Lord Coaker Portrait

Lord Coaker

Labour - Life peer

Opposition Whip (Lords)

(since May 2021)

Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

(since May 2021)

Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

(since May 2021)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
16th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
14th Sep 2015 - 26th Jun 2016
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
7th Oct 2013 - 14th Sep 2015
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)
9th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)
5th Oct 2008 - 9th Jun 2009
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
10th May 2005 - 5th May 2006
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
13th Jun 2003 - 10th May 2005
Social Security
9th Nov 1998 - 1st Feb 1999


Department Event
Monday 13th December 2021
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - report stage (day 2)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 15th December 2021
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - report stage (day 3)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 5th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Nationality and Borders Bill – second reading –
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Monday 10th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – report stage (day 4)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – report stage (day 5)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Monday 17th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – report stage (day 6)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Monday 29th November 2021
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 78 Labour Aye votes vs 4 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 147 Noes - 211
Speeches
Wednesday 1st December 2021
School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (England) Order 2021

My Lords, I support what my noble friends Lady Blower and Lord Watson, and the noble Lord, Lord Storey, have …

Written Answers
Monday 6th December 2021
Russia: Ukraine
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many briefings the Secretary of State for Defence has received on the build-up of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Thursday 31st October 2019
Children's playgrounds
That this House expresses concern about the decline in the number of children's playgrounds; notes that the latest figures suggest …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Coaker has voted in 41 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Coaker 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
Baroness Goldie (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(29 debate interactions)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(21 debate interactions)
Baroness Smith of Newnham (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(42 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(41 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(4 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Coaker's debates

Commons initiatives

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

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


Lord Coaker has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Coaker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Coaker has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


46 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
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Cobra meetings have been held in response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border.

As a matter of policy, the Government does not comment on COBR meetings.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many calls the Veterans' Gateway helpline received in (1) June, (2) July, and (3) August.

Information held by the Veterans Gateway shows that in June there were 1,386, in July there were 1,362 and in August there were 1,505 calls.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support for (1) academic, and (2) living, costs is available to English postgraduate students studying for a Masters degree at an English university.

The Postgraduate Master’s Loan scheme was introduced in summer 2016 to help remove the financial barrier often faced by those wishing to study at master’s level.

The Master’s Loan scheme is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study to make the UK more globally competitive by increasing the number of people with such high-level skills and knowledge.

Postgraduate students can borrow up to £11,570 for courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. This loan is intended as a contribution to the cost of study, rather than specifically to cover tuition fees or living costs.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have been identified by the Armed Forces “identifier” on to the Universal Credit system since it was introduced.

This information is not currently available. We are developing the way to determine numbers of people identified by the Armed Forces “identifier” and plan to release them later in the year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have been assisted by Armed Forces Champions in (1) 2019, (2) 2020, and (3) 2021.

The information requested is not available as DWP does not keep such records.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many referrals Operation Courage received in (1) June, (2) July, and (3) August.

Operation Courage has a recurrent annual budget of £17.6 million. This will increase to £18.5 million per year following the £2.7 million of additional funding. Discussions are ongoing between NHS England and Operation Courage providers on the number of care co-ordinators which can be appointed and when this will take effect. Referrals to Operation Courage in June 2021 were 437; 363 in July; and 362 to 28 August.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when care co-ordinators will be appointed as a result of the £2.7 million funding increase for Operation Courage.

Operation Courage has a recurrent annual budget of £17.6 million. This will increase to £18.5 million per year following the £2.7 million of additional funding. Discussions are ongoing between NHS England and Operation Courage providers on the number of care co-ordinators which can be appointed and when this will take effect. Referrals to Operation Courage in June 2021 were 437; 363 in July; and 362 to 28 August.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care co-ordinators will be appointed as a result of the £2.7 million funding increase for Operation Courage.

Operation Courage has a recurrent annual budget of £17.6 million. This will increase to £18.5 million per year following the £2.7 million of additional funding. Discussions are ongoing between NHS England and Operation Courage providers on the number of care co-ordinators which can be appointed and when this will take effect. Referrals to Operation Courage in June 2021 were 437; 363 in July; and 362 to 28 August.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the annual budget for Operation Courage (1) before, and (2) after, the £2.7 million funding increase.

Operation Courage has a recurrent annual budget of £17.6 million. This will increase to £18.5 million per year following the £2.7 million of additional funding. Discussions are ongoing between NHS England and Operation Courage providers on the number of care co-ordinators which can be appointed and when this will take effect. Referrals to Operation Courage in June 2021 were 437; 363 in July; and 362 to 28 August.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the timeframe is for the £2.7 million funding increase for Operation Courage.

Operation Courage has a recurrent annual budget of £17.6 million. This will increase to £18.5 million per year following the £2.7 million of additional funding. Discussions are ongoing between NHS England and Operation Courage providers on the number of care co-ordinators which can be appointed and when this will take effect. Referrals to Operation Courage in June 2021 were 437; 363 in July; and 362 to 28 August.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schoolchildren from the EU who visited UK schools in the last year used identity cards to enter the UK.

We do not record specific details of the number of children from the EU who have travelled to the UK on national identity cards for the purpose of school visits.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children visited the United Kingdom on school visits using identity cards in the last year for which figures are available.

We do not record specific details of the number of children who have travelled to the UK on national identity cards for the purpose of school visits.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many briefings the Secretary of State for Defence has received on the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border.

The Secretary of State for Defence receives regular updates on the situation in Ukraine, especially in light of his recent visit to Kiev. We have significant concerns about Russia's aggressive pattern of military build-ups on Ukraine's border and in illegally-annexed Crimea. We remain clear that Russia's threatening and destabilising behaviour is unacceptable. We will continue to monitor events on the ground closely and call on Russia, alongside our Allies and Partners, to adhere to its international obligations and commitments.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the carrier strike group will return to the UK.

The Carrier Strike Group (CSG) deployment will return to the UK in mid-December. This concludes a seven-month deployment where ships and aircraft from the Group have operated and exercised with over 40 countries, demonstrating our interoperability and commitment to working with allies and partners.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British Navy vessels have been sent to the Black Sea in response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border; and what type of vessels have been sent.

No Royal Navy vessels have been sent to the Black Sea as a response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British armed forces personnel have been sent to (1) Poland, (2) Lithuania, (3) Latvia, and (4) Estonia, in response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border.

As part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, the UK already has 850 service personnel in Estonia, where we are the framework nation and 130 in Poland in support of the US battlegroup. No additional personnel have been sent to either Poland, Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia in response to the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will issue a tender for a new medium helicopter to replace the Puma.

It is the Department's expectation that the procurement of the New Medium Helicopter will be subject to competition. The formal acquisition process has not started and the timescales for the issue of any tender are subject to agreement of both the Key User Requirements and the approvals process.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what involvement the Ministry of Defence has in securing and protecting the UK’s energy supplies; and what is their strategy for that role.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy is responsible for the overall operation and resilience of the UK's domestic energy market. In parallel, defence of the UK and its overseas territories from the malicious intent of our adversaries is the first task of the Ministry of Defence. This extends to being prepared to defend against and counter external hostile threats to our way of life and the delivery of critical services. Our strategy for this is set out in the Defence Command Paper, published on 22 March 2021.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Ministry of Defence will publish its artificial intelligence strategy.

The Ministry of Defence will publish the first Defence Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy later this year.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made with General Dynamics to recover taxpayer money from that company if the Ajax programme is terminated.

I refer the Noble Lord to the written statement (HCWS322) made by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 18 October 2021.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the contract with General Dynamics for the Ajax programme.

The Terms and Conditions of the contract for the Ajax Programme with General Dynamics are commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding this information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. Consequently, there are no plans to publish the contract.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the contract for the Ajax programme allows them to reclaim funding from General Dynamics in the event of the programme’s cancellation; and if so, in what circumstances.

The Terms and Conditions of the contract for the Ajax Programme with General Dynamics are commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding this information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. Consequently, there are no plans to publish the contract.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how much they would have to pay of the contract with General Dynamics if the Ajax programme is cancelled.

The Terms and Conditions of the contract for the Ajax Programme with General Dynamics are commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding this information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. Consequently, there are no plans to publish the contract.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the Army's capabilities of cancelling the Ajax programme.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 July 2021 to Qustion 33142 to the right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Mark Francois).

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made as to how the vehicles already delivered by the Ajax programme will be used in the event that the programme is cancelled.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 July 2021 to Qustion 33142 to the right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Mark Francois).

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to cancel the Ajax programme; and what alternatives to that programme they are considering.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 July 2021 to Qustion 33142 to the right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Mark Francois).

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any (1) non-secret, or (2) strategy, documents are missing from the Ministry of Defence documents found at a bus stop in Kent on 27 June.

As stated in the Written Statement HLWS 186 which was released to the House on Friday 16 July 2021, the Department will be making no further comment on the nature of the loss.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all of the secret documents that were left at a bus stop in Kent on 27 June have been recovered.

As stated in the Written Statement HLWS 186 which was released to the House on Friday 16 July 2021, the Department will be making no further comment on the nature of the loss.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the investigation into the leak of Ministry of Defence documents which were found at a bus stop in Kent to conclude; and whether they will publish the findings of that investigation.

I refer the Noble Lord to the Written Statement HLWS 186 which was released to the House on Friday 16 July.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications they have (1) received, and (2) processed, since the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy launched in April.

Through the Ex-Gratia Scheme (EGS) 1,550 former staff members including their families have relocated to the UK. Under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) 96 former staff members including their families have relocated to the UK so far with several thousand more due to arrive over the summer.

Unfortunately for operational security reasons we cannot at this time comment on specific numbers of applications. However, we are significantly accelerating the pace of relocations in parallel with the military withdrawal. Our commitment to those who are eligible under the ARAP, and the process to deliver it, is not time-limited and will endure beyond the military presence in Afghanistan.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many countries, and (2) what countries, are part of the Carrier Strike Group.

Two Partner Nations are integrated into the UK Carrier Strike Groups maiden voyage; the United States and the Netherlands. The United States has provided an Arleigh Burke class destroyer, USS The Sullivans, and has an embarked US Marine Corps F35b Squadron on HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Netherlands have provided the De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertsen.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date all four dreadnought class submarines will be operational.

As set out in the United Kingdom (UK)’s future nuclear deterrent: the 2020 update to Parliament, the Dreadnought submarine programme remains on track for the First of Class, HMS Dreadnought, to enter service in the early 2030s. During the phased transition from the Vanguard Class to the Dreadnought Class there will be no compromise to the UK’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. The Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, confirmed we will maintain our submarines so that at least one will always be on a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent patrol. It is UK policy to not disclose further planned out of service and in-service dates for submarines, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date the first dreadnought class submarine will be operational.

As set out in the United Kingdom (UK)’s future nuclear deterrent: the 2020 update to Parliament, the Dreadnought submarine programme remains on track for the First of Class, HMS Dreadnought, to enter service in the early 2030s. During the phased transition from the Vanguard Class to the Dreadnought Class there will be no compromise to the UK’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. The Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, confirmed we will maintain our submarines so that at least one will always be on a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent patrol. It is UK policy to not disclose further planned out of service and in-service dates for submarines, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be an operational gap between the vanguard class submarines and dreadnought class submarines; and if so, how long that gap will that last for.

As set out in the United Kingdom (UK)’s future nuclear deterrent: the 2020 update to Parliament, the Dreadnought submarine programme remains on track for the First of Class, HMS Dreadnought, to enter service in the early 2030s. During the phased transition from the Vanguard Class to the Dreadnought Class there will be no compromise to the UK’s Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. The Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, confirmed we will maintain our submarines so that at least one will always be on a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent patrol. It is UK policy to not disclose further planned out of service and in-service dates for submarines, as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK-based armed forces personnel are currently infected with COVID-19.

As at 5 July 2021, 433 Armed Forces personnel have had a positive Covid-19 test result recorded in the UK in the last 10 days.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all UK armed forces personnel deployed as part of the Carrier Strike Group 2021 have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Service personnel currently deployed on the UK's Carrier Strike Group (CSG) have been fully vaccinated with two doses. I can also confirm that any personnel joining CSG will have received both doses before departure.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all those currently deployed on Royal Navy nuclear submarines have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

I can confirm that all submariners currently deployed on operations have received both vaccinations against COVID-19.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK armed forces personnel have died due to COVID-19.

As at 5 July 2021, there have been five deaths amongst UK Service personnel who had a positive COVID-19 test result recorded on Defence medical systems. Two were Regular personnel and three were Reservists.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy in relation to UK armed forces personnel deployed overseas who refuse a COVID-19 vaccine; and whether such personnel are required to return to the UK.

Defence's vaccination policy for all vaccines, is voluntary and administered under the principles of informed consent. Those who cannot or are refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccine would be subject to a risk assessment. If ineligible to deploy, they would be removed from the operational deployment and employed in an appropriate alternate role.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many personnel have been injured in the process of testing Ajax armoured vehicles; and how many of these personnel needed hospital treatment.

I take the noble Lord’s question as being in relation to the recent reports of noise and vibration related to Army personnel and in relation to the ongoing Ajax demonstration phase.

