Brendan Clarke-Smith Portrait

Brendan Clarke-Smith

Conservative - Bassetlaw

First elected: 12th December 2019


Deputy Chair, Conservative Party
28th Nov 2023 - 16th Jan 2024
Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill
15th Mar 2023 - 23rd Mar 2023
Procurement Bill [HL]
25th Jan 2023 - 21st Feb 2023
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill
25th Jan 2023 - 1st Feb 2023
Social Housing (Regulation) Bill [HL]
23rd Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2022 - 27th Oct 2022
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill
22nd Jun 2022 - 7th Jul 2022
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 29th Mar 2022
Education Committee
19th Oct 2021 - 15th Mar 2022
International Development Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 14th Dec 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education [HL] Bill
24th Nov 2021 - 7th Dec 2021
Building Safety Bill
9th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 51 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 81
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Business of the House
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Plastics: Waste Disposal
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
Education Employment (Accompaniment to Hearings) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to provide that teachers and other education staff may choose to be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance hearings …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
8. Miscellaneous
From 24 November 2023, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party for the House of Lords. This post carries a part-time …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 20th December 2022
Shared Parental Leave and Pay (Bereavement) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about shared parental leave and pay in certain cases where one or both of a …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Brendan Clarke-Smith has voted in 1007 divisions, and 10 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith 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
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Brendan Clarke-Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Brendan Clarke-Smith Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Christopher Pincher (Independent)
(23 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(16 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(75 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(22 debate contributions)
Home Office
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Brendan Clarke-Smith's debates

Bassetlaw Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Call an immediate general election so that the people can decide who should lead us through the unprecedented crises threatening the UK.


Latest EDMs signed by Brendan Clarke-Smith

21st February 2024
Brendan Clarke-Smith signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
85 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 44
Scottish National Party: 36
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
19th December 2019
Brendan Clarke-Smith signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Independent: 4
Labour: 1
View All Brendan Clarke-Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Brendan Clarke-Smith, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

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


Brendan Clarke-Smith has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Brendan Clarke-Smith has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Brendan Clarke-Smith


A Bill to provide that teachers and other education staff may choose to be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance hearings by a person other than a trade union representative or colleague; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 21st June 2021

A Bill to provide that teachers and other education staff may choose to be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance hearings by a person other than a trade union representative or colleague; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 17th March 2021
(Read Debate)

52 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
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of (a) the solar plant proposed by West Burton Solar between the villages of Gringley on the Hill and Clayworth in Bassetlaw and (b) other large solar farms on connecting small rural villages.

Due to its proposed size (over 50MW), West Burton Solar will be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. It is currently at the pre-application stage. When the application is ready, it will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspectorate will evaluate whether the application meets the necessary legal requirements. If it does, the Inspectorate will undertake a formal examination of the project in which the public will be able to participate and then provide a report to the Secretary of State to inform his decision-making.

The Government recognises that solar farms can affect the local environment. Applicants must complete an Environmental Statement as part of their planning application as well as a public consultation allowing for local concerns to be considered.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to minimise the impact on the countryside and environment of the development of (a) large solar farm sites, including the one proposed by West Burton Solar between the villages of Gringley on the Hill and Clayworth in Bassetlaw and (b) other Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

Given this Department’s statutory responsibility for determining individual planning applications for energy projects, Ministers are unable to comment on the specifics of individual applications. Energy National Policy Statements set out the justification for certain types of nationally significant energy infrastructure developments and clear criteria which developers are required to address when preparing their applications, and these cover the impacts on the countryside and wider environment.

Although solar farms are not covered in the existing suite of National Policy Statements, the draft National Policy Statement for renewable energy infrastructure covers solar farms at the scale of nationally significant infrastructure.The draft National Policy Statements are currently undergoing Parliamentary scrutiny.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what flood risk assessment will be made for a proposed Nationally Significant Infrastructure solar farm site between Clayworth and Gringley on the Hill in Bassetlaw.

Given the Department’s statutory responsibility for determining individual planning applications for energy projects, Ministers are unable to comment on the specifics of individual applications.

In general, Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, require a flood risk assessment. The Environment Agency will be consulted on the proposed development as part of the Development Consent Order process, the process by which these projects gain approval. The Environment Agency will comment on those elements which fall within its remit to assist the Planning Inspectorate in its examination of the proposal.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the wedding sector and its supply chain on a timeline for the re-opening of that sector as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce, established to represent all parts of the UK Weddings sector including the supply chain, to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wedding businesses and jobs in the sector.

