Lord Jackson of Peterborough Portrait

Lord Jackson of Peterborough

Conservative - Peterborough

Became Member: 16th November 2022


Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Public Accounts Committee
7th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Public Accounts Committee
27th Feb 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
6th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Regulatory Reform
12th Jul 2005 - 6th May 2010
Opposition Whip (Commons)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th Oct 2008
Health and Social Care Committee
11th Dec 2006 - 17th Jul 2007


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12th March 2024
16:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 152 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 159
Speeches
Monday 19th February 2024
Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill
My Lords, I am listening carefully to the noble Lord. In all sincerity, what is the difference between a foreign, …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Abortion: Statistics
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 9 February (HL2132) where they stated …
Early Day Motions
Monday 26th October 2015
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
That the draft Peterborough (Electoral Changes) Order 2015, which was laid before this House on 13 July 2015, be not …
Bills
Wednesday 31st October 2012
European Union Free Movement Directive 2004 (Disapplication) Bill 2012-13
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Wednesday 15th June 2016
150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF THE POSITION OF COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL
That this House commemorates the 150th anniversary of the creation of the position of Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), an …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Jackson of Peterborough has voted in 156 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

4 Dec 2023 - Windsor Framework (Retail Movement Scheme: Public Health, Marketing and Organic Product Standards and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2023 - View Vote Context
Lord Jackson of Peterborough voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 12 Noes - 65
View All Lord Jackson of Peterborough 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 Markham (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(9 debate interactions)
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(7 debate interactions)
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Scotland Office
(17 debate contributions)
Home Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Jackson of Peterborough's debates

Lords initiatives

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


1 Bill introduced by Lord Jackson of Peterborough


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to disapply the European Union Free Movement Directive 2004/38/EC; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 31st October 2012

Lord Jackson of Peterborough has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


109 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
14th Dec 2023
To ask the Leader of the House why Written Questions HL660 and HL661, tabled on 28 November, have not been answered after 10 working days.

As Leader of the House of Lords I have reiterated to all Departments the importance of adhering to the 10 day target for responses to questions for written answer. My office has been in close contact with the Department for Health and Social Care’s Parliamentary Team to ascertain why HL660 and HL661 went unanswered. They have now confirmed that they have been answered. The Permanent Secretary has previously reassured me that the department is working to return performance to pre-pandemic levels. As this issue has persisted I am writing again to the Permanent Secretary to highlight the lack of improvement.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with the Crown Prosecution Service on responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in an informative and expeditious manner.

The Attorney General’s Office has not had any discussions with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 in an informative and expeditious manner.

The CPS processes FOI requests independently and in accordance with the requirements of the FOIA 2000.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what legal costs they have incurred to date as a result of their decision to seek a judicial review on the application of the Inquiries Act 2005 to the Covid-19 Inquiry.

We do not yet have a figure for the costs incurred. We brought this judicial review to seek clarification on a point of law and we are pleased that the Court agreed that there was an important legal question to consider.

It acknowledged our concerns over respecting the privacy of individuals and ensuring that completely irrelevant information is returned and not retained.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they are providing to the Eastern Powerhouse to support the improvement of connectivity, infrastructure, and economic activity in the East of England.

The Government is committed to supporting the East of England to grow and prosper.

The Spring Budget reaffirmed our support for East-West Rail, building on significant investment in schemes such as the A14 and A11 upgrades. The region has been a particular focus for the devolution agenda and, in addition to those commitments, is receiving over £500m of investment from the levelling up and towns funds and benefitting from Government support for Freeport East and the Thames Freeport.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the review of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards with respect to reconfiguring Energy Performance Certificate ratings for residential properties which are to be let.

The Government has carefully analysed the responses received to the consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes and is considering how best to ensure any new minimum energy efficiency standards are fair and proportionate to landlords and tenants. The Government will publish a summary of responses by the end of the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in determining whether suicide and self-harm prevention will be included in their guidance on relationships, sex and health education as an explicit part of the curriculum, in particular to support young people to spot the signs of, and seek appropriate support for, cases of suicidal ideation.

​The department is currently reviewing the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory guidance. In July 2023, as part of the review, the department held a workshop with teachers. The former Minister for Schools also chaired roundtable meetings with a panel of experts and with families to explore the inclusion of suicide prevention in the curriculum.

The department will publish an amended draft of the statutory guidance for consultation at the earliest opportunity. The department will consider responses carefully before publishing the final revised guidance in 2024.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate to give parents and guardians the right to view all material used in teaching Relationship, Health and Sex Education curricula, including lessons and activities delivered by external contractors or partners.

The existing statutory guidance for relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) already places clear responsibilities on schools to engage parents about the content of lessons so that they know what their children are being taught. The department is clear that parents have a right to view teaching materials and that copyright law does not prevent a parent from viewing external resources on school premises. The department will be writing to schools shortly to confirm this position and that schools should not use external providers who would restrict their ability to do this.

On 8 March, the Prime Minister announced that the government had brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance. This will enable the Department to consider the evidence and decide whether the provisions in the guidance need to be strengthened further to ensure that schools are fully transparent with parents.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they provide to schools and Local Education Authorities on their application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and in particular with regard to any parent's request to access information on Relationships and Sex Education curricula delivered by external contractors and providers.

Schools are responsible for what is taught in Relationship, Health and Sex Education (RHSE) lessons, including anything taught by external providers. Schools should agree reasonable requests from parents to view curriculum materials. We would expect schools to avoid entering into any agreement that seeks to prevent them from ensuring parents can be made properly aware of the materials that are being used to teach their children. The department will soon be writing to schools to clarify this.

Regarding Government providing advice on the application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, local authorities and schools are public authorities in their own right for the purposes of the FOIA. This means that they must make their own decisions on how they should respond to specific FOIs they receive, including any from parents requesting access to information on Relationships and Sex Education curricula delivered by external contractors and providers. Accordingly, the department does not advise schools or local authorities on the responses that they should provide to such requests.

The Information Commissioner’s Office makes guidance on the application of the FOIA available to all public authorities. This guidance is available at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the construction of new reservoirs in England.

Defra recently published its Plan for Water which set out the importance of ensuring a clean and plentiful water supply. The Plan sets out our commitment to a twin track approach to improving water resilience, with action to reduce water company leaks alongside investing in new supply infrastructure including reservoirs. The Government also supports the Agricultural sector with its Water Management Grant, under the Farming Transformation Fund, for the construction of new on-farm reservoirs. We aim to launch a third round of the grant next year in 2024.

Regional water resources groups and water companies have consulted on their draft water resources plans. These statutory plans set out how each company will secure water supplies sustainably for at least the next 25 years. The draft water resources management plans contain proposals for multiple new schemes by 2050, including nine new reservoirs, as well as the expansion of some existing reservoirs.

Water companies are also using the £469 million made available by Ofwat in the period 2020-2025, to develop strategic water resources options required to improve the resilience water supplies. In April 2023, Ofwat announced that water companies are bringing forward £2.2bn for new water infrastructure, starting in the next two years, with £350 million worth of investment in water resilience schemes.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage (1) National Highways, (2) principal local authorities, (3) the Environment Agency, and (4) private landowners, to put in place measures to reduce littering and fly tipping on (a) roadsides, (b) slip roads, and (c) embankments adjacent to trunk roads, in England.

The Department for Transport (DfT) works closely with National Highways to ensure the Strategic Road Network is predominantly free from litter, without compromising safety. National Highways aims to influence littering behaviour, and improve operations, responsiveness to road user feedback and partnership-working with local authorities. National Highways performance is also reported to DfT and the Office of Rail and Road through a litter performance indicator.

Defra is supporting councils to tackle litter and fly-tipping such as by bolstering their enforcement powers (including where litter is thrown from a vehicle) and in recent years, providing grant funding for local interventions. These grants include nearly £1 million across 44 councils in 2021 to help them purchase litter bins and over £400,000 across 11 councils in 2022 to reduce fly-tipping using equipment such as CCTV. We have also committed to awarding a further £800,000 in grants in 2023 to help more councils tackle fly-tipping.

In 2022, Defra published a report on litter on the Strategic Road Network which highlighted good practice. Next steps on tackling the issue were outlined in our most recent Litter Strategy Annual Report, including how to ensure better collaboration between National Highways and local authorities.

Defra continues to chair the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group, made up a wide range of interested bodies including the Environment Agency, organisations representing private landowners and local authorities, to promote and disseminate good practice with regards to preventing fly-tipping, including on private land.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Manchester Airports Group regarding its ambition to develop new long-haul airline routes from Stansted airport as a means of driving growth in the region.

Ministers and officials regularly meet with Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to discuss a range of issues. Where opportunities for new commercial flights exist, airports and other stakeholders can work together to establish the case for commercial flights and work with airline partners to create new connections for their communities.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) train operating companies, and (2) other stakeholders, on improving rail services to Stansted airport.

Officials meet regularly with the owners of Stansted Airport, Manchester Airport Group, and attend the annual Stansted Airport Surface Access Forum, along with other stakeholders.

Officials also engage regularly with Greater Anglia and CrossCountry about Stansted Airport services.

As a result, off-peak and weekend Stansted Express services doubled from December 2023 to give a 15-minute frequency to London.

The aspiration for full hourly CrossCountry services from Birmingham to Stansted Airport should be met when resources allow.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the airline industry regarding the expansion of long haul routes from Stansted Airport as a means of driving economic prosperity in the wider eastern England.

Department for Transport Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with airlines, airports and international partners to facilitate global connectivity. Air services between the United Kingdom and other countries are governed by a portfolio of bilateral air services agreements, which set the framework in which airlines from both countries operate. Officials continually review these agreements to ensure they remain up to date and meet the needs of airlines and airports, including Stansted Airport.

However, it is for individual airlines to determine whether to take advantage of the rights and routes available to them within any air services agreement.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the efficacy of the Midlands Expressway toll road.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has a concession agreement with Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) to operate the M6 Toll. Under the terms of the contract, MEL owns and operates the M6 Toll at its own risk with limited contractual oversight from DfT.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the dualling of the A47 from Peterborough to Kings Lynn.

The Government recognises the need to improve the A47 in the East of England. That is why we are already delivering a number of schemes to improve it as part of RIS2. We are also considering the case for further improvements as part of future strategies, informed principally by National Highways evidence-led Route Strategies process.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 9 February (HL2132) where they stated that they are "inviting views from third parties on abortion statistics for England and Wales, including the future publication of abortion complications data", how they intend to (1) collect, (2) collate, (3) analyse, and (4) respond, to that data; and how they intend to share that information more widely to allow parliamentarians to scrutinise and measure the efficacy of current policy on telemedicine.

The statistics used in the publication Complications from abortions in England are official statistics in development. In accordance with the Office for Statistics Regulation’s guidance, we have ensured that users are involved and can contribute to the future of this publication. We are currently collecting feedback via two methods: an anonymous online form; and our abortion statistics mailbox. Both are publicly advertised online, and anyone is welcome to respond.

We will collate and analyse feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that we take account of the opinions of those using our statistics, as we develop them. Collation and analysis will be undertaken in line with the Government’s statistical standards.

Finally, the Office for Statistics Regulation advises a proportionate approach to feedback that is targeted on gathering the required information, which is why we have implemented the mentioned collection methods. The aim of these collection methods is to inform and update our abortion publications, and we do not plan on sharing this feedback externally.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 30 January (HL1523), what assessment they have made of the impact of the fact that analysis of abortion complications data published by the Department comparing (1) Abortion Notification System data on complications arising from at home medical abortions, and (2) Hospital Episode Statistics inpatient admissions data on abortion complications does not include treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings following discharge from the abortion service.

No assessment has been made, as high-quality data on outpatient treatment for abortion complications is not available. The analysis reviewed Abortion Notification System and Hospital Episode Statistics data on complications for all abortions. It did not specifically analyse data for complications following at home early medical abortions as Hospital Episode Statistics data on abortion complications does not record where the abortion was performed. Data completion on treatment of women as outpatients following a termination is considerably lower than the data for inpatient treatment. Including the incomplete outpatient data available in our analysis would have produced inaccurate results for this population.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how the policy of not collecting data on complications, via Abortion Notification System and Hospital Episode Statistics, arising from at home medical abortions after the patient’s discharge from the care of the abortion service, accords with the commitment to collect empirical data to women’s improve health outcomes as outlined in the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy for England.

The Women’s Health Strategy sets out our ambitions to make better use of data already collected, and to address gaps in women’s health data to improve women’s health outcomes.

The Department routinely publishes data on abortion complications reported via the Abortion Notification System. In addition, the Department committed to publishing a one-time analysis exploring whether Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) can be used as a supplementary source for data on abortion complications. The HES data in the publication includes abortion complications arising from any abortion which resulted in an inpatient admission.

The Department is now inviting views from third parties on abortion statistics for England and Wales, including the future publication of abortion complications data, via an online user engagement survey and via email.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 22 January (HL1523), whether the complication rates following the introduction of home use of early medical abortion pills would change if the outpatient treatment of complications were included in the statistics.

The analysis of abortion complications data published by the Department compares Abortion Notification System (ANS) data on complications known to the abortion provider at the time of the patient’s discharge from the abortion service, and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) inpatient admissions data on abortion complications. It is not recorded on ANS whether the complications reported required inpatient or outpatient treatment.

The analysis does not include HES data on the treatment of women as outpatients following a termination. This is because HES data completeness is considerably higher for inpatient data than outpatient and accident and emergency data. Including the incomplete outpatient data in our analysis would have produced inaccurate results for this population.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 22 January (HL1523), whether the complication rates referenced include the treatment of women as outpatients following telemedicine abortion complications arising from home use of early medical abortion pills.

The analysis of abortion complications data published by the Department compares Abortion Notification System (ANS) data on complications known to the abortion provider at the time of the patient’s discharge from the abortion service, and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) inpatient admissions data on abortion complications. It is not recorded on ANS whether the complications reported required inpatient or outpatient treatment.

The analysis does not include HES data on the treatment of women as outpatients following a termination. This is because HES data completeness is considerably higher for inpatient data than outpatient and accident and emergency data. Including the incomplete outpatient data in our analysis would have produced inaccurate results for this population.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government to what they attribute the increase in the number of paper HSA4 forms being submitted in respect of information on medical abortions since the relevant amendments to the Abortion Act 1967 in 2022.

The increase in the number of paper HSA4 forms in recent years is due to a number of factors, including an ongoing trend of increasing numbers of abortions performed annually since 2017. The Department has worked with abortion providers to encourage the submission of notifications electronically.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what methodology they are using to measure the efficacy and impact on women’s health of the 2022 changes to the Abortion Act 1967, permitting early medical termination of pregnancy taking place in the patient's home.

The Department works closely with NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and abortion providers to ensure that abortions, including home use of medical abortion pills, are provided safely in accordance with the legal framework set by the Abortion Act 1967. Recently published data does not show an increase in abortion complications following the introduction of home use. The complication rates for Abortion Notification System and Hospital Episodes Statistics data remains similar both before and after the introduction of home use of early medical abortion pills.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what (1) clinical, or (2) other, advice, including that from abortion providers, they received prior to their decision not to release the abortion statistics comparing data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics on an annual basis; and what was the evidential rationale for that decision.

The 2023 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales will not be published concurrently with 2022 statistics due to the need to collect, analyse and quality assure 2023 data. Work on this analysis will begin after publication of the 2022 statistics.

Publication of the 2022 statistics has been delayed due to a number of significant reasons, including issues associated with moving to a new data processing system, ongoing technical issues with the aspects of the system, and a significant increase in the number of paper HSA4 forms being submitted. Other factors that have delayed publication of the full 2022 statistics include an increased workload following the introduction of longer paper and electronic forms to collect additional information about medical abortion following the amendment of the Abortion Act in 2022 to permit home use of early medical abortion pills up to 10 weeks gestation.

As an interim step, the Department published abortion statistics covering the first six months of 2022 in June 2023.

