Christine Jardine Portrait

Christine Jardine

Liberal Democrat - Edinburgh West

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade)

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)

(since September 2020)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
21st Aug 2019 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)
21st Aug 2019 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Deputy Chief Whip
21st Aug 2019 - 6th Jan 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice)
21st Aug 2019 - 21st Oct 2019
Scottish Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 21st Oct 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
7th Feb 2019 - 21st Aug 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)
12th Oct 2017 - 7th Feb 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2017 - 12th Oct 2017


Department Event
Wednesday 27th October 2021
HM Treasury
Financial Statement - Main Chamber
Budget statement
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
11:30
HM Treasury
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 Nov 2021, 11:30 a.m.
HM Treasury (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.
Department Event
Thursday 2nd December 2021
09:30
Department for International Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
International Trade (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.
Department Event
Tuesday 7th December 2021
11:30
HM Treasury
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Dec 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Treasury (including Topical Questions)
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View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Scheduled Event
Friday 10th December 2021
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Clean Air Targets (World Health Organization Guidelines) Bill: Second Reading
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Scheduled Event
Friday 21st January 2022
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill: Second Reading
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Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 9 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill

The hon. Lady is making some excellent points and, like the hon. Member for Swansea West (Geraint Davies), I feel …

Written Answers
Monday 25th October 2021
Public Finance: Publicity
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding has been allocated by his Department to public relations for …
Early Day Motions
Monday 5th July 2021
Care Radio
That this House welcomes the launch of Care Radio, the UK's first dedicated radio station for carers; notes that there …
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
Clean Air Targets (World Health Organization Guidelines) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require United Kingdom clean air targets to comply with World Health Organization guidelines; to require the Secretary …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Piers Pim
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Wednesday 27th October 2021
Clean air action
That this House recognises the health impacts of poor road air quality; notes that long-term exposure to air pollution can …
Supported Legislation
Monday 6th July 2020
Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to report annually on restrictions on access by UK nationals to Tibet …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Christine Jardine has voted in 272 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Christine Jardine Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(17 debate interactions)
Priti Patel (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(16 debate interactions)
Jess Phillips (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(57 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(57 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(41 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Christine Jardine's debates

Edinburgh 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).

Petitions with highest Edinburgh West signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.


Latest EDMs signed by Christine Jardine

22nd September 2021
Christine Jardine signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th October 2021

Loss and Damage Awareness Day 2021

Tabled by: Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat - Bath)
That this House welcomes the first ever Loss and Damage Awareness Day on 23 September 2021; recognises that many of the communities worst affected by loss and damage are also the world's poorest; recognises the obligations of developed countries to support developing countries to mitigate the disastrous impacts of climate …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 5
Scottish National Party: 5
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
23rd September 2021
Christine Jardine signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th October 2021

Clarkston gas explosion of 21 October 1971

Tabled by: Kirsten Oswald (Scottish National Party - East Renfrewshire)
That this House recalls, fifty years on, the dreadful events of 21 October 1971, when Scotland’s worst peace-time explosion ripped through the Clarkston Toll shopping precinct, quickly reducing the shops to rubble; recognises the devastating impact on the local community, with 22 people losing their lives and more than 100 …
48 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 42
Labour: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Christine Jardine's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Christine Jardine, 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.


Christine Jardine has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Christine Jardine has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

9 Bills introduced by Christine Jardine


A Bill to grant indefinite leave to remain to health and social care staff; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 21st January 2022
Order Paper number: 7
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to require United Kingdom clean air targets to comply with World Health Organization guidelines; to require the Secretary of State to report annually to Parliament on that compliance; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 10th December 2021
Order Paper number: 4
(Possibly be Debated)

A Bill to prohibit the differential pricing of products and services that are substantially similar other than being intended for, or marketed to, a particular gender; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Thursday 12th March 2020

A Bill to guarantee the immigration rights of EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss citizens resident in the United Kingdom; to require the Government to provide such persons with physical proof of those rights; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 26th February 2020

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make non-gender-specific passports available to non-gendered, non-binary and other people who do not identify as, or exclusively as, male or female.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 14th July 2020

A Bill to grant indefinite leave to remain to health and social care staff; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 1st September 2020
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for certain asylum seekers to be granted permission to work; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 10th January 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to prohibit the differential pricing of products and services that are substantially similar other than being intended for, or marketed to, a particular gender; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 5th March 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A bill to provide for the renaming of the House of Lords as the House of Peers.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 8th March 2018

110 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
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the locations are of the new Border Control Posts for the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority; whether those posts will be on or off the docks; and on what date he plans to make an announcement of those locations.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Government funding for the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority's preparation for the end of the transition period; whether funding for that purpose will be (a) made (i) direct or (ii) via local authorities and (b) ring-fenced; and how the level of that funding will be calculated.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the timetable is for the development of an employment plan to ensure effective (a) employee cover and (b) public safety in the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP, and to Rachel Reeves MP on 21 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to tackle differential pricing of similar products and services that are marketed to a particular gender.

Unlawful discrimination because of sex is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. However, the differential pricing of products marketed towards men or women is not unlawful discrimination: there is no requirement on anyone to buy a product because it has been marketed to them on the basis of their gender.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals to ban conversion therapy; when her Department plans to commence its study into the (a) locations and (b) prevalence of conversion therapy in the UK; and what the planned remit is of that study.

This Government is committed to tackling the abhorrent practice of ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK.

The Government’s 2017 National LGBT Survey provides some evidence of the prevalence of conversion therapy in the UK; it found that 2% of respondents had previously undergone conversion therapy and a further 5 % had been offered it. We have commissioned further research to inform policy development in this area. Following a competitive tendering exercise, in 2019 the Government Equalities Office commissioned Coventry University to undertake research which explores evidence of practices, experiences and effects of conversion therapy. Officials are currently reviewing the findings of this report prior to publication, and reviewing the efficacy of both legislative and non-legislative measures in ending these practices.

Once this work is complete, the Government will bring forward proposals to end conversion therapy in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, which (a) organisations, (b) groups and (c) individuals she held meetings with on (i) women’s, (ii) children’s and (iii) LGBT issues from the date she assumed the role of Minister for Women and Equalities to 23 April 2020; and on which dates those meeting were.

The Minister for Women and Equalities and the Equalities Ministerial team engage with a wide range of relevant interested parties.

Officials in the Government Equalities Office also engage broadly with interested parties, feeding the insights gathered into policy advice. They regularly meet with relevant organisations including, most recently, with The Fawcett Society, Equally Ours and the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance to discuss the gendered impacts of COVID-19. Officials also engage widely to support any formal consultations, for example meeting with almost 140 organisations before and during the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the 2018 LGBT Action Plan, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

Attempts to ‘cure’ somebody of their sexual orientation or gender identity, otherwise known as conversion therapies, are wrong. This Government will deliver on the LGBT Action Plan, including the commitment to end conversion therapy. This is a complex set of issues that we are taking our time to get right, and we have commissioned research into the experiences of those who have been subjected to this abhorrent practice.

We are engaging widely before bringing forward proposals and will set out our next steps in the coming months to ensure that the actions we take are proportionate and effective.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the volume of goods processed at Killingholme port in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

I refer the hon. Member to the oral statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 23 September on HMG's work to prepare the border for the end of the Transition Period.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his oral contribution of 19 October 2020, Official Report, whether cross-border supply chains of medicines for the care and treatment of patients will continue without disruption after the transition period.

The Government, pharmaceutical industry and NHS work closely together to help ensure patients have access to the medicines and treatments they need.

The Department for Health and Social Care is working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system to ensure continued supply of medicines and medical products at the end of the transition period. The Government has also written to medical suppliers about what steps they need to take.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps to ensure that online travel operators will meet ABTA's 31 July 2020 deadline to issue cash refunds to customers for cancelled holidays; and what steps he plans to take to ensure compliance with the package holiday travel regulations by operators that do not issue cash refunds.

Consumers are entitled to a full refund if a package holiday is cancelled due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued within 14 days. The Government is clear that these refunds must be paid when asked for by the consumer.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued guidance to explain to consumers and business the circumstances when refunds are due as a consequence of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. The CMA has a programme of work to ensure refunds arising from the Covid-19 outbreak are paid. If the CMA finds evidence that companies are failing to comply with the law, the CMA will take appropriate enforcement action, which could include taking a firm to court if it does not address its concerns. The CMA has also set up a Covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints, available through: https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had on progressing an EU wide visa waiver for touring musicians.

This government has spoken to every EU Member State about the importance of touring. From these discussions, 20 out of 27 Member States have confirmed that UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for some short-term tours.

We are now actively engaging with the remaining Member States that do not allow any visa or permit free touring, to encourage them to more closely align requirements with the UK’s generous rules, which allow creative professionals to tour easily here. Discussions are ongoing at ministerial and official level across these target countries, and we are working with the sector to amplify each other’s lobbying efforts.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to provide (a) long-term financial support and (b) guidance to the travel and tourism sectors in (i) Edinburgh West and (ii) the UK to help those sectors recover from the covid-19 pandemic.

The government has provided over £35 billion in support to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors over the course of the pandemic in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

The government also cut the rate of VAT for certain UK-wide supplies in the tourism and hospitality sectors to 5% in July 2021, with this significantly reduced rate remaining until the end of this month. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months until the end of March 2022.

VisitBritain, the national tourist board, worked in collaboration with the tourist boards of the devolved administrations to develop the UK-Wide ‘Good to Go’ COVID-19 Secure Industry Standard, currently in use by over 45,000 tourism businesses.

The Tourism Recovery Plan points to a number of UK-wide initiatives, like the £10 million National Lottery Days Out campaign due to launch in October. This will stimulate demand for more off-season day trips to tourist sites across the UK this autumn.

The plan also announced a new rail pass launching later this fiscal year to help make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around. The pass is planned to be available in Scotland, England and Wales.

I will continue to work together with my devolved counterparts to assess how we can most effectively support the tourism sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue producers and production companies, who are unable to access support from either Scottish or English funding sources as they are registered in one nation of the UK but operate in another.

We recognise that the Edinburgh Festivals, and all organisations and venues associated with it, play a central role in the cultural, social and economic lives of many in Scotland and across the UK.

Arts Council England guidance states that the lead organisation submitting an application to one of its funding sources must be based in England, and is focused on activity that benefits people in England. However, applicants who are based in England but primarily work internationally can also be considered eligible, if they can evidence cultural significance and benefit to England.

As culture policy is a devolved matter, we would also recommend that the issue is raised with Scottish Government Ministers and Creative Scotland.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the arts support package is fairly distributed to (a) smaller organisations, (b) arts practitioners and (c) art support workers, including the (i) smaller-scale theatre and live performance sector, (ii) smaller year-round independent venues, (iii) community-based organisations and (vi) freelancers.

On 5 July, the Government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance has been published by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for applicants to the Culture Recovery Grants application rounds, and by Arts Council England for applicants to the Repayable Finance Scheme. Further details on eligibility and application processes are available in the published guidance.

This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, with one of our core objectives being to support the cultural organisations that are crucial to places across the whole country. We will ensure that funding is distributed fairly, and that smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities are protected.

We also recognise the crucial role that individuals play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers.

4th Jun 2020
What steps the Government is taking to support (a) Edinburgh West constituency and (b) other communities whose economies are reliant on (i) cultural and (ii) sporting events during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the devastating impact of COVID-19 and that's why we’ve introduced the unprecedented package of support including the Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed-Income-Support-Scheme, and loans tailored to the needs of businesses large and small.

Arts and Culture are devolved, but in England we are also working with cultural and sporting organisations to produce guidance to get these sectors up and running again as soon as safely possible.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support freelancers in the creative industry affected by the cancellation of events due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has announced measures to protect the self-employed. So long as they fulfil the criteria for these measures, freelancers and the self employed in the music industry benefit from these measures.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the pay ranges are for House of Commons staff; and how many FTE equivalent staff are employed at each grade.

The House operates three separate pay structures; Senior Commons Structure (SCS, in line with Senior Civil Service grades); Catering Staff; and the remaining staff of the House (A–E grades). There is a specialist pay range within the main A–E pay structure and a separate pay structure for former Metropolitan Police staff (MPS) that transferred into the House of Commons Service in April 2016.

Details of the numbers of FTE staff employed at each grade are shown in Annex A.

Details of the pay ranges are shown in Annexes B and C.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to employ veterinary surgeons at each of the Border Control Points under the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority.

Sanitary and phytosanitary controls on animals and animal products imported into Great Britain from the EU are being introduced in stages. From April, Port Health Authorities will be required to carry out remote documentary checks on products of animal origin, with physical and identity checks on animal products being carried out at Border Control Posts from 1 July 2021.

Defra has provided £14 million funding to local authorities in England to support Port Health Authorities with the recruitment and training of over 500 new staff, including Official Veterinarians. This includes £537,659 which has been awarded to Kingston Upon Hull City Council.

Defra is also working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, which will be responsible for carrying out checks on live animals, to ensure the recruitment and training of the additional staff required is completed for each stage of the new import regime.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to ensure the Global Fund’s allocation of resources in response to the covid-19 pandemic does not effect resources for (a) HIV, (b) TB and (c) malaria.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided up to US $1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB and malaria programmes, and support and strengthen health systems. This funding comes from savings from the fifth replenishment of the Global Fund (2017-2019). All of the funding from the sixth replenishment (2020-2022) will be used to fund programmes to fight HIV, TB and malaria and support and strengthen health systems.

The UK is proud to be the second biggest donor to the fifth and sixth replenishments of the Global Fund.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she will take to support businesses with cross-border supply chains after the end of the transition period.

The Department for International Trade is supporting cross-government efforts to prepare businesses for the end of the transition period. Steps include redeploying a number of advisors to provide direct advice to companies, developing digital tools covering all the steps needed to move goods across the border and webinars being run for EU based businesses to support their continued trade with UK partners.

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress he has made on reaching a reciprocal arrangement for the recognition of driving licences with Italy.

The Department for Transport has successfully agreed arrangements with Italy for the mutual recognition of photocard licences. As such, visitors with UK photocard licences will not need to carry an additional International Driving Permit when driving in Italy.

We have also secured interim arrangements with the Italian authorities which will allow UK licence holders resident in Italy to continue to use their valid UK licence until the end of this year. We are working with the Italian Government to finalise a permanent licence exchange agreement as soon as possible.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the end of freedom of movement on the haulage industry; and what steps the Government is taking to tackle HGV driver shortages.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the UK and the EU delivers a good outcome for UK-based international hauliers. The vast majority of journeys to and from the EU will be able to continue without the need for any additional permits, and UK hauliers also retain rights to do work within and between EU Member States, again with no extra bureaucracy.

UK hauliers will, of course, have to ensure that they comply with the immigration rules applied by EU Member States. The rules for British Citizens taking up work or providing a service in the EU will depend on the rules in individual EU Member States, as some Member States may require a visa and/or work permit from British Citizens intending to work or to provide a service there.

The Department for Transport is working across Government and with the road haulage industry to address the current HGV driver shortage, which is an issue affecting many countries worldwide. For example, the International Road Transport Union predicts a gap of 185,000 drivers by 2027 in Germany.

The Government has already taken firm action, including through training for jobseekers, additional funding for apprenticeships, and taking measures to increase lorry driver testing capacity to bring new drivers into the industry as soon as possible.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to undertake a consultation on the (a) steps needed to encourage the use of sustainable aviation fuels and (b) creation of a British sustainable aviation industry.

The Government believes that sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) have an important role to play in reducing aviation emissions and we are already providing strong support to the sector through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and industry competitions.

To further build on this support, as part of the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan, the Government announced an additional £18m in funding as well as an intention to consult on a blending mandate to drive SAF uptake in the UK. This consultation is planned for the summer and will be complemented by supporting ambitions presented in the department’s upcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Net Zero Aviation Consultation.

Beyond this, the Government is committed to continue working with stakeholders through the Jet Zero Council’s SAF Delivery Group (15 meetings convened to date since November 2020) and other existing channels to explore what further policies are needed to support the sector’s development.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to change the DVSA driving test booking system to prioritise rebooking by people who had booked and paid for their tests prior to the covid-19 lockdown.

Practical driving tests resumed in England on 22 July 2020. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) did prioritise driving tests for candidates who had booked and paid for a test before the COVID-19 lockdown. From 16 July 2020, the DVSA sent emails and text messages to those candidates in batches, and invited them to go online and book a test. Test bookings for new candidates restarted from 21 August 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Jun 2021
What recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of introducing a universal basic income.

The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with the Chancellor on this issue. This government does not believe a Universal Basic Income has merit, as it does not target provision according to people’s needs and circumstances, which would inevitably lead to an inefficient use of public funds.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date people who have not entered the UK on a visa will be able to apply for a national insurance number.

Prior to allocating a National Insurance Number, the applicants identity must be confirmed.

For the majority of applicants, who have already had their identity verified through another government department, primarily the Home Office, they are able to apply for a National Insurance Number. This includes visa holders, EU/EEA nationals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme and UK passport holders.

For applicants who have not had their identity verified, they will still be required to attend a face to face identity check. The reopening of our face to face service is linked to the recent government guidelines on Covid-19 restrictions and we are currently working on plans to reopen the service at the earliest opportunity in line with these guidelines.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to what extent the covid-19 outbreak is causing delays to personal independence payment renewals; and what steps the Department is taking to reduce the backlog of assessments for those payments.

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been committed to ensuring that people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment in a timely manner. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible and are treating as a priority Advance Claims, where a person’s previous Fixed Term Award has ended.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment the Government has made of the adequacy of the covid-19 recovery strategy for supporting disabled people; whether that strategy is aligned with the National Strategy for Disabled People; and whether the National Strategy for Disabled People will be amended to take account of existing inequalities for disabled people that have been exacerbated by the covid-19 outbreak.

As required under the Equalities Act, the Government has considered the impact of all measures, including those set out in ‘Our plan to rebuild’, on groups with protected characteristics. The Government recognises that disabled people may have been disproportionately impacted by certain restriction measures and will have particular needs that must be accommodated on the road to recovery. These have been considered as part of the Public Sector Equality Duty process.

We will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People taking into account the impacts of the pandemic on disabled people. The Strategy will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life, including employment, housing, education and transport.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to publish the findings from the review announced in July 2019 on how the welfare system supports the terminally ill.

The evaluation remains a priority for the Department. The Department has made good progress and we expect to be able to provide an update on the outcome of the evaluation shortly.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people diagnosed with a terminal illness who end their own lives each year.

We have made no such estimate.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of specialist importers’ capacity to produce the required medication from imported Bedrocan flowers after the transition period.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of alleviating medical conditions with (a) Bedrocan oils and (b) alternate cannabis-based medicines in place of finished cannabis oil.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supply of medicinal cannabis so that people who require it are able to fill their prescriptions lawfully after the transition period.

The Department, supported by the British Embassy to The Hague, has reached an agreement with the Dutch Government to allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oils, a form of unlicensed medicinal cannabis, against United Kingdom prescriptions for existing patients until 1 July 2021. The medicines supply chain has ensured that there continues to be good supply of licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines after the transition period.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 26 January HCWS734 provided an update on action taken by the Government on supply from the Netherlands and next steps to establish a more permanent solution.

The Department has not made an assessment of the efficacy of the different unlicensed cannabis-based medicines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance that states that there is insufficient evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of these products, to support their use in the National Health Service. The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute of Health Research to establish clinical trials to develop the evidence base to support further commissioning decisions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons Government contracts for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) were awarded to companies with (a) no prior expertise in producing PPE and (b) limited financial capability; and what steps the Government has taken to ensure that it demonstrated appropriate competitive tendering for PPE.

Guidance on how contracting authorities should respond to COVID-19 was published on 18 March at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0120-responding-to-covid-19

Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. These include a direct award due to extreme urgency or the absence of competition. Over 1,000 purchase orders have been raised with suppliers for COVID-19 related work, the majority through a direct award.

The Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of personal protective equipment (PPE). The aim was to reach suppliers who had experience of supplying PPE and also those who had no prior experience but who had access to sources of PPE through their business contacts. To date this has resulted in 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support. All offers were prioritised based on volume, price, clinical acceptability and lead time – this is the time from an offer being accepted by the Department to the supplier delivering those items. Many suppliers with no previous experience of PPE repurposed their production lines and/or their supply routes in order to begin or increase production or the supply of PPE items. These were often established private businesses whose net asset position is only one factor in evaluating their offer.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department collects on the number of people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Figures on the number of people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) and the proportion of these people who receive an annual care review, are not available. However, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that SPMS affects around 9,000 people in England.

The NICE guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis in adults: management’, updated in 2019 sets out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with SPMS. It contains recommendations for multi-professional care teams, including an annual comprehensive care review for all people with multiple sclerosis. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg186/resources/multiple-sclerosis-in-adults-management-pdf-35109816059077

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in England receive an annual care review.

Figures on the number of people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) and the proportion of these people who receive an annual care review, are not available. However, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that SPMS affects around 9,000 people in England.

The NICE guideline ‘Multiple sclerosis in adults: management’, updated in 2019 sets out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with SPMS. It contains recommendations for multi-professional care teams, including an annual comprehensive care review for all people with multiple sclerosis. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg186/resources/multiple-sclerosis-in-adults-management-pdf-35109816059077

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits of Integrated Care Systems for people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

No specific assessment has been made. Integrated care systems enable National Health Service organisations, in partnership with local councils and others, to take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering NHS standards, and improving the health of the population they serve, including people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve health outcomes for people living with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

In order to improve the care and outcomes for people with progressive neurological conditions, such as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), NHS England and NHS Improvement produced a progressive neurological conditions RightCare toolkit, in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the MS Trust and the MS Society. This toolkit supports systems to understand and deliver the priorities in care for people living with various progressive neurological conditions, in line with best-practice guidelines.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Minister for Women and Equalities's answer to question 73 at the oral evidence session of the Women and Equalities Select Committee on 22 April 2020, what the Government's policy is on restrictions on medical treatment for gender dysphoria for people under the age of 18.

People under 18 are able to access the following medical treatment from gender identity services: psychological assessment, hormone blockers and cross sex hormones.

Surgery is not available through the under 18 service.

The availability of these treatments is dependent on age as when young people reach the age of 16, they are presumed in law to be competent to give consent for themselves for their own surgical, medical or dental treatment, and any associated procedures, such as investigations, anaesthesia or nursing care.

Those under 16 are not automatically presumed to be legally competent to make decisions about their healthcare. However, the courts under the Gillick competence, have stated that under 16s will be competent to give valid consent to a particular intervention if they have “sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable them to understand fully what is proposed”.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in each ethnic group have (a) been tested, (b) tested positive and (c) died following a positive test as a result of covid-19.

Data on the number of people who have been tested, tested positive, and died from COVID-19 are not currently available in the format requested.

The latest data on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Public Health England is gathering and analysing data to measure the impact of COVID-19 across different population groups. This includes work to analyse confirmed cases, hospitalisations and deaths relating to COVID-19 by ethnicity, where this data is available.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to relieve the covid-19 humanitarian situation in Nepal.

On Thursday 27th May, the FCDO sent 260 ventilators and 2,000 visors (worth £550,000) in response to a request for medical supplies from the Government of Nepal. Moreover, since the beginning of the pandemic, British Embassy Kathmandu has helped Nepal respond to COVID-19 by reprioritising over £40 million of its aid budget. This support has included the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 300,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women. On 19 May Lord Ahmad discussed with Foreign Minister Gyawali how the UK could continue to support Nepal's fight against the second wave of COVID-19. The UK is also a leading donor to COVAX, having committed £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has allocated 2,000,000 vaccine doses to Nepal, of which 348,000 have already been delivered.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Indian counterpart on the effect of retrospective tax legislation on UK companies seeking to do business with that country.

Supporting UK companies to do business in India is a priority for HMG. The UK is the second fastest growing investor in India over the last ten years and bilateral investments support over half a million jobs in each other's economies. Retrospective tax legislation is an internal matter for the Indian authorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Oct 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure (a) parliamentary and (b) independent scrutiny of Official Development Assistance spending.

This Government is fully committed to independent and parliamentary scrutiny. In August, the Foreign Secretary announced our commitment to maintaining the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). He also announced a departmental review to make ICAI even more effective, leveraging what works and producing even more practical recommendations.

8th Sep 2020
What his policy is on maintaining the statutory target to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance.

We are committed to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid and development; this is a manifesto commitment and is enshrined in law. Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been firm that development will be at the heart of the new FCDO, working hand in hand with diplomacy. Development assistance provided by the UK aims to tackle the great challenges of our time, transform lives of the world’s poorest, and make the world a healthier, safer and more prosperous place for everyone. This allows us to shape the world around us for the better and help keep us safe. As an example of what UK ODA has achieved, since 2015 more than 33 million people have been reached by our humanitarian programmes, including at least 13 million women and girls. The FCDO brings together expertise from DFID and the FCO to ensure we place our world-class development programmes at the heart of our foreign policy. Supporting the poorest countries to become self-sufficient is firmly in line with British values and our own national interest.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding has been allocated by his Department to public relations for the October 2021 Budget, including promotion on social media.

All communications products related to the October 2021 Budget are produced in house by the Treasury’s Communications Team at no additional cost.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had (a) with Cabinet colleagues and (b) within his Department on compensation and support for those affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

I refer the Honourable Member for Edinburgh West to the answer I gave on the 19 April 2021 to PQ UIN 179543.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), if he will take steps to (a) encourage the adoption of the BBRS by banks to ensure accessibility, (b) resolve the outstanding terms of reference including eligibility and insolvency, (c) finalise and publish the BBRS process to deliver the service specified by the terms of reference, (d) demonstrate the independence of the BBRS and (e) enable the BBRS to resolve historical complaints.

The Government welcomes the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), which launched on the 15th February 2021. The BBRS offers a free, independent service which is designed to settle unresolved complaints from larger SMEs with the seven participating banks, who make up the majority of the business banking market.

The former Chancellor, Philip Hammond wrote to the BBRS in 2018 to make clear that it is right the BBRS does not seek to re-open complaints that have already been settled under a previous independent redress scheme, but instead offers an opportunity for resolution to SMEs who have not had anywhere independent to take their complaint.

Beyond that high-level guidance, I would like to stress the BBRS has been setup as an independent non-governmental body, and this independence is vital to its role. Its credibility, authority and value to SMEs would be undermined if it were possible for the Government to intervene in such matters.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that businesses' insurance claims relating to the effects of the covid-19 outbreak are settled in a timely manner.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly and settle claims quickly once settlement terms are agreed. The FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

The Government is working closely with the FCA to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis and fully supports the regulator in its role.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of replacing commercial rates and VAT with a sales and service tax on all sales and services provided within the UK, to help provide a more level playing field for retailers.

The Government is committed to a fair and sustainable tax system which creates an environment for businesses to succeed.

As the economy moves towards recovery the Government must continue to support businesses, while ensuring that the tax system raises sufficient revenue to fund public services.

The Government keeps all taxes under review.

This includes business rates where a Call for Evidence was published in July 2020. The Government invited stakeholders to contribute their views on ideas for reform on all elements of the business rates system in England, including alternative taxes and the potential for an Online Sales Tax. The Government is now considering responses to the Call for Evidence.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing Capital Gains Tax at Income or Corporation Tax rates under a taper relief system with a proportional reduction for each year an asset has been held.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, and any changes are made at fiscal events within the context of wider public finances. The Government’s priority is supporting jobs and the economy, through the Winter Economy Plan, Plan for Jobs and the forthcoming Budget.

Any changes to the tax system will balance the need to raise revenue with the principles of fairness and market efficiency.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of combining Income Tax and National Insurance contributions into an Income, Health and Pension Tax with health and pension provision paid until retirement or 65-67 years of age on all earned income (a) with no tax or health and pension until a minimum level of income is achieved, (b) at a basic rate and (c) at a reasonable higher rate.

This would be a significant change, as NICs and Income Tax work quite differently at present.

NICs are charged on earnings on a per-employment, per-pay period basis, whereas Income Tax is an annual tax, and takes into account an individual’s total, cumulative earnings over the year. NICs also come with specific benefits e.g. State Pension, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Maternity Allowance, and Bereavement benefits. This is in line with NICs’ role as a social security scheme, into which contributions are made from people’s earnings while in work to support them when they are out of work. NICs are currently not payable by those over State Pension age. As such, amalgamating NICs into, or even bringing them closer into line with, income tax would come with major transitional costs and issues.

In the past, governments have considered the case for amalgamating or better aligning income tax and NICs to make the system simpler for individuals and businesses. Most recently, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) considered this in 2016 in its report on ‘Closer alignment of Income Tax and National Insurance’.

The OTS analysis shows there are a range of challenges that would need to be taken into consideration before proceeding with such a radical reform. For example, it is estimated that 7.1 million would pay less NICs but 6.3 million would pay more NICs (some of whom would gain contributory benefits).

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors in (a) Edinburgh and (b) Scotland of the decision to withdraw tax free shopping from 1 January 2021.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the United Kingdom, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme in Great Britain will not be extended to passengers travelling to the EU and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government has also continued to meet and discuss with key stakeholders following the announcement of these policies.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including Edinburgh and Glasgow and smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

The final costings will be subject to scrutiny by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility and will be set out at the next forecast.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what date HMRC plans to reinstate its fraud hotline.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reopened the hotline telephony service on Monday 3 August. It operates 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. It is also worth noting that the online reporting function has been available 24/7 throughout the pandemic.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to use tax receipts held by the HMRC in parity with the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to determine financial support for freelancers in the North Sea oil and gas supply industry facing financial difficulties.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?will allow eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.??Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible if they have submitted their Income Tax?Self Assessment?tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade and have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19.

Alternatively, those who were on an employer's PAYE payroll on 19 March may be eligible to receive 80% of their usual monthly wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS is available to employers, including personal service companies, and individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme are eligible.? The scheme covers employees on any type of contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.

These schemes supplement the other significant support announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at?www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a universal basic income.

There are fundamental problems with the reality of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). A flat rate UBI would not take into account people’s circumstances, and the additional costs faced by some individuals. Therefore, a UBI would not target support where it is most needed.

To protect people’s incomes during the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has announced alternative measures, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and additional support for low income families which can be delivered quickly and effectively through the existing welfare system. This includes increasing the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance, the Working Tax Credit basic element, and the rates used to calculate Housing Benefit and the UC housing element. At a time when the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs are experiencing unprecedented demand, we have rightly prioritised the safety and stability of the existing tax and benefit systems.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the number of police investigations that have taken place under sections 2(1) and 2(A) of the Suicide Act 1961 from 1 April 2009 to 31 July 2020.

The Home Office routinely publishes number of offences and the investigative outcomes of crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales including for the offence of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person. The latest published data is up to September 2020, and the specific crime is recorded under offence code ‘76 Aiding suicide’, and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables .

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what preparations she has made for the introduction of the new British National (Overseas) visa; and what plans are in place to ensure the successful integration into the UK of Hongkongers.

On 31 January 2021 the UK Government introduced a new immigration route for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders in Hong Kong, providing the opportunity for them and their eligible family members to live, work and study in the UK.

We recognise the integration of BN(O) status holders and their family members is crucial to help arrivals to thrive in their new lives in the UK. We want BN(O) status holders and their families to feel welcome and safe in the UK; have the support to learn English and/or Welsh; to be economically active; and have access to education as appropriate.

Work is taking place across the UK Government alongside civil society groups and others to support the effective integration of BN(O) status holders arriving in the UK in the coming months.

Further information on specific provisions across the four nations of the UK will be set out in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of effectiveness of teleconferencing interviews for asylum seekers to ensure that the (a) quality and experience of interviews is maintained; (b) claimants do not suffer retraumatisation and dehumanisation; (c) the loss of physical communication and body language does not result in adverse credibility assessments.

The Home Office has successfully used video technology to support asylum interviewing since 2017 and has appropriate operating procedures that are designed to ensure participants are able to give the best account of their circumstances.Asylum Operations has an assurance process, the three lines of defence model, which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy and video conference interviews are a part of this assurance process.

Assurance Compliance and Improvement (ACI) are in the process of conducting second line assurance on interviewing via video conference but we are continuing to complete our own first line assurance.We regularly liaise with partners and received feedback to ensure our standards of interviewing are upheld.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to (a) limit the level of turnover of caseworkers in her Department and (b) ensure the effective training of caseworkers.

Asylum Operations have, over the last 18 months increased the number of decision makers and support staff as part of a rolling recruitment campaign, developed a staff retention strategy to ensure Asylum Operations retains its highly skilled asylum decision makers.

The Asylum Operations Training Team ensure the effective training of caseworkers by delivering the Foundation Training Programme to all new asylum decision makers. This intensive five-week course provides staff with training on all aspects of asylum decision making. This course is followed by a period of mentoring to consolidate their learning.

In addition, an Asylum Transformation Programme is in development that will help address attrition alongside seeking to simplify, streamline and digitise processes as part of the plans to speed up Asylum decision making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department provides to asylum caseworkers on the extent to which country-of-origin information should be (a) used in interviews and (b) evaluated in claimant decision-making.

The references to Country of Origin information across Asylum Policy Instructions are numerous.

The majority of the detail on how asylum caseworkers should consider this information, both in interviews and in final decisions, is contained in the Asylum Policy Instruction on Assessing Credibility And Refugee Status.

However, this is an issue which cuts across a number of areas including interviewing, with detail on this contained in the Asylum Interviews guidance, and is also featured in specific pieces of guidance on issues such as gender identity. It also forms part of the Foundation Training Programme for caseworkers.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the for the implications of her policy of the findings of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s annual inspection report on Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention, 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019.

The Home Office published its response to the ICIBI’s report in April of this year. The ICIBI made eight recommendations, of which the Home Office has accepted two, partially accepted five and rejected one. The full report can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882002/Response_to_the_annual_inspection_of_adults_at_risk_in_immigration_detention.pdf

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the no recourse to public funds policy in the absence of available data and statistics on (a) those subject to and (b) those experiencing hardship as a result of the implementation of that policy.

The no recourse to public funds policy is based on the principle that migrants coming to the UK are generally expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. The public interest for them to be financially independent is long established. There are existing safeguards and exceptions in place for those in need, for example refugees and those on human rights routes who would otherwise be destitute.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to the matter of data on no recourse to public funds. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/. The letter commits to investigating the administrative data held on no recourse to public funds and migration, and to assessing whether meaningful information can be provided on the issue of hardship in particular. We will provide an update on this in due course.

The Home Office has also published its policy equality statement on the impact of the no recourse to public funds policy for migrants on the 10-year Family and Human Rights immigration routes. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to provide safe passage to the UK for unaccompanied child refugees in Europe who have relatives in the UK.

Throughout the transition period, we will continue to honour our commitments under the Dublin III Regulation, including the transfers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to the UK who have qualifying family members in the UK where it is in their best interests. We continue to remain in close contact with sending states, to facilitate transfers as quickly and safely as possible in accordance with respective governments’ decisions on Covid-19 and the Dublin Regulation.

Furthermore, we will continue to process all Take Charge Requests made under the family reunion provisions of the Regulation which are received on or before the 31 December 2020.

The UK has presented a genuine and sincere offer to the EU for a new, reciprocal arrangement for the family reunion of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children post-transition, and on 19 May published its draft legal text as a constructive contribution to negotiations.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been received since the change of conditions form for recourse to public funds was digitised at the beginning of April; what proportion of those applications have been granted; and what the average processing time for those applications was.

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to this matter. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/

We are continuing to investigate whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

While we appreciate the need for Change of Conditions applications to be dealt with quickly, there is no need for all applications to be processed within 24 hours. Individuals are not necessarily destitute when they make an application, but instead may recognise they are at risk of destitution in the near future because there has been a recent change in their financial circumstances, for example.

Cases must be assessed based on the evidence the applicant has provided, and where there is insufficient evidence, caseworkers request further information which inevitably extends the processing time but can ensure the appropriate decision is reached.

During the covid-19 crisis the application form has been digitised, and we are encouraging applicants to send in their evidence by email so that it can be received and uploaded onto cases more quickly. Where applicants are unable to provide certain evidence, particularly under the current circumstances, we have provided staff with instructions as to how and when flexibility can be exercised to help reduce unnecessary delays that would be introduced by having to seek additional evidence.

The Change of Conditions team are working through applications as quickly as they can, and UKVI have trained additional staff to work on these cases in response to the increased demand and urgency during the current situation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of processing change of conditions for recourse to public funds application forms within 24 hours.

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department.

The department has written to the UKSA with regard to this matter. Please see the link below: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/

We are continuing to investigate whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

While we appreciate the need for Change of Conditions applications to be dealt with quickly, there is no need for all applications to be processed within 24 hours. Individuals are not necessarily destitute when they make an application, but instead may recognise they are at risk of destitution in the near future because there has been a recent change in their financial circumstances, for example.

Cases must be assessed based on the evidence the applicant has provided, and where there is insufficient evidence, caseworkers request further information which inevitably extends the processing time but can ensure the appropriate decision is reached.

During the covid-19 crisis the application form has been digitised, and we are encouraging applicants to send in their evidence by email so that it can be received and uploaded onto cases more quickly. Where applicants are unable to provide certain evidence, particularly under the current circumstances, we have provided staff with instructions as to how and when flexibility can be exercised to help reduce unnecessary delays that would be introduced by having to seek additional evidence.

The Change of Conditions team are working through applications as quickly as they can, and UKVI have trained additional staff to work on these cases in response to the increased demand and urgency during the current situation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she had has with her (a) US, (b) Canadian, (c) New Zealand, (d) EU, Japanese and (e) South Korean counterparts on priorities for Interpol’s strategic framework for 2021-24.

The Interpol Strategic Framework 2021-24 is currently under development by Interpol, and following its completion it will be shared with Interpol’s 194 members. Therefore, as yet no discussions have been had with the members identified within the question but engagement with members will be undertaken in the future.

Due diligence is undertaken by the UK Government into individuals seeking election to the Interpol Presidency and Home Office officials have discussed with officials in other countries prospective candidates for the role.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the criteria are for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol.

The criteria for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol are set out in the Financial Regulations of Interpol and Resolution of the General Assembly GA-2018-87-RES-14. The criteria is based on a scale that is set by the United Nations.

Additional financial contributions are covered by Articles 38-40 of the Interpol Constitution as well as Article 51 of the General Regulations.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the criteria are for the allocation of voluntary funding to Interpol.

The criteria for the allocation of statutory funding to Interpol are set out in the Financial Regulations of Interpol and Resolution of the General Assembly GA-2018-87-RES-14. The criteria is based on a scale that is set by the United Nations.

Additional financial contributions are covered by Articles 38-40 of the Interpol Constitution as well as Article 51 of the General Regulations.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of convening a meeting of nations to consider the abuse of Red Notices and diffusions issued by (a) Interpol and (b) member States.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with his counterparts in the (a) the US Administration (b) Canada Government, (c) New Zealand Government, (d) Australia Government, (e) EU member states, (f) Japan Government and (g) South Korea Government on a successor to the President of Interpol.

The Interpol Strategic Framework 2021-24 is currently under development by Interpol, and following its completion it will be shared with Interpol’s 194 members. Therefore, as yet no discussions have been had with the members identified within the question but engagement with members will be undertaken in the future.

Due diligence is undertaken by the UK Government into individuals seeking election to the Interpol Presidency and Home Office officials have discussed with officials in other countries prospective candidates for the role.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a Minister in her Department has responsibility for matters in relation to Interpol.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the UK Government's policy is on the (a) appointment of officials and (b) election of officials to Interpol from countries that do not comply with the Red Notice and diffusion system.

Matters in relation to Interpol are the responsibility of the Home Office.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and works closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system.

All Red Notices are subject to review by a multidisciplinary Notices and Diffusions Task Force in Interpol prior to publication to ensure legal compliance and prevent abuse of Interpol systems. The Home Office supports Interpol’s commitment to ensuring the legitimacy of the Red Notice system and in November 2019 seconded a senior lawyer to Interpol to support the work of the Taskforce.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary General of Interpol on the abuse of Red Notices and diffusions.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister in her Department has responsibility for issues relating to Interpol.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of recommending to Interpol that they include in their strategic framework for 2021-24 further reform of Red Notices and diffusions.

As Minister for Security I have overall responsibility for the UK’s engagement and relationship with Interpol.

The Government strongly supports Interpol in its efforts to improve the safeguards it has in place to protect human rights and preclude interventions or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Government views any allegation of misuse of Interpol’s systems very seriously and will continue to work closely with Interpol to ensure the legitimacy of the Red Notice system. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing safeguards and will not hesitate to recommend further reforms to Interpol as necessary.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations of the report entitled Beyond Belief, published by Freedom from Torture on 16 June 2020, that caseworkers receive appropriate and relevant training when conducting interviews with victims of torture to encourage full disclosure and identify important aspects of claims, avoiding costly appeals; and what plans she has to report to the recommendations in that report.

The Home Office remains committed to delivering a fair and humane asylum system that is sensitive to the needs of the claimants, so that sufficient information can be obtained to facilitate fair and sustainable decisions on asylum claims. We ensure that asylum seekers are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken, even where that information may be sensitive or difficult to disclose.

The report published by Freedom from Torture acknowledges that there have been signs of progress within the Home Office. Improvements have been made to policy instructions to emphasise the importance of caseworker conduct during asylum interviews, in line with an earlier recommendation made by Freedom from Torture. The report also acknowledges the increase in asylum grant rates at initial decision stage, which is indicative of our efforts to improve asylum decision making and get decisions first time.

Following the publication of the Freedom from Torture report entitled ‘Proving Torture’, a collaborative response to improving training for asylum caseworkers was initiated to develop a training package which directly addressed concerns raised in the report. This resulted in the training course ‘Assessing Evidence: Medical Legal Reports’, which has been rolled out to asylum caseworkers, senior caseworkers and technical specialists since December 2018. The training is now mandatory for any caseworker dealing with asylum claims where Medico-legal reports have been submitted.

We will continue to look at the themes raised in the report as part of our on-going commitment to improve decision quality and the customer experience.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to BAME women who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with the sector, the police and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on victims of domestic abuse, including BAME women, and have published guidance and advice online.

The awareness campaign, #YouAreNotAlone, launched by the Home Secretary, signposts victims to further support, including specific resources for BAME women.

The Home Secretary announced £2 million in funding to ensure that helplines and online services continue to be easily accessible to victims. £1.2 million of this has already been allocated, including to Karma Nirvana, which supports BAME victims. This is in addition to the £750 million funding package announced by the Chancellor, £76 million of which will support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to LGBTQ+ individuals who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with domestic abuse organisations, police and Domestic Abuse Commissioner to monitor and assess the impact of COVID-19 on victims of domestic abuse, including LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Government has posted advice regarding national helplines, including specialist helplines, on gov.uk to guide victims to the most appropriate support for their individual needs https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help .

This has been extensively promoted through our awareness raising campaign #YouAreNotAlone.

The National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline provides emotional and practical support for LGBTQ+ people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse and remains available during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Home Office has provided £120,000 of funding each year since 2016 for the helpline.

Galop also received an additional £71,000 for the National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline from the £2m fund announced by the Home Office to help support helplines and online services during this period. This is in addition to the £750 million funding package announced by the Chancellor, £76 million of which was allocated to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need. From this funding the Home Office launched a £2m fund for national and regionally based domestic abuse organisations, of which £1.73 million has been allocated to 28 organisations.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what languages the #YouAreNotAlone campaign communications are available in.

The Home Office has committed £219,000 so far towards the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. Not all of this spend has yet been delivered in full as media advertising is still live. Campaign value has been maximised with adverts running across donated media, as well as paid media channels.

The Home Office has not contributed funding to the Stay Home Save Lives campaign but has been supporting the campaign by sharing materials through Home Office channels.

To date, the Home Office has spent a total of £260,000 on coronavirus-related communications. This includes spend on the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.

The key #YouAreNotAlone campaign materials are being made available in Welsh and will be translated into a number of other languages. We are in the process of scoping and translating priority languages with advice from key stakeholders including Karma Nirvana, Refuge, Women’s Aid, Southall Black Sisters, Imkaan and others.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department is providing to migrant women who have experienced domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak, and victims of domestic abuse are treated first and foremost as victims. That is why the Home Office launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of immigration status, are aware that existing sources of support remain open to them, such as the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by a dedicated team of experts.

The campaign has been backed by an additional £2 million in funding to support technological capability, such as online services, helplines and technology support. £12 million of this funding has already been allocated. The advice and information from the campaign has been made available in multiple languages to reach out to as many people as possible, including languages from Asia/South-East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The campaign has so far generated almost 250 million impressions.

In May, the Government announced £76 million of the £750 million package of support for charities would go towards groups supporting survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as to ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

MHCLG have so far awarded £8.76 million through the Domestic Abuse Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund. Over a third of successful applications include organisations providing specialist support services and safe accommodation for BME, LGBT and disabled survivors of domestic abuse. Moreover, £22 million of the £76 million support package is being distributed by the Ministry of Justice to 548 local domestic abuse and sexual violence charities in England and Wales.

The Home Office is providing £2 million in extraordinary funding for domestic abuse support services to support national charities who would not be eligible for the support that is being distributed by either the MHCLG or the MOJ. The Bid Prospectus made clear that charities who support victims of domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds were eligible to apply. Successful applicants include; Karma Nirvana, the Muslim Women’s Network, the Black Association of Women UK and Southall Black Sisters.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on communications for the (a) #YouAreNotAlone and (b) Stay Home Save Lives campaigns to date; and what her Department's total spend on covid-19-related communications has been to date.

The Home Office has committed £219,000 so far towards the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. Not all of this spend has yet been delivered in full as media advertising is still live. Campaign value has been maximised with adverts running across donated media, as well as paid media channels.

The Home Office has not contributed funding to the Stay Home Save Lives campaign but has been supporting the campaign by sharing materials through Home Office channels.

To date, the Home Office has spent a total of £260,000 on coronavirus-related communications. This includes spend on the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.

The key #YouAreNotAlone campaign materials are being made available in Welsh and will be translated into a number of other languages. We are in the process of scoping and translating priority languages with advice from key stakeholders including Karma Nirvana, Refuge, Women’s Aid, Southall Black Sisters, Imkaan and others.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much of the £2 million in funding allocated to domestic abuse helplines and online support has been directly accessed by those support services to date.

Just under £1.2m of the funding has so far been allocated to thirteen organisations to help support helplines, web-based services and the production of additional guidance for victims. The organisations concerned have be notified of the awards and the Home Office is liaising with them on the necessary processes for transferring the funds.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of racially-motivated hate crimes recorded by the police in each week of 2020 to date were against people of Chinese ethnicity.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics annually on the number of racially motivated hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. Information is not routinely collected on the ethnicity of victims.

The latest ‘Hate Crime, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2018-to-2019

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have entered detention under immigration legislation since 23 March 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures covering the first quarter of 2020 will be released on 21st May 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on relaxing tax and pensions rules which could deter (a) police officers nearing retirement from retiring and (b) recently retired police officers from returning to serve during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 22 April, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury made a written statement confirming that the relevant tax rules are temporarily suspended. This means that that retired officers who re-join the police to support Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak will not be subject to punitive tax charges which may otherwise deter officers from returning to serve during this period.

The written ministerial statement is available at https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-04-22/HCWS196/

The Government is committed to ensuring that police forces and officers have the support and resources they need to meet the increased demands of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that all people in immigration removal centres have access to soap and sanitiser during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on testing (a) staff and (b) detainees in immigration removal centres for covid-19.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is following all Public Health England guidance on coronavirus and have robust contingency plans in place, including measures such as protective isolation and use of personal protective equipment.

Handwashing facilities are available in all immigration removal centres and we are working closely with suppliers to ensure we have a continuous supply of soap and cleaning materials. In addition, each centre has posters and leaflets to inform detainees about the importance of handwashing and social distancing to minimise the risk from Covid-19. Detainees are also able to speak to staff directly for advice on the measures in place.

The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support their planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes testing.

On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of UK Visas and Immigration’s country policy and information notes on Zimbabwe.

Our country policy and information notes are published on the gov.uk website. They are kept under constant review and updated periodically. They are based on evidence taken from a wide range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Zimbabwe country policy and information notes on “sexual orientation and gender identity and expression” and “opposition to the government” were updated in January and February 2019 respectively, incorporating recommendations from a review commissioned by the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information in December 2018.

Asylum and human rights applications from Zimbabwean nationals are subject to review in every appeal and cases are decided on their individual facts and merits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the treatment of refused asylum seekers after their return to Zimbabwe.

The Home Office does not routinely monitor the treatment of people once they are removed from the UK. Returns are only undertaken when the Home Office and courts deem it is safe to do so.

The UK is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers who have returned to their country of origin. They are, by definition, foreign nationals who have been found as a matter of law not to need the UK’s protection, and who have no legal basis of stay in the UK. It would be inappropriate for the UK to assume any ongoing responsibility for them when they return to their own country.

Should the Home Office receive any specific allegations that a returnee has experienced ill-treatment on return to their country of origin, these would be investigated in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been returned to Zimbabwe in each of the last four calendar years.

The Home Office publishes data on returns from the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of returns, by year, type of return and asylum and non-asylum are published in table Ret_05 of the returns summary dataset. In addition, the top 10 nationalities being returned by whether an asylum or non-asylum related case, for the most recent period available are published in table Ret_04 .

Asylum-related returns relate to cases where there has been an asylum claim at some stage prior to the return. This will include asylum seekers whose asylum claims have been refused, and who have exhausted any rights of appeal, those returned under third country provisions, as well as those granted asylum/protection, but removed for other reasons (such as criminality).

The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to improve the transparency and accountability of providers on their performance against the targets set under the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility contract.

AIRE is the new Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility service provided by Migrant Help. The AIRE contract contains a number of formal performance measures, including Key Performance Indicators, which provide a mechanism by which the effectiveness of contract delivery can be measured. These are monitored in formal monthly and quarterly contract governance meetings. Measures can be taken where performance falls short of the standards we set.

We are providing regular updates on performance, particularly in relation to call waiting times to Local Authorities and Voluntary Sector partners.

Further information about the performance measures within the contract can be found in the contracts, published here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/028be8bb-3c69-494d-bfdd-59c2e1b34379?p=@UFQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many unaccompanied child refugees have been resettled in the UK from elsewhere in Europe under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 in (a) total and (b) in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019 and (v) 2020 to date.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the Government has not yet fulfilled its duty under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 to relocate 480 unaccompanied child refugees to the UK from elsewhere in Europe.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to fulfil the UK's duty under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 to relocate 480 unaccompanied child refugees to the UK from elsewhere in Europe.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with participating States, France, Greece and Italy, to refer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish further data on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Meeting our obligations under section 67 is a complex task which has involved negotiating separate referral and transfer arrangements with each of the three participating States. These arrangements are crucial to the process and must operate within the confines of the participating States’ domestic legislation and policy.

The transfer of children is also dependent on the availability of appropriate local authority care placements. The Government is very grateful to local authorities who have offered placements for these children as well as those who continue to look after large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). The availability of placements for children arriving under section 67 has been affected by two issues. Firstly, by the high numbers of UASC who have arrived in the UK spontaneously in recent years – for example, in 2018, the UK received 3,063 asylum claims from unaccompanied children. This follows previous years which have seen similarly high numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK – 3,254 in 2015, 3,290 in 2016 and 2,401 in 2017. According to the latest Department for Education statistics, there are more than 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – the highest figure in at least 10 years. Secondly, during this period, there has been increasing numbers of resident looked-after children being taken into local authority care, which has placed further pressure on local authorities.

Against this background, local authorities have continued to provide offers and the Government has made good progress towards meeting its obligations under section 67.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many underwater munitions disposals his Department has performed in each of the last five years in the waters surrounding the UK; and what proportion of those disposals involved (a) high order detonations and (b) low order deflagarations.

The Royal Navy’s Area Diving Groups, part of the Fleet Diving Squadron, are responsible for the disposal of underwater ordnance along the UK coastline, up to 12 nautical miles offshore. In the last five years they have conducted the following numbers of underwater demolitions involving High Order detonation of munitions at sea. No Low Order detonations were conducted.

Year

Operational tasks

2020

4

2019

7

2018

13

2017

18

2016

18

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th Jul 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Scotland and (b) Scottish Government on the allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a core part of our Levelling Up agenda and I regularly speak to my ministerial colleagues about the fund. My officials regularly engage their counterparts in the devolved administrations to discuss any updates, concerns or queries.

The UK Government will continue to engage the devolved administrations and local partners as we develop the fund's investment framework and in advance of its publication.

I am pleased to be working more directly with local partners and communities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are best placed to understand the needs of their local areas and more closely aligned to the local economic geographies to deliver quickly on the ground.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will allocate ring-fenced funding to local authorities for the housing of domestic abuse survivors.

Following an announcement on 17 February, my Department has now paid £16.6 million to 75 local authority-led projects in England for the delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation, helping up to 43,000 survivors.

The Government is providing a total of £3.2 billion to local authorities to help them meet additional pressures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as by supporting survivors of domestic abuse into safe accommodation.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will introduce a coordination system, developed in conjunction with specialist Violence Against Women and Girls providers and with local authorities, to allocate hotel spaces alongside specialist support to people deemed in priority need as a result of domestic abuse.

We are looking carefully at all safe and appropriate accommodation options for supporting victims of domestic abuse and their children.

The Government’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running to enable victims of domestic abuse to be able to access the support they need.

My officials have been liaising closely with Refuge and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Women’s Aid and the wider refuge sector as well as other Government Departments, including the Home Office, from the start of the lockdown to monitor how demand is changing.

In England, under homelessness legislation a person who is pregnant, has dependent children, or is vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation due to domestic abuse has priority need for accommodation and will be accommodated by the local authority. Local authorities use a range of accommodation options to find appropriate housing for victims, including working with specialist domestic abuse and/or Violence Against Women and Girls providers where appropriate.

The Scottish Government are responsible for setting policy regarding homelessness and domestic abuse in Scotland and will be able to advise further.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, which nationalities are represented among House of Commons staff.

Excluding staff in the Parliamentary Digital Service, the nationalities represented among House of Commons staff are in the Table attached.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jun 2021
What discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the prospects for concluding negotiations on a UK-EU veterinary agreement that is compatible with the Northern Ireland protocol.

The UK is working hard and in good faith to ensure the Protocol operates in a sustainable way that works for the people of Northern Ireland. We have proposed an ambitious veterinary agreement, based on our respective high standards, to reduce checks and controls. We need the EU to meaningfully engage with these proposals to ease burdens in Northern Ireland and provide a sustainable basis for the Protocol.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
4th Nov 2020
What funding the Government plans to make available to businesses in Northern Ireland to help with the transition from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to the Job Support Scheme.

This Government has introduced some of the most generous support schemes in the world, to support people and businesses in Northern Ireland, as they navigate the difficulties posed by COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was due to end on 1 November but will be extended for a further one month until December. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be available to support businesses and their staff when the CJRS ends.

CJRS and JSS are part of the comprehensive package of support that the Government has provided to support the economy at this time. In Northern Ireland, this has included an additional £2.4bn funding for the Executive. Advice and support for businesses is available on gov.uk/coronavirus, or alternatively via the business support helpline.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Scottish Government on the effect of the cancellation of the Autumn Budget on the devolved budget and furlough arrangements.

At all stages of the pandemic the UK Government has sought to work constructively with the devolved administration in Scotland and will continue to do so.

HM Treasury made an unprecedented upfront guarantee to the devolved administrations, guaranteeing Scotland would receive at least £7.2 billion in additional funding this year on top of their Budget 2020 funding. This gives Scotland the budget certainty for coronavirus response in the months ahead.

In addition, the UK Government has taken substantial action to rescue the economy from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the Plan for Jobs, published in July.

In September, the Chancellor announced a targeted package of measures in his Winter Economic Plan to support jobs and business through the winter months, by supporting businesses to keep staff on through the introduction of a new Job Support Scheme and an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what progress he has made on to ensuring Scotland benefits from the Stronger Towns Fund launched in March 2019.

The Towns Fund is an ambitious package of support for towns in England, expanding existing funding programmes. The Barnett formula will be applied in the normal way to this investment for England, and as a result the Scottish Government will receive a share of funding. This is because responsibility for the activities the Towns Fund is supporting is devolved. In addition, we will discuss with the Scottish Government how we can work together, using our powers and funding, to support towns in Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
19th May 2021
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of proposals to devolve aspects of the benefits system to Wales in line with those powers devolved to Scotland.

None. Devolution of the benefits system is not an issue that is raised on the doorsteps of Wales and even the Welsh Government has not asked for powers equivalent to Scotland.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales