Carol Monaghan Portrait

Carol Monaghan

Scottish National Party - Glasgow North West

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Armed Forces and Veterans)

(since June 2017)

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)

(since June 2017)
Armed Forces Bill Select Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
4th Dec 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Science and Technology Committee
4th Dec 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Public Services and Education)
20th May 2015 - 20th Jun 2017
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Science and Technology Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
09:20
Scheduled Event
Friday 3rd December 2021
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Asylum Seekers (Permission to Work) Bill: Second Reading
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Department Event
Monday 6th December 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 41 Scottish National Party No votes vs 0 Scottish National Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 244
Speeches
Monday 22nd November 2021
Gurkha Pensions

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Dr Huq. I congratulate the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent North (Jonathan …

Written Answers
Thursday 11th November 2021
Visas: Software
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will consider developing a mobile phone app for …
Early Day Motions
Monday 15th November 2021
Show Racism the Red Card Scotland's Creative Competition Awards 2021
That this House recognises Show Racism The Red Card (SRtRC) Scotland's recent Creative Competition Awards for 2021; warmly welcomes this …
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
Asylum Seekers (Permission to Work) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision for granting permission to work to asylum seekers who have waited six months for a …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 2nd March 2020
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd
Address of donor: Electron Building, Fermi Avenue, Didcot OX11 0QR
Estimate of the …
EDM signed
Monday 15th November 2021
Political donations and peerages
That this House calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to ban those who donate more than £50,000 …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Carol Monaghan has voted in 242 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Carol Monaghan 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.

View all Carol Monaghan's debates

Glasgow North West 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 on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, particularly as grants have been removed


Latest EDMs signed by Carol Monaghan

15th November 2021
Carol Monaghan signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 15th November 2021

Political donations and peerages

Tabled by: Angus Brendan MacNeil (Scottish National Party - Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
That this House calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to ban those who donate more than £50,000 to political parties from being nominated for peerages within five years of their donation; and encourages party leaders, whose parties send representatives to the House of Lords, not to nominate …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 10
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 1
15th November 2021
Carol Monaghan signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Thursday 11th November 2021

Show Racism the Red Card Scotland's Creative Competition Awards 2021

Tabled by: Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North West)
That this House recognises Show Racism The Red Card (SRtRC) Scotland's recent Creative Competition Awards for 2021; warmly welcomes this opportunity for children and young people across Scotland to stand in solidarity against racism; applauds the artistic efforts of all entrants in creating anti-racism slogans, posters, artwork, poems, and graphics; …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 8
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Carol Monaghan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Carol Monaghan, 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.


Carol Monaghan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Carol Monaghan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Carol Monaghan


A Bill to make provision for granting permission to work to asylum seekers who have waited six months for a decision on their asylum application; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 3rd December 2021
Order Paper number: 3
(Likely to be Debated)

A Bill to make provision for granting permission to work to asylum seekers who have waited six months for a decision on their asylum application; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 5th February 2020

144 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
8 Other Department Questions
20th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, when he plans to respond to Questions 45188, 45189, and 45190 tabled on 8 September 2021 by the hon. Member for Glasgow North West on business compensation during COP26.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Questions 45188, 45189, and 45190.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what plans he has in place to compensate the Clyde Maritime Trust Tall Ship Glenlee for loss of revenue as a result of COP26.

COP26 presents an amazing opportunity for both Glasgow and the world. Inevitably, a conference of this size brings both huge opportunities as well as some disruption to the local community hosting the event. In consultation with police and local authority partners, a decision was taken that there will be an extensive security perimeter around the event site to protect attendees. It is unavoidable that a small number of businesses will either need to close or will have disruption to staff and client access.

The COP Unit is contacting affected businesses directly and will be providing compensation. Businesses are eligible only where they are based inside the secure perimeter and will not have facilitated access for their staff and clients.

In some cases, businesses within the restricted security perimeter will be able to stay open to provide services to event staff and delegates, although not for public access. The UK Government is providing compensation to these businesses to reflect potential shortfall in revenue where this can be clearly demonstrated based on an assessment of comparable periods.

We will not be able to offer compensation to businesses outside the restricted secure perimeters or for businesses inside the secure perimeters who are able to remain open for trading.

The Clyde Maritime Trust Tall Ship Glenlee falls within the outer security perimeter.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, when businesses located within the COP26 secure perimeter, that have been required to close for the duration of the conference, will be provided with full details of a compensation package.

COP26 presents an amazing opportunity for both Glasgow and the world. Inevitably, a conference of this size brings both huge opportunities as well as some disruption to the local community hosting the event. In consultation with police and local authority partners, a decision was taken that there will be an extensive security perimeter around the event site to protect attendees. It is unavoidable that a small number of businesses will either need to close or will have disruption to staff and client access.

The COP Unit is contacting affected businesses directly and will be providing compensation. Businesses are eligible only where they are based inside the secure perimeter and will not have facilitated access for their staff and clients.

In some cases, businesses within the restricted security perimeter will be able to stay open to provide services to event staff and delegates, although not for public access. The UK Government is providing compensation to these businesses to reflect potential shortfall in revenue where this can be clearly demonstrated based on an assessment of comparable periods.

We will not be able to offer compensation to businesses outside the restricted secure perimeters or for businesses inside the secure perimeters who are able to remain open for trading.

The Clyde Maritime Trust Tall Ship Glenlee falls within the outer security perimeter.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what plans the Government has to compensate businesses located within the COP26 secure perimeter that will have to close during conference for loss of revenue.

COP26 presents an amazing opportunity for both Glasgow and the world. Inevitably, a conference of this size brings both huge opportunities as well as some disruption to the local community hosting the event. In consultation with police and local authority partners, a decision was taken that there will be an extensive security perimeter around the event site to protect attendees. It is unavoidable that a small number of businesses will either need to close or will have disruption to staff and client access.

The COP Unit is contacting affected businesses directly and will be providing compensation. Businesses are eligible only where they are based inside the secure perimeter and will not have facilitated access for their staff and clients.

In some cases, businesses within the restricted security perimeter will be able to stay open to provide services to event staff and delegates, although not for public access. The UK Government is providing compensation to these businesses to reflect potential shortfall in revenue where this can be clearly demonstrated based on an assessment of comparable periods.

We will not be able to offer compensation to businesses outside the restricted secure perimeters or for businesses inside the secure perimeters who are able to remain open for trading.

The Clyde Maritime Trust Tall Ship Glenlee falls within the outer security perimeter.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the Advisory Military Sub-Committee has been delayed in bringing forward recommendations on the case for service medals for British nuclear test veterans.

Further to the answer given to PQ 25154 on 9 March 2020, campaigners can be assured their case is under review and recommendations will be made as soon as possible.

The criteria used by the Advisory Military Sub-Committee to review the case for medals can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/830839/Advisory-Military-Sub-Committee-Terms-of-Reference-2019-1-1.pdf.

The Advisory Military Sub Committee met three times in 2019, and on 4 February 2020.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria are used by the Advisory Military Sub-Committee to decide whether to recommend a service medal award for British nuclear test veterans.

Further to the answer given to PQ 25154 on 9 March 2020, campaigners can be assured their case is under review and recommendations will be made as soon as possible.

The criteria used by the Advisory Military Sub-Committee to review the case for medals can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/830839/Advisory-Military-Sub-Committee-Terms-of-Reference-2019-1-1.pdf.

The Advisory Military Sub Committee met three times in 2019, and on 4 February 2020.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many times the Advisory Military Sub-Committee has met in 2020.

Further to the answer given to PQ 25154 on 9 March 2020, campaigners can be assured their case is under review and recommendations will be made as soon as possible.

The criteria used by the Advisory Military Sub-Committee to review the case for medals can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/830839/Advisory-Military-Sub-Committee-Terms-of-Reference-2019-1-1.pdf.

The Advisory Military Sub Committee met three times in 2019, and on 4 February 2020.

16th Jan 2020
What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the legal implications of Clause 37 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.

I cannot comment on Cabinet discussions, or on whether or not I have given legal advice.

What I can say is that the Government remains fully committed to the principle of family reunion and supporting the most vulnerable children. Clause 37 of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill does not represent a change of government policy in that regard. It simply removes the statutory requirement to negotiate.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy that each Government department must provide either (a) an online form or (b) an email address which members of the public can use to make a complaint about any service delivered by that department.

The Government Service Standard states that GOV.UK services must allow users to tell the Government what they think about a service, once they have used it. Services should also provide users with the opportunity to provide feedback whilst they are using the service.

GOV.UK provides a range of information and guidance to support users to contact individual government departments.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how often the funding level for the Prime Minister's Downing Street residence is reviewed.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 7856 on 7 June 2021 and PQ HL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Department is responsible for determining the level of funding for the Prime Minister's Downing Street residence.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 7856 on 7 June 2021 and PQ HL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Department is responsible for approving the funding for the Prime Minister's Downing Street residence.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 7856 on 7 June 2021 and PQ HL14191 on 23 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to (a) tackle covid-19 misinformation amongst African communities in the UK and (b) provide accurate information in (i) Tigrinya, (ii) Amharic, (iii) Blen, (iv) Kibajuni, (v) KiSwahili, (vi) Tigre, (vii) Oromo, (viii) Afar, (ix) Sidayama, (x) Wolayatta, (xi) Hausa, (xii) Chichewa, and (xiii) Igbo.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 144853 on 1 February 2021 and 161667 on 15 March 2021.

The Government is clear that targeting misinformation at any community is completely unacceptable. This is why the cross-Whitehall Counter Disinformation Unit was stood up on 5 March 2020. The Rapid Response Unit, operating from within the Cabinet Office and No10, also tackles a range of harmful narratives online - from purported ‘experts’ issuing dangerous misinformation, to criminal fraudsters running phishing scams.

We have been working with a wide range of faith groups to support vaccine confidence communication amongst different communities. Regarding African communities specifically, HMG has partnered with community news outlets including the African Voice over the course of the pandemic to address key points of concern and serve to provide reassurance within these communities.

Moreover, on 28 February, 60 black majority church leaders issued a joint statement in support of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The Christian leaders united to ensure the community were kept informed, and to dispel misinformation and disinformation about the vaccine in response to data that shows black people are among those most likely to be hesitant about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Advisory Military Sub-Committee will report on their decision on the case for service medals for veterans who were present at British nuclear tests.

Further to the answer given to PQ 90166 on 21 September 2020, there is an independent process for the consideration of historic medal claims through the Advisory Military Sub-Committee. Each case is carefully considered, and details of cases must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. Campaigners can be assured their case is under review and recommendations will be made as soon as possible.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Advisory Military Sub-Committee has heard representation on the case for service medals for veterans who were present at British nuclear tests.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC). Campaigners can be assured their case is under review and recommendations will be made as soon as possible.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merit of a limit on the indemnity and liability required by UK space launch and satellite operations licensees.

The Government conducted a call for evidence in March 2018. The evidence gained through this exercise and through further independent research commissioned by the Government has led Ministers to conclude that limits of liability are justified. The Government intends to calculate launch liability limits using the Modelled Insurance Requirement (MIR) approach. This will tailor the amount of insurance required and limit of operator liability to the risk and the diverse range of UK launch activities today and anticipated in the future and reduce operator costs in general compared with a fixed limit.

The Government does not yet have the information to determine whether a maximum limit on the insurance requirement and limit of operator liability for the amount calculated under the MIR for launch is justified as licence applications have not yet been received. It is the Government’s intention to establish a committee involving industry and the spaceflight regulator to keep the regulations under review and ensure that they remain current, relevant, and effective.

For orbital operations, the limits of operator liability for licences under the Space Industry Act will mirror those for licences issued under the Outer Space Act 1986.

  • For standard missions, the limit will be set at €60 million.
  • For high risk missions the limit will be set on a case-by case basis, following an appropriate risk assessment.
Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his department will amend Section 36 of the Space Industry Act in line with the Government’s stated intent so that space launch and satellite operations licenses will contain a limit of liability.

The Government will limit launch liability limits using the Modelled Insurance Requirement (MIR) approach. This will tailor the level of insurance required and the limit of operator liability to the risk and the diverse range of UK launch activities today and anticipated in the future and reduce operator costs in general compared with a fixed limit.

For orbital operations, the limits of operator liability for licences under the Space Industry Act will mirror those for licences issued under the Outer Space Act 1986

  • For standard missions, the lability limit will be set at €60 million.
  • For high risk missions the liability limit will be set on a case-by case basis, following an appropriate risk assessment.

It is the Government's intention that all operator licences issued under the Space Industry Act 2018 will contain a limit of operator liability with respect to claims under section 34 and 36 of the Space Industry Act. The Government does not intend to make changes to the primary legislation around liabilities and insurance in the Space Industry Act (2018) at this time, as the regulations and guidance laid before Parliament on 24th May 2021 contain the necessary provisions to enable implementation of the Government policy that all operator licences will contain a limit of liability.

However, the Government outlined in its response to the consultation on the draft Space Industry Regulations issued on 5th March 2021 that if suitable primary legislation is brought forward, the Government may seek to amend the wording in section 12(2) of the Space Industry Act 2018 from "may" to "must".

The Government is committed to supporting the space sector and we have outlined our intention to establish a committee involving industry and the spaceflight regulator; this will keep the regulations under review and ensure that the Government’s approach to commercial spaceflight remains current, relevant, and effective.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing a cap on the unlimited liability required by UK space launch and satellite operations licensees.

All operator licences issued under the Space industry Act 2018 will contain a limit of operator liability with respect to claims under section 34 and 36 of the Space Industry Act.

The Government intends to calculate launch liability limits using the Modelled Insurance Requirement (MIR) approach. This will tailor the insurance required to the risk and the diverse range of UK launch activities today and anticipated in the future and reduce operator costs in general compared with a fixed limit.

For orbital operations, the limits of operator liability for licences under the Space Industry Act will mirror those for licences issued under the Outer Space Act 1986:

  • For standard missions, the lability limit will be set at €60 million.
  • For high risk missions the liability limit will be set on a case-by case basis, following an appropriate risk assessment.

Operators will therefore not be facing unlimited liability for actions carried out in compliance with the Space Industry Act 2018 and licence conditions.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to carry out an impact assessment on low income households on the increase of the OFGEM price cap.

The price cap is revised every 6 months so that it is consistent with the underlying costs of supplying energy to households. Determining efficient costs is inherently challenging, but this is the product of Ofgem’s wide-ranging and in-depth benchmarking exercise. The Government has complete confidence in Ofgem, as the independent regulator of the GB gas and electricity markets, to appropriately execute its expert judgement in this regard. Ofgem estimate that the average household is £75-£100 better off each year than if the price cap was not in place. Consumers on capped tariffs can save even more my shopping around for a cheaper tariff. In addition, the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and expanded Warm Home Discount (WHD) schemes will provide at least £4.7 billion of extra support to low-income and vulnerable households between 2022 and 2026.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure mobile phones sold in the UK contain only ethically sourced materials.

The Government expects all our businesses, including mobile phone suppliers and manufacturers, to behave throughout their operations and supply arrangements in environmentally responsible and ethical ways.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to provide a further Government response to the Online Harms white paper.

We will publish a full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation later this year. This will be followed by legislation, which will be ready early next year.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on implementing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

As we announced on 16 October last year, we will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) 2017 and its provisions on age verification for online pornography as originally intended. Instead we will repeal Part 3 of the DEA and the online harms regime will include provisions to protect children from age-inappropriate content, including online pornography. Our Online Harms proposals will go further than the DEA’s focus on online pornography on commercial adult sites and provide a higher level of protection for children.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on implementing the relevant age-verification sections of the Digital Economy Act 2017.

As we announced on 16 October last year, we will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) 2017 and its provisions on age verification for online pornography as originally intended. Instead we will repeal Part 3 of the DEA and the online harms regime will include provisions to protect children from age-inappropriate content, including online pornography. Our Online Harms proposals will go further than the DEA’s focus on online pornography on commercial adult sites and provide a higher level of protection for children.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the situation relating to covid-19, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing emergency financial support for the tourism sector.

We are aware that the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting businesses across many sectors and that the tourism sector has been significantly impacted.

I regularly engage with stakeholders in the tourism sector and across Government on this developing issue. My Department and VisitBritain have organised two meetings between the industry and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and VisitBritain are organising weekly meetings with industry. I will continue to monitor its impact on the sector and would urge tourism businesses to share information with VisitBritain.

The Government announced a range of measures in the Budget to provide economic support for affected businesses, including SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector. I also discussed this matter in detail with my counterparts from the Devolved Administrations last week.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions the Government had the Scottish Government on the policy to limit the number of English-domiciled students studying at Scottish universities prior to the announcement of that policy on 1 June 2020.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I have regular meetings with Scottish ministers, and ministers from all the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. Meetings have included discussions on the development of student number controls policy.

Officials in the department also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, we will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system.

Student number controls for institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter, and it is right and fair that this policy should apply consistently wherever they are studying in the UK.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes in the level of international students numbers on the higher education sector.

In the 2018/19 academic year, tuition fees from international students at UK higher education providers accounted for around £7 billion of sector income. The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak will have an unparalleled impact on all elements of the global and UK economy. The higher education sector, including student recruitment, is no exception. We have been working closely with the sector to monitor the likely impacts of COVID-19 on international student numbers, including restrictions on travel. We understand that the COVID-19 outbreak and a possible reduction in the number of international students poses significant challenges and we stand ready to help the sector with various mitigations.

The government is working to ensure that existing rules and regulations, including visa regulations, are as flexible as possible for international students under these unprecedented circumstances. Higher education providers will also be flexible in accommodating applicants’ circumstances where possible, including if applicants are unable to travel to the UK in time for the start of the academic year.

On Monday 4 May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced the package of measures to stabilise university admissions this autumn and ensure sustainability in higher education at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. I wrote to all hon. Members on 4 May with full details of the package, which have also been published on GOV.UK: www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-package-for-universities-and-students.

The new graduate route, due to be launched in summer 2021, provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay and work in the UK at any skill level for 2 years. This represents a significant improvement in our offer to international students and will help to ensure that our world-leading higher education sector remains competitive internationally.

On Friday 5 June, the Department for Education announced Sir Steve Smith as the International Education Champion, a key deliverable of the 2019 International Education Strategy. Sir Steve will assist with opening up export growth opportunities for the whole UK education sector, tackling international challenges such as those posed to attracting international students and forging lasting global connections. The International Education Strategy,?published in March 2019 by the Department for Education and the Department for International Trade, set out a commitment to review progress following its publication.??The review, which we intend to publish this autumn, will?ensure that the International Education Strategy?responds to this new context and the challenges that are?posed.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has made an assessment of the potential merits of hiring larger halls to help meet the increased demand for driving theory tests after the extended suspension of the delivery of those tests in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) understands the effect that the pandemic has had on all those involved with driver training and testing. It is inevitable the demand for existing and new learners wanting to book theory and practical driving tests will be higher than usual.

The DVSA has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA is also running a recruitment campaign to increase the overall number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The DVSA is aware there has been an unprecedented demand for theory tests in Scotland. The DVSA is working with its theory test provider, Pearson VUE, to explore ways in which it can increase theory test capacity in Scotland, including extending opening hours and running tests on extra days where possible.

The DVSA is continuing to work with the Scottish Government but as a result of the 2 metre physical distancing restrictions in Scotland, it is unable to increase the number of desks used to take tests.

The DVSA and its theory test contract provider, Pearson VUE, have explored the possibility of delivering the theory tests outside of existing sites, but this was found to be not suitable as it is dependent upon a physical infrastructure within the Pearson VUE network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help meet the additional demands on Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency testing facilities since those testing facilities have reopened in response to the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) understands the effect that the pandemic has had on all those involved with driver training and testing. It is inevitable the demand for existing and new learners wanting to book theory and practical driving tests will be higher than usual.

The DVSA has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA is also running a recruitment campaign to increase the overall number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The DVSA is aware there has been an unprecedented demand for theory tests in Scotland. The DVSA is working with its theory test provider, Pearson VUE, to explore ways in which it can increase theory test capacity in Scotland, including extending opening hours and running tests on extra days where possible.

The DVSA is continuing to work with the Scottish Government but as a result of the 2 metre physical distancing restrictions in Scotland, it is unable to increase the number of desks used to take tests.

The DVSA and its theory test contract provider, Pearson VUE, have explored the possibility of delivering the theory tests outside of existing sites, but this was found to be not suitable as it is dependent upon a physical infrastructure within the Pearson VUE network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the level of additional demands on Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency testing facilities since those testing facilities have reopened in response to the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) understands the effect that the pandemic has had on all those involved with driver training and testing. It is inevitable the demand for existing and new learners wanting to book theory and practical driving tests will be higher than usual.

The DVSA has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA is also running a recruitment campaign to increase the overall number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The DVSA is aware there has been an unprecedented demand for theory tests in Scotland. The DVSA is working with its theory test provider, Pearson VUE, to explore ways in which it can increase theory test capacity in Scotland, including extending opening hours and running tests on extra days where possible.

The DVSA is continuing to work with the Scottish Government but as a result of the 2 metre physical distancing restrictions in Scotland, it is unable to increase the number of desks used to take tests.

The DVSA and its theory test contract provider, Pearson VUE, have explored the possibility of delivering the theory tests outside of existing sites, but this was found to be not suitable as it is dependent upon a physical infrastructure within the Pearson VUE network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to provide financial support to NATS during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of financial support options for the aviation industry. We expect this to be made use of before bespoke support could be considered.

I have met with NATS, and departmental officials remain in regular contact with the NATS senior management team, to understand the financial impacts on the company from the current crisis, how these impacts are being managed and the potential need for financial support. We understand the risk of short term insolvency at this point to be low and we are working with them on the longer term.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the financial sustainability of NATS to maintain management of (a) UK sovereign airspace and (b) operational air traffic services to (i) airlines and (ii) airports.

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of financial support options for the aviation industry. We expect this to be made use of before bespoke support could be considered.

I have met with NATS, and departmental officials remain in regular contact with the NATS senior management team, to understand the financial impacts on the company from the current crisis, how these impacts are being managed and the potential need for financial support. We understand the risk of short term insolvency at this point to be low and we are working with them on the longer term.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with her Australian counterpart on the potential merits of a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK covering the uprating of pensions.

The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions on this issue with the Government of Australia.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of the Canadian Government’s request for a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK covering the uprating of pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions plans to respond shortly on this issue.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to amend the 36 week eligibility requirement for Support for Mortgage Interest payments to support people struggling with mortgage payments due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has no plans to amend the qualifying period for Support for Mortgage Interest.

Home owners struggling with mortgage repayments because of COVID-19 should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss what support might be available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to resume assessments for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit claims during the covid-19 outbreak.

Our priority throughout this health emergency continues to be to protect the public and staff, while ensuring people get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and safely. Reviews and reassessments remain suspended while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice. We will confirm next steps as soon as possible.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department are taking to ensure that no claimant for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit loses out due to delays in assessment due to the covid-19 outbreak.

I can reassure you that IIDB is being treated with the same priority as other benefits and we are working closely with our stakeholders to restart assessments safely as soon as possible. Once face-to-face assessments are recommenced and cases progressed, awards will be backdated to the date of claim to ensure no one is underpaid. In the meantime, for claimants with the most serious or terminal conditions, claims continue to be processed and decisions made as normal. We are actively considering how to deal with those cases not currently being processed.

Reassessment case awards have been extended to ensure that payments continue unhindered on those cases. Any deteriorations in condition which would have meant an increase in award, will be backdated once face-to-face assessments recommence, to ensure that no one is underpaid.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to assess the (a) availability and (b) dissemination of covid-19 vaccine information in (i) Tigrinya, (ii) Amharic, (iii) Blen, (iv) Kibajuni, (v) KiSwahili, (vi) Tigre, (vii) Oromo, (viii) Afar, (ix) Sidayama, (x) Wolayatta, (xi) Hausa, (xii) Chichewa, (xiii) Igbo, (xiv) Pashto and (xv) other languages spoken by asylum seeker and refugee communities.

We are working closely with the National Health Service and Public Health England to provide advice and information at every possible opportunity to encourage people to come forward for vaccination when they are eligible, and support anyone who might have questions about the vaccination process, regardless of their immigration or residency status.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government Community Champions scheme works with trusted local leaders to engage with their communities. The Government’s vaccination programme includes the use of street ambassadors to provide advice and information to local communities. The teams include ambassadors who can speak KiSwahili, Oromo, Afar, Yoruba, Akan and Somali. The programme can access additional translation support if a local need is identified.

Anyone living in the United Kingdom, including refugees and asylum seekers, can receive the vaccine free of charge in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation groups. Because there is no charge for the vaccine for people living in the UK, no proof of residence or immigration status is needed. NHS Regional teams, working with various appropriate local systems will reach out to unregistered people to ensure they are offered the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle covid-19 vaccine misinformation among African communities in the UK by providing accurate information in (a) Tigrinya, (b) Amharic, (c) Blen, (d) Kibajuni, (e) KiSwahili, (f) Tigre, (g) Oromo, (h) Afar, (i) Sidayama, (j) Wolayatta, (k) Hausa, (l) Chichewa and (m) Igbo.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Community Champions scheme works with trusted local leaders to advise local communities about the vaccine and support local communities. The Government’s vaccination programme includes the use of street ambassadors to provide advice and information to local communities. The teams include ambassadors who can speak KiSwahili, Oromo, Afar, Yoruba, Akan and Somali.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the correspondence of 9 September 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow North West on patient recovery from covid-19.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made on the implications for his policies of Baroness Cumberlege’s recommendation of creating a statutory register of interest for doctors in the UK.

The Government is carefully considering the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and will provide an update in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to implement Baroness Cumberlege's recommendations on a compulsory declaration of interest register for doctors in the UK.

The Government is carefully considering the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and will provide an update in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the General Medical Council in the setting up of a compulsory declaration of interest register for doctors in the UK.

The Government is carefully considering the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and will provide an update in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress her Department is making through discussions with the US Administration on the lifting of the current travel ban applying to UK nationals travelling to that country.

On 10 June the Prime Minister and President Biden announced the formation of a UK-US travel taskforce with the purpose of sharing expertise and providing recommendations to leaders on the return of safe and sustainable international travel. The Government is aware of the significant impact this is having on many British Nationals and are engaging extensively with the US to try and find a resolution.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the humanitarian needs of people living in Myanmar are addressed, including access to food and shelter.

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is extremely serious. Displacement and humanitarian needs are increasing, and the military junta is blocking humanitarian deliveries to some places in the southeast and west of Myanmar. We are increasingly working through small scale local civil society organisations which are able to mobilise community support and reach places the UN and international humanitarian community cannot access.

Through our humanitarian mechanism we provide the most vulnerable populations in Myanmar with access to essential services: water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, food, healthcare and shelter materials. The UK has on average provided around 14% of all humanitarian assistance through the UN's Humanitarian Response Plan, placing the UK among the top three humanitarian donors in Myanmar. We are developing our response and have provided £5 million for emergency displacement and needs since the coup.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that international non-governmental organisations working across all 34 camps in Cox’s Bazar can facilitate access to education for Rohingya Children using the Myanmar Curriculum.

The UK Government, principally through the British High Commission in Dhaka, has regularly engaged with the Government of Bangladesh authorities in Dhaka and Cox's Bazar on the need to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to the camps to provide protection and critical assistance, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Bangladesh agreed in 2020 to ensure Rohingya children had access to the Myanmar curriculum. Since then the COVID-19 crisis has forced the closure of all learning centres in the camps. Education partners have tried to ensure continuity of learning, for example by providing caregivers with learning materials. We hope learning centres will re-open soon, with measures in place to ensure the safety of pupils and teachers. This includes piloting the Myanmar curriculum. We continue to stress the importance of providing education and livelihood opportunities for the Rohingya refugees for their well-being and to prepare for their voluntary, safe and dignified return to Myanmar when the conditions are right.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) assist with support for refugees at the Kutpalong refugee camp in Bangladesh and (b) work with local officials to facilitate long-term solutions for people living in that camp.

The UK Government regularly engages with the Bangladesh authorities in Dhaka and Cox's Bazar on the need to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to the camps to provide protection and critical assistance, including during the pandemic. I met with UNHCR last week to discuss conditions in Cox's Bazar. The UK has emphasised the importance of maintaining the civilian nature of the camp, as well as ensuring fencing does not block access in or out of the camps and to services. We have also stressed the importance of providing education and livelihood opportunities for the Rohingya refugees for their well-being and to prepare for their voluntary, safe and dignified return to Myanmar when the conditions are right.

The UK remains a leading donor to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh. At the launch of the Joint Response Plan on 18 May, we announced £27.6 million in new funding to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, bringing our total contribution over £320 million since the crisis started in 2017. Our financial contribution will continue to deliver lifesaving aid to both Rohingya refugees and host communities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to work with agencies at a local level to facilitate the removal of the fence surrounding the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The UK Government regularly engages with the Bangladesh authorities in Dhaka and Cox's Bazar on the need to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to the camps to provide protection and critical assistance, including during the pandemic. I met with UNHCR last week to discuss conditions in Cox's Bazar. The UK has emphasised the importance of maintaining the civilian nature of the camp, as well as ensuring fencing does not block access in or out of the camps and to services. We have also stressed the importance of providing education and livelihood opportunities for the Rohingya refugees for their well-being and to prepare for their voluntary, safe and dignified return to Myanmar when the conditions are right.

The UK remains a leading donor to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh. At the launch of the Joint Response Plan on 18 May, we announced £27.6 million in new funding to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, bringing our total contribution over £320 million since the crisis started in 2017. Our financial contribution will continue to deliver lifesaving aid to both Rohingya refugees and host communities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Myanmar on (a) the de-escalation of the current crisis in Myanmar and (b) a long-term peace process involving all parties.

The UK is clear in its condemnation of the coup and the appalling violence by the military, which has left over 850 people dead. The UK is calling for a peaceful and inclusive political resolution to the crisis. Following the coup, Our Ambassador to Yangon attended an Ambassador's briefing with the military appointed officials, where he clearly set out UK demands and our opposition to the coup. We continue to call publicly for a return to democracy and the release of all those in arbitrary detention, including democratically elected politicians, journalists, civil society and foreign nationals. We are using all levers available to us to achieve this end, this includes sanctions and working to prevent the flow of arms to Myanmar.

We have also welcomed the Five Point Consensus on Myanmar reached at the ASEAN leaders' meeting in April and ASEAN's role in addressing the crisis and supported ASEAN's call for an end to violence, for restraint, and for a peaceful resolution. As was made clear in the communique after the G7 leaders, under UK leadership, made clear earlier this month the military must implement this plan without delay.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) facilitate increased humanitarian access in Myanmar and (b) ensure that aid agencies and staff are protected.

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is extremely serious. Displacement and humanitarian needs are increasing, and the military junta is denying humanitarian and commercial food supplies to some places in the southeast and west of Myanmar. We are increasingly working through small scale local civil society organisations which are able to mobilise community support and reach places the UN and international humanitarian community cannot access. The UK has used the UN Security Council to call for humanitarian access, including the session on 18 June. G7 Foreign Ministers under UK leadership made a clear call for humanitarian access at their meeting in May. The UK supported the UN General Assembly resolution on Myanmar, adopted on 18 June, which called for humanitarian access.

Humanitarian supplies and actors are increasingly targeted. We are adapting our humanitarian programme to respond to the changing context; increasing the use of remote management to minimise movements of humanitarian staff, engaging with ethnic armed organisations on security and supporting the community as first responders where we can.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support (a) national governments and (b) international NGOs to ensure that they have the capacity and resources to safeguard the lives of children fleeing the Myanmar conflict.

We continue to ensure that UK aid in Myanmar prioritises the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people fleeing conflict, including mothers and children. The UK is one of the biggest humanitarian donors. Since the coup, we have provided over £5 million in new humanitarian funding for The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UN, and local and International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). We have also reprioritised over £2.5 million of humanitarian funding to International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) to ensure they can channel support through local partners to reach displaced families.

Outside Myanmar, the UK has been a leading donor to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, providing over £320 million since 2017. We are also supporting refugees displaced to Thailand via The Border Consortium, with a commitment of £3.8 million to the consortium since December 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking in Myanmar to (a) facilitate access to education and (b) tackle barriers to educational access, including (i) early marriage, (ii) exploitation and (iii) sexual and physical violence.

Long term conflict, displacement and economic hardship are major barriers to education in Myanmar. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of most schools in March 2020, with limited home-based learning opportunities. The February 2021 military coup caused violence and poverty, and although the regime ordered schools to reopen in June 2021, across most of the country students and teachers have not returned, for fear of violence, COVID-19, or legitimating the regime. Data from 2017 suggests around 16% of girls in Myanmar are married before they are 18. This is linked to school drop-out and often means the end to a girl's formal education.

The UK remains committed to ensure disadvantaged children can still access learning. For example, through the Myanmar Education Consortium, the UK is supporting 167,000 children in ethnic basic education provider (EBEP) run school systems to overcome barriers to access and quality or to study at home. Around half of these children are girls. The UK promotes gender equality across its work in Myanmar, this includes our support to women's rights organisations who challenge norms around violence and discrimination against children and women. We are also working with international partners to ensure continuity of education across the country, as far as possible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking in Myanmar to (a) support child protection and (b) facilitate access to psychosocial support for children.

We are extremely concerned about the worsening situation in Myanmar, and the acute impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of children in Myanmar. Children are being killed, wounded, detained and exposed to tear gas and stun grenades and are witnessing scenes of violence. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR's) latest figures, 200,000 have been displaced, cutting children off from essential services. Humanitarian access for providing urgent assistance to those affected by violence and conflict in Myanmar is increasingly constrained. Access to education and access to healthcare have been severely disrupted since the coup. The UK has on average provided around 14% of all humanitarian assistance through the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), placing the UK among the top three humanitarian donors in Myanmar. We are developing our response and have provided £5 million for emergency displacement and needs since the coup.

The UK is committed to children in Myanmar and to providing the services critical for children's survival and wellbeing. A large part of the humanitarian caseload are children and, through national and international organisations, civil society and the UN, we are providing assistance in health, nutrition, protection and education. The UK supports global human rights actors and monitoring mechanisms, such as the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), to monitor and collate evidence of all forms of violence and abuse in relation to the coup, including gender based violence and violence against children. I met with the IIMM on 17 June to discuss its critical role in preserving evidence, and the UK's continued support for the mechanism.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he taking to help ensure that children in Myanmar are protected against (a) exploitation, (b) sexual violence and (c) physical violence during the current crisis.

We are extremely concerned about the worsening situation in Myanmar, and the acute impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of children in Myanmar. Children are being killed, wounded, detained and exposed to tear gas and stun grenades and are witnessing scenes of violence. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR's) latest figures, 200,000 have been displaced, cutting children off from essential services. Humanitarian access for providing urgent assistance to those affected by violence and conflict in Myanmar is increasingly constrained. Access to education and access to healthcare have been severely disrupted since the coup. The UK has on average provided around 14% of all humanitarian assistance through the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), placing the UK among the top three humanitarian donors in Myanmar. We are developing our response and have provided £5 million for emergency displacement and needs since the coup.

The UK is committed to children in Myanmar and to providing the services critical for children's survival and wellbeing. A large part of the humanitarian caseload are children and, through national and international organisations, civil society and the UN, we are providing assistance in health, nutrition, protection and education. The UK supports global human rights actors and monitoring mechanisms, such as the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), to monitor and collate evidence of all forms of violence and abuse in relation to the coup, including gender based violence and violence against children. I met with the IIMM on 17 June to discuss its critical role in preserving evidence, and the UK's continued support for the mechanism.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking (a) in response to the disruption to the covid-19 strategy in Myanmar and (b) to prevent the further spread of covid-19 in that country.

The UK has provided £35.5 million for the COVID response in Myanmar to date, which is being delivered via NGOs and UN organisations. We have also re-orientated our wider aid portfolio to mitigate the effects of COVID, prioritising support for health and humanitarian support. UK aid is supporting COVID prevention and providing essential access to clean water, food, sanitation and medical services. We are working with civil society organisations in conflict-affected areas not controlled by the government to improve risk communication within communities and expand testing. We are concerned about reports of rising numbers of COVID cases in Myanmar. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with our partners to respond.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of levels of violence against or detention of faith leaders and religious figures in Myanmar.

The UK is very concerned by divisive, racist and nationalist propaganda perpetuated by the military regime since the coup. Our Embassy is meeting with a range of stakeholders, including Buddhist, Christian and Muslim leaders who are bravely standing up against the military junta. The UK also works with partners and other community leaders to improve religious tolerance and social cohesion through facilitating a greater understanding of religious and cultural differences, and promoting dialogue between different communities across Myanmar.

We continue to raise our concern, including at the UN Human Rights Council, at the Race and Religion Laws and the 1982 Citizenship Law which have been used to discriminate against non-Buddhists.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support dialogue and a peaceful transfer of power to the democratically elected government in Myanmar.

The UK is clear that the military must respect the results of the November 2020 general election and accept the expressed wishes of the people of Myanmar. We will continue to put pressure on them to that end. The UK is working with partners across the region and the international community who share our ambitions and aims for a democratic Myanmar.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of political prisoners in Myanmar and (b) the number of peaceful protestors killed in Myanmar since the coup in that country.

The reports of the arbitrary detention of thousands of people, as well as credible reports of torture are deeply concerning. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners estimates that 3,000 people have been detained and over 700 killed since the start of the coup. The UK is appalled at the actions of the military in killing its own people. The killing of children, many in their own homes, is particularly abhorrent. The violent crackdown on peaceful protestors is completely unacceptable and requires a strong message from the international community. It is essential that all those arbitrarily detained, are released. We condemn the politically motivated charges against those who are protesting the coup.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Myanmar military on the torture of political prisoners in that country.

The arbitrary detention of thousands of people, as well as credible reports of torture are deeply concerning. It is essential that all those arbitrarily detained, are released. We condemn the politically motivated charges against those who are protesting against the coup. The people's right to a peaceful protest should be respected. We urge the military to exercise utmost restraint and respect human rights and international law.

We continue to shine a spotlight on the actions of the military on the international stage, including through the UN Security Council and the G7. On 10 March, the UK secured a Presidential Statement at the UN Security Council condemning violence and calling on the military to respect human rights and democracy.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK Government is taking to promote adherence to international human rights law and electoral transparency in Uganda with regard to the Presidential elections in that country in 2021.

GROUPED WITH PQS 145811 & 145812.

I [Minister Duddridge] spoke to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, on 26 November 2020 to express concern about the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi and the violence that followed. I [Minister Duddridge] sought reassurances that Ugandan security forces would show restraint and raised the importance of the rights of Ugandans to freely express their views. Ahead of the elections of 14 January, I [Minister Duddridge] raised the importance of British officials observing the vote in further calls with Foreign Minister Kutesa and with the Ugandan High Commissioner. The UK deployed 51 Election Observers across 120 polling stations in Uganda on election day.

I [Minister Duddridge] also publicly expressed my disappointment about the internet shutdown on 14 January and my concerns at reduced transparency of the elections. I have since set out our concerns, in a statement of 17 January, about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and have urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. I [Minister Duddridge] welcome the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January 2021 lifting restrictions on Robert Kyagulanyi, and that the British High Commissioner was able to meet with him on 27 January 2021. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, the UK will continue to follow post-election developments closely, and engage with the Ugandan Government and Ugandans to advocate for democracy.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Ugandan counterparts on reports of human rights violations during the recent Presidential elections in that country.

GROUPED WITH PQS 145811 & 145812.

I [Minister Duddridge] spoke to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, on 26 November 2020 to express concern about the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi and the violence that followed. I [Minister Duddridge] sought reassurances that Ugandan security forces would show restraint and raised the importance of the rights of Ugandans to freely express their views. Ahead of the elections of 14 January, I [Minister Duddridge] raised the importance of British officials observing the vote in further calls with Foreign Minister Kutesa and with the Ugandan High Commissioner. The UK deployed 51 Election Observers across 120 polling stations in Uganda on election day.

I [Minister Duddridge] also publicly expressed my disappointment about the internet shutdown on 14 January and my concerns at reduced transparency of the elections. I have since set out our concerns, in a statement of 17 January, about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and have urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. I [Minister Duddridge] welcome the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January 2021 lifting restrictions on Robert Kyagulanyi, and that the British High Commissioner was able to meet with him on 27 January 2021. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, the UK will continue to follow post-election developments closely, and engage with the Ugandan Government and Ugandans to advocate for democracy.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK Government is taking to help ensure the safety of Ugandan opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi after being placed under house arrest by Ugandan forces.

GROUPED WITH PQS 145811 & 145812.

I [Minister Duddridge] spoke to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, on 26 November 2020 to express concern about the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi and the violence that followed. I [Minister Duddridge] sought reassurances that Ugandan security forces would show restraint and raised the importance of the rights of Ugandans to freely express their views. Ahead of the elections of 14 January, I [Minister Duddridge] raised the importance of British officials observing the vote in further calls with Foreign Minister Kutesa and with the Ugandan High Commissioner. The UK deployed 51 Election Observers across 120 polling stations in Uganda on election day.

I [Minister Duddridge] also publicly expressed my disappointment about the internet shutdown on 14 January and my concerns at reduced transparency of the elections. I have since set out our concerns, in a statement of 17 January, about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and have urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. I [Minister Duddridge] welcome the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January 2021 lifting restrictions on Robert Kyagulanyi, and that the British High Commissioner was able to meet with him on 27 January 2021. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, the UK will continue to follow post-election developments closely, and engage with the Ugandan Government and Ugandans to advocate for democracy.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to investigate the use of child labour in cobalt mines in Congo.

The UK Government is deeply concerned by continued reports of children working in the artisanal mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UK is fully committed to seeing an end to such practices by 2030 as laid out in the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

UK officials monitor trends in child labour in mining in DRC, including by working closely with partners such as the UN Joint Human Rights Organisation who report human rights abuses in DRC and raise concerns regularly with the DRC Government. As an active member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative, which promotes responsible practice, the UK has met the DRC Government and local actors in the mining sector to press for adherence to the Voluntary Principles, with a view to eventual membership of DRC.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has undertaken a cost analysis of its pursuit of IR35 cases.

The vast majority of employment status decisions, including decisions on the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as IR35), are straightforward and settled without the need to go to tribunal. However, a number are more finely balanced, generally because of their complexity or because there are unusual circumstances and it is not possible to reach agreement. It is right for HMRC to litigate these cases.

HMRC’s responsibilities are to secure the best practicable return for the Exchequer. Entering into, taking forward and resolving disputes contribute to meeting that objective. This requires consideration not only of the tax at stake in cases (i.e. a straightforward costs analysis) but also wider impacts, including potential tax liabilities of other taxpayers.

Since 2001, HMRC has taken 40 cases regarding the off-payroll working rules to the Tax Tribunal.

Work on off-payroll working rules cases is carried out by a number of HMRC teams. These teams are also involved in other cases and other litigation and as a result, HMRC do not hold specific information relating to the overall cost of pursuing cases (which is mitigated to some extent by HMRC’s recovery of costs in litigation which it wins).

HMRC’s approach to litigation generally is set out in their published Litigation and Settlement Strategy. Disputes are costly for both HMRC and individual taxpayers and HMRC are committed to supporting taxpayers to get their tax right without the need for a dispute.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much revenue to the Exchequer has been raised in pursuing IR35 cases through tribunals and the courts in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The vast majority of employment status decisions, including decisions on the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as IR35), are straightforward and settled without the need to go to tribunal. However, a number are more finely balanced, generally because of their complexity or because there are unusual circumstances and it is not possible to reach agreement. It is right for HMRC to litigate these cases.

HMRC’s responsibilities are to secure the best practicable return for the Exchequer. Entering into, taking forward and resolving disputes contribute to meeting that objective. This requires consideration not only of the tax at stake in cases (i.e. a straightforward costs analysis) but also wider impacts, including potential tax liabilities of other taxpayers.

Since 2001, HMRC has taken 40 cases regarding the off-payroll working rules to the Tax Tribunal.

Work on off-payroll working rules cases is carried out by a number of HMRC teams. These teams are also involved in other cases and other litigation and as a result, HMRC do not hold specific information relating to the overall cost of pursuing cases (which is mitigated to some extent by HMRC’s recovery of costs in litigation which it wins).

HMRC’s approach to litigation generally is set out in their published Litigation and Settlement Strategy. Disputes are costly for both HMRC and individual taxpayers and HMRC are committed to supporting taxpayers to get their tax right without the need for a dispute.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HMRC has spent on pursuing IR35 cases through tribunals and the courts.

The vast majority of employment status decisions, including decisions on the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as IR35), are straightforward and settled without the need to go to tribunal. However, a number are more finely balanced, generally because of their complexity or because there are unusual circumstances and it is not possible to reach agreement. It is right for HMRC to litigate these cases.

HMRC’s responsibilities are to secure the best practicable return for the Exchequer. Entering into, taking forward and resolving disputes contribute to meeting that objective. This requires consideration not only of the tax at stake in cases (i.e. a straightforward costs analysis) but also wider impacts, including potential tax liabilities of other taxpayers.

Since 2001, HMRC has taken 40 cases regarding the off-payroll working rules to the Tax Tribunal.

Work on off-payroll working rules cases is carried out by a number of HMRC teams. These teams are also involved in other cases and other litigation and as a result, HMRC do not hold specific information relating to the overall cost of pursuing cases (which is mitigated to some extent by HMRC’s recovery of costs in litigation which it wins).

HMRC’s approach to litigation generally is set out in their published Litigation and Settlement Strategy. Disputes are costly for both HMRC and individual taxpayers and HMRC are committed to supporting taxpayers to get their tax right without the need for a dispute.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many IR35 cases have been pursued through tribunals and the courts.

The vast majority of employment status decisions, including decisions on the off-payroll working rules (commonly known as IR35), are straightforward and settled without the need to go to tribunal. However, a number are more finely balanced, generally because of their complexity or because there are unusual circumstances and it is not possible to reach agreement. It is right for HMRC to litigate these cases.

HMRC’s responsibilities are to secure the best practicable return for the Exchequer. Entering into, taking forward and resolving disputes contribute to meeting that objective. This requires consideration not only of the tax at stake in cases (i.e. a straightforward costs analysis) but also wider impacts, including potential tax liabilities of other taxpayers.

Since 2001, HMRC has taken 40 cases regarding the off-payroll working rules to the Tax Tribunal.

Work on off-payroll working rules cases is carried out by a number of HMRC teams. These teams are also involved in other cases and other litigation and as a result, HMRC do not hold specific information relating to the overall cost of pursuing cases (which is mitigated to some extent by HMRC’s recovery of costs in litigation which it wins).

HMRC’s approach to litigation generally is set out in their published Litigation and Settlement Strategy. Disputes are costly for both HMRC and individual taxpayers and HMRC are committed to supporting taxpayers to get their tax right without the need for a dispute.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to reduce VAT on essential repairs to pre-1919 properties.

There was previously a zero rate of VAT on restorative work to listed and historic buildings. However, the relief was mainly being used to carry out extension work, which was contrary to the intent of the legislation to preserve heritage, and was removed following consultation in 2012.

The Government has no current plans to change the VAT treatment of restorative construction work on listed and historic buildings.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether companies in breach of consumer contracts are eligible for covid-19 support.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) enforces rules on unfair contract terms. On 30th April the CMA published a statement on its views on consumer protection law including in relation to COVID-19. People and businesses who have seen or experienced businesses behaving unfairly during the coronavirus outbreak can report it to the CMA by using their dedicated webpage: https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Glasgow North West constituency of 1 April 2020 in relation to support for the self-employed, temporary and freelance workers.

HM Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and apologises for the delay in responding to the Honourable Member. The Honourable Members’ correspondence is receiving attention and will be replied to as soon as possible.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 6 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow North West on access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for new employees.

HM Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and apologises for the delay in responding to the Honourable Member. The Honourable Members’ correspondence is receiving attention and will be replied to as soon as possible.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 24 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow North West on umbrella employment and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

HM Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and apologises for the delay in responding to the Honourable Member. The Honourable Members’ correspondence is receiving attention and will be replied to as soon as possible.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he would make a change in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme regulations to allow the 2019-20 tax year results to be used in calculations for payments made under that scheme.

It has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons. It is correct that individuals can now submit Income Tax Self Assessment returns for 2019-20, but there would be significant risks for the public purse if the Government relied on these returns for the scheme. HMRC would not be able to distinguish genuine self-employed individuals who started trading in 2019-20 from fake applications by fraudulent operators and organised criminal gangs seeking to exploit the SEISS. The Government cannot expose the tax system to these risks.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said there will be no further extension or changes to the SEISS. However, the newly self-employed may still be eligible for other financial support provided by the Government. The SEISS is one element of a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses, including the newly self-employed. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to make an announcement on the next stage of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on 29 May.

Eligible individuals whose business is adversely affected by COVID-19 will be able to claim a second and final grant when the scheme reopens for further applications in August. Individuals will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits and capped at £6,570 in total.

There will be no further changes and no further extensions to the scheme, which continues to be one of the most generous in the world.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including the Post Office Document Certification service in the list of approved document certifiers for HMRC services.

HMRC currently have no plans to ask the Post Office to provide document verification services.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the Third Report of the Treasury Committee, Session 2019, published on 1 November 2019.

The government responded to the report on 5th February 2020 and the Committee will publish our response in the usual way in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to place the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payment on a statutory footing.

In March 2018, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) established a steering group of financial institutions and consumer representatives to develop a voluntary code of good practice to help protect consumers against authorized push payment (APP) scams.

At the end of February 2019, the steering group published the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payments (the Code), which sets out the agreed principles for greater protection of consumers and the circumstances in which they will be reimbursed, making a significant step in delivering improved protections for consumers. The Code became effective on 28 May 2019 and customers of those payment service providers that are signatories (which includes all of the 6 largest banks and building societies) are protected under the Code from this date.

The Code is still in its infancy and the Government believes it should be given time to embed and take full effect before its effectiveness can properly be assessed. The Lending Standards Board (LSB), which is responsible for the Code, has committed to a first annual review of its operation in Summer 2020 and will shortly publish more information about its planned approach, including its intention to consult widely with consumer representatives and the industry. The Government looks forward to reviewing these findings when they become available.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payment Fraud retrospective.

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) established a non-governmental steering group of financial institutions and consumer representatives in March 2018 to develop a voluntary code of good practice to help protect consumers against Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. At the end of February 2019, the steering group published the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payments (the Code). The Code became effective on 28 May 2019 and customers of those payment service providers that are signatories are protected under the Code from this date. The Government recognises this may be disappointing for victims of APP scams that occurred before this date.

If a victim of an APP scam is not satisfied with how their payment service provider has handled their specific case, they may wish to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS was established by Government to provide a proportionate, prompt and informal resolution of disputes between a consumer and financial service firm.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will consider developing a mobile phone app for visa holders to use as an alternative to the Employer Checking Service to demonstrate their right to (a) work and (b) reside.

The existing online Right to Work, Right to Rent and “View and Prove your Immigration Status” services can already be quickly, simply and safely used on a mobile phone web browser. They enable visa holders to generate “share codes” that can be passed on to employers, landlords and other parties, enabling them to check the visa holder’s rights and conditions of stay in the UK. Likewise, third parties given a share code can just as easily use a mobile phone web browser to view the information shared by the visa holder in this way.

Our digital services are constantly being improved based on user feedback and research. We will consider whether a cost-effective mobile phone app could be introduced and would bring benefits to visa holders and checkers over and above the current status checking service.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken to assess potential victim of human trafficking cases.

There is no target timeframe in which to make conclusive grounds decisions in the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). A decision can only be made fairly and reasonably once sufficient information has been made available to the competent authority for it to complete the decision.

When the competent authority has received sufficient information for it to complete a decision it should seek to do so. This is done as soon as possible once a potential victim has been provided with a minimum of 45 calendar days of the recovery period they are eligible for, during which they may access the support and protections of the NRM. Timescales on individual decisions can vary according to the relative complexity of each case and on sufficient information being made available to the competent authority by the parties involved.

The Home Office is mindful of the substantial increase in referrals into the National Referral Mechanism in recent years, with 10,613 referrals made in 2020. To address the time taken to make decisions in the NRM, we have already introduced a digital referral and casework system to increase the efficiency of decision making in the system. We are also undertaking work to better ensure that first responders are providing quality information that can better enable prompt decisions from the Home Office. As part of wider work to identify sustainable models for the NRM, in June 2021 we launched a series of pilots across the United Kingdom, including in Glasgow City Centre, to test devolving the responsibility to make NRM decisions for child victims of modern slavery from the Home Office to local authorities for 12 months.

Further, in the course of the last year the Home Office has been recruiting a significant number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and bring down decision making timescales.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Potential Victim of Trafficking cases have been received by her Department in each of the last 5 years.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include how many Potential Victim of Trafficking cases have been received each year. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Statistics prior to Q2 2019 were produced by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and can be found here: Publications - National Crime Agency

There is no target timeframe in which to make conclusive grounds decisions in the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). A decision can only be made fairly and reasonably once sufficient information has been made available to the competent authority for it to complete the decision. When the competent authority has received sufficient information for it to complete a decision it should seek to do so.

This is done as soon as possible once a potential victim has been provided with a minimum of 45 calendar days of the recovery period they are eligible for, during which they may access the support and protections of the NRM. Timescales on individual decisions can vary according to the relative complexity of each case and on sufficient information being made available to the competent authority by the parties involved.

In the course of the last year the Single Competent Authority has been recruiting a significant number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and bring down decision making timescales.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the average length of time taken to assess Potential Victim of Trafficking cases received by her Department over the last 5 years.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include how many Potential Victim of Trafficking cases have been received each year. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Statistics prior to Q2 2019 were produced by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and can be found here: Publications - National Crime Agency

There is no target timeframe in which to make conclusive grounds decisions in the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). A decision can only be made fairly and reasonably once sufficient information has been made available to the competent authority for it to complete the decision. When the competent authority has received sufficient information for it to complete a decision it should seek to do so.

This is done as soon as possible once a potential victim has been provided with a minimum of 45 calendar days of the recovery period they are eligible for, during which they may access the support and protections of the NRM. Timescales on individual decisions can vary according to the relative complexity of each case and on sufficient information being made available to the competent authority by the parties involved.

In the course of the last year the Single Competent Authority has been recruiting a significant number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and bring down decision making timescales.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of Potential Victim of Trafficking applications being handled by her Department that are yet to be resolved and were made over (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) five years ago.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include how many Potential Victim of Trafficking cases have been received each year. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Statistics prior to Q2 2019 were produced by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and can be found here: Publications - National Crime Agency

There is no target timeframe in which to make conclusive grounds decisions in the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). A decision can only be made fairly and reasonably once sufficient information has been made available to the competent authority for it to complete the decision. When the competent authority has received sufficient information for it to complete a decision it should seek to do so.

This is done as soon as possible once a potential victim has been provided with a minimum of 45 calendar days of the recovery period they are eligible for, during which they may access the support and protections of the NRM. Timescales on individual decisions can vary according to the relative complexity of each case and on sufficient information being made available to the competent authority by the parties involved.

In the course of the last year the Single Competent Authority has been recruiting a significant number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and bring down decision making timescales.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to introduce target timeframes for the determination of all applications to her Department.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include how many Potential Victim of Trafficking cases have been received each year. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Statistics prior to Q2 2019 were produced by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and can be found here: Publications - National Crime Agency

There is no target timeframe in which to make conclusive grounds decisions in the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). A decision can only be made fairly and reasonably once sufficient information has been made available to the competent authority for it to complete the decision. When the competent authority has received sufficient information for it to complete a decision it should seek to do so.

This is done as soon as possible once a potential victim has been provided with a minimum of 45 calendar days of the recovery period they are eligible for, during which they may access the support and protections of the NRM. Timescales on individual decisions can vary according to the relative complexity of each case and on sufficient information being made available to the competent authority by the parties involved.

In the course of the last year the Single Competent Authority has been recruiting a significant number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and bring down decision making timescales.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to enable people in Afghanistan to be reunited with family members in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons, including those with humanitarian protection in the UK, who were not called forward for evacuation as part of Op PITTING, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The British Embassy in Kabul has currently suspended in country operations and all UK diplomatic and consular staff have been temporarily withdrawn.

The UK is working with international partners to secure safe routes out of Afghanistan as soon as they become available, but while the security situation remains extremely volatile, we recommend people in Afghanistan do not make applications and pay application fees at this time as they will not be considered until biometrics are provided. Those Afghans who are outside of Afghanistan and able to get to a Visa Application Centre to provide their biometrics can make an application in the usual way.

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that asylum cases are determined on the basis of need rather than the route by which people arrive to the UK.

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

However, we have been clear that people should claim asylum in the first safe country that they reach and should not seek to enter the UK illegally. They should not put their lives at risk by leaving those safe countries and making unnecessary and dangerous onward journeys to the UK.

Inadmissibility is a longstanding process designed to prevent secondary movements across Europe. If an individual has a connection to or has passed through a safe country before arriving in the UK, we can declare their claim as inadmissible to our asylum process, and we will seek to return them to a safe country. If we cannot return an inadmissible claimant to a safe county within a reasonable period of time, we will consider their claim in the UK.

For claims admitted for consideration under the UK asylum process, decision makers carefully consider the claimant’s protection needs by assessing all the evidence provided by them in light of published country information guidance. Decision makers receive extensive training on considering asylum claims and must follow published Home Office policy guidance.

Each case that is admitted to our asylum process, irrespective of how the individual arrived in the UK, is carefully considered on its own merits. Protection is normally granted where a claimant has a well-founded fear of persecution under the Refugee Convention or their circumstances engage our obligations under Article 3 (ECHR). Those who qualify are granted five years’ limited leave and have access to the labour market and welfare support.

Those found not to need protection are refused, and the decision can be subject to legal challenge where appropriate either via appeal to the independent court or through a judicial review, depending on the decision in question. Once their appeals rights are exhausted, they are required to leave the UK.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to increase the amount of suitable asylum seeker accommodation.

The current global pandemic along with high intake presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation, including sourcing sufficient suitable accommodation to meet demand. The use of hotels and wider government facilities is a short-term measure and we are working with our accommodation providers to move people to longer-term dispersal accommodation as soon as it becomes available.

The Home Office is working closely with asylum accommodation providers, Local Authorities and Strategic Migration Partnerships to increase the amount of accommodation available for asylum seekers so we can eliminate the need for the use of contingency accommodation.

We are grateful to those local authorities who participate in the dispersal scheme and will continue to work in partnership with them to procure suitable accommodation. Sadly, many local authorities do not currently participate in the dispersal scheme, making it harder to procure sufficient dispersal accommodation. I would encourage them to step up and play their part in the UK-wide effort to provide accommodation to those seeking asylum who would otherwise be destitute.

We have established the Local Government Chief Executive Group (HOLGCEX) group to bring together senior representatives from Home Office, Local Government Association and local authorities with the aim of working in partnership to improve the asylum dispersal process for the people who use this service and the communities in which they reside.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department’s review of the rules regulating asylum seekers’ permission to work, commenced in December 2018, will conclude and report.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue. A review of the policy is ongoing, and we are considering the evidence put forward on the issue. The findings of the review will be announced once the work has been completed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timescale is for the commencement of her Department’s future UK refugee resettlement scheme.

The global UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) launched following the completion of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Through UKRS we are committed to welcoming refugees through resettlement in the months and years to come. This commitment, alongside a fair and firm asylum system, will see us continue to offer safe and legal routes to the UK for vulnerable refugees in need of protection.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to monitor the performance of private contractors providing accommodation and support to asylum seekers.

We expect the highest standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. The Home Office has access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. Where performance falls short of the required standard, failures are recorded and can result in the award of points and, ultimately, service credits being applied. Providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them.

This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process.

Contract management is operated in line with Covid-19 guidance. Service Delivery Managers speak daily with providers about service delivery and performance. ​In response to the global pandemic, officials also have formal meetings on a weekly basis to ensure individuals are housed safely, services are delivered in line with their contractual obligations and adherence to guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is followed. ​

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on particular areas of concern.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has for the continuation of refugee resettlement after the conclusion of the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme.

The UK will continue to welcome refugees through resettlement following the completion of the VPRS. This commitment, alongside a future firm and fair asylum system, will ensure we continue to offer safe and legal routes to the UK for vulnerable refugees in need of protection. Our focus will remain on helping people directly from regions of conflict and instability.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to make the process of applying for indefinite leave to remain more (a) straightforward and (b) affordable for Commonwealth veterans.

The UK Government hugely values every member of our outstanding Armed Forces and we are humbled when non-UK nationals choose to serve our country. It is for these reasons we explicitly provide for non-UK veterans discharged from HM Forces to obtain settlement in the UK via the online form SET(AF):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-settle-in-uk-as-former-member-of-hm-forces-setaf

The Home Office is engaging with MPs, campaigners and members of the public to assess whether those who have served in the Armed Forces should continue to pay settlement fees.

The Home Secretary recently met the Defence Secretary to consider how we can offer greater flexibility and support for such people, and their families, in future. Subject to collective agreement, the Ministry of Defence will be launching a public consultation on this issue in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for family reunion there have been under the Afghan ex gratia scheme since March 2019.

Qualifying dependant family members are able to apply to join Afghan interpreters relocated the UK under the Ex-Gratia Scheme.

The process of identifying family members suitable for relocation is a complicated one which requires employing departments to identify family members in addition to the verification of documents under challenging circumstances in Afghanistan.

The process of relocation has inevitably been impacted by COVID-19, those who have been approved for relocation will be brought to the UK once suitable accommodation has been sourced and support arrangements for arrival are in place.

The Home Office does not publish data on the volume of applications it receives - and approves - under the scheme.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for family reunion made under the Afghan ex gratia scheme since March 2019 have since been approved.

Qualifying dependant family members are able to apply to join Afghan interpreters relocated the UK under the Ex-Gratia Scheme.

The process of identifying family members suitable for relocation is a complicated one which requires employing departments to identify family members in addition to the verification of documents under challenging circumstances in Afghanistan.

The process of relocation has inevitably been impacted by COVID-19, those who have been approved for relocation will be brought to the UK once suitable accommodation has been sourced and support arrangements for arrival are in place.

The Home Office does not publish data on the volume of applications it receives - and approves - under the scheme.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the Loss of Access to Benefits award under the Windrush Compensation Scheme does not include circumstances where decisions by her Department have made an applicant ineligible for an award from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for determining eligibility for benefits, including decisions on whether to reinstate benefits or recompense for lost benefits. The Windrush Compensation Scheme will not make any payment in relation to DWP administered benefits but will work with DWP in order to facilitate the processing of claims in accordance with their usual rules. To the end of March, the Vulnerable Persons Team have made 364 referrals to DWP in relation to fresh claims and reinstatement of benefits.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason refused passport application fees are not covered under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) compensates individuals for fees associated with immigration applications that would have confirmed the lawful status they held at the time (British Citizenship, Right of Abode, Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter), but were unsuccessful because they were unable to provide sufficient evidence of that lawful status. Fees for immigration applications that were successful will not be awarded under the scheme because they gave individuals documentary evidence of their status.

The WCS will further compensate individuals if, following these unsuccessful immigration applications, in a reasonable attempt to resolve their immigration status they made additional, different, immigration applications (e.g. limited leave to remain) that also did not resolve their lawful status. Where it is decided to make a payment for these immigration application fees, any associated health charge paid under section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014 will also be made.

The WCS will not made any awards for fees associated with unsuccessful passport applications. This is in line with the scope of the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, because all individuals are required to pay for passport applications.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason fees for applications for Limited Leave to Remain are not covered under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) compensates individuals for fees associated with immigration applications that would have confirmed the lawful status they held at the time (British Citizenship, Right of Abode, Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter), but were unsuccessful because they were unable to provide sufficient evidence of that lawful status. Fees for immigration applications that were successful will not be awarded under the scheme because they gave individuals documentary evidence of their status.

The WCS will further compensate individuals if, following these unsuccessful immigration applications, in a reasonable attempt to resolve their immigration status they made additional, different, immigration applications (e.g. limited leave to remain) that also did not resolve their lawful status. Where it is decided to make a payment for these immigration application fees, any associated health charge paid under section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014 will also be made.

The WCS will not made any awards for fees associated with unsuccessful passport applications. This is in line with the scope of the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, because all individuals are required to pay for passport applications.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason Immigration Health Surcharge fees are not covered under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) compensates individuals for fees associated with immigration applications that would have confirmed the lawful status they held at the time (British Citizenship, Right of Abode, Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter), but were unsuccessful because they were unable to provide sufficient evidence of that lawful status. Fees for immigration applications that were successful will not be awarded under the scheme because they gave individuals documentary evidence of their status.

The WCS will further compensate individuals if, following these unsuccessful immigration applications, in a reasonable attempt to resolve their immigration status they made additional, different, immigration applications (e.g. limited leave to remain) that also did not resolve their lawful status. Where it is decided to make a payment for these immigration application fees, any associated health charge paid under section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014 will also be made.

The WCS will not made any awards for fees associated with unsuccessful passport applications. This is in line with the scope of the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, because all individuals are required to pay for passport applications.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons fees for successful but unnecessary applications to her Department are not covered under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) compensates individuals for fees associated with immigration applications that would have confirmed the lawful status they held at the time (British Citizenship, Right of Abode, Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter), but were unsuccessful because they were unable to provide sufficient evidence of that lawful status. Fees for immigration applications that were successful will not be awarded under the scheme because they gave individuals documentary evidence of their status.

The WCS will further compensate individuals if, following these unsuccessful immigration applications, in a reasonable attempt to resolve their immigration status they made additional, different, immigration applications (e.g. limited leave to remain) that also did not resolve their lawful status. Where it is decided to make a payment for these immigration application fees, any associated health charge paid under section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014 will also be made.

The WCS will not made any awards for fees associated with unsuccessful passport applications. This is in line with the scope of the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, because all individuals are required to pay for passport applications.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a temporary visa due to the covid-19 pandemic, particularly where those people have underlying health conditions that may make international travel more hazardous.

The latest information in respect of advice for visa holders can be found on GOV.UK at: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents. This is kept under review.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak. We recognise that further adjustments are likely to be required to cater for all scenarios, and we are working through these, to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of granting a further extension for people on a Tier 4 General Student visa due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The latest information in respect of advice for visa holders can be found on GOV.UK at: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents. This is kept under review.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak. We recognise that further adjustments are likely to be required to cater for all scenarios, and we are working through these, to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what additional resources her Department is providing to Visa Application Centres throughout the World to help them tackle backlogs that have developed as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Following initial closures as a result of global Covid-19 restrictions, Visa Application Centres (VACs) overseas and UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centres in the UK have started reopening in a phased way, with social distancing and other public health measures in place which has resulted in reduced appointment capacity.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is continuing to work with our commercial partners to ensure there is sufficient appointment availability so customers waiting for an appointment are able to enrol their biometrics and submit supporting documents safely and quickly.

Customers who have applied since services were suspended are being contacted and offered appointments in a phased way. For customers in the UK, in order to increase capacity and reduce customer contact UKVI will be reusing fingerprint biometrics for some customers who have supplied their fingerprints since July 2015. These customers do not need to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to extend the graduate work visa to students who currently hold a Tier 4 Visa.

The Graduate route will be launched in the Summer of 2021.

To be eligible for the route, students must successfully complete a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and hold valid leave as a student when the route is introduced. Students who complete their courses prior to the introduction of the route will not be eligible.

Current Tier 4 students can benefit from the route, if their leave expires after the route is introduced, regardless of when their courses commenced.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will issue letters of apology to all LGBT+ veterans who suffered significant (a) emotional and (b) financial hardship as a result of the former Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to provide compensation to LGBT+ veterans who have lost (a) earnings and (b) pensions as a result of the former Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to grant pardons to LGBT+ veterans who were convicted on account of their (a) sexuality or (b) gender identity during the Armed Forces ban on homosexuality.

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he is taking steps to identify LGBT+ veterans who may have been dismissed from the Armed Forces prior to 2000 on account of their sexuality but given other reasons for their dismissal.

My predecessor as Minister for Defence People and Veterans publicly apologised for the historic treatment of the LGBT veteran community and I reiterate that this treatment was entirely unacceptable. LGBT personnel have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the Armed Forces.

I am proud of this Government’s record on improving equality. We made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded and we are in the process of exploring how further Service Offences can be brought within the scope of the scheme to enable more veterans to benefit from it.

We have stated that we will go beyond existing actions in righting historic wrongs to the LGBT veteran community and I remain committed to doing so. Work is underway which will seek not only to understand and acknowledge the impacts of pre-millennium practices in the Armed Forces relating to gender identity and sexual orientation, but also where appropriate to address these impacts. We do not currently have plans to identify individuals.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Navy ships have had operations restricted as a result of covid-19 outbreaks amongst serving personnel.

We do not comment on the operational status of Royal Navy (RN) ships. The RN has continued to meet all operational tasking throughout the pandemic.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of armed forces enlistment before the age of 18 on the mental health of those service personnel.

The recent studies conducted by the King's Centre for Military Health Research and the University of Glasgow on the health outcomes of junior entrants to the UK Armed Forces have found there is little evidence that early recruitment is associated with an adverse impact on long-term mental health. Findings from these studies indicate that those who enter service as junior entrants have a lower risk of long-term mental health disorder than those recruited at older ages.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to maintaining the mental health and wellbeing of all our Armed Forces personnel, regardless of age, and recognises that Service life can cause stress. All Armed Forces personnel are supported by dedicated and comprehensive medical services including mental health support. MOD is working with the single Services, Defence Medical Services, and other stakeholders to promote mental fitness and reduce associated stigma.

The MOD is clear that the duty of care of all our recruits, and in particular those aged under 18, is of the utmost importance and that those aged under 18 should be treated with special consideration. All Phase 1 and Phase 2 training organisations are subject to Ofsted inspection on a routine basis. Ofsted's last inspection of the Army Foundation College Harrogate in May 2018 awarded 'Outstanding' in all three assessment categories (outcomes for recruits and trainees; quality of welfare and duty of care; effectiveness of leadership and management).

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
What steps his Department is taking to support the LGBT+ veterans community.

All veterans have access to a range of support from Veterans UK, the NHS, and the charity sector. We acknowledge the importance of this support, recognising the needs of every individual and diversity within the veteran community. This is why we are providing funding and working with the charity sector to build the capacity of veterans' services to support LGBT veterans as well as other groups, such as female veterans.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether there are circumstances in which an armed forces pension would not be paid to a veteran in the event that they are residing outside the UK.

There are no circumstances in which payment of an Armed Forces Pension to an entitled individual would be withheld due to that pension scheme member residing outside the UK.

If a member chooses to reside outside the UK, where possible, the paymaster will make arrangements for pensions to be paid directly into an overseas bank account. However, the member is liable for all bank charges and potential adverse currency conversion rates.

Where the paymaster does not have arrangements in place with banks in a particular country, the member is paid by pound sterling cheque and must make their own arrangements to deposit the funds.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what policies the Army Foundation College has to ensure that female armed forces recruits under the age of 18 in its care are safeguarded from sexually inappropriate imagery, language and contact.

The Army takes the safeguarding of its people extremely seriously and recognises the need to treat under 18s appropriately. The Army Foundation College (Harrogate) was assessed as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted during the last inspection in October 2017 in all three categories (Outcomes for recruits and trainees, Quality of Welfare & Duty of Care, and the Effectiveness of Leadership & Management).

The Army also elects to impose a higher level of employment checks on the instructors of all Basic Training establishments, to provide additional safeguarding measures.

The Army constantly seeks to improve training and awareness so that all Service personnel know how to report concerns and access support if needed.

Throughout their careers, Service personnel receive a range of training specifically about the subject of consent; underpinned by the fact that they remain subject to civilian laws on sexually inappropriate imagery, language and contact, as protected by the Equality Act 2010.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the data recorded in the Joint Personnel Administration system, how many complaints have been made by female armed forces recruits under the age of 18 of (a) sexually inappropriate behaviour and (b) sexual assault since 2015.

The Ministry of Defence has made it absolutely clear there is no place for unacceptable behaviour in the Armed Forces. We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence and Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. All allegations are thoroughly investigated, and support provided to victims. Anyone found to fall short of the Services' high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, which may include imprisonment and dismissal from service.

Individual complaints about 'sexually inappropriate behaviour' would mostly commonly be recorded as sexual harassment on the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. I can confirm that in the period since 1 January 2015, a search of information held on JPA shows that there have been no informal or formal Service Complaints alleging harassment, including sexual harassment, from female Service personnel aged under 18.

Information relating to the criminal offence of sexual assault is held on the Service Police's REDCAPS database rather than JPA. However, it will take time to conduct a manual search of the records held on REDCAPS to positively confirm the number of allegations made by female personnel aged under 18. I will write with that information in due course.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of hiring private investigators since 2003 to undertake surveillance of (a) service personnel and (b) veterans suspected of making false injury compensation claims.

It is not possible to answer the hon. Member's question without incuring disproportionate costs. Whilst some information is held relating to the question posed, that information is not sufficient to provide a full response to this question as the Department does not hold this information centrally. However, the hon. Member may find it helpful to know that the cost of a day's surveillance ranges between £1,500 to £1,750

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what surveillance activities private investigators hired by his Department undertake to assess the validity of an injury claim made by (a) a member of the armed forces and (b) a veteran.

The hired private investigators observe the claimant in a variety of scenarios to establish whether the claimant is able to undertake activities that he or she has alleged they are unable to carry out, such as working, driving or walking for lengthy periods. A report containing the findings is then submitted to the claims handler or solicitor acting for the Ministry of Defence.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of employing private investigators to undertake surveillance activities to determine the validity of an injury claim made by (a) a member of the armed forces and (b) a veteran.

The MOD has effectively used surveillance undertaken by private investigators as evidence for a defence of dishonesty/fraud. I can confirm that the outcome of surveillance has also led to the MOD defending or repudiating a number of high value cases on the grounds of fundamental dishonesty or significantly reducing the amount awarded in damages as appropriate. There is no difference in the way that surveillance is used on serving or former personnel.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) service personnel and (b) veterans have, as a result of the surveillance of private investigators, been accused of making a false injury claim against his Department for injuries sustained during service.

The number of current or former Service personnel that have been accused of making false injury claims against the MOD for injuries sustained during service is not held centrally as records are held internally or by our legal services providers. Therefore, it is not possible to answer the question without exceeding the disproportionate cost limit.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) service personnel and (b) veterans making injury claims have been put under surveillance to observe the extent of their injuries since 2003.

Surveillance is not undertaken in regard to Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which is a no-fault scheme which provides compensation for injury or death caused by service on or after 6 April 2005, the same applies to the War Pension Scheme which covers injury and death caused by service prior to that date. However, in the case of civil injury claims, since 2003 surveillance has been undertaken on claims brought by military and civilian personnel on 386 occasions.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill on the number of convictions of armed forces personnel.

The Impact Statement for the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill was published on 17 September.

It is not possible to estimate how many potential future prosecutions will not proceed as a result of the statutory presumption against prosecution measure as there is limited available data. In addition, it would not be appropriate for the Government to "play prosecutor" and try to assess what decision a prosecutor might have made in an historical case if the presumption measure had been in place at the time.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) service personnel and (b) veterans were charged for crimes which allegedly took place during overseas operations in each of the last 20 years.

As this data is not held centrally it is taking some time to compile, and I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) service personnel and (b) veterans were convicted for crimes which allegedly took place during overseas operations in each of the last 20 years.

As this data is not held centrally it is taking some time to compile, and I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in each case in which a (a) member or (b) veteran of the armed forces has been charged for a crime which allegedly took place during an overseas operation over the last 20 years, what length of time passed between the alleged criminal act and charges filed.

As this data is not held centrally it is taking some time to compile, and I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for each case in which a (a) veteran or (b) member of the armed forces has been convicted of a crime which took place during an overseas operation over the last 20 years, what length of time passed between the criminal act and conviction.

As this data is not held centrally it is taking some time to compile, and I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to respond to the letter of 28 May 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow North West on Commonwealth-born veterans applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

The correspondence from the hon. Member was received by the Ministry of Defence on the 28 May 2020. The Home Office accepted transfer of this case on 1 June 2020 and will reply shortly.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of recruits to the armed forces with a reading age of between (a) five and seven, (b) seven and nine and (c) nine and eleven years in 2019.

In 2019 the number of Army recruits with reading ages between five and eleven were as follows:

Reading age

Number of recruits

Five – seven

20

Seven - nine

220

Nine – eleven

760

Notes:

In 2019 the Royal Air Force had no recruits join with a reading age below 11.

The Royal Navy does not assess recruits’ reading ages.

All numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

Candidates have been permitted to join the Army with a reading age of five to seven on the understanding that they attend organised training at a local college to bring them up to the required minimum standard (Entry Level 2) before they commence Basic Training.

No recruits have joined the Armed Forces to date in 2020 with a reading age of five to seven years.

The UK Armed Forces use standard academic qualifications as entry criteria where relevant, and requirements vary depending on trade group. Entry is not determined by reading levels.

Over 94% of non-commissioned recruits, no matter their age, will enrol in an Apprenticeship Programme each year.

In line with Government Apprenticeship policy, all Service personnel undertaking an apprenticeship are required to attempt to gain a Functional Skills (FS) Level 2 award in literacy and numeracy - equivalent to at least a Grade 4 at GCSE level.

Since September 2012, Defence has adopted FS qualifications (English) and (Mathematics) as the accredited measures of literacy and numeracy skills for all Service personnel accessing in-Service literacy and numeracy provision.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of recruits with a reading age of five to seven years that will join the armed forces in 2020.

In 2019 the number of Army recruits with reading ages between five and eleven were as follows:

Reading age

Number of recruits

Five – seven

20

Seven - nine

220

Nine – eleven

760

Notes:

In 2019 the Royal Air Force had no recruits join with a reading age below 11.

The Royal Navy does not assess recruits’ reading ages.

All numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

Candidates have been permitted to join the Army with a reading age of five to seven on the understanding that they attend organised training at a local college to bring them up to the required minimum standard (Entry Level 2) before they commence Basic Training.

No recruits have joined the Armed Forces to date in 2020 with a reading age of five to seven years.

The UK Armed Forces use standard academic qualifications as entry criteria where relevant, and requirements vary depending on trade group. Entry is not determined by reading levels.

Over 94% of non-commissioned recruits, no matter their age, will enrol in an Apprenticeship Programme each year.

In line with Government Apprenticeship policy, all Service personnel undertaking an apprenticeship are required to attempt to gain a Functional Skills (FS) Level 2 award in literacy and numeracy - equivalent to at least a Grade 4 at GCSE level.

Since September 2012, Defence has adopted FS qualifications (English) and (Mathematics) as the accredited measures of literacy and numeracy skills for all Service personnel accessing in-Service literacy and numeracy provision.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the minimum reading age requirements are for recruits to the armed forces.

In 2019 the number of Army recruits with reading ages between five and eleven were as follows:

Reading age

Number of recruits

Five – seven

20

Seven - nine

220

Nine – eleven

760

Notes:

In 2019 the Royal Air Force had no recruits join with a reading age below 11.

The Royal Navy does not assess recruits’ reading ages.

All numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

Candidates have been permitted to join the Army with a reading age of five to seven on the understanding that they attend organised training at a local college to bring them up to the required minimum standard (Entry Level 2) before they commence Basic Training.

No recruits have joined the Armed Forces to date in 2020 with a reading age of five to seven years.

The UK Armed Forces use standard academic qualifications as entry criteria where relevant, and requirements vary depending on trade group. Entry is not determined by reading levels.

Over 94% of non-commissioned recruits, no matter their age, will enrol in an Apprenticeship Programme each year.

In line with Government Apprenticeship policy, all Service personnel undertaking an apprenticeship are required to attempt to gain a Functional Skills (FS) Level 2 award in literacy and numeracy - equivalent to at least a Grade 4 at GCSE level.

Since September 2012, Defence has adopted FS qualifications (English) and (Mathematics) as the accredited measures of literacy and numeracy skills for all Service personnel accessing in-Service literacy and numeracy provision.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how the reading age of recruits to the armed forces is determined.

In 2019 the number of Army recruits with reading ages between five and eleven were as follows:

Reading age

Number of recruits

Five – seven

20

Seven - nine

220

Nine – eleven

760

Notes:

In 2019 the Royal Air Force had no recruits join with a reading age below 11.

The Royal Navy does not assess recruits’ reading ages.

All numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

Candidates have been permitted to join the Army with a reading age of five to seven on the understanding that they attend organised training at a local college to bring them up to the required minimum standard (Entry Level 2) before they commence Basic Training.

No recruits have joined the Armed Forces to date in 2020 with a reading age of five to seven years.

The UK Armed Forces use standard academic qualifications as entry criteria where relevant, and requirements vary depending on trade group. Entry is not determined by reading levels.

Over 94% of non-commissioned recruits, no matter their age, will enrol in an Apprenticeship Programme each year.

In line with Government Apprenticeship policy, all Service personnel undertaking an apprenticeship are required to attempt to gain a Functional Skills (FS) Level 2 award in literacy and numeracy - equivalent to at least a Grade 4 at GCSE level.

Since September 2012, Defence has adopted FS qualifications (English) and (Mathematics) as the accredited measures of literacy and numeracy skills for all Service personnel accessing in-Service literacy and numeracy provision.

17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for mobilisation of retired Armed Forces personnel to assist with the response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Where retired Armed Forces personnel are members of the ex-Regular Reserve, they have a legal liability for service if so required. Whilst the option to call on them for support exists and may be used to support the UK Government's response to the outbreak, there are currently no plans for any large-scale deployments of ex-Regular Reservists.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether retired Armed Forces personnel can volunteer to assist with the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Where retired Armed Forces personnel are members of the ex-Regular Reserve, they have a legal liability for service if so required. Such personnel may volunteer to assist with the response to the outbreak, in the same way that they may volunteer to assist with any other military activity; however, there are currently no plans for any large-scale deployments of ex-Regular Reservists.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason veterans who were present at British nuclear testing have experienced a 12-month delay before receiving a decision from Veterans UK on their War Disablement Pension applications.

Decisions on war pension claims are evidence based. In line with all claims made under the War Pension Scheme, claims relating to service during British nuclear testing are considered on their individual merits and specific facts. Decisions are made in accordance with legislation, namely the Naval, Military and Air Forces etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order, revised April 2006 and are made based on the medical and service evidence available at the time, for this reason the length of time taken to consider individual claims may vary.

As of the end of February 2020, the Department's rolling 12 month Average Clearance time for War Pension Scheme claims was at a figure of 137.60 working days.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 23 May 2019 to Question 256301, for what reasons F Med 12 and F Med 29 forms were not included in the medical records of some veterans present at the UK's nuclear testing programme.

To identify any such reasons would necessitate a review of individual veterans' Service medical records. This could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the medical conditions of descendants of veterans who were present at the British nuclear testing programme.

There is no published peer-reviewed evidence of excess illness or mortality among nuclear test veterans as a group that could be linked to their participation in the tests or to exposure to radiation because of that participation. The Ministry of Defence has also seen no evidence of excessive ill-health or mortality among the descendants of nuclear test veterans.

Nuclear test veterans who believe they have suffered ill-health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pension Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence and carry full rights of appeal to an independent tribunal.

The Ministry of Defence has no plans to provide compensation to the descendants of nuclear test veterans.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for which medical disorders veterans who were present at British nuclear tests can claim a war disablement pension.

All ex-service personnel, including Nuclear Test Veterans, can claim a War Pension in respect of their service before 6 April 2005.

Nuclear Test Veterans can claim for any condition which they consider may have been caused, or made worse, by their service. Each claim is considered on its own merits.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to provide compensation for (a) veterans who were present at British nuclear tests and (b) their descendants.

There is no published peer-reviewed evidence of excess illness or mortality among nuclear test veterans as a group that could be linked to their participation in the tests or to exposure to radiation because of that participation. The Ministry of Defence has also seen no evidence of excessive ill-health or mortality among the descendants of nuclear test veterans.

Nuclear test veterans who believe they have suffered ill-health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pension Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence and carry full rights of appeal to an independent tribunal.

The Ministry of Defence has no plans to provide compensation to the descendants of nuclear test veterans.