The report comparing abortion complications data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics was an experimental one-time publication. It was not the intention that this would become an annual publication. No clinical or other advice was sought prior to this decision. However, the Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales via an online user engagement survey as well as via email. We welcome responses on all aspects of abortion statistics, including future of publication of abortion complications data.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 18 December (HL660), what are the operational reasons for not publishing the abortion statistics for 2022 in England and Wales until April 2024.

The 2023 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales will not be published concurrently with 2022 statistics due to the need to collect, analyse and quality assure 2023 data. Work on this analysis will begin after publication of the 2022 statistics.

Publication of the 2022 statistics has been delayed due to a number of significant reasons, including issues associated with moving to a new data processing system, ongoing technical issues with the aspects of the system, and a significant increase in the number of paper HSA4 forms being submitted. Other factors that have delayed publication of the full 2022 statistics include an increased workload following the introduction of longer paper and electronic forms to collect additional information about medical abortion following the amendment of the Abortion Act in 2022 to permit home use of early medical abortion pills up to 10 weeks gestation.

As an interim step, the Department published abortion statistics covering the first six months of 2022 in June 2023.

The report comparing abortion complications data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics was an experimental one-time publication. It was not the intention that this would become an annual publication. No clinical or other advice was sought prior to this decision. However, the Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales via an online user engagement survey as well as via email. We welcome responses on all aspects of abortion statistics, including future of publication of abortion complications data.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 18 December (HL661), why the 2022 and 2023 abortion statistics for England and Wales will not be published concurrently in April 2024.

The 2023 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales will not be published concurrently with 2022 statistics due to the need to collect, analyse and quality assure 2023 data. Work on this analysis will begin after publication of the 2022 statistics.

Publication of the 2022 statistics has been delayed due to a number of significant reasons, including issues associated with moving to a new data processing system, ongoing technical issues with the aspects of the system, and a significant increase in the number of paper HSA4 forms being submitted. Other factors that have delayed publication of the full 2022 statistics include an increased workload following the introduction of longer paper and electronic forms to collect additional information about medical abortion following the amendment of the Abortion Act in 2022 to permit home use of early medical abortion pills up to 10 weeks gestation.

As an interim step, the Department published abortion statistics covering the first six months of 2022 in June 2023.

The report comparing abortion complications data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics was an experimental one-time publication. It was not the intention that this would become an annual publication. No clinical or other advice was sought prior to this decision. However, the Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales via an online user engagement survey as well as via email. We welcome responses on all aspects of abortion statistics, including future of publication of abortion complications data.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage the (1) consistent, and (2) timely, provision of inpatient physiotherapy in acute district hospitals for older patients with frailty syndrome.

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), in conjunction with the British Geriatrics Society, published Six Steps to Better Care for Older People in Acute Hospitals, which accompanies the GIRFT hospital acute care frailty pathway. A copy of the document is attached.

The acute care pathway recommends that all older patients admitted to hospital as an emergency are assessed for their degree of frailty using a standardised assessment, namely the Clinical Frailty Scale. For patients identified as living with moderate or severe frailty, the pathway recommends a multidomain assessment, namely the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment, and links this to functional optimisation, which would commonly include physiotherapy assessment supporting recovery or maintenance of mobility.

Ongoing support to patients to prevent hospital-acquired deconditioning should be supported by the whole ward team after physiotherapists have recommended appropriate intervention.

The Six Steps to Better Care guidance makes similar recommendations for older patients admitted to hospital for planned care. As part of GIRFT's ongoing review and support, implementation of these recommendations is reviewed at individual hospital trusts, including the staffing levels of older person multidisciplinary teams, which include physiotherapists.

In addition, GIRFT recommends the development of Advanced Care Practitioners (ACPs) specialising in frailty. Some trusts have development programmes to support training of ACPs, although there is variation in provision.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the reporting of Hospital Episode Statistics on abortion complications treated at NHS hospitals, as published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities on 23 November, is made part of that Office's routine annual reporting of abortion statistics in England and Wales.

The recent release of statistics comparing data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics was an ad hoc official statistics in development publication, formerly known as experimental statistics. There are currently no plans to issue a similar publication annually.

The Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales via an online user engagement survey and via email at abortion.statistics@dhsc.gov.uk.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to instruct the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to regularly and expeditiously report the Hospital Episode Statistics on abortion complications that are treated on an outpatient basis at NHS A&E departments.

The recent release of statistics comparing data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics was an ad hoc official statistics in development publication, formerly known as experimental statistics. There are currently no plans to issue a similar publication annually.

The Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales via an online user engagement survey and via email at abortion.statistics@dhsc.gov.uk.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the abortion statistics for England and Wales for 2022 have been delayed and will not be published until April 2024.

There are no plans to publish 2023 abortion statistics for England and Wales concurrently with the 2022 statistics in April 2024. Following publication of the 2022 statistics, we will move forward with plans to publish abortion statistics for 2023.

The publication of the abortion statistics for England and Wales for 2022 has been delayed due to several operational issues. These include issues associated with moving to a new data processing system and an increase in the number of paper abortion notification forms to process.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the 2023 abortion statistics for England and Wales will be published concurrently with the 2022 statistics in April 2024.

There are no plans to publish 2023 abortion statistics for England and Wales concurrently with the 2022 statistics in April 2024. Following publication of the 2022 statistics, we will move forward with plans to publish abortion statistics for 2023.

The publication of the abortion statistics for England and Wales for 2022 has been delayed due to several operational issues. These include issues associated with moving to a new data processing system and an increase in the number of paper abortion notification forms to process.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many breaches of the Care Quality Commission’s Termination of Pregnancy Framework as applied to independent providers have been (1) recorded, and (2) acted on, by the Care Quality Commission in each quarter since March 2020.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many patients have been referred to specialist services where independent abortion providers have reason to suspect someone has experienced abuse prior to, and including their having accessed, at-home medical abortion, in each quarter since March 2020.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of staff training aimed at recognising the signs of potential abuse and coercion arising from at-home medical abortion.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 25 July (HL8598), why the HSA4 form does not capture complications arising after the time of discharge for either at-home medical abortion or other patients.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 24 August (HL9115), what are the (1) aims, and (2) terms of reference, of the departmental project to better understand the data collected in clinical settings in respect of the HSA4 forms for recording complications arising from medical terminations; and when the impact of this project will be measured and evaluated.

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

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have plans to introduce legislation which facilitates the improvement of parental rights in respect of seeking a second medical opinion of the treatment of their children or legal equivalent, across all clinical settings.

The Department is actively considering how this proposal can be developed and implemented in the National Health Service. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Steve Barclay MP) has asked the Patient Safety Commissioner to convene NHS England and others to urgently consider this matter in detail and to make recommendations.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 24 August (HL9115), why they have no plans to update Required Standard Operating Procedures for collecting information on medical complications associated with women accessing home-use early medical abortions; and on what evidence this decision has been made.

The purpose of the Required Standard Operating Procedures (RSOPs) is to set out the relevant legislation and make explicit the conditions and requirements for all independent sector places to be approved for undertaking termination of pregnancy.

In accordance with the Abortion Act 1967 and the Abortion Regulations 1991, all abortions performed in England must be notified to the Chief Medical Officer within 14 days. Any complication known at that time should be recorded on the HSA4 abortion notification form. This requirement is clearly stated in the RSOPs.

Complications recorded in other patient record systems such as Hospital Episodes Statistics, where the woman has attended a health service after being discharged, are beyond the scope of the RSOPs.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Care Quality Commission regarding reports about its inquiry into the activities of the Gender Plus organisation, given the interim findings of the Cass Review and the use of puberty blockers and hormones for children and young people with gender identity issues.

The Department has regular discussions with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about a variety of topics, including but not limited to issues regarding gender identity services.

As an independent regulator, it is for the CQC to determine whether a private organisation is carrying out a regulated activity and whether any investigation is warranted. It is a legal requirement to register with the CQC if a provider is carrying out regulated activities, and the CQC has the power to investigate whether providers are doing this.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they ensure that abortion providers offer appropriate staffing levels and training to safeguard vulnerable women who access home-use early medical abortion and may be subject to coercion to end a pregnancy.

