Alyn Smith Portrait

Alyn Smith

Scottish National Party - Stirling

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

(since January 2020)
Alyn Smith is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
University
Alyn Smith has no previous appointments


Department Event
Tuesday 30th November 2021
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
30 Nov 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (including Topical Questions)
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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
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 39 Scottish National Party Aye votes vs 0 Scottish National Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 239 Noes - 311
Speeches
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will endeavour to be brief too.

I think that across the House we all …

Written Answers
Friday 19th November 2021
Indo-Pacific Region: Climate Change
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department's news story, UK …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Horizon Europe
That this House recognises the importance of collaboration in research and innovation that has been fostered by Horizon Europe, which …
Bills
Thursday 25th March 2021
Scottish Parliament (Disqualification of Members of the House of Commons) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the Scotland Act 1998 to provide that Members of the House of Commons may not be …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th July 2021
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
Until 29 June 2021, a flat in London: (i) and (ii). (Registered 10 January 2021; updated 07 July 2021)
EDM signed
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Proscribing of Palestinian human rights organisations
That this House condemns the declaration of 22 October 2021 made by Israeli Minister of Defence, Benny Gantz, which designated …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Alyn Smith has voted in 228 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Alyn Smith 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(33 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(26 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(11 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Alyn Smith's debates

Stirling Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy

The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police.


Latest EDMs signed by Alyn Smith

25th October 2021
Alyn Smith signed this EDM on Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Proscribing of Palestinian human rights organisations

Tabled by: Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh East)
That this House condemns the declaration of 22 October 2021 made by Israeli Minister of Defence, Benny Gantz, which designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organisations; notes that the Israeli authorities have not provided any evidence to substantiate their claims about the organisations; further notes that the targeted …
55 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Scottish National Party: 18
Liberal Democrat: 6
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
3rd November 2021
Alyn Smith signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horizon Europe

Tabled by: Alyn Smith (Scottish National Party - Stirling)
That this House recognises the importance of collaboration in research and innovation that has been fostered by Horizon Europe, which has resulted in collaborations which boost competitiveness and growth; notes that the Government has announced an association with Horizon Europe in January that has yet to be finalised; and urges …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 8
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Independent: 1
Alliance: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Alyn Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Alyn Smith, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Alyn Smith

Alyn Smith has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Alyn Smith


A Bill to amend the Scotland Act 1998 to provide that Members of the House of Commons may not be Members of the Scottish Parliament; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Thursday 25th March 2021

A Bill to make provision about enabling arms exports oversight by the United Kingdom Parliament and the devolved Parliaments and Assemblies; to prohibit the use of lethal autonomous weapons; to make requirements about transparency in arms exports and the use of drones and other remote weapons; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 16th December 2020
(Read Debate)

Alyn Smith has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


108 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
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to improve oversight and transparency of the financial and business interests of Members of the House of Lords.

As has always been the case, this is a matter for the House itself and the Code of Conduct for the House of Lords sets out that there is a duty on peers to declare their interests.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Stirling of 11 August 2020, ref: AL2637, on the procurement of PPE.

This letter was transferred to DHSC, who will be issuing a response as they are responsible for policy regarding PPE procurement. May I apologise for the delay in considering and responding to the issues the hon. Member has raised.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the UK Government holds data on the number of former senior crown servants who (a) have and (b) have had in the last five years business relationships with Russian state-backed organisations.

Some information on former senior officials taking up appointments is published by ACOBA and available online.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he will confirm the appointment of a new Member of the European Parliament for Scotland.

The European Parliamentary Elections (EPE) Regulations 2004 set out the procedure to be followed when an MEP vacancy arises in the United Kingdom.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to publish its Heat and Buildings strategy.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course. The strategy will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, as well as our approach to the key strategic decisions needed to achieve a mass transition to low-carbon heat.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department consulted representatives from the night time economy sector on the effect of covid-19 restrictions on that sector; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the impact COVID-19 has had on night time economy businesses. Both BEIS and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have worked closely with the sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have introduced an extensive package of support accessible to night time economy business, including the furlough scheme, which has been extended until March 2021, Local Restrictions Support Grants of up to £3000 per month, as well as loans, business rates relief and imposing a moratorium on the forfeiture of a lease for non-payment of rent until 31 December in England and Wales. In addition, so far over £500m of direct grants from the £1.57bn Cultural Relief Fund have helped 3000 cultural organisations, including nightclubs such as Ministry of Sound, Fabric and MADE Festival.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether licences from the Rural Payments Agency will be required for ethyl alcohol imported from the EU after the transition period.

Yes, under retained EU law, amended by the Import and Export Licences (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, any import of ethyl alcohol into the UK after the end of the transition period will need to be accompanied by an import licence issued by the Rural Payments Agency.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of the amended proposal by the South African and Indian Governments to the World Trade Organisation to waive certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of covid-19.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman for Stirling to the answer given to the Hon. Gentleman for Dundee West on 19th July (UIN: 31441)

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if the Government will support the South African and Indian Governments' amended proposal to the World Trade Organisation to waive certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of covid-19.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman for Stirling to the answer given to the Hon. Gentleman for Dundee West on 19th July (UIN: 31441)

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the value was of exports of arms and military equipment to (a) Afghanistan, (b) Bahrain, (c) Bangladesh, (d) Belarus, (e) Central African Republic, (f) China, (g) Colombia, (h) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, (i) Democratic Republic of Congo, (j) Egypt, (k) Eritrea, (l) Iran in 2020.

Such exports require an export licence, which are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. The most recent publication was on 13th July 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the value was of exports of arms and military equipment to (a) Iraq, (b) Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, (c) Libya, (d) Mali, (e) Myanmar, (f) Nicaragua, (g) Pakistan, (h) Russia, (i) Saudi Arabia, (j) Somalia, (k) South Sudan, (l) Sri Lanka, (m) Sudan, (n) Syria, (o) Turkmenistan, (p) Uzbekistan, (q) Venezuela, (r) Yemen and (s) Zimbabwe in 2020.

Such exports require an export licence, which are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. The most recent publication was on 13th July 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to improve reporting on open licences.

The United Kingdom operates one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world. We rigorously examine each export licence application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics on a quarterly and annual basis on export licences (including open individual licences) granted, refused and revoked. We also provide information on registrations and de-registrations of open general licences. This information is publicly available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data

We have made public the ability to search and run reports on published licensing data too. This is available at: exportcontroldb.trade.gov.uk

My Department has explored further increasing transparency on open licence usage, whilst being mindful of administrative burdens on industry and will continue to do so.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what conditions on arms use her Department has placed on Saudi Arabia.