Discussions are continuing on how we can safely reopen the sector when restrictions are eased.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government Equalities Office is taking to help promote shared parental leave.

In the past 2 years the Government has spent over £1.75 million on communications campaigns to promote Shared Parental Leave to parents and employers and has achieved and maintained high levels of awareness of the policy. The Government is also improving tools and guidance for parents and employers to make it easier for them to access the scheme.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of designating ice rinks as leisure facilities on access to that facility for skaters outside of normal working hours during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ sets out an ambitious strategy for reducing obesity and includes ensuring the use of appropriate language when associated with unhealthy weight.

In January The Minister of State for Digital and Culture provided evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee concerning how media representations can contribute to poor body image. Ministers and officials in my department are committed to reviewing this issue as part of the Online Advertising Programme Review, later this year.

My department also works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure advertising presenting misleading, exaggerated and irresponsible content is taken down. In 2019 the Advertising Standards Association enhanced their standards through the inclusion of a new rule prohibiting negative gender stereotypes. Ads which pressure the audience to conform to an idealised gender-stereotypical body shape or physical features are likely to breach this rule.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the designation of ice rinks to sporting facilities for purposes of the application of covid-19 restrictions.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. The Prime Minister announced a national lockdown on Monday 4 January meaning that indoor facilities including ice rinks must close.

Previously, ice rinks were closed in tier 3 and 4 as they are primarily used for the purpose of entertainment. This is consistent with other venues used for entertainment purposes across the economy which were also closed. To allow those who need to access ice rinks, in tier three, exemptions were made for sport for educational purposes, people with disabilities, supervised activity for under-18s and elite athletes.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of plastic pyrolysis plants on the environment in (a) residential and (b) other areas.

Plastic pyrolysis plants in England will be regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations, either by the Environment Agency or the relevant local authority, depending on the size and configuration of the plant.

Before issuing an environmental permit, the EA will carry out an environmental risk assessment of the process, including emissions to air, odour and noise. This will be done irrespective of the location of the plant, but a plant in a residential area may require more sensitive receptors to be assessed and tighter controls compared to one in a less densely populated area.

The EA will not issue a permit if the proposed plant could have a significant impact on the environment, including if it could have an unacceptable impact on air quality or cause pollution via odour or noise. If a permit is issued, the EA will carry out regular audits and inspections of the plant to ensure compliance.

The EA is not responsible for deciding where plastic pyrolysis plants should be located, whether they are the right solution for dealing with waste plastics, or for any vehicle movements to and from the plants. Instead, such matters are considered under planning by the relevant authority.

If the local authority is the regulator of the plant, the EA will have no control over the permitting or regulatory process, but it will be able to provide advice and guidance via its Local Authority Unit Team if the local authority requests it. Local authorities would be expected to have similar permitting and regulatory processes to those of the EA.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to support the Environment Agency to produce a flood prevention business plan for Bassetlaw constituency.

Under the Flood and Water Management Act (2010) Nottinghamshire County Council (as the designated Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Bassetlaw District Council are required to produce a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS).

This includes a comprehensive Action Plan detailing the activities that will be undertaken to manage flood risk in the county. Following events such as Storm Babet and Henk, the LLFA is required to undertake investigations (referred to as Flood and Water Management Act (2010) Section 19 Investigations) into the causes and consequences of flooding and these should then be used to update the Nottinghamshire LFRMS with agreed actions which need to be undertaken to effectively manage the flood risk.

The Environment Agency is working closely with the County Council and other Risk Management Authority’s to ensure that the evidence of flooding which we have recently experienced is fully reflected in the Plan and the action Plan is revised accordingly. This, coupled with the National 6-Year Capital Programme of works approved by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and the Flood Response Planning of the Local Resilience Forum is the framework we use to deliver more resilient communities, as is required by the National Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what remediation and flood prevention work his Department has carried out in (a) Worksop, (b) Retford and (c) the district of Bassetlaw in each of the last three years.

The Environment Agency are committed to better protecting Bassetlaw and the area remains a high priority for them.

Environment Agency representatives will be meeting with the MP on 19 January 2024 to discuss flooding in his constituency and community drop-in events for constituents in Retford and Worksop are being planned for February. Updates will be sent to the MP once venues and dates have been decided.

Worksop

Since 2021 The Environment Agency have spent a total of £468,000 in Worksop on remediation and flood prevention work.