Safeguarding is an essential aspect of abortion care. The Department has recently strengthened its expectations of providers around safeguarding in the Required Standard Operating Procedures for approved independent sector abortion providers in England (RSOPs).

The RSOPs include the requirement that all abortion providers have effective arrangements in place to safeguard vulnerable women accessing home-use early medical abortion who may be experiencing coercion to end a pregnancy. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse and coercion and know how to respond.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects against all the Department’s RSOPs when it inspects an independent sector provider, and safeguarding procedures are included in the CQC’s Termination of Pregnancy inspection framework as areas to be considered during an inspection.

As commissioners of abortion care, NHS England and integrated care boards are responsible for ensuring abortion providers have appropriate staffing levels and that staff are trained to meet safeguarding requirements.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 4 July (HL 8691), what measures they have in place to evaluate the effectiveness of abortion providers’ ability to safeguard vulnerable women, who may experience coercion to end a pregnancy, from accessing home-use early medical abortion.

Safeguarding is an essential aspect of abortion care. The Department has recently strengthened its expectations of providers around safeguarding in the Required Standard Operating Procedures for approved independent sector abortion providers in England (RSOPs).

The RSOPs include the requirement that all abortion providers have effective arrangements in place to safeguard vulnerable women accessing home-use early medical abortion who may be experiencing coercion to end a pregnancy. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse and coercion and know how to respond.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects against all the Department’s RSOPs when it inspects an independent sector provider, and safeguarding procedures are included in the CQC’s Termination of Pregnancy inspection framework as areas to be considered during an inspection.

As commissioners of abortion care, NHS England and integrated care boards are responsible for ensuring abortion providers have appropriate staffing levels and that staff are trained to meet safeguarding requirements.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to update the Department of Health and Social Care’s Required Standard Operating Procedures for approved independent sector abortion providers to collect data on medical complications arising from women accessing home-use early medical abortions, presented across all clinical settings, to measure the efficacy of the present policy on telemedicine.

The Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures for the approval of independent sector places for termination of pregnancy in England (RSOPs) were last updated in March 2023. The RSOPs are kept under review and are updated as required, for example due to changes in abortion legislation, or if issues are identified which need to be addressed.

The RSOPS are also reviewed, in liaison with key stakeholders such as the Care Quality Commission, prior to the renewal of the Secretary of State’s approval of all currently approved independent sector abortion clinics, which happens every 4 years (all clinics are currently approved until 31 July 2026). However, there are presently no plans to update the RSOPs to include expectations around the collection of data on medical complications.

Known complications resulting from legal abortions in England and Wales are recorded on the HSA4 form up until the patient has been discharged from the abortion service. For medical terminations where either one or both stages of the treatment were administered at the patient’s usual place of residence, complications are less likely to be known by the provider and recorded on the HSA4. Complications are also recorded in other patient record systems such as Hospital Episodes Statistics, where the woman has attended a health service after being discharged.

To improve the quality of data available on abortion complications, the Department is taking forward a project to improve our understanding of the data.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Cass Review’s interim report on gender identity services for children and young people, published in February 2022, what plans they have, if any, to require the Gender Identity Development Service, under the auspices of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, to cease operations immediately.

There are no plans to cease operations immediately. We have been clear that the GIDS clinic at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will come to a managed closed by March 2024. This is to manage the complexity of the change whilst ensuring continuity of care for those patients already being seen at the clinic. Since April, the clinic has stopped offering new first appointments to patients on the waiting list. Any patients not discharged by March 2024 will be transferred to new services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure abortion providers are accountable for verifying that abortion pills sent by post are issued only to women within the legal time limit for such pills.

The Abortion Act now requires that, in relation to early medical abortion, the doctor terminating a pregnancy must be of the opinion, formed in good faith, that the pregnancy is not beyond 10 weeks. This opinion is formed following a consultation with the woman concerned. If a woman is not sure of her gestation, or if the doctor is concerned about health issues, she will be asked to attend a clinic. This certification must be recorded on form EMA1 or a similar certificate and must be kept for three years from the date on which the medicine for the treatment of the pregnancy is prescribed.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their assessment of any dangers for vulnerable women presented by the lack of in-person consultations before dispensing abortion pills by post, and the risk of offences under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 being committed by a third party coercing a pregnancy termination.

The Department recognises safeguarding as an essential aspect of abortion care. As stated in the Department’s Required Standard Operating Procedures for approved independent sector abortion providers, we expect all abortion providers to have effective arrangements in place to safeguard vulnerable women accessing home-use early medical abortion who may be experiencing coercion to end a pregnancy. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse and coercion in adult women and know how to respond. We also require providers to have protocols for onward referral to specialist services where they have reason to suspect someone has experienced abuse.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to measure the efficacy of (1) section 178 of the Health and Social Care Act 2022, and (2) the Abortion (Amendment) Regulations 2022, with respect to the health and welfare of women presenting with clinical complications across all NHS clinical settings after having accessed medication via telemedicine.

There are no plans to measure the efficacy of Section 178 of the Health and Care Act 2022 and the Abortion (Amendment) Regulations 2022 with respect to complications following telemedicine.

In accordance with the Abortion Act 1967, all abortions performed in England must be notified to the Chief Medical Officer within 14 days. Any complication known at the time the notification is submitted should be recorded on the HSA4 abortion notification form. The HSA4 form does not capture complications arising after the time of discharge for either at-home medical abortion or other patients.

To improve the quality of data available on abortion complications, the Department are taking forward a project to improve our understanding of the data available on abortion complications.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support (1) research, and (2) clinical interventions in all NHS settings, to facilitate a reduction in the incidence of spontaneous coronary artery dissection.

The Department is funding research on spontaneous coronary artery disease through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre are investigating the genetic risks of Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection to improve treatment and prevention of the condition.

In March 2022, NHS England launched the Aortic Dissection Toolkit which sets out key actions that commissioners, service providers and clinicians should take to improve the care of patients with acute aortic dissection. The toolkit covers all aspects of care from recognition and diagnosis of the condition to treatment.

In addition, the National Health Service has also made changes to NHS Pathways, the triage system used by NHS 111 and 999, to help improve the recognition of chest pain likely to be associated with aortic dissection. This will assist in the rapid diagnosis of the condition to help save lives.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the incidence of suicide amongst young men.

We are investing an additional £57 million in suicide prevention, including for young men, by March 2024 through the NHS Long Term Plan. This will see investment in all areas of the country to support local suicide prevention plans. This was supplemented in 2021/22 by providing over £550,000 of funding to the Local Government Association for a support programme to help local authorities strengthen their plans and an additional £5.4 million of funding, distributed to 113 suicide prevention voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) through the Suicide Prevention Grant Fund to support service delivery.

In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Spring Budget that we will assign an extra £10 million over the next two years for a Suicide Prevention VCSE Grant Fund. This competitive grant fund will support the suicide prevention VCSE sector to deliver activity that can help sustain their services to help meet increased demand for support, or to embed preventative activity that can help to prevent suicides and stem the flow into crisis services.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimates they have made of the projected (1) short-term, and (2) medium-term, costs to public funds of expanding the number of undergraduate medical places from the current level to (a) 9,000 and (b) 10,000 places.

No specific estimate has been made of the projected short or medium-term costs to public funds of expanding the number of undergraduate medical places from the current level to 9,000 or 10,000 places. The Government has commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan which will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years, taking account of improvements in retention and productivity. This Plan is due to be published shortly.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what work they are undertaking in understanding and planning for the impact of artificial intelligence in all National Health Service clinical settings over the medium term.

The Department has been focusing on demonstrating the potential artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which could have a significant impact on the National Health Service. It has provided £123 million to 86 AI technologies, through the AI in Health and Care award. These technologies could support clinicians in stroke diagnosis, cancer screening and managing conditions at home.

The Department is also advancing regulation to ensure AI is safe, effective and addresses concerns about bias. Funding has been provided to the Health Foundation to research racialised impact of algorithms in health and care. The Department is funding the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, Care Quality Commission and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop an AI and Digital regulations service. This will help to create a streamlined regulatory pathway, which will lead to safer and more effective development and adoption of data-driven technologies.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the provision of private sector funding to enable the expansion of (1) undergraduate, and (2) graduate, places in (a) medicine, (b) biomedical and related sciences, and (c) dentistry.

Higher education providers have autonomy to seek and accept finance from the private and charitable sectors to support and extend their academic offer and support students. For courses where placements are not capped, including biomedical and related sciences, any private financing may be used to expand courses.

For capped undergraduate and graduate entry courses, including medicine and dentistry, the Government has expanded the number of places. We have funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England, a 25% increase, taking the total number of medical school training places in England to 7,500 each year. The Government also lifted the dental cap for students who completed A-Levels in 2020 and in 2021 and who had an offer from a university in England to study dentistry, subject to their grades.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support innovation to improve the provision of clinical placements for medical students.

In March 2023 Health Education England published the Educator Workforce Strategy. This sets out actions to ensure sufficient capacity and quality of educators, and to enable innovative models of education, including for clinical placements, to support the growth in the healthcare workforce, including doctors. NHS England will develop an implementation plan for the strategy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what legal costs were associated with the submission lodged by HM Government lawyers with the United Nations Committee on Persons with Disabilities regarding Article 4 on the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in respect of the case of Archie Battersbee.

Legal costs for the submission lodged with the United Nations Committee on Persons with Disabilities in respect of the Archie Battersbee case were £5,364.60.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of places available at UK universities to study medicine to match demand from applicants.

The Government has funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places per year for domestic students in England, which represents a 25% increase and takes the total number of medical school places in England to 7,500 each year. This expansion was completed in September 2020 and delivered five new medical schools in England.

In addition, the Government temporarily lifted the cap on medical school places for students who completed A-Levels in 2020 and in 2021 and who had an offer from a university in England to study medicine, subject to their grades. As a result of this change, the intakes for 2020/21 and 2021/22 were 8,405 and 8,460 respectively, significantly above the planned cap of 7,500.

NHS England has been commissioned to produce a Long Term Workforce Plan. The Government has committed to publishing the plan shortly, and this will include projections for the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals that will be needed in five, 10 and 15 years’ time, taking full account of improvements in retention and productivity. The workforce plan is for the whole of the National Health Service workforce.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Interim report of the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People, published in February 2022, and guidance produced by NHS England, what powers ministers have to compel the Gender Identity Development Service, under the auspices of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, to cease operations immediately.

The process of closure of the current Gender Identity Development Service contract with the Tavistock is underway. A national transformation programme has been established to oversee the transition of patients from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust Gender Identity Development Service into the new Phase 1 services, led by specialist children’s hospitals through an integrated multi-disciplinary team, and in line with the recommendations made by the independent Cass Review.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support school leavers who have ongoing caring responsibilities for parents, guardians or siblings.

The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to assess young carers before they turn 18, so that they have the information they need to plan for their future. Local authorities must conduct a transition assessment for a young carer where it appears that the carer is likely to have needs for support after they turn 18 and where they think that there would be ‘significant benefit’ to the carer in carrying out the assessment.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the provision of (1) health, and (2) education, services for children and young people with Tourette’s Syndrome.

The Government is taking a number of steps at the national level to improve provision for children and young people with Tourette’s syndrome.

Health Education England has supported an 85% expansion in the clinical psychology training intake over the past three years. This expansion model is expected to achieve a growth of 2,520 additional psychologists in the National Health Service workforce by 2025. Clinical psychologists are well placed to develop new services and undertake further bespoke development to respond to the needs of patients with Tourette’s syndrome.

Furthermore, the Department for Education published the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Alternative Provision Green paper in March 2022, setting out proposals to improve the system of support for children with SEND or who benefit from alternative provision. These include new national standards and a more inclusive mainstream school system, with more targeted support and intervention for children when they are younger, which will raise standards nationwide for all pupils, including those with Tourette’s syndrome.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of public monies paid to Marie Stopes International to subsidise abortions carried out in (1) Kenya, and (2) each of the other African nations, over the past ten years; from what budget this was allocated; which Ministers authorised it; and what proportion of the total of UK aid delivered for these procedures in each of these countries such expenditure through Marie Stopes represented.

We report spend in line with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development and Assistance Committee sector codes which do not track spend specifically for abortion services which are part of a wider package of women's healthcare. FCDO support to safe abortion services is within what is permitted by national laws, as well as providing life-saving treatment for women who have had unsafe abortions.

MSI Reproductive choices is an important partner for the FCDO's comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) work, including on our Women's Integrated Sexual Health Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The FCDO annually reports on Official Development Assistance (ODA) expenditure via the Statistics on International Development publications [https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-on-international-development]. All of our programmatic spend data can be found on the Devtracker website [https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/]

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the recent executions in 2022 and 2023 in that country which were allegedly based on political background or affiliation to the Shia sect.

Saudi Arabia is well aware of the UK's opposition to the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. We regularly raise concerns about its use and Saudi Arabia is a FCDO Human Rights Priority Country, in part because of the continued use of the death penalty. The Minister for the Middle East and Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon regularly discusses a wide range of human rights issues with the Saudi authorities, including on interfaith and the death penalty.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the government of Bahrain concerning its use of the death penalty.

Bahrain is well aware of the UK's long-standing policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, in all countries, as a matter of principle. During Bahrain's Universal Periodic Review in November 2022, the UK recommended an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and has continued to discuss this with the Government of Bahrain, most recently on 20 December 2023.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had recently with the government of Pakistan on that country’s blasphemy laws insofar as they affect Christians and converts to Christianity, and the impact of that legislation on Pakistan’s international treaty obligations.

We regularly raise our concern over the (mis)use of Pakistan's blasphemy laws privately at the highest levels. We continue to press for due process and adherence to international obligations to prevent wrongful convictions, and speedy and fair trials for those accused. We also urge the Pakistani authorities to ensure the safety of those released. I raised the use of blasphemy laws to target marginalised religious communities, including Christians, with then-Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on 27 June. The High Commissioner also raised this issue with the Caretaker Minister for Human Rights Khalil George on 12 October.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage UK ambassadors to consider the importance of engaging with local civil society organisations on issues of fundamental human rights, and especially of freedom of belief and religion.

Our global diplomatic network works in partnership with civil society and human rights defenders to encourage all states to protect and advance human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Our Annual Human Rights and Democracy Reports are an important part of this work.

FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities. Fiona Bruce MP, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for FoRB works actively to raise awareness of FoRB issues in relevant countries, including by chairing a series of roundtables, bringing together civil society experts and FCDO officials.

In addition, the FCDO International Academy's "Religion for International Engagement" training is essential for FCDO officials in relevant posts and highly recommended for all FCDO staff.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support (1) human rights, and (2) civil society in Bangladesh.

The UK is concerned by the recent conviction of human rights activists and the shrinking of civil society space in Bangladesh. Bangladesh remains a UK Human Rights Priority Country. The UK regularly raises with the Government of Bangladesh, both in public and private, the importance of respect for human rights and the rule of law. In October, I met Prime Minister Hasina and raised the arrests of human rights defenders in Bangladesh. We press the Government of Bangladesh to end harassment and intimidation of civil society, the media and political opposition, including the Bangladesh National Party.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support free and fair elections in Bangladesh.

The UK wants to see free, fair, participatory and peaceful elections in Bangladesh. I made this clear to the Government of Bangladesh when I met Prime Minister Hasina in October. We are concerned at the violence that has taken place at recent demonstrations and have called on all stakeholders, privately and publicly, to exercise restraint. The UK continues to stress to the Government of Bangladesh that respect for human rights, rule of law and access to justice are essential elements of the democratic process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent representations they have made to the government of Pakistan on the effect of blasphemy laws on the Christian community in that country.

Protecting minority communities remains central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. We continue to raise the issue of blasphemy laws privately at the highest levels. On 27 June, I raised the abuse of blasphemy laws to target marginalised religious communities with Pakistan's then-Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada. I also discussed blasphemy laws and the importance of promoting respect for all religions and communities during my meeting with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 14 December 2022 and more recently on 13 September with the caretaker Foreign Minister Jilani.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they are making to the government of Nigeria regarding (1) persecution of, and (2) violence directed at, Christians in (a) Plateau, (b) Kaduna, and (c) Benue, states.

