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Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
21 Sep 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to urgently expedite the applications of (a) staff employed by Adam Smith International and (b) others employed by the UK government’s implementing partners that worked across Afghanistan and in ministries to deliver UK funded aid projects who are being targeted as UK employees by the Tailban, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

Answered by Kevin Foster

It is not appropriate to comment on individual cases in a response to a written parliamentary question


The Home Office remains committed to processing applications approved by the Ministry of Defence as quickly as possible and we are working across Government and with international partners to bring approved applicants to the UK.


Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
21 Sep 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, how many applicants were (a) accepted, (b) called forward to Kabul International Airport, (c) evacuated by 28 August, (d) rejected, (e) appealed, and (f) have not yet been processed for (i) current or past locally employed UK government staff; (ii) private companies implementing UK government funded programmes; (iii) NGOs and non profit organisations implementing UK government funded programmes; (iv) Afghan government partners (including MPs, ministers, justice officials, etc); (v) Afghan media and civil society organisations, and (vi) other categories that the UK government recognised.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy


Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
21 Sep 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and the special cases applications, how many applications were from (a) current or past locally employed UK government staff, (b) private companies implementing UK government funded programmes, (c) NGOs and non-profit organisations implementing UK government funded programmes, (d) Afghan government partners, (e) Afghan media and civil society organisations, and (f) other categories that the Government recognised.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy


Written Question
Asylum: Afghanistan
21 Sep 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have submitted an application to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme including applicants and their family members between 1 April and 14 September 2021; and how many and what proportion of those applications have been (a) accepted, (b) rejected and (c) received but not yet processed.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Afghan relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched on 1 April 2021. Since this date, around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families have been relocated to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The specific information requested is not held in a published format and to gather it would require a disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish quarterly updates on immigration statistics. Information relating to arrivals under ARAP will be published in these statistics in due course. The most recent published migration statistics can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

Guidance relating to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy


Written Question
Human Rights: Postgraduate Education
14 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has allocated funding to the University of Huddersfield for the provision of that university's PhD in human rights; and whether that PhD course is planned to be reserved for Bahraini nationals.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Home Office does not provide funding to the University of Huddersfield for the provision of a PhD in human rights in Bahrain and therefore holds no information on the detail of any courses.


Written Question
Human Rights: Postgraduate Education
7 Jun 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the meeting of 25 May 2021 between the Rt Hon Member for Witham and the Bahraini Minister of Interior, whether her Department held discussions with the University of Huddersfield on the establishment of a PhD in human rights.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The government is committed to supporting Bahrain as it continues to make important security, police and justice reforms. We will continue to work closely together to promote security and stability in the Gulf region and across the world. This support includes work between a range of organisations including police forces, government and academic institutions.

The Home Office has not discussed a PhD in human rights with the University of Huddersfield and this did not form part of the Home Secretary’s meeting with the Bahraini Minister of Interior.


Written Question
Immigration Bail
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle the destitution of some highly skilled migrants without indefinite leave to remain who have not been issued with immigration bail letters granting them the right to work or benefit from Section 3C leave.

Answered by Chris Philp

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


Written Question
Emergency Services Network: Strathconon
15 Apr 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 157144 on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, for what reason the activation of extended area service sites cannot be accelerated on sites where both the passive infrastructure and electricity are already in place.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

We expect the contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network to be awarded in Autumn 2021. We do need to follow government procurement processes fully in this award and are unable to accelerate this aspect of the process. Each site has to be individually designed, with planning approval granted, built and then integrated into the EE/ESN network. By default, EAS masts are in the most remote and rural areas of the country, situated in difficult terrain and with accessibility issues. After the award of the contract we anticipate that a survey of each site will result in activation timelines varying depending on the work involved. We will then complete the physical work to connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this work to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.


Written Question
Migrants: Taxation
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department took to establish mechanisms to receive tax return data of Highly Skilled Tier 1 (General) Migrants from HMRC for indefinite leave to remain decisions.

Answered by Kevin Foster

The Home Office and HMRC have an agreed sharing protocol.

Section 40 of the UK Borders Act 2007 provides a statutory gateway to allow HMRC to share data with the Home Office for immigration and nationality functions as set out in the legislation.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network: Scotland
1 Mar 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department has limited the scope of its partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver sites that were formerly part of the Extended Area Service programme under the Scottish 4G Infill Programme; and what plans her Department has to expand the scope of that partnership.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The EAS sites are principally built to support the emergency services, however where possible HO will collaborate with the Scottish 4G Infill Programme and other government initiatives such as the Shared Rural Network, the scope of this collaboration extends to all 292 EAS masts. There are currently 18 SFT sites where Home Office are utilising as part of a site share. These 18 sites meet the ESN coverage requirements and we continue to assess viability of other sites which meet both HO and Scottish 4G Infill Programme criteria.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network: Argyll and Bute
1 Mar 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 71074, on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, if she will take steps to allocate funding to extended area services sites across Argyll and Bute as soon as possible.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

Funding has been allocated to sites across Argyll and Bute, we expect to commence works to activate these sites in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network
1 Mar 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will set out a timetable for the activation of all Emergency Services Network sites.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network (backhaul link) has not yet been awarded to a supplier. We expect this contract to be awarded in Autumn 2021. Following the award of this contract the work to deliver the links can take several months before connecting the mast to the network and, separately, activating the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network: Strathconon
1 Mar 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 71074, on Emergency Services Network: Strathconon, what steps her Department has taken to look at cases where there may be a particular case for early activation due to community need, as well as potential funding sources to enable that.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

We expect the contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network to be awarded in Autumn 2021. Following the award of this contract the work to deliver the links can take several months before connecting the mast to the network and, separately, activating the mast. Although we cannot give firm dates for the final activation of masts at this stage, we expect this to commence in 2022 and complete towards the end 2024. Unfortunately we are unable to accelerate this.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network
25 Feb 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to extended area service sites that require a backhaul link to the main telecoms communications network to be commissioned but are otherwise ready for use, for what reason her Department has not provided (a) that backhaul link or (b) other maintenance solution that would provide access to the 4G mobile network for residents.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The contract for connecting all 292 EAS masts to the network (backhaul link) is currently in the process of being awarded to a supplier, we expect this to be completed in Autumn 2021. After the award of this contract, we will complete the physical work to connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast. Contract award for maintenance is currently at the procurement phase, we expect this to be in place when sites are ready for activation.

The installation of the backhaul link (transmission) takes place once a site has been built. The contract for transmission connections is currently in the process of being awarded to a supplier, we expect this to be completed in Autumn 2021. After the award of this contract, we will complete the physical work to install the transmission and connect the mast to the network and, separately, activate the mast.

The contract for transmission will include installation and maintenance services and is scheduled to awarded in Autumn 2021 as above.

The ordering of transmission circuits (over which the 4G services run) remain the responsibility of each commercial operator.


Written Question
Emergency Services Network
25 Feb 2021

Questioner: Brendan O'Hara (SNP - Argyll and Bute)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department not supported activation of a commercial 4G service on the majority of built extended area service sites.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

Wherever possible, we have chosen a future-proofed design for EAS mast structures, meaning that they can be easily upgraded to be part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) which is being delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). SRN is a partnership between Government and industry to deliver on the manifesto commitment of increasing mobile coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by 2026. Through the SRN programme, Government will fund upgrades to the Home Office EAS sites, to enable Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to provide commercial mobile coverage from these sites.

The HO is making as many of the EAS sites available to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), working with DCMS under the SRN programme. This includes physical upgrades to the sites to enable MNOs place their equipment onto the sites. Activation and timing of the site for 4G commercial services is a responsibility of the individual operators. The role of the HO is to provide physical access to MNOs which it is enabling.