£257,000 has been spent on routine & intermittent maintenance, consisting of grass cutting, weed cutting & spraying, maintenance of outfalls & penstocks, clearance of debris screens, tree and bush clearance and desilting at Ryton Place and Bracebridge to improve conveyance.

Between 2023-2027, there is no current planned investment in capital schemes in Worksop itself.

Retford

Since 2021 The Environment Agency have spent a total of £603,000 in Retford on remediation and flood prevention work.

£368,000 has been spent on routine & intermittent maintenance in Retford consisting of grass cutting, weed cutting & spraying, maintenance of outfalls & penstocks, clearance of debris screens, tree and bush clearance and Intermittent Works to improve Retford Beck Debris Screen.

Between 2023-2027, £3.2m of Government Investment is currently planned for Retford.

Bassetlaw

Since 2021 The Environment Agency have spent a total of £1.6m in Bassetlaw (including the above figures) not including the routine & intermittent maintenance figures above.

Between 2023-2027, £13m of Government Investment is planned to be invested in schemes in Bassetlaw.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made an assessment of the environmental impact of pulverised fuel ash extraction.

The Environment Agency regulates the excavation of previously landfilled wastes under waste controls (under an environmental permit). Site operators need to apply for a permit to cover the correct treatment, recovery or disposal of any excavated material. Excavating pulverised fuel ash may be a change of land use that may require planning controls. This would be for the local planning authority. An application to the local planning authority may require an environmental impact assessment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to (a) mitigate the costs to (i) local councils and (ii) landowners of internal drainage boards and (b) ensure (A) Bassetlaw and (B) surrounding areas are protected from flooding.

The Government is investing a record £5.2 billion between 2021 to 2027, in around 2,000 flood defences to better protect communities across England. Within the Bassetlaw area, from 2021/22 to the end of 2022/23 the Environment Agency will have spent over £2m of Government Grant in Aid. The Environment Agency works with internal drainage boards (IDBs), including the IDB facing the Bassetlaw District, to help ensure the Environment Agency spends both its flood asset maintenance funding allocation and the precept (raised from IDBs) in areas that provide the greatest flood risk benefit.

IDBs are independent locally funded and operated, statutory public bodies. They are mainly funded by the beneficiaries of their work receiving drainage rates from farmers/landowners and special levies from local authorities.

The Government recognises the ongoing pressure the public sector is experiencing due to high energy prices and has extended energy support for a further 12 months through the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) which will succeed the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) on 1st April and for which IDBs and all other public bodies are eligible.

The Government has also written to Ofgem regarding unfair practice in the energy sector, including increases in standing charges, and Ofgem will continue to monitor this situation.

Defra will continue to work with the Environment Agency, IDBs and across Government to identify how collectively we can minimise the risks and continue to provide protection and resilience to our communities through this period.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support British citizens who live in North of Cyprus, in the context of the prohibition of direct flights between the UK and the North of Cyprus.

The Government recognises the inconvenience caused to passengers, including British citizens, by the situation regarding air travel between the north of Cyprus and the UK. Under the Chicago Convention, only the Republic of Cyprus may designate Ercan (in the north of Cyprus) as an international customs airport and grant permission for flights to operate from within its territory. The Republic of Cyprus has not designated Ercan.

This means that no direct air services between the north of Cyprus and the UK can take place. Ultimately, a just and lasting settlement on the island is the best chance of resolving these complex issues. The UK’s commitment to helping all parties to achieve this remains unwavering.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on Hull Trains in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on Northern in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on LNER in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on East Midlands Rail in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average annual remuneration of train drivers in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for all train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on Thameslink in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for all train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on West Midlands Railway in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for all train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the average annual remuneration of train drivers on Avanti West Coast in 2020-21.

Information relating to train drivers’ salary is managed and set by the individual Train Operating Companies in line with their annual budgets.

The Office for National Statistics report that median gross annual pay for all train and tram drivers in the UK was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £400,000 First of a Kind grant allocated to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd in January 2019 by Innovate UK for a transport project, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of return on investment in that project; and if he will publish that project's findings and recommendations.

Riding Sunbeams has been the lead partner in two projects awarded funding through the First of a Kind (FOAK) rail innovation competition funded by DfT and managed by Innovate UK (IUK). Its “First Light” project was awarded £350,000 in 2019; while “Daybreak” was awarded £400,000 in 2020, rather than 2019. These competitions offer valuable funding and relationships to help companies overcome the barriers to testing new technology on the live railway, which in turn is crucial to address key challenges for rail capacity, customer experience and, in the case of Riding Sunbeams’ projects, decarbonisation.

Riding Sunbeams’ projects, like all competition winners, were selected for funding by IUK based on standard evaluation processes. They were assessed for eligibility, and scored by independent expert assessors based on criteria including how well they met the challenges set out in the competition; their levels of innovation, and technical and commercial feasibility; and their budget and capabilities.

The contractually-required output of these projects was a successful demonstration of the funded technology for potential buyers in a representative railway environment, rather than findings or recommendations for publication.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £350,000 First of a Kind grant allocated to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd in January 2019 by Innovate UK for a transport project, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of return on investment in that project; and if he will publish that project's findings and recommendations.

Riding Sunbeams has been the lead partner in two projects awarded funding through the First of a Kind (FOAK) rail innovation competition funded by DfT and managed by Innovate UK (IUK). Its “First Light” project was awarded £350,000 in 2019; while “Daybreak” was awarded £400,000 in 2020, rather than 2019. These competitions offer valuable funding and relationships to help companies overcome the barriers to testing new technology on the live railway, which in turn is crucial to address key challenges for rail capacity, customer experience and, in the case of Riding Sunbeams’ projects, decarbonisation.

Riding Sunbeams’ projects, like all competition winners, were selected for funding by IUK based on standard evaluation processes. They were assessed for eligibility, and scored by independent expert assessors based on criteria including how well they met the challenges set out in the competition; their levels of innovation, and technical and commercial feasibility; and their budget and capabilities.

The contractually-required output of these projects was a successful demonstration of the funded technology for potential buyers in a representative railway environment, rather than findings or recommendations for publication.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that care homes follow Government guidance and allow visits from essential care givers and up to three nominated visitors.

We expect care homes to facilitate visits wherever possible and residents should be supported to nominate an essential care giver. We monitor how care homes are implementing visiting guidance on a weekly basis and this guidance is kept under review. If a resident or their family have concerns that a care home is not following visiting guidance, it should be raised with the home in the first instance. The Care Quality Commission can also investigate complaints and has powers to respond with an on-site inspection, which could be followed by requirement notices and warning notices where providers do not appropriately support residents to have access to visits.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition to introduce national standards for the treatment of varices in children.

The British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has published national guidance for the management of varices in children and are due to publish an updated version shortly.

The Royal Colleges work with NHS England advising on standards of treatment and are important stakeholders in the introduction of new or revised standards.

18th Jan 2021
"To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on that country's distribution of covid-19 vaccines to neighbourhood vaccination centres and remote sites.

The Department has had no specific discussions.

14th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on authorising direct flights to North Cyprus; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government has no plans to authorise direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus. In accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' as an independent state. The United Kingdom recognises the Republic of Cyprus as the sovereign authority for the island of Cyprus. As a result, the UK Government cannot negotiate an Air Services Agreement with the administration in the north of Cyprus.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his Georgian counterpart on the reported attempted assassination of an Israeli-Georgian businessman by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.

The UK is committed to working with the international community to ensure Iran abides by international laws and norms and is held to account for its destabilising activity. We have been clear about our concerns over the malign activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is sanctioned in its entirety. We regularly discuss our approach to Iran with regional and international partners.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of instituting snapback sanctions on Iran in accordance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

We have always been clear: Iran's nuclear escalation is unacceptable. It is threatening international peace and security and undermining the global non-proliferation system.

A viable deal was put on the table in March which would have returned Iran to full compliance with its JCPoA commitments and returned the US to the deal.

Iran refused to seize a critical diplomatic opportunity to conclude the deal with continued demands beyond the scope of the JCPoA.

We are considering next steps with our international partners.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of reports that Iran has begun enriching uranium to 20 per cent fissile purity at its nuclear facility in Fordow in breach of the JCPOA nuclear deal.

Iran has been in non-compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments since 2019. This includes producing Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) at 60%, which is unprecedented for a state without a nuclear weapons programme. Iran's increasing 60% stockpile is bringing Iran significantly closer to having fissile material which could be used for nuclear weapons.

We call upon Iran to halt all activities in violation of the JCPoA without delay and take the opportunity in front of them in the JCPoA Vienna negotiations to restore the nuclear deal. If a deal is not swiftly concluded, and Iran continues its nuclear escalation, Iran will be responsible for missing the opportunity to restore the JCPoA and for bringing about the collapse of the deal. Iran's nuclear escalation means we have weeks, not months, to restore the deal before the JCPoA's core non-proliferation benefits are lost and the deal collapses. In the event of the JCPoA collapsing, we would carefully consider all options in partnership with our allies.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK Government is taking with its international partners to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister, alongside his French, German and US counterparts, discussed Iran's nuclear programme on 30 October in Rome where they expressed their determination to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon.

The UK is currently engaged, alongside the US and other Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) participants, in negotiations in Vienna aimed at restoring the nuclear deal. If a deal is not swiftly concluded, and Iran continues its nuclear escalation, Iran will be responsible for missing the opportunity to restore the JCPoA and for bringing about the collapse of the deal. In this scenario, we would carefully consider all the options in partnership with our allies.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its effect on the UK’s goal of delivering peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

The UK Government has long been clear about its concerns over the continued destabilising activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This includes IRGC political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The IRGC is sanctioned in its entirety by the UK.

We regularly raise Iran's destabilising role in the region at UN Security Council. 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 Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of alleged comments by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps having significant influence over Iran’s diplomatic activities.

The UK Government has long been clear about its concerns over the continued destabilising activity of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This includes IRGC political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The IRGC is sanctioned in its entirety by the UK.

We regularly raise Iran's destabilising role in the region at UN Security Council. 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 Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of reports that Iran has installed advanced centrifuges at an underground facility.

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's non-compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments, particularly its research and development on advanced centrifuges and its growing stockpile of Low Enriched Uranium. We urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the nuclear agreement. The Foreign Secretary, along with his French and German counterparts, has called for a ministerial Joint Commission of the JCPoA at which we hope to discuss Iran's urgent return to compliance.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the permanent members of the UN Security Council on the report of 11 November 2020 from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's stockpile of uranium is over 12 times the limit agreed in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors (which includes all permanent members of the UN Security Council) discussed this report at the quarterly Board of Governors meeting that took place this week (16-20 November). The UK Government remains deeply concerned by Iran's growing uranium stockpile, and Iran's continued nuclear non-compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). This is why the UK with France and Germany, triggered the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism. The Foreign Secretary, along with his French and German counterparts, has called for a ministerial Joint Commission of the JCPoA at which we hope to discuss Iran's urgent return to compliance.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the upper limit of lump sum pension withdrawals to above the £30,000 limit set out in the Pension Schemes Act 2015.

The pensions regime has various features to ensure that pension scheme members are protected.

The Pension Schemes Act 2015 introduced a requirement for members of pension schemes with safeguarded benefits, such as defined benefit schemes or those with a guaranteed annuity rate, to take independent financial advice before accessing their pension pot flexibly, where the total value of the member’s benefits exceeds £30,000. This is because these schemes offer a high level of security and, in some cases, valuable guarantees that should not be relinquished without fully understanding the risks of doing so. Therefore, it is important that consumers get suitable advice to ensure that the implications are clear before proceeding with a decision to transfer.

Separately, trivial commutation rules allow individuals to access their pension as a lump sum if they are at least 55 years old (or retiring at an earlier age because of ill-health) and the total value of their rights in registered pension schemes is less than £30,000.

The Government keeps all policies under review. Any changes would be announced in the usual way.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of whether Hamas is conducting any financial activities in the UK.

The Government does not routinely comment on intelligence matters.

Hamas is subject to an asset freeze under the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations, 2019.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend the automatic 12-month visa extension to (a) ST3 GP trainees and (b) other international staff working in the NHS.

The Government recognises the vital contribution overseas NHS, health and social care workers have and continue to make in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The introduction of the Health and Care visa last August made it quicker and cheaper for regulated health and care professionals and their dependents to secure their visa. This includes ST3 (Speciality Trainee, 3rd year) GP trainees who are eligible under the standard occupation classification code for medical practitioners.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has extended the visas of over 10,000 key, frontline regulated health and care professionals, and their eligible family members. The visa extension scheme was recently extended in April to cover visas which expire between 1 April 2021 until 30 September 2021. The intention of the scheme is to allow frontline medical professionals to focus on tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than worrying about renewal applications.

10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria the Government uses to distinguish between the political and military wings of Hamas in relation to the proscribing of organisations.

The elements of Hamas which meet the criteria for proscription under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are listed in Schedule 2 to that Act. The relevant entry proscribes “Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades (Hamas IDQ)”. Those parts of Hamas which do not fall within the Schedule 2 entry are not proscribed.

Hamas IDQ, the military wing of Hamas, was proscribed in March 2001. The political wing of Hamas is not proscribed as it is considered that there is a clear distinction between Hamas’s military and political wings.

In distinguishing between the political and military wings for the purposes of proscription, the Government's aim is to proscribe only those parts of Hamas which are directly concerned in terrorism.

16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether a Levelling Up Fund bid for Worksop was submitted by Bassetlaw District Council on time and with the correct documentation provided; and if he will provide feedback on that bid.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) did not receive a Levelling Up Fund application from Bassetlaw District Council by the application deadline. Following the round 1 Levelling Up Fund announcement of 105 successful bids on the 27 October, Bassetlaw District Council was invited to share its Levelling Up Fund application form with DLUHC. DLUHC has offered to review that application when it is received and will provide appropriate feedback.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what due diligence was carried out by his Department ahead of the award of £2.5 million to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd in November 2020 to ensure that those funds will not be used directly or indirectly to support campaign groups (a) Stop Funding Hate, (b) Momentum and (c) ToppleTheRacists.

Due diligence was delegated to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and focused on the track record of the company in delivering public contracts and its acknowledged expertise in its field. The contract between East Sussex County Council and Riding Sunbeams does explicitly prohibit funding being used for any purpose not part of the agreed project budget.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd met in being awarded £2.5 million in funding under the Getting Building Fund in November 2020.

In assessing the business case for the project the Local Enterprise Partnership's technical evaluators, Steer Davies Gleave Ltd, said: A compelling strategic case has been developed demonstrating that the scheme is well aligned with the strategic objectives of the Getting Building Fund. The scheme is expected to generate a total of 40 jobs, and it supports the Green Recovery by enabling trains to be powered by renewable energy. Moreover, this investment is in line with the UK government's aim to stimulate post Covid-19 economic recovery through investment in infrastructure.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the (a) readiness, (b) level of risk and (c) potential effect on employment of the Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd project granted £2.5 million in funding under the Getting Building Fund in November 2020.

These were assessed by the Local Enterprise Partnership's independent technical evaluator, who judged that (a) there were good grounds for believing the project could start on time and be completed by March 2022, (b) there was a degree of risk attaching to the Network Rail's commitment to purchase power from the project for an initial 2-4 year period only, with no guarantees beyond this test period, meaning that full long term benefits may not accrue if the contract to purchase power were not expended and (c) the projected figure of 40 jobs was robust and moreover 'the investment is in line with the UK government's aim to stimulate post Covid-19 economic recovery through investment in infrastructure.'

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the grant of £2.5 million by his Department to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd in November 2020 for a local infrastructure project, what safeguards his Department put in place to ensure that that project (a) was completed by March 2022, (b) provided a return on investment and (c) met the objectives of the Getting Building Fund.

All Getting Building Fund projects have been funded on the understanding that they will complete by March 2022 and this is stipulated in the contract. The independent technical evaluator's report on the project's business case confirmed their view that the project was high value for money and fully met the objectives of the Getting Building Fund.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the commercial basis for his Department’s decision to award a £2.5 million grant to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd.

The business case prepared for this project and all associated papers are freely available on the South East Local Enterprise Partnership website: https://www.southeastlep.com/app/uploads/2019/09/Riding-Sunbeams.pdf.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what measures were in place to mitigate against potential conflicts of interest during the funding process to award a £2.5 million grant to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd in November 2020.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership's conflict of interest policy is freely available on their website: https://www.southeastlep.com/app/uploads/2020/04/Conflict-of-Interest-Policy-2020-1.pdf.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much of the £2.5 million granted to Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd under the Getting Building Fund in November 2020 has been used to pay staff at (a) Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd, (b) the charity Possible, (c) Friends Provident Foundation, (d) Thrive Renewables Ltd and (e) Snowball Impact Management Ltd.

This level of detail is not held by MHCLG. The contract for the project is between East Sussex County Council and Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd. The bulk of the £2.527 million costs are allocated to capital expenditure, with £300k allocated to management costs.

11th Jan 2021
What progress his Department has made on delivering new accommodation for rough sleepers.

During the Pandemic, through Everyone In, by November we had supported around 33,000 people with nearly 10,000 in emergency accommodation and over 23,000 already moved on into longer-term accommodation.

To provide a longer-term solution, on 29 October, we announced funding of more than £150 million to deliver more than 3,300 units of long-term, supported, move-on accommodation for rough sleepers across the country. We are now working with our delivery partners at Homes England and the Greater London Authority to ensure these schemes are delivered at pace.