Arms exports require an export licence, and all export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020.

We are able to place conditions on how goods are used in situations where goods remain under an exporter’s control following export, such as temporary exports. We rigorously examine all applications on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated Criteria, which takes into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. Whilst no Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been refused since 2015, 11 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) have been rejected for arms exports to Saudi Arabia. This shows the Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of both providing equipment and its capabilities.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2020 to Question 91155 on Georgia: Freedom of Expression, what assessment the Government has made of the investment climate in the Republic of Georgia.

Georgia is ranked seventh in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index, as she has an open business environment and a strong investment climate.

At the recent United Kingdom-Georgia Wardrop Dialogue, opportunities for British business were identified in areas such as renewable energy, business services and light manufacturing. The Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between both countries – signed on 21st October 2019 – will allow businesses to continue to trade on preferential terms following its entry into force at the end of the Transition Period.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that UK-exported weapons are not used in attacks that breach international (a) humanitarian and (b) human rights law.

Weapons exported from the UK require an export licence. All export licence applications are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (known as the Consolidated Criteria), based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from NGOs and our overseas network. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to assess the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities.

Licensing decisions take into account international humanitarian and human rights law. We will not issue any export licences where we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the backlog of driving theory tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is aware that demand for theory tests in Scotland is currently high and it is doing all it can to offer more tests at centres by increasing opening hours and running tests on extra days where possible. The provision of additional testing is dependent upon the availability of venues and agreements with landlords. The DVSA is working with its theory test provider, Pearson VUE, to explore further ways in which it can further increase theory test capacity.

The DVSA is continuing to work with the Scottish Government but as a result of the 2 metre physical distancing restrictions in Scotland, as required by the Scottish Government, it is unable to increase the number of desks used to take tests. This has reduced capacity at most theory test sites by 50%.

The DVSA and its theory test contract provider, Pearson VUE, have explored the possibility of delivering the theory tests outside of existing sites, but this was found to be not suitable as it is dependent upon a physical infrastructure within the Pearson VUE network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the timeliness of the next available date for a practical driving test for a (a) car, (b) HGV, (c) motorcycle and (d) tractor in Stirling.

As of 24 May 2021, the next available date to take a practical driving test in Stirling is:

(a) 6 weeks for car

(b) 10.5 weeks for HGV (nearest centres: Livingston - 10 weeks, Perth - 11 weeks, Glasgow - 10 weeks)

(c) 6 weeks for motorcycle (nearest centres: Glasgow Shieldhall module one - 11 weeks / module two -1 week, Edinburgh Musselburgh module one - 1 week, module two - 1 week, Livingston module two only - 1 week)

(d) 13 weeks for tractor

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2021 to Question 25157, for what reason a change in earnings for a period of two months is deemed a permanent change and a change in contact arrangements for 14 months is deemed a temporary change by the Child Maintenance Service; and what her Department’s policy is on the length of time that constitutes a (a) temporary and (b) permanent change for the purposes of the Child Maintenance Service.

There are multiple factors considered when taking into account a Paying Parent’s income for a Child Maintenance assessment. The scheme is designed so that liabilities remain consistent over the year, with limited changes to the assessment allowing both parents to budget. Time frames will vary depending on what is being assessed and legislation requires that factors which affect income should be expected to last for the “foreseeable future”.

The Child Maintenance Service follows guidance on when changes should be considered temporary or permanent. These decisions are discretionary and considered on a case by case basis. If a customer is unhappy with the outcome of the decision, they may appeal through a mandatory reconsideration.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will provide a definition of the term temporary as used by the Child Maintenance Service.

The Child Maintenance Service uses the term temporary as a definition of a measure which lasts for a limited time. This is opposed to something which is permanent.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department may issue National Insurance numbers for (a) EU (b) EEA or (c) Swiss nationals who already have settled or pre-settled status.

The department continues to allocate National Insurance Numbers, however, at present this service is currently limited to specific customer groups.

DWP started testing a partial digital solution, on a small scale, in mid-October, to support the issuing of National Insurance Numbers, which is still ongoing. This solution enables collection of the applicant’s data, but not the online verification of their identity.

For those customer groups, where a face to face identity check is required, we are developing and testing alternative identity verification solutions. We recently included EU/EAA and Swiss nationals, who have been granted settled or pre-settled status as part of their EU Settlement Scheme, into the test, as their identity will have been verified, through this process, by the Home Office.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress the Government has made on implementing a digital solution to the process of issuing National Insurance numbers.

We started testing a partial digital solution, on a small scale, in mid-October, to support the issuing of National Insurance Numbers, which is still ongoing. This solution enables collection of the applicant’s data, but not the online verification of their identity.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many workplace spot checks the Heath and Safety Executive has carried out in each of the last six months.

The numbers of workplace spot checks the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has carried out in each of the last six months is in the table below:

Year

Month

No. of Proactive Inspections

2019

Dec

624

2020

Jan

898

2020

Feb

1041

2020

Mar

587

2020

Apr

78

2020

1st – 20th May

62

The above data was extracted from HSE’s operational database on 21st May 2020 and is subject to change e.g. the administrative process of recording the information in the database can take up to 10 days.

In March, HSE temporarily suspended proactive visits to sites to allow social distancing measures to be put in place to protect visiting staff. It has since developed plans for resuming proactive site inspections.

The above data excludes investigations of workplace concerns including those relating to COVID-19, where checks have been made to ensure that measures have been put in place to comply with the law.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what additional support her Department is providing to the Heath and Safety Executive to ensure effective regulation of SARS-CoV-2 in workplaces throughout the UK.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is playing a crucial role in the Government’s response to covid-19, including its continued work with trade unions, employers and stakeholders to help ensure workplaces are safe environments.

The Government has already announced it has made up to £14 million additional funding available to HSE for extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment to support their work. HSE working with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy published guidance on 11th May 2020 on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE is funded to deliver its wide-ranging regulatory functions and has also redirected resource to this activity as a priority. In addition, HSE continues to address reported workplace concerns with employers, including those relating to employees with a heighted risk from Covid-19.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps have been taken to increase the server capacity for her Department during the covid-19 oubreak.

We regularly monitor capacity of servers and storage and have not had any issues provisioning additional capacity due to COVID-19.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for publishing the findings of the second phase of independent review into drug misuse by Professor Dame Carol Black, announced by his Department on 2 July 2020.

Publication is expected in summer 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled Investigation into government procurement during the covid-19 pandemic, published 18 November 2020, what the names are of the 144 companies that were introduced by the private offices of Ministers and processed via the high priority lane for the procurement of personal protective equipment.

The Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of personal protective equipment (PPE). This resulted in over 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support.

The cross-Government PPE team considered that leads referred by Government officials, Ministerial private offices, Parliamentarians, senior National Health Service staff and other health professionals were possibly the more credible and needed to be initially reviewed with more urgency. This was commonly referred to as a ‘priority’ or ‘VIP’ channel.

At the point of being prioritised these offers went into the same due diligence, technical assurance, closing or contract negotiation and contract award process as all the other offers. About one in ten suppliers were processed through this channel - 47 out of 493 - obtained contracts. We do not intend to publish the list of these suppliers as there may be associated commercial implications.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the Government has spent on external consultants on the NHS Test and Trace programme to date.

For the 2020/21 financial year, the NHS Test and Trace programme has budgeted £438 million for professional services, which includes external consultants. Actual expenditure on professional services will be published when annual accounts have been audited.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has awarded to companies without a tendering process in the last 12 months; which companies those contracts were with; and what services those contracts were for.

Contracting authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. These include a direct award under which authorities may enter into contracts without competing or advertising the requirement. The great majority of contracts placed by the Department were awarded under this route.

As of the beginning of November 2020, 937 contracts worth an estimated £17.8 billion have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for a wide range of products and services including personal protective equipment (PPE), the Test and Trace initiative, ventilators, IT, logistics and medicines etc.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) value and (b) purpose is of his Department's contracts with TAEG Energy Ltd to date.

The Department has two contracts with TAEG Energy Ltd for the delivery of hand sanitiser products. The first has a value of £5 million; the second £53 million.

TAEG Energy Ltd were evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing; compliance with minimum product and technical specifications; and ability to perform the contract. Contracts are awarded by the appropriate Departmental accounting officer in line with Departmental terms and conditions.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with TAEG Energy Ltd over the last five years prior to the award of the contracts for hand sanitiser.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department had a contractual relationship with TAEG Energy Ltd before the awarding of a contract to provide hand sanitiser in April 2020.

The Department has two contracts with TAEG Energy Ltd for the delivery of hand sanitiser products. The first has a value of £5 million; the second £53 million.

TAEG Energy Ltd were evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing; compliance with minimum product and technical specifications; and ability to perform the contract. Contracts are awarded by the appropriate Departmental accounting officer in line with Departmental terms and conditions.

The Department’s procurement records show that the Department has had no contracts with TAEG Energy Ltd over the last five years prior to the award of the contracts for hand sanitiser.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the total value of personal protective equipment public procurement contracts in the financial year 2020-21 to date.

Contracting authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. These include a direct award under which authorities may enter into contracts without competing or advertising the requirement. The great majority of contracts placed by the Department were awarded under this route.

As of the beginning of November 2020, 937 contracts worth an estimated £17.8 billion have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for a wide range of products and services including personal protective equipment (PPE), the Test and Trace initiative, ventilators, IT, logistics and medicines etc.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the tendering process is for recruiting consultants to the NHS Test and Trace programme.

Call off contracts from the Crown Commercial Framework which contain a preselected list of suppliers with standard terms and conditions have been used in the majority of awards.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Stirling sent on 19 August 2020, ref: AL2706, on the implications for his Department of the UK leaving the EU.

We are working rapidly to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the document entitled, Review: does the use of face masks in the general population make a difference to spread of infection, that was presented to SAGE on 9 April 2020, if he will (a) publish that review and (b) the evidence for it.

Transparency, including on the evidence informing the views of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), is important in helping to maintain the public’s trust and helping to grow understanding of the disease, while also helping to explain how advice to the Government is being formed. The Government is working to publish evidence documents and studies which have formed the basis of SAGE’s discussions and advice to Ministers regularly and will publish more evidence in the coming weeks.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department's news story, UK announces £274m boost to climate resilience across Indo-Pacific, published on 8 November 2021, from which budgets that funding will be provided; whether that funding has been previously announced; and whether her Department plans to distribute that funding in the form of grants or loans.

The funding for the Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme comes from the UK's Official Development Assistance budget. This is a new programme providing adaptation finance and was announced for the first time at COP26 on the 8th November 2021. It will contribute to the UK's existing commitment to provide £11.6 billion in International Climate Finance, announced in 2019, including £3 billion towards protecting nature and biodiversity.

The Department will provide funding for CARA in the form of grants. Our partners will then deploy a mix of technical assistance and capital investments to achieve the programme objectives.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her counterparts on the UN Security Council on the Burmese military troop build-up and increasing military attacks in Myanmar’s Chin State, Sagaing Region and Magwe, North-Western Myanmar.

The UK is deeply concerned about the situation in Chin, Sagaing and Magwe, particularly the significant troop movements by the Myanmar Armed Forces and reports of multiple civilian casualties. Current clashes have created mass displacement, with thousands of people now fleeing across the Indian border into Manipur and Mizoram state. This not only exacerbates the crisis in Myanmar but causes further regional instability. On 15 October, the British Embassy in Yangon released a statement urging the military to end their campaign of violence and flagging our concern for communities, their livelihoods, property and places of worship. We are monitoring developments closely and are in discussion with our international partners in the UN Security Council.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Stirling of the 23 September 2020 on the the arbitrary detention of journalists, activists and protesters in Kurdistan, Iraq.

The reply to your letter was issued on the 25 October.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his priorities are for nutrition in the context of the Department’s seven priority areas for international development set out in his oral contribution of 26 November 2020, Official report, column 1018.

Addressing malnutrition is important for wider UK objectives to alleviate poverty and to improve health and education in the poorest regions of the world. Our funding in areas such as health and humanitarian response will contribute to this effort. By shifting our focus to empowering partner governments and maximising how multilaterals support nutrition, we will strengthen the health and food systems needed to ensure people are well-nourished now and into the future.

Malnourished people are likely to be more severely affected by COVID-19 and the indirect impacts of COVID-19 are expected to increase malnutrition across Africa and Asia in particular. Prevention and treatment of malnutrition is part of FCDO's response to address the indirect impacts of COVID-19 in countries such as Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what meetings he has held with international nutrition aid organisations on changes to the level of funding for international development in 2021 to date.

Due to the seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy, the government has had to take tough but necessary decisions, including the temporary reduction in the aid budget from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of national income.

The Foreign Secretary and Ministers have met with a range of organisations, including those that work on nutrition, to discuss funding for international development at a strategic level. Officials have been in touch with FCDO partners to let them know the detail of revised budget allocations for this financial year and will continue to work with them to deliver on our shared objectives.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will provide details of the reduction in funding to nutrition based aid programmes, including the Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) Programme.