Following tests on the noise impact on the inner ear, organised in response to reports of hearing issues, the demonstration phase trials were halted in November 2020 in order that appropriate mitigations could be put in place. All personnel who were at risk of noise exposure were offered hearing assessments. Of these, 21 incidents of hearing treatment have been recorded and, as a precaution, a further 83 soldiers, whilst fully deployable and not currently displaying any signs of noise induced hearing loss, will receive annual hearing tests.

Trials resumed in May 2021 with restrictions on use and extra hearing protection mandated. Notwithstanding these measures this month, two soldiers reported symptoms of noise induced hearing loss, with one more being assessed. In order to ensure that protections are fully appropriate all Ajax activity (including independent testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground) has been paused (other than essential maintenance with mitigations in place).

Regarding vibration: we are aware that five soldiers have specifically reported to their local medical centre with vibration related symptoms, but none required further treatment. There have been no reports of injuries requiring hospital treatment.

At the request of Ministers, the Permanent Secretary established a review of Health and Safety aspects related to the vibration and noise concerns in the demonstration phase. As part of this review medical information (which is subject to confidentiality restrictions and updating) will be considered.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to HMS Queen Elizabeth's first operational deployment, what is the number of personnel on (1) HMS Queen Elizabeth, (2) the six accompanying Royal Navy ships, and (3) the Royal Navy submarine in the Carrier Strike Group.

The Carrier Strike Group 21 is the largest and most ambitious global deployment of the Royal Navy for a generation.

The number of personnel on board each ship will vary over the course of the deployment due to operational requirements, however the following table provides the average crew sizes, broken down by Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, deployed in the Carrier Strike Group.

Ship Name

Number of Personnel

HMS Queen Elizabeth

1,600

HMS Defender

235

HMS Diamond

235

HMS Kent

185

HMS Richmond

185

RFA Fort Victoria

135

RFA Tidespring

65

Astute Class Submarine

Not Declared

Due to operational security reasons we do not comment on submarine issues.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the objectives of the Carrier Strike Group deployment; and how achievement of these objectives will be measured.

The Carrier Strike Group deployment is an embodiment of the Government's Integrated Review, and has significant diplomatic, trade and security objectives:

  • Send a clear message to our allies and adversaries that the UK can, and will, play a global leadership role, exerting influence on bilateral and regional issues to achieve HMG objectives and acting as a force for good in the world;
  • Prove our leading role in NATO through the strength of our capability, our readiness to operate closely with Allies, and our interoperability with the US and others;
  • Put the Integrated Review into action, underlining the UK's commitment to an enduring presence in the Indo-Pacific and win support for our goals and objectives there;
  • Reinforce existing UK international relationships and networks, and strengthen links with NATO's partners around the world. Establish new links with a broader audience, furthering defence engagement, political and prosperity objectives;
  • Promote UK industry, technology and export sales across the breadth of the UK's commercial strengths. Improve trading relationships and trade cooperation, as well as pursuing investment prospects, especially in competitive markets; and
  • Build relationships between key officials and organisations.

The achievement of these ambitious and pan-Government objectives will be measured over time and in numerous ways, including public media and communications, complex interoperability tasks, exercises and missions, and increased investment, sales and trade arrangements. Importantly, the Carrier Strike Group deployment should not be viewed as a stand-alone event but as a contribution to a broader network of military, diplomatic and trade activity over the coming years.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of New Zealand on the Carrier Strike Group deployment.

New Zealand is one of the UK's key partners and a valued member of the Five Eyes alliance. The UK Defence Secretary wrote to NZ Defence Minister Peeni Henare late last year, formally inviting New Zealand to operate with the Carrier Strike Group deployment. Subsequent high-level discussions involving the Defence Secretary, Permanent Secretary, Chief of the Defence Staff and senior military officers have continued to explore the details of our engagement, and operational planning is underway.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what US satellite networks UK Reaper drones use.

In general, the RAF use a combination of Ku-band satellite links together with line of sight Radio Frequency communications and telephone networks for UK Reaper. These are used across the UK, US and NATO military systems, dependent on requirement, the area of operations and the specific task.

However, I am withholding further details about specific satellite networks as they would likely prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what countries UK Reaper drones have launched strikes in, without parliamentary approval, since 2015.

On 21 August 2015 an RAF Reaper RPAS precision airstrike was conducted in Syria and Parliament were notified of this operation on 7 September 2015 by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. This strike preceded the Parliamentary vote of 2 December 2015 which saw Parliament support a motion to extend the UK's support to the global-coalition's counter-Daesh operations into Syria. We will continue to ensure that Parliament is kept informed of significant major operations and deployments of the Armed Forces

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)