Bob Blackman Portrait

Bob Blackman

Conservative - Harrow East

Backbench Business Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Backbench Business Committee
13th Jun 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Procedure Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Backbench Business Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 12th May 2016
Backbench Business Committee
30th Jun 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Backbench Business Committee
10th Jun 2013 - 14th May 2014
Backbench Business Committee
12th Jun 2012 - 25th Apr 2013


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 29th November 2021
15:45
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Long-term funding of adult social care
29 Nov 2021, 3:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Brian Dow - Deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness
Emily Holzhausen - Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK
Jackie O'Sullivan - Co-Chair at Care and Support Alliance
At 5.00pm: Oral evidence
Fazilet Hadi - Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK
Ruthe Isden - Head of Health and Care at Age UK
James White - Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th November 2021
16:00
Backbench Business Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Proposals for backbench debates
30 Nov 2021, 4 p.m.
At 4.15pm: Oral evidence
Members of Parliament - Members of Parliament at House of Commons
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
14:30
Local Government (Disqualification) Bill - Debate
Subject: To consider the Bill
1 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 302 Conservative No votes vs 1 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 240 Noes - 304
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
English Channel Small Boats Incident

While we do not know the details or nationalities of those who sadly lost their lives in the channel yesterday, …

Written Answers
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Nuclear Power: Wales
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing energy generation through nuclear power in Wales.
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Recognising the 1988 massacre in Iran
That this House supports justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran; recognises that in 1988, thousands of …
Bills
Tuesday 9th April 2019
Tobacco Companies (Transparency) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: (1) Lockheed Martin UK Ltd (2) CAE U.K. Plc
Address of donor: (1) Cunard House, 15 Lower …
EDM signed
Monday 22nd November 2021
Public scientific hearing on animal experiments
That this House applauds the new Animal Sentience Bill, enshrining in law the ability of animals to experience joy and …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 24th March 2020
Wellbeing of Future Generations (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision for requiring public bodies to act in pursuit of the United Kingdom’s environmental, social, economic …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Bob Blackman has voted in 328 divisions, and 16 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Bob Blackman voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 294 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 230 Noes - 297
View All Bob Blackman 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(58 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(28 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(25 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(33 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Bob Blackman's debates

Harrow East Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Harrow East signature proportion
Petitions with most Harrow East signatures
Bob Blackman has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Bob Blackman

9th June 2021
Bob Blackman signed this EDM on Monday 22nd November 2021

Public scientific hearing on animal experiments

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House applauds the new Animal Sentience Bill, enshrining in law the ability of animals to experience joy and feel suffering and pain; notes the science-based campaign For Life On Earth with its Beagle Ambassador, rescued laboratory dog Scarlett; is shocked to see the harrowing exposé showing thousands of …
92 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 35
Scottish National Party: 29
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Conservative: 2
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
3rd November 2021
Bob Blackman signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Recognising the 1988 massacre in Iran

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House supports justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran; recognises that in 1988, thousands of political prisoners, as many as 30,000, were massacred based on a fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader Khomeini primarily targeting members of the opposition PMOI (MEK) who remained committed to their …
23 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 7
Labour: 7
Conservative: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alliance: 1
View All Bob Blackman's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Bob Blackman, 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.


Bob Blackman has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Bob Blackman has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Bob Blackman


A Bill to make provision about measures for reducing homelessness; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 27th April 2017 and was enacted into law.


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require tobacco companies to publish sales and marketing data; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 9th April 2019
(Read Debate)

209 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
3 Other Department Questions
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions his Department has had with the Treasury on funding the Housing First places needed in England to end rough sleeping and homelessness for cases of people with complex needs.

This Government is committed to ending rough sleeping as part of its latest Manifesto Commitment, utilising schemes like Housing First. Announcements regarding the Spending Review are imminent, which will set out how Government will continue to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Communities, whether it is Government policy to implement the Law Commission’s proposals on event fees in older people’s housing.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill currently in Parliament will put an end to ground rents for new residential leasehold properties as part of the most significant changes to property law in a generation. The Bill's provisions will lead to fairer, more transparent homeownership for thousands of future leaseholders.

This includes retirement properties, where purchasers of new leases will not be faced with financial demands for ground rent.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Communities, what steps he is planning to take to increase transparency for consumers in older people’s housing and associated fees and charges.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill currently in Parliament will put an end to ground rents for new residential leasehold properties as part of the most significant changes to property law in a generation. The Bill's provisions will lead to fairer, more transparent homeownership for thousands of future leaseholders.

This includes retirement properties, where purchasers of new leases will not be faced with financial demands for ground rent.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the BBC Panorama programme of 12 September 2021, whether the Serious Fraud Office plans to review its assessment of the compliance of British American Tobacco with the Bribery Act 2010 in response to the findings of the Panorama programme.

Following a three-year investigation into British American Tobacco, in January 2021 the SFO determined that this case did not meet the evidential tests as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. As with all cases that fail this first limb of the Code, it was therefore not in the public interest to continue with the investigation.

The SFO is aware of the allegations made in the BBC’s Panorama programme of 12 September 2021 and will review and assess any material which is provided to it.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what plans she has to refer the allegations made in the BBC’s Panorama programme of 12 September 2021 regarding British American Tobacco to the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO is aware of the allegations made in the BBC’s Panorama programme of 12 September 2021. Following a three-year investigation into the British American Tobacco, in January 2021 the SFO determined that this case did not meet the evidential tests as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. As with all cases that fail this first limb of the Code, it was therefore not in the public interest to continue with the investigation.

The SFO continues to assist its international law enforcement partners with ongoing investigations related to this matter and will assess any new material it receives. The SFO does not comment on the actions it takes to assess allegations.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
10th Dec 2020
What criteria she uses when referring sentences to the Court of Appeal.

The Law Officers have the power to refer a sentence for review if it appears to us to be not just lenient, but unduly lenient. It is a power we exercise personally, based on our legal assessment of the facts and merits of each case. The court ultimately decide on the case, but we refer cases in the public interest where in our judgment they appear unduly lenient.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what representations her Department has received on the potential exemption of maritime key workers from covid-19 quarantine restrictions, in line with previous exemptions granted.

Maritime workers regularly enter the country in the course of their work which is critical to the continued supply of goods into the UK. Restrictions on the movement of seafarers are likely to undermine effective UK freight supply, the attractiveness to trade, and with it both post-EU UK economic objectives and pandemic response.

Seamen and masters (as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995) and inspectors and surveyors of ships (as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995) in the United Kingdom (including the Devolved Administrations) have exemptions from 10 day self isolation when entering the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of length of notice given ahead of the covid-19 lockdown announced on 4 January 2021 for wholesale distributors to make effective business plans.

Throughout this crisis, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK. We are aware of the challenges faced by the wholesale sector, and the foodservice wholesale sector in particular. Officials have been working closely with the wholesale sector to understand the scale of the challenge. The Government has made a range of support available to wholesalers, and continues to consider the needs of the sector.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many outdoor advertising assets are held by the public sector in the UK; and what the value is of those assets.

National and local channels, including TV, radio, digital and social media, and out of home advertising, are essential for the Government’s communication with the public. We book large-scale outdoor advertising assets on a temporary basis from media owners, in line with campaign objectives and to maximise reach. These costs are regularly published as part of routine government transparency.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the role of high efficiency glazing in residential and commercial buildings in contributing to the net zero by 2050 target.

As part of reaching Net Zero by 2050, the Clean Growth Strategy set out that all homes should reach EPC C by 2035 where cost effective, affordable, and practical. Double glazing is a popular energy efficiency measure and the English Housing Survey suggests that more than 85% of properties in England are fully double glazed, with less than 4% having no double glazing. As such, there is limited potential for further energy savings because so much of the stock already has efficient windows. Nevertheless, there are other benefits to more efficient glazing such as reduced internal noise, and improving the remaining single glazed windows would contribute to lower emissions.

Five per cent[i] of annual Non-domestic buildings energy use can be abated by fabric improvements of which we estimate around a third are glazing.

[i] Source: Building Energy Efficiency Survey, tables 4.5 and 3.1, at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-energy-efficiency-survey-bees

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce a new scheme to incentivise energy efficiency measures in homes to help meet the Government's net zero by 2050 target.

The Government will be expanding its funding commitment in financial year 21/22 for both the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Local Authority Delivery element of the Green Homes Grant scheme with £300 million of new funding and up to £100 million of recycled funding from the Green Homes Grant Vouchers, depending on take up.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that everyone is able to access their post safely, including those affected by (a) domestic abuse and (b) homelessness.

The Government recognises the importance of access to post for all users, especially those that are homeless or suffer at the hands of domestic abuse. The universal postal service is intended to provide an accessible postal service for all.

Royal Mail operates two services to help vulnerable customers have access to their post. Its redirection service can be specially accessed by people with personal safety concerns and its PO Box service provides options for customers designed to meet specific circumstances and preferences.

The Government will continue to work with Royal Mail and the Post Office on how vulnerable groups can best be supported.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to UK ports to deploy the green infrastructure necessary for increasing the UK's offshore wind capacity.

The expected rapid deployment of offshore wind across the UK, Europe and globally over the next decade, together with the increasing size of turbines, means that there is a need for a major expansion in manufacturing capacity in the coming years.

My rt hon Friend the Prime Minister recently announced £160 million of new funding for coastal manufacturing infrastructure. The ‘Offshore wind manufacturing investment support scheme’ aims to accelerate the development of large-scale manufacturing portside hubs, which could strengthen the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing capability, creating employment and investment in both coastal communities and the wider supply chain.

Following a Request for Information in October, earlier this month my Department launched a competitive process to support a large coastal manufacturing site for the offshore wind industry. This would create manufacturing clusters where several large-scale producers can co-locate.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether it remains Government policy to undertake a formal review of the impact of the changes made to the Electronic Communications Code in the Digital Economy Act 2017.

Since the introduction of the reforms in 2017 we have continually listened to feedback from stakeholders on the impact those changes have had on the expansion and improvement of digital networks across the UK. The culmination of this process was a consultation on potential further reform to the Code, published in January 2021. The consultation closed in March 2021 and responses are being considered. The government’s response will be published shortly.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Online Advertising Programme will publish its public consultation, following its call for evidence in 2020.

My department has been considering how online advertising is regulated through our Online Advertising Programme, and we will be consulting on this issue later this year following an initial call for evidence in 2019.

Our aim is to foster fair, accountable and ethical online advertising that works for citizens, businesses, and society as a whole. In particular, we want to ensure standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers are protected from harmful or misleading advertising.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to bring forward legislation on his Department's Online Advertising Programme.

My department has been considering how online advertising is regulated through its Online Advertising Programme, and will be consulting on this issue later this year. The government will set out its plans in the consultation.

Our aim is to foster fair, accountable and ethical online advertising that works for citizens, businesses and society as a whole. In particular, we want to ensure standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers have limited exposure to harmful or misleading advertising.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he plans to take to give online platforms a legal responsibility for preventing, identifying and removing content that leads to pensions scams from their sites.

The growth and scale of online pensions scams, and online fraud more broadly, is deeply concerning. The Government is working tirelessly with industry, regulators and consumer groups to tackle fraud. We are also considering additional legislative and non-legislative solutions to effectively address the harms posed by all elements of online fraud in a cohesive and robust way.

My Department is considering how online advertising is regulated through its Online Advertising Programme. This work will look at ensuring that standards about the placement and content of advertising are effectively applied and enforced online to reduce consumers’ exposure to harmful or misleading advertising. This work will look at the role advertising can play in enabling online fraud and help inform our future efforts to tackle it. We will be consulting on this issue later this year.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking protect (a) small and medium sized businesses and (b) franchisees from the potential effect of proposed advertising restrictions on products that are high in fat, sugar and salt on their businesses.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that tackling obesity is a priority for this Government. In July 2020 the Government outlined it’s Tackling Obesity strategy which details a host of measures aimed at improving the chances of citizens living a healthy lifestyle.

The Government proposed various options for restricting HFSS advertising in the 2019 and 2020 consultations targeted at protecting children from being exposed to advertising of unhealthy food products. Balanced against the priority of protecting children and tackling obesity, we have carefully considered the impact that any restrictions will have on industry and in particular the potential for market distortion or disproportionate effects on key business sectors.

The final policy will be set out in our consultation response due to be published shortly. The Government is committed to acting collaboratively to prepare businesses, individuals and organisations for changes to the rules around HFSS advertising.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps have been taken to protect businesses and jobs in the food and drink manufacturing industry on the high street from the effect of advertising restrictions on products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that tackling obesity is a priority for this Government. In July 2020 the Government outlined it’s Tackling Obesity strategy which details a host of measures aimed at improving the chances of citizens living a healthy lifestyle.

The Government proposed various options for restricting HFSS advertising in the 2019 and 2020 consultations targeted at protecting children from being exposed to advertising of unhealthy food products. Balanced against the priority of protecting children and tackling obesity, we have carefully considered the impact that any restrictions will have on industry and in particular the potential for market distortion or disproportionate effects on key business sectors.

The final policy will be set out in our consultation response due to be published shortly. The Government is committed to acting collaboratively to prepare businesses, individuals and organisations for changes to the rules around HFSS advertising.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will issue guidance to Ofcom, on (a) adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and (b) on analysing the behaviour of social media companies on antisemitism.

As the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom is independent from government. Regulatory decisions are a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom can have regard to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism when determining complaints about antisemitic material broadcast on television and radio services.

The Government is committed to tackling racism, including the spread of antisemitic content online. In December 2020, we published the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, which sets out new expectations on companies to keep their users safe online. Under a new legal duty of care, in-scope companies, including social media, will need to tackle illegal antisemitic content and activity on their services.

In addition, companies providing high-risk, high-reach services will need to set clear terms and conditions stating what legal but harmful material they accept (and do not accept) on their service. This may include antisemitic hate speech, which does not meet the threshold of a criminal offence. Companies will need to enforce these terms and conditions consistently and transparently, and could face enforcement action if they do not. All companies in scope will be required to have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms.

The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the regulatory framework outlined in the Full Government Response, including the appointment of Ofcom as the regulator, will be ready this year. There are no plans to issue guidance to Ofcom on analysing the behaviour of social media companies on antisemitism.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to support international students enrolling onto higher education courses in the UK at the start of the 2021-22 academic year within the covid-international travel framework.

International students are vital and valued members of our higher education (HE) community. The government has worked closely with the HE sector throughout this year to ensure existing rules and processes have been as flexible as possible, so that international students have been able to study in the UK as planned.

The department speaks regularly with its counterparts across the government, including the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, the Department for Transport and Cabinet Office, among others, about how various COVID-19 policies may affect students.

The UK was one of the first countries to introduce important visa concessions for international students at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we will do our utmost to ensure this flexibility remains for as long as needed. We will continue to work with our counterparts across the government to ensure that the UK remains as accessible and welcoming as possible next academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of provision of financial education at a primary education level; and if his Department will make an assessment of the potential contribution of Global Money Week to improving that provision.

It is important that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information. The Department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions and has also published statutory and non-statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should be taught about financial education from Key Stages one to four.

In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds. To enable schools to plan their whole curriculum, the Department has also published a non-statutory citizenship curriculum for Key Stages one and two, stating that by the end of primary education pupils should be taught how to look after their money and realise that future wants and needs may be met through saving.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetical knowledge that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education, including calculations with money.

Primary schools are free to include additional content on financial management in their curricula, including working with external experts, however, the Department does not monitor this and trusts schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular context.

The Department does not plan to make its own assessment of the contribution of Global Money Week to improving the provision of financial education at primary education level but will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be gained from such initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of Kickstart Money’s live virtual financial education sessions delivered by MyBnk to help ensure financial education continues in schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

Education on financial matters ensures that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information if required. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions. The Department has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should be taught about financial education from Key Stages 1 to 4.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

The Department does not monitor or assess the resources that schools use and we trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations. We will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service, and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be learned from other sector initiatives and how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The Department’s latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to recommendation made in April 2016 by the APPG on Financial Education for Young People, what progress his Department has made on developing the delivery of financial education at a primary level; and if he will make a statement.

Education on financial matters ensures that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information if required. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions. The Department has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should be taught about financial education from Key Stages 1 to 4.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

The Department does not monitor or assess the resources that schools use and we trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations. We will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service, and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be learned from other sector initiatives and how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The Department’s latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of early intervention financial education at a primary level; and if he will make a statement.

Education on financial matters ensures that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information if required. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

The Department also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions. The Department has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should be taught about financial education from Key Stages 1 to 4.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetic that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin the pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

The Department does not monitor or assess the resources that schools use and we trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations. We will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service, and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be learned from other sector initiatives and how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. The Department’s latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the quantities of flat glass currently recycled through end-of-life vehicle authorised treatment facilities.

For 2018, some 1.4 million end-of-life vehicles passed through authorised treatment facilities (ATFs). It is estimated that around 10,000 tonnes of glass were recycled. Processing of this glass occurred further down the treatment chain after initial depollution of vehicles at ATFs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason glass is classed as a qualifying material for the lower rate of landfill tax; and what plans he has to review that classification as part of plans to move towards circular economies.

Materials liable for the lower rate of landfill tax, including glass, are listed in the 2011 Qualifying Materials Order. When assessing which materials are liable for the lower rate, the Government considers whether they are non-hazardous, have low potential for greenhouse gas emissions and have low polluting potential in the landfill environment. Further information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excise-notice-lft1-a-general-guide-to-landfill-tax/excise-notice-lft1-a-general-guide-to-landfill-tax#lower-rate-qualifying-material .

The Government has no plans to change the landfill tax rate for glass, though HM Treasury continues to keep tax policy under review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to consult the construction industry on the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility for certain construction materials set out in the Government’s waste and resource strategy published in 2018.

The Government remains committed to reviewing and consulting on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and other measures for certain Construction and Demolition sector products by the end of 2025. Stakeholder engagement will commence shortly. The Government is engaging with the sector through the industry-led Green Construction Board, including supporting the production of a roadmap to zero avoidable waste for the construction sector. This is due to be published in the next few months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 on the level of stocks retained by food service wholesalers.

I refer the hon. Members to the reply previously given on 25 January 2021, PQ 138473.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-15/138473

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the resilience of the supply of food to (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) care homes.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Public sector food provision for specific sectors including schools, hospitals and care homes is led by the relevant government departments. My department is working closely with officials in DfE and DHSC, as the lead departments, to ensure food supply continues to schools, hospitals and care homes. My officials are providing advice and sharing relevant industry intelligence related to broader food supply concerns, in order to support lead government departments with contingency planning. This supports departments in their engagement with their food suppliers. DfE is working in partnership with food suppliers to ensure that schools can continue to provide pupils with nutritious meals. NHS England and DHSC are engaging with the supply chain for hospitals and care homes to ensure their suppliers are fully prepared for the end of the year.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications of the Autumn Budget 2021 for the establishment of the proposed Maritime Capability Campaign Office.

Maritime featured prominently in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review while maritime exports are important both for a thriving UK sector and delivery of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy. The Government will provide more detail on its plans for the maritime sector under the National Shipbuilding Strategy later this year.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 on the proposed establishment of a Maritime Capability Campaign Office.

Maritime featured prominently in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review while maritime exports are important both for a thriving UK sector and delivery of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy. The Government will provide more detail on its plans for the maritime sector under the National Shipbuilding Strategy later this year.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support her Department is providing for UK maritime businesses to attend overseas trade shows.

I refer my Hon. Friend for Harrow East to the answer I gave to the Rt Hon. Member for North Durham on 16 July 2021, UIN: 28979.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions her Department had with relevant stakeholders ahead of the cancellation of the Tradeshow Access Programme.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 15 July to Question UIN 28980.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions her Department has had with relevant stakeholders on (a) the cancellation of the Tradeshow Access Programme and (b) a replacement scheme for that programme.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 15 July to Question UIN 28980.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much of the £300 million investment identified in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 for the extension of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition and HGV technology trials will be made available specifically to the maritime sector.

DfT received £300m for R&D initiatives to help commercialise low and zero emission technologies. The Department will shortly commence a prioritisation process to allocate this funding across different programmes, including maritime. The outcome will be shared in due course.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with stakeholders on supporting the UK maritime industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and departmental officials have had very regular discussions and meetings with stakeholders across the whole of the UK Maritime Sector about the challenges the global pandemic has created and the support they need, and will continue to do so.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to help maritime businesses adapt to the end of the transition period.

We have provided extensive guidance for maritime and other businesses on the Government’s www.gov.uk/transition website enabling them to make the necessary preparations to adapt to the new rules following the end of the Transition Period. The Government has engaged closely with stakeholders leading up to and following the end of the Transition Period. The Department for Transport continues to engage frequently with maritime stakeholders, including through workshops and bilateral engagements.

On top of this, the Department has taken a number of steps to assist maritime businesses through transition. This includes playing an important role in delivering £200 million in Government grants to British ports through the Port Infrastructure Fund. The fund will help British ports build and enhance border controls infrastructure, enabling them to receive EU goods effectively and in line with the new Border Operating Model. Government is also spending a further £270 million on inland facilities to benefit those ports which cannot build on-site.

The Department also procured additional freight capacity on a temporary basis to help mitigate any potential disruption to the supply of critical goods due to new border procedures.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the UK maritime industry on his Department's support for clean maritime.

My officials and I regularly engage the maritime industry on all matters that concern them, including reducing the sector’s emissions, as decarbonising shipping is essential to achieve the target of net zero greenhouse gases across the economy by 2050.

The Clean Maritime Council recently discussed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a £20m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to develop clean maritime technology.

Before this initiative, the Department funded a £1.5m competition for innovation in clean maritime and provided £193,897 in grant support through the Department’s Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant Programme to early stage research projects related to clean maritime. Details of the grant winners are available, respectively, on the MarRI-UK website[1] and on GOV.UK[2].

[1] https://www.marri-uk.org/funding-opportunities/clean-maritime-call/clean-maritime-call-winners

[2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879162/transport-technology-research-innovation-grants-t-trig-funding-winners.csv/preview

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has held with representatives of the maritime industry about that industry's role in contributing towards the UK's Net Zero targets.

Officials and I regularly engage the maritime industry on all matters that concern them, including reducing the sector’s emissions, as decarbonising shipping is essential to achieve the target of net zero greenhouse gases across the economy by 2050.

We continue to work with the maritime industry as part of the Clean Maritime Council to implement the Clean Maritime Plan, which outlines the UK’s pathway to zero carbon emissions in domestic maritime. The Council recently discussed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a £20m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to develop clean maritime technology.

Further plans on the decarbonisation of the maritime sector will be included in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to be published in the spring next year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the maritime sector on the role that decarbonising the maritime sector can play in reaching net zero by 2050.

The domestic maritime sector falls under the UK’s national net zero target, and in common with the wider economy will need to be decarbonised by 2050 in order to achieve net zero.

The Department has regular meetings with industry and civil society representatives on the issue of decarbonisation, to discuss both domestic Net Zero and the international work to address GHG emissions being undertaken at the International Maritime Organization.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Rapid Cancer Registration and Treatment Data published by the National Disease Registration Service, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the data in that publication that shows 13,000 fewer prostate cancer diagnoses to the end of April 2021 compared with historical trends; and what plans he has to increase the rate of those diagnoses.

We are encouraging all those with cancer symptoms to come forward for treatment, though media engagement such as the ‘Help us to help you ‘campaign. There are currently eleven urology or prostate Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC) pathways operational or in development, some of which cover multiple hospital sites. RDCs have been developed to deliver faster and earlier cancer diagnosis, including for prostate cancer. RDCs will be the default model for all cancer pathways across all 21 Cancer Alliances in England by 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many grants were awarded by Health Education England to enable existing and aspiring nurses to train as non-medical practitioners to support the prostate cancer workforce in each of the last five years.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 September 2021 to Question 41820.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to NHS England’s Monthly Provider Based Data and Summaries, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the data set out in those publications that shows 50,000 fewer referrals for suspected prostate cancer patients than historical trends during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We are encouraging all those with cancer symptoms to come forward for treatment, though media engagement such as the ‘Help us to help you ‘campaign. There are currently eleven urology or prostate Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC) pathways operational or in development, some of which cover multiple hospital sites. RDCs have been developed to deliver faster and earlier cancer diagnosis, including for prostate cancer. RDCs will be the default model for all cancer pathways across all 21 Cancer Alliances in England by 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September to Question 41823 on Prostate Cancer: Diagnosis, for what reason no formal assessment has been made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of referrals for suspected prostate cancer; and if he will make a statement.

Data on prostate cancer is not available as a separate data set. It is published monthly as a subset of data on urological malignancies, which includes a number of different possible cancers.

The Department continues to work with the National Health Service to improve services. There are now 11 urology or prostate rapid diagnostic centre pathways either under development or operational to help recover these services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Health Education England has plans to improve reporting on the number of clinical nurse specialists working in (a) urology and (b) prostate cancer as part of its review into the long-term strategic trends in the health and social care workforce.

The National Health Service Electronic Staff Record does not enable the identification of cancer nurse specialists.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many grants were awarded by Health Education England to enable existing and aspiring nurses to train as non-medical practitioners to support the prostate cancer workforce in each of the last five years.

The NHS People Plan published in July 2020 committed to offering training grants to 250 nurses in 2020/21 to enable them to become cancer nurse specialists. In order to maximise training opportunities, Health Education England awarded 1,238 training grants in 2020/21 to existing and aspiring cancer nurse specialists. This offer was further extended in 2021/22 with a further 250 training grants made available. Uptake data for the current financial year is not yet available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Health Education England (a) audits the amount of money made available to NHS Trusts for training purposes and (b) assesses whether NHS Trusts are investing the money to meet the objectives of the NHS Long Term Plan for enhanced professional skills development within the cancer workforce.

Health Education England (HEE) provides activity-based education funding to National Health Service trusts which supports continuing professional development, workforce development and the development of the future workforce. Where this funding is provided by HEE, it is managed through the NHS Education Contract. HEE monitors the delivery of education programmes funded by HEE, including those related to the cancer workforce, to ensure delivery of the funding objectives.

NHS trusts have other sources of training income and are responsible for how they invest this money and train their staff. It is the responsibility of individual NHS organisations who invest this funding to undertake relevant assurance processes to ensure outcomes are being met.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the implications for his policies of data set out in NHS England’s Monthly Provider Based Data and Summaries, published in May 2021, on the length of the waiting time for patients to be diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer; and if he will make a statement.

No formal assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the latest statistics published in NHS England’s Monthly Provider Based Data and Summaries, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of referrals for suspected prostate cancer; and if he will make a statement.

No formal assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2021
When he plans to publish an updated Tobacco Control Plan.

The Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan will be published later this year.

It will set out a comprehensive package of ambitious policy proposals and supporting regulatory changes, to meet our ambition to be smoke free by 2030.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has provided to coroners on women who are prescribed early medical abortion pills by post and medicate with them beyond the 10 week legal and licensing limit; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has not provided such advice.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that calls to abortion providers in response to complications arising from early medical abortions are adequately followed up by those providers; and if he will make a statement.

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

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

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which external organisations his Department is working with and in what capacity, to assess the efficacy of continuing the practice of early medical abortions by post; which of those organisations have a financial interest in providing abortion services; and if he will make a statement.

The Government committed to undertake a public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation has now closed and we will be considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year.

An external company is contracted by the Department to undertake independent analysis of consultation responses. They are supporting the impartial analysis of responses to the consultation on the temporary approval.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all electronic mail communications since and including 26 March 2020 by (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department with abortion providers on policy issues has been via official Departmental electronic mail addresses; and if he will make a statement.

All email communications with abortions providers on policy issues is conducted through official Departmental email addresses. All ministers are aware of the guidance around personal email usage and Government business is conducted in line with that guidance

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that breaches of the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020 relating to sections 1.3 and 3(A) of the Abortion Act 1967 are reported to police in a timely manner by healthcare staff; and if he will make a statement.

Healthcare staff providing care to women accessing abortions should ensure that relevant processes are in place to identify and report breaches of the Abortion Act 1967 and the Required Standard Operating Procedures. Decisions to bring a prosecution in relation to the law on abortion are for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the procedures are for healthcare staff to register and report breaches of the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Healthcare staff providing care to women accessing abortions should ensure that relevant processes are in place to identify and report breaches of the Abortion Act 1967 and the Required Standard Operating Procedures. Decisions to bring a prosecution in relation to the law on abortion are for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans, in the 2021-22 parliamentary session, to repeal the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Government committed to undertake a public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure. The consultation has now closed and we are considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year. We will keep the current measures in place until evidence collected during the consultation has been analysed and Ministers have made a decision on the future of the temporary approval.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to collect data on retained products of conception arising from terminations in respect of the implementation of the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Scoping of the Department’s project to review the system of recording abortion complications data is currently underway and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion.

To improve the accuracy of the data collected, the Department will work closely with a range of statutory bodies, professional organisations and abortion providers to identify additional sources of information that could be used to complement complications data collected via HSA4 abortion notification forms and improve the flow of data on abortion complications between different organisations, such as independent and National Health Service abortion providers and wider health and care services.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to develop a protocol to consistently and throughout the NHS (a) record and (b) analyse incidences of retained products of conception in relation to the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Scoping of the Department’s project to review the system of recording abortion complications data is currently underway and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion.

To improve the accuracy of the data collected, the Department will work closely with a range of statutory bodies, professional organisations and abortion providers to identify additional sources of information that could be used to complement complications data collected via HSA4 abortion notification forms and improve the flow of data on abortion complications between different organisations, such as independent and National Health Service abortion providers and wider health and care services.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department's review of the use of the HSA4 forms for data collection on complications experienced during home abortions in respect of the implementation of the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020 is (a) comprehensive and (b) impartial; and if he will make a statement.

Scoping of the Department’s project to review the system of recording abortion complications data is currently underway and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion.

To improve the accuracy of the data collected, the Department will work closely with a range of statutory bodies, professional organisations and abortion providers to identify additional sources of information that could be used to complement complications data collected via HSA4 abortion notification forms and improve the flow of data on abortion complications between different organisations, such as independent and National Health Service abortion providers and wider health and care services.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to publish terms of reference for his Department’s review of the efficacy of the recording of data using HSA4 forms by clinicians in respect of the regulations for home abortions as set out in the temporary provisions under the Coronavirus Act 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Scoping of the Department’s project to review the system of recording abortion complications data is currently underway and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion.

To improve the accuracy of the data collected, the Department will work closely with a range of statutory bodies, professional organisations and abortion providers to identify additional sources of information that could be used to complement complications data collected via HSA4 abortion notification forms and improve the flow of data on abortion complications between different organisations, such as independent and National Health Service abortion providers and wider health and care services.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that hospital patients from the Jewish community are being served fresh Kosher foods, particularly at breakfast, that allow a choice at mealtimes without compromising on the strict dietary laws that they must follow.

The independent review of National Health Service hospital food was published on 20 October 2020 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-nhs-hospital-food

This includes steps to improve hospital food for patients, staff and visitors, including religious requirements. An expert group is being assembled to implement the recommendations of this report and this will have a sub-group to look at how food is best provided to patients given their medical conditions, personal or cultural preferences and religious requirements. This sub-group will include representatives from religious organisations.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential for a distortion in competition between aggregators and other food delivery businesses as a result of the proposed restrictions on the online advertising of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

In addition to our 2019 and 2020 consultations on further advertising restrictions for high fat, salt and sugar products, we have engaged with stakeholders from all sectors throughout this process, including aggregators and other food delivery businesses. We have heard how the proposals could impact different businesses and in the 2020 consultation we asked whether our proposal for a total online restriction would confer a competitive advantage to any particular operator or segment of the online advertising environment. These views have been taken into account whilst developing the final policy position which will be outlined in our consultation response and final impact assessment due to be published later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with industry and business on the proposed online ban on advertising food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt; and if he will meet representatives from the takeaway pizza industry to discuss the effect of those proposals on that industry.

The Department has ongoing discussions with the food and drink industry and other stakeholders on the proposed introduction of restrictions on the online advertising of products high in fat, salt and sugar, including through stakeholder engagement to assist businesses in responding to the consultation. The takeaway pizza industry has been included in these discussions through their industry bodies and as individual companies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) small and medium sized businesses and (b) franchisees of the online advertising proposals for products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar asked a question on the impact of the proposals on small businesses and we have engaged with industry to understand these in more detail to factor in the final policy decision. We will publish the response to the consultation shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department spent on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking in 2020-21.

Provisional expenditure by Public Health England on smoking cessation promotion for the financial year 2020-21 was £1,340,000.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 141964 on Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis, if he will take steps to collect and hold centrally information on the cost to the NHS of late diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as a result of covid-19 related delays over the last 12 months.

There are no current plans to do so.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of new innovative payment models that would be required to support patient access to innovative and potentially curative gene and cell therapy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published the ‘NHS commercial framework for new medicines’ on 23 February 2021. The framework sets out the routes to commissioning for medicines and states that the main route for commissioning medicines, which includes gene and cell therapies, is expected to be through a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal. The framework also sets out the commercial options that may be available to companies that NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE may pursue in particular circumstances.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of future routes to market for gene therapies with regard to the potential transformative effect of those one-off therapeutics for the treatment of chronic disease.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published the ‘NHS commercial framework for new medicines’ on 23 February 2021. The framework sets out the routes to commissioning for medicines and states that the main route for commissioning medicines, which includes gene and cell therapies, is expected to be through a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) appraisal. The framework also sets out the commercial options that may be available to companies that NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE may pursue in particular circumstances.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on patients with rare diseases of NICE's proposed changes to eligibility criteria for the Highly Specialised Technology pathway.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is reviewing the criteria used to decide whether a new technology should be evaluated through the highly specialised technologies (HST) programme as part of the review of its health technology evaluation methods and processes.

NICE is currently consulting on the guiding principles for the HST programme as part of the consultation on the case for change to its processes for health technology evaluation and expects to consult on the proposed HST criteria this summer. The purpose of reviewing the criteria is to make them clearer, more specific and the outcome easier to understand and more predictable for stakeholders.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuit to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 141963, in what format his Department and NHS England collects data on the average time for a patient with (a) Crohn’s disease and (b) ulcerative colitis to be diagnosed in Harrow East constituency compared to the national average in the last 12 months.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that their current outpatient systems are a generic list of patients waiting without a diagnosis and are measured from a previous appointment to the first outpatient appointment or diagnostic procedure. As a patient may be seen by several consultants before diagnosis, many with differing waiting times, we do not hold specific information on average wait times for people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that information is not held at a constituency level as figures are collected working to general practitioner practice boundaries that do not align with constituency boundaries.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 141964 on Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Diagnosis, for what reason information relating to the cost to the NHS for late diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis due to covid-19 related delays over the last 12 months is not held centrally.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that data relating to the cost to the NHS for late diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis due to COVID-19 related delays is not collected.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the recent example set by Singapore, what discussions his Department has had on when maritime key workers will be prioritised for covid-19 vaccinations.

The Department has had a number of discussions on the prioritisation of key workers. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI’s advice has stated that phase one of the vaccine programme will have the prevention of mortality at the forefront of its objectives, as well as to support the National Health Service and social care system.

Maritime staff who are eligible for a vaccine, based on the JCVI’s prioritisation, will be offered a vaccine in line with clinical advice. Prioritisation decisions for the next phase delivery of the vaccine are subject to information, surveillance and monitoring data from phase one, as well as further advice from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI. Phase two may include further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) support clinically vulnerable patients with underlying respiratory conditions suffering complications from long covid and b) maintain care and treatment for patients with new respiratory multi-morbidity through the vaccination phase of the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have allocated £10 million to establish post COVID-19 services across England to provide assessment, diagnosis and a treatment pathway for those experiencing ongoing symptoms. Where clinically appropriate patients can access the assessment services remotely. All services are being run in line with safe infection prevention and control environments to ensure they are safe for clinically vulnerable people. A referral to the clinic should not delay treatment of known conditions such as respiratory disease. If an individual is experiencing ongoing or worsening symptoms, they should seek advice from their general practitioner (GP) in the first instance or if an emergency through their local emergency pathways.

In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement have also commissioned the development and of ‘Your COVID Recovery’ - a digital, interactive and tailored recovery programme to provide online rehabilitation for people experiencing ongoing COVID-19 symptoms to manage their recovery at home.

Video consultations are now available in GP practices covering 99% of the population in England. Meanwhile, online consultations, where a patient can contact their GP practice directly via the internet, are available in almost 6,000 practices, covering 90% of the population.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Minister for covid-19 Vaccine Deployment responds to the letter of 15 December 2020 from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vulnerable Groups on the protection of vulnerable groups through the vaccination phase of the pandemic.

I responded to the letter of 15 December 2020 from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vulnerable Groups on the protection of vulnerable groups through the vaccination phase of the pandemic on 10 February 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information (a) NHS England and (b) his Department holds on the cost to the NHS for late diagnosis of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis due to covid-19 related delays over the last 12 months.

This information is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data (a) NHS England and (b) his Department holds on how many delays or cancellations of procedures and investigations there has been over the last 12 months for patients with (i) Crohn’s disease and (ii) ulcerative colitis.

This data is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that effective treatment continues for patients with (a) Crohn’s disease and (b) ulcerative colitis during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 and the reintroduction of shielding guidance.

Providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data (a) NHS England and (b) his Department holds on the number of patients admitted to hospital with (a) Crohn’s disease and (b) ulcerative colitis in the last 12 months.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information (a) NHS England and (b) his Department holds on the average time for a patient with (a) Crohn’s disease or (b) ulcerative colitis to be diagnosed in Harrow East constituency, compared to the national average in the last 12 months.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase public awareness of the risks of chewing (a) tobacco and (b) paan among the Indian community.

Chewing tobacco and paan are harmful to your health. There is national advice on NHS.uk about the dangers and where to seek advice through local stop smoking services to help people quit.

Local authorities also provide campaigns, advice and support within their communities. To support clinicians and local authorities, Public Health England have published the ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ guidance that contains a chapter on tobacco use, along with self-assessment tools to improve local tobacco control work and an oral cancer registrations indicator in the Public Health Profiles data for local commissioners to access.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of attaching sunset clauses to each proposal contained in the consultation for an online advertising ban for of foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

We carefully consider all views on our measures to reduce obesity and will continue to do so. This includes responses to the consultation on proposals to ban online adverts for foods high in fat, salt and sugar including suggestions to include time limits on specific policy proposals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has has made of the potential effect of the proposed online advertising ban on foods high in fat, salt or sugar on the financial position of (a) small and (b) large businesses.

We published an evidence note alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation on further advertising restrictions on TV and online. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

In the consultation we have asked a question on the impact of the proposals on small businesses and are engaging with industry to understand these in more detail to factor in the final policy decision. We will outline the detailed costs and benefits of the final policy in the response to the consultation early next year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has has made of the potential effect of the proposed online advertising ban on foods high in fat, salt or sugar on the financial position of small business that rely on online advertising and social media engagement to generate business.

We published an evidence note alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation on further advertising restrictions on TV and online. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

In the consultation we have asked a question on the impact of the proposals on small businesses and are engaging with industry to understand these in more detail to factor in the final policy decision. We will outline the detailed costs and benefits of the final policy in the response to the consultation early next year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect on small and large businesses of the different proposals in the consultation on restricting the online advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

We published an evidence note alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation on further advertising restrictions on TV and online. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

In the consultation we have asked a question on the impact of the proposals on small businesses and are engaging with industry to understand these in more detail to factor in the final policy decision. We will outline the detailed costs and benefits of the final policy in the response to the consultation early next year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the economic effect on small businesses that rely on online advertising and social media engagement of the different proposals in the consultation on restricting the online advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

We published an evidence note alongside the consultation on the proposal to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/total-restriction-of-online-advertising-for-products-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt-hfss/evidence-note

This builds on the impact assessment that accompanied the 2019 consultation on further advertising restrictions on TV and online. This is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/786554/advertising-consultation-impact-assessment.pdf

In the consultation we have asked a question on the impact of the proposals on small businesses and are engaging with industry to understand these in more detail to factor in the final policy decision. We will outline the detailed costs and benefits of the final policy in the response to the consultation early next year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Rare Disease Framework will include measures to help people with rare diseases to access psychological support.

The Government plans to publish a new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020. One of the underpinning strategic themes will be to ensure that the needs of rare disease patients are recognised in wider health and care services including mental health support. The appropriate steps to take to address these themes will be addressed in the nation specific action plans that will follow on from the Framework publication.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding he plans to allocate to support the Rare Disease Framework.

The Government published a new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework in January 2021, which replaces the UK Rare Diseases Strategy. There is no new funding allocated in new Framework. However, the Government is committed to ensuring that the Framework is a success and will publish subsequent action plans that outline how the priorities and underlying themes in the Framework will be addressed. The details of the action plans will be released in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce diagnosis times for people living with rare diseases; and whether the Rare Disease Framework will include targets on earlier diagnosis.

The Government recognises the importance of all patients being able to obtain a quick and accurate diagnosis. We plan to publish a new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020 which identifies improving diagnostic times as a key priority. Measurable targets where possible are not included in the UK Rare Diseases Framework but will be included in the subsequent nation specific action plans.

Advances in genomics and the commitment to incorporate whole genome sequencing into routine healthcare by the NHS Genomic Medicine Service are helping early detection of rare diseases. The recently published Genome UK Strategy outlines the Government’s vision to help people live longer, healthier lives using new genomic technologies to diagnose and treat rare diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government’s Smokefree 2030 target, when the new Tobacco Control Plan setting out the further measures promised in the Green paper to help meet that target will be published.

The Government is committed in addressing the harms from smoking. The Department, working with Public Health England, will develop and publish a new Tobacco Control Plan to deliver its Smokefree 2030 ambition. The new plan is expected in July 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with Health Education England on how the extra £260 million announced in the Spending Review 2020 will support the cancer workforce.

The Spending Review 2020 provides £260 million to continue to grow the National Health Service workforce and support commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan, including continuing to take forward the cancer workforce plan phase one.

Full details on funding allocations towards NHS workforce budgets, including Health Education England, in 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase public awareness of the (a) risks of mouth cancer and (b) effect of smoking on mouth cancer.

The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training has developed guidance for dentists to provide very brief advice to tobacco users and refer to local stop smoking services. Public Health England have also published the Delivering Better Oral Health guidance that contains a chapter on smoking and tobacco use, along with self-assessment tools to improve local tobacco control work and an oral cancer registrations indicator in the Public Health Profiles data for local commissioners to access.

The Government has introduced various pieces of legislation to address the harms from tobacco use and this includes graphic warnings on some tobacco packaging. We continue to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and help people quit. In addition to this, the Oral Health Foundation Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign held in November has raised the profile of mouth cancer and the Government welcomes this.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ensure that dental practices are allowed to remain open during the remainder of the covid-19 outbreak.

Dental practices have been able to open for face to face National Health Service care, including routine care, from 8 June. There are over 6,000 dental practices holding an NHS contract in England. Dental practices will be able to remain open by continuing to follow the Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement infection prevention and control guidance.

In addition to the reopening of face to face care in high street dental practices, over 600 urgent dental care centres set up at the height of the pandemic remain open to ensure that dental treatment needed urgently can be accessed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the size of the breast imaging and diagnostic workforce.

‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 – action for us all’ sets out actions to support transformation across the National Health Service. This includes Health Education England (HEE) prioritising the training of 400 clinical endoscopists and 450 reporting radiographers. HEE is also facilitating a number of initiatives within breast imaging, including setting up and funding a National Breast Imaging Academy to tackle national workforce issues.