Information about our nutrition spend in financial year 2021-22 will be publicly available through Development Tracker in due course.

As agreed by the Foreign Secretary, FCDO will focus its ODA investment and expertise on issues where the UK can make the most difference and achieve maximum strategic coherence, impact, and value for money.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the UK Government’s Protection of Civilians policy.

Ministerial responsibility for the Protection of Civilians (PoC) agenda is shared across Government departments. HMG's approach paper, published in August 2020, was drafted in collaboration between the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the former Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. In line with the breadth and complexity of PoC issues, ranging from humanitarian access to urban warfare, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence continue to work closely on this agenda.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which Minister in his Department is responsible for the implementation of the UK Government’s Protection of Civilians policy; and whether that postholder has a counterpart in the Ministry of Defence.

Ministerial responsibility for the Protection of Civilians (PoC) agenda is shared across Government departments. HMG's approach paper, published in August 2020, was drafted in collaboration between the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the former Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. In line with the breadth and complexity of PoC issues, ranging from humanitarian access to urban warfare, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence continue to work closely on this agenda.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the relevance of (a) the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and (b) the UK Government’s Protection of Civilians policy to the ongoing situation in Tigray.

The UK Government has been at the forefront of the international response throughout the conflict in Tigray, engaging directly with the Government of Ethiopia, and that of Eritrea, to press for protection of civilians, unfettered humanitarian access and an end to the conflict, in line with our approach to protection of civilians and commitment to Responsibility to Protect. We have continued to engage core international partners and raise concerns in international fora, most recently through the G7 leaders' communique of 13 June. We have also raised the issue in UN Security Council open discussions on conflict and famine, the annual Open Debate on Protection of Civilians, in five 'AOB' items on the UNSC agenda, and the Interactive Dialogue of the UNSC of 16 June. The UK's longstanding position is that any determination of genocide is an issue for competent courts, rather than governments. Our focus is always on securing an end to violence and protecting civilians.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the US Administration's imposition of global Magnitsky sanctions and visa restrictions against Chen Quanguo in response to his role in perpetrating human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang; and what plans he has to impose Magnisky sanctions on Chen Quanguo.

The situation in Xinjiang is one of the worst human rights crises of our time. On 22 March, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK has imposed, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime, asset freezes and travel bans against four Chinese government officials, as well the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang.

These measures were taken alongside the US, Canada and the EU. By acting with our partners we are sending the clearest message to the Chinese Government that the international community will not turn a blind eye to such serious and systematic violations of basic human rights. We continue to keep all evidence and potential listings under the Global Human Rights regime under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) African Union and (b) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on joining the UK in imposing arms embargoes on Myanmar.

The UK is a longstanding supporter of an arms embargo on Myanmar. We are clear that countries including those in the African Union and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation should not sell arms to the Myanmar military. The UK autonomous Myanmar sanctions regulations prohibit the provision of military related services, including the provision of technical assistance, to or for the benefit of the Tatmadaw. We will work closely with partners to pressure those who sell arms to the military.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what advice the UK government is providing to UK companies in Myanmar involved in (a) oil, (b) gas, (c) timber, (d) gems and (e) other extractive industries on the payment of revenue and loyalties to the military-controlled government.

The Foreign Secretary and the International Trade Secretary have written to British Companies active in Myanmar to make clear our expectation that they do nothing to support the military. We are clear that the military must pay the price for their actions, that is why we are exploring all options to put pressure on their economic interests, this includes sanctions.

We remain committed to the principle of 'do no harm' with sanctions, and therefore wish to ensure that any measures balance the risk of disproportionately affecting poor people in Myanmar and imposing a cost on the military. In addition, as set out in the written ministerial statement of 25 February, we are reviewing our approach to Trade and Investment in Myanmar, and while that review takes place have suspended all trade promotion activity including the resources listed.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he plans to make to the Government of Bahrain regarding reports that at least 15 children have been detained in that country in recent weeks.

We understand that ten juveniles had been detained by the authorities in Bahrain for crimes ranging from obstructing traffic to preparing and possessing Molotov cocktails. The Government of Bahrain has since confirmed that seven 13 and 14-year-olds have since been released into the custody of their legal guardians. We understand that the remaining juveniles are awaiting legal proceedings, . We understand that they have access to medical care and that their cases are supervised by social work specialists. We will continue to monitor and raise these cases if and when appropriate. We encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments, including in the case of juveniles.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the request for urgent action by Amnesty International dated 3 March 2021, which reports that Bahrain is in violation of its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child following the arrest, interrogation and detention of four minors and due process violations in at least two of those minors' cases, and to 16-year old Sayed Hasan Ameen who is severely unwell and suffers from sickle cell anaemia, what urgent representations the Government plans to make to secure the immediate release of Sayed Hasan Ameen.

We are following the detention of a number of juveniles including Sayed Hasan Ameen, who were arrested for arson, endangering the lives and property of others, and preparing and possessing Molotov cocktails. We understand these cases are pending legal proceedings, and are being supervised by social work specialists. We will continue to monitor and raise these cases if and when appropriate. The Government of Bahrain has been clear that access to medical care for those in detention is provided in line with the constitution of Bahrain.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the capacity of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to sustain a response to the covid-19 pandemic in the long term.

We remain in regular, close contact with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to discuss their ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work closely with key partners, including the PA to support a coherent strategy to support recovery. The UK has provided £20 million in funding for this financial year to support the salaries of teachers, nurses and doctors. This will help the PA support its health workers who have been on the frontline battling coronavirus and who deliver life-saving medical services.

We are pleased that the OPTs will be among the first to benefit from the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines, with delivery of a first batch of 37,000 doses of the of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated in mid-February. This is a positive step towards tackling COVID-19 in the OPTs.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on ensuring that Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory have (a) equitable, (b) comprehensive and (c) timely access to covid-19 vaccines.

The UK regularly engages with both the Government of Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) and will continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines. We welcome steps both parties have taken so far to coordinate the response, including the recent delivery of 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the Israeli Authorities to the PA for Palestinian health workers. We continue to encourage further cooperation between the two parties.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Belarusian counterpart on the arrest of former FCDO Chevening alumnus and journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau and its wider implications for media freedom in Belarus.

The Government is deeply concerned by the continuing attacks on media freedom in Belarus. There have been more than 400 reported incidents of persecution of media figures in Belarus. In 2020, Belarusian journalists spent over 1200 days in prison for simply doing their job. The Government has repeatedly raised its concerns with the Belarusian authorities, including the case of Mr Aliaksandrau and condemned the actions of the Belarusian authorities in international fora. We have increased financial support to independent media organisations in Belarus and have recognised their courage by presenting the inaugural Canada-UK Media Freedom Award to the Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has received representations on reported threats to life of UK citizens made in the Belarusian newspaper Sovietska Belarus; and what steps he plans to take in response to those reports.

The Government condemns the intimidation and persecution of political opposition figures and activists by Lukashenko's regime. Although we have not been directly approached by the persons concerned, we are aware of certain articles in a Belarusian state owned newspaper. These articles have made false claims about our Embassy in Minsk and made threats towards British nationals in the UK, who have spoken out against Lukashenko's regime. We have raised our concerns about this newspaper directly with the Belarusian authorities and to the Belarusian Ambassador in London. Any person in the UK who believes they are at risk are able to contact their local police in the UK.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision by the US Secretary of State to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organisation on humanitarian access in Yemen.

We are deeply concerned by assessments from the UN and NGOs that the US Administration's decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is likely to disrupt the humanitarian response and stop vital food supplies getting in to Yemen. We have already engaged with the US to urge them to ensure that the vital humanitarian response, including food supplies, are not disrupted.  Ministers and officials will continue to engage closely with the UN and other donors, including the US, to ensure life-saving humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Yemenis in need.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the China Tribunal's report entitled Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Final Judgement and Summary Report, published on 17 June 2020.

We have carefully considered the report produced by the "China Tribunal" initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC). The report contains numerous, disturbing allegations of serious human rights abuses, including sexual violence, torture, forced DNA testing, and false imprisonment. The testimonies also add to the growing body of evidence about the disturbing situation that Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs and other minorities are facing in China. The Government's position remains that, if true, the practice of systematic, state-sponsored organ harvesting would constitute a serious violation of human rights. Officials attended public hearings organised by the International Coalition, as well as its final session in which its preliminary findings were announced. The report is one of a number of sources of information that we are taking into account when considering this issue.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the findings of the China Tribunal's report entitled Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Final Judgement and Summary Report, published on 17 June 2020.

We have discussed the allegations of organ harvesting with the World Health Organization, international partners, and international human rights NGOs. The Minister for Human Rights met with the Chair of the Tribunal in November 2019. The Minister has also written to the WHO in Geneva to encourage them to give careful consideration to the findings of the China Tribunal report. We regularly raise our human rights concerns with China, including on the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities. The Foreign Secretary has personally raised our serious concerns around human rights with his Chinese counterpart on a number of occasions.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the Scottish Government prior to the publication of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

Senior Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Cabinet Office officials have held discussions with the Devolved Administrations since the start of the Integrated Review. Most recently, at Ministerial level, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as lead Minister for engagement with Devolved Administrations on the Integrated Review, met with the Scottish Minister for Justice Humza Yousaf, alongside colleagues from the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, to discuss the Review.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Stirling of 10 July 2020 on MENA civil society.

A response has now been sent.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Stirling of 1 July 2020 on Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

I responded to both letters in July 2020. We have resent your responses.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Stirling of 2 September 2020 on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

A response has now been sent.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Saudi counterpart on (a) Loujain al-Hathloul and (b) other women’s rights campaigners who are on trial in Saudi Arabia.

We remain concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. We have raised the detention cases, including Loujain al-Hathloul, at senior levels with the Saudi authorities. We regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities through Ministers, our Ambassador and Embassy in Riyadh. The UK, along with other embassies in Saudi Arabia, consistently attempt to attend the trials of women's rights defenders, and have been denied access since October 2018. The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September, calling for the release of women's rights defenders. Lord Ahmad raised the women's rights defenders during his call with Dr Awwad al-Awwad, the President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, in June. The Foreign Secretary also raised their cases in March when he visited Riyadh.
James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the detainment of human rights campaigners by Saudi authorities on the (a) UK-Saudi diplomatic relationship and (b) sale of British arms to that country.

The UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia is one of great importance, covering a broad range of UK national security and economic interests. Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia allows us to raise our concerns about human rights, including on human rights defenders, in private and in public. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office human rights priority country. The Foreign Secretary, Lord Ahmad and I regularly discuss human rights concerns with the Saudi authorities, and the UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September noting our concerns in Saudi Arabia. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations the Government has made to the Government of Georgia on (a) proposed updates to the law on electronic communications in that country and (b) the importance of maintaining that country's commitments to (i) freedom of speech and (i) rule of law.

Through our Embassy in Tbilisi we are assessing the implications of the Georgian Parliament's recent amendment to the electronic communications law, giving more authority to the communications regulator, on Georgia's media and telecommunications sector.

In our engagement with the Government of Georgia we have raised the importance of continued democratic and economic reforms in Georgia that support freedom of speech and the rule of law, most recently at the 7th UK-Georgia Wardrop Dialogue which took place on 9 September.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Russian counterpart on alleged Russian intervention in Syria; and whether he has taken diplomatic steps in response to that alleged intervention.

We have repeatedly condemned Russia and the Syrian regime's targeting of schools, hospitals and emergency first responders in north-west Syria, as described by the UN Commission of Inquiry and the UN Board of Inquiry. On 19 August we expressed our deep concern to the UN Security Council at further airstrikes by Russian and regime forces and again called on all parties to respect agreed ceasefires and international humanitarian law. We continue to support UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a nationwide ceasefire as part of a political process, as the only way to end the Syrian conflict. UK Government officials also continue to raise these concerns with their Russian counterparts.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments were undertaken in respect of security, justice and policing support to Saudi Arabia in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; how many of those OSJA assessments were approved; and which Ministers approved each of those OSJA assessments.

HMG currently has 10 Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments (OSJAs) for ongoing security activity in Saudi Arabia. Collecting information on historic OSJAs across Government will take more time. OSJAs are owned by several departments. Due to the confidential nature of our cooperation we cannot share information beyond this. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2020 is not leading any programmes, and therefore has no OSJAs.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) security, (b) justice and (c) policing support his Department provided to Saudi Arabia in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

Saudi Arabia is an important strategic partner to the UK in tackling potential security and terrorist threats to the UK and other countries. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not currently run any security, justice or policing support in Saudi Arabia. The British Government has worked with the Government of Saudi Arabia on a range of mutually beneficial security and policing priorities. All of our cooperation is subject to individual rigorous human rights risk assessments (Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments), to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Saudi Arabian counterpart on the (a) application of the Royal Decree announced 26 April 2020 to (i) Ali al Nimr, (ii) Dawood al Marhoon, (iii) Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher and (iv) all other child defendants facing the death penalty and (b) subsequent commutation of their death sentences.

