Brendan O'Hara Portrait

Brendan O'Hara

Scottish National Party - Argyll and Bute

First elected: 7th May 2015

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

(since December 2022)

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

(since September 2023)

SNP Chief Whip
17th Jan 2023 - 4th Sep 2023
Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021 - 17th Jan 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution)
1st Mar 2020 - 17th Jan 2023
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)
10th Dec 2022 - 17th Jan 2023
Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill)
2nd Nov 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Elections Bill
15th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society)
1st Jul 2018 - 1st Mar 2020
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
12th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Media)
20th Jun 2017 - 17th May 2018
Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Defence)
20th May 2015 - 20th Jun 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Brendan O'Hara has voted in 697 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Brendan O'Hara 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
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(33 debate interactions)
Nusrat Ghani (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
(20 debate interactions)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative)
President of the Board of Trade
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Elections Act 2022
(15,739 words contributed)
Fisheries Act 2020
(3,657 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Brendan O'Hara's debates

Argyll and Bute Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.


Latest EDMs signed by Brendan O'Hara

15th April 2024
Brendan O'Hara signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Culloden Academy and the Scottish Cup 2024

Tabled by: Drew Hendry (Scottish National Party - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
That this House congratulates Inverness school Culloden Academy on its success in the Scottish Cup, with both the first-year girls' and senior girls' teams winning national basketball championship titles; notes the performance of the first-year girls' team, winning with a score of 59-25, and the senior girls' team, achieving a …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
15th April 2024
Brendan O'Hara signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Matthew Knapman, Assynt Mountain Rescue

Tabled by: Drew Hendry (Scottish National Party - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
That this House commends 17-year-old Matthew Knapman from Inverness for his commitment to volunteering with Assynt Mountain Rescue Team; recognises that he was inspired to help others through mountain rescue following a mountain bike accident in 2022 where he received vital support; notes that he has assisted on two call-outs …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 12
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Brendan O'Hara's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Brendan O'Hara, 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 O'Hara has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Brendan O'Hara

3 Bills introduced by Brendan O'Hara


A Bill to prohibit the import of products made by forced labour in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; to require all companies importing products from Xinjiang to the UK to provide proof that the manufacture of those products has not involved forced labour; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to provide that offences of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes may be tried in the United Kingdom regardless of the nationality or residence of the offender; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 25th April 2023
(Read Debate)

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 make provision for an independent evaluation of the effects of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on the health and social care sectors; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th November 2018

Brendan O'Hara has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(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
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, if he will publish the 1,800 recommendations received in response to his recent article in The Sun newspaper relating to opportunities arising from the UK's departure from the EU.

I have taken great personal interest in the recommendations received so far in response to The Sun newspaper article. My officials in the Brexit Opportunities Unit will work with government departments to consider recommendations. We will announce any and all future regulatory reforms in the normal way.

As per the department’s privacy notice, the Cabinet Office does not routinely publish correspondence received from members of the public and does not intend to make an exception for these recommendations.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will answer questions in the House of Commons in his capacity as the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

I refer the Hon. Member to the reply I gave the Hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne on 7 February 2022 (Hansard Volume 708, from Column 695).

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the ministerial responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

I refer the Hon. Member to the reply I gave the Hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne on 7 February 2022 (Hansard Volume 708, from Column 695).

13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department approached any groups to invite expressions of interest after the closing date for applications to the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum.

An extension to the expression of interest application deadline was requested by the Federation of Small Businesses, European Union Relationship & Industrial Strategy Taskforce (EURIS), Human Rights Consortium Scotland and States of Guernsey on behalf of their stakeholders.

The Department did not approach groups to invite expressions of interest after the closing date for applications to the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum.

13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will provide a list of stakeholders who requested an extension to the application membership deadline for the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum.

An extension to the expression of interest application deadline was requested by the Federation of Small Businesses, European Union Relationship & Industrial Strategy Taskforce (EURIS), Human Rights Consortium Scotland and States of Guernsey on behalf of their stakeholders.

The Department did not approach groups to invite expressions of interest after the closing date for applications to the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum.

9th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department has conveyed to applicants of the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum since the first closing date for applications on 9 November 2021.

The Expression of Interest was reopened from 9 November until 15 November and again on 24 November until 29 November. This was communicated through GOV.UK and the Cabinet Office Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. The Devolved Administrations, Whitehall Departments and Crown Dependencies were informed through emails and/or verbally so they could update their stakeholders.

We have confirmed receipt of applications upon request and communicated the reopening of the Expression of Interest through GOV.UK and the Cabinet Office Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Applicants to the Domestic Advisory Group will be informed of the outcome of their applications in the coming weeks, probably early in the New Year. Applicants to the Civil Society Forum will be informed of the outcome of their applications once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

9th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how the extension to the Expression of Interest to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum was communicated to (a) the devolved administrations and (b) wider stakeholders.

The Expression of Interest was reopened from 9 November until 15 November and again on 24 November until 29 November. This was communicated through GOV.UK and the Cabinet Office Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. The Devolved Administrations, Whitehall Departments and Crown Dependencies were informed through emails and/or verbally so they could update their stakeholders.

We have confirmed receipt of applications upon request and communicated the reopening of the Expression of Interest through GOV.UK and the Cabinet Office Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Applicants to the Domestic Advisory Group will be informed of the outcome of their applications in the coming weeks, probably early in the New Year. Applicants to the Civil Society Forum will be informed of the outcome of their applications once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many applications for membership of the Domestic Advisory Group and Civil Society Forum were received by organisations in each devolved nations.

The first meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group will be early in the New Year in London.

The timing and location for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed through the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

Of the 83 applications received, 16 were from organisations representing Scotland (7), Wales (2), Northern Ireland (3) as well as three from organisations representing England and Wales and one representing England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The final membership of the DAG has not yet been determined.



6th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when and where the first meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group and the Civil Society Forum will take place.

The first meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group will be early in the New Year in London.

The timing and location for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed through the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

Of the 83 applications received, 16 were from organisations representing Scotland (7), Wales (2), Northern Ireland (3) as well as three from organisations representing England and Wales and one representing England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The final membership of the DAG has not yet been determined.



3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether there is a balance in (a) social partners and (b) representation from the devolved nations on the (i) Domestic Advisory Group and (ii) Civil Society Forum.

We launched an Expression of Interest campaign on 19 October to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) and Civil Society Forum (CSF). The expression of interest campaign was extended from 9 November until 29 November following requests for an extension from a number of stakeholders.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest for the DAG or the CSF (or both). We are working closely with departments and devolved administrations to ensure a balanced representation of civil society organisations, including business organisations, Trade Unions, NGOs and charities, to represent all four nations of the UK.

To be considered for appointment under this campaign, the organisations must meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the Expression of Interest page on GOV.UK. We have encouraged applications from the widest range of qualified groups in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty.

Successful candidates for the DAG will be informed in the coming weeks. The participants for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he took to ensure the application of equalities principles to the selection of organisations for places on the (a) Domestic Advisory Group and (b) Civil Society Forum.

We launched an Expression of Interest campaign on 19 October to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) and Civil Society Forum (CSF). The expression of interest campaign was extended from 9 November until 29 November following requests for an extension from a number of stakeholders.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest for the DAG or the CSF (or both). We are working closely with departments and devolved administrations to ensure a balanced representation of civil society organisations, including business organisations, Trade Unions, NGOs and charities, to represent all four nations of the UK.

To be considered for appointment under this campaign, the organisations must meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the Expression of Interest page on GOV.UK. We have encouraged applications from the widest range of qualified groups in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty.

Successful candidates for the DAG will be informed in the coming weeks. The participants for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the process was for selecting organisations for the (a) Domestic Advisory Group and (b) Civil Society Forum.

We launched an Expression of Interest campaign on 19 October to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) and Civil Society Forum (CSF). The expression of interest campaign was extended from 9 November until 29 November following requests for an extension from a number of stakeholders.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest for the DAG or the CSF (or both). We are working closely with departments and devolved administrations to ensure a balanced representation of civil society organisations, including business organisations, Trade Unions, NGOs and charities, to represent all four nations of the UK.

To be considered for appointment under this campaign, the organisations must meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the Expression of Interest page on GOV.UK. We have encouraged applications from the widest range of qualified groups in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty.

Successful candidates for the DAG will be informed in the coming weeks. The participants for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many applications were received for places on the (a) Domestic Advisory Group and (b) Civil Society Forum.

We launched an Expression of Interest campaign on 19 October to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) and Civil Society Forum (CSF). The expression of interest campaign was extended from 9 November until 29 November following requests for an extension from a number of stakeholders.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest for the DAG or the CSF (or both). We are working closely with departments and devolved administrations to ensure a balanced representation of civil society organisations, including business organisations, Trade Unions, NGOs and charities, to represent all four nations of the UK.

To be considered for appointment under this campaign, the organisations must meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the Expression of Interest page on GOV.UK. We have encouraged applications from the widest range of qualified groups in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty.

Successful candidates for the DAG will be informed in the coming weeks. The participants for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he will advise applicants for places on the (a) Domestic Advisory Group and (b) Civil Society Forum of the outcome of their applications.

We launched an Expression of Interest campaign on 19 October to determine membership of the Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) and Civil Society Forum (CSF). The expression of interest campaign was extended from 9 November until 29 November following requests for an extension from a number of stakeholders.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest for the DAG or the CSF (or both). We are working closely with departments and devolved administrations to ensure a balanced representation of civil society organisations, including business organisations, Trade Unions, NGOs and charities, to represent all four nations of the UK.

To be considered for appointment under this campaign, the organisations must meet the eligibility criteria outlined on the Expression of Interest page on GOV.UK. We have encouraged applications from the widest range of qualified groups in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty.

Successful candidates for the DAG will be informed in the coming weeks. The participants for the Civil Society Forum will be confirmed once the guidelines which underpin the forum are agreed by the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether he has plans to ensure that surplus power produced by privately owned (a) wind turbines, (b) small hydroelectric schemes and (c) other power generators is (i) fed into the National Grid and (ii) used for localised storage.

Surplus power produced by privately owned wind turbines, small hydroelectric schemes and other power generators can flow into the electricity network under the terms of the connection agreement with the network owner. The Smart Export Guarantee gives small scale low-carbon electricity generators the right to be paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. The Government and Ofgem are facilitating the deployment of electricity storage at all scales through the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have made to the Government of India on the human rights of Christian and Muslim minorities in that country in the context of forthcoming trade negotiations; and if she will include clauses recognising the centrality of human rights, including those of freedom of religion or belief, in any future trade agreement with India.

In May, the United Kingdom and India announced our intent to negotiate a free trade agreement. Since then, the Department of International Trade has launched a public consultation about our approach to negotiations.

HM Government has a history of promoting British values globally, including freedom of religion, and we are clear that upholding rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand with our trading ambitions. We engage with the Government of India on a range of matters.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost has been to the public purse of the Union Connectivity Review and Fixed Link Feasibility Study into the potential merits of a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Fixed Link Feasibility Study forms part of the Union Connectivity Review, independently chaired by Sir Peter Hendy CBE. Final invoices are yet to be received.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has conducted an (a) impact and (b) risk assessment on removing the requirement for specific car and trailer training.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) takes its commitment to road safety extremely seriously and it will work with the industry and stakeholders to drive forward the importance of safe driving and safe towing.

The vocational test changes will not affect the standard of driving required to drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), with road safety continuing to be of paramount importance. Any driver who does not demonstrate utmost competence will not be granted a licence.

Legislative changes are usually subject to a post implementation review which gives the opportunity to review and potentially update the changes made. The Department will keep these changes under review to ensure they are effective and help increase HGV testing capacity to meet demand whilst ensuring road safety is not compromised in the process.

The DVSA is exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach, and is engaging with key stakeholders, trainers and insurers, to discuss this issue.

The DVSA is also in discussions with the training industry to understand their capacity to deliver the off-road manoeuvres element of the vocational test and will work with them to develop a robust and clear process by which to assess, accredit and audit any trainers who wish to assess the manoeuvres element of the test.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to provide financial support for driving instructors that specify in car and trailer training (B+E training) in response to that training being made non-mandatory.

The Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are working across government to establish the impact on the trainer market from the regulatory changes relating to B+E testing.

DVSA will continue to encourage people who want to drive a car and trailer to get professional training to promote road safety. We are exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach and plan to meet with key stakeholders including trainers and insurers to discuss this further.

DVSA will be extensively promoting the importance of professional car and trailer training for all motorists, will encourage motorists to access online guidance on towing safely and will continue to remind motorists of the need to carry out trailer safety checks.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will implement a compulsory accreditation scheme to replace the DVLA's car and trailer training (B+E), similar to the CBT training that motorcycle drivers must undertake.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will continue to encourage people who want to drive a car and trailer to get professional training to promote road safety. We are exploring options for an industry-led accreditation that could offer a standardised non-statutory testing approach and plan to meet with key stakeholders including trainers and insurers to discuss this further.

DVSA will be extensively promoting the importance of professional car and trailer training for all motorists, will encourage motorists to access online guidance on towing safely and will continue to remind motorists of the need to carry out trailer safety checks.

Car drivers towing trailers and caravans will continue to be subject to roadside enforcement checks by DVSA.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what quality control methods were used by by his Department to help ensure that PPE procured from China met UK standards during the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make an estimate of the proportion of PPE that did not meet the required standard for use in the UK.

The Department regularly reviews optimal storage solutions for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure value for money. The Department reviews the quality of all PPE purchased and to determine whether these products are suitable for use by frontline staff. Stock which has not passed initial quality assurance will be identified as not for use in medical settings. The Department undertakes a full visual assessment of all the stock held in China and in the United Kingdom.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether analysis has been undertaken to establish whether all the PPE stored in China is (a) still usable and (b) meets the standards required for use in the UK.

The Department regularly reviews optimal storage solutions for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure value for money. The Department reviews the quality of all PPE purchased and to determine whether these products are suitable for use by frontline staff. Stock which has not passed initial quality assurance will be identified as not for use in medical settings. The Department undertakes a full visual assessment of all the stock held in China and in the United Kingdom.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the value for money to the public purse of Government storage arrangements for PPE in China.

The Department regularly reviews optimal storage solutions for personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure value for money. The Department reviews the quality of all PPE purchased and to determine whether these products are suitable for use by frontline staff. Stock which has not passed initial quality assurance will be identified as not for use in medical settings. The Department undertakes a full visual assessment of all the stock held in China and in the United Kingdom.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has taken recent action with ministerial colleagues to assess the extent to which contracts entered into by the UK government to procure PPE in the last five years represented value for money.

The Government Internal Audit Agency analysed the prices paid for individual products in the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain. This included 12 contracts where the Agency found a proportionate control environment which balanced the need to urgently procure PPE with the need to secure value for money.

26th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, pursuant to the Answer of 7 March 2024 to Question 16878 on UNRWA: Finance, what assurances he has sought directly from UNRWA; and what his criteria are to resume funding of UNRWA.

We want UNRWA to give detailed undertakings about changes in personnel, policy and precedents to ensure this can never happen again.

We are aware that the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and Catherine Colonna have now provided their interim reports to the UN Secretary-General.

We are working with allies to try to bring this situation to a rapid conclusion, not least because UNRWA has a vital role to play in providing aid and services in Gaza.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the decision of Finland to resume funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The UK was appalled by allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned.

We are aware that the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and Catherine Colonna have now provided their interim reports to the UN Secretary-General. We want UNRWA to give detailed undertakings about changes in personnel, policy and precedents to ensure this can never happen again.

Our decision to pause future funding to UNRWA has no impact on the UK's contribution to the humanitarian response.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
21st Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department has received the interim report of the (a) UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and (b) Independent Review Group.

We are aware that the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and Catherine Colonna have now provided their interim reports to the UN Secretary-General.

We want UNRWA to give detailed undertakings about changes in personnel, policy and precedents to ensure this can never happen again. We are working with allies to try to bring this situation to a rapid conclusion - not least because UNRWA have a vital role to play in providing aid and services in Gaza.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
19th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a replacement to the Committee on Arms Export Controls.

Parliamentary scrutiny is a matter for the House. In January 2024, the Business and Trade Committee (BTC) became the Parliamentary scrutiny committee with oversight of arms export controls, a role formerly carried out by the Committees on Arms Exports Controls (CAEC). The Government is committed to keeping the BTC updated on export controls.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has discussions with the Secretary of State for Business and Trade on the risk of a state not complying with orders from international courts in the decision process for the grant of an arms licence.

The Government takes its defence export responsibilities extremely seriously and operates some of the most robust export controls in the world. Licence applications are assessed against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria and we will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with that Criteria.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what account of ongoing geopolitical fragility his Department takes in considering applications for licences for the export of arms to states in sensitive areas.

The Strategic Export Licensing Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework for export licence applications and require us to think hard about the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We consider a range of factors, including examining the political and security conditions in the destination country, the nature of the equipment to be exported, the organisation or unit which will ultimately be the user of the equipment, and all available information about how similar equipment has been used in the past and how it is likely to be used in the future. We can and do respond quickly and flexibly to changing or fluid international situations. We take the principles of responsible export control set out in the Criteria incredibly seriously.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a scrutiny body within his Department that is tasked with assessing the consequences of individual arms licences on the Government's international legal obligations.

The Government takes its defence export responsibilities extremely seriously and operates some of the most robust export controls in the world. We examine each new application on a case-by-case basis against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. The Criteria maintain the UK's high standards on counter proliferation and give effect to the UK's international obligations and commitments.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department (a) makes an assessment of the potential impact on observance of international humanitarian law and (b) communicates that assessment to the Department for Business and Trade before the grant of an arms licence.

The Government operates a robust and thorough assessment of licence applications against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria and we will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with that Criteria. The FCDO advises DBT on the situation in country and the risks this poses with respect to the UK's export control responsibilities and specifically on criterion two which includes respect by that country for international humanitarian law.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
29th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of displacement of the Wiwa indigenous peoples in Colombia.

Supporting the Colombian Government in its commitment to secure a broad and lasting peace will remain an important priority of this Government. At the UN Security Council on 11 January, Our Ambassador urged the Colombian Government to take further steps to protect vulnerable groups including indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities most affected by conflict. Through the UK's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) which has provided £79 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Colombia and prioritise funding interventions to help protect indigenous communities, including through the OHCHR (UN Human Rights Office).

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department has taken recent steps to help tackle the deportation of asylum seekers from the North Caucasus region to Russia.

The UK has consistently condemned the significant deterioration in the human rights situation in Russia since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In multilateral fora the UK continues to call for Russia to meet its international obligations, including at the The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and UN. The situation in Chechnya and Ingushetia is particularly egregious, as highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Russia. The UK has repeatedly called on Russia to end human rights violations in Chechnya, conduct effective investigations into reports and ensure that those responsible are held to account. The UK regularly discusses migration issues with our international partners.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
11th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the imprisonment of Apollinaris Darmawan in Indonesia.

The UK government is aware of Apollinaris Darmanwan's imprisonment. The UK government is committed to upholding freedom of speech and promoting freedom of religion in Indonesia. Officials at the British Embassy in Jakarta routinely meet members of all six officially recognised faiths and discuss the importance of freedom of religious belief.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on the treatment of Wang Yi in China.

Wang Yi was Pastor of the Early Rain Covenant Church, an unregistered Protestant house church in Chengdu. He was detained in December 2018 on the charge of 'inciting subversion of state power and illegal business operations.' On 30 December 2019 Chengdu Intermediate People's Court announced it had sentenced Wang to nine years in prison following a closed trial.

We continue to monitor the persecution of Christians for practicing their religion in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination is a human right that all people should enjoy. The British government works with international organisations and networks to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief for all where it is threatened, including through the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, and the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance.

More broadly, we coordinate with international partners to increase international attention on China's human rights violations. Most recently, we did in September 2023 in the G7 Foreign Ministers Communiqué.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the level of observance of the right to (a) assemble, (b) worship freely and (c) other aspects of freedom of religion and belief in Laos.

The UK is committed to promoting and defending Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), as demonstrated by our hosting the 'International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief' in July 2022. We also work through the UN to promote and protect these rights. The UK Embassy in Laos raises concerns about limitations on freedom of expression and other human rights issues, including freedom of religion, on a regular basis, both publicly and in private. We do this bilaterally with the Government of Laos as well as at the UN Human Rights Council. I visited Laos in September 2023 and raised our concern over particular human rights cases with Laos Ministers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many and what proportion of civil servants on temporary contracts in his Department are women.

The FCDO's ambition is to be a truly inclusive organisation that reflects the diversity of the population we serve. As of 30 September 2023, of those on temporary and casual contracts 49.6 per-cent are women (199 women).

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many and what proportion of SCS2 civil servants on full-time equivalent contracts in his Department are women.

The FCDO's ambition is to be a truly inclusive organisation that reflects the diversity of the population we serve. Understanding any remaining barriers to progression for women and improving the representation of women in senior roles is a focus for the FCDO this year. As of 30 September 2023, of those SCS2 on full-time equivalent contracts 37 per-cent are women (52 women).

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many UK Daesh fighters (a) are currently serving criminal sentences and (b) may be freed if the proposed amnesty law for Daesh fighters is implemented in Iraq.

The UK continues to support survivor and minority communities who suffered immense atrocities under Daesh. As members of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, we will continue to work with Iraq in order to ensure that Daesh cannot re-emerge. Together with our international partners we will continue holding Daesh accountable for their crimes and bringing them to justice. We are not able to comment on any individual investigations. We are monitoring the proposed amnesty bill, which has not been finalised or passed in to law.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterparts in Iraq on the potential effects of the proposed amnesty law that could result in Daesh members who have been convicted of (a) genocide against the Yazidi people and (b) other crimes being freed from detention.

The UK continues to support survivor and minority communities who suffered immense atrocities under Daesh. As members of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, we will continue to work with Iraq in order to ensure that Daesh cannot re-emerge. Together with our international partners we will continue holding Daesh accountable for their crimes and bringing them to justice. We are not able to comment on any individual investigations. We are monitoring the proposed amnesty bill, which has not been finalised or passed in to law.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
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 proposed amnesty law in Iraq that could result in Daesh members who have been convicted of (a) genocide against Yazidi people and (b) other crimes being freed from detention.

The UK continues to support survivor and minority communities who suffered immense atrocities under Daesh. As members of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, we will continue to work with Iraq in order to ensure that Daesh cannot re-emerge. Together with our international partners we will continue holding Daesh accountable for their crimes and bringing them to justice. We are not able to comment on any individual investigations. We are monitoring the proposed amnesty bill, which has not been finalised or passed in to law.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support for (a) victims of violence and (b) protesters in Suwayda.

The FCDO is following the protests in Suweida closely. The UK's permanent representative to the UN drew global attention to the protestors' cause in the UK's statement to the UN Security Council on 27 September. We condemned the regime's use of violence against peaceful demonstrators and demanded Damascus' adherence to international human rights standards. We will continue to monitor the situation and urge the regime to treat protestors with dignity respect. It is vital that Assad heed their calls for regime participation in the political process established by UNSCR 2254.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the level of UK Official Development Assistance to Syria.

FCDO aid budget is allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate.

There is a robust framework in place for allocating Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 2023, the UK committed up to £150 million at the Brussels Pledging Conference and up to £43 million to support the response to the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, raising our total commitment to over £3.8 billion.

However, the situation's scale is immense, with Syria's overall aid requirements for 2023 only 29.44% funded. HMG encourages all international actors to do everything possible to ensure that sufficient aid reaches those in need.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on steps to help secure the release of Yazidi women and girls abducted by Deash.

We condemn in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Daesh against all civilians, including Yazidi women and girls in Syria and Iraq. The UK led the UN Security Council to establish the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL (UNITAD) which has supported the Government of Iraq look for missing Yazidi women and girls. We continue to use our position at the UN to raise the plight of the Yazidi community, most recently at a UNITAD council session on 7 June.

We also advocated for the passing of the Iraqi Yazidi Survivors Law, an important step toward assistance and justice for survivors of sexual violence by Daesh. The UK is committed to helping Iraq fully implement the legislation, including providing funding support to the Directorate of Yazidi Affairs. The Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon met Yazidi communities and leaders to hear their experiences and reiterate UK support during his recent visit to Iraq.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) diplomatic support the Government is providing to help keep the peace process in South Sudan on track.

Poor implementation of South Sudan's peace agreement is driving violence and a humanitarian crisis. On 8 May, I [Minister Mitchell] met with the South Sudanese Minister of Presidential Affairs and emphasised the need for immediate, tangible action on the peace process. The UK also raises concerns about lack of progress at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, and through Troika (UK, US, Norway) or Troika and EU statements. The UK funds peacebuilding programmes to address the root causes of subnational conflict in South Sudan and funds the placement of technical experts in both the ceasefire (Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring & Verification Mechanism) and peace agreement implementation (Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission) monitoring mechanisms.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether UN agencies operating in Myanmar that receive UK funding are prohibited from buying goods and services from military-owned companies in that country.

The UK is committed to targeted sanctions which impose a cost on those profiting from, or supporting, the Myanmar military's campaign of violence against the civilian population.

On 28 February 2022 the UK updated our Overseas Business Risk Guidance to make it clear that UK businesses should conduct thorough supply chain diligence to ensure that commodities do not reach the military. Organisations involved in the delivery of essential humanitarian aid delivery are able to apply for licences for goods and services which may be impacted by targeted sanctions.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much from the public purse his Department (a) has contributed as of 17 February 2023 and (b) plans to contribute in future to the Joint Peace Fund in support of Myanmar.

The UK is committed to de-escalating the current crisis in Myanmar and seeking a resolution to the country's long running conflicts. The UK is a founding donor of the Joint Peace Fund and has contributed £7.16 million to the fund since 2016. No decision on future funding has yet been made.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)