Alongside most other allied health profession students, diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers studying pre-registration courses at English universities are eligible for a new, non-repayable training grant of at least £5,000 per academic year – in addition to funding available through the Learning Support Fund and Student Loans Company. They can also benefit from further funding of up to £3,000 to cover, for example, childcare costs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that there is a geographical spread of rare disease diagnosis centres to ensure that patients are able to attain timely and accessible access to accurate diagnosis.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of those living with rare conditions and recognises the importance of patients across all areas of the United Kingdom being able to obtain a quick and accurate diagnosis.

The Government will be publishing a new UK Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020 which will outline the high-level direction for rare diseases in the UK. Helping patients across the UK access specialist care and get a final diagnosis faster will be priorities of this Framework, as identified by extensive stakeholder engagement with patients, their families, researchers and clinicians. The policies to deliver these priorities will be set out in future nation-specific action plans and will be supported by the recently published Genome UK Strategy, which outlines the Government’s vision to help people live longer, healthier lives using new genomic and other technologies to diagnose and treat rare disease.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is undertaking to ensure that the NHS and wider health system is prepared for the adoption of advanced therapy medicinal products for the treatment of rare diseases.

The National Health Service is involved in research, development and adoption readiness of Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) through the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre network, which is hosted by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and set up through funding from the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. ATMPs for the treatment of a range of conditions including rare diseases are appraised for clinical and cost effectiveness by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The NHS, the Accelerated Access Collaborative and direct commissioning teams work with a range of stakeholders to undertake detailed horizon scanning for ATMPs to ensure the relevant clinical and implementation preparations can be made where treatments are recommended by NICE.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to consult with rare disease patient groups throughout the UK to ensure that the proposed Innovative Medicines Fund is able to support access to innovative medicines for rare diseases.

Proposals for the Innovative Medicines Fund are in development and we expect NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to lead an engagement exercise early next year.

The engagement exercise will involve the pharmaceutical industry, the National Health Service and associated bodies and patient groups, including those with rare diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure people with dementia can have safe social contact with their family and friends during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government guidance ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing)’ provides guidance for seeing friends and family and can be used by people living with dementia and their family and friends. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

The Government also published guidance on how people can make a support bubble with another household. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household

Local lockdown regulations exempt those providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person from the prohibition on household mixing.

In the ‘Adult social care: coronavirus (COVID-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021’, published on 18 September, we set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to care home residents to continue safely. The plan is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-coronavirus-covid-19-winter-plan-2020-to-2021

We published visiting guidance on 22 July 2020 which outlined how providers, based on the views of their local Director of Public Health, could take a dynamic risk-based approach to allow visiting where safe. This guidance will shortly be updated to reflect the changes announced in the winter plan and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/update-on-policies-for-visiting-arrangements-in-care-homes

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to encourage higher donor registration among mixed ethnicity donors to the UK stem cell and bone marrow register.

Since 2011 the Department has provided over £26.8 million in financial support to NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan to enable the establishment of a unified United Kingdom Stem Cell Registry and improve access to, and outcomes of, stem cell donation.

This includes improving equity of access to unrelated donor stem cell transplantation for all ethnicities, including those with mixed ethnicities, through targeted recruitment to the UK Stem Cell Registry. Anthony Nolan have established a taskforce dedicated to engaging with supporters from minority ethnic backgrounds, including those with mixed ethnicities, which will co-create content and recruitment campaigns that serve and resonate with target audiences. Additionally, they are working closely with partners – such as the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust and the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign - to focus recruitment in ethnically diverse areas of the UK, and to target recruitment on currently under-represented groups.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to encourage higher donor registration among (a) all people and (b) mixed ethnicity donors to the UK stem cell and bone marrow register.

Since 2011 the Department has provided over £26.8 million in financial support to NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan to enable the establishment of a unified United Kingdom Stem Cell Registry and improve access to, and outcomes of, stem cell donation. This includes improving equity of access to unrelated donor stem cell transplantation for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients through targeted recruitment to the UK Stem Cell Registry.

There are now 1.6 million donors on the UK’s aligned stem cell registry which is part of a worldwide network of 76 stem cell registries, which list over 36 million donors worldwide and co-operate to match donors to patients across the globe.

Current funding includes very specific stipulations about the numbers of newly registered bone marrow donors, and the proportion of umbilical cords stored in the UK Cord Blood Bank that must be from BAME backgrounds (35-40%). There are now 1.6 million donors on the UK’s aligned stem cell registry and the proportion of BAME donors in the UK registry has gone up from 11% to 14% between 2014 and 2019. In 2018, 22% of newly registered potential donors were from BAME backgrounds.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to reform the Mental Health Act 1983; and whether he plans to make provisions on children's mental health services a central part of those legislative proposals.

We have committed to publishing a White Paper which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and pave the way for reform of the Act.

We will publish our White Paper as soon as it is possible to do so. We will consult publicly on our proposals and will bring forward a Bill to amend the Act when parliamentary time allows.

The Independent Review made a number of recommendations around how the law works for children and young people. The Government will respond to these in the White Paper.

The Mental Health Act 1983 covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people of all ages with a mental health disorder. It does not cover the provision of children’s mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of the 2017 Office for Health Economics report entitled Comparing Access to Orphan Medicinal Products in the United Kingdom and other European countries, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that people with rare diseases can access the latest treatments.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issues guidance for the National Health Service on whether drugs and other treatments represent an effective use of NHS resources through its technology appraisal (TA) and highly specialised technologies (HST) programmes, including drugs for patients with rare diseases. 86% of NICE’s TA recommendations, and 100% of its HST recommendations, for orphan drugs have been positive since 2013.

Through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, we are already making important drugs available to patients. So far around 1,500 patients have benefited from the scheme, which enables drugs to be used in clinical practice in parallel with later stages of the regulatory process.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of medicine assessments conducted by NICE (a) were for medicines for rare diseases since the start of the highly specialised technologies appraisal process in 2013; how many medicines for rare diseases were approved by NICE as a proportion of total approvals since 2013; and how many medicines have been approved via the highly specialised technologies appraisal process since 2013.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has undertaken 69 assessments considering ‘orphan drugs’ since the start of its highly specialised technologies (HST) programme in 2013.

57 of these were appraised by its technology appraisals (TA) programme and NICE made 64 recommendations in total as some topics have multiple recommendations. 49 of these recommendations were positive. A further seven appraisals were terminated as the company did not make an evidence submission. This equates to 16% of NICE’s appraisal activity.

86% of NICE’s TA recommendations for orphan drugs have been positive.

NICE has published HST guidance on 12 individual topics, making 12 recommendations, all of which have been positive.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the UK strategy for rare diseases: implementation plan for England published on 29 January 2018, what progress the Government has made on working with providers to produce alert cards for patients with rare diseases; and whether people with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) will be included in the list of those eligible to receive an alert card.

In 2019, NHS England identified those specialised services in which patients with rare diseases are treated and asked the 150 providers that deliver these services to self-assess against three key criteria: care coordination; alert cards; and transition. In total, 1,000 clinical teams undertook the assessment and the completion rate was 85%. Of those providers that self-assessed: 91% confirmed that there is a person responsible for coordinating the care of any patient with a rare disease; 56% confirmed that they gave each person an alert card; and 91% confirmed that they had active transition in place.

Alert cards are already used in some hospitals that treat patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. NHS England is currently in the process of commissioning a service for patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Once a full, national service is established, an alert card will be rolled out across the service.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the (a) diagnosis, (b) mortality and (c) morbidity rate of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS) records people with congenital anomalies and rare diseases across the whole of England. Data collection for rare diseases is at an early stage and currently NCARDRS does not collect data on thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). NCARDRS is working to expand rare disease registration and will work with interested parties to advance data collection on rare diseases including TTP.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the (a) current prevalence and (b) annual incidence of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) in England; and how that data is collected.

The National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service (NCARDRS) records people with congenital anomalies and rare diseases across the whole of England. Data collection for rare diseases is at an early stage and currently NCARDRS does not collect data on thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). NCARDRS is working to expand rare disease registration and will work with interested parties to advance data collection on rare diseases including TTP.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has spent from the public purse on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking in (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20.

Expenditure on smoking cessation promotion by Public Health England for the periods of 2018-19 and 2019-20 are as follows:

2018-19: £2.16 million

2019-20: £1.78 million

The figures reference expenditure for advertising on television, radio, national press, regional press, out of home (outdoor), cinema, social and digital advertising.

All figures rounded to the nearest £10,000 and do not include VAT.

Recruitment advertising and media partnerships are not included. Paid search is not included.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government's response to the Prevention Green Paper consultation will include a commitment to placing a charge on tobacco companies to fund evidence-based tobacco control measures by (a) supporting smokers to quit and (b) reducing the uptake of smoking among young people.

The Government is committed to achieving a smokefree England by 2030. Plans to achieve this will be set out at a later date, and a response to the Prevention Green Paper will be published in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department is making on the Government's target to achieve a smoke-free generation by 2030.

The Government is committed to achieving a smokefree England by 2030. Plans to achieve this will be set out at a later date, and a response to the Prevention Green Paper will be published in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the covid-19 testing of asymptomatic people to residents and staff in (a) extra care facilities, (b) retirement villages and (c) other housing-with-care facilities.

We have written to Directors of Public Health to ask them to help us determine which supported living and extra care settings in their areas should be able to access testing based on a risk-based criterion. Retirement villages and other housing-with-care facilities are not currently in scope to be tested. Our testing strategy is based on guidance from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and Public Health England.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to permit responsible and socially distanced reopening of restaurants in housing-with-care developments.

The Government has announced five new Ministerial-led taskforces to plan how closed sectors can reopen safely including the pubs and restaurants sector. Subject to transmission of the virus continuing to decline and if businesses comply with COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect staff and customers, more businesses will be permitted to open this month

We have set out clear, practical steps that businesses should take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 secure and give their staff the confidence to return back to work.

The Government will continue to review the measures, assessing them to ensure that they continue to be necessary and proportionate based on available scientific evidence, which includes up to date data.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he or officials in his Department have made of any historic involvement of Iran's president, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of a UN inquiry into that matter.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.

We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.

We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) recognise the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran as a crime against humanity and (b) assist people who are being persecuted for seeking justice and the truth about those extrajudicial mass executions.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.

We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.

We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN on launching an inquiry into the (a) 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners and (b) Government of Iran's implementation of calls in the UN General Assembly Human Rights Council resolution 43/24 for justice and accountability for serious human rights violations in that nation.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.

We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.

We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Iran’s (a) financial, (b) material and (c) military support for Kataib Hezbollah.

We have long been clear about our concerns over Iran's continued destabilising activity throughout the region, including its political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups. We continue to support the security of our allies, including through our close defence partnerships across the Middle East and by working to strengthen institutions and build capacity in more vulnerable countries, including in Iraq. The Foreign Secretary recently visited Iraq to commit UK support for Iraqi efforts to tackle armed groups and militias seeking to escalate regional tensions.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Iran’s (a) financial, (b) material and (c) military support for Hamas.