We welcome the decision by Saudi Arabia to end the use of the death penalty as a discretionary punishment for minors, including those under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crime.

We remain concerned about the cases of Ali al Nimr, Dawood al Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher, and continue to follow them closely.

The Saudi authorities understand our position that we oppose the death penalty in all circumstances and especially in cases that involve child defendants. This position is in line with the minimum standards set out in the 2008 EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty; the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and, the Arab Charter on Human Rights.

The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa raised our concerns about the death penalty with Deputy Justice Minister HE Abdullah Al Sulaimi on 11 February. The Foreign Secretary also raised our human rights concerns with Saudi Arabia during his visit in March this year.

We will continue to raise our concerns with the Government of Saudi Arabia to promote the protection of all child defendants against the death penalty regardless of the crime committed. We will encourage the authorities to review death penalty judgements for all minors, or individuals who were minors when the crime was committed.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assistance the Government is providing to the Greek Government to ensure the safety of refugees in Greece.

The British Government remains committed to supporting the Greek Government's efforts to manage migration effectively. Current UK support includes the provision of search and rescue operations in the Aegean, as well as over £500,000 of humanitarian supplies.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he is taking steps to investigate attacks against Oxfam infrastructure and projects in Yemen.

The Government is deeply concerned by attacks against Oxfam infrastructure and projects in Yemen. We urge all parties to the conflict to respect and act in accordance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Whenever we receive reports of alleged violations of IHL, including any attacks against Oxfam, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non-Governmental Organisations and international organisations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to establish an independent quality assurance review of RBS Global Restructuring Group's treatment of SMEs.

It would be inappropriate for the Government to comment on or intervene in the independent redress process overseen by Sir William Blackburne.

The Government believes that the financial services industry has changed significantly since the challenging period leading up to and following the financial crisis. For example, all of the major SME lenders have signed up to the Standards of Lending Practice (SLP), which are overseen by the independent Lending Standards Board and contain clear guidance on best practice.

The Government has always been clear that the fact that there were areas of widespread inappropriate treatment of firms by RBS GRG is unacceptable. RBS has rightly apologised for these mistakes and as stated above, has set up a scheme to compensate victims. The redress scheme has paid out over £130 million so far and the Government continues to monitor how much redress is being paid out.

There are currently no plans to undertake a review of RBS Global Restructuring Group's treatment of SMEs.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people have Government Gateway accounts for (a) personal and (b) business use.

There are currently 73.1 million active credentials/accounts registered with Government Gateway; a single unique user may hold several accounts for use in interactions with HMRC and/or other Government departments.

69.4 million credentials are linked to HMRC services and are profiled across the user types below:

  • Tax Agents: 1.0 million
  • Individuals: 20.9 million
  • Organisations: 47.5 million

The remaining 3.7 million credentials are associated to OGDs (not HMRC) and HMRC do not hold a record as to whether these are used for personal or business use.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) Trading 212, (b) Robinhood and (c) other stock trading companies protect consumer rights to buy and sell stocks.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial markets conduct regulator and is responsible for protecting consumers, ensuring market integrity and promoting effective competition. As set out in the FCA’s statement of 29 January, broking firms are not obliged to offer trading facilities to clients and may withdraw or suspend services if it is necessary or prudent to do so. The FCA’s statement also said that they would take appropriate action wherever they see evidence of UK firms or individuals causing harm to UK consumers or markets.

The Government recognises that the pace and creativity of innovation in UK financial services creates new opportunities for businesses and consumers to participate in markets through technologies such as app-based platforms. However, investors should be aware that investing in securities comes with risks. The FCA’s statement of 29 January warned consumers that any losses that result from such investments are unlikely to be covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which debt collection agencies are being used to send final opportunity letters on his Department's behalf.

As part of their overall collections strategy, debt collection agencies (DCAs) provide HMRC with additional capacity. The department keeps under review the cost effectiveness and value for money that using DCAs provides to the Exchequer and UK citizens. There are no current plans to move away from using agencies to send final opportunity letters.

The table below sets out the total expenditure on DCAs by HMRC and the amount spent instructing them to issue final opportunity letters.

Total spend

Final opportunity letter spend

2017/18

£ 32,099,756.77

£1,714,901.62

2018/19

£ 26,021,351.78

£1,302,490.63

2019/20

£ 26,163,245.08

£1,242,984.66

Final opportunity letters are sent on HMRC’s behalf by some of the debt collection agencies that the department works with. These are:

  • Advantis Credit Ltd
  • Bluestone Credit Management
  • 1st Locate (UK) Ltd
  • Past Due Credit Solutions

The full list of debt collection agencies that HMRC work with can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/if-you-dont-pay-your-tax-bill/debt-collection-agencies.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to review his Department's use of debt collection agencies to send final opportunity letters.

As part of their overall collections strategy, debt collection agencies (DCAs) provide HMRC with additional capacity. The department keeps under review the cost effectiveness and value for money that using DCAs provides to the Exchequer and UK citizens. There are no current plans to move away from using agencies to send final opportunity letters.

The table below sets out the total expenditure on DCAs by HMRC and the amount spent instructing them to issue final opportunity letters.

Total spend

Final opportunity letter spend

2017/18

£ 32,099,756.77

£1,714,901.62

2018/19

£ 26,021,351.78

£1,302,490.63

2019/20

£ 26,163,245.08

£1,242,984.66

Final opportunity letters are sent on HMRC’s behalf by some of the debt collection agencies that the department works with. These are:

  • Advantis Credit Ltd
  • Bluestone Credit Management
  • 1st Locate (UK) Ltd
  • Past Due Credit Solutions

The full list of debt collection agencies that HMRC work with can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/if-you-dont-pay-your-tax-bill/debt-collection-agencies.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much his Department has spent on debt collection agencies in each of the last three years.

As part of their overall collections strategy, debt collection agencies (DCAs) provide HMRC with additional capacity. The department keeps under review the cost effectiveness and value for money that using DCAs provides to the Exchequer and UK citizens. There are no current plans to move away from using agencies to send final opportunity letters.

The table below sets out the total expenditure on DCAs by HMRC and the amount spent instructing them to issue final opportunity letters.

Total spend

Final opportunity letter spend

2017/18

£ 32,099,756.77

£1,714,901.62

2018/19

£ 26,021,351.78

£1,302,490.63

2019/20

£ 26,163,245.08

£1,242,984.66

Final opportunity letters are sent on HMRC’s behalf by some of the debt collection agencies that the department works with. These are:

  • Advantis Credit Ltd
  • Bluestone Credit Management
  • 1st Locate (UK) Ltd
  • Past Due Credit Solutions

The full list of debt collection agencies that HMRC work with can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/if-you-dont-pay-your-tax-bill/debt-collection-agencies.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason ten pin bowling businesses were not included in the reduction in VAT that was extended to food outlets, cinemas and other competitor businesses in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors, which have been severely affected by COVID-19.

Hospitality for the purposes of this relief includes the supply of food and non-alcoholic beverages from restaurants, cafes, pubs and similar establishments for consumption on the premises. It also includes the supply of hot food and non-alcoholic hot beverages to take away.

Where a ten-pin bowling business provides such hospitality, that hospitality will benefit from the reduced rate, although admission to ten-pin bowling itself is not eligible. Further information can be found in VAT Guidance: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/catering-takeaway-food-and-vat-notice-7091

20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on financial support for tenants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK Government has been working closely with the Scottish Government on the response to the Covid-19 outbreak. To help prevent people getting into financial hardship or rent arrears, the UK Government has put in place an unprecedented support package, including support for businesses to pay staff salaries, as well as a strengthening of the welfare safety net with a nearly £7 billion boost to the welfare system. We have also increased Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area. These significant financial measures will help to support tenants to continue to pay their living costs, including rental payments.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on financial support for students during the covid-19 outbreak over summer 2020 .

Education is a devolved matter. The UK Government has announced £3.7 billion of additional funding to the Scottish Government to support people, businesses and public services in Scotland in response to Covid-19. I am regularly in contact with my counterparts to discuss finances more broadly.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps have been taken to increase the server capacity for his Department during the covid-19 oubreak.

There has been no requirement for additional steps to increase server capacity during the covid-19 outbreak.

HM Treasury retains an elastic, demand-driven infrastructure that is pro-actively monitored to scale as circumstances change.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to prepare SMEs for the proposed changes to the IR35 rules from April 2020.

The Government is committed to working with organisations to ensure changes to the rules are implemented correctly. HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations prepare for the reform. This includes:

  • Offering one-to-one support to more than 2,000 of the UK’s biggest employers, and writing directly to 43,000 medium sized businesses and other organisations.
  • Providing large and medium sized businesses, public bodies, and charities with factsheets to share with their contractors, and publishing this factsheet on gov.uk.
  • Holding workshops with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, and public bodies.
  • Holding at least weekly webinars, with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, public bodies and contractors.
  • An enhanced version of the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool was published in November 2019 to help individuals and organisations make the right status determinations and apply the off-payroll rules correctly.

The reform of the off-payroll working rules in April 2020 will apply only to medium and large-sized businesses, minimising administrative burdens for the vast majority of engagers. The existing rules will continue to apply to the smallest 1.5m businesses.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to advise people affected by proposed changes to the IR35 rules from April 2020.

The Government is committed to working with organisations to ensure changes to the rules are implemented correctly. HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations prepare for the reform. This includes:

  • Offering one-to-one support to more than 2,000 of the UK’s biggest employers, and writing directly to 43,000 medium sized businesses and other organisations.
  • Providing large and medium sized businesses, public bodies, and charities with factsheets to share with their contractors, and publishing this factsheet on gov.uk.
  • Holding workshops with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, and public bodies.
  • Holding at least weekly webinars, with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, public bodies and contractors.
  • An enhanced version of the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool was published in November 2019 to help individuals and organisations make the right status determinations and apply the off-payroll rules correctly.

The reform of the off-payroll working rules in April 2020 will apply only to medium and large-sized businesses, minimising administrative burdens for the vast majority of engagers. The existing rules will continue to apply to the smallest 1.5m businesses.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of proposed changes to IR35 rules from April 2020 on SMEs in Scotland.

The off-payroll working rules are designed to ensure that an individual who works like an employee, but through their own limited company, pays broadly the same Income Tax and National Insurance contributions as other employees. The rules do not apply to the self-employed or stop anyone working through their own company.

The reform of the off-payroll working rules in April 2020 will apply only to medium and large-sized businesses, minimising administrative burdens for the vast majority of engagers. The existing rules will continue to apply to the smallest 1.5m businesses.

The Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019 sets out HMRC’s assessment that the reform to the off-payroll working rules is expected to affect 170,000 individuals. The TIIN can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020. This is a UK-wide figure.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that citizens of (a) Belarus and (b) other countries where people who oppose political regimes are at risk of human rights abuses will be offered the opportunity to renew their UK visas or UK immigration status without having to return to their home country to make the necessary application to her Department.

As part of the introduction of the points-based system, we have enabled applicants to switch between immigration routes without having to leave the UK. This applies to all nationals.


Information on those immigration routes, which must be renewed from the home country of the applicant, is available on our website at:

Application to extend stay in the UK: FLR(IR) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is also the option to make an asylum claim in person, whilst in the UK, at an application centre. Further information on the asylum process, as well as locations at which an asylum claim can be made, is available here:

Claim asylum in the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of licencing of pill presses.

The Home Office has not yet made a formal assessment of the potential benefits of regulating or licensing pill presses. We are engaging with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level on this issue and with the National Crime Agency as well international partners.

We continue to review the evidence on the scale of the threat posed by organised crime gangs using pill press machinery in the UK and the options for addressing that threat.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her target number is for refugees to be resettled in the UK under the global UK Resettlement Scheme.

Through the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) we continue to welcome vulnerable refugees in need of protection to the UK as well as through other safe and legal routes such as Refugee Family Reunion. Since 2015 we have resettled over 25,000 refugees through our resettlement schemes, in addition to granting over 29,000 Refugee Family Reunion visas in the last 5 years. The number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. This year the recovery from the pandemic will clearly be a significant factor affecting capacity. We have been working closely with our partners to assess the capacity for resettlement in the months ahead and will continue to welcome those in need in the years to come.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the safety of hauliers at the (a) UK's borders and (b) ferry port and tunnel freight terminal at Coquelles.

The safety of hauliers within Border Force controls is a priority. Guidance can be found on the.gov.uk on securing your vehicle when entering the UK at

.gov.uk guidance Securing your vehicle when entering the UK

The Department for Transport is responsible for maintaining high standards of safety and security in transport and supporting the maritime sector by producing the overall strategy and planning policy for ports in England and Wales.

The safety of hauliers on French soil is a matter for the French authorities. The UK has though provided significant investment to improve physical security at the ports and approach roads in northern France.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister is responsible for (a) overseeing the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa and (b) ensuring the welcome and integration of BN(O) passport holders to the UK.

On 31 January the new Hong Kong BN(O) route launched. The route will enable BN(O) status holders and their eligible family members to come to the UK to live, work and study. This new route reflects the UK’s historic and moral commitment to those people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status at the point of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997.

The Home Secretary continues to oversee the implementation of the immigration route.

Due to the cross-cutting nature of this policy, departments across the UK Government are working together, along with the devolved administrations given their responsibilities, to identify how support and guidance can be provided to ensure BN(O) status holders have every opportunity to thrive.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019, the Government is developing legislation to tackle hostile activity conducted by foreign states.

As part of this we will carefully consider the Law Commission’s recommendations for reform of the OSAs, within their report on the Protection of Official Data which was published on 1 September 2020.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees whose applications for resettlement in the UK have been granted by her Department have been reunited with their family in each of the last three months.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. These can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistic

The next set of figures will be in the quarterly release on 21 May 2020. These figures will include the number of people resettled in the period January to March 2020 and will also include a breakdown of minors arriving under each scheme. We do not publish a breakdown of resettlement family reunifications.

The arrival of refugees under our schemes is currently impacted by travel restrictions globally. As a result, our current planned arrivals will not happen as originally scheduled. We are closely monitoring the situation and expect resettlements to resume when conditions allow.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees below the age of 16 have been resettled in the UK in each of the last three months.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. These can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistic

The next set of figures will be in the quarterly release on 21 May 2020. These figures will include the number of people resettled in the period January to March 2020 and will also include a breakdown of minors arriving under each scheme. We do not publish a breakdown of resettlement family reunifications.

The arrival of refugees under our schemes is currently impacted by travel restrictions globally. As a result, our current planned arrivals will not happen as originally scheduled. We are closely monitoring the situation and expect resettlements to resume when conditions allow.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees have been resettled in the UK in each of the last three months.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. These can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistic

The next set of figures will be in the quarterly release on 21 May 2020. These figures will include the number of people resettled in the period January to March 2020 and will also include a breakdown of minors arriving under each scheme. We do not publish a breakdown of resettlement family reunifications.

The arrival of refugees under our schemes is currently impacted by travel restrictions globally. As a result, our current planned arrivals will not happen as originally scheduled. We are closely monitoring the situation and expect resettlements to resume when conditions allow.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her policy on checks at UK borders has changed since the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020.

There will be no change to checks at the UK border for the duration of the transition period.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of people holding a valid visa who were refused entry at airports in the last (a) month, (b) six months and (c)12 months.

Border Force does not routinely publish data that does not meet the Home Office standard for publication or that could impact its operational effectiveness.

However, Border Force transparency data can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/border-force-statistics

Border Force is committed to ensuring that passengers arriving in the UK receive an excellent service. But this must also be balanced with our responsibility to Border Security, checking 100% of passports and making sure that anyone or anything that might cause harm to the UK is properly dealt with.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU citizens have been questioned at UK airports and ferry ports whilst holding valid passports in the last (a) 12 months, (b) six months and (c) month, excluding people of interest to law enforcement authorities.

Border Force does not routinely publish data that does not meet the Home Office standard for publication or that could impact its operational effectiveness.

However, Border Force transparency data can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/border-force-statistics

Border Force is committed to ensuring that passengers arriving in the UK receive an excellent service. But this must also be balanced with our responsibility to Border Security, checking 100% of passports and making sure that anyone or anything that might cause harm to the UK is properly dealt with.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department provides to UK Border Force staff on when to initiate in-depth questioning of people arriving at airports who (a) hold and (b) do not hold a valid visa.

Under Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971, Border Force staff appointed as Immigration Officers may examine any person arriving in the UK to establish their nationality and if they are not UK nationals, determine whether they require leave to enter and on what terms this leave should be given.

If the passenger is in possession of an entry clearance or visa, officers may examine the passenger to establish whether the purpose of the visit remains the same as that specified; there has been a change in circumstances since that leave was given; false information or material deception was used to obtain the visa; or there are medical grounds that should result in the cancellation of the visa. The passenger may also be examined by an immigration officer for the purpose of determining whether it would be conducive to the public good for their entry clearance or leave to be cancelled.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK provided police or military training to (a) Iraq, (b) Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, (c) Libya, (d) Mali, (e) Myanmar, (f) Nicaragua, (g) Pakistan, (h) Russia, (i) Saudi Arabia, (j) Somalia, (k) South Sudan, (l) Sri Lanka, (m) Sudan, (n) Syria, (o) Turkmenistan, (p) Uzbekistan, (q) Venezuela, (r) Yemen and (s) Zimbabwe in 2020.

The Ministry of Defence records information on International Defence Training (IDT) by financial year, rather than by calendar year. During FY 2020-21, personnel from the following countries have received some form of UK defence education or training:

Iraq; Israel; Occupied Palestinian Territories; Mali; Pakistan; Nicaragua; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan

No training was provided to the other countries listed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK provided police or military training to (a) Afghanistan, (b) Bahrain, (c) Bangladesh, (d) Belarus, (e) Central African Republic, (f) China, (g) Colombia, (h) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, (i) Democratic Republic of Congo, (j) Egypt, (k) Eritrea and (l) Iran in 2020.

The Ministry of Defence records information on International Defence Training (IDT) by financial year (FY), rather than by calendar year. During FY 2020/21, personnel from the following countries have received some form of UK defence education or training:

Afghanistan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Colombia; Egypt

No training was provided to the other countries listed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Minister in his Department is responsible for the implementation of the UK Government’s Protection of Civilians policy.

Within the Ministry of Defence, the Protection of Civilians policy is the responsibility of the Minister for the Armed Forces. This forms an important part of the Department's Human Security policy.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the completeness of his Department's database of alleged breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

I am unable to answer the hon. Member's question due to ongoing legal proceedings.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of supporting a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems.

The UK considers the extant international legal framework on the development, assurance and deployment of military systems as sufficient.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much and what proportion of funding under the Levelling Up Fund his Department has allocated to Scotland.

The Levelling Up Fund is a competitive fund, with funding distributed to places across the UK on the basis of successful project selection. The Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-2022 to 2024-2025.

For the first round of the Fund, at least 9% of total UK allocations will set aside for Scotland, as well as 5% for Wales, and 3% for Northern Ireland.

Further detail on future rounds of the Fund will operate from 2022-23 onward will be set out later this year. For these future rounds, the parameters of the Fund as set out in the prospectus will be kept under review, and updated where appropriate to reflect operational feedback and wider changes in Government policy.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the Government's policy is on ensuring that funding under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is comparable to the funding provided under EU Structural Funds.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK.

Funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will at least match receipts from EU structural funds, on average reaching around £1.5 billion per year. Its funding profile will be set out at the next Spending Review.

To help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we are providing additional funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches.