Ben Bradshaw Portrait

Ben Bradshaw

Labour - Exeter

2 APPG memberships (as of 22 Jul 2022)
Electoral Reform, South West
3 Former APPG memberships
Cycling, Cycling and Walking, South West Rail
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
31st Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Health and Social Care Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
17th Sep 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
26th Oct 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Privacy and Injunctions (Joint Committee)
14th Jul 2011 - 12th Mar 2012
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (also Shadow Deputy Prime Minister)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West)
29th Jun 2007 - 9th Jun 2009
Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health Services)
28th Jun 2007 - 5th Jun 2009
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)
10th Nov 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)
13th Jun 2003 - 10th Nov 2006
Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
29th May 2002 - 13th Jun 2003
Parliamentary Secretary (Privy Council Office)
29th May 2002 - 13th Jun 2003
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
European Scrutiny Committee
17th Nov 1998 - 11th May 2001
European Legislation
15th Jul 1997 - 17th Nov 1998


Department Event
Thursday 15th September 2022
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
15 Sep 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Thursday 14th July 2022
Business of the House
Further to the Leader of the House’s failure to answer the question from the shadow Leader of the House, my …
Written Answers
Friday 5th August 2022
Churches: Rural Areas
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Church of England Report, …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th March 2022
1. Employment and earnings
8 March 2022, received £225. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 15 March 2022)
EDM signed
Tuesday 6th March 2018
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: TIME OFF FOR RETAIL STAFF ON 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WW1
That this House believes that all people in the UK should be able to pay their respects on 11 November …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 2nd March 2022
Firearms and Hate Crime Bill 2021-22
A Bill to prohibit the keeping of pump action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ben Bradshaw has voted in 438 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Ben Bradshaw voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
View All Ben Bradshaw 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
(27 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(19 debate interactions)
Sajid Javid (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(28 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(15 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ben Bradshaw's debates

Exeter Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

The maximum penalty for failure to stop after an incident is points and a 6-month custodial sentence. Causing death by careless/dangerous driving is between 5-14 yrs. The sentence for failing to stop after a fatal collision must be increased.

The offence of causing 'death by dangerous driving' should be widened to include: failure to stop, call 999 and render aid on scene until further help arrives.

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.


Latest EDMs signed by Ben Bradshaw

6th March 2018
Ben Bradshaw signed this EDM on Tuesday 6th March 2018

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: TIME OFF FOR RETAIL STAFF ON 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WW1

Tabled by: David Hanson (Labour - Delyn)
That this House believes that all people in the UK should be able to pay their respects on 11 November 2018 to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during conflict; notes that this year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War; further notes …
65 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Jun 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 51
Independent: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
The Independent Group for Change: 2
Conservative: 2
Non-affiliated: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Ben Bradshaw's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ben Bradshaw, 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.



190 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
29 Other Department Questions
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Church of England Report, Released for mission, growing the rural church, published in 2015, which identifies that 17.6 per cent of the English population live in rural areas and 40 per cent of churchgoers attend parishes in rural areas, and with reference to the Parish Finance Statistics 2020 which shows £471 million of parish giving for the whole of the Church of England in 2020, what proportion of that parish giving came from rural parishes.

A revised analysis based on ONS rural/urban land-use classifications and the latest (2019) mid-year population updates, gives a slightly different set of parishes classified as rural, totalling 24% of the English population. Analysis of church attendance has been complicated in recent years because of the effects of COVID and restrictions on in-person worship, but it is estimated that 37% of attendance is in these parishes. Analysis of the £471million giving reported in 2020 Parish Finance Statistics indicates that 44% came from these parishes in rural areas. Rural areas tend to be wealthier on average; of the population living in the most deprived 10% of parishes, 5% live in these rural areas, and 95% in urban areas.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to their decision to award the Diocese of Leeds £3,094,588 of Strategic Development Funding (SDF), and figure 10 of the Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding by Sir Robert Chote and others, how many of the (a) anticipated and (b) recorded numbers of new disciples came from the project Strengthening Mission Across the City of Leeds between 2017 and 2021.

The Church Commissioners do not award funding to specific dioceses; this is the role of the Archbishops' Council, as delegated to the Strategic Investment Board.

The Independent Review notes on page 27 para 3.32, beneath Figure 10, that "the Strategy and Development Unit do not regard the estimates of new disciples witnessed and expected for individual projects that underpin the aggregates as a robust basis to compare their actual and expected performance, which of course suggests that one should be wary of combining them into an aggregate figure."

The figure used in the report is 175 new disciples out of an anticipated 1125 by 2024, but is based on older data. More up-to-date figures from the end of 2020 show that the project as a whole is ahead of its interim goals for attendance by the end of 2021, and early data shows further growth into 2022. As with all churches, the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still to be worked out. The Chote Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/IRLS%20-%20final%20report%20%282%29.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Diocese of Liverpool's Transforming Wigan bid document, and the list of expectations expressed in paragraph 76 of that document, according to performance reporting on Strategic Development Fund projects, (a) which of those expectations were achieved in full by the end of 2021 and (b) which have not been achieved in full.

Over time there have been adjustments to the programme to reflect learning and the experience on the ground. The latest internal project review with the national church dates from April 2020, and at this point a majority of these objectives were seen as on track. An end-of-project independent evaluation has been commissioned and will be presented to the Strategic Investment Board later this year. More information about the project is available from the Diocese of Liverpool here: https://liverpool.anglican.org/about-us/liverpool-dbf/sdf-projects/transforming-wigan/

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Diocese of Liverpool's Transforming Wigan bid document, and the expectation expressed in paragraph 76 of that document that there would be a real-terms increase in annual giving of £500,000, what figure has been reported against that target to the Archbishops’ Council Strategic Development Unit in performance reporting on Strategic Development Fund projects.

Based on learning from the project, the focus of this objective was changed to focus on the long term sustainability of the deanery – to clear the parish share backlog of the deanery with the diocese, to establish an annual balanced budget that is fully funded by the deanery, and to develop a deanery giving scheme focused on the mission, engaging more people in the parish, and increasing overall giving year-on-year. This was on track at the end of 2019, at which point Wigan had cleared its historic backlog. Since then, Covid has had a significant impact, and the deanery is seeking to rebuild its financial position. A final evaluation of the project has been commissioned and should be provided internally to the Strategic Investment Board by the end of the year. More information about the Transforming Wigan project is available from the Diocese of Liverpool here: https://liverpool.anglican.org/about-us/liverpool-dbf/sdf-projects/transforming-wigan/

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to paragraph 76 of the Diocese of Liverpool's Transforming Wigan bid document and the 500 per cent increase in the number of young people involved in church, as reflected in average weekly attendance figures, in the performance reporting on SDF projects, what figure has been reported against that target to the Archbishops’ Council Strategic Development Unit.

The latest monitoring report for the 'Transforming Wigan' project dates from April 2020. The project team reported that this was the most challenging part of the project. An initial attempt to develop a Network Youth Strategy was brought to an end as it did not provide the growth required or connect well with the whole. The Wigan team undertook a significant review to re-engage and develop a more embedded youth strategy, building on learning what worked well. The next phase of work was to be built around pioneer chaplaincy, an internship scheme for engaging young people in mission, and a Brighter School of Discipleship. From the information available to the National Church Institutions there have been over 2,000 direct contacts with young people in schools through this work.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Answer of 28 March 2022 to Question 145801, on Church of England, and the official document, Governance: simple, fruitful and sustainable, published by the Diocese of Truro in April 2021, which states that in a multi-parish benefice a pastoral scheme may unite several parishes to become a single parish with one PCC, whether the Church Commissioners have made an assessment of the consistency of that scheme with the definition of a parish.

The document Governance: simple, fruitful and sustainable summarises the Diocese of Truro’s approach to mission and pastoral planning and is consistent with the requirements of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011, which provides the legal framework for the local organisation of worship, mission and ministry. Under the terms of the Mission and Pastoral Measure several parishes can be united to become a single parish with a single PCC, or variations of that model.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to Section 1(1) of the National Institutions Measure 1998 and the statement on page six of the Archbishops’ Council Annual Report 2022 that the Council was established under the National Institutions Measure 1998 to provide focus for leadership and executive responsibility and a forum for strategic thinking and planning, whether the Church Commissioners have made an assessment of the authority of the Archbishops’ Council in respect of the exercise of its executive functions.

The Church Commissioners have not made such an assessment.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
17th May 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, in the interests of transparency in the use of charitable funding and learning lessons, if the Church Commissioners will publish (a) all requests for Church Commissioners’ finance for the project, (b) the responses to each request, (c) progress reports made and (d) comments by the Strategic Investment Board on those reports.

The diocese has asked for funding for the Transforming Wigan project once, in 2014, and was awarded £900,000 of SDF at that time.

Funding has also been awarded to projects to improve the strategic capacity (£168,000), multiply congregations in deprived areas (£1m) and to invest in younger generations (£4.6m) across the whole Diocese of Liverpool, which also have elements which support ministry in Wigan.

All SDF projects are announced when they are funded, are reported to the General Synod in the SIB annual report, and a full list is available on the Church of England’s website. All projects go through a robust process of a 2-stage application with full project plan, annual reporting, continuing engagement between the diocese and the national church, and a final independent evaluation. The diocese has chosen to publish their application on the Transforming Wigan website 1602081544.pdf (d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net) but in general this robust process is dependent on being able to have open, honest and confidential conversations, both at Board level and with dioceses.

Transparency and learning have been mentioned in the Independent Review of LInC and SDF as areas where the funding programme can do more, and the Strategic Investment Board is working on proposals to improve both learning and transparency without compromising the quality and robustness of its accountability. Overall, the Strategic Investment Board has confidence in the Transforming Wigan programme and its engagement with young people, founding of new church communities, and training of clergy and lay leaders.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
17th May 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, what quantitative outcomes were envisaged as a result of the Church Commissioners’ funding of that project.

At its outset, the project had a wide range of different metrics providing an indication of the scale and direction of change sought. These can be seen on the Project Bid Document available on the Transforming Wigan website: 1602081544.pdf (d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net) (though dioceses are not required to publish these documents). These covered increased engagement with young people, establishing new expressions of church, training for clergy and lay people, and increased financial sustainability.

Some of these goals have been significantly over-achieved, others have proved more challenging. Over time, the programme has evolved based on learning about what is working and where a change in approach has been needed, including reflecting the impact of Covid-19. An independent evaluation will be commissioned when the programme is finished, to capture learning and impact.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
17th May 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, what Church Commissioners’ funding has been awarded to that project since its inception in 2014.

The Diocese of Liverpool was awarded £900,000 of Strategic Development Funding in 2014 for its Transforming Wigan project.

A full list of projects awarded Strategic Development Funding is available on the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/SDF%20project%20summaries%20July%202021.pdf

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
11th May 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to Figure 10 of the report entitled Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding published by Sir Robert Chote and others in February 2022, how many of the national total of 25,923 new disciples the Church of England expects to be in Truro Diocese; and how many of the 5,019 new disciples have been recorded by the Strategic Development Unit.

The question relates to the ‘Transforming Mission’ project in the Diocese of Truro. Strategic Development Funding was granted initially in 2017 for Transforming Mission in Falmouth and further grants were awarded in 2019 to extend the project to Truro, Camborne, St Austell, and Liskeard. Transforming Mission represents a significant investment in parish ministry in the county of Cornwall, benefitting many deprived parishes. While the project has been hit hard by Covid, with disruption meaning detailed and up-to-date data is not available, early signs are that there has been a positive recovery and return to church since the pandemic; although more time will be needed to fully realise its planned outcomes compared to if the pandemic had not happened.

Transforming Mission in Falmouth has shown encouraging results, with growth in the existing parish congregation and a new congregation, and increased engagement with the community and university in Falmouth. In Camborne, at the time of the funding award in 2019 the parishes were in regular contact with 20 children and young people per month. By May 2022 this had increased to 460 children and young people, and 230 parents and carers in regular contact with the parishes.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Liverpool, as a result of implementing Fit for Mission, in which teams will cover bigger areas; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Liverpool Diocese as a result of implementation of Fit for Mission.

The plan referred to has been developed by the Diocese of Liverpool, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Lincoln, as a result of implementing A Time to Change Together, in which across the new Deanery Partnerships the total number of stipendiary ministers will fall; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Lincoln Diocese as a result of implementation of A Time to Change Together.

The plan referred to has been developed by the Diocese of Lincoln, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Leicester, as a result of implementing Shaped by God Together, in which each Minister Community may have only one ordained oversight minister; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Leicester Diocese as a result of the implementation of Shaped by God Together.

The plan referred to has been developed by the diocese of Leicester, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the pastoral reorganisation of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool, Scheme 08072019, if the Diocese will provide figures for the (a) requested and (b) donated Parish Share in each of the 29 former parishes and the 7 new parishes in each year from 2016 to 2021.

While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, if the Church of England will provide figures for parish giving in each of the (a) 29 former parishes and (b) 7 new parishes in the Deanery of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool in each year from 2016 to 2021.

While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, if the Church of England will provide figures for the worshipping community in each of the (a) 29 former parishes and (b) 7 new parishes in the deanery of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool in each year from 2016 to 2021.

While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, (a) how much Strategic Development Fund funding has been awarded in each of the seven years of the project and (b) what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that funding.

The Transforming Wigan project was awarded £900,000 of Strategic Development Funding in 2014, which was drawn down in full by the end of 2019. As with all Strategic Development Funding projects, the project was subject to ongoing monitoring and evaluation by the Strategic Investment Board. The programme has generated significant learning, as well as generating outcomes around starting new church communities, engaging young people, developing new leaders, financial sustainability, and community support.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113 on Church of England: Finance, and with reference to the Going Deeper: Church attendance statistics and clergy deployment research, published in August 2016, what financial planning assumptions have been made in the dioceses of (a) Leicester, (b) Lincoln and (c) Liverpool on parish giving over the next five years.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141114 on Church of England: Finance, what steps the Church of England has taken to assess the effect of removing incumbent stipendiary ministers in the Leicester, Lincoln and Liverpool dioceses on the quality of pastoral care.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141115 on Church of England: Finance, what metrics the Church of England used to measure effective ministry in dioceses planning large parish structures; and what steps the Church of England plans to take to measure effectiveness of new ministry arrangements.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141116 on Church of England: Finance, where funding has been awarded by the Church Commissioners to facilitate bringing about large parish structures, what (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages were identified during scrutiny by funding awarding panels.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church of England has to change the definition of a parish; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 on the definition of a parish.

There are no plans to change the legal definition of a parish.

The Mission and Pastoral Measure carries forward from previous legislation a well-established legal definition of a parish in section 105: Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (legislation.gov.uk)

The Church Representation Rules also contain a definition in rule 82: Church Representation Rules online - part 8 | The Church of England

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what alternative approaches to savings were considered at the same time as large parish structures and why were these alternatives rejected.

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

These large parish structures are not primarily about achieving financial savings, but ensuring that there is effective ministry and service to the community, given the financial and other constraints that the Church faces. Where funding has been awarded by the Church Commissioners, there has been a requirement to consider the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and these have been scrutinised by funding award panels.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what estimate he has made of the potential net financial saving of areas that plan to implement large parish structures.

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

These large parish structures are not primarily about achieving financial savings, but ensuring that there is effective ministry and service to the community, given the financial and other constraints that the Church faces.

The dioceses of the Church of England are not-for-profit organisations, and so all funds are reinvested in the work of the Church, and the proposed changes are about how to use these funds in the best possible way to serve the whole of England.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the announcements of the cities of Leicester, Lincoln and Liverpool on plans to implement large parish structures in February 2022, what arrangements will be put in place to compensate for the loss in local pastoral care.

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

In each of these cases, the change in structures are to enable effective ministry, including pastoral care, to be present in communities given the challenges in the overall numbers of clergy and the financial challenge facing the Church, especially post-Covid. In each of the cases there is an anticipation of better pastoral care than under the status quo.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
16th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Church of England’s report, entitled From Anecdote to Evidence, what planning assumptions have been made in dioceses where large parish structures are being implemented in relation to the consequent fall in congregation numbers and drop in giving.

In the area of parish structures, the From Anecdote to Evidence report has been superseded by more recent research reports called Growing Deeper and Stronger as One. Both reports can be viewed at: Findings and reports | The Church of England

This research has shown that there is no statistically significant relationship between the number of churches within a benefice (the benefice structure) and numerical growth or decline, once clergy numbers, geography, population change and initial church size are taken into account.

The specific planning assumptions are for individual dioceses and not the Church Commissioners.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, how many clergy of incumbent status have been dispossessed in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) diocese and (b) year by year; and how many schemes, including dispossession of office, are being prepared.

Under the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 clergy may be dispossessed of their office when changes are made to the administrative geography for worship, ministry, and mission, such as parish or benefice boundaries. The table below summarises the number of dispossessions for 2017-2021 by diocese, based on the date when they legally came into effect. There are currently 5 schemes where the process has been started, but where we do not yet know the outcome.

Year

Diocese

clergy dispossession

2017

0

2018

Gloucester

1

2019

0

2020

Portsmouth

6

2021

St Albans

2

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

The Attorney General and Solicitor General have not claimed any exemptions from the requirement to quarantine after returning from a red list country as neither Law Officer has undertaken any official business overseas since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK, and all travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to establish arrangements for statistical cooperation between the UK and EU, as envisaged by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the hon. Member’s Parliamentary Question of 22 February is attached.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK. All travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

Ministers are able to claim an exemption from travel restrictions under the ‘Crown Servants or government contractors exemption.’ The full text of this exemption can be found under the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions, available on GOV.UK.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions the Government has had with European counterparts on the introduction of a covid-19 passport to facilitate travel as the covid-19 restrictions ease.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 144802 on 08 February 2021.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has granted no letters exempting BEIS Ministers returning from red list countries from managed quarantine. Two BEIS Ministers performing duties outside of their BEIS roles were granted exemptions for engagements by other Departments.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the Government has made on producing a sustainable long-term plan for carbon pricing.

The Government is committed to carbon pricing as a tool to meet our ambitious emissions reductions targets. In the Energy White Paper we announced that a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) would be the UK’s carbon pricing policy from 1 January 2021. The UK ETS initially covers around one third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and applies to the power sector, heavy industry, domestic aviation, and flights from the UK to the European Economic Area.

We recognise that meeting Net Zero will require us to build on this ambition. That is why in the next 9 months we will consult on how to align the UK ETS cap with an appropriate net zero trajectory. The cap will provide certainty about the UK’s decarbonisation trajectory over the long-term, giving businesses the confidence to mobilise the scale of capital investment necessary to deploy clean energy technologies.

We are also committed to explore expanding the UK ETS and will set out our aspirations to continue to lead the world on carbon pricing in the run up to COP26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a carbon fee and dividend as part of its plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

A carbon fee and dividend is an alternative form of carbon pricing policy. The UK already prices carbon emissions. This was previously through participation in the EU Emissions Trading System, and from January 2021 is via a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as announced in the Energy White Paper. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to carbon pricing as a tool to reduce emissions in line with our ambitious net zero target.

Whilst we recognise the benefits of a carbon fee and dividend system, we believe that our UK ETS is better placed to support businesses to decarbonise at least cost. The UK ETS initially covers around one third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and applies to the power sector, heavy industry, domestic aviation and flights from the UK to the European Economic Area. We will consult in the next 9 months on how to align the cap with the appropriate net zero trajectory, and we are also committed to exploring expanding the UK ETS to the two thirds of emissions currently not covered by carbon pricing, and will set out our aspirations to continue to lead the world on carbon pricing in the run up to COP26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the potential number of job losses in the (a) travel sector, (b) tourism sector and (c) wider economy as a result of the Government's proposed 14 day quarantine requirement due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The 14 day quarantine policy is a matter for Home Office.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No DCMS Ministers have received exemptions from undertaking Managed Quarantine Service in a quarantine hotel after returning from a Covid-19 red list country for the purposes of conducting official business for DCMS.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that technology companies support efforts to tackle wildlife crime and the illegal wildlife trade.

In March, the Government hosted a roundtable with a group of conservation charities, tech companies and experts to discuss and better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the conservation sector, and the nexus with digital technologies.

This is an important year for the world and this government. At COP26 we will unite parties to help accelerate action toward tackling climate change, which includes how we take forward action to protect and restore critical ecosystems. https://ukcop26.org/cop26-goals/

This work is ongoing, and my Department is committed to further understanding the opportunities and links between our collective goals for COP26 and conservation efforts. We will continue to engage with colleagues across government, Non-Government Organisations, conservation experts and tech companies in this regard.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect of delaying the re-opening of adult gaming centres in line with (a) licensed betting offices and (b) other elements of the non-essential retail sector.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday 22 February that indoor entertainment venues, which will include Adult Gaming Centres, will open at Step 3 of the roadmap, not before 17 May. The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, while preserving the health and safety of the country.

At next week’s Budget the Chancellor will set out the next phase in our economic support package to reflect the steps set out in the Prime Minister’s roadmap to easing restrictions, tailoring support for individuals and businesses to reflect the changing public health restrictions.

Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to increase protections for members of the public from bugs and other covert listening devices bought online that may intrude on their privacy in public settings.

Private organisations using surveillance equipment will need to ensure that their use of this equipment complies with the UK’s data protection laws.

Our data protection laws impose strict obligations on both individuals and organisations to process people’s data fairly and lawfully and to ensure that any data collected is held securely. There must also be a legal basis for processing data. The way in which personal data is collected and handled must be fair and transparent, and the data should be processed in a way which individuals would expect.

The UK’s data protection laws are enforced independently of Government by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Organisations that fail to comply may be subject to enforcement action by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Whilst a breach of these laws is not generally a criminal offence, the Information Commissioner can impose significant financial penalties for non-compliance.

Where this equipment is used by individuals for private purposes, data protection rules will not normally apply, but criminal offences, such as stalking and harassment, might be relevant depending on the circumstances of the case.

Whilst the Government remains open to considering any gaps identified in the law, it currently considers that the range of existing legal provisions provides a robust framework.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) regulate, (b) supervise and (c) control the sale of covert listening and filming devices.

Private organisations using surveillance equipment will need to ensure that their use of this equipment complies with the UK’s data protection laws.

Our data protection laws impose strict obligations on both individuals and organisations to process people’s data fairly and lawfully and to ensure that any data collected is held securely. There must also be a legal basis for processing data. The way in which personal data is collected and handled must be fair and transparent, and the data should be processed in a way which individuals would expect.

The UK’s data protection laws are enforced independently of Government by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Organisations that fail to comply may be subject to enforcement action by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Whilst a breach of these laws is not generally a criminal offence, the Information Commissioner can impose significant financial penalties for non-compliance.

Where this equipment is used by individuals for private purposes, data protection rules will not normally apply, but criminal offences, such as stalking and harassment, might be relevant depending on the circumstances of the case.

Whilst the Government remains open to considering any gaps identified in the law, it currently considers that the range of existing legal provisions provides a robust framework.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2022 to Question 18885 on Schools: Platinum Jubilee 2022, if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on applying the lessons learned from the roll out of covid-19 vaccinations to the distribution of the Platinum Jubilee book to schools.

The department is working hard to distribute ‘Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration’ to schools as quickly as possible. The distribution of the books is being managed by DK, as per their contract with the department. The majority of deliveries to schools in England have now been completed with 3,053,000 copies delivered as of 24 June 2022, including all books delivered to schools in Northern Ireland. The delivery process is on course to be completed by 11 July 2022 at the latest.

As we are nearing the final stages of the delivery process, a discussion with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is not needed.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Ministers from the Department for Education have not claimed any exemptions from the requirement to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility that is required after returning from a red list country.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK, and all travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

Ministers are able to claim an exemption from travel restrictions under the ‘Crown Servants or government contractors exemption’. The full text of this exemption can be found under the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions, available on GOV.UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department is having with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the implementation of the Ivory Act 2018 and ensuring technology companies work with enforcement officers to prevent the illegal trade of ivory products.

The Department has not discussed the role of technology companies with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Contractors have had early discussions about the role of online sales platforms. We will work with a range of interested parties and stake holders to ensure the ban on dealing in elephant ivory is enforced effectively.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK, and all travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

Ministers are able to claim an exemption from travel restrictions under the ‘Crown Servants or government contractors exemption’. The full text of this exemption can be found under the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions, available on GOV.UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department will open the Aviation Consumer Policy consultation as part of the Government’s aviation strategy; and whether changes are planned to the scope of that consultation in response to covid-related events that have affected the sector.

The Government remains absolutely committed to ensuring consumers are protected when travelling by air. As announced in both the Global Travel Taskforce report in April, and the recent announcement by Government on Regulatory reforms, we will consult on additional, flexible and modern tools to enforce consumer rights. We will publish the consultation in due course at an appropriate time.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Joint Biosecurity Centre's risk assessment in July 2021 found Germany to be a higher risk for international travel than Croatia.

Decisions on border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account Joint Biosecurity Centre risk assessments of countries and territories, alongside wider public health factors.

In July 2021, Germany was on the amber list. Croatia was removed from the amber list and added to the green list from 19 July 2021. The countries and territories on the green list in July 2021 were those that presented the lowest risk to the UK.

From Monday 4 October, the traffic light system was replaced with a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world, depending on vaccination status.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Government Ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning from the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting officials business.

Ministers from the Department for Transport have not claimed any exemptions from the requirement to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility that is required after returning from a red list country. The Department for Transport does not hold information on exemption usage by ministers from other government departments.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to ACI Europe’s 2020 Airport Industry Connectivity Report published in December 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the collapse of the UK’s regional aviation network on the number of (a) air routes lost between the UK and Europe and (b) redundancies among aviation companies in the UK.

The Government recognises the challenges faced by the aviation sector at this time. The Government is committed to maintaining critical connectivity and through policies like Public Service Obligations the Department for Transport subsidises routes into London.

The Government is keen to find ways to work closely with the industry to ease restrictions on international travel gradually and sustainably. The Secretary of State for Transport will lead a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater travel when the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.

The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Office for National Statistics release, Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: December 2020, published on 12 February 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits to economic recovery of an aviation recovery package.

Before Covid-19, aviation directly contributed at least £22 billion GDP to the UK economy and supported around half a million jobs. This included the air transport and aerospace sectors, as well as the wider supply chain. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the aviation sector has been one of the worst affected sectors in the UK. Passenger numbers at UK airports fell by 99% at the height of the pandemic. Overall volumes of flight traffic in the UK is currently around 80% below equivalent 2019 levels. The air transport sector’s contribution to the UK economy dropped by 75% in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Department recognises the severe impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

In addition, through the Global Travel Taskforce, the Government will work closely with the industry to find ways to safely and gradually ease restrictions on international travel. We will set out more detail on this soon.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the loss of air routes in Europe on the UK’s ability to trade with Europe.

The new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) does not place any restriction on air services between points in the UK and points in the EU, ensuring that UK-EU trade can continue to travel freely by air. Furthermore, the TCA recognises that, at their discretion, EU Member states may permit UK airlines to operate non-scheduled air services within and beyond the EU. The TCA also allows the UK and individual EU Member States to negotiate and agree a bilateral exchange of additional “5th Freedom” all-cargo rights. My officials are engaging closely with EU Member States and with industry on these matters.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what economic forecasts his Department has made for the recovery and growth of (a) air transport and (b) the travel sector after the covid-19 outbreak.

DfT has not produced economic forecasts of recovery and growth in the air transport or travel sectors. DfT maintain a capability to produce a range of passenger demand scenarios, reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the potential shape of recovery, for internal use.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the disproportionate effect of the covid-19 outbreak on regional airports as part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

The Government recognises the challenges faced by the aviation sector at this time. The Government is committed to maintaining critical connectivity and through policies like Public Service Obligations the Department for Transport subsidises routes into London.

We have also taken action to support airports through the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS). This opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England. It will provide support up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities or COVID-19 losses – whichever is lower – in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m.

The Government is keen to find ways to work closely with the industry to ease restrictions on international travel gradually and sustainably. The Secretary of State for Transport will lead a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater travel when the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effect of the downturn in the aviation industry as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Before Covid-19, aviation directly contributed at least £22 billion to GDP to the UK economy and supported around half a million jobs. This included the air transport and aerospace sectors, as well as the wider supply chain. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the aviation sector has been one of the worst affected sectors in the UK. Passenger numbers at UK airports fell by 99% at the height of the pandemic. Overall volumes of flight traffic in the UK is currently around 80% below equivalent 2019 levels. The air transport sector’s contribution to the UK economy dropped by 74% in 2020 compared to 2019 and tens of thousands of redundancy notifications have been made. In addition to the direct impact to the UK air transport sector, the wider supply-chain and economy has also been adversely impacted by the severe reduction in air passenger demand, jobs and air connectivity, with impacts on consumer spending and investment across the rest of the economy.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England.

Through the Global Travel Taskforce, the Government will work closely with the industry to find ways to safely and gradually ease restrictions on international travel. We will set out more detail on this soon.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what stimulus package he plans to implement to incentivise new air routes being set up by airlines after strict travel restrictions are eased after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms can continue to draw upon the package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and VAT deferrals.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England. It will provide support up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities or COVID-19 losses – whichever is lower – in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many meetings he has had with representatives of the aviation industry to discuss the planned aviation recovery package.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Department for Transport has engaged very regularly with the industry, including through both Ministerial meetings and official led sessions.

As announced on 22nd February as part of the roadmap for the phased lifting of restrictions in England, the Secretary of State for Transport will also now lead a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater international travel when the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.

The government is also developing a forward looking strategic framework on the recovery of the sector, which we engage with the industry on and will publish later this year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to tackle the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on regional airports.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms can continue to draw upon the package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and VAT deferrals.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England. It will provide support up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities or COVID-19 losses – whichever is lower – in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m.

Through the Global Travel Taskforce, the Government will work closely with the industry to find ways to safely and gradually ease restrictions on international travel. We will set out more detail on this soon.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate the Government has made of the number of British nationals that are unable to return to the UK due to the unavailability of English language test certificates in their country of origin.

Travellers must present proof of a negative coronavirus test result taken within the 3 days before their departure to the UK. The Government considered carefully which languages to permit the result notification to be provided in. English, French and Spanish were deemed to be appropriate as the majority of countries’ testing providers could meet this requirement.

The result notification must be understandable to Border Force personnel upon arrival in the UK for enforcement purposes. This is possible with French and Spanish, given the similarity of key wording in the notification to English. Widening the number of languages permitted for the notification would reduce the ability of Border Force to assess adequately the veracity of the result.

There is no requirement for British travellers or residents to register with the FCDO when they travel or live abroad, so the Government does not hold data on the number of British nationals overseas, or those unable to return to the UK for any reason.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to expand the number of languages accepted for pre-arrival covid-19 tests.

Travellers must present proof of a negative coronavirus test result taken within the 3 days before their departure to the UK. The Government considered carefully which languages to permit the result notification to be provided in. English, French and Spanish were deemed to be appropriate as the majority of countries’ testing providers could meet this requirement.

The result notification must be understandable to Border Force personnel upon arrival in the UK for enforcement purposes. This is possible with French and Spanish, given the similarity of key wording in the notification to English. Widening the number of languages permitted for the notification would reduce the ability of Border Force to assess adequately the veracity of the result.

There is no requirement for British travellers or residents to register with the FCDO when they travel or live abroad, so the Government does not hold data on the number of British nationals overseas, or those unable to return to the UK for any reason.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason pre-arrival covid-19 tests for people arriving in the UK are only accepted in English, French or Spanish.

Travellers must present proof of a negative coronavirus test result taken within the 3 days before their departure to the UK. The Government considered carefully which languages to permit the result notification to be provided in. English, French and Spanish were deemed to be appropriate as the majority of countries’ testing providers could meet this requirement.

The result notification must be understandable to Border Force personnel upon arrival in the UK for enforcement purposes. This is possible with French and Spanish, given the similarity of key wording in the notification to English. Widening the number of languages permitted for the notification would reduce the ability of Border Force to assess adequately the veracity of the result.

There is no requirement for British travellers or residents to register with the FCDO when they travel or live abroad, so the Government does not hold data on the number of British nationals overseas, or those unable to return to the UK for any reason.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions the Government has had with representatives of the (a) airline and (b) travel sectors on exiting the Government's covid-19 quarantine strategy.

Ministers and officials have engaged extensively with the aviation and travel industries throughout the pandemic. We remain committed to an open engagement with the sector and continue to work with industry to share information and provide industry the opportunity to contribute as policy develops, with the aim of helping retain jobs and return the sector to growth as soon as possible.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to increase regulated rail fares by RPI from January 2021 based on July's RPI figure.

The Government’s plans for regulated rail fares will be communicated in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits on establishing air bridges with countries that can demonstrate they have (a) no significant domestic covid-19 restrictions in place and (b) adequate public health protocols the border that comply with EASA guidance.

The Government is carefully considering the concept of ‘international travel corridors’ (also known as air bridges), which have the potential to remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers. It is currently not agreed Government policy.

Ultimately, we will be guided by the science, and the health of the public will always come first.

Other countries are considering similar proposals.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure social distancing by reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists during the covid-19 outbreak.

I welcome appropriate changes to roads to give cyclists and pedestrians more space to enable social distancing. The details are for local authorities as they are responsible for managing their roads, but I am pleased to see that some local authorities have already begun to consider such changes.

There is a well-established range of traffic management measures already available to local authorities. Some measures, such as road closures to enable filtering for different traffic types, require Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to make them legal and enforceable, and we are aware that parts of that process are difficult for local authorities to comply with during the current situation. To assist with this, the Department has published temporary guidance, which suggests ways in which authorities can continue to make TROs, whilst still complying with the intention of the legislation.

This guidance has been circulated to local authorities already and will be kept under review. It will be withdrawn when circumstances allow. It is available on the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-orders-advertising-during-coranavirus-covid-19

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the airline and travel industries of imposing a 14 day quarantine on people arriving in the UK from other countries.

Airlines and airports have implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

Our approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce pre-boarding covid-19 testing at airports.

Airlines and airports have already implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

Our approach is being kept under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will provide details of the civil servants affected by the closure of the Department's processing site at Clarendon House in Exeter by (a) age, (b) ethnicity, (c) gender and (d) disability.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish her Department’s (a) equality and (b) socio-economic impact assessment in respect of the closure of the Department for Work and Pension's processing site at Clarendon House, Exeter.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether compulsory redundancies will result from the closure of the Department for Work and Pension's processing site at Clarendon House, Exeter.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date the Department's processing site at Clarendon House, Exeter will close.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of jobs that will be affected by the closure of the Department for Work and Pensions' processing site at Clarendon House, Exeter.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made for the implications of her policies of the level of confidence disabled people have in the equity of the disability benefits assessment process.

The Department operates a robust quality assurance and independent audit process to ensure assessment decisions are consistent. We recognise that improvements could be made to the assessment process and we plan to publish a Health and Disability White Paper later this year following the views shared in response to the Green Paper published last year.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department has considered the potential merits of (a) introducing a right to request an assessor with appropriate knowledge of a claimant’s condition, and (b) the potential impact such an assessor would have on the number of claimants requiring mandatory reconsideration and tribunal.

The Health and Disability Green Paper published last year explores how the benefits system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions, including how we could improve assessments to better understand the impact of a person’s condition on their ability to work or live independently. We will follow up on the responses to the Green Paper through a White Paper that we will publish later this year.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps are taken to ensure that claimants receive the correct benefit award after their assessment, rather than requiring a mandatory reconsideration or tribunal.

The Department’s aim is to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey. We have made improvements to our decision making processes to ensure that people get the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, because decision makers can better gather relevant additional evidence earlier in the process.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact on the finances of personal independence payment and employment support allowance claimants who are required to wait for a tribunal in order to receive their correct benefits award.

The Department understands the potential effect of waiting for a tribunal hearing which is why our aim is to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey. Recent improvements to our decision-making processes mean that Decision Makers can better gather relevant additional evidence. This helps to ensure that people get the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, without the need for a tribunal appeal.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of tribunals for employment and support allowance and personal independence payment benefits claims in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

None of the Department’s ministers have travelled to a ‘red list’ country and therefore no exemptions have been required.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of companies that are signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme; and what assessment she has made of the effect of that scheme on employment rates for disabled people.

As of 31st March 2021, over 20,000 employers had signed up to the Disability Confident (DC) scheme covering over 11 million employees. Disability Confident is a learning journey that provides employers with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to attract, recruit, retain and progress disabled people in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to publically report on disability employment and mental health using the Voluntary Reporting Framework (VRF), but are not required to provide government with this data.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of employees with epilepsy working in Government departments.

We do not hold information for other Government departments and can only answer in relation to the Department for Work and Pension’s staff.

I refer the Right Honourable Member to the answer given to the Honourable Member for East Renfrewshire to Question 132962 on 11 January 2021. https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-30/132962

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether UK-based organisations can access the EDLSNet notification system following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and UKHSA on 1 December 2021.

The European Legionnaires' Disease Surveillance Network notification system is one of the EpiPulse surveillance systems, which integrates several surveillance systems which were previously independent. This facilitates collection, analysis and dissemination of indicator- and event-based surveillance data on infectious diseases and associated health issues, including global epidemic intelligence, whole-genome sequencing, and health determinants.

Appointed experts from the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EU countries within the European Centre for Disease Control’s (ECDC) cooperation framework, and international organisations can access the portal to report and analyse cases of infectious diseases and pathogens which may threaten public health in the EU and the EEA. The United Kingdom has a nominated EpiPulse Focal Point to oversee and manage access as a non-EU country within ECDC’s cooperation framework.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish full details of the memorandum of understanding aimed to strengthen the collaboration between the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and UKHSA on matters of communicable diseases prevention and control, signed on 1 December 2021.

On 1 December 2021, the UK Health Security Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the collaboration between the two agencies on communicable diseases prevention and control. Further details on the cooperation activities and areas of mutual interest are set out at the following links:

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/ecdc-signs-memorandum-understanding-uk-health-security-agency

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukhsa-signs-memorandum-of-understanding-with-ecdc

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to support people who withdraw from local authority care as a result of no longer being able to afford it.

Local authorities have a duty to meet the eligible needs of individuals in certain situations, including where the individual has assets below the means test threshold and is therefore eligible for funded support.

Whether a local authority can charge an individual for some or all of the cost of their care will depend on their financial situation. Under the Care Act 2014, charging is based on principles including that people should not be charged more they can afford to pay. It would therefore be for the local authority to determine whether a revised financial assessment is required in the event the cost of living is impeding an individual’s ability to contribute to meeting their eligible care needs.

We have announced that we will reform our overall data and assurance approach to improve the quality, timeliness and accessibility of adult social care data. From April 2022, we have unfrozen the Minimum Income Guarantee for those receiving care in their own homes and the Personal Expenses Allowance for care home residents. We have implemented this reform ahead of the planned timetable to support people with income levels.

From October 2023, we will implement a more generous means testing regime to ensure that more people will receive support for their care costs at an earlier stage and retain more of their savings when contributing to care costs. We will continue to work with the sector to understand the potential impact of inflationary pressures on adult social care costs by October 2023.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take steps to (a) collate, (b) monitor and (c) report data on people withdrawing from care support as a result of no longer being able to afford it.

Local authorities have a duty to meet the eligible needs of individuals in certain situations, including where the individual has assets below the means test threshold and is therefore eligible for funded support.

Whether a local authority can charge an individual for some or all of the cost of their care will depend on their financial situation. Under the Care Act 2014, charging is based on principles including that people should not be charged more they can afford to pay. It would therefore be for the local authority to determine whether a revised financial assessment is required in the event the cost of living is impeding an individual’s ability to contribute to meeting their eligible care needs.

We have announced that we will reform our overall data and assurance approach to improve the quality, timeliness and accessibility of adult social care data. From April 2022, we have unfrozen the Minimum Income Guarantee for those receiving care in their own homes and the Personal Expenses Allowance for care home residents. We have implemented this reform ahead of the planned timetable to support people with income levels.

From October 2023, we will implement a more generous means testing regime to ensure that more people will receive support for their care costs at an earlier stage and retain more of their savings when contributing to care costs. We will continue to work with the sector to understand the potential impact of inflationary pressures on adult social care costs by October 2023.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of the rise in the cost of living on the levels of support people who pay for or contribute to their local authority social care support are able to afford.

Local authorities have a duty to meet the eligible needs of individuals in certain situations, including where the individual has assets below the means test threshold and is therefore eligible for funded support.

Whether a local authority can charge an individual for some or all of the cost of their care will depend on their financial situation. Under the Care Act 2014, charging is based on principles including that people should not be charged more they can afford to pay. It would therefore be for the local authority to determine whether a revised financial assessment is required in the event the cost of living is impeding an individual’s ability to contribute to meeting their eligible care needs.

We have announced that we will reform our overall data and assurance approach to improve the quality, timeliness and accessibility of adult social care data. From April 2022, we have unfrozen the Minimum Income Guarantee for those receiving care in their own homes and the Personal Expenses Allowance for care home residents. We have implemented this reform ahead of the planned timetable to support people with income levels.

From October 2023, we will implement a more generous means testing regime to ensure that more people will receive support for their care costs at an earlier stage and retain more of their savings when contributing to care costs. We will continue to work with the sector to understand the potential impact of inflationary pressures on adult social care costs by October 2023.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the overall cost was of (a) travel and (b) subsistence for the UK Delegation when attending the G7 Health Ministers summit in July 2021.

Ministers travelled in official vehicles for this event. Travel expenses for senior Departmental officials supporting Ministers totalled £1,018.44.

It is not possible to separate the United Kingdom delegation’s subsistence costs from the overall event costs. All hotel costs were included in the Department’s booking for exclusive use of the hotel during the G7 event. Hotel costs and costs of official dinners during the event were part of the overall Cabinet office budget for this event. The hotel costs for core delegates, including from G7 partner countries and UK supporting officials was £54,422 excluding VAT. The cost of official dinners was £4,195 excluding VAT.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

None of the Department’s ministers have returned from a ‘red list’ country and therefore no exemptions have been required.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS software will be amended to allow multiple covid-19 vaccinations to be recorded and the appropriate vaccinations required for domestic and international travel passes be displayed by the NHS app.

Currently, the first and last vaccine doses are shown on the NHS COVID Pass for international travel, with a maximum of two doses in accordance with international standards. We are reviewing the implications of booster vaccines for international travel certification, including how these doses could be incorporated into the NHS COVID Pass for travel, subject to international guidelines.


Multiple vaccinations, or doses in addition to a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine and boosters, are not required for domestic certification and therefore do not impact the domestic NHS COVID Pass.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been granted exemptions from quarantining in a hotel after returning from a covid-19 red list country; and for what reasons those exemptions were granted.

The information on exemptions from ‘red list’ countries is not available in a consolidated format as individual departments are responsible for managing exemptions relevant to their responsibilities. Exemptions from managed quarantine are agreed on a case by case basis and are recorded by the relevant Government department.

Exemptions include those that are work related such as jobs that are essential for the effective running of the country, for medical and compassionate reasons or for safeguarding unaccompanied minors. Those seeking an exemption on medical or compassionate grounds would be granted an exemption before travel while in some other categories, prior approval for an exemption is not required. In these cases, relevant documentation would be presented to confirm exemption from managed quarantine. Due to the range of conditions and evidence required to satisfy each exemption, this data is not collected in a central record.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to allow people enrolled on the Novavax covid-19 vaccine trial to receive either two doses or a booster dose of an approved covid-19 vaccine.

The decision for a participant in a vaccine trial to receive a further vaccination should be made in conjunction with clinicians. This may vary depending on the vaccine. The clinical guidance for administering further vaccinations for trial participants is currently under review.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to enable people enrolled on the Novavax covid-19 vaccine trial to access an international NHS covid-19 pass for the purposes of travel.

All Novavax clinical trial participants in England and Wales can access their domestic COVID Pass through the NHS App or online through NHS.UK.

As of 21 September, approximately two thirds of Novavax trial participants in England, can present their vaccination information through the NHS COVID Pass for travel purposes. Work is ongoing to ensure that all clinical trial participants can access an NHS COVID Pass for travel in the near future.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to publish the methodology used by the Joint Biosecurity Centre when deciding to add a country to the covid-19 red list for international travel.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for South Africa's status as a covid-19 red list country of data and genetic sequencing from that country showing the relative prevalence of the Beta and Delta variants of covid-19.

All countries, including South Africa, are continually monitored. The Joint Biosecurity Centre’s (JBC) assessments which inform Ministers’ decisions on red, amber and green categorisation are reviewed every three weeks. The JBC uses a range of factors in its assessments, such as variant prevalence, genomic surveillance capability, virus transmission risk and variants of concern and variants under investigation. The methodology for international travel risk assessment is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-risk-assessment-methodology-to-inform-international-travel-traffic-light-system

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reassess South Africa’s red list categorisation in response to South Africa’s low covid-19 infection rate.

All countries, including South Africa, are continually monitored as part of the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s assessments which are reviewed every three weeks.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse was of Gina Colangelo's (a) travel, (b) subsistence and (c) other expenses claimed by Gina Colangelo for the G7 Health Minister's meeting in June 2021.

Ms Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Minister’s meeting as a part of the UK delegation.

All travel and subsistence costs were covered as part of the Department’s overall booking. Ms Coladangelo did not claim any additional expenses.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what role former non-executive director Gina Colangelo played in the G7 Health Minister's meeting in June 2021.

Ms Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Minister’s meeting as a part of the UK delegation.

All travel and subsistence costs were covered as part of the Department’s overall booking. Ms Coladangelo did not claim any additional expenses.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to allow people who have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 arriving into England from amber destinations to avoid the need for self-isolation from 19 July 2021.

Certain categories of international arrivals who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine or take a day 8 test when travelling from ‘amber list’ countries. This currently includes individuals vaccinated under the United Kingdom vaccine rollout and travellers who have been vaccinated in the United States or European Union with a European Medicines Agency, Swissmedic or United States Food and Drug Administration authorised vaccine.

Travellers will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a test on day two, with any positive results requiring isolation in line with domestic social distancing regulations. This will be sequenced to continue to manage the risk of importing variants.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the evidential basis supporting the decision to advise against travel to amber destinations for leisure purposes in order to protect public health.

We are unable to provide the information requested as it relates to the formulation of Government policy. Decisions regarding travel advice are informed by the data within the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risks assessments alongside wider public health factors, including the percentage of a country’s population that have been vaccinated; the rate of infection; the prevalence of variants of concern; and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risk assessment data for the entire covid-19 traffic light list and (b) risk assessment status of all countries and destinations on green, amber and red lists.

Decisions to place countries on the ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’ lists are taken by Ministers informed by evidence, including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risk assessments alongside other wider public health factors. We are unable to provide the advice, evidence and methodology which informs these decisions as it relates to the on-going development of Government policy. However, further information on the data informing international travel risk assessments is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/data-informing-international-travel-risk-assessments

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will urgently commission research into the Beta variant of covid-19.

Public Health England has published a paper into the Beta variant, ‘Evidence of escape of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 from natural and vaccine-induced sera’, which is available at the following link:

https://researchportal.phe.gov.uk/en/publications/evidence-of-escape-of-sars-cov-2-variant-b1351-from-natural-and-v

The National Institute for Health Research has funded studies looking at specific aspects of variants of concern, including the Beta variant. The studies are in progress and details will be published in due course.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, whether his Department has conducted a recent analysis of the (a) transmissibility of the Beta variant compared with the Alpha variant, (b) severity of disease caused by the Beta variant compared with the Alpha variant and (c) ability of the Beta variant to evade the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine.

Public Health England’s (PHE) data published on 11 June shows that transmissibility of the Beta variant is similar to Alpha in the United Kingdom. PHE monitors the epidemiology and growth rate of all variants of concern in England. PHE also monitors the case fatality ratio of all variants of concern in England. The current case fatality ratio in England is similar between Alpha and Beta amongst those individuals who have completed 28 day follow up.

PHE’s risk assessment of 1 April 2021 states that there is evidence of reduced ability of vaccinated individuals to neutralise the virus, across vaccines. Evidence suggests the magnitude of this effect is larger for Beta, compared to Gamma or Alpha. There is clinical trial evidence of decreased effectiveness in humans for preventing mild to moderate infection with Beta variant. This varies by vaccine. PHE reviews and updates the variant risk assessment.

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the public health advice on which the latest review of the Government’s foreign travel covid-19 traffic light system was based.

Decisions to designate countries as either ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’ on the ‘traffic light’ system are taken by the Government to protect public health. They are informed by evidence including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risks assessments alongside wider public health factors. We are unable to provide the advice, evidence and methodology which informs these decisions as it relates to the on-going development of Government policy. However, further information on the data informing international travel risk assessments is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-informing-international-travel-traffic-light-risk-assessments

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the public health advice on which the decision not to place Malta on the green list in the Government’s latest review of its covid-19 traffic light system.

Decisions to designate countries, such as Malta, as either ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’ on the ‘traffic light’ system are taken by the Government to protect public health. They are informed by evidence including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risks assessments alongside wider public health factors. We are unable to provide the advice, evidence and methodology which informs these decisions as it relates to the on-going development of Government policy. However, further information on the data informing international travel risk assessments is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-informing-international-travel-traffic-light-risk-assessments

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will he publish the public health advice on which the decision to move Portugal from the green to the orange list in the Government’s latest review of its covid-19 traffic light system.

Decisions to designate countries, such as Portugal, as either ‘red’, ‘amber’ or ‘green’ on the ‘traffic light’ system are taken by the Government to protect public health. They are informed by evidence including the Joint Biosecurity Centre’s risks assessments alongside wider public health factors.

We are unable to provide the advice, evidence and methodology which informs these decisions as it relates to the on-going development of Government policy. However, further information on the data informing international travel risk assessments is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-informing-international-travel-traffic-light-risk-assessments

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will support the implementation of the recommendations on epilepsy in the reports by the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) and MBRRACE to help speed up the prevention of avoidable epilepsy deaths.

We support the Learning Disability Mortality Review’s recommendation that the safety of people with epilepsy should be prioritised. It is for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence to establish their guidelines and for the Care Quality Commission to agree how their inspections are conducted and what is considered.

In light of the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths conducted by MBBRACE, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is reviewing all available data and arranging to meet with key patient support organisations and prescribers to explore how information provided to women can be improved. The conclusions of a safety review by the Commission of Human Medicines of the risks of epilepsy medicines in pregnancy have recently been published.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to issue guidance on the mental health needs of children and young people with epilepsy to (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) universities.

There are no current plans to issue specific guidance.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish data on epilepsy deaths in 2020.

Data on deaths from epilepsy is published by the Office for National Statistics.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions the Government has had with representatives of the (a) airline and (b) travel sectors on replacing the covid-19 hotel quarantine rules with GPS tracking technology.

We have engaged extensively with the airline and travel sectors in implementing the managed quarantine scheme and continue to do so. We are looking at the role that technology can play in ensuring travellers are quarantining and supporting them through their quarantine period.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to (a) replace or (b) supplement the covid-19 quarantine system for people arriving in the UK with GPS tracking technology.

We continue to look at the role that technology can play in ensuring arrivals are quarantining and to provide them with support through their quarantine period.

Due to the increased risk of new variants entering the United Kingdom, introducing managed quarantine facilities for ‘red list’ arrivals and home quarantine with mandatory testing for other arrivals is the right course of action to take now to safeguard public health and the vaccine programme.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific evidence he consulted prior to introducing the hotel quarantine policy; and if she will publish that evidence in full.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential effect of his hotel quarantine policy on covid-19 (a) infection and (b) death rates in the UK prior to introducing that policy.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations his Department has received on potential liability relating to patients who receive a first dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine, and who have their second dose postponed or cancelled.

A search of the Department's correspondence database showed that more than 11,600 cases were received relating to COVID-19 vaccines, as of 1 April. However, information relating to the number of cases on this specific issue could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what modelling his Department has undertaken on the optimal strategy for covid-19 vaccine roll-out; and when that modelling is planned to be published.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) takes account of a range of scientific information including modelling work and this is cited in their minutes and published statements which are available at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/iddfb4ppwkmtjusir2tc

The modelling work by Warwick University which informed the JCVI’s phase one advice is available at the following link:

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/149402/1/WRAP-Modelling-optimal-vaccination-strategy-SARS-CoV-2-2021.pdf

The modelling work which informed their advice for extending the interval between the first and second dose is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prioritising-the-first-covid-19-vaccine-dose-jcvi-statement

The modelling work which informed the JCVI’s phase two interim advice is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/university-of-warwick-covid-19-vaccine-impact-forecast-13-january-2021

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of potential changes in liability relating to the covid-19 vaccine process in circumstances where vaccines are not used in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clinical negligence liabilities for individuals engaged in providing the COVID-19 vaccination programme through general practitioner practices and National Health Service trusts will be managed under the usual state indemnity schemes for clinical negligence - the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice and the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts. In addition, pharmacy led sites will be covered by a state indemnity for clinical negligence to 31 August 2021. Volunteers provided by St John Ambulance are covered for clinical negligence by their own insurance.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will publish weekly figures on the number of covid-19 vaccine doses which were spoilt due to (a) supply chain issues and (b) appointment no-shows.

The information requested is not currently held centrally. Work is ongoing across the vaccination programme to standardise and increase the information available for management purposes.

All vaccination services have been advised to maintain backup reserve list of eligible people to take up any missed appointments.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is the Government's policy to deliver second doses of covid-19 vaccines within the 12 week timeframe; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect on vaccine efficacy in the event that timeframe is exceeded.

The Government’s policy, based on recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers, is that second doses should be administered within 12 weeks of the first dose. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the second dose may be given between three to 12 weeks following the first dose whilst the second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may be given between four to 12 weeks following the first dose.

Recent data from Public Health England shows a single dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces hospital admissions by 80% in the over 70 year olds. No assessment has been made of the potential effect on vaccine efficacy at a timeframe over 12 weeks.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will publish the modelling used to determine initial vaccination targets.

Commercial confidentiality means that we cannot release any information on modelling that has been used by the Government, as that is contingent on sensitive supply information.

The Government’s priority for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme is the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems. Our prioritisation strategy for the vaccine roll-out has allowed us to protect the most vulnerable in society as quickly as possible. These aims, coupled with the capacity of NHS England and NHS Improvement to deploy vaccines has allowed initial vaccine targets to be set. By 15 February we had successfully offered a first vaccine dose to everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and are on track to meet the mid-April target of offering a first vaccine dose to the top nine priority groups.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there are systems in place in local vaccine centres to inoculate non-priority groups in the event that doses of a vaccine are about to expire but have not yet been administered.

No vaccines should be wasted. All vaccination centres should have a backup list people in the cohorts currently being vaccinated, who can be called in case doses would be wasted. If no members of the currently vaccinated cohorts are available, it is recommended that members of the priority cohorts next in line be vaccinated.

In the unlikely case the above is not possible, and where the general practice can demonstrate exceptional circumstances showing that it is clinically appropriate and where resources would otherwise have been wasted, then individuals present on site should be vaccinated based on clinical judgement. This is in line with the Enhanced Service Specification for the COVID-19 vaccination programme 2020/21.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis was for the Government's decision to delay the second dose of the covid-19 Pfizer vaccine; and what assessment he has made of the compatibility of that policy with guidance issued by the manufacturer and the World Health Organization on that matter.

The decision to extend the dosing interval to up to twelve weeks was based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the United Kingdom’s four Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and was designed to maximize the impact of the vaccination programme.

After studying all the available data, the JCVI concluded that the first dose of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine provided substantial protection from severe COVID-19 disease within two to three weeks of vaccination.  Whilst the second vaccine dose is important to sustain the protection and extend its duration, in the short term the additional impact of the second dose is likely to be modest and most of the initial protection from clinical disease is after the first dose of vaccine.

The four UK CMOs agreed with the JCVI that prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list would protect the greatest number of at-risk people in the shortest possible time. The evidence underpinning the JCVI’s advice and the statement of the four CMOs can be found at the following links:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/prioritising-the-first-covid-19-vaccine-dose-jcvi-statement/optimising-the-covid-19-vaccination-programme-for-maximum-short-term-impact

www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-on-the-prioritisation-of-first-doses-of-covid-19-vaccines

This policy is compatible with guidance issued by the manufacturer. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA’s) Information for Healthcare Professionals regarding the Pfizer vaccine states that the second dose should be given at least 21 days after the first dose. This advice is based on clinical trial data and other information submitted to the MHRA by the manufacturer.

The interim guidance for use of the Pfizer Vaccine, set out by the World Health Organization on 8 January 2021, was not available to assess when the decision to extend the dose interval in the UK was made on 30 December 2020. Different organisations will come to their own view as to the vaccination approach appropriate to their respective situations, and compatibility with the advice of external organisations or institutions is not a pre-requisite for approaches taken within the Government’s vaccine deployment programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking in response to the recent Learning Disability Mortality Review's (LeDeR) recommendation that epilepsy safety should be prioritised with basic safety measures including (a) the completion of SUDEP Action’s SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist and (b) regular risk assessments integrated into care to prevent future avoidable epilepsy deaths; and if he will meet with representatives of SUDEP Action to discuss the Government’s plans.

As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement on 16 July 2020 (HCWS378), the Government is clear that we must address the issues raised in the LeDeR report to ensure the care that each individual deserves is provided. We are considering the report and its recommendations in more detail, and will work with stakeholders to determine the specific action that must be taken.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) promote the NHS Rightcare Epilepsy Toolkit and (b) implement best practice highlighted in that toolkit on tackling epilepsy mortality.

The NHS England and NHS Improvement Rightcare Epilepsy toolkit, endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and developed in partnership with Epilepsy Action, SUDEP Action and Young Epilepsy, provides support for clinicians to understand the priorities in epilepsy care and key actions to take. The toolkit is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/rightcare/products/pathways/epilepsy-toolkit/

Clinicians should take into account best-practice guidance, including the Rightcare Epilepsy toolkit as well as other guidelines produced by NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE, when tackling epilepsy mortality and providing care for people suffering with epilepsy.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions the Government is having with specialist bereavement organisations on the wider support that bereaved families need (a) during and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is taking a cross-Government approach to address bereavement support and help ensure that families and friends of those deceased get the support they need – particularly during this difficult time. We are engaging with a range of specialist bereavement organisations to assess the need for support.

We will continue to engage with specialist bereavement organisations to assess how we can support them in doing their important work, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will meet representatives of SUDEP Action to discuss its research into the effect of covid-19 on (a) people with epilepsy, (b) health professionals and (c) people bereaved by that condition.

While there are no specific plans to meet representatives of SUDEP Action at this time, the Government is committed to working with the charity sector to utilise their research into epilepsy, and to ensure that the needs and views of the diverse and often specialist stakeholders and services are captured and valued.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure public health advice on covid-19 is available in the major languages spoken in England.

Public Health England has published translations of updated core public health guidance into the 10 most commonly spoken languages (other than English) in the United Kingdom. This information has been translated into the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese: simplified, Chinese: traditional, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.

Preliminary work on developing the national sexual and reproductive health strategy began in autumn 2019. This work was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when work on the national sexual and reproductive health strategy will commence.

Preliminary work on developing the national sexual and reproductive health strategy began in autumn 2019. This work was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 23rd June 2020, Official Report, column 1180, how Government covid-19 guidance permits family and friends to perform childcare for people ineligible to form social bubbles with social distancing measures still in force.

Households that are not in areas where local lockdown measures are in place can meet in groups of up to two households in any location or in any setting (or a household support bubble if they have one) and this includes staying overnight. This allows for people to provide childcare. They should socially distance where possible and practical but should also provide necessary care to children including where this requires being within two metres. When doing this they should take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – when using shared facilities like bathrooms.

Guidance on meeting people from outside of the household has been published and can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make representations to her international counterparts on the level of funding provided for LGBT+ community groups in low and middle income countries.

The UK regularly engages our partners, including governments, civil society, philanthropists, and multilateral organisations, on taking a collaborative approach to Official Development Assistance funding in support of LGBT+ rights.

As co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), the UK and Argentina oversaw the adoption of the ERC's first strategy and five-year implementation plan in July 2021. The UK actively participates in the ERC Donor Coordination Working Group which aims to improve coordination between all actors.

Plans for the levels of UK funding for the 2022-5 Spending Round are not yet confirmed, but we will continue to focus on low and middle income countries in the global south. In June 2022, the Prime Minister announced £2.7 million of new UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department’s International Development Strategy, what plans she has to work with local LGBT+ groups; and if she will reverse the reduction in funding for LGBT+ rights in low and middle-income countries as set out in the Global Resources 2019-2020 report on Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with governments and civil society partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth. This includes the vital work of organisations such as The Commonwealth Equality Network, Kaleidoscope Trust, and Human Dignity Trust.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to her counterpart in Ghana on the proposed Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill which would further criminalise LGBT+ people.

The UK stands firm with LGBT+ individuals globally to affirm our commitment to the principle of non-discrimination on all grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We make regular representations about LGBT+ rights, including to the Government of Ghana. We work through our High Commission in Accra, as well as international organisations, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT+ people, and to address discriminatory laws.

The UK acknowledges Ghana's democratic reputation and respects Ghana's Parliamentary process. However, we fully support the position of the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in condemning the discriminatory nature of the draft Private Members Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values.

Ghana has historically been a champion of tolerance, inclusion and human rights. The UK encourages Ghana to reaffirm its opposition to all forms of discrimination and uphold the human rights provisions enshrined in Ghana's Constitution, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the principles of both the African and Commonwealth Charters.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what procedures are in place with respect of former Ministers in her Department and the selection process for the heads of international organisations.

It is a UK priority to maintain strong UK representation at the top of international organisations and this forms an important part of our multilateral engagement. The selection processes for appointing heads of international organisations differs depending on the organisation, but the UK always promotes merit based, transparent senior level appointments in the multilateral system. We proactively target and support well qualified UK and non-UK candidates at all levels and run high level campaigns to support UK Nationals for priority roles.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Since managed quarantine for red list arrivals was introduced in February 2021, nine Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Ministers, including those who are no longer ministers at the FCDO, have received an exemption from managed quarantine on their return to the UK after making official visits to a red list country.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she is making to her counterparts in the 11 jurisdictions in which the death penalty is imposed or at least a possibility for private, consensual same-sex sexual activity on repealing those laws.

UK Government ministers and our overseas missions continue to urge countries that criminalise LGBT+ individuals, and same sex conduct to uphold the universality of human rights, to decriminalise same-sex relations and to pass laws to protect their LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination. We remain committed to funding £3 million of LGBT+ rights projects this year, including project work with a focus on tackling discriminatory legislation.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure the equitable distribution of covid-19 vaccines in Syria.

The UK is committed to equitable access to vaccines, across Syria and globally, as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment. UK support will help distribute one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 92 developing countries, including Syria, in 2021. We recognise that the political situation in Syria is complex, and we are lobbying the UN and working with health partners to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to those in greatest need across the whole of Syria.

This complements the UK's existing support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Syria, providing water, healthcare, hygiene kits and sanitation support for vulnerable Syrians across the country.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2020
What recent diplomatic steps he has taken with his overseas counterparts to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is playing a major role in the global response as we galvanise support for our Four-Point Plan: 1) co-ordinating the global health response; 2) accelerating the search for a vaccine, treatments and testing; 3) securing a sound economic response; and 4) bringing our people home.

The Foreign Secretary and Ministerial team are carrying out extensive bilateral and multilateral engagement, including with G7/G20 counterparts, and working with international companies to tackle the crisis.

We are also working closely with UN Security Council members and the UN Secretary-General to address pandemic and secondary impacts, including instability.

Through our international engagement, we have repeatedly made clear that measures taken by States to tackle CV19 must be necessary, proportionate, time-bound, transparent and regularly reviewed.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional steps he is taking to ensure disabled people are financially supported as energy prices and other costs of living rise.

The government is forecast to spend over £58 billion in 21/22 on benefits to support disabled people in Great Britain. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the government’s primary means of supporting working age adults with the extra costs arising from having a disability and is paid regardless of income and irrespective of whether someone is in work. The government will spend over £12.2 billion to support 2.1 million people on PIP in 21/22. Those who have a disability or health condition which limits their ability to work can get additional support through Universal Credit (UC) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). For those with limited capability for work or work-related activity, this includes an additional component in UC, worth £79.30 per week.

We recognise the recent increase in wholesale global gas prices will be a cause of concern, particularly for those who are vulnerable or have a disability. That is why we continue to protect households through the energy price cap, which has saved the 15 million customers on default tariffs up to £100 a year on their bills since it was introduced in 2019. This is on top of wider support that the government is providing this winter through the £140 Warm Home Discount, up to £300 Winter Fuel Payment and £25 per week Cold Weather Payment, all of which help to ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the winter.

The government is providing support worth around £12 billion this financial year and next to help with the cost of living. This includes the £500 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households with costs for essentials such as energy bills, food, clothing, and utilities over the winter. The Household Support Fund adds to the support already in place to help those on low incomes with the cost of living, including:

  • £140 million in 2021-22 for Discretionary Housing Payments;
  • £670 million in 2021-22 for local authorities to support households struggling with their council tax bills;
  • £200m each year of the Spending Review to continue the Holiday Activities and Food programme; and
  • increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers.
Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Ministers from HM Treasury have not claimed any exemptions from the requirement to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility that is required after returning from a red list country. HM Treasury does not hold information on exemption usage by ministers from other government departments.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of an aviation recovery package.

The Chancellor regularly discusses a wide range of matters related to economic recovery with Cabinet colleagues.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry as a result of Covid-19 and firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills. In addition to economy-wide measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the aerospace sector and its aviation customers are being supported with almost £11 billion made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development. This includes £8bn of guarantees provided by UK Export Finance.

In addition, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme launched on 29 January 2021 will provide support for eligible businesses, up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m. This will help companies with their fixed costs and could unlock shareholder and lender support.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many meetings he has had with representatives of the aviation industry to discuss the planned Aviation Recovery Package.

The Chancellor speaks to industry representatives on a regular basis about a range of matters.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry as a result of Covid-19 and firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills. In addition to economy-wide measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the aerospace sector and its aviation customers are being supported with almost £11 billion made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development. This includes £8bn of guarantees provided by UK Export Finance.

In addition, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme launched on 29 January 2021 will provide support for eligible businesses, up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m. This will help companies with their fixed costs and could unlock shareholder and lender support.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish information on the effect on revenue to the public purse of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the travel sector.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the travel sector as a result of Covid-19, and firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills and the extended furlough scheme.

As set out in the Covid-19 Impact Assessment last November, the Government cannot forecast with confidence the precise impact of specific changes to restrictions, including those on the travel sector, as this will depend on a broad range of factors which are, in many cases, difficult to estimate. The Treasury does not prepare forecasts for the UK economy and public finances, these are the responsibility of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented fiscal support has caused significant but necessary increase in borrowing and debt. However, borrowing costs continue to be low, making the current costs of servicing this increase in debt affordable.

The Budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what investigations the Financial Conduct Authority has undertaken on the listing of Nostrum Oil and Gas on the London Stock Exchange, via the Isle of Man.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as the UK’s securities regulator, oversees equity markets and is responsible for maintaining the Official List. The FCA does not normally make public the fact that it is or is not investigating a particular matter, or any of the findings or conclusions of an investigation.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the losses incurred by UK investors as a result of the collapse of the share price of Nostrum Oil and Gas.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as the UK’s securities regulator, oversees equity markets and is responsible for maintaining the Official List. The FCA does not normally make public the fact that it is or is not investigating a particular matter, or any of the findings or conclusions of an investigation.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many times senior executives of the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) Financial Services Authority met representatives of a foreign government in each of the last 12 years; and for each of those meetings if he will publish the (i) location, (ii) date, (iii) agenda and (iv) identity of the participants.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the right honourable member by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many times the Russian Ambassador to the UK met representatives of the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) Financial Services Authority to discuss (i) the Alfa Group, (ii) Mikhail Fridman and (iii) other Russian, Ukrainian or Kazakh (A) business people and (B) companies in each of the last twelve years.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the right honourable member by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the circumstances leading to the detention of journalist, Martin Banks, by the UK Border Force on 26 February 2022.

We do not comment on individual cases.

Border Force’s number one priority is to maintain a secure border, and we will not compromise on this.

While it is not possible to reveal the details of how security checks at the border operate, Border Force undertakes to perform 100 per cent checks on scheduled passengers arriving in the UK.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will publish a list of Russians who have been granted fast track visas under the recently discontinued investor visa scheme.

The Home Office does not, for data protection reasons, publish personal details of those who make an application under the Immigration Rules.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received on the upcoming election to the presidency of Interpol from (a) former ministers and former officials in her Department and (b) the former Minister for the Middle East, Rt Hon. Alistair Burt.

Officials are continuing to assess the suitability of all candidates for the INTERPOL Executive Committee elections on 25 November, and a decision on voting intentions, including the presidency, will be taken in due course.

As is commonplace in multilateral elections, representations have been made to the Department by both countries presenting candidates for the presidency.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received on the upcoming election to the presidency of Interpol from (a) former ministers and former officials in her Department and (b) the former Minister for the Middle East, Rt Hon. Alistair Burt.

Officials are continuing to assess the suitability of all candidates for the INTERPOL Executive Committee elections on 25 November, and a decision on voting intentions, including the presidency, will be taken in due course.

As is commonplace in multilateral elections, representations have been made to the Department by both countries presenting candidates for the presidency.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations her Department has received in support of the candidacy of Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi for the presidency of Interpol.

Officials are continuing to assess the suitability of all candidates for the INTERPOL Executive Committee elections on 25 November, and a decision on voting intentions, including the presidency, will be taken in due course.

As is commonplace in multilateral elections, representations have been made to the Department by both countries presenting candidates for the presidency.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking with her international counterparts to ensure Interpol retains public confidence.

The Government strongly supports INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure systems are in place that protect individuals’ human rights in line with Article 3 of INTERPOL's Constitution which strictly forbids any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Home Office continues to work with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which acts as the UK’s National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL, to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards. We encourage INTERPOL to uphold international human rights obligations and we won’t hesitate to recommend further reforms to INTERPOL as necessary.

During the G7 Interior and Security Ministers’ meeting in London on 7-9 September we also secured commitments from international partners to strengthen our collective efforts to deter the misuse of INTERPOL systems and support organisational reform and governance at INTERPOL.

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. In the run up to the elections at the General Assembly, officials from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency are in regular contact with international counterparts. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consideration does she give to (a) a candidate’s or (b) their home country’s commitment to the rule of law when assessing their suitability to be president of Interpol.

The Government strongly supports INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure systems are in place that protect individuals’ human rights in line with Article 3 of INTERPOL's Constitution which strictly forbids any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Home Office continues to work with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which acts as the UK’s National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL, to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards. We encourage INTERPOL to uphold international human rights obligations and we won’t hesitate to recommend further reforms to INTERPOL as necessary.

During the G7 Interior and Security Ministers’ meeting in London on 7-9 September we also secured commitments from international partners to strengthen our collective efforts to deter the misuse of INTERPOL systems and support organisational reform and governance at INTERPOL.

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. In the run up to the elections at the General Assembly, officials from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency are in regular contact with international counterparts. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consideration does she give to a candidate’s or their home country’s human rights record when assessing their suitability to be president of Interpol.

The Government strongly supports INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure systems are in place that protect individuals’ human rights in line with Article 3 of INTERPOL's Constitution which strictly forbids any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Home Office continues to work with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which acts as the UK’s National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL, to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards. We encourage INTERPOL to uphold international human rights obligations and we won’t hesitate to recommend further reforms to INTERPOL as necessary.

During the G7 Interior and Security Ministers’ meeting in London on 7-9 September we also secured commitments from international partners to strengthen our collective efforts to deter the misuse of INTERPOL systems and support organisational reform and governance at INTERPOL.

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. In the run up to the elections at the General Assembly, officials from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency are in regular contact with international counterparts. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what due diligence is she conducting into the suitability of the candidates standing to be president of Interpol.

The Government strongly supports INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure systems are in place that protect individuals’ human rights in line with Article 3 of INTERPOL's Constitution which strictly forbids any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Home Office continues to work with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which acts as the UK’s National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL, to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards. We encourage INTERPOL to uphold international human rights obligations and we won’t hesitate to recommend further reforms to INTERPOL as necessary.

During the G7 Interior and Security Ministers’ meeting in London on 7-9 September we also secured commitments from international partners to strengthen our collective efforts to deter the misuse of INTERPOL systems and support organisational reform and governance at INTERPOL.

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. In the run up to the elections at the General Assembly, officials from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency are in regular contact with international counterparts. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with counterparts in democracies on the suitability of the candidates standing for election to the presidency of Interpol.

The Government strongly supports INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure systems are in place that protect individuals’ human rights in line with Article 3 of INTERPOL's Constitution which strictly forbids any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Home Office continues to work with INTERPOL and the National Crime Agency (NCA), which acts as the UK’s National Central Bureau (NCB) for INTERPOL, to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards. We encourage INTERPOL to uphold international human rights obligations and we won’t hesitate to recommend further reforms to INTERPOL as necessary.

During the G7 Interior and Security Ministers’ meeting in London on 7-9 September we also secured commitments from international partners to strengthen our collective efforts to deter the misuse of INTERPOL systems and support organisational reform and governance at INTERPOL.

Proportionate due diligence is undertaken into individuals seeking election to the role of INTERPOL President. In the run up to the elections at the General Assembly, officials from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency are in regular contact with international counterparts. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what due diligence is in place to enable Ministers to assess the suitability of the candidates for the post of President of Interpol.

The INTERPOL General Secretariat (IPSG) regularly updates member countries with the list of candidates nominated for the Presidency. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received on the process and candidates for the selection of the next President of Interpol.

The INTERPOL General Secretariat (IPSG) regularly updates member countries with the list of candidates nominated for the Presidency. The decision on who to support will be based on a thorough assessment of the merits of each candidate.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of her Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK, and all travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

Ministers are able to claim an exemption from travel restrictions under the ‘Crown Servants or government contractors exemption’. The full text of this exemption can be found under the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions, available on GOV.UK.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will intervene where insurers refuse or query claims in relation to the recent disposal of a World War II bomb in Exeter.

In cases such as this, the expectation is for costs to be met by private insurance. Communication channels for the public were set up through both the County and City Councils, and members of the public impacted by this incident were urged to go through those channels.

The Home Office does not routinely provide briefing when such instances occur. We would expect the local Council to keep residents and businesses updated.

The HO does not consider it is liable for any damage caused.

It is not for the Home Office to intervene in disputes between insurers and their clients, therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to provide a briefing on the recent disposal of a World War II bomb in Exeter and distribute that briefing to the residents, businesses and insurance companies affected.

In cases such as this, the expectation is for costs to be met by private insurance. Communication channels for the public were set up through both the County and City Councils, and members of the public impacted by this incident were urged to go through those channels.

The Home Office does not routinely provide briefing when such instances occur. We would expect the local Council to keep residents and businesses updated.

The HO does not consider it is liable for any damage caused.

It is not for the Home Office to intervene in disputes between insurers and their clients, therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a fund to reimburse and compensate people affected by damage caused by the recent detonation of a World War II bomb in Exeter.

In cases such as this, the expectation is for costs to be met by private insurance. Communication channels for the public were set up through both the County and City Councils, and members of the public impacted by this incident were urged to go through those channels.

The Home Office does not routinely provide briefing when such instances occur. We would expect the local Council to keep residents and businesses updated.

The HO does not consider it is liable for any damage caused.

It is not for the Home Office to intervene in disputes between insurers and their clients, therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the liability for the damage caused by the recent detonation of a World War II bomb in Exeter.

In cases such as this, the expectation is for costs to be met by private insurance. Communication channels for the public were set up through both the County and City Councils, and members of the public impacted by this incident were urged to go through those channels.

The Home Office does not routinely provide briefing when such instances occur. We would expect the local Council to keep residents and businesses updated.

The HO does not consider it is liable for any damage caused.

It is not for the Home Office to intervene in disputes between insurers and their clients, therefore it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she or her Department plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Exeter of 5 March 2021 to the Secretary of State for Defence on the disposal of a World War II bomb in Exeter, which was copied to her and referred to her Department by the Ministry of Defence for further response.

We are aware and have answered a number of parliamentary questions on the render safe operation carried out in Exeter in February. Regarding questions articulated in Rt Hon Bradshaw’s letter of the 5 March, we will write a fuller reply shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the High Court's renewed arrest warrant for Mukhtar Ablyazov in July 2019, what steps are her Department is taking to secure his extradition from France.

Whether to seek extradition of an individual is a matter for the UK’s independent prosecution authorities. There is no Ministerial involvement.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received until an arrest has been made in relation to that request.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the (a) scale and (b) number of victims of the financial crimes committed by Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates.

The Home Office does not confirm or comment on individual operational matters.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what investigations are being made of the financial activities of Mukhtar Ablyazov in the UK.

The Home Office does not confirm or comment on individual operational matters.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the cost of preparing for the Government’s proposed 14 day quarantine requirement due to the covid-19 outbreak up to 8 June 2020.

Work associated with the design and implementation of the Government’s proposed 14-day quarantine requirement, is being delivered within existing budget allocations. However, there will be additional costs associated with these new health measures, such as those relating to the development of new passenger locator form.

Work is underway to determine the additional costs; however, the Home Office does not routinely publish breakdowns of operational departmental spending. The information we do publish can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the running costs of the Government's proposed 14 day quarantine requirement due to the covid-19 outbreak after its implementation on 8 June 2020.

Work associated with running the Government’s proposed 14-day quarantine requirement, is being delivered within existing budget allocations. However, it is expected there will be additional costs associated with maintaining these new health measures, such as those relating to accommodation.

Work is underway to determine the additional costs; however, the Home Office does not routinely publish breakdowns of operational departmental spending. The information we do publish can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the scientific evidence is for imposing a quarantine requirement on arrivals from countries with a lower rate of covid-19 infection than the UK.

The scientific advice is that when domestic transmission of Covid-19 is reduced, new health measures at the border are an important part of managing the risk of new cases entering the UK from abroad and contributing to a second peak of the virus.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the evidential basis is for the Government's decision to impose a 14 day quarantine for people arriving in the UK; and what assessment she has made of the compatibility of that decision with WHO advice.

In order to keep overall levels of infection down, as the Government prepares for social contact to increase, a series of measures and restrictions will be introduced at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

Further details, and guidance on measures including screening, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Two Ministry of Defence Ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department plans publish the full incident report into the recent bomb detonation in Exeter.

In his response to your letter of 5 March, the Secretary of State described how due to the procedurally sensitive and classified nature of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) incident reports, they are not routinely shared beyond operational partners. Publishing our render safe tactics, techniques and procedures is information that should not be made publicly available and accessible to those who might use it to mitigate our capability.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what alternative methods were considered for the disposal of the bomb recently unearthed in Exeter.

In his response to your letter of the 5 March, the Secretary of State described that whilst we do not comment on the specifics of render safe procedures (RSP) or methodology, we can confirm that the full range of RSP options were considered by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team operators and their respective chain of command.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of where liability lies for the damage caused by the recent detonation of a bomb in Exeter.

In the first instance the responsibility for costs associated with damage stemming from the bomb disposal operation in Exeter fall to private insurers. Exeter City Council have, in addition, provided support to local residents covering costs below excess levels, and to address any inconvenience associated with relocation.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to respond to the correspondence of 5 March 2021 from the hon. Member for Exeter on the bomb detonation in Exeter.

I responded to the right hon. Member today.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Minister from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has travelled to a country while the country was on the Covid-19 red list for the purpose of conducting official business.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to provide support to district councils in two-tier local authority areas that are facing reductions in income and increases in expenditure as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Allocations of the additional £1.6 billion support for councils to respond to coronavirus were announced on Tuesday 28 April. This is an unprecedented package of support which responds to the range of pressures councils have told us they are facing and takes the total amount provided to local councils to over £3.2 billion. Across both waves of funding, almost 70 per cent of district councils will receive £1 million or more in support, whilst 90 per cent of the funding will go to social care authorities.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the feasibility of temporarily removing statutory constraints on local government finance to help local authorities manage the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on their finances.

Government does not currently intend to temporarily remove any of the statutory framework that governs local government finance. However, changes have been made to the statutory audit framework to delay the requirement to prepare and approve draft accounts by the end of May. Instead, they must be approved by 31 August 2020 at the latest or may be approved earlier, wherever possible.

In addition, Government has announced £3.2 billion un-ringfenced funding to support councils to deliver essential front line services – this is an unprecedented sum of money and demonstrates the Government's commitment to support the sector. In addition, we have agreed to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments, and have brought forward £850 million in social care grants, to ease immediate pressures on local authority cash flow.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Details of Ministers’ overseas travel are published quarterly on GOV.UK, and all travel is arranged in line with official regulations.

Ministers are able to claim an exemption from travel restrictions under the ‘Crown Servants or government contractors exemption’. The full text of this exemption can be found under the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions, available on GOV.UK.

22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Northern Ireland Office ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Minister from the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has travelled to a country while the country was on the covid-19 red list for the purpose of conducting official business.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Ministers from the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales have travelled to a covid-19 red list country for the purpose of conducting official business, therefore no Ministers have been exempted from quarantine.