseholders. We will continue to ensure we meet this objective as we bring forward reforms.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact that the extension of leases by 990 years by all leaseholders in a block of flats would have on the viability of commonhold.

The Government will establish a new Commonhold Council as a partnership of industry, leaseholders and Government that will prepare homeowners and the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold


Long leases provide long term security for leaseholders now and in the future and save money by avoiding the need for multiple lease extensions. Through our reforms, the length of a statutory lease extension will increase to 990 years, from 90 years (for flats) and 50 years (for houses). Leaseholders will be able to extend their lease as often as they wish with zero ground rent.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Lord Greenhalgh on 5 January (HL Deb, col 11), whether they plan to introduce legislation relating to leasehold reform by 2022.

The Government remains committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

Legislation will be brought forward in the second session of Parliament, to set future ground rents to zero. This is the first part of seminal two-part reforming legislation in this Parliament. We will bring forward a response to the remaining Law Commission recommendations, including commonhold, in due course.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reform the leasehold system of ownership during 2021.

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions


We are also working with the Law Commission to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper – and to reinvigorate Commonhold to provide consumers with a choice of tenure and the Right to Manage to help empower those that wish to, to take on management responsibilities for their properties.

This is a long-term reform programme; it is complex with many interdependencies and will take time to get the detail right. Once it is enacted the effect will be felt for generations and so we are determined this work considers all the implications with care. We will bring forward leasehold legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC Panorama investigation into (1) shared ownership schemes, and (2) abuses of the leasehold system.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service


We have confirmed the new model for Shared Ownership which will be more consumer friendly, easier to access and fairer, leading to a better experience for a future generation of shared owners. We have lowered the minimum share to 10%, introduced manageable 1% staircasing and introduced a 10 year period during which the landlord will support the shared owner with the cost of repairs.

We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions.

We are also working with the Law Commission to make extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper – and to reinvigorate Commonhold to provide consumers with a choice of tenure and the Right to Manage to help empower those that wish to, to take on management responsibilities for their properties.

In January this year the Law Commission published their first of four reports, on the valuation aspects of enfranchisement, and on 21 July the Law Commission published a further three reports on the remaining aspects of enfranchisement as well as Commonhold and Right to Manage. Details can be found (attached)here: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/residential-leasehold-and-commonhold/. We will be publishing further details of how Government will take forward reform across these key policy issues as soon as possible.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate for leasehold reform.

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions, and improve information for prospective buyers.

We will bring forward legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide homes to homeless people in the UK.

This Government is clear that no one should be without a roof over their head. In 2020/2021 we are providing a further £437 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.?This marks a £69 million increase in funding from the previous year.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes in a wide range of tenures, including Social Rent. This helps us prevent people from falling into homelessness while also supporting more people into homeownership.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 464,500?new affordable homes, including over?331,800?affordable homes for rent.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what studies they have commissioned on the benefits of establishing additional social housing units to (1) the economy, (2) crime levels, and (3) regional inequality.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes in a wide range of tenures, including Social Rent. This includes an additional £2 billion, and the ability for Local Authorities and Housing Associations to bid for funding to build social rent homes.

Since 2010 we have delivered over 464,000 new affordable homes, including 141,000 social homes across England. The social housing waiting list has decreased by 37 per cent since 2012, enabling more people to have the security of their own home.

We will also engage HM Treasury to renew the Affordable Homes Programme, building hundreds of thousands of new homes for a range of people in different places. This will help us prevent people from falling into homelessness while also supporting more people into homeownership.

We listen to the needs of tenants and in 2018 published A New Deal for Social Housing, moving forwards with the upcoming Social Housing White Paper. The White Paper will set out measures to empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes. This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing

We also engage research and evidence to inform our policy decisions on housing. In 2018 a literature review was commissioned from The Centre for Housing Policy at York University. This review of social housing considered current policies and public attitudes, as well as developments in reducing crime levels, area deprivation and helping to keep residents out of poverty. The review may be found (attached) at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/136236/1/MHCLG_Green_Paper_Review.pdf

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to build 300,000 affordable homes a year.

Boosting supply is one of the best things we can do to tackle affordability. We’ve delivered over 1.5 million new homes since 2010, and last year saw the highest level of delivery in over 30 years (241,000 new homes).

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver approximately 250,000 new affordable homes in a wide range of tenures, including Social Rent. We are committed to renewing Programme beyond the current end date to further support our work bring more people into home ownership, and prevent people from falling into homelessness.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 464,500 new affordable homes in total, including those funded by the Affordable Homes Programme. Of these, over 331,800 were affordable homes for rent.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 31 March (HL7587), which (1) retired judges who served in courts in England or Wales, or (2) British citizens, continue to serve as judges in Hong Kong's judicial system, if any.

There are six retired UK judges who on 31 March, issued a statement confirming their continued participation as Non- Permanent Members on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.

  • Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
  • Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
  • Lord Sumption
  • Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
  • Lord Collins of Mapesbury
  • Lord Hoffmann
Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
31st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the resignation of Lord Reed of Allermuir and Lord Patrick Hodge from the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong, which judges who sit in courts in England and Wales are also working as part of Hong Kong's judicial system.

There are no serving judges who sit in courts England and Wales who participate as judges in Hong Kong’s judicial system.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)