Insecurity, driven by a range of factors, is undermining Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) for Nigerian communities of all faiths. Supporting Nigeria to address conflict will remain a focus of the UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership. As part of this partnership, the FCDO has funded peacebuilding initiatives in Nigerian states including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue, targeted at addressing intercommunal conflict. In April 2023, the former High Commissioner discussed the impact of insecurity on Christians with the Governor-Elect of Plateau State; and the UK's Special Envoy for FoRB called on the Nigerian government to bring perpetrators of attacks in Benue to account. We remain committed to supporting Nigeria to address insecurity - last week the British High Commissioner discussed insecurity in his first meeting with new Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 1 June (HL7914), whether the partners with whom they collaborate with regard to foreign aid spending on sexual and reproductive health include relevant elected officials in the countries concerned, particularly with regard to any expenditure in relation to abortion.

The FCDO collaborates with a range of partners to protect and progress universal, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Where these collaborations are with country governments they will often include elected individuals. Finally, all Overseas Development Assistance spent on increasing access to safe abortion operates within national laws in every country receiving UK funds.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of freedom of religion and belief in Tunisia.

Tunisia's constitution guarantees the freedom for all to practice religious rites, on the condition that public security is not compromised. We engage with different faith groups to understand the challenges they may face. During my visit to Tunisia in June 2022, I [the Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon] visited Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious sites to understand the situation regarding freedom of religion or belief and to express UK support for respect and tolerance between communities. I made a statement following the terrorist attack on 9 May in Djerba near the El Ghriba Synagogue, commending the Tunisian authorities' response to the situation.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards fulfilling recommendation six of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review into the support for persecuted Christians to make the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief a permanent role.

The FCDO welcomes the findings of the Independent Review of our work to take forward the Bishop of Truro's recommendations, which noted that establishing the role of the position of Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) was at an advanced stage of delivery. The Special Envoy, Fiona Bruce MP, works with the Minister for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, and through the Foreign Secretary to the Prime Minister. We continue to ensure that progress made on the Truro recommendations is embedded and that FoRB is central to our wider human rights work.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure value for money and propriety in the dispersal of funds to the Global Disinformation Index.

Contracts and grant agreements between FCDO and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) related to this project clearly set out activities and regions in which activities funded by FCDO will take place.

All FCDO programmes and projects comply with appropriate HMG programme management, commercial and financial rules and guidance, including ensuring value for money and monitoring and evaluation of project performance. The Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty MP, can confirm that the FCDO's GDI project complies with these rules.

GDI provide formal quarterly performance reports to FCDO and there are frequent informal contacts between GDI and our programme managers.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what funding they have provided to the Global Disinformation Index since 2017; and for what purpose they have provided it.

The FCDO Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme has funded the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) since 2019, for activities outside the US, providing £1,999,026 between 2019 and 2022, with a further £600,797 during the current financial year.

As graphically demonstrated around its illegal war in Ukraine, Russia has made disinformation central to its foreign and security policies and invested massively in systems to deny, obfuscate and distract from its actions. The Kremlin exploits any issue or system, including internet platforms and social media.

GDI uses technology to identify malign use of the internet and works with technology companies to respond appropriately.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, they have given to introducing a temporary suspension of Air Passenger Duty to support the competitive position of UK airports.

As with all taxes, the Government keeps Air Passenger Duty (APD) under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor at fiscal events.

APD applies to airlines and is the principal tax on the aviation sector since tickets are VAT free and aviation fuel incurs no duty. It is expected to raise £3.8 billion in 2023-24 and the primary objective of the tax is to ensure that airlines make a fair contribution to the public finances.

From April 2023, the Government has reduced the rate of APD on domestic flights in order to support UK-wide connectivity. The new domestic rate applies to all flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (excluding private jets) and is set at £6.50 for economy passengers, benefitting more than 10 million passengers in 2023-24.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the ban on private finance initiative schemes in 2019 extends to transport infrastructure projects.

In 2018, the government retired the private finance initiative (PFI) and PF2 models for all new infrastructure projects, including in the transport sector, due to their fiscal risk, inflexibility and complexity. However, the government continues to remain committed to supporting private investment in infrastructure as set out in the 2020 National Infrastructure Strategy.

The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) was launched in 2021 and is partnering with the private sector and local governments to support over £40 billion investment, including in transport, to help tackle climate change and promote regional and local economic growth across the UK. With £22bn financial capacity, the Bank has already announced 20 deals, including a £10m loan to support green bus routes in the West Midlands. In addition to the UKIB, a range of revenue support mechanisms are also available for all infrastructure projects.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have received on the reform of Stamp Duty Land Tax as it applies to lease extensions and thresholds.

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid by tenants on leases, depending on their value. It is charged to reflect that the tenant is taking an economic interest in land or property, and to prevent avoidance. There are no current plans to change this position. All aspects of Stamp Duty Land Tax policy are kept under review.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to supporting tax system reforms to facilitate the development of additional care facilities for older people.

This Government believes we need to have a social care system that gives every person the dignity and security that they deserve. At the Autumn statement, the Government made available a further £2.8 billion in 2023-2024 and £4.7 billion in 2024-2025 to support adult social care and get people out of hospital on time and into appropriate care settings.

The Government is committed to a fair tax system in which those with the most contribute the most. The Government will keep all aspects of the tax system under review, and any decisions on future changes will be taken by the Chancellor in the context of the wider public finances

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent abuse of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 by foreign national offenders using the provisions of the Act to delay proceedings against them or to stay their removal from the UK.

The Government is clear in its commitment to identifying, protecting, and supporting genuine victims of modern slavery whilst prosecuting criminals.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015, and subsequent legislation such as the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, and Illegal Migration Act 2023, make it harder for people to game the modern slavery system. Measures in our modern slavery legislation strike the right balance and still enable us to protect genuine victims of trafficking.

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 introduced the Public Order Disqualification, which means that foreign national offenders can be removed from the protections of the NRM where they pose a threat to public order.

The Illegal Migration Act 2023 furthered these measures, toughening the measures introduced in the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.

Additionally, where a foreign national offender has entered the United Kingdom illegally, and therefore presents a threat to public order, they will be disqualified from access to a recovery period and modern slavery specific support, unless they qualify for limited exceptions.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with regard to the case of Miller v College of Policing, what steps they are taking to ensure that police forces in England and Wales pay due regard to freedom of speech in the discharge of their responsibilities in respect of allegations of criminal activity arising from social media communication.

To address the Miller v College of Policing judgment and wider concerns relating to the recording of non-crime hate incidents, the Government has introduced a statutory code of practice on this recording for police officers in England and Wales, as provided for in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

The code, which entered into effect on 3 June following Parliamentary approval, introduces a new threshold test that means that personal data may only be included in a non-crime hate incident record if the event is clearly motivated by intentional hostility and there is a risk of escalation causing significant harm or a criminal offence. The code will ensure non-crime hate incidents are only recorded when it is absolutely necessary and proportionate to do so, and not simply because someone is offended.

This Government is confident that the code strikes the right balance between better protecting people’s fundamental right to freedom of expression, whilst enabling the police to continue to protect vulnerable people and communities.

Reported hate crimes will continue to be recorded in line with the College of Policing’s operational guidance on hate crime.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Home Office collects data on non-crime hate incidents; and if not, why not.

The Home Office does not collect data on non-crime hate incidents (NCHIs). The data collected from the police balances policy needs and the burden on police forces.

This Government recognises concerns surrounding the recording of NCHIs. Accordingly, on 13 March, under provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, the Home Secretary laid the statutory Non-Crime Hate Incidents Draft Code of Practice on the Recording and Retention of Personal Data before Parliament.

The code will be subject to the affirmative procedure and introduces new safeguards to better protect personal data and the right to freedom of expression. Once in effect, the code will ensure that police only record NCHIs when it is absolutely necessary and proportionate to do so, and not simply because someone is offended.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 9 January 2023 (HL4491), what guidance local authorities are given on the European Convention on Human Rights when using Public Space Protection Orders to ensure that any restrictions on freedom of speech and religion are necessary and proportionate.

Section 72 of the Antisocial behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 states that when making decisions regarding a Public Spaces Protection Order, a local authority must have particular regard to the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly set out in articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government issues statutory guidance on the use of antisocial behaviour powers provided under the Antisocial behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 - Anti-social behaviour powers (publishing.service.gov.uk).

The Local Government Association has also published guidance for councils on the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders, which makes reference to local authorities’ human rights obligations - Public spaces protection orders: guidance for councils (local.gov.uk).

In 2019, the Court of Appeal upheld the legality of the Public Spaces Protection Order outside the abortion clinic in Ealing. The Court concluded that on balance the provision of that specific designated area with its restrictions allows both the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups to exercise their Article 9 (freedom of thought, religion and belief), 10 and 11 rights in a way which protects the rights of others in the locality, particularly the Article 8 rights (respect for private and family life) of clinic service users.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent evidential basis they have used when adopting a policy of not interviewing potential asylum seekers from (1) Afghanistan, (2) Eritrea, (3) Syria, (4) Yemen, and (5) Libya, in order to reduce the backlog of applications.

On 13 December 2022, the Prime Minister pledged to clear the backlog of the 92,601 initial asylum ‘legacy’ claims – this relates to historical asylum claims made before 28 June 2022.

The Streamlined Asylum Process is one way in which we will clear the backlog and policy guidance on this was published on 23 February 2023 (Streamlined asylum processing - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab)). On the same day, questionnaires began to be sent out to legacy claimants from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen to their most recently recorded correspondence address. These countries have been included in the streamlined asylum process on the basis of their high-grant rate of 95% or higher and over 100 grants in the year-ending September 2022 of protection status (refugee status or humanitarian protection). All questionnaires should be dispatched to eligible claimants by the end of March 2023. Claimants must inform the Home Office of any changes to their contact details, to ensure that they continue to receive all relevant communications regarding their claim.

The asylum claim questionnaires are in English as is generally the case for immigration paperwork across the Department. If necessary, claimants can utilise legal representatives, Non-Government Organisations and other support networks to help them respond to the questionnaire. For those who are unable to return the questionnaire within 20 working days, a reminder will be sent to the claimant allowing a further 10-working days to complete and return it to the Home Office. A further extension can be requested where the timeframe cannot be met, for example because the claimant has serious medical conditions which is impacting their ability to respond to the questionnaire.

The intention of these questionnaires is to enable claimants to provide any further information about their claims after their initial screening interview upon arrivial. This, in turn, could lead to a positive decision being taken without an additional interview.

All individuals will have already undergone a screening interview, including criminal checks and will have their biometrics, such as their fingerprints, taken before they can be considered for a grant of protection status.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the Shawcross Review on the Prevent counter terrorism strategy.

The Independent Review of Prevent has been received by the department. The Government is now reviewing the recommendations in their entirety and will publish the Independent Reviewer's report and the Government’s response in due course.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the practice of deporting foreign national offenders at the conclusion of their custodial sentences, where appropriate.

Our priority will always be to keep the British public safe. That is why foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them and more than 12,200 have been removed since January 2019.

We make every effort to ensure that a foreign national offender’s removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence, however we can face significant and complex challenges when seeking to deport them to their country of origin.

That is why the Nationality and Borders Act makes provisions to streamline the appeals process by introducing an expanded one stop process aimed at reducing the extent to which people can frustrate removals through sequential or unmeritorious claims, appeals or legal action. The Act makes it easier and quicker to remove FNOs and those with no right to be in the UK, it extends the period an FNO can be removed from prison under the early removal scheme (ERS) from a maximum of 9 months to 12 months, providing the minimum requisite period has been served

We remain resolute in our commitment to deport those who would abuse our hospitality.

12th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that agreements on defence and security collaboration between the UK and the EU made under the Permanent Structured Cooperation regime are subject to appropriate and timely scrutiny by Parliament.

The UK's interest in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) military mobility project was discussed in the House of Commons debate on 19 May 2022, at a Commons Defence Committee evidence session on 2 November 2022. Leo Docherty MP, Minister for Europe, also discussed PESCO military mobility at two Lords European Affairs Committee evidence sessions on 7 March and 12 December 2023.

The Commons European Scrutiny Committee has also opened an inquiry into 'PESCO and UK-EU Defence Cooperation' to which HMG submitted written evidence in July 2023.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 23 November 2023 (HL173), what mechanisms are available to members of the House of Lords to encourage, via an arm’s length publicly funded body, development of land which has been historically identified and allocated for such a purpose, such as that at Great Kyne in Peterborough.

The Government sets clear delivery expectations in regards to developing land for housing. The role of an arm’s length body is to deliver against the government’s policy objectives, which it does via a range of agreed interventions. Arm’s length bodies are fully delegated to deliver these interventions on behalf of the government and work with a large number of delivery partners to bring a wide range of sites and projects forwards for housing. The site at Great Kyne was originally put forward for development in 2016 but was not allocated in the Local Plan by Peterborough City Council. The site was again put forward for consideration as part of the development allocation for future housing need in September 2023. The decision on whether the site will be allocated in the Local Plan rests with Peterborough City Council.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with Homes England on developing legacy allocated land for residential development at Great Kyne (Castor and Ailsworth) in Peterborough to meet the housing delivery targets in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the East of England.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the delivery of critical infrastructure in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to support the plans for 250,000 new homes in these areas under the auspices of the Cambridge 2040 project.

Any new policies or announcements will be made in the usual way. We are determined to help more young families own a home of their own and reaching our target of 1 million new homes this Parliament will require a comprehensive approach. We know that development is only welcomed when new homes are beautiful and built alongside new GP surgeries, schools and transport links - to create neighbourhoods that are supported by the right services and infrastructure.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to encourage local planning authorities to expedite determination of planning applications for renewable energy projects seeking to connect to local Distribution Network Operators.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is clear that when determining planning applications for renewable energy projects, local planning authorities should approve the application if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable. As part of our proposed changes to the planning system, and as committed to in the Net Zero Strategy, we intend to do a fuller review of national planning policy. Our NPPF also encourages pre-application engagement between all parties.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage local planning authorities to expedite determination of planning applications for renewable energy projects seeking to connect to local Distribution Network Operators.

Our National Planning Policy Framework is clear that when determining planning applications for renewable and low carbon development, local planning authorities should approve the application if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable.

In addition, powers in our Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will enable us to create a more consistent, streamlined and digitally enabled approach to planning applications. When utilised with existing powers, this will enable us to create an end to end system which is faster and more accessible to communities.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of amending section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to vary notice periods in line with length of tenancy as an alternative to repeal.

Ensuring a fair deal for renters remains a priority for this Government, and we will legislate in this Parliament to abolish Section 21 'no fault' evictions'.

Under our new reforms, we will take a proportionate approach to the period of notice that a landlord must give when using grounds for possession. Tenants must be given sufficient time to find appropriate alternative housing when their landlord requires possession of a property. These changes will sit alongside comprehensive, fair and efficient grounds to ensure landlords have confidence they can regain possession to their properties when it is reasonable.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to introduce the Renters’ Reform Bill.

The English Housing Survey provides information on households and housing stock. The proportion of Private Rented Sector households has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade; the PRS was 19% of households in 2013-14 and continues to be at 19% according to the latest data for 2021-22.  The repeal of Section 21 which is a manifesto commitment will give security of tenure to millions of tenants, empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases. We will bring forward legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the repeal of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 on the future supply of private rented accommodation.

The English Housing Survey provides information on households and housing stock. The proportion of Private Rented Sector households has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade; the PRS was 19% of households in 2013-14 and continues to be at 19% according to the latest data for 2021-22.  The repeal of Section 21 which is a manifesto commitment will give security of tenure to millions of tenants, empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases. We will bring forward legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review their policy on residential estate investment trusts as a means of encouraging further provision of new residential housing.

This Government has supported the use of real estate investment trusts (REITs) to support investment in residential housing – and Homes England's aggregate investment of £30 million has helped leverage investment from private providers. PRS REIT remains operational and we are looking to expand its operations and delivery.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to support Build to Rent.

We have supported the Build to Rent sector through the Build to Rent Fund and the PRS Guarantee Scheme. These interventions supported the delivery of almost 14,000 Build to Rent homes in total. Homes England are also an anchor investor in schemes such as the PRS Real Estate Investment Trust which has unlocked investment in a further 5,000 homes.

We also revised the National Planning Policy Framework in 2018 and issued a new chapter of planning guidance to support the delivery of more Build to Rent homes, including affordable rental homes for years to come. We continue to regularly engage with the sector to understand any emerging issues and concerns.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the use of transparency orders in family courts to prevent proceedings being open to media scrutiny, including (1) those made under the auspices of the Family Courts Transparency Pilots, and (2) those made in other general family court proceedings.

The Government recognises the importance of enabling the media to access family court proceedings to increase transparency in the Family Justice system while at the same time ensuring the privacy of vulnerable children and families going through court are protected.

Transparency Orders and privacy injunctions are made by the independent judiciary, taking all relevant factors, including freedom of speech, into consideration.

Transparency Orders are used by the court to set the parameters on what may or may not be reported in a particular case without amounting to contempt of court. The template Transparency Order, drafted by the judiciary, is cast in injunctive terms. If a Transparency Order is made in a case, then it is binding on members of the media to whom it applies. The Media Reporting Pilots in the family courts are being independently evaluated before any decisions are made on whether there should be changes to provision on media access to, and disclosure of information from family proceedings.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for freedom of speech of (1) transparency orders, and (2) privacy injunctions, used in family courts, which may restrict named individuals from discussing the case with third parties including family and media outlets.

The Government recognises the importance of enabling the media to access family court proceedings to increase transparency in the Family Justice system while at the same time ensuring the privacy of vulnerable children and families going through court are protected.

Transparency Orders and privacy injunctions are made by the independent judiciary, taking all relevant factors, including freedom of speech, into consideration.

Transparency Orders are used by the court to set the parameters on what may or may not be reported in a particular case without amounting to contempt of court. The template Transparency Order, drafted by the judiciary, is cast in injunctive terms. If a Transparency Order is made in a case, then it is binding on members of the media to whom it applies. The Media Reporting Pilots in the family courts are being independently evaluated before any decisions are made on whether there should be changes to provision on media access to, and disclosure of information from family proceedings.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Policy Exchange report The Wicked and the Redeemable: A Long-Term Plan to Fix a Criminal Justice System in Crisis, published on 4 November.

We are considering this report with interest.

We remain committed to reducing the outstanding crown court caseload and have introduced a raft of measures to allow courts to work at full capacity, including removing the cap on sitting days for the third year running and recruiting up to 1,000 judges across all jurisdictions.

We have already delivered 5,600 new prison places as part of our commitment to deliver 20,000 additional, modern prison places to ensure the right conditions are in place to rehabilitate prisoners, cut crime, and protect the public. We are also investing in a range of interventions to tackle the causes of reoffending, including delivering our temporary accommodation service for prison-leavers, offering more offenders work opportunities in prison, and expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living wings.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to present to Parliament their response to the Family Courts transparency pilots.

The Government supports the President of the Family Division’s ambition to increase transparency in the family courts. The Media Reporting Pilots, led by the President, are running from January 2023 to January 2024 and will be independently evaluated. The Government will carefully consider the findings of the evaluation once complete, and publish an assessment as appropriate.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to review the evidence arising from the Family Courts transparency pilots at (1) Leeds, (2) Cardiff, and (3) Carlisle.

The Government supports the President of the Family Division’s ambition to increase transparency in the family courts. The Media Reporting Pilots, led by the President, are running from January 2023 to January 2024 and will be independently evaluated. The Government will carefully consider the findings of the evaluation once complete, and publish an assessment as appropriate.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
21st Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, with regard to the Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2022, to whom is the Chair of the Parole Board accountable in the effective discharge of his or her duties with regard to agreeing public hearings of the Parole Board.

The decision on whether to hold a public hearing sits with the Chair of the Board. The Parole Board has published extensive guidance on its approach to public hearings on its website:  Applying for a Parole review to be public - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Parole Board is an independent non-departmental public-body.  As such, any decision the Chair might take on whether a parole hearing should be held in public is made independently of the Secretary of State for Justice. The Ministry of Justice is only made aware of an application for a public hearing when the Parole Board seeks representations from the Secretary of State in his role as a party to the proceedings. Although appointed by the Secretary of State as a public appointee, the decisions of Chair, and those taken by the Parole Board, can only be challenged by way of onwards rights of appeal or judicial review.

The Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2022 contains the provisions that enable public parole hearings. Specifically, Rule 15 provides that public hearing applications can be made by anyone no later than 12 weeks before a hearing and the decision whether to grant an application rests with the Chair of the Parole Board. There are no plans to review these provisions.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bellamy on 14 April (HL7073), why they do not intend to review the composition or functions of the Sentencing Council.

The Sentencing Council was reviewed as part of the Tailored Review Programme in 2018. The review found that the current delivery model is still the most appropriate, that the Council’s functions are still required, and that it is effective and efficient in the delivery of its responsibilities.

The Ministry of Justice’s current programme for 2022-2025 is prioritised in line with the published guidance. In the context of the Department’s Public Bodies landscape, we do not assess that the Sentencing Council poses the biggest risk to delivery, nor does it pose major opportunities to deliver significant financial efficiencies. It has also not been recommended for review by the Cabinet Office. Once agreed, public bodies confirmed for review are published on GOV.UK.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the next Tailored Review of the Sentencing Council will include consideration of victims of crime and their representatives as key stakeholders; and if not, why not.

The Sentencing Council considers all aspects of sentencing, including the impact of crime on victims generally. The Department has no plans to review the composition or functions of the Sentencing Council.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have plans to increase the number of prisoners accommodated in prisons across England and Wales; and what consideration they have given to trends in sentencing.

This government has been decisive in our tough approach to crime, including legislating to introduce tougher sentences for the most serious crimes. We have long anticipated the prison population rising as a result of these measures, and sentencing trends are modelled into our published prison population projections.

This is why we are delivering the largest prison build programme since the Victorian era, creating 20,000 additional, modern prison places. We have already delivered over 3,100 of these additional places to date including through the brand-new prison, HMP Five Wells, which opened last year. HMP Fosse Way will open this year, and construction has started on our newest prison next to HMP Full Sutton - bringing over 3,000 new prison places between them.

We are continuing to invest in prison maintenance so that existing places remain in use and are safe, secure and decent for prisoners and staff.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support mediation in disputes that would otherwise require grandparents to apply for Contact Orders in order to have access to their grandchildren.

The Government understands the difficulties that some grandparents face in continuing relationships with their grandchildren following disputes arising from parental separation or divorce, and that grandparents often play an important role in children’s lives and can provide stability in families. We are also committed to supporting families to resolve private family law matters outside of court where appropriate to ensure that matters are resolved earlier, before conflict becomes entrenched.

Unless there is a valid exemption, any party seeking to apply for a child arrangements order must first attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting.

We have also put in place a mediation voucher scheme for up to £500 financial assistance to help families resolve certain private law children matters outside of court. This support is not limited to parents and grandparents are eligible for support with the costs of mediation under this scheme too.

The government is exploring further measures to support parents and wider family members to resolve these matters outside of court and will announce proposals in due course.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to assess the efficacy of the Sentencing Council.

The Sentencing Council is an independent non-departmental public body. Section 119 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 sets out that the Council must provide the Lord Chancellor with an annual report on the exercise of its functions, and that the Lord Chancellor must lay a copy before Parliament. The Ministry of Justice also regularly reviews performance to provide assurance that the Council is fulfilling its statutory functions. In addition, a tailored review of the Council was published in 2019 which made a number of operational recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness, which have been implemented.

The 2021/22 Annual Report can be found here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/publications/item/sentencing-council-annual-report-2021-22/.

The 2019 tailored review of the Sentencing Council can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-review-of-the-sentencing-council.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)