We have long been clear about our concern over Iran's continued destabilising activity throughout the region including its political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups. We regularly raise Iran's destabilising role in the region at the UN Security Council.

Hamas' military wing has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK since 2001. Hamas' ongoing decision to embrace violence lies at the heart of the Gazan tragedy. We continue to call upon Hamas and other terrorist groups to permanently end their incitement and indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel. The UK maintains a no contact policy with Hamas in its entirety.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the recent increase in attacks against Hindu people and temples in Bangladesh; and what recent steps his Department has taken to support freedom of religion or belief in Bangladesh.

The UK government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities.

We are concerned at the recent attacks against Hindu sites in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a human rights priority country for the FCDO, and Ministers and our High Commission in Dhaka regularly raise human rights concerns as part of continued dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh. The UK supports community leaders in Bangladesh to address the causes and effects of inter-religious, ethnic and political conflict. Our development programming supports citizen groups in 31 districts across the country to come together to resolve grievances, mitigate religious violence and advocate for inclusive and peaceful co-existence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government's policy is on participating in the Durban IV commemorative events at the UN General Assembly in September 2021.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

The Foreign Secretary recently reaffirmed the UK's condemnation to anti-Semitism during a debate in the House of Commons on 20 April 2021, and I raised my opposition to anti-Semitism during a Westminster Hall Debate on 26 November 2020. We also delivered a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in November expressing concern about the rise of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in the wake of Covid-19.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the text of the agreed Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism constituted a breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition of antisemitism.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

The Foreign Secretary recently reaffirmed the UK's condemnation to anti-semitism during a debate in the House of Commons on 20 April 2021, and I raised my opposition to anti-semitism during a Westminster Hall Debate on 26 November 2020. We also delivered a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in November expressing concern about the rise of anti-semitism and other forms of discrimination in the wake of Covid-19.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of reports that Armenia is covertly transporting armed men to the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in breach of the Ceasefire Agreement of 10 November 2020.

The UK Government is concerned by reports that armed persons are being transported into Nagorno-Karabakh. During my recent visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan I urged both Governments to fully comply with the November ceasefire agreement and to refrain from unhelpful actions that may exacerbate the situation. The UK Government continues to support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to settle all outstanding matters related to the conflict.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he plans to make representations to the Government of Armenia on its refusal to hand over mining maps to Azerbaijan.

During my recent visit to both Armenia and Azerbaijan I highlighted UK concern over the large amount of unexploded ordnance across the region. I urged both Governments to work together to ensure that humanitarian organisations are able to have unimpeded access to the region. The UK Government will continue to work with partners to support the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan in securing stability and peace in the region and will continue to encourage both to refrain from unhelpful actions that may exacerbate the situation.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 8 March 2021 to Question 159293, Israel: BBC Arabic Service, whether his Department's grant-in-aid to the BBC World Service is conditional on editorial impartiality; and what assessment he has made of the impartiality of that service's editorial line on matters relating to Israel.

The FCDO does not provide grant-in-aid funding to the BBC World Service. Through the World2020 Programme we provide funding for digital enhancements to the BBC Arabic service. The BBC is editorially and operationally independent from Government, so it would not be appropriate to agree objectives of this kind with the BBC. Questions about impartiality or perceived bias are matters for the BBC Board.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 March 2021 to Question 159292, on Israel: BBC Arabic Service, what assessment he has made of whether BBC World Service programming has met his Department's agreed objectives on matters relating to Israel.

The FCDO does not provide grant-in-aid funding to the BBC World Service. Through the World2020 Programme we provide funding for digital enhancements to the BBC Arabic service. The BBC is editorially and operationally independent from Government, so it would not be appropriate to agree objectives of this kind with the BBC. Questions about impartiality or perceived bias are matters for the BBC Board.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2021 to Question 154987 on Occupied Territories: International Criminal Court, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the ICC’s decision to open an investigation into alleged crimes committed in Palestine since 13 June 201.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline. UK officials are in regular contact with US and Israeli authorities on a range of issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2021 to Question 154989, on Occupied Territories: International Criminal Court, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on that ruling.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline. UK officials are in regular contact with US and Israeli authorities on a range of issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take in response to the February 2021 International Criminal Court ruling that it has jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent reports of bias by the BBC Arabic service in its reporting on Israel.

We have made no such assessment. It is not for the government to make judgements about perceived impartiality or bias at the BBC, as the BBC is operationally and editorially independent of government. This is a matter for the BBC Board and Ofcom, as the BBC's regulator. Ofcom is responsible for setting rules to ensure BBC coverage is impartial and accurate under the Broadcasting Code and for holding the BBC to account against its public purposes as the BBC regulator.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the compatibility of the (a) editorial line taken by the BBC’s Arabic service on matters relating to the state of Israel with (b) the Government’s foreign policy objectives.

We have made no such assessment. It is not for the government to make judgements about perceived impartiality or bias at the BBC, as the BBC is operationally and editorially independent of government. This is a matter for the BBC Board.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the International Criminal Court’s ruling of 5 February 2021 that it has jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

We closely follow the important work of the International Criminal Court and are looking at the implications of this decision.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on the International Criminal Court’s ruling that it has jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

We closely follow the important work of the International Criminal Court and are looking at the implications of this decision.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the February 2021 International Criminal Court ruling on the situation of Palestine.

We closely follow the important work of the International Criminal Court and are looking at the implications of this decision.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
What diplomatic steps he is taking to strengthen UK relations with India.

We are committed to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship with India that our Prime Ministers have pledged to achieve.

The Foreign Secretary led efforts to strengthen UK relations with India during his visit to India in December. With his counterpart, the Foreign Secretary discussed important new UK-India collaboration across trade and investment, defence and security, climate change and health, to be agreed in a joint Roadmap to 2030.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made alongside international counterparts to the UN Relief and Works Agency regarding its working definition of a refugee.

The UK is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). We recognise UNRWA's unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. UNRWA is also a vital humanitarian and stabilising force in the region. The operational definition of a Palestinian refugee is any person whose "normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." We are clear that the status of Palestinian refugees must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Until that time, the UK remains firmly committed to supporting the UNRWA and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UN Relief and Works Agency’s working definition of a Palestinian refugee.

The UK is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). We recognise UNRWA's unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. UNRWA is also a vital humanitarian and stabilising force in the region. The operational definition of a Palestinian refugee is any person whose "normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." We are clear that the status of Palestinian refugees must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Until that time, the UK remains firmly committed to supporting the UNRWA and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to call for the release of Amin Musayev, Bayram Karimov and other political prisoners following the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

I spoke to the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister on 13 November and the Armenian Foreign Minister on 30 November where I highlighted the importance of return of prisoners of war and reinforced support for the International Committee of the Red Cross as the primary mediator through which prisoner exchanges should take place. We continue to monitor the situation carefully.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on the extradition of Ahlam Tamimi.

We have not discussed the matter of Ahlam Tamimi's extradition with the US Administration, as this is a matter between Jordan and the United States.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on reports that Turkey has granted citizenship to senior Hamas operatives.

We are aware of reports about the granting of Turkish citizenship to Hamas figures. Hamas continues to pose a threat to Israel and Israeli civilians. The UK is clear that Hamas' failure to renounce violence and recognise Israel remains a significant barrier to peace. We continue to call upon Hamas to end permanently their incitement and indiscriminate attacks against Israel. The UK retains a policy of no contact with Hamas, in its entirety. Hamas' military wing has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK since 2001.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of allegations that the Iranian regime planned to bomb the Iranian opposition party rally in Paris in June 2018.

We are aware of the ongoing trial of four Iranians in Belgium in relation to the 2018 plot against a conference in Paris. We are deeply concerned by reports that an Iranian diplomat is one of those standing trial in connection with the incident. While the legal process is ongoing, however, it would be inappropriate to comment further and we have not made specific representations to the Iranian Government. The UK strongly condemns the targeting of civilians and welcomes steps taken to hold those responsible to account. We continue to work closely with our European partners on security and counter-terrorism issues. We are not aware at this stage of a link to the UK.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report by Le Monde of 10 October 2020 that the Administrator-General of Belgium’s General Information and Security Service, wrote to inform the federal prosecutor in France that an attack on the resistance gathering of June 2018 was planned and led by the Iranian regime.

We are aware of the ongoing trial of four Iranians in Belgium in relation to the 2018 plot against a conference in Paris. We are deeply concerned by reports that an Iranian diplomat is one of those standing trial in connection with the incident. While the legal process is ongoing, however, it would be inappropriate to comment further and we have not made specific representations to the Iranian Government. The UK strongly condemns the targeting of civilians and welcomes steps taken to hold those responsible to account. We continue to work closely with our European partners on security and counter-terrorism issues. We are not aware at this stage of a link to the UK.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it is the Government's policy to support UN Security Council resolutions (a) 822, (b) 853, (c) 874 and (d) 884.

We acknowledge the importance of these UN Security Council Resolutions, which reaffirm the primacy of the OSCE Minsk Group as the international forum via which a peaceful settlement to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be reached. We consider that the Basic Principles for a settlement proposed by the Minsk Group Co-chairs provide the basis for a reasonable compromise in this regard, taking due account of the relevant OSCE principles governing relations between member-states.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received on the (a) access to fundamental rights of Iranian citizens who do not have a new digitised ID card and (b) effect of that new system on (i) members of the Baha’i community and (ii) others not recognised under the 1979 constitution; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of reports that Iran's Baha'i community are being prevented from obtaining identity cards under new rules, depriving them of accessing many basic services. We remain concerned about the continued harassment and mistreatment that the Baha'i and other minority religious groups face. We support the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran's assessment that discrimination against the Baha'is in Iran is sanctioned by a lack of constitutional recognition. We regularly call upon Iran to cease harassment of all religious minorities and to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to protect freedom of religion or belief to all Iranians.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the business rate cut for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors announced in the Budget applies to the leisure marine industry.

Guidance setting out eligibility for the 2022-23 retail, hospitality and leisure relief will be published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the business rate reduction for the (a) retail, (b) leisure and (c) hospitality sectors announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will apply to the leisure marine industry.

Guidance setting out eligibility for the 2022-23 retail, hospitality and leisure relief will be published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2021 to Question 8586 on Equitable Life Assurance Society, what information he holds on whether any records relating to the Equitable Life Payments Scheme other than those needed to (a) ensure the accuracy of ongoing payments and (b) respond to queries in relation to payments that have already been made have been destroyed.

I refer the Honourable Member for Harrow East to the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury’s letter of 24 May 2021 to the Public Accounts Committee. This is available at: committees.parliament.uk/publications/6221/documents/69032/default/

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information he holds on whether Capita has destroyed any of the archived historic personal and payment data transferred to it by NS&I on the 895,000 non-WPA Equitable Life policyholders who received payments from the Equitable Life Policy Scheme for 22.4 per cent of their losses.

I refer the Honourable Member for Harrow East to the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury’s letter of 24 May 2021 to the Public Accounts Committee. This is available at: committees.parliament.uk/publications/6221/documents/69032/default/

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 28 April 2021 to Question 187376 on Equitable Life Assurance Society, whether his Department (a) holds data relating to the Equitable Life Payments Scheme for purposes other than ongoing payments to annuitants and (b) has previously held such data.

As I assured the House on 27 April 2021, there has been no change in the Treasury’s position. The relevant records – that is, those needed to ensure the accuracy of ongoing payments, and to respond to queries in relation to payments that have already been made – are retained and will continue to be, as long as it is legal to do so. There are no plans to destroy records.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to include wholesalers in the guidance for local authorities for the administration of the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including wholesalers in the guidance for local authorities for the administration of the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will meet representatives of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors to discuss the practicalities involved in developing a business rates support system for businesses affected by covid-19 outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has plans to bring forward legislative proposals to enable the provision of business rates support to businesses affected by covid-19 outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential economic effect on the wholesale sector of the length of time taken to start the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward a draft Bill on protecting access to cash; and if he will publish details of the scope of that legislation.

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Group published an update on the actions of the Group’s members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cash usage in the short-term and is likely to have accelerated the longer-term trends of declining cash use. However, it is too early to determine the lasting effect.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on access to cash; and what steps he is taking to protect access to cash.

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Group published an update on the actions of the Group’s members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cash usage in the short-term and is likely to have accelerated the longer-term trends of declining cash use. However, it is too early to determine the lasting effect.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash.

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Group published an update on the actions of the Group’s members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cash usage in the short-term and is likely to have accelerated the longer-term trends of declining cash use. However, it is too early to determine the lasting effect.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the ability of wholesalers to remain financially viable without business rates relief in the context of the second covid-19 lockdown.

The Government has provided Local Authorities with £1.1billion across England via the Additional Restrictions Grant, for businesses which are not legally closed, but which are severely affected by local or national restrictions.

Local Authorities have discretion on how to use this funding to support businesses in their areas, but the Government encourages them to set up discretionary grant schemes to support businesses such as wholesalers which can remain open, but which are nonetheless severely affected by the enhanced COVID-19 restrictions.

All business rates reliefs in England will be considered through the business rates review.

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

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has held with the (a) Secretary of State for Transport and (b) Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer meets Cabinet colleagues to discuss a range of issues as part of the policy making process.

The government continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously, and is committed to meeting its climate change targets. With this in mind, the government is considering how it can most effectively progress transport decarbonisation through the Spending Review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has held with the (a) Secretary of State for Transport and (b) Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the creation of a clean maritime fund.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer meets Cabinet colleagues to discuss a range of issues as part of the policy making process.

The government continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously, and is committed to meeting its climate change targets. With this in mind, the government is considering how it can most effectively progress transport decarbonisation through the Spending Review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will temporarily increase the rate of Gift Aid from 20 per cent to 25 per cent for two years, similar to the Gift Aid Transitional Relief Scheme of 2008.

In response to these proposals to increase Gift Aid to 25 per cent I refer the Hon Member to the answer that I gave on 4 September to the Hon Member for Lewisham East (UIN 82365).
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the minimum estimated cost of £522 million for one month of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing the rate of Gift Aid from 20 percent to 25 per cent for two years which the charity sector estimates will cost £325 million.

In response to these proposals to increase Gift Aid to 25 per cent I refer the Hon Member to the answer that I gave on 4 September to the Hon Member for Lewisham East (UIN 82365).
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the rate of Gift Aid to 25 percent for two years.

In response to these proposals to increase Gift Aid to 25 per cent I refer the Hon Member to the answer that I gave on 4 September to the Hon Member for Lewisham East (UIN 82365).
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to update the Green Book to issue local authorities and other public sector bodies with guidance on how to manage land assets and commercial property investments.

HM Treasury will publish a revised Green Book at Spending Review 2020. This will reflect the findings of the Green Book review which was established at Budget 2020 to investigate whether the Green Book hindered the Government’s levelling up ambitions. It does not specifically address the management of land assets and commercial property investments. However, as part of a recent consultation, the Government set out that Local Authorities should not be investing in commercial property investments that serve no direct policy or treasury management purpose, and made proposals to amend the lending terms of the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) to address the issue. The consultation closed on 31 July and the Government will be issuing a response in due course.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to extend business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers in response to a Federation of Wholesale Distributors survey which found that 58 per cent of respondents who supply public services such as schools, hospitals and care homes said that these contracts were at real risk of collapse without further Government support.

The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief to eligible businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure. Business rates are devolved in Wales, and so are a matter for the Welsh Government.

A range of other measures to support all business, including wholesalers, have also been made available. On 8 July the Chancellor set out a package of measures to support jobs across the UK, including a Job Retention Bonus to help firms keep furloughed workers. On 24 September the Chancellor went further and announced the Job Support Scheme to provide further support for jobs.

2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors survey which found that wholesalers have seen between a 40 per cent and 70 per cent reduction in sales volume for 2020 compared with 2019.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of a Federation of Wholesale Distributors survey that without business rates relief in the next month 65 per cent of food and drink wholesalers surveyed will be either very likely, likely or somewhat likely to make redundancies.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of a recent Federation of Wholesale Distributor’s survey which found that (a) 90 per cent of food and drink wholesalers surveyed are highly likely to make redundancies by the end of the year because of a 50 per cent to 70 per cent reduction in sales, (b) millions of pounds worth of stock not sold due to a loss in customers is close-to or has passed its best before date and (c) almost 60 per cent of wholesalers, which supply to critical public sector infrastructure such as schools, care homes and hospitals are at risk of collapse by the end of the year without urgent financial support; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the potential contribution to economic growth of decarbonising the maritime sector.

HM Treasury has not made an assessment.

In 2019 the Department for Transport published the Clean Maritime Plan, which identified the potential for clean economic growth in the UK as a result of the transition to zero emission shipping.

Alongside the Plan, the Department published an assessment of the value of potential economic opportunities from low and zero emission shipping. The assessment projected future global uptake of new technologies and estimated the supply chain and export opportunities for the UK from the transition to zero emission shipping.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2020 to Question 64077, what assessment he has made of the importance of the exchange rate margin as calculated from the European Central Bank (ECB) rate in providing clarity for people sending bank transfers abroad; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require that margin to be calculated from a live publicly available interbank rate rather than the ECB rate to ensure that transparency provisions will continue to work effectively in UK law after the end of the transition period.

Further to my response of 3 July 2020 to Question 64077, before the end of the Transition Period, the Government will bring forward secondary legislation under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 to ensure that the provisions of the Cross Border Payments Regulation which require transparency of currency conversion fees and charges for credit transfers, continue to work effectively in UK law after the end of the Transition Period.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the application of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to the wholesale food and drink sector.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities (LAs) can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in other supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. LAs may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas or to businesses outside of these priority groups, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the application of business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as wholesalers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government has for the tobacco track and trace system in the UK at the end of the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government will take to enforce the deadline of 20 May 2020 whereby cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products that are not sold through cannot be sold.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government has for the tobacco track and trace system at the end of the sell-through period on 20 May 2020.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what will happen to non-compliant tobacco track and trace stock on 20 May 2020; and how compliance with that deadline will be enforced during the covid-19 lockdown.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of tobacco (a) manufacturers', (b) wholesalers' and (c) retailers' level of compliance with the tobacco track and trace 20 May 2020 sell through period deadline.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the tobacco track and trace system at the end of the transition period.

At the end of the transition period, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will need to make some changes to the tobacco track and trace system for it to continue to operate. The changes will be kept to the minimum necessary to enable the UK to have full regulatory control.

The government has not made an assessment of the potential effect on levels of counterfeit goods of a suspension of the track and trace system as it remains committed to having a system in place at the end of the transition period.

The government has no plans to make any changes to the end of the sell through period. From 20 May 2020, all cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in or imported into the UK must be marked with a unique identifier code and security label. Businesses with any unmarked stock after this date should return it in accordance with the existing procedures they have in place with their suppliers.

Product which fails to comply with the requirements after the sell through period will be liable to forfeiture. Where HMRC is satisfied that a business is not complying with the requirements it may issue a notice for the business to remedy any non-compliance.

To promote and assess compliance across the tobacco supply chain, HMRC has been working with tobacco manufacturers, retailers and relevant trade bodies to make them aware of their requirements and the sell through period. A key indicator of industry compliance is the high volume of businesses registered to use the system. As of the end of April, over 42,000 economic operators and approximately 65,000 premises were registered on the system.

It would not be appropriate for HMRC to publish detailed information about their operational response during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the public can be assured that HMRC will support legitimate businesses and individuals while taking tough action against serious criminal activity and those evading and avoiding paying tax.

It is right that HMRC does everything possible to protect?individuals,?businesses and the economy during this extremely difficult time.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the difference in fees in visa applications applying to some EEA and EU member state nationals; and what steps the Government is taking to improve equal treatment of all EEA/EU nationals under the current visa regime.

The UK has long standing arrangements in its legislation for the nationals of countries which have ratified the 1961 Council of Europe’s Social Charter (CESC) to qualify for a fee reduction for visa applications to come to work in the UK.

Nationals of the 26 countries which have signed and ratified the CESC are eligible for a reduction of £55 to their application fee if they are applying for a visa under a work route. Where the applicant is required to have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their employer, the CoS can be issued free of charge.

Details of the routes which qualify for a reduced fee are published on at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fee-arrangements-for-cesc-nationals/fee-arrangements-for-cesc-nationals.

The fee reduction of £55 only applies to the main applicant, it does not apply to dependants.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2020 to Question 57185 on Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, how the criteria for applying restrictions on international organisations involved in terrorism used by her Department differs to the criteria used by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

HM Treasury (OFSI) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are responsible on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government for domestic and international counter-terrorism (CT) sanctions respectively. The Home Office does not administer any CT sanctions regimes.

The Home Office is responsible for a number of tools that can be used to support the Government’s efforts to tackle the threat from terrorism. The tests that must be satisfied before these tools can be used varies between the different tools.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to coordinate with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

The Home Office and OFSI are part of cross-Whitehall initiatives working to develop the UK’s autonomous sanctions regimes. The Joint Anti-Corruption Unit, based in the Home Office, also liaises with OFSI in its monitoring and reporting of the Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22.

23rd Mar 2020
What steps she has taken through her immigration policies to enable religious workers from India to staff places of worship in the UK.

This Government recognises the importance of faith across our communities in the UK, welcoming the value added by members of religious institutions from across the world.

This is reflected by dedicated immigration routes for Ministers of Religion and Religious Workers. These enable religious ministers and workers, including those from India, to live and practice their faith in the UK.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 on the National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh.

The Budget announced on 27 October 2021 included a number of measures which will support the Government's ambition to create a globally successful, innovative and sustainable UK shipbuilding enterprise, including the extension of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to a multi-year programme as part of the Government’s commitment to a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK-SHORE).

Further detail of our plans will be set out in the National Shipbuilding Refresh, which will be published later this year.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 on the publication timeline for the National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh.

It remains our intent to publish the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh later this year.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the latest timeline is for the Fleet Solid Support competition.

In keeping with the timescales I set out in the Autumn last year, the Contract Notice, signaling the start of the new competition for the Fleet Solid Support Ships was issued on 21 May. On current plans manufacture contract award is due within two years.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the competitiveness of the UK shipbuilding industry; and what steps he is taking to support that sector.

As demonstrated by my appointment as Shipbuilding Tsar, this Government recognises a need to re-energise some parts of the UK shipbuilding industry. A key objective of the National Shipbuilding Strategy is to improve the competitiveness of the UK shipbuilding industry.

I am working with the Maritime Enterprise Working Group to identify measures needed to improve competitiveness and productivity, enabling industry to step up and improve their chances of success when bidding for both UK and international shipbuilding contracts. This is a long-term programme of improvement, but I am firmly committed to delivering on the Government's vision for the sector.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the devolved Administrations on support for the UK shipbuilding industry.

In my role as Shipbuilding Tsar, I am acutely aware of the value of shipbuilding in the devolved nations. I am leading work across Government to deliver on my vision to create an innovative and competitive shipbuilding sector which supports jobs, skills and prosperity throughout the UK. The Ministry of Defence regularly holds discussions with the Devolved Administrations and with UK industry within each nation. Defence Ministers will continue to engage with Devolved Administrations and other stakeholders as we progress this Government's shipbuilding agenda.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the proposed timescale for an Accountable Person to be able to commence building safety works under the provisions of the Building Safety Bill.

The Building Safety Bill sets out requirements on Accountable Persons to make a full assessment of and take reasonable steps to manage prescribed building safety risks, which are defined in the Bill as the spread of fire and structural failure.

The draft transition plan, developed with the HSE, published alongside the Bill, sets out expected timeframes for the provisions in the Bill coming into force.

We currently expect the provisions relating to the new duties on Accountable Persons to come into force around 18 months after the Bill gains Royal Ascent.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with businesses which have applied for the Additional Restrictions Grant; and if he will apply lessons learnt from the process to the new £1.5 billion business rates relief fund for businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

The Department will work closely with local government throughout the development of the £1.5 billion relief scheme and will ensure that experiences from the delivery of other support measures are taken on board. This includes experiences of administering the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) which – as of 28 March 2021 – has delivered £816 million in support to over 400,000 businesses. The Government will continue to support local authorities in making further ARG payments throughout 2021/22.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to simplify and homogenise across local authorities the process of applying for business rates relief under the Government’s new £1.5 billion of funding for businesses affected by the covid-19 outside outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Department will ensure that local authorities have the guidance they need to deliver the additional £1.5 billion business rates support package once primary legislation is passed, in line with the announcement on 25 March. As with other business rates reliefs, officials will work closely with local government on the development of the relief scheme and guidance for local authorities will be published in due course.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his plans are to increase the glazing renovation rate of existing houses.

Double glazing is a popular energy efficiency measure and the English Housing Survey suggests that more than 85% of properties in England are fully double glazed, with less than 4% having no double glazing. As such, there is limited potential for further energy savings because so much of the stock already has efficient windows. Nevertheless, there are other benefits to more efficient glazing such as reduced internal noise, and improving the remaining single glazed windows would contribute to lower emissions.

The Government is committed to improving the energy efficiency of all homes. As part of reaching Net Zero by 2050, the Clean Growth Strategy set out that all homes should reach EPC C by 2035 where that is cost effective, affordable, and practical.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to increase building standards for glazing in line with improvements in modern glazing technology for (a) new and (b) existing homes.

The Government will introduce a Future Homes Standard for new homes by 2025. Homes built to the Future Homes Standard will be future-proofed with low carbon heating and high levels of energy efficiency. To help industry prepare for that, in 2021 we will introduce an interim uplift in Part L standards that delivers a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions and provides a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard in 2025. Within the 2021 standard, there is an increase in the performance of windows. The draft specification for the Future Homes Standard includes a further increase in the performance of windows, which will be further developed over the next couple of years and consulted on in 2023


We also recently consulted on proposals for changes to requirements when work is done in existing buildings. That consultation opened on the 19 January 2021 and closed on the 13 April 2021. For this consultation we have reviewed the standards for windows in order to identify improvements. The proposal we put forward is the highest standard for replacement windows in existing homes which is still cost-effective using a simple measure of payback for investment over the life of the product. We are currently analysing responses to this consultation and will be responding to it.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the measure of household income used for the index of economic resilience for the UK Community Renewal Fund differs from the Income Deprivation Domain used in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

We are committed to transparency and a methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) does not represent a ‘one size fits all’ solution to measuring economic need - not all of the variables it considers are relevant to the particular interventions we want to support through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and some of the variables it does not consider, such as productivity, are central to the policy goals of the Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the barriers to immediate publication of the methodology used to calculate the index employed to categorise places for the (a) Levelling Up Fund and (b) UK Community Renewal Fund.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

We are committed to transparency and a methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the proposed changes to community input in planning at the local plan stage set out in the Planning for the future White Paper published in August 2020, what plans he has to maintain (a) local determinism and (b) the right of community voice in the future planning system.

Our proposal for a reformed planning system will make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for local people to engage with. We believe that the best way to bring forward new, significant development is by improving community engagement and input at an earlier stage in the process. Local councillors will have full involvement in deciding on the allocation of sites in Local Plans and on setting supporting design codes, and there will still be the opportunity for people to comment on planning applications where these are still required. We are currently reviewing and analysing responses to the Planning for the Future White Paper and will publish a response in the Spring setting out our decisions on the proposed way forward.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of (a) remote working and (b) housing demand outside of towns and cities; and what plans he has to (i) alleviate pressure for new homes on green spaces and (ii) help ensure new developments are affordable.

The Government recognises the importance of understanding trends and shifts in the way people live and the implications for housing demand, as well as the importance of ensuring access to green spaces and increasing the supply of affordable housing. The Department will continue to analyse trends in housing demand, including increasing demand outside of towns and cities, to gauge the nature, size and permanence of any shift in housing preferences.

The National Planning Policy Framework expects local authorities to recognise the character and beauty of the countryside and to protect and enhance Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other designated rural land. To further support regeneration of brownfield sites, in December, we announced changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need to increase greater need in urban areas to maximise the use of existing infrastructure, such as public transport, schools, medical facilities and shops, as well as to encourage development that reduces the need for high-carbon travel.

We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing nationally. At budget we announced our new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. Our Planning for the Future White Paper sets out proposals to create a new Infrastructure Levy, which will be designed to deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing as at present and will continue to be collected and spent at the local level.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the importance of advertising planning notices in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (b) local media organisations.

Local planning authorities are required to publicise certain types of planning applications in local newspapers as set out in Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. ?In response to coronavirus restrictions, temporary regulations have been introduced to supplement the existing statutory publicity arrangements for planning applications. Local planning authorities now have the flexibility to take other reasonable steps to publicise applications if they cannot discharge the specific requirement for newspaper publicity – for instance, if the local newspaper is not now in circulation. These steps can include the use of social media and other electronic communications, such as local online news portals, and must be proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposed development. However, if a local planning authority is required to publicise a planning application in a local newspaper, and that paper is still in circulation, then they must continue to do so.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made a recent assessment of the effectiveness of commercial property investments made by local authorities in the UK.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework (the Framework) which is designed to ensure that the capital plans of local authorities are affordable, prudent and sustainable, while giving councils the freedom to set their own capital strategies. Government is responsible for ensuring the Framework remains effective in driving sound decision making, and collects appropriate data to monitor trends and identify risks, including from commercial investment activity. Government does not routinely undertake any assessment of the effectiveness of local decisions to borrow and invest; local authorities remain accountable to their electorate for managing their own investment strategies and meeting their best value duty. However, councils have to appropriately comply with the Framework’s statutory guidance, including the requirement to report performance against a set of metrics designed to demonstrate the objectives of the Framework are being met, and to publish an investment strategy.

Government is aware of recent trends where some local authorities are taking on high levels of debt to invest for commercial income, rather than for providing the functions of a council. We are clear that borrowing to invest for yield is not in keeping with the intent of the Framework and exposes councils and taxpayers to undue financial risk. We have already tightened our statutory guidance on investments to improve decision making, and we are now carefully considering the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee’s report on local authority investment in commercial property (July 2020) and what further interventions are needed.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made a recent assessment of the effectiveness of the borrowing undertaken by local authorities to fund investments in commercial property.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework (the Framework) which is designed to ensure that the capital plans of local authorities are affordable, prudent and sustainable, while giving councils the freedom to set their own capital strategies. Government is responsible for ensuring the Framework remains effective in driving sound decision making, and collects appropriate data to monitor trends and identify risks, including from commercial investment activity. Government does not routinely undertake any assessment of the effectiveness of local decisions to borrow and invest; local authorities remain accountable to their electorate for managing their own investment strategies and meeting their best value duty. However, councils have to appropriately comply with the Framework’s statutory guidance, including the requirement to report performance against a set of metrics designed to demonstrate the objectives of the Framework are being met, and to publish an investment strategy.

Government is aware of recent trends where some local authorities are taking on high levels of debt to invest for commercial income, rather than for providing the functions of a council. We are clear that borrowing to invest for yield is not in keeping with the intent of the Framework and exposes councils and taxpayers to undue financial risk. We have already tightened our statutory guidance on investments to improve decision making, and we are now carefully considering the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee’s report on local authority investment in commercial property (July 2020) and what further interventions are needed.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on local authorities' finances.

Councils across the country are supporting communities, protecting the most vulnerable and helping the NHS in our efforts to combat Covid-19. In order to meet these additional cost pressures, the Government has continued to support local authorities by delivering an unprecedented package of measures. So far, we have provided over £4.8 billion in funding for spending pressures, including £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants and £1.1 billion to help stop the spread of the virus in care homes. This underlines Government’s commitment to ensuring adult social care has the resources it needs to keep residents and staff safe. In addition, the Prime Minister has announced a further £1 billion of funding for local authorities, details of which will be announced shortly.

In total, over £28 billion has already been committed to local areas to support councils, businesses and communities across government. This comprehensive package of support includes direct financial support and cashflow measures for councils, bus and tram services, support for the homeless and both grants and rates reliefs for businesses.

We will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on local government.

8th Jan 2020
What steps he is taking to help strengthen the Union.

Strengthening and Sustaining the Union is a key priority for the UK Government.

We want 2020 to be a year of growth and opportunity for Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom, not one of further division and uncertainty.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
17th Nov 2021
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing energy generation through nuclear power in Wales.

The Government’s recently published Net Zero Strategy is clear that nuclear is an important part of our plans to achieve net zero. Wylfa is one of the best sites for large and small-scale projects in the world and we will continue to work with industry to exploit the opportunities for nuclear power in Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
15th Sep 2021
What estimate he has made of the total funding provided by the Government to Wales to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

The funding provided to Wales by the UK Government demonstrates the value of the Union to Wales and reflects Wales’ value to the Union.

The UK Government has provided over £3.4 billion in direct support to businesses across Wales, an additional £8.6 billion to the Welsh Government to tackle the pandemic.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales