Andrea Jenkyns Portrait

Andrea Jenkyns

Conservative - Morley and Outwood

Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
21st Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
13:45
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Next week, we will elect our first Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Does the Prime Minister agree …

Written Answers
Tuesday 27th April 2021
Cancer: Health Services
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people …
Early Day Motions
Monday 13th May 2019
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION'S WORLD HAND HYGIENE DAY
That this House notes that 5 May 2019 marks the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Hand Hygiene Day; recognises that …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 6th July 2020
1. Employment and earnings
1 July 2019 until 30 June 2021, Director of the National Centre for Higher Education Policy, University of Bolton, Deane …
EDM signed
Monday 24th February 2020
Tackling online harm to children with a duty of care regulator
That this House notes the publication of the Online Harms White Paper in April 2019 and subsequent assurances by the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Andrea Jenkyns has voted in 250 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Andrea Jenkyns voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Andrea Jenkyns 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(14 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(3 debate interactions)
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
(3 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(13 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(6 debate contributions)
Home Office
(3 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(3 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Andrea Jenkyns's debates

Morley and Outwood 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).

Petitions with highest Morley and Outwood signature proportion
Petitions with most Morley and Outwood signatures
Andrea Jenkyns has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Andrea Jenkyns

13th January 2020
Andrea Jenkyns signed this EDM on Monday 24th February 2020

Tackling online harm to children with a duty of care regulator

Tabled by: Jo Stevens (Labour - Cardiff Central)
That this House notes the publication of the Online Harms White Paper in April 2019 and subsequent assurances by the Government that they will introduce a robust regulator to safeguard children online; further notes that over 45,000 people signed the NSPCC’s Wild West Web petition calling for statutory regulation so …
68 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Nov 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 56
Scottish National Party: 4
Conservative: 3
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Alba Party: 1
5th February 2020
Andrea Jenkyns signed this EDM on Monday 24th February 2020

Permanent Funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit

Tabled by: John Spellar (Labour - Warley)
That this House notes the success of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit through its intelligence-led role in the prevention and detection of crimes relating to a wide range of wildlife issues; recognises that the unit provides specialist skills, knowledge and expertise to the Police, UK Border Force, HM Revenue …
94 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 35
Scottish National Party: 28
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
Conservative: 7
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Andrea Jenkyns's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Andrea Jenkyns, 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.


Andrea Jenkyns has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Andrea Jenkyns has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Andrea Jenkyns has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Andrea Jenkyns has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


158 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Department has to reform public purchasing procurement rules to promote domestic industry.

The Government recognises the vital role that industry has played in helping to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak and in leading the recovery from the pandemic.

We have recently published our Green Paper setting out proposals and demonstrating the possibilities for public procurement rules reform. Our proposals are wide-ranging and are designed to better meet national needs by cutting red tape, reducing bureaucracy and helping to unleash wider social benefits from public money spent on procurement whilst respecting our international obligations.

Along with the above, we want British business to be in the best competitive position to win international contracts. To this end, our membership of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement gives British businesses access to £1.3 trillion in public procurement opportunities overseas.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure the impartiality of the choice of independent reviewer who will be appointed to carry out the compensation study for victims of the Infected Blood tragedy.

The timetable for the compensation study will be finalised after the terms of reference have been agreed, but we expect the study to be completed and published before the Inquiry concludes its work.

The independent reviewer will be selected from a shortlist of candidates with the professional standing, skills, and expertise to undertake the study. The shortlist of candidates will be proposed by the Civil Service. The name of the reviewer will be announced shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement of 25 March 2021, HCWS895 on infected blood update, what the planned timescale is for his Department to (a) publish and (b) implement the framework for compensation for victims of the Infected Blood tragedy.

The timetable for the compensation study will be finalised after the terms of reference have been agreed, but we expect the study to be completed and published before the Inquiry concludes its work.

The independent reviewer will be selected from a shortlist of candidates with the professional standing, skills, and expertise to undertake the study. The shortlist of candidates will be proposed by the Civil Service. The name of the reviewer will be announced shortly.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to develop green hydrogen production across the UK.

Low carbon hydrogen will be vital for meeting our legally binding commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, with potential to help decarbonise vital UK industry sectors and provide flexible deployment across heat, power and transport.

Working with industry, the UK is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

The UK has expertise and assets to support both electrolytic (green) and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) enabled (blue) hydrogen. Our twin track approach to enable both routes will drive cost effective supply volumes in the 2020s in line with our 2030 ambition, whilst scaling up green hydrogen. This approach is already in evidence in the Government’s £121m hydrogen innovation funding programme, the development of business models to stimulate private investment and the design of the £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund, confirmed out to 2025.

We will publish the first ever UK Hydrogen Strategy in the first half of this year which will set out the key steps needed in the 2020s to deliver our 5GW ambition and set the context for further scale up on the way to net zero.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Department is taking to support British domestic capacity to produce future vaccines.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics. This includes:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £8.6 million to the Centre of Process Innovation to develop GMP-ready mRNA manufacturing capability;
  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres; and
  • Funding for fill and finish through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales, which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer-term UK capacity:

  • £140.6 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire;
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex; and
  • Funding for the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.
Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support the domestic exploitation of raw materials for the electric car industry.

The Government recognises the importance of critical raw minerals for the development of zero emission vehicles. We are committed to building an agile, innovative and cost-competitive supply chain for these vehicles in the UK to support our commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Batteries for electric vehicles require a range of critical materials, including lithium. Government has supported a number of initiatives to find and use lithium in the UK, including work in Cornwall to develop lithium extraction plants.

The Government is also investing £318m in the Faraday Battery Challenge to put the UK at the global forefront of the design, development, manufacturing, and recycling of electric batteries. In addition, the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) aims to develop and embed at pace the next generation of cutting-edge zero emission automotive technologies in the UK. £500m of funding for the ATF will be made available in the next four years for businesses across the UK to fund investments across the whole supply chain.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the UK’s long-term ability to manufacture vaccines.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic, including:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine; and
  • Funding for fill and finish capability through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales. The Government have recently extended Wockhardt’s contract from 18 to 24 months, to ensure that we have uninterrupted fill and finish capability into 2022.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire; and
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support people to set up their own business once covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Government aims to make the United Kingdom the best place to start, grow and run a business. The Government provides a wide range of support and information for small businesses. The main source of information is the GOV.UK website, with support also available via the Business Support Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 and via the network of 38 local Growth Hubs in England.

The Government understands that accessing finance can be a barrier to small and medium businesses (SMEs) starting out. This is why we established the Start Up Loans programme in 2012. For those starting a new business or for businesses which have been trading for up to 24 months, the Start Up Loans Company provides loans of between £500 to £25,000 at a competitive rate of 6%. In addition to finance, every loan recipient is offered a dedicated mentoring service and access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business. The Start Up Loans programme, operated by the British Business Bank, has delivered almost 77,000 loans overall in the UK, supporting nearly £650 million of funding since the programme’s launch in 2012 to the end of September 2020.

In summer 2018, the British Business Bank also launched a website that offers independent and impartial information on different finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses. The site features infographics and checklists to help businesses get ‘investor ready’ as well as articles and guides from finance providers on how smaller businesses can identify and access finance suited to their growth ambitions. At its heart is the Finance Hub’s Finance Finder, a simple six-step tool that enables smaller business to explore and identify finance options suited to their needs. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Hub has been updated to clearly signpost the financial support options available for businesses during this period of economic uncertainty.

Further initiatives include the BEIS-led Small Business Leadership Programme and Peer-to-Peer networks, to help businesses build resilience and grow. The Young Innovators Programme was also launched by Innovate UK and the Prince’s Trust to support young entrepreneurs with tailored mentoring and access to £5,000 funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on local economies in the Wakefield area.

Just over £66 million has been provided to businesses in Wakefield via the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund in the Financial Year 2020/21 Leeds City Region Growth Hub has been allocated £780k to engage and support businesses, including in Wakefield.

The Government has made clear that where businesses are required to close as part of localised restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of covid-19, further financial support will be made available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 restrictions on local economies in the Leeds area.

Just over £155 million has been provided to businesses in Leeds via the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and in the Financial Year 2020/21 Leeds City Region Growth Hub has been allocated £780k to engage with businesses in this area.

The Government has made clear that where businesses are required to close as part of localised restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of covid-19, further financial support will be made available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to encourage (a) shops and (b) hospitality businesses to measure the temperature of customers before they enter their premises during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our approach is clinically led, based on the expert advice of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for England, the NHS and Public Health England. Putting the safety of all workers at the forefront of this guidance. We are led by the evolving science in this work and as the scientific and medical advice changes, the guidance will be updated to reflect this.

Businesses will want to do all they can to keep their staff and customers safe. They must conduct thorough risk assessments on how best to do that and ensure they can keep their business going. Guidance for businesses can be found at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timetable is for the reopening of beauty salons.

We have now provided other close contact services like beauty salons in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

We need to be confident services are able to reopen in a COVID-secure way for the staff and customers. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and our guidance has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish the data it holds on the level of carbon emissions during the covid-19 lockdown.

The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions data are compiled and published according to international requirements. We will be publishing provisional estimates of 2020 emissions in March 2021 based on provisional energy use data, and final estimates of 2020 emissions in February 2022. The greenhouse gas emission statistics we publish are available from the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-statistics.

The Department has however published data on energy use [link] during 2020 which shows for example that petrol and diesel sales in the seven weeks after 23 March 2020 were 39% the average levels of the prior eight weeks. The Committee on Climate Change’s 2020 Progress Report estimates that the UK’s daily CO2 emissions were around 30% lower than mean 2019 levels during the peak of the lockdown in April and May 2020 [link].

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the potential collapse of Sirius Minerals; and what support is available to shareholders in that company.

The offer made by Anglo-American to acquire Sirius Minerals is a commercial matter between the companies and their shareholders; therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to comment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on UK businesses of COVID-19.

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

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the use of pressure selling techniques.

Legislation prohibits traders from using misleading or aggressive selling practices towards consumers. Preventing consumer rips offs like these is a key priority for the Government, and we will consult early this year on strengthening consumer enforcement arrangements further. Consumers who believe they have been a victim of pressure selling should report the matter through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk). Consumers living in Scotland should report the matter through Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 (www.consumeradvice.scot/).

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will bring forward proposals for a new financing model for the nuclear power industry to increase levels of funding in that sector.

We are committed to looking at alternative funding models that could improve the value for money of new nuclear projects. We have consulted on a Regulated Asset Base funding model as an option that could attract private sector capital at a lower cost to consumers. The consultation closed on 14 October 2019 and we are currently considering the feedback.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department taking to encourage volunteers in engaging with local sports clubs.

The Government recognises the value of sport volunteering both to the sports that benefit and the volunteers themselves, and our sport and physical activity strategy, 'Sporting Future', emphasises the importance of volunteering.

Volunteering is a focus for Sport England’s new ten year strategy “Uniting the Movement”, published in January 2021. Their ambition is to place an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, skills and behaviours across the sporting workforce, to help open up and increase volunteering opportunities for people from a broader range of backgrounds and experiences.

Since 2016, Sport England has invested more than £5m of National Lottery funding in programmes to promote quality volunteering experiences and increase the diversity of volunteers who help to keep the nation active. Sport England supports local sports clubs to encourage and support volunteers through Club Matters. Club Matters provides free, convenient, practical resources to help organisations to develop, grow and become more sustainable and successful.

Sport England also works with stakeholders to look at the support and experience for volunteers within the sporting sector, focusing on what’s needed to make giving their time easy, meaningful and supported, and in doing so, reducing drop-out rates.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support the re-opening of (a) gyms and (b) group exercise classes as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April and as part of this indoor leisure (including gyms) for individual use will reopen. Step 3 will take place no earlier than 17 May and as part of this exercise classes can resume. This will be subject to social contact limits.

To ensure they can reopen the Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. The National Leisure Recovery Fund seeks to support eligible public sector leisure centres to reopen to the public, giving the sport and physical activity sector the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium term. A total of £100 million is available as a biddable fund to eligible local authorities in England.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is planning to take in response to the findings of the Consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion.

The government response to the consultation was published on 21 January. The response to the consultation shows that a significant number of people oppose the criminal sanction with some highlighting the considerable stress and anxiety it can cause for individuals, including the most vulnerable in society, such as older people.

However, changing the sanction for TV licence evasion would have wide-ranging impacts for licence fee payers, as well as potentially leading to a significant increase in fines for those evading payment.


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

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that large scale events can take place safely once covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

As announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 22 February, the government aims to reopen large events and closed settings in Step 4 of the Roadmap. To determine how and when we can lift the restrictions on large events and closed settings we will run a scientific Events Research Programme of pilots, starting in the Spring, to trial running events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing. This will include trialling ‘test-to-enable’ approaches to returning crowds to these settings.

In the interim, whilst the pilot programme runs, we will have capacity caps for events which will return in Step 3: Indoor events = lower of 1000 or 50% of capacity; Outdoor events = lower of 4000 or 50% of capacity; and for large seated outdoor venues, where crowds can be dispersed across a stadium, we will allow up to 10,000 people, or 25% of capacity - whichever is lower.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing support to sports clubs to encourage more people to take up more sports once national covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. The £300m Sports Winter Survival Package also aims to protect the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England over the winter period. On 22 October 2020, the Government also announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. We have no plans to provide additional bespoke support for indoor tennis centres.

In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has provided £220 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic. On 26 January Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them. We will also continue to promote exercise throughout the pandemic and encourage the usage of sports facilities when they are able to open again.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of publicly-funded reviews of cultural monuments and institutions in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign by (a) Leeds Council, (b) Wakefield Council and (c) nationally.

Government does not hold this information. The vast majority of total funding for councils is not ring fenced, and as such councils are best placed to decide the most efficient way to fund their services in order to meet the needs of their communities.

The Government has set out a clear policy position, and DCMS has written to its arms length bodies to make this clear, that statues and memorials, however contentious, should be retained and their presence explained in order to help educate people about all aspects of Britain’s complex past.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to allocate funding to local authorities that undertake a review of public statues situated in their local authority areas.

The Government has no plans to provide funding for local reviews of public statues. Historic England, as the Government’s adviser on the historic environment, have set out why they believe removing difficult and contentious parts of the historic environment risks harming our understanding of our collective past. They and other heritage funding bodies invest significantly in improving public access to historical objects, providing contemporary interpretation of them and supporting diverse heritage projects around the country.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that discussions of race-related issues in the curriculum and schools are politically impartial.

All schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broad, and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We expect all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.

Schools play an important role in supporting pupils to understand the society in which they grow up and to be prepared for life in modern Britain. Topics relating to race can be covered in a number of areas of the curriculum, such as in citizenship; religious education; Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, and the new subjects of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).

In delivering the curriculum, schools should be aware of their duties relating to political impartiality as set out under the Education Act 1996. They must:

  • forbid the pursuit of partisan political activities by junior pupils
  • forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school
  • take reasonably practicable steps to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views

The Department has reminded schools about the importance of political impartiality in our guidance to schools on planning their RSHE curricula, which can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum#ensuring-content-is-appropriate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he has plans to tackle the use by universities of non-disclosure agreements for student grievances.

The government has a clear expectation that all employers, including universities, should only use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) where appropriate and necessary. Any misuse of NDAs by universities to hide workplace discrimination or harassment or to withhold details of student complaints is completely unacceptable and not only can distress individuals but also risks bringing our world-leading higher education system into disrepute.

Although there is a range of legitimate reasons why universities may use NDAs including, for example, the protection of commercially sensitive information related to university research, we recognise their misuse is an area of concern. The government consulted on the misuse of confidentiality clauses in employer/employee relationships in 2019, and in response announced that we will legislate to prevent the misuse of NDAs in the workplace – including those being used to cover up harassment and discrimination. This will strengthen protections for individuals and create a fairer workplace for all.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent body set up to review student complaints in England and Wales. They also provide good practice guidance on resolving student complaints more generally and have published a briefing note for providers on handling complaints involving sexual misconduct and harassment.

The OIA view is that it is not normally appropriate or in the spirit of their scheme to expect a student to sign a complicated or legally binding settlement agreement, or to sign a confidentiality clause. To do so may mean that any lessons to be learned from the complaint are lost.

Sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment are unacceptable in higher education, as elsewhere, and government expects higher education providers to have robust and appropriate policies and procedures in place to handle effectively disclosures and reports of such behaviour by students or staff.

The Office for Students (OfS) is currently consulting on its approach to regulation and its expectations for providers in addressing sexual misconduct and harassment in their institutions. This consultation closes on 27 March 2020. Government officials meet at least quarterly with both the OfS and Universities UK specifically to discuss making progress on tackling harassment in higher education.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to regulate the ownership of exotic animals in England.

Zoos in England are regulated by the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice (2012). Licences are awarded for up to four or six years and at least two inspections per licence have to use qualified zoo inspectors appointed by Defra. Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing conditions in zoos, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for nominating Defra inspectors for formal inspections. Defra is working with the UK Zoos Expert Committee to ensure the standards are clear and enforceable whilst representing the latest knowledge on the keeping of wild animals. We intend to launch a targeted consultation on the standards later this year.

The keeping of dangerous wild animals as pets is regulated by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The Act requires owners of dangerous wild animals to be licensed by their local authority. The aim of the Act is to ensure that where private individuals keep dangerous wild animals, they do so in circumstances that create no risk to the public. We are looking closely at the wider animal welfare law to see whether it needs to be improved in relation to the welfare of exotic, non-domesticated animals. We have a manifesto commitment to start this process by banning the keeping of primates as pets and we consulted on this earlier this year.

It may also be helpful if I set out the laws already in place that provide for the protection of the welfare of exotic, non-domesticated animals in England. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. A person could therefore be responsible for an animal if they own it or are in charge of it. Responsibility for an animal includes having an understanding of the specific welfare needs, including health, of the animal and having the appropriate knowledge and skills to care for the animal. Local authorities, the APHA and the police all have powers of entry to investigate complaints of suspected animal cruelty or neglect and undertake prosecutions where necessary.

Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide properly for its welfare needs, faces an unlimited fine or being sent to prison for up six months, or both. Following a conviction for either of these offences, the court may also ban the offender from keeping any animals or certain types or animals and/or order that their animals are removed from them. The Government fully supports increasing the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty offences (including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal) from six months to five years through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill which is currently before Parliament.

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, anyone who is in the business of selling animals as pets (including non-domestic species) needs a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has plans to diverge from EU standards to pursue higher animal welfare standards for the pig farming industry.

The Government shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare and we are currently examining the evidence around the use of cages for farm animals.

We introduced a new pig welfare code of practice, which came into force in March last year, and this provides guidance to keepers and farmers on legal requirements and encourages high standards of husbandry. The pig code states that the aim is for farrowing crates to no longer be necessary and for any new system to protect the welfare of the sow, as well as her piglets. We are continuing to discuss and work with the industry on this issue.

We are co-designing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry, to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations, underpinning our high international reputation for health and welfare and future increases to regulatory standards.

We are committed to maintaining our position as world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential economic effect of banning farrowing crates on the pig farming industry.

The Government shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare and we are currently examining the evidence around the use of cages for farm animals.

We introduced a new pig welfare code of practice, which came into force in March last year, and this provides guidance to keepers and farmers on legal requirements and encourages high standards of husbandry. The pig code states that the aim is for farrowing crates to no longer be necessary and for any new system to protect the welfare of the sow, as well as her piglets. We are continuing to discuss and work with the industry on this issue.

We are co-designing an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway with industry, to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations, underpinning our high international reputation for health and welfare and future increases to regulatory standards.

We are committed to maintaining our position as world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to buy British-caught fish.

The Government is committed to supporting our seafood and fishing industries across the UK, including through growing domestic demand for our high-quality UK seafood.

Defra is partnering with Seafish (the public body that supports the UK seafood industry) to deliver the Love Seafood campaign to promote the domestic consumption of fish and shellfish. The Love Seafood campaign will run throughout this spring and aims to support the fisheries industry by encouraging people to buy and eat more UK caught seafood and will feature in national and regional press titles, regional radio, and on social media across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve flood defences in West Yorkshire.

Starting in April 2021, the Government will invest a record £5.2 billion in a six-year capital investment programme for flood defences. This investment will deliver around 2,000 flood schemes, benefiting every region of the country, and will better protect 336,000 properties from flooding.

In July 2020 we committed funding of up to £170 million to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction before the end 2021/2022. This funding will provide an immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus. The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme has been awarded £12 million to contribute to this ambitious plan by better protecting approximately 4500 jobs and 1000 businesses.

In Leeds, the Government will provide up to £21 million for the Leeds Phase 2 Flood Alleviation Scheme which will protect more than 370 businesses and 3.300 jobs. This is subject to a satisfactory business case approved by Defra and HMT. The Government will also provide £1,320,000 for the Leeds Natural Flood Management Scheme. This brings the Government's total investment in Leeds to more than £100 million to help prevent a repeat of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Since 2015/16, there has been £158 million of investment in West Yorkshire better protecting homes, business and critical infrastructure against flooding. This includes areas in West Yorkshire that have suffered severe flooding in recent years, such as Mytholmroyd on the River Calder, where over 400 homes have been better protected, and Leeds on the River Aire, where over 3,000 homes and 500 businesses have been better protected. This investment has been made up of £107 million government funding and £51 million of other external contributions.

For the next 6 years, there is planned investment of £255 million. This is made up of £146 million government funding with £109 million of external contributions required. Some of this additional funding has already been secured or identified and the Environment Agency will continue to work with partners to secure the remaining funding. This programme aims to better protect almost 7,000 more homes across West Yorkshire and deliver wider economic benefits of over £2.5 billion.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle puppy smuggling.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to puppies and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

The end of the transition period has opened up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements and we are listening to the concerns of stakeholders around future requirements. The Government is developing a range of options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling, taking into consideration the recommendations of stakeholders and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to help promote the exports of UK food producers.

As a Government, we have a manifesto commitment that we want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British. The UK's growing reputation for high quality food and drink, produced to high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability, is an excellent platform to increase demand for our products still further around the world.

Defra works in tandem with the Department for International Trade to deliver the Food is GREAT campaign, which helps businesses to succeed in overseas markets by ensuring global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink. Food is GREAT is a key element of the joint Defra and DIT agri-food 'bounce back' package of trade support and promotion measures announced last June to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

The Food is GREAT campaign is focused on priority markets, including the USA, China, and Japan. In November, the campaign showcased a spectacular display of food and drink products from across the UK at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) 2020 in Shanghai. Activity is being planned across all priority markets, where we will work with UK businesses to promote the best of UK food and drink on the international stage.

Defra is strengthening export capability and ambition in the sector through an Export Working Group in collaboration with the Department for International Trade and representatives of the food and drink sector. This group identifies market opportunities and increases awareness of the support and tools available to exporters. A particular focus is helping SMEs build capability to grow their businesses through exports. A new International Action Plan is being developed by this group to set out the export ambition of the sector, priority markets and the full range of government support available from tailored export advice to campaign activity and a programme of expos and trade shows. This includes further enhancing in market support, building on the success of Defra's first Agri-Counsellors in Beijing and Dubai.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect on the import of waste for recycling in the UK of (a) the UK leaving the EU and (b) the Environment Bill.

The UK’s departure from the EU will not affect the way in which we import waste for recycling in the UK.

The Environment Bill includes powers to regulate imports and exports of waste. These provisions will modernise our existing regulation-making powers in this area. The Bill also includes a power to introduce electronic tracking of waste to help tackle waste crime here in the UK.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the members nominated for the Trade and Agriculture Commission have (a) science-led animal welfare expertise and (b) practical commercial experience in farming to high welfare standards.

The Trade and Agriculture Commission will be composed of independent experts in their field, whose expertise will be driven by the scope of the provisions of the amendment to the Trade Bill. This includes UK animal welfare standards, as well as UK animal and plant health standards, UK environmental standards relating to agricultural products, and international trade law and policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to increase foreign investment in UK industry in order to raise productivity.

The UK is a leading foreign investment destination; second in the world for inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stocks with $2.1 trillion, behind the USA in 2019. DIT analysis of Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2018 foreign owned firms were on average 72% more productive than domestic only firms.

In 2019/20 the Department for International Trade provided support for 1,449 FDI projects, creating almost 45,000 new jobs and safeguarding a further 8,000. In November 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new Office for Investment within the Department but under the sponsorship of Downing Street to support strategic investment. We are also prioritising regional investment and growth through our High Potential Opportunities Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to support small and medium sized enterprises to increase their exports.

This Government is creating new opportunities for businesses to grow overseas, including through 66 new trade deals that, along with the EU, account for £890bn in bilateral trade. The Department for International Trade is supporting businesses to take advantage of these new opportunities through our global network, a £38 million internationalisation fund, the Export Academy as well new Trade Hubs across the UK. We have increased our lending capacity for exporters to £8bn, with £2bn dedicated to Clean Growth projects, through the award-winning UK Export Finance. We will be further enhancing the Government’s support for exporters through a refreshed Export Strategy.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether UK trade agreements with Albania, Canada, Jordan and Mexico are planned to take effect within the first half of 2021.

We have secured trade agreements with 64 countries, plus the EU, covering £889 billion of trade in 2019. Most of these trade agreements entered into effect from 1st January 2021, when the transition period ended.

Some countries with which we have signed agreements have not been able to bring the agreement into effect or have not been able to do so fully. They are in the process of completing the final necessary steps to allow the agreements to enter into effect fully. This is the case for Canada, Jordan and Mexico.

HM Government signed a Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Albania on 5th February. Albania is currently undertaking the domestic parliamentary processes required to bring the agreement into effect.

We have set out on GOV.UK the signed agreements that entered into effect on 1st January, and have published advice for those agreements that are not in place fully.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps she has taken to secure a free trade deal with the US.

The fifth UK-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiating round took place from 19 to 30 October 2020. Almost all chapter areas are now in the advanced stages of talks, and a significant proportion of legal text has been agreed across multiple chapters. UK and US negotiators have also continued to hold working level technical sessions since the end of Round 5 of negotiations, and we believe there is a compelling case to build on the significant progress already made.

The Biden administration is currently in the process of seeking Senate confirmation for the appointment of senior staff, including in the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The Department for International Trade (DIT) works closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and British Embassy Washington in advancing UK national objectives with the US, including on trade. DIT Ministers continue to engage senior US political figures on a bipartisan basis.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on reversing the Beeching cuts and restoring stations in (a) East Ardsley and Thorpe and (b) more widely.

The Government has pledged £500m to the Restoring Your Railway fund to reverse the Beeching cuts and restore lines and stations.

I understand that my Hon Friend has supported a bid to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund for the restoration of a railway station in East Ardsley. The bid is currently being assessed and we expect to announce the outcomes in the summer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve cyclist safety through enhancements to road infrastructure and layout.

The Government has announced ambitious plans for cycling and walking and has committed an unprecedented £2 billion of funding for active travel over the next 5 years. The details are set out in the Prime Minister’s Gear Change plan, published in July and can be viewed here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-plan-for-england.

The detailed design of cycle lanes is a matter for individual local traffic authorities. Design advice for cycling infrastructure, including cycle lanes, can be found in Local Transport Note 1/20 ‘Cycle Infrastructure Design’ which is at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120.

The Government also published additional Network Management Duty guidance, which was updated in November 2020. This clearly sets out what the Government expects local authorities to do in making changes to their road layouts to encourage cycling and walking.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial and other support he is providing to local authorities to improve the condition of roads.

The Department has allocated over £2.6 billion for local highways maintenance for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside London.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he make an assessment of the potential merits on introducing (a) training and (b) public service advertisements for motorists on the safe use of smart motorways.

I want our motorways to be as safe as possible. That is why the Secretary of State asked the Department to carry out an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about the safety of smart motorways and make recommendations. The Department will present the findings of the stocktake shortly.

While I would not want to pre-judge the results of that work, what I can say is that we will continue to prioritise improving safety – making conditions safer for everyone on our roads. The Roads Minister will write to you as soon as the stocktake is completed to answer your specific question.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the renationalisation of Northern Rail.

The financial impact on public funds from the Northern rail franchise being taken into public ownership on 1st March 2020 has not yet been finalised. Financial impacts will include any additional subsidy necessary to deliver current rail services above the cost contracted in 2015.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to make businesses aware that they can join the Kickstart Scheme, without the threshold of a minimum 30 jobs.

The removal of the 30 minimum jobs threshold was announced by the Secretary of State on 25 January. The announcement was featured in the national press and we engaged with key stakeholders to disseminate the message throughout their employer networks.

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to actively engage with employers of all sizes to promote applications and interest in the Kickstart Scheme. Ministers are personally engaging with employers to encourage new applications.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what further steps her Department plans to take to promote the Kickstart scheme throughout West Yorkshire.

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to actively engage with employers of all sizes to promote applications and interest in the Kickstart Scheme. Ministers are personally engaging with employers to encourage new applications.

We continue to work with key stakeholders to ensure that Kickstart is offered across Great Britain and in a wide range of sectors. Through our Engagement Strategy we are focussing on targeted promotional activities working through a mix of place-based partners (such as local authorities and mayoral combined authorities) as well as trade bodies representing specific sectors.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support people who are considering changing careers as a result of the covid-19.

Through our Plan for Jobs, the department is providing broad ranging support for all jobseekers who want to change career or employment sector, including those who are looking for work as a result of Covid 19. Currently, support includes Job Finding Support (JFS), Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPS) and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS). In addition, the Restart programme is due to launch later this year, furthering support options.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to tackle unemployment in Morley and Outwood constituency as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The department is increasing unemployment support for people in all areas of the country, including Morley and Outwood, through the Plan for Jobs package. Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) were recently launched with the Job Finding Support Service to follow. In addition, 13,500 extra Jobcentre Work Coaches are being recruited to support claimants to find or re-enter employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to seek medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity in the event that they believe they are experiencing common symptoms of cancer.

It is vital that people seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity if they believe they are experiencing symptoms of cancer. In October, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England launched the latest ‘Help us help you’ campaign to urge people with potential symptoms of cancer to see their general practitioner. This campaign reinforces the message about the importance of seeking medical care if needed during the pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the content is of the aftercare provided to women who undergo home abortions; and whether those women receive a follow-up call to check on their pain management.

The Department’s required Standard Operating Procedures, which all independent abortion providers must comply with, set out that all providers should have protocols in place covering the support that should be in place for women following an abortion procedure.

Abortion providers will discuss possible complications with the woman during the consultation and women will be provided with written advice and information about possible symptoms, including those which would necessitate urgent review. Women have access to a 24 hour telephone helpline should they have any concerns. Follow up calls regarding pain management are a matter for individual providers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support research on the efficacy of covid-19 vaccines for people with low immunity.

Public Health England are leading the surveillance strategy for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which will continue to monitor how effective each vaccine is at protecting against a range of outcomes including infection, symptomatic disease, hospitalisations, mortality and onwards transmission. The strategy includes further research on how effectiveness varies by subgroup, including different clinical risk groups. Evidence on these outcomes will be generated through routine data sources, including routine testing data and general practitioner electronic health records, as well as through enhanced surveillance and building upon established research studies in specific populations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that parents and caregivers can be present with young people at hospital appointments in all NHS Trusts.

We understand the need for young people to be accompanied by their parents and caregivers at appointments and recommend that patients be accompanied where appropriate and necessary. The current guidance, published on 13 October 2020, allows visiting in outpatient and diagnostic settings in a COVID-19 secure way. This guidance was developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s clinical cell, overseen by a multidisciplinary group including colleagues from children and young people’s teams.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental wellbeing of people who have been shielding during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Every Mind Matters website is available to everyone with advice and practical steps that people can take to support their wellbeing and manage their mental health during the pandemic. The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available for anyone shielding. National Health Service volunteers can provide short-term telephone support such as Check-in and Chat for those at risk of loneliness


In addition, NHS mental health services have deployed innovative digital solutions to connect with people and provide ongoing support. Remote delivery has ensured that people can continue to access talking therapies from the safety of their own home. Online self-referral options are commonly available for psychological therapies services for adults with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. For those with severe needs or in crisis, all NHS mental health providers have established 24 hours a day, seven days a week urgent mental health helplines.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to support the global goal of developing a cure or major disease-modifying treatment for dementia by 2025.

United Kingdom researchers are at the forefront of global efforts to find a cure or a disease-modifying treatment by 2025. The 2020 Dementia Challenge commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over five years was delivered a year early, with £344 million spent over four years. Significant elements in research are the £190 million UK Dementia Research Institute with a focus on basic science, the £43 million Dementias Platform UK supporting experimental medicine studies, and the National Institute for Health Research Translational Collaboration – Dementia, which brings together industry, academia and charities to deliver research from which patients will benefit.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that those living with Dementia who have been offered a covid-19 vaccine are supported to arrive at their scheduled appointment; and what steps his Department is taking to follow up with dementia suffers who miss covid-19 vaccine appointments.

A number of steps have been taken to ensure those living with dementia have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine and are supported to arrive at their scheduled appointment, which are outlined in a Standard Operating Procedure published by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

This states that under the Equalities Act 2010, people with a learning disability or health condition that has a substantial and long-term effect on day-to-day activities are entitled to reasonable adjustments when accessing health services. This means that steps must be taken to remove or minimise the barriers that individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), dementia, a learning disability or autistic people may face in accessing the vaccine.

Most people with a SMI, dementia, learning disability or autism will be able to receive their vaccine in the standard way. However, for the minority of individuals where this is not suitable, reasonable adjustments should be determined in advance of the vaccine provision, centred around individual needs to minimise discomfort or distress.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to encourage organisations to sign up to the workplace testing Government scheme to increase the use of lateral flow tests in the workplace.


An online portal has been launched for businesses to find out more about offering rapid workplace testing. To encourage more workplaces to sign up, businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme, along with promotional materials. The tests will be sent to businesses at no cost, making testing more accessible for businesses of all sizes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps he has taken to support young people’s mental health since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Children and young people’s mental health services have remained open throughout the pandemic, offering digital and remote access to maintain support, and accepting new referrals. NHS England asked all mental health trusts to ensure there are 24 hours a day, seven days a week open access telephone lines for urgent National Health Service mental health support, advice and triage for all ages through a single point of access. Crisis lines are an NHS Long Term Plan ambition brought forward from 2023/24.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the temporary measure allowing medical abortions to happen outside a clinical environment, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that potential abuse, coercion and sex-trafficking of under 18s who may request medical abortions at home under that measure is detected.

Safeguarding is an essential component of abortion services. All providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse and know how to respond. Providers must have written guidance that staff are aware of and can easily refer to as well as easy access to a named lead in the organisation for guidance and advice.

It is also a requirement that clinicians caring for women requesting abortion should be able to identify those who require more support than can be provided in the routine abortion service setting, for example young women, those with a pre-existing mental health condition, those who are subject to sexual violence or poor social support, or where there is evidence of coercion. These requirements apply to all consultations whether they take place via video link, telephone call or face to face.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the information provided to women undergoing consultation for late-term abortions; and whether women undergoing those consultations are informed that a child could live at 22 weeks outside the womb and feel pain.

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion and Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, which is available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

The RCOG have identified the Report ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’ should be reviewed, following the recent publication of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidance on best practice abortion care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department made of the potential effect of (a) mandatory calorie counts on menus and (b) other measures in the Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives policy paper on people with eating disorders prior to the publication of that policy paper.

Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions and it is important that people have access to the right mental health support, in the right place, at the right time. We carefully considered all views on our measures to reduce obesity and will continue to do so. This includes feedback from a wide range of experts in response to our public consultations on specific policy proposals in ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses with 250 or more employees, to calorie label the food they sell. An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of shopper intent when developing the scope for the proposed location restrictions set out in the Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives strategy.

A full public consultation and impact assessment has been carried out for the proposal to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar in stores. The Government’s response to the consultation and the impact assessment will be published shortly.

Policies on restricting the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar are informed by the latest research, emerging evidence and various reports from key stakeholders including Public Health England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to use the findings of Public Health England' report, Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives, published on 27 July 2020 on the consumption of sugar and excess calories in developing the proposed promotion and advertising restrictions.

A full public consultation and impact assessment has been carried out for the proposal to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar in stores. The Government’s response to the consultation and the impact assessment will be published shortly.

Policies on restricting the promotion and advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar are informed by the latest research, emerging evidence and various reports from key stakeholders including Public Health England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on mental health of enabling couples to form a bubble while living in separate households during the covid-19 outbreak.

Until 3 December, people must not mix with any other households indoors apart from under certain exemptions, including being able to form a support bubble. If a person or their partner is in a single adult household, they can form a support bubble between your household and do not have to adhere to social distancing rules.

We understand these rules are difficult for everyone, but reducing social contact is paramount to protecting the National Health Service and saving lives. The Government will keep this under constant review and has published guidance on mental health and wellbeing which includes guidance on maintaining relationships, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#what-can-help-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are waiting for cancer treatment in West Yorkshire; and what the average waiting time is for that treatment.

Data is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to facilitate safe contact between the guests of care homes and their families to mitigate the effects of loneliness on mental health during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that limiting visits in care homes has been difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones.

We published updated visiting guidance on 15 October 2020, which set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to continue safely, based on the views of their local Director of Public Health.

Care homes should provide support to visitors on how to prepare for a visit, including the appropriate infection control precautions.

For areas at local COVID alert level medium visits to care homes can continue as set out in the care homes visiting guidance. For areas at local COVID alert level high and very high visits to care homes should return to exceptional circumstances only such as end of life.

Our priority remains the prevention of infection in care homes to protect staff and residents and we are considering plans to test specific family and friends to reduce the risk of visiting care homes. We will set out further details in due course.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce mass-testing for covid-19 for students that wish to return home for Christmas.

To support the return home of students in December we provided universities with rapid lateral flow tests. Students were asked to get tested twice during the first week of December using lateral flow devices. If they received two negative tests, they were advised to return home immediately. Should a student have tested positive they would have to self-isolate for 10 days, still with enough time to return home for Christmas.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to ONS statistical release, Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England and Wales: 2 March to 15 May 2020, if his Department will make an assessment of the reasons for the higher death rate from covid-19 among disabled women.

We know that many people with long standing, limiting illnesses or health conditions are at higher risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

The survey analysis undertaken by the Office for National Statistics is provisional. We will continue to review all available evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 for disabled people, including disabled women, and we are commissioning new research to better understand the specific impacts. This evidence will inform policy development going forwards.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of using Nightingale hospitals in the winter in the event that further hospital capacity is needed.

Nightingale hospitals have helped the National Health Service to rise to an unprecedented challenge by providing extra capacity to manage surges in demand due to COVID-19.

We continue to work closely with the NHS and partners, and guidance has already been issued on restoring urgent non-COVID-19 services safely, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again if needed, including through the use of Nightingale hospitals.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on treatment time for (a) elective care and routine operations, (b) cancer and (c) urgent treatment.

The postponement of non-urgent elective operations was vital in ensuring that the National Health Service had sufficient capacity to manage COVID-19 demand, although the most urgent and emergency treatments continued to be provided. This pause in activity led to an increase in waiting times following referral. The latest performance against the target for 92% of patients to start treatment within 18 weeks following referral was 66.2% in May 2020. Performance against the target of 85% of patients having a first definitive treatment for cancer within 62 days following an urgent general practitioner referral was 69.9% in May. Performance against the target for 95% of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours upon arrival at accident and emergency was 92.8% in June 2020.

We continue to work closely with the NHS and partners, and guidance has already been issued on starting to restore urgent non-COVID-19 services safely, whilst ensuring surge capacity can be stood up again if needed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the results of the new treatment service for gambling addiction in Sunderland.

The assessment of the Sunderland clinic is ongoing. The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment to expand the coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, and to work with partners to tackle the problem at source. Up to 15 such clinics will be open by 2023/24.

The treatment clinic in Sunderland, opened in January 2020, is run by the NHS Northern Gambling Service. Throughout 2020/21, the site will continue to serve as a pilot site to test models for spreading geographical coverage of treatment provision, using central clinics that have satellite clinics in neighbouring populations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government intends to commission further research into the findings in the letter by Helms et al entitled, Neurologic Features in Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 4 June 2020.

The Department invests £1 billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR continues to play a critical role in prioritising, funding and delivering research into COVID-19. The NIHR is prioritising COVID-19 clinical research activity through its Urgent Public Health research prioritisation process. A list of prioritised studies is available at the following link:

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/covid-studies/

The NIHR funds COVID-19 research through its research calls. The NIHR Recovery and Learning Call will fund research to better understand and manage the health and social care consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This follows on from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-NIHR Rapid Response Call and the UKRI-NIHR Rapid Rolling Call for research that aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention and/or management of COVID-19.

The UKRI Medical Research Council has funded the UK Dementia Research Institute to conduct a study into the clinical characterisation of the neurological and cognitive effects of SARS-CoV-2 linked brain injury.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure people working in blood donation centres can be tested for covid-19.

NHS Blood and Transplant staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, and their symptomatic household members, have been eligible for testing since 17 April. NHS Blood and Transplant regularly promotes the testing service to its staff. NHS Blood and Transplant staff who are absent, reporting COVID-19- like symptoms, are supported in accessing testing the Government’s online self-referral portal for essential workers, which allows them to register for a home test kit or book a drive-through test at a regional test site.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a test has access to one. All health and care staff have had access to a test since 17 April.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 tests had results confirmed within 48 hours.

Information on turnaround times for testing is published for pillars 1 and 2 weekly as part of the NHS Test and Trace statistics at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have received results from being tested for covid-19.

As of 14 October 2020, a total of 7,654,018, or one in eight people in England have received a COVID-19 test at least once since the launch of NHS Test and Trace on 28 May 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS intensive care units have (a) appropriate facilities and (b) adequate resources to help save the lives of patients worst affected by covid-19.

The Chancellor recently advised that the National Health Service will get the resources it needs to cope with a COVID-19 epidemic.

The NHS is currently scaling up intensive care beds. NHS England is looking at critical care capacity - including the availability of additional facilities of independent sector providers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific advice he has received on the risk of transmission of covid-19 in public gatherings.

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

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

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies meets regularly to discuss relevant issues, including scientific evidence related to public gatherings.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to protect NHS staff from infection from covid-19.

‘COVID-19: Guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings’ has been published and can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/872745/Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_for_pandemic_coronavirus.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will issue guidance to hon. Members and their staff in contact with vulnerable constituents on how to deal with the risk of covid-19 infection.

Public Health England (PHE) recommends that hon. Members and noble Lords, representing members of the public model good behaviour and follow public health advice on self-isolation issued by PHE.

Guidance on self-isolation for people with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infection is available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

PHE recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19. This includes covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands, when you cough or sneeze. Putting used tissues in the bin straight away and washing your hands with soap and water often, using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

If a hon. Member or their staff thinks they have been exposed to a confirmed case, and they are worried about symptoms, they should call NHS 111. They should not go directly to their general practice or other healthcare environment.

General PHE advice on COVID-19 is updated regularly and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what testing criteria Public Health England is applying for the testing of potential covid-19 cases; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of widening that testing criteria so that higher numbers of people are so tested.

Details on case definitions are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-initial-investigation-of-possible-cases/investigation-and-initial-clinical-management-of-possible-cases-of-wuhan-novel-coronavirus-wn-cov-infection#criteria

The Stay at Home Guidance states that Public Health England will not be testing people with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Those with mild symptoms are advised to self-isolate and stay at home for seven days from the onset of the relevant symptoms of a new continuous cough and a high temperature. Therefore, people do not need to be tested to act. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to enforce the NICE guidelines on offering epidurals to women in labour.

All expectant mothers should be able to make an informed choice about pain relief any time before and during labour, knowing that their choice would be fully respected if it is safe to do so.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Nadine Dorries MP) is writing to all Heads and Directors of Midwifery and Medical Directors at NHS trusts to remind them of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance regarding pain relief during childbirth to ensure it is being followed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to undertake further research on the side effects of cannabidiol products.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on cannabidiol products; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. The NIHR has identified research on cannabis-based medicinal products as a priority and has issued two calls for research proposals on this area.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to encourage research into the effect of IVF treatments on the perinatal health of babies conceived through IVF.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which has a broad portfolio of research into reproductive health, including assisted conception.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. However it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications for funding are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will take steps to (a) undertake research on and (b) raise awareness of staff in NHS Trusts of kangaroo care for premature babies.

The Department currently has no plans to fund research on kangaroo care for premature babies. The National Institute for Health Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. Applications for funding are subject to peer review and judged in open competition.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the decision by the Professional Standards Authority to renew the Society of Homeopaths’ accreditation.

The Department does not maintain a position on any complementary or alternative medicine treatments. It is the responsibility of local National Health Service organisations to make decisions on the commissioning and funding of any healthcare treatments for NHS patients, taking into account issues around safety and clinical and cost-effectiveness. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence does not currently recommend that homeopathy should be used in the treatment of any health condition.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is an independent organisation who has responsibility for the accredited registers scheme. The PSA is clear that accreditation is not an endorsement of a particular treatment or therapy or its efficacy but ensures that practitioners are part of a body that works to good practice and is committed to protecting the public.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many open serious case reviews there are into perinatal deaths in England.

A Serious Case Review is the terminology previously used to describe the local agency joint response review into safeguarding concerns (e.g. concerns about neglect, abuse) where the child has died or been seriously harmed. These are now referred to as Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.

Information on the number of open cases of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make it its policy to raise public awareness of the links between asthma and cleaning products.

The NHS Long Term Plan identifies respiratory disease as a clinical priority and highlights key areas for action. This includes enabling more people to self-manage their condition through introducing standardised education programmes for asthma. To deliver this, a national respiratory programme has been established. The programme has expert representation from across the National Health Service and is working in collaboration with representatives from public health.

The NHS A-Z lists common triggers for asthma and points to specific advice on this issue on the Asthma UK website at the following links:

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/indoor-environment/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will launch an inquiry into deaths relating to vaping.

There are no current plans to conduct an inquiry. Cases have been reported in the United States of America of acute lung injury suspected to be associated with e-cigarette use or vaping, although Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently recognised that either tetrahydrocannabinol or Vitamin E Acetate as the likely cause of the USA outbreak. Although to date reports in the United Kingdom do not reflect the trends in volume and pattern of the respiratory events seen in the USA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is conducting surveillance to ensure they can identify potential cases.

UK regulated e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking although not completely risk free. Five fatalities have been reported to the MHRA in the UK that may have been associated with e-cigarette use. Importantly there is no evidence that all the deaths were caused by e-cigarette use. This needs to be put into context of over 3 million e-cigarette users in the UK, and that smoking kills over 78,000 people each year alone in England.

The MHRA continues to assess all reports received in association with nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and take appropriate action to protect public health.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK citizens repatriated from Wuhan in China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak receive the necessary medical attention.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that those people repatriated by the United Kingdom Government are made as comfortable as possible throughout the duration of the 14-day period to monitor their health and to protect the public.

They will have access to a team of medical staff who will closely monitor their condition.

The team at this site is able to ensure that infection control remains at the highest standard and that individuals have access to specialist care if required. It also allows the health of those in the group to be regularly monitored and has the necessary medical facilities close at hand should they be required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to help ensure equity in the performance of clinical commissioning groups on the (a) timeliness and (b) quality of mental health treatments for children after receipt of a referral for such treatment.

We have committed to at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 being able to access mental health support by 2023/24.

Our Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health aims to improve the provision of services for children. One of the key proposals of the Green Paper is to create new Mental Health Support Teams in and near groups of schools and colleges, to enable children to get timely support for mild to moderate conditions.

In December 2018, we announced 25 Trailblazer sites to run the first wave of 59 Mental Health Support Teams. In 12 of these areas we are also testing a four-week wait standard, exploring how Mental Health Support Teams and specialist services can work together to achieve more timely access to appropriate treatment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Long Term plan, what steps his Department is taking to help people stop smoking in areas where smoking is more prevalent.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to the provision of tobacco dependence treatment services for all people who smoke who are admitted overnight to hospital, pregnant women and higher risk outpatients by the end of 2023/24.

The NHS Long Term Plan Implementation Framework, published in June 2019, outlines how these commitments will be delivered; encouraging local systems, to develop local plans to tackle health inequalities and best meet the needs of the populations they serve.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries mistakenly diagnosed as post concussion syndrome.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding he has allocated from the public purse to support avoidance of misdiagnosis of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the rate of misdiagnosis of (a) brain and (b) spinal injuries.

This information is not collected, and no assessment of trends or estimates of misdiagnosis incidence has been made. Furthermore, the funding of the vast majority of NHS services is a local matter, with services commissioned by clinical commissioning groups according from individual resource allocations according to local need.


To support clinicians in the assessment and diagnosis of head injuries, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced the evidence-based guideline, ‘Head injury: assessment and early management’. Updated in 2019, the guideline sets out best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of people with head injuries, including the use of appropriate diagnostic tools. In 2017 NICE also published a guideline on assessment and early management of spinal injuries, which references sections of the head injury guideline to support consistent diagnostic and assessment approaches. Both sets of guidance can be found at the following links:


https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg176

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng41

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to January 2020 NHS Digital figures showing an increase in hospital admissions for eating disorders, what steps he is taking to (a) prevent people from developing those disorders and (b) support people in those situations.

Early intervention is beneficial for all mental health conditions. Our Green Paper on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision has the potential to significantly improve early intervention and prevention, which can help prevent problems continuing into or developing in adulthood.

The Government recognise that poor body image is a common problem and in most extreme cases can lead to eating disorders. This is why the Government has delivered a broad programme on body image which has included work with the advertising industry to develop young peoples’ ability to evaluate the images and messages they encounter in the media.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s investment of an extra £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24, eating disorder services for all ages are being ramped-up across the country. This Government has invested £150 million over five years since 2014, to expand eating disorder community-based care for children and young people and we have seen positive results, with an increase in the total number receiving effective treatment in the community from around 5,000 in 2016/17 to over 7,500 in 2018/19. At least three in four children are now starting treatment within one week if urgent and four weeks if non-urgent.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to help de-escalate tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

I spoke to the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers on 28 September. I raised UK concerns over civilian casualties and fatalities, urged immediate de-escalation and reinforced the importance of returning to negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. The UK continues to engage actively with international partners in support of these objectives. The Prime Minister discussed the situation in Nagorno Karabakh with President Erdogan on 28 September. And, following a request from the UK and its European partners, the issue was discussed at the UN Security Council on 29 September.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the Russia holding military exercises in the Caucasus region during recent hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Government is deeply concerned by the recent hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and regrets the loss of life. We continue to monitor the situation closely. We are aware of the recent exercises in southwest Russia, and monitor Russian exercise activity closely. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement of 14 July called for Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the ceasefire, engage in dialogue and refrain from rhetoric that could increase tensions. The prosperity of the South Caucasus and wider regional energy security depends on both sides returning to the negotiating table and engaging in substantive talks. The Government fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at facilitating this.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on (a) Caspian oil supplies and (b) British regional interests in the energy field of recent hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Government is deeply concerned by the recent hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and regrets the loss of life. We continue to monitor the situation closely. We are aware of the recent exercises in southwest Russia, and monitor Russian exercise activity closely. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement of 14 July called for Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the ceasefire, engage in dialogue and refrain from rhetoric that could increase tensions. The prosperity of the South Caucasus and wider regional energy security depends on both sides returning to the negotiating table and engaging in substantive talks. The Government fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at facilitating this.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of imposing sanctions on people responsible for human rights violations in Xinjang.

It is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future. We do not want to reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of imposing sanctions on people responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

On 6 July, The Foreign Secretary brought into force the UK's first autonomous human rights sanctions regime, which gives the Government the power to impose sanctions on those involved in the very worst of human rights abuses around the world.

As the Foreign Secretary said in his statement to the House, the Government will consider carefully further suggestions for designations under this regime. However, it would not be appropriate to pre-empt who may be designated.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of a truce in the conflict in Libya.

The Government is deeply concerned by the continuing fighting in Libya. All the signs are that, despite calls for a humanitarian truce, hostilities are continuing on all sides. We are clear that an enduring ceasefire and a return to UN-led political talks are the only means of achieving the peace and stability that most Libyans crave.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Jordanian counterpart on that country’s reform of its national curriculum to strengthen anti-extremist education.

We frequently engage with the Government of Jordan on countering violent extremism, and Jordan has - in recent years - improved the content of its curriculum. We do not assess that the Jordanian curriculum contains materials that promote engagement with Daesh or other extremist groups, or promotes violent extremist behaviour.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent peace deal between the US and the Taliban on the future of Afghanistan.

The UK welcomes the agreement between the US and the Taliban, and the Joint Declaration between the United States and the Afghan government. There is an opportunity for all to come together to work for inclusive and sustainable peace. A political settlement is the only way to achieve lasting stability in Afghanistan and the wider region. It is vital that the next step is a credible and inclusive peace process that protects the progress made in the country, including protection for women and minorities. We continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards a more peaceful and positive future.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent reports of Hamas-led rocket attacks on Israel.

We are concerned by the recent escalation in Gaza, including indiscriminate rocket fire which places civilians at risk. We call upon Hamas and other terrorist groups to permanently end their attacks against Israel. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are unacceptable and unjustifiable. The perpetual cycle of violence does not serve anyone's interests, and must end. We urge all parties to adhere to the recent ceasefire arrangement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will take steps to (a) support sports teams from the Falkland Islands to participate in international tournaments and (b) tackle intimidation of such teams.

The UK Government fully supports the right of the Falkland Islanders to compete in international sports tournaments under their own flag. Officials in our missions overseas stand ready to support any Overseas Territories teams competing in international tournaments who find themselves under threat or intimidation. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials in Stanley and Brasilia were in close contact with the Falklands Team throughout the Pan American Team Continental Championships to offer support.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage a democratic resolution to the situation in Venezuela.

We maintain regular discussions with key actors on Venezuela following the United Kingdom's recognition of Juan Guaido as constitutional interim President of Venezuela. Through our Ambassador in Caracas and internationally, we have been working closely with like-minded partners - including on a sanctions regime imposed by the EU. We are also working with the US and the regional Lima Group to encourage a peaceful resolution of the current crisis and a democratic transition through free and fair elections.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Saudi Arabian counterpart on encouraging the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table to discuss the US Administration's Middle East peace plan proposal.

We have spoken to a range of regional partners about the US Administration's plan. We will continue to do so. Only Israeli and Palestinian leaders can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent. We encourage them to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking with the Gambian Government to tackle child abuse by Western tourists.

We are engaging with Gambian officials, the tourism sector and international partners to ensure that the Government of The Gambia's zero tolerance on child abuse is understood and implemented. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs in The Gambia, established in 2019, is leading work on strengthening child protection arrangements.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the December 2019 missile tests by North Korea.

We are gravely concerned by North Korea’s testing of ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The UK continues to press for diplomacy and dialogue as the best way to resolve the situation. We have repeatedly called on North Korea to engage in good faith in negotiations with the US. We fully support US efforts to persuade North Korea to dismantle its illegal nuclear and missiles programmes and believe that sanctions should remain in place until North Korea takes concrete steps towards denuclearisation. It is our firm belief that complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation is the path to a peaceful and more prosperous future for the North Korean people.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to 2019 Unicef data recording more than 170,000 grave violations against children in war zones since 2010, what steps his Department is taking in co-operation with other countries to improve children’s safety in those areas.

The UK is firmly committed to protecting children in armed conflict. We use our membership as a UN Security Council Permanent Member to prioritise conflict-related child protection issues in Council discussions and ensure that UN operations have the capacity and capability to address them. The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, contributing £800,000 in the last five years. The office works with parties to conflict that are committing grave violations to develop and implement action plans with the UN to (1) verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces, (2) prevent re-recruitment and (3) the perpetration of other grave violations. The UK increased our funding for the 2019/20 financial year by a further £450,000 to the SRSG's core mandate and £50,000 for activities relating to the SRSG's Global Coalition for Reintegration.

In 2018, the UK endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles, both key mechanisms for preventing grave violations against children. We collaborated with Sweden and others to agree Resolution 2427, adopted by the UN Security Council in July 2018, to strengthen protection mechanisms for children in armed conflict. We delivered a joint statement to the Human Rights Council in March 2019, reiterating our strong support for the mandate of the SRSG for Children And Armed Conflict, and called upon States to increase accountability for perpetrators of all six grave violations. Last year, the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UK signed up to the UN Voluntary Global Pledge – for Every Child, Every Right, which called for Member States to reaffirm their commitment to upholding and protecting child rights in the 21st century, and promoted children's perspectives in the development and assessment of strategies and programmes designed to realise their rights.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress his Department has made on pursuing reform of financial services regulation to support participation in growing markets in Asia.

HM Treasury engages with a range of countries in Asia through established and regular economic and/or financial dialogues, where financial services regulation is a key theme. This encompasses Economic and Financial Dialogues with China and India, and Financial Dialogues with Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Through these dialogues HM Treasury has built new and deeper financial services relationships with Asia’s financial centres, helping to facilitate the participation of firms in our respective jurisdictions and to agree new market connectivity initiatives. The UK’s cooperation with Japan has also been enhanced via the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Where applicable additional information about these dialogues is published on www.gov.uk, including the via joint outcomes statements and in HM Treasury’s annual reports.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to simplify the tax code (a) in general and (b) for SMEs.

The Government is committed to a tax system that is simple to understand and easy to comply with for all its users, while also tackling avoidance and evasion and ensuring fairness.

Since 2010, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has offered independent advice and recommendations on making the tax system simpler and easier to interact with for taxpayers. In March 2021, the Government commenced the first statutory five-year review of the OTS, to ensure it is as effective as possible.

Changes to the tax system can have a wide impact, and so any reform needs to be well planned, incorporating the wider views of its users. As such, the Government published a call for evidence in March 2021, seeking input on how to modernise the tax administration framework, as part of the 10-year Tax Administration Strategy.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses with high capital investments apart from the super-deduction of capital gains tax.

The super-deduction reduces the corporation tax bill of companies that invest. Therefore, it is separate to the capital gains tax regime.

HM Treasury have published a factsheet on the super-deduction that also explains what capital expenditure qualifies for the different reliefs in the capital allowance regime. The factsheet can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967202/Super_deduction_factsheet.pdf.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reintroducing the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, once hospitality businesses are allowed to reopen.

The Government understands this is a challenging time for the UK’s hospitality sector.

The best way the Government can support businesses in the hospitality sector, is by reopening businesses that are closed when it is safe to do so. However, the Government will continue to monitor developments, engage with the sector and keep under review the case for further interventions to support business growth and employment in the sector.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support money advice organisations in communities.

In January 2019 the Government established the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) with the objectives to simplify the existing public financial guidance landscape and offer more holistic support to consumers. MaPS brings together the functions of the three former organisations that provided free-to-use financial guidance: the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.

The Government is committed to helping people access money guidance when they need it and recognises the impact of the pandemic on people’s personal finances.

MaPS partners with local money guidance organisations and signposts to them through its website and its online Money Navigator Tool. This tool was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and was launched in June 2020; it provides financial guidance tailored to individual needs.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether plans he has to provide further support to (a) retail and (b) hospitality businesses after the national covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s retail and hospitality sector, and at the upcoming budget the Government will outline the next stages of its plan for jobs to support businesses and families across the UK.

In January the Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. This grant comes in addition to the Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month for closed businesses.

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. This funding also comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities.

The Government is also delivering support to the retail and hospitality sector through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been extended until April; Government backed finance through loan schemes, ‘Pay as You Grow’ long-term repayments options, a VAT cut, a VAT deferral for up to 12 months, a 12-month business rates holiday; and a moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of adopting a simplified tax structure after the transition period.

The Government remains committed to a tax system that wherever possible is simple, fair and easy to use, and that tackles avoidance and evasion. It will continue to consider recommendations made by the independent Office of Tax Simplification, and keeps all taxes, including the overall system, under review. Any changes to tax policy will be announced at fiscal events.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the average tax paid by (a) high street and (b) internet-based retailers; and what steps his Department is taking to establish a more level tax playing field for the retail industry.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth around £10 billion, and has frozen the business rates multiplier for 2021-22.

The Chancellor keeps the impacts of tax policy on different types of businesses, including high street and internet based retailers, under consideration. The fundamental review of business rates will consider all parts of the business rates system, as well as alternative taxes such as an Online Sales Tax.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are in receipt of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in Morley and Outwood constituency.

By 31 July 2020, 3,500 individuals in the Morley and Outwood constituency had claimed the first grant for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

By 30 September 2020, 3,100 individuals in the Morley and Outwood constituency had claimed the second grant for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

These figures were taken from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme statistics published on 21 August and 22 October respectively.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of treating riding schools and livery yards as agricultural settings for business rates purposes.

Agricultural land and farm buildings are exempt from business rates. Decisions on reliefs and exemptions will be considered as part of the fundamental review of business rates.

In response to COVID-19, the Government has provided 100 per cent business rates relief to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure in 2020-21, including riding schools.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he will provide to in-work single parents in the event that schools close due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government’s current advice is that no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case, unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

In the meantime, Budget has announced temporary, timely and targeted measures worth £12 billion to support the country through this period of disruption. As part of this package, self-isolators, and those caring for them, will have access to Statutory Sick Pay or New Style Employment and Support Allowance from day one of their absence. We are also ensuring Universal Credit supports the self-employed.

Budget also announced £500 million for Local Authorities in England to provide support to affected vulnerable households in their local area.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will introduce measures in the upcoming budget to help businesses manage the potential effect on the economy of the spread of covid-19.

Public safety is the government’s top priority in our response to Covid-19.

The UK is well prepared and the government is taking firm and comprehensive action, consistent with the best scientific evidence, to contain, delay, mitigate, and research the virus.

At Budget, the Chancellor outlined how the government will be supporting public services, individuals, and businesses. These include a range of measures that are timely, targeted, and temporary, so that they deliver support when and where it is needed, while protecting long-term fiscal sustainability.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what role the Freeports Advisory Committee plays prior to the publishing of proposals relating to free ports.

We have drawn on advice from the Freeports Advisory Panel, as well as evidence from successful Freeports around the world and industry experts, to develop an ambitious UK Freeport model.

We are now consulting on these proposals and seeking input from businesses, ports and the public. The Freeports Advisory Panel will continue to play an important role.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake a review level of the business rates transitional relief.

The Government is committed to conducting a fundamental review of business rates, and further information will be announced in due course.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce the stamp duty rate for first-time buyers purchasing properties above the threshold set for first-time buyers.

At Autumn Statement 2014, residential SDLT was cut for 98% of people who pay it, unless they are purchasing additional property, and at Autumn Budget 2017 the Government introduced first time buyers’ relief which has already helped over 240,000 people get onto the housing ladder.

All taxes are kept under review as part of the Budget cycle.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce stamp duty rates for private home buyers.

At Autumn Statement 2014, residential SDLT was cut for 98% of people who pay it, unless they are purchasing additional property, and at Autumn Budget 2017 the Government introduced first time buyers’ relief which has already helped over 240,000 people get onto the housing ladder.

All taxes are kept under review as part of the Budget cycle.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to eliminate the retrospective aspects of the loan charge.

The Government published Sir Amyas Morse’s independent review of the Loan Charge on 20 December, alongside the Government’s response to his recommendations. The Government welcomes Sir Amyas’s recognition that Disguised Remuneration schemes are a form of tax avoidance and that it was right for the Government to take action to ensure the tax was collected.

Sir Amyas’s careful and considered report examines the question of from when the Loan Charge should apply. He concludes that from 9 December 2010 the law about the tax treatment of loan schemes was clear and that the Loan Charge should apply from this date.

The Government accepts Sir Amyas’s clear view on this point and intends to legislate to implement all but one of the recommendations in the next Finance Bill.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake a review of HMRC's IR35 tax regulations.

The review of the off-payroll working rules reform was announced on 7 January 2020. As set out at Budget 2018, the reform is due to be extended to medium and large organisations in all sectors from April 2020. The review will look to address any remaining concerns from businesses and individuals about how the forthcoming reform will be implemented, and will determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure smooth and successful implementation.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the mortgage rules related to the EU Mortgage Credit Directive once the UK leaves the EU.

After the UK leaves the EU – which the Government is determined to do - we will have control over the rules that we set for our financial services sector. The UK is committed to uphold global, open markets underpinned by the highest standards of regulation and appropriate levels of supervisory oversight.

Common rules will remain in place until the end of the Implementation Period on 31 December 2020. Any EU measures which become operative during that implementation period would therefore also apply in the UK.

The Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) was introduced by the European Commission following the financial crisis to improve standards for mortgage lending across the EU. The final text of the MCD was published in February 2014, with a requirement for Member States to transpose it into national law by 21 March 2016.

The MCD aims to ensure a high level of consumer protection for mortgage applicants. The majority of its rules already aligned with the existing UK regulatory system for mortgages. For the most part, the Government therefore implemented the requirements through alteration to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) rules. The FCA monitors the impact of its rules on the market closely. For example, their Mortgages Market Study of March 2019 found that broadly the mortgage market is working well for consumers.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce alcohol-related crimes.

The Government is committed to reducing alcohol-related crime and ensuring that swift action to tackle alcohol-related offending. In the past year, we have expanded electronic tagging for criminals serving time outside of jail and the Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement is now available across courts in England and Wales.

We are focused on establishing effective partnerships between the police, local authorities, local partnership schemes and businesses to take effective actions against alcohol-related crime and harms in the night time economy, which includes plans to improve the safety of women.

We are planning to hold a Summit this summer with police, industry representatives and stakeholders from the violence against women sector to develop plans further. This complements the excellent work that police and other local agencies continue to do to reduce and prevent alcohol related crime.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to encourage more people to join the police force in West Yorkshire.

The Government is committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 by March 2023. Today we announced that as at 31 December 2020, 6,620 additional officers had been recruited in England and Wales showing that we are on track to deliver this commitment.

We have made £700m additional funding available for PCCs in 2020-21, and in the next financial year, 2021-22, we are giving PCCs an additional £415m to support the recruitment of a further 6,000 additional police officers by March 2022.

West Yorkshire Police has been allocated 256 additional officers in the first year of the Police Uplift Programme, supported by £484.5M for the force. At 31 December 2020 the force has recruited an additional 390 uplift officers against its baseline and has therefore already exceeded its year one allocation. For year two of the uplift, the force has been allocated 239 additional officers and additional funding of £511.9M – an increase of £27.3M on last year.

The national uplift programme is also supporting all forces with a variety of attraction and recruitment strategies, whilst delivering a campaign that’s been designed to reach diverse audiences.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of recent increases in police recruitment on the number of police officers engaged in on-the-ground work.

The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers and putting violent criminals behind bars for longer.

I am delighted that almost 6,000 police officers have already been recruited as part of the uplift, working to support the national response to coronavirus as well as tackling crime and keeping communities safe.

We are committed to recruiting at pace, but also ensuring officers are fully trained and supported to meet modern crime demands. During their probation, new officers will be on the beat.

The deployment of these officers is an operational decision for Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allocate long-term funding to the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

The Home Office will be providing specific funding of £136,000 to support the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit in 2020/21. This will be in addition to specific funding for the Unit provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the funding central Government will be providing police forces in England and Wales to tackle all types of crime, including wildlife crime.

Decisions about Home Office funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2021 will be taken as part of the forthcoming Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what enforcement mechanisms Ofcom will be given to regulate tech companies.

In February 2020, the Government published the initial consultation response to the Online Harms White Paper and announced that it was minded to appoint Ofcom as the online line harms regulator.

Subject to remaining government and parliamentary processes, the regulator will have strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance and drive remedial action. The new regulatory framework will introduce a duty of care, overseen by the independent regulator. This will ensure that companies, where appropriate, take prompt, transparent and effective action to address online harms.

In the White Paper we set out that the regulator will have sufficient powers to take effective action against companies that breach regulator requirements. We have consulted on the most appropriate enforcement powers for the regulator, and are considering measures including notices, warning, fines and business disruption measures. Further information will be included in the full government response which will be published in the autumn.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the ONS statistical release of 13 February 2020, Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2019, what steps her Department is taking to reduce trends in the number of (a) baby girls and (b) toddlers being killed.

Every child’s death is a tragedy. That is why the Government has called on everyone who comes into contact with babies, children and families to recognise the role we all play in keeping them safe, and the need to work together to identify concerns, share information and take prompt action.

As part of this, the Government has already taken the following steps:

  • We are transforming the way local safeguarding agencies work together, having placed a new duty on the local authority, police and health leaders to produce new safeguarding partnerships arrangements. This will ensure a more effective and collaborative response in safeguarding children, which has been especially important in light of emerging risks during the lockdown period. We have been working closely with statutory partners and wider stakeholders who may be coming into contact with vulnerable children at this time to ensure that safeguarding concerns continue to be reported and acted upon.

  • We have created a new system of practice reviews, overseen by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, to ensure that lessons are quickly and robustly learned when a serious incident or death of a child occurs. The Panel have recently announced that their third national review will focus on non-accidental injury in children under one. Government has welcomed this review and will consider the Panel’s findings in detail once published.

We reintroduced the Domestic Abuse Bill in March 2020 to better protect and support the victims of abuse and their children and bring perpetrators to justice. The Bill transferred to the Lords on 7 July having completed its Commons stages.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the reports of 31 October 2019 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children on the abuse by tourists of children in The Gambia, what steps the Government is taking to (a) identify and (b) prosecute British tourists that have committed that offence.

The Government is committed to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse wherever and however it occurs. There can be no safe space for paedophiles to operate either here or abroad and we will do all we can to keep children safe. We continue to work closely with law enforcement in the UK and international partners to stop sex offenders from travelling abroad to prey on children, close down online networks and bring offenders to justice. We announced in the 2019 Spending Round an investment of an £30 million to support UK law enforcement to bear down on child sexual exploitation and abuse.

We are also funding projects overseas to build capacity internationally against this heinous crime through Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) overseas development aid. We have sponsored a project to reduce the vulnerability of high-risk destination countries from the threat posed by UK transnational child sex offenders (TCSOs) through targeted, sustainable capacity-building in support of National Crime Agency (NCA) operational activity. The project is in its second year and will deploy a team from the NCA internationally in direct local support of international law enforcement agencies working to combat high-risk child sexual abuse and exploitation. This includes a training and mentoring programme that builds sustainable capacity locally to safeguard children and prosecute offenders in collaboration with UK and international law enforcement agencies.

In 2012, the law was strengthened to ensure that all registered sex offenders must notify the police of any foreign travel. Police are able to assess the risk an offender may pose while abroad and engage with international law enforcement or apply to the courts for a civil order to restrict foreign travel. Breach of the requirements or a civil order is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment. The Government has carried out a review of the use of civil orders for transnational offenders and will draw on the findings and recommendations from the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse’ recent ‘Children Outside the UK’ report to ensure the police have the tools and powers they need to target offenders and protect children from sexual abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will adopt the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation on reducing the salary threshold for skilled migrants seeking to reside in the UK.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union and the end of free movement, we will deliver a new points-based immigration system that allows us to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee published its report on salary thresholds and the points-based system on the 28 January. We are considering its findings and recommendations carefully before taking any final decisions.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding from the public purse she plans to allocate to Violence Reduction Units in each of the next three years.

Of the £100million Serious Violence Fund that was announced in March 2019 for 2019/20, £35million was invested towards Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in England and Wales.

VRUs provide leadership and strategic coordination of the local response to serious violence by bringing together police, local government, health and education professionals, community leaders and other key partners to identify the drivers of serious violence and agree a multi-agency response to them.

We are pleased with the early progress that has been made in establishing the VRUs and the work they are now beginning to deliver to ensure that the right support and services are directed to children and young people most at risk of involvement in serious violence.

On 29 December 2019 the Home Secretary announced a further £35 million to continue funding VRUs in 2020/21. These first two years of funding will provide local areas with the resources to start building and developing a public health approach to serious violence. We expect them to build on this platform over time and we hope to see VRUs operating beyond the end of 2021. That is why future funding for VRUs will be a key element of our spending review bid.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recent acts of vandalism on a Synagogue and a Mosque in London, if she will introduce further measures to protect religious buildings and congregations.

Attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Through the Government’s Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme, and the Jewish Communities Protective Security Grant, the Government provides reassurance and appropriate measures to better protect all faith groups from hate crime. Funding for the Places of Worship scheme has been increased in the current year to £1.6 million (double the amount awarded last year), and the Chancellor has announced a further increase to £3.2 million for 2020/21.

Tackling faith related hate crime is a key commitment in the Cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan, and we regularly engage with faith representatives and organisations.

In addition, we have committed £5 million over three years for the provision of security training to places of worship, and we have committed to consult with communities on what more can and should be done to protect faith communities.

We have also asked the Law Commission to conduct a wide-ranging review into hate crime, looking at the breadth of hate crime legislation, and whether new strands should be introduced.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has plans to use the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement to exempt defence contracts from international public procurement rules after the end of the transition period.

Since 2012, the Governments default position of defence procurement has been open competition wherever appropriate to obtain the best capability for our Armed Forces, whilst achieving value for money for the taxpayer.

The Ministry of Defence is leading the cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors to ensure our approach enables competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries. The terms of any national security exemption will be part of that review.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of using the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement's defence exemption instead of the EU defence directives’ exemption.

Since 2012, the Governments default position of defence procurement has been open competition wherever appropriate to obtain the best capability for our Armed Forces, whilst achieving value for money for the taxpayer.

The Ministry of Defence is leading the cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors to ensure our approach enables competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries. The terms of any national security exemption will be part of that review.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the spread of covid-19 on UK military bases overseas.

The Ministry of Defence has stringent measures in place to safeguard our people and reduce the risks to them and their families on UK Bases. Many of our people – both civilian and military – are working from home and where they to come into work, we have adjusted their working environment to meet Public Health England’s (PHE) guidelines. Furthermore, we have taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that the PHE’s guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation protocols, the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene are adhered to. Defence personnel are included in the national testing programme.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the spread of covid-19 on UK military bases in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence has stringent measures in place to safeguard our people and reduce the risks to them and their families on UK Bases. Many of our people – both civilian and military – are working from home and where they to come into work, we have adjusted their working environment to meet Public Health England’s (PHE) guidelines. Furthermore, we have taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that the PHE’s guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation protocols, the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene are adhered to. Defence personnel are included in the national testing programme.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the risk of covid-19 amongst personnel in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.

Mitigation measures are being put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 onboard a submarine and to maintain the health and wellbeing of their ships' companies. The Submarine Service is following Public Health England (PHE) guidelines where practical for all personnel and, to reduce the risk of transmission, further emphasis is being placed on the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene. Measures have been introduced prior to sailing which involve the whole ship's company quarantining onboard the submarine. In addition, personnel who are, or whose households are, symptomatic will be isolated before embarking, in accordance with PHE self-isolation guidelines.

Any individual who experiences symptoms while at sea will isolate onboard in accordance with PHE guidelines and receive the appropriate medical attention, until either recovery is established or they can be safely removed and returned to shore.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will commission a review of the planning permission regime for areas at risk of flooding.

National planning policy on managing flood risk was last updated in 2018, and provides a robust framework for making decisions that take flood risk fully into account. It makes clear that inappropriate development in areas at current or future risk of flooding should be avoided and directs development towards areas at least risk. Where development is necessary in such areas, and where there are no suitable sites available in areas with a lower risk of flooding, it should be made safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere and be appropriately flood resistant and resilient. It is primarily the responsibility of local planning authorities to determine applications for planning permission, having weighed up all the material planning considerations – including advice received from flood risk management bodies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to build partnerships with charities, similar to its partnership with The Clink, to reduce rates of reoffending.

Our relationship with the third sector is an important part of our work to reduce rates of reoffending. We have and continue to build strong partnerships with charities both at a national and local level.

This includes The Clink, which will expand its partnership with HMPPS over the next three years, extending an award training scheme that has been available in five prisons to an additional 70. Other examples include our partnership with Recycling Lives. This provides training and work experience in eight prison-based workshops, supporting men and women into employment on release. We have also empowered prison governors to establish relationships with local charities to help meet the needs of the men and women in their care.

Our partnership work with charities is built into the way we develop policy. The Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3) is a formal advisory group to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). The RR3 provides valuable advice to Ministers and officials on a range of issues linked to reducing reoffending, from mental health and substance misuse to employment.

We continue to explore new ways of working. The Prison Leavers Project, announced in February 2021, will see test cross-sector approaches to reducing reoffending, working with colleagues from across the public and third sector to test new ideas and ways of working.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve the support available to victims of crime.

The Government is committed to ensuring that victims of crime receive the help and high-quality support they need to cope and, as far as possible, recover. Last year, we rapidly identified the impact the pandemic would have on victims and took targeted action. In May 2020, we provided over £20m in emergency funding to help domestic abuse and sexual violence support services to meet COVID-19-driven demand. In November 2020, MoJ reallocated £10m from within existing budgets to continue to meet rising levels of demand.

In 2021-22, we will provide just under £151m for victim and witness support services. This includes an extra £51m to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims, building on the emergency funding from this financial year to help services meet COVID-19-driven demand. This compares to a total budget of £48.5m in 2010-2011.

Beyond significant increases in funding to victims’ services, the Government has taken a range of actions to ensure that victims and witnesses receive the support they need in the face of delays caused by the court backlogs. Section 28 was rolled out for vulnerable victims in all Crown Courts at pace, supported by an historic communications campaign to raise awareness of support for victims of sexual violence. We continue to lead work across the criminal justice system to encourage

victim engagement including the new Victims’ Code, which came into force on 1st April. This is a clear and comprehensive framework centered on 12 key rights for victims, setting out the level of service victims can expect to receive from criminal justice agencies. The new Victims’ Code now provides a solid foundation on which we can progress the groundbreaking Victims’ Law, which we will consult on as a priority this summer.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking in response to the recommendations made by the Law Commission in February 2021 on improving protections for victims whose intimate images are taken or shared without their consent.

Activities involving the sharing of intimate images are captured by existing offences for example those tackling “revenge pornography”, harassment, malicious communications, blackmail, and “coercive or controlling behaviour”.

To further strengthen the law in this area the Government has announced it is to extend the “revenge pornography” offence to capture those who threaten to disclose such material. Provisions to extend the parameters of the offence in this manner were introduced in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The provisions will come into force two months after Royal Assent.

However, the Government recognises that there is concern over the growth of new technology and the impact on the law in this area.

We have asked the Law Commission to review the law in this area to ensure victims are properly protected. The Law Commission published a public consultation to this review on 26 February this year, with a view to announcing findings later this year, which the Government will consider carefully.

The consultation period ends on 27 May and I should like to encourage people to take part in that important public engagement.

The Government awaits the Law Commission’s findings with interest.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reduce homelessness amongst people leaving prison.

On 29th January, we announced a £70m investment programme to provide stable accommodation for prison leavers. The investment will bring together the work of Approved Premises (AP) and the Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS) with a new tier of provision for prison leavers at risk of homelessness. This new accommodation service will provide up to 12 weeks of basic temporary accommodation for prison leavers who would otherwise be homeless.

The service will launch in five of the 12 probation regions in England and Wales, namely the East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, Greater Manchester, Kent Surrey and Sussex, and the North West. All individuals aged 18 and over, either released from prison or moving on from APs or BASS, into those five regions who are at risk of homelessness, will be eligible. HMPPS will work in conjunction with MHCLG’s announced funding to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness into private rental tenancies as part of plans to secure settled accommodation by the end of the 12-week period.

It is anticipated that the new intervention will commence in Summer 2021 and will provide support for approximately 3,000 service users. It will be in operation during the 2021-22 financial year, with a view to scaling up and rolling out nationally, though the Spending Review 2021 will set out the approach for future years.

We are introducing and testing a new specialist housing advisor role in up to twenty prisons, including HMP Leeds. The new role will seek to strengthen links between prisons, through the gate teams and local authorities to improve accommodation outcomes for those at risk of homelessness.

The recently published Target Operating model for the unified probation service includes information regarding the future performance framework for probation, including a target on the number of individuals being housed on release from custody (90%), together with a measure relating to settled accommodation for all people under supervision (those released from prison and those on community sentences); this will assess the status three months after commencement of supervision (80%).

In preparation for the launch of the new unified probation service, MoJ have published a policy framework in support of the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) Duty to Refer process, which will mandate the roles and responsibilities of both prison and probation staff in making effective referrals.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to speed up the judicial process following the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the justice system.

We have taken decisive action to address the impact of the pandemic on how quickly cases can be heard in the courts. We spent over a quarter of a billion pounds on recovery last financial year, making court buildings safe, rolling out new technology for remote hearings, recruiting an additional 1,600 HMCTS staff and opening 60 Nightingale courtrooms. These measures have helped get more cases heard and we’ve reached the same level of cases completing as before the pandemic in most jurisdictions: for example, in the Crown Courts, we are completing around 2,000 cases each week.

As announced at last year’s Spending Review we have allocated £275m to increase capacity in courts and reduce delays driven by the pandemic, and an additional £40m for victims and support services, recognising the impact that COVID has had on victims of crime.

We will continue to maximise use of our existing physical estate, and we are finalising plans for sitting days this financial year, where we expect to increase them to a record level in total across all jurisdictions.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)