Darren Jones Portrait

Darren Jones

Labour - Bristol North West



Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th October 2021
13:45
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
18 Oct 2021, 1:45 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Rocio Concha - Director of Policy and Advocacy and Chief Economist at Which?
Martin Lewis OBE - Founder and Chair at MoneySavingExpert.com and Money and Mental Health Policy Institute
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Mark Steward - Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at Financial Conduct Authority
Guy Parker - Chief Executive at Advertising Standards Authority
Michael Grenfell - Executive Director for Enforcement at Competition and Markets Authority
Commander Clinton Blackburn - National Economic Crime Coordinator at City of London Police
At 4.45pm: Oral evidence
Sophie Zhang
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th October 2021
09:45
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The impact of supply chain delays on UK businesses and consumers
19 Oct 2021, 9:45 a.m.
At 10.45am: Oral evidence
Duncan Buchanan - Director of Policy at Road Haulage Association
Neil Carberry - Chief Executive at Recruitment and Employment Confederation
At 11.45am: Oral evidence
William Bain - Head of Trade Policy at British Chambers of Commerce
Martin McTague - National Vice Chair at Federation of Small Businesses
Stephen Phipson CBE - Chief Executive at Make UK
Ian Wright CBE - Chief Executive at Food and Drink Federation
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
14:20
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the National Security Adviser
20 Oct 2021, 2:20 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Stephen Lovegrove - National Security Adviser at Cabinet Office
David Quarrey - Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser at Cabinet Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
15:00
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 21st October 2021
09:30
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
21 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 9.45am: Oral evidence
Professor Richard Wilson - Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Intellectual Life, Gladstein Chair and Professor of Anthropology and Law at University of Connecticut
Barbora Bukovska - Senior Director, Law and Policy at Article 19
Matthew D’Ancona, journalist formerly of Index on Censorship, currently Editor at Tortoise Media
Silkie Carlo - Director at Big Brother Watch
At 11.15am: Oral evidence
Gavin Millar QC
Alison Gow - President at Society of Editors
Matt Rogerson - Director of Public Policy at Guardian Media Group, and News Media Association
Peter Wright - Editor Emeritus at DMG Media
At 12.15pm: Oral evidence
Professor Jonathan Haidt
Jim Steyer - CEO at Common Sense Media
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th October 2021
14:00
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
25 Oct 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Frances Haugen
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
15:00
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:20
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2:20 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 1st November 2021
14:00
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
1 Nov 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
14:00
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 4th November 2021
09:30
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) - Oral evidence
Subject: Draft Online Safety Bill
4 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 160 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 300
Speeches
Monday 20th September 2021
UK Gas Market

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for an advance copy of his statement. There are, of course, a …

Written Answers
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Environment Protection
To ask the President of COP26, how many times the (a) Climate Action Strategy Committee, (b) Climate Action Implementation Committee, …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 20th January 2021
Internet Access Bill 2019-21
A Bill to extend the universal service obligation for internet providers to include mobile internet access; to make requirements regarding …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 9th November 2020
1. Employment and earnings
From 3 October 2017 until 30 October 2020, contracted to provide legal consultancy, via the office of Darren Jones Ltd, …
EDM signed
Thursday 21st December 2017
NATIONAL SIKH WAR MEMORIAL
That this House appreciates the extraordinary bravery and sacrifices of Sikh soldiers in service of Great Britain, including during both …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Darren Jones has voted in 251 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Darren Jones 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
Alok Sharma (Conservative)
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
(19 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(9 debate interactions)
Kit Malthouse (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(18 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Darren Jones's debates

Bristol North West Petitions

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

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

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

Darren Jones has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Darren Jones

19th December 2017
Darren Jones signed this EDM on Thursday 21st December 2017

NATIONAL SIKH WAR MEMORIAL

Tabled by: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Labour - Slough)
That this House appreciates the extraordinary bravery and sacrifices of Sikh soldiers in service of Great Britain, including during both World Wars, and supports the erection of a permanent national monument in a prime central London location to commemorate and highlight these contributions; notes that for over a decade there …
265 signatures
(Most recent: 2 Feb 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 171
Conservative: 33
Scottish National Party: 26
Independent: 10
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 9
Plaid Cymru: 3
Non-affiliated: 2
The Independent Group for Change: 2
Crossbench: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Darren Jones's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Darren Jones, 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.


Darren Jones has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Darren Jones has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Darren Jones


A Bill to make provision for the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator; to make provision about the Regulator and about the regulation of forensic science; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to extend the universal service obligation for internet providers to include mobile internet access; to make requirements regarding internet access for children eligible for free school meals; to require the Secretary of State to report to Parliament on progress in reducing digital inequalities; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 20th January 2021
(Read Debate)

Darren Jones has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


181 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
5 Other Department Questions
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how many times the (a) Climate Action Strategy Committee, (b) Climate Action Implementation Committee, (c) Climate Change National Strategic Implementation Group, (d) National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group, (e) National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group and (f) 25 Year Environmental Plan Board have met in each of the last 12 months.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

The DEFRA-led Cross-Government 25 Year Environment Plan Board was established in December 2020. The Board meets every two months and has had five meetings to date.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether the (a) membership of and (b) terms of reference for the (i) Climate Action Strategy Committee, (ii) Climate Action Implementation Committee, (iii) Climate Change National Strategic Implementation Group, (iv) National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group, (v) National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group and (vi) 25 Year Environmental Plan Board have been published.

GOV.UK is updated regularly with the terms of reference and membership of Cabinet Committees, including the Climate Action Strategy Committee and Climate Action Implementation Committee.

The membership and terms of reference have not been published for the following officials’ forums: the National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group; the National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group; and the 25 Year Environment Board.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, if he will publish a category breakdown of the successful applications to have a presence at COP26.

The Government ran an Expression of Interest process earlier this year to identify stakeholder interest in participating within UK Government managed spaces at the summit, receiving 3,966 proposals from across 93 countries. Following an extensive evaluation process, we have longlisted a range of proposals for further consideration. At this stage, no organisation has received confirmation of space within UK Government managed spaces at the summit.

An events programme and list of exhibitors within the UK Government managed Green Zone will be made available to the public in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how many applications were accepted from organisations applying for a presence at COP26.

The Government ran an Expression of Interest process earlier this year to identify stakeholder interest in participating within UK Government managed spaces at the summit, receiving 3,966 proposals from across 93 countries. Following an extensive evaluation process, we have longlisted a range of proposals for further consideration. At this stage, no organisation has received confirmation of space within UK Government managed spaces at the summit.

An events programme and list of exhibitors within the UK Government managed Green Zone will be made available to the public in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans her Department has to update the Equality Act 2010 to include asexuality as a protected characteristic.

The Equality Act 2010 covers discrimination in employment, the provision of goods, services and public functions, housing, premises, education, transport, occupational pensions, clubs and associations. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of a number of characteristics, including sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is defined under the Act as a person’s orientation towards persons of the same sex, the opposite sex or of either sex. We have no plans to amend the Act and are not aware of any significant evidence of discrimination against people because of their asexuality.

There are however situations in which an asexual person may already be protected by the Equality Act – for example, the Act bans discrimination based on the perception that someone has a protected characteristic (for example that they are lesbian or gay), or because they are associated with someone who has that characteristic.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Government Legal Department (GLD), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) are committed to tackling climate change and delivering our world-leading net zero target. Each department is located on separate premises and therefore their steps to climate responsibility differ.

The AGO is located within a building shared with other tenants. The department engages with the landlord to support any opportunities to reduce greenhouse emissions. Emissions data is produced for the building and is not identifiable for each tenant. Information relating to the government vehicle is collated and reported by the Department for Transport. The AGO ensures that all travel is kept to a minimum.

The CPS actively seeks to understand and mitigate its sustainability impacts associated with delivering its core organisational responsibilities. The CPS’ sustainability objectives include delivering on the Greening Government Commitments1 (GGC) for reducing energy, water, paper and other resource use, reducing travel and managing waste and assessing and managing social and environmental impacts and opportunities in policy development and decision making.

The GLD has not made any specific assessment of the effect of climate change on the work of the Department. They provide legal advice in support of our clients’ considerations of climate change and the impact on their business, whilst we have made changes to our operations over time to reduce the consumption of natural resources, including the consumption, movement and storage of paper files, and travel‎.

No formal assessment has been made on how climate change may impact the work of the SFO. However, the Serious Fraud Office is committed to playing its part in meeting the government’s ambitious targets to reduce emissions and deliver on the Greening Government Commitments.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the international interoperability of a proposed covid-19 vaccination certification or passport for the UK in order to facilitate international travel.

The UK is working with other countries who have programmes to allow vaccinated people to travel more freely, to lead global efforts to adopt a clear international framework with standards that provide consistency for passengers and industry alike. The Government is working closely with the World Health Organisation and other multilateral organisations like ICAO to help shape an internationally interoperable certification system. Additionally, we have been working with like-minded partners, to ensure people can prove their health status when travelling abroad, once international travel resumes from 17 May at the earliest.

On 9 April, a framework to chart the safe return of international travel was set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The report, produced by the Global Travel Taskforce shows how international travel could resume from 17 May 2021 at the earliest, and commits to working with industry to do so in a safe, accessible and affordable way. This report shows how the UK will once again allow people with families and partners outside the UK to see their loved ones again.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential discretionary effect of the requirement by many online services for a mobile telephone number on elderly people using those services who rely on a landline telephone.

The Service Standard requires all government services to only ask for a phone number or mobile phone number if essential, and that there should always be an alternative channel available to the user who does not have a computer, mobile phone, or access to the internet.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Prime Minister's roadmap to ease covid-19 lockdown restrictions, published on 22 February 2021, what his planned timescale is for permitting (a) chess clubs and (b) chess competitions to resume their activities.

On 22 February the Government published it's 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021' roadmap to recovery.

Chess clubs and other social clubs can take place in line with the social contact limits at each step.

In regards to chess competitions, indoor events that bring people from different households together must not run until Step 3 (no earlier than 17th May), unless there is an explicit exemption. However, from 29 March we will allow limited gatherings outdoors of up to 6 people, or in a larger group if everyone present is from the same two households. A ‘household’ can include the support bubble linked to that household [if eligible].

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of our country.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

This information is not held centrally. The Industrial Strategy spans a wide array of policy areas across multiple government departments, agencies and bodies, including the Cabinet Office of which the Prime Minister’s Office is an integral part.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

This information is not held centrally. The Industrial Strategy spans a wide array of policy areas across multiple government departments, agencies and bodies, including the Cabinet Office of which the Prime Minister’s Office is an integral part.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change will next meet; and what topics will be discussed at that meeting.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by Earl Howe to PQ HL1347 on 13 February 2020.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The UK is a world leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy, and has set an ambitious net zero target which will require transformation across the economy.

Tackling climate change is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister has set up the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change. This committee will hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change and oversee the UK’s preparations to host the COP26 summit.

The Government is leading from the front, and delivering on the Greening Government Commitments. Cabinet Office monitors and reports performance against these Commitments through the annual publication of the State of the Estate Report. The Report describes the size and cost, efficiency of use and sustainability of property for central government buildings.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total sum is of (a) premiums accepted from insurers under the Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme up to 30 June 2021 and (b) any financial windfall or retained monies received by the Government with specific reference to that scheme.

The Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme has benefitted over half a million businesses, providing certainty for firms across the UK and safeguarding jobs. It has protected more than an estimated £600 billion of business turnover through providing around £210 billion in insurance cover.

As the scheme remains open to receive claims, it would not be appropriate to disclose information on the financial performance of the scheme at this point.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 October 2020 to Question 98272, when he plans to publish the (a) names of the beneficiaries and (b) amounts of the loans with a nominal value of over €100,000 provided under the (i) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (ii) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Our priority is to ensure borrowers are given notice before information about their loans is shared with the European Commission; we are working with lenders and the British Business Bank to facilitate this. A rolling programme of reporting will then publish details of aid granted within the preceding 12 months.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Digital Communications Team has included approximately 14 members of staff responsible for producing and promoting social media content between 2018 and 2021. We cannot quantify how many other staff in the wider Communications Directorate or wider department as it’s something that many people do as a smaller part of their role.

The Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, including Covid-19, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective.

The Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on public information campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department made of the number of Green Homes Grant scheme applications it would receive by the end of January 2021 in the initial design of the Green Homes Grant programme.

The Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme has faced a number of delivery challenges, as many new mechanisms do. This has been exacerbated by the understandable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the willingness of householders to welcome tradespeople into their homes.

Different levels of lower than anticipated uptake were considered. However, given the uncertainties surrounding potential take-up, and delivery pathways, no specific forecast was made for the end of January.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's planned timescale is for concluding work on the Industrial Strategy review.

The majority of the 142 policy commitments from the 2017 Industrial Strategy are now in delivery, with around £45 billion of funding assigned to initiatives. These initiatives have strengthened the foundations of productivity, by investing in transport, housing, digital infrastructure, and skills. The Grand Challenges and missions have strengthened the UK’s standing as a global leader in AI, clean growth, healthy ageing, and future transport technology – preparing the UK for a resilient, future economy.

However, the 2017 Industrial Strategy was developed in a pre-COVID-19, pre-Brexit world and the coming decade poses new challenges. The Government is, and will continue to be, a champion of the needs of business and industry as we build back better from the pandemic. We will be laying out our plans to drive growth and support jobs across the UK in due course, and existing work will continue where appropriate.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of tips given to hospitality workers.

Some employers in the hospitality sector have recently improved their tipping practices and are now passing 100 per cent of tips to their staff.

When Parliamentary time allows, we will bring forward legislation to create a clear legislative framework for employers which handle tips. This will ensure hospitality workers are properly rewarded for their efforts, and protect the vast majority of hospitality businesses who do the right thing from being undercut by a small minority shirking their responsibilities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how long on average Future Fund applications have taken to process.

The average time taken to process Future Fund applications is shown in the table below.

The number of days starts when matched funding was approved and finishes when the convertible loan was executed. The elapsed time depends on the actions of companies and investors as well as the managers of the Future Fund. The quickest application to date was completed in 9 days.

Month

Number of applications

Average time taken (days)

May

464

39

June

229

34

July

145

32

August

120

30

September

224

25

To note, averages for October and November are not yet available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the letter on Climate Assembly UK he received from six select committee Chairs dated 10 September 2020, whether he plans to publish a response before Christmas 2020 to the recommendations of Climate Assembly UK’s report entitled, The Path to Net Zero, published on 10 September 2020.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spoke at the launch event of the Climate Assembly UK report on 10 September and welcomed its findings. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister responded to both the interim and the final Climate Assembly UK reports via letters to the six select committees.

We are working closely with Climate Assembly UK to ensure that government departments are familiar with their findings. We invited the Climate Assembly UK’s expert leads to present the recommendations via seven briefings for officials from across government that took place between 14 and 24 September and covered all the policy areas discussed in the report.

The report’s recommendations are an important part of the evidence base for developing the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, which will be published in 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to enable UK Research and Innovation to prolong funding for research students unable to undertake face-to-face interviews as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that the disruption of recent months has impacted the ability of doctoral students to undertake their research projects. This has led to students having to adjust their projects, making decisions around changing their?approach, collecting different data, or changing the way they had planned to work with people, labs, archives or facilities.

As it is not possible for all students to adjust their projects and training plan in such a way, I announced in April that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded PhD students in the final year and whose studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic would be provided with additional support. Subsequently on the 11th November, UKRI provided a further £19.1 million of funding to support students in earlier years, including disabled students, those with long-term illness, those who are neurodivergent, or those with caring responsibilities.

Combined, these two interventions have meant that UKRI has made over £60 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department is providing to suppliers wishing to undertake work under the Green Homes Grant but who require bridging finance between undertaking that work and receiving funding allocated under that grant scheme.

In-line with normal industry practice an installer can request a deposit from the customer prior to carrying out work. The deposit cannot be more than the expected customer contribution to the cost of measures under the quote provided and the installer may not charge any more than they would usually charge for a measure.

For those on the low income scheme an installer may only request a deposit where the total cost of the work exceeds the £10,000 grant. In this case, only the amount in excess will be eligible for a deposit.

Installers will be paid for the costs covered by the voucher once the work has been completed and they have confirmed receipt of any customer contribution. Most installers will get the grant payment within 5 working days.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for the UK to become a third country member of Horizon Europe in the event that the UK does not agree a deal on its future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The UK is open to participation in Horizon Europe if we can agree a fair and balanced deal. We will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached.

In tandem with our EU negotiations, as a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. If we do not formally associate to Horizon Europe we will implement ambitious alternatives as quickly as possible from January 2021 and address the funding gap.

Under all scenarios it is our aim that UK organisations and entities continue to participate in Horizon Europe collaborative projects open to third countries, as well as in wider international collaborations. If we do not formally associate to Horizon Europe, UK organisations would still be able to participate in those elements of the programme, open to third countries. As part of our alternatives to Horizon Europe, we will make funding available to allow UK partners to participate in these schemes. Funding for EU programmes or for alternatives would be subject to allocations at the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (c) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (d) Future Fund were each (i) notified to the European Commission under the State Aid Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 and (ii) designed under the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was approved on 25 March 2020 by the European Commission under the EU State aid Temporary Framework. The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme fall under the UK’s ‘umbrella’ Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK authorities which was approved by the Commission on 6 April 2020 under the EU State aid Temporary Framework.

They are not designed under the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The Future Fund is provided under the Market Economy Operator Principle and does not involve providing state aid to eligible companies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of whether the Future Fund is (a) a form of state aid under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and (b) subject to section 34 of the State Aid Temporary Framework, dated 19 March 2020.

The Future Fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The scheme is not subject to State Aid rules as it is provided under the Market Economy Operator Principle and does not involve providing aid to eligible companies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many green homes grants have been awarded by his Department in the first month of that scheme being open to applications.

The Green Homes Grant opened to applications on the 30 September 2020. As of midday on 21 October 2020, 22,013 grant applications have been received. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many providers have been approved for accredited services under the new green homes grant in (a) the UK and (b) each region in England.

As of 26 October, TrustMark has registered 1,108 businesses able to install the primary and/or secondary measures supported by the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compliance of the State Aid (Revocations and Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 under powers conferred by section 8(1) and section 8C(1) and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, with the Government policy as set out in the White Paper on Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union that the Act will not aim to make major changes in policy or to establish new legal frameworks in the UK beyond those that are necessary to ensure the law continues to function properly from day one.

The State Aid (Revocations and Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 are being made using the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal Act) 2018 (as amended). These powers include those intended to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively or other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

At the end of the transition period, the EU law on state aid which would otherwise be retained by the Withdrawal Act would contain fundamental deficiencies which would make it inoperable in the UK. In accordance with the requirements of the Withdrawal Act, the instrument is doing no more than is appropriate to address those deficiencies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) names of the beneficiaries and (b) amounts of the loans with a nominal value of over €100,000 provided under the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (d) Future Fund as required under the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures.

Details of individual aid awards under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published as required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course. Details of investments made through the Future Fund alongside private investors are commercially confidential.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of employees who have been penalised for self-isolating as a result of concerns about exposure to covid-19; and what steps he is taking to ensure that employers do not penalise employees on that basis.

Most employers are acting responsibly and supporting their staff to self-isolate when needed. However, we are aware of incidences where workers have felt compelled to work when they should be self-isolating. This is unacceptable.

It is critically important that when someone needs to self-isolate, they do so. That is why the Government made changes to the legal position around self-isolation making it an offence for an individual to leave their place of self-isolation (normally home) during the isolating period (either following a positive Covid test, contact by NHS Test and Trace or if they have returned from abroad and are required to quarantine.)

In order to support this, we have also made it an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who has been told to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If employers are found to be in breach of this requirement, they will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. Repeated breaches will see an increase in the level of the Fixed Penalty Notice (£1k first offence, £2k second offence, £4k third offence, £10k fourth and subsequent offences.)

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the EU requirement for businesses to be owned by a majority of EU-based shareholders will continue to apply to UK based businesses after the transition period.

There is no requirement for businesses to be owned by a majority of EU-based shareholders in current EU law or within the UK’s Companies Act 2006.

However, both Societas Europaeas (SEs) and European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIGs), which are EU specific company formations, have certain ownership-linked requirements. SEs, for example, must have their registered offices in the EU and at least two of the bodies that form an SE must have a presence in different Member States. Similarly, EEIGs, which are a form of association between companies or other legal bodies, must be based in the relevant EU Member State and companies or firms must be incorporated in the EU to become members of an EEIG.

From 1 January 2021, SEs and EEIGs will no longer be able to be registered in the UK and any UK-based SEs and EEIGs that have not made alternative arrangements will be automatically converted into new UK corporate structures, respectively UK Societas and UK Economic Interest Groupings (UKEIG). Members of UKEIGs will continue to be allowed to be based in either a part of the UK or in any EU Member State, and UK Socieatas will not be subject to any continuing ownership-linked requirements.

In addition, there are ownership or voting rights requirements in specific regulated sectors where specific EU regulations apply. Examples include audit firms, where the existing requirements as to the majority of voting rights on the ownership body and the management body will be amended so that each majority must be held by UK registered audit firms or by individuals with UK audit qualifications or UK recognised qualifications.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the proposed energy White Paper has not yet been published; and when he plans to publish that White Paper.

The Energy White Paper is a priority and it will be published this Autumn. It will drive economic recovery and help deliver our climate goals. It is important it is aligned with measures we are taking to accelerate a green recovery, such as my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 8th July about energy efficiency measures.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the UK has made in agreeing its associate membership of Horizon Europe; and whether agreement can be reached on Horizon Europe irrespective of whether a trade deal is agreed with the EU by the end of the transition period.

Our negotiating approach sets out that we will consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in certain EU Programmes, including Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest.

We continue to hold discussions on Programme participation with the EU, and my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS245) of 19 May sets out that UK and EU discussions took place across all workstreams, including EU Programmes. The Horizon Europe Programme is currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and has not yet been finalised. The Programme must be adopted by the EU before arrangements for potential UK participation could be finalised.

In tandem with our negotiations, as a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. In this, we are considering a range of measures, which include options to address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that holidaymakers whose holiday was cancelled as a result of a change in Foreign Office travel advice are able to receive the refund to which they are entitled.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses was published on 30 April by the Competition and Markets Authority who have also set up a covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to (a) support engineer surveyors to inspect sites while maintaining social distancing and (b) provide engineer surveyors with personal protective equipment.

In order to help ensure that workplaces are safe for workers in the construction sector, the Government has worked with Public Health England (PHE), business representatives, and trade unions to develop guidance on safer working. Measures include undertaking risk assessments and implementing social distancing.

The Government has also worked with the Construction Leadership Council to develop Site Operating Procedures, which provide practical advice to those seeking to implement this guidance on construction sites.

The UK does not currently advise that face masks should be used outside of care settings, on public transport, and in some shops. However, PHE is continually reviewing its guidance in line with emerging evidence.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will offer financial support to SMEs that become insolvent following payment of statutory sick pay relating to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government will support small and medium enterprises and individual employers to cope with the extra costs of paying COVID-19-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Eligible SSP costs will be refunded for two weeks per employee from the day on which regulations extending SSP to self-isolators come into force. This will provide 2 million businesses with support worth up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to improve access to paternity leave.

The Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing workers’ rights, and to supporting people to balance their work and caring responsibilities. We recently consulted on parental leave and pay reform, including Paternity Leave and Pay through a survey of approximately 3,300 parents, we are also collecting data on various parental leave and pay policies, including barriers and enablers to take-up. We will publish the consultation response and survey findings in due course.

The Government is committed to making the UK the best place to work and grow a business. As announced in the Queen’s Speech, we will bring forward an Employment Rights Bill to deliver the greatest reform of workers’ rights in over 20 years.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will take steps to secure associate membership of Horizon Europe at the same time as the Multi-Annual Financial Framework is agreed, prior to the end of the transition period.

We will continue to collaborate with the EU on scientific research and we have been clear that, where it is in the UK’s interests, we will seek to participate in some specific EU Programmes.

The shape and content of the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework Programmes for 2021-2027, including Horizon Europe, are currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and have not yet been finalised. Horizon Europe must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin.

The UK has played a constructive role in the development of Horizon Europe to ensure that it aligns with UK priorities and we look forward to continuing our relationship in research and innovation with our European partners.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

Leading the world in tackling climate change to deliver a stronger, greener United Kingdom is my key priority for the Department. We are committed to delivering our world-leading target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and end the UK’s contribution to global warming by 2050, while maximising the economic opportunities of this transition – creating new business opportunities and up to 2 million green jobs by 2030.

Between 1990 and 2017, the UK has reduced emissions by more than 40% while growing our economy by over two thirds – decarbonising our economy faster than any other G20 country. Meeting our net zero target will require us to build on this progress by transforming our economy, including our homes, transport, industries, how we generate and use energy, and how we use our land.

Throughout 2020 we will set out further plans to ensure the UK is on track to meet our ambitious targets, building on the strong framework we have established in the Clean Growth Strategy, including an Energy White Paper and a policy roadmap for heat in buildings. We are also preparing to host the crucial 2020 UN climate negotiations, COP26, in Glasgow in November. We will use COP26 to push for ambitious action from all countries to deliver the 2015 Paris Agreement, and showcase the UK’s climate leadership.

HM Government is making good progress towards the Greening Government Commitment to reduce emissions from the central government estate by 43% between 2009/10 and 2019/20, having exceeded the original target of 32% three years early. Since 2009/10, the Department reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 57%. This equates to a 36,448 tCO2e reduction.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on the work programme of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence; what the UK's contribution is to that partnership; and if he will make a statement.

As a founding member, the UK has been a key part of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) and has helped drive this initiative forward.

● GPAI is progressing projects across its Working Groups; Data Governance, Innovation and Commercialisation, Future of Work, Responsible AI and AI and Pandemic Response.

● Initial reports can be found on the new GPAI website (https://gpai.ai/), as well as presentations from the first multi stakeholder summit in December 2020. Work is now focusing on a few key projects in each area.

● UK representatives have contributed their valuable inputs and expertise to these workstreams and a number of experts also sit on the multi-stakeholder Steering Committee, including the current co-chair Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI.

● GPAI also welcomed four new members in December 2020; Brazil, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain - and there is interest from multiple other countries to join in the future.

The UK looks forward to continuing work with international partners to ensure GPAI fosters responsible development of AI grounded in principles of human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth on a global level.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Britain is fast becoming a digital-first nation. Roughly 96% of the UK households now have internet access with 66% of the population in the UK using social media.

With this monumental shift in media consumption habits, it is essential for a responsible government to pivot its communications strategy to be more digital-first, to inform and engage the general public on important policies.

Government communication runs across all channels including TV and radio advertising, out of home, digital and social media, print, direct channels such as letters, SMS and webinars, virtual and in-person activity, where needed and in full compliance with social distancing restrictions.

The DCMS News and Communications team leads on managing the department’s social media content as part of its day to day work, which includes a digital team of six that leads on creative content production across all of our corporate channels including online (for social media) and also offline, out of home and internal comms channels. This grew from a team of five people during 2018 to 2019. There are also two members of staff within Private Office who support on digital comms, as part of their wider roles.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to help prevent aggressive cold calling of land owners by prospective buyers who contact landowners even though their land is not advertised for sale.

HM Land Registry, as required by statute, includes within the register of title for England and Wales, the name and contact address details for each proprietor of a registered property. This can include email addresses, if the proprietor chooses to provide one, but it does not hold telephone numbers.

For a prescribed fee, a copy of the register entries that relate to an individual registered property can be obtained. HM Land Registry does not offer free and open access to the data they hold about property ownership. It publishes its commitment to citizens’ privacy rights in a Personal Information Charter, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry/about/personal-information-charter#your-legal-rights

The Hon Member’s constituents should be aware that they have a number of rights under the UK’s data protection regime, including the right to object to their data being processed and the right to erasure of their data. If the contact numbers are being held by an organisation that processes personal information, that organisation must comply with the data protection principles.

If anyone is concerned about the handling of their data by any organisation, they should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for further advice or to make a complaint. The ICO can be contacted by telephone on 0303 123 1113 or through their live chat facility: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/live-chat/. Further contact details are on the ICO website: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to ensure that the rollout of high speed broadband includes areas of low speed broadband in urban areas as well as non-urban areas.

The government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible and more than one in three UK premises already have it. We are targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

Our analysis suggests that the overwhelming majority of urban premises are within the most commercial 80% of the UK. In these areas, we expect that the private sector will deploy gigabit capable connectivity commercially, and address any remaining premises that have slow speeds. To support industry’s efforts, we continue to work quickly to incentivise investment and remove barriers to rollout, for example through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill, which will make it easier for the industry to connect blocks of flats to high speed fixed and mobile technology.

In addition, we are proposing to invest £5 billion through our UK Gigabit programme to deliver gigabit connectivity to less commercial premises, including those with lower speeds currently. This programme will use a variety of interventions, including procurements, connecting public sector hubs and gigabit vouchers.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arm’s-length bodies.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) own the Government’s Industrial Strategy. As the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport contributes to delivery of the aims of the Industrial Strategy through existing workstreams rather than dedicated resource, it is not possible to provide the information requested.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to protect vulnerable people from fraudulent cold calling.

Fraudulent calls can have significant and devastating impacts on people’s lives, particularly the most vulnerable in society. As well as being a nuisance, cold calling is the most common method used to initiate fraud, especially relating to pensions. That’s why the government has taken action to ban pension cold calling.

HM Treasury has introduced a ban on pension cold calling in order to reduce the chance of individual’s being enticed into fraudulent schemes.

Further to this, Home Office has collaborated with UK Finance to run the Take Five fraud awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to equip the public to challenge fraudulent approaches with confidence – be they face-to-face, on the telephone or online.

The Government continues to work on practical solutions to address nuisance and scam calls. DCMS have provided over £1 million in the last 3 years to the National Trading Standards for distribution of call blocking devices to vulnerable people. This funding helped to protect some of the most vulnerable in society from nuisance calls and scams, including those originating from overseas.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of covid-19 restrictions on sports which prevent adults from travelling between local authorities but enable coaches, umpires and under-18s to do so.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

You can travel in order to exercise across all tiers, however there is additional guidance for Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas which affects those living in the areas as well as those who wish to travel into the areas to take part in sporting activities. In tier 2: you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make, where possible.

You are advised not to travel into or out of Tier 3 areas, including for sport, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble). Where this is necessary (for example to access a green space for a run or cycle), you should only travel a short distance and stay as local as possible. Travel is also permitted where it is necessary to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes, or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, to take place, but should still be minimised and kept to short distances only. People can additionally travel for necessary work or voluntary purposes.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government plans to issue guidance on the holding of public firework display events in England during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether the Government plans to make material revisions in relation to those events to its most recent general guidance on outdoor gatherings during the covid-19 outbreak.

Outdoor events - including firework display events - organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies are currently permitted provided event organisers follow all relevant Covid-19 Secure guidance, organisers and attendees adhere to all legal requirements including only allowing people to attend in groups of up to 6 people, and the event does not pose a risk to public health.

Industry guidance developed by the Events Industry Forum in collaboration with DCMS outlines the Covid-secure measures that events organisers must put in place in order to host an outdoor event, including a firework display.

Local Authorities are responsible for permitting or prohibiting large organised outdoor events from taking place in their local area. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and Local Authorities should provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type if required.

We will keep the Outdoor Events guidance under review to determine whether further guidance should be provided as government measures to stop the spread of the virus change. The Events Industry Forum’s guidance for outdoor events can be found here: https://www.eventsindustryforum.co.uk/index.php/11-features/14-keeping-workers-and-audiences-safe-during-covid-19.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres' proposal for an Emergency Resilience Fund for science centres during the covid-19 outbreak.

Science and discovery centres around the country have an important role in educating and entertaining visitors of all ages on what science is and the important discoveries over the centuries that have changed all our lives.

The proposal for an Emergency Resilience Fund sets out the difficulties that science centres are facing while they are closed and unable to earn income from visitors.

Science centres in England have access to the unprecedented support the Government has announced for business and workers, to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes the Job Retention Scheme, which I am pleased science centres have benefited from, VAT payment deferrals, and £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses. The Chancellor has also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

Many science and discovery centres are also part of museum groups or are heritage sites, such as members Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, part of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and Thinktank, the Birmingham Science Museum. Museums and heritage organisations can access over £200 million of coronavirus support schemes from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Science centres outside England may be eligible for further support from the devolved governments.

Our immediate national priority is containing the spread of the virus. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to visit leisure attractions once again. On 11th May 2020 the Government published a roadmap setting out how we expect organisations such as science and discovery centres to open back up and welcome visitors again.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will meet representatives of the (a) Independent Community News Network and (b) Public Interest News Foundation to discuss (i) allocating a proportion of the Government’s Coronavirus advertising spend to independent-sector newspapers and (ii) disbursing that funding and placing those advertisements under a sector-wide agreement with that network and foundation.

The Minister for Media and Data met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss Government support for the independent news publishing sector to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector. This meeting included a discussion about the Government's national campaign to provide information and reassurance to the public about Covid-19 and how the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences.

All titles utilised in the campaign have been selected by the Government's media planning and buying agency, OmniGOV. As with any media planning approach, titles are selected on their ability to engage with audiences at a national, regional and local level and to ensure value for money, reach and targeting efficacy. The current partnership brings together over 600 national, regional and local titles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reach 49 million people a month. The vast majority of titles are local papers and additional titles have been selected in order to further reach priority audiences including BAME and older men.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make the proposed Online Harms Bill subject to pre-legislative scrutiny.

We will announce our intentions for the legislative process shortly.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

DCMS is committed to helping tackle climate change. The UK is a world leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy. Our world-leading net zero target will require transformation across the economy. HMG will set out further plans to deliver net zero throughout 2020 ahead of COP26, including plans on energy and heat in buildings. HMG is leading from the front, reducing emissions from the government estate and delivering on the Greening Government Commitments.

DCMS works closely with the Electronic Communications Resilience and Response Group (the industry run group which represents all the major Telecoms operators and leads on resilience activity and best practice); this group has produced reports on climate change adaptation and we have worked closely with them and with Defra colleagues to develop a template which will enable a sector wide response to the third adaptation reporting round which closes at the end of 2021.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans for summer-born children to be given automatic admission to secondary school for children who currently have a delayed start.

The Department remains committed to legislating to change the School Admissions Code to allow summer born children to be automatically admitted to Reception at the age of five, where that is what their parents' wish, and to remain with that cohort throughout their compulsory education.

In September 2020, we published updated guidance for admission authorities and advice for parents on the current arrangements for requesting admission outside a child’s normal age group. The guidance states that where children have delayed their start in Reception and are applying for transition to junior, middle or secondary school, unless there are sound educational reasons to do otherwise, the assumption should be that they remain outside their normal year group and in the year in which they have been educated so far. The guidance will help ensure that decisions are taken in the best interests of the child concerned.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There has been no-one in my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s private office allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on Department for Education social media.

The number of officials in the central social media team based in the communications division are outlined by year in the following table:

Year:

Number of Officials:

2018-19

5

2019-20

7

2020-21

10

This reflects the increasing importance of communicating directly on social media to parents, students and school, college and university staff with clear, practical information and support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Student Loans Company is not permitted to support young people who have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK with access to student finance for the purposes of undertaking higher education courses.

Generally, to be eligible for student support a student must be resident in England and have ‘settled’ status or a recognised connection with the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course and must have been resident in the UK and Islands (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the 3 years prior to that date.

Student finance is, therefore, available to those persons who have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK provided they meet the relevant residence and other requirements.

The Student Loans Company relies on information from the Home Office in relation to immigration matters when assessing eligibility.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish his (a) response, (b) agreed actions and (c) timetable for change to the Information Commissioner's compulsory audit of his Department, published on 7 October 2020, which was due to be published in January 2021.

The official departmental response to the 2020 Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) data protection audit of the Department for Education is publicly available and was deposited in the House Libraries 28 January 2021. The document can be found through the following link: https://depositedpapers.parliament.uk/depositedpaper/2282906/files.

The Department continues to work with the ICO to deliver against the recommendations identified within the audit report. The official response sets out that the Department is committed to a programme of work and will publish a further update in June 2021.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Numerous teams across the department have worked to develop and deliver policies that contribute to delivering the Industrial Strategy, so we are unable to quantify staff numbers in this respect.

This includes teams focusing on: the introduction of ground-breaking T Levels; establishing new Institutes of Technology; developing the National Skills Fund; increasing funding for 16-19 provision; improving take up of science and maths at A level; improving digital education at all levels through changes to the curriculum and a new digital entitlements for adults; and the introduction of Skills Advisory Panels and the Skills Productivity Board.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he will publish his (a) response, (b) agreed actions and (c) timetable for change to the Information Commissioner's compulsory audit of his Department, published on 7 October 2020.

The Department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education will be publishing a formal response in January 2021.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) pupil premium funding and (b) physical education and sport funding for schools will be (i) maintained at the level and (ii) paid on the dates agreed prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

The pupil premium for financial year 2020-2021 will be paid using the per pupil rates and on the dates set out in the conditions of grant published in February 2020 on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2020-to-2021.

Primary PE and sport premium payments were made to local authorities for their maintained schools in April 2020 and to academies in May 2020 on the dates and at the level announced in October 2019 on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pe-and-sport-premium-conditions-of-grant-2019-to-2020.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 29 of his Department's document entitled, Teacher recruitment and retention strategy published on 28 January 2019, what progress his Department has made on establishing pilot schemes for teacher sabbaticals.

The recruitment and retention of teachers remains a priority for the Government. We want to ensure that all pupils in England are taught by high-quality teachers.

The Department has a significant programme of work in place to improve recruitment, retention, and the quality of teaching, much of which is set out in our Recruitment and Retention Strategy, published in January 2019. As part of this, we intend to work closely with the sector and potential delivery partners to consider how to design an effective sabbaticals pilot that works for teachers and school leaders. We are not yet at the stage where we can launch the scheme.

The Department will provide further information on any pilot in due course.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that vulnerable people, in the event that they are advised to self-isolate are not penalised if they have to remove their dependents from school in order to do so.

Parents will not be penalised for absence that results from following government guidance on self-isolation.

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with the latest advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, schools have been advised to record the pupil as being unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register.

Schools have also been advised that where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be recorded as absent but we expect headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Recording a pupil as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances and authorising absence will not lead to enforcement action being taken.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department of Education is supporting sustainability both through the content taught to students, and through supporting our schools to become more sustainable institutions.

It is important that young people are taught about climate change and sustainability. Topics related to this are included in both the science and geography curriculum and qualifications. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, we also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

In addition, sustainability content will be included in T levels, new post-16 technical study programs. In setting outline content, the T level panels of employers and industry experts must consider the inclusion of sustainability as relevant to their sector. For example, in Construction, T level students will be required to learn about renewable energy and emerging technologies to support energy efficiency.

The Department support sustainability through our capital funding and programmes, both to reduce carbon and save schools money on energy. Schools can use their condition funding to invest in improving energy efficiency. Furthermore, interest free loans for energy efficiency projects in maintained schools are available through the Government backed Salix finance scheme. Salix loans have also been made available to academies through an annual application process. More broadly, we are working with colleagues across the Government on carbon reduction and energy efficiency and developing thinking on how future capital programmes can contribute further.

During procurements, Department for Education considers how this might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area, where this is relevant to the subject matter of the contract.

From April, the Department will begin implementation of new government guidance on Social Value, which requires central Government Departments to take account of social impact as part of the award criteria where this is linked to the subject matter of the contract and proportionate. This may include reducing environmental impacts.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release, Gove calls for 30 per cent of world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, published 24 September 2018, how protected oceans will be (a) maintained and (b) enforced as no fishing zones; and how that enforcement is planned to be funded.

The UK is a world leader on ocean protection. The UK is championing a target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 and working to secure its adoption at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of Parties later this year where the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be adopted. In support of this target, the UK leads the Global Ocean Alliance and is the Ocean Co-Chair (alongside France and Costa Rica) of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.

We are also playing an active role in negotiations to conclude a new agreement, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (“the BBNJ Agreement”). We are pressing for an ambitious BBNJ Agreement to be concluded this year that includes provisions for the designation of globally recognised Marine Protected Areas in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The UK believes the whole ocean should be sustainably managed to allow the marine environment and sustainable marine economies to thrive. Effective MPAs can cover a range of protection measures including highly protected no-catch sites and those that deliver conservation outcomes alongside sustainable economic activities.

Accountability with effective planning, reporting and review mechanisms will be essential to delivering the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. That is why the UK, in partnership with Norway, is leading a programme of workshops to provide space for discussions between Parties to enhance planning, reporting and review mechanisms to strengthen the implementation mechanisms of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the CBD.

To deliver on an ambitious the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, it is essential that the framework is supported by a global uplift in financing for nature and capacity-building. Mobilising resources from all sources (public and private), and at all levels (domestic and international) will be vital to supporting implementation of the goals and targets.

The UK is a major contributor to the Global Environment Facility and wants to see it become the Financial Mechanism for the BBNJ Agreement as it is for the CBD. The UK’s new Blue Planet Fund will also provide additional support for marine and ocean protection for developing countries, complementing the successes of the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme and Blue Belt Programme for UK Overseas Territories.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release Gove calls for 30 per cent of world’s oceans to be protected by 2030 published on 24 September 2018, whether existing Marine Protected Areas and Marine Conservation Zones in UK waters are no-fishing zones; how no-fishing zones are (a) monitored and (b) enforced; and whether the designation of those zones has led to a like-for-like reduction in the (i) size and (ii) number of fisheries being licensed out of the UK.

The Government consulted on measures to reduce personal water use in 2019 and we have committed to publish our response in late spring. Our ambitions are aligned with the recommendations set out in the National Framework to reduce personal water consumption to 110 litres per person per day by 2050. We believe our measures will enable this ambition to be met without affecting the quality of life and the enjoyment of water used by households.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the impact of commercial fishing is planned to be on the agenda at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

As incoming president of COP26 in partnership with Italy, the UK is committed to showcasing ambitious action on climate change and inspiring others to do the same. We are placing a priority on Nature at COP26, championing the protection, restoration and sustainable use of marine ecosystems, to improve the ocean’s resilience to climate change and support the restoration of habitats critical for adaptation.

The agenda for COP26 will be based on mandates agreed at previous COPs. We are committed to enabling progress across all the mandates we have been given, and to securing an outcome that respects and reflects the interests of all Parties, including the poorest and most climate vulnerable. This includes the outcomes from the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, mandated at COP25 in Decision 1/CP.25.

Looking beyond COP26, we will use our status as a newly independent coastal State to expand and enhance our international efforts to sustainably manage fisheries, protect ecosystems and combat illegal fishing.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the catch limits provided for by UK fishing vessel licences take into consideration by-catch; and how that by-catch is monitored.

The catch limits on UK fishing licences are set to ensure the UK stays within the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for each stock as set out by the Secretary of State every year. The TACs account for by-catch and any obligation fishing vessels have to land this by-catch. In some cases, catch limits are set for by-catch only stocks and where this is the case it is clearly stated in the relevant fishing vessel licence.

By-catch is monitored in the same way as all stock uptake. This is through the mandatory recording of all catches and landings by fishing vessels and the mandatory recording of all sales made directly from fishing vessels.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 27 January 2021, HCWS738 on Bovine TB, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of cutting short extant badger culling licences at the same time as he plans to ban new licences from being issued in 2022.

In January 2021 we launched a consultation on the next phase of bovine TB eradication strategy as part of our objective for TB-free status in England by 2038. The consultation includes proposals to stop issuing intensive cull licences for new areas after 2022 and could see new four-year licences, after two-years of culling, be revoked after a progress evaluation by the Chief Veterinary Officer.

The consultation also includes proposals to restrict supplementary badger control licences to two years and to prohibit the issuing of new licences for areas licensed after 2020.

The consultation closes on 24 March 2021 and a government response and next steps will be published thereafter. Changes to the intensive and supplementary cull licences will be implemented by Natural England through revised guidance from Defra, which we are also consulting on. Details can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb-2020/eradication-of-btb-england/.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

At Defra, in 2020-21 we had 17 people allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media. Sixteen of those people worked across three organisations: Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency. In 2018-19 we allocated 16 people and in 2019-20 we allocated 17 people.

We have no private office officials allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

Britain is fast becoming a digital-first nation. Roughly 96% of the UK households now have internet access with 66% of the population in the UK using social media. With this monumental shift in media consumption habits, it is essential for a responsible government to pivot its communications strategy to be more digital-first in order to inform and engage with the general public on important policies.

Government communication runs across all channels - TV and radio advertising, out of home, digital and social media, print, and direct channels such as letters, SMS and webinars, virtual and in-person activity, where needed and in full compliance with social distancing restrictions.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, including Covid-19, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on public information campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is responsible for the overall delivery of the Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-Government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 Government departments and arm’s-length bodies

Given the breadth of the delivery work within Defra, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy in teams within the department. The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will apply to the European Commission for the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

The Department has submitted its application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations and is currently seeking technical discussions with the European Commission. As we have left the EU, it is now for the Commission to consider our application for listed status.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

Tackling climate change is a priority for the whole of Government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November. Defra is playing its part in achieving net zero, taking forward efforts to reduce emissions from agriculture, waste, land-use and fluorinated gases and to encourage sequestration through forestry.

Defra, as the lead department for domestic adaptation, is responsible for delivering adaptation duties set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. These include preparing, every five years, a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), followed by a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), which sets out actions to address the risks identified in the CCRA. The second, most recent, CCRA was published in 2017 and the second NAP was published in July 2018.

Adaptation is rightly integrated throughout the policies and programmes of Government. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local Government. It sets out the actions Government is taking to address the risks posed by a changing climate - including Government investment of £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion. We are also developing and implementing a Nature Recovery Network, which will create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat in England. Nature recovery can help us to mitigate and adapt to climate change, because our wetlands, forests and grasslands capture carbon and provide other environmental benefits, such as flood management and pollination. Marine Protected Areas (including the 41 new Marine Conservation Zones we designated last year) now cover 40% of English waters and will help enhance the resilience of ecosystems and wildlife to climate change.

Defra will work with other departments through the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the Prime Minister.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

My department has long recognised that climate change puts development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at risk. We contribute to the development of science and analysis on climate change to help improve global understanding of the challenge, as well as building the evidence of effective approaches to tackle it. Since 2011, our International Climate Finance has supported 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change and given 26 million people improved access to clean energy.

It is clear that more global action is urgently needed to avoid dangerous climate change and environmental degradation. The Government is working hard to ensure the international climate negotiations in Glasgow in November are a success. Last year, the Prime Minister committed to double our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion from 2021/22 to 2025/26, and we have also committed to align all UK aid with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This means that we will be investing more in helping countries to build their capability to manage the impact of climate change already locked in and to support lower carbon development, with an increasing focus on nature-based solutions such as investing in sustainable forestry.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are no officials in my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade’s Private Office whose dedicated role is the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

In the UK, the number of officials in the Department whose roles are dedicated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media is 6 full-time employees. Other officials in the UK and overseas may contribute content as required.

This has been at a consistent level across the years indicated at (a), (b) and (c).

In UK Export Finance, the number of full-time equivalent members of staff working on production and promotion of content for social media in those three years was (a) 2018-19 1.5 FTE; (b) 2019-20 1.5 FTE; and (c) 2020-21, 1.0 FTE. Other officials contribute to the production and promotion as required.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arms-length bodies.

Trade is a critical element of the Industrial Strategy. Global trade has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on prosperity in the UK and around the world. International trade and investment are linked to increased jobs, productivity, growth, prosperity and development. The structure and networks the Department for International Trade (DIT) has put in place ensure the Department can deliver on the international aspects of the Industrial Strategy.

Given the breadth of the delivery work, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy in teams within DIT. This information is unlikely to be retrievable at this point in time and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the economic and environmental benefits of allowing Australian wine to be carbonated in the UK and labelled as Australian sparkling wine; and if she will ensure that any future trade deal with Australia will permit that process.

The Government is aware of interest in this subject, which has been raised in our ongoing stakeholder engagement. We are working hard for an agreement which works for both British businesses and consumers.

We have recently completed our third round of negotiations with Australia, including positive and detailed discussion on technical barriers to trade. We will continue to engage with wine producers, exporters, and distributors to address issues relating to trade in wine between the UK and Australia – including the agreement the Government has already reached with Australia to secure ongoing trading terms for wine.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the validity of driving theory tests for people who cannot book practical tests as a result of slots being fully booked before their theory test runs out.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure a candidate’s road safety knowledge and ability to identify developing hazards is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

It is important road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring now will have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, they have been unable to take lessons and practice for long periods of time, and not at all during recent lockdowns. It is difficult to maintain knowledge and understanding of driving theory at the level required during that time without being able to put it into practice. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the preparation of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Learners will therefore need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to issue guidance to enable parents to hand over children that live between two parents in separate countries in an airport before returning to their own country during covid-19 travel restrictions.

Guidance for parents escorting children for overseas travel from England during the national restrictions is published on GOV.UK, at: https://www.gov.uk/travel-abroad.

Further detail is also available under the ‘Reasonable excuses for travel abroad’ section of the following GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

Guidance is also available on GOV.UK for those travelling into the UK: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

A parent accompanying a child to England who will immediately return to their country of original should review transit guidance published on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#transiting-through-the-uk

Different international travel rules may apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and individuals should follow the guidance of the relevant Devolved Administration.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to enable parents whose children live in the UK and another country to see those children during the covid-19 pandemic.

The government has put in place measures to reduce the impact of border measures on families. For arrivals who have not been in a red-list country in the previous 10 days children are required to self-isolate, however they can do so in the family home and may also move between family homes during that period of isolation.

For managed quarantine facilities, family groups will be able to quarantine together as long as the hotel is able to accommodate them. This includes couples and parents with children.

The Global Travel Taskforce recently reported on “the safe return of international travel” and we will implement its recommendations in a way that is based on science while supporting the economy and allowing families and friends to reunite.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

a) No officials in the Secretary of State’s private office are allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

b) Resource within the wider department allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media equates to approximately 11.15 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) in 2018/19, 11.4 FTE in 2019/20, and 12.65 FTE in 2020/21.

This resource can be broken down across two main areas, the central Communications team and separate policy and HR teams.

The central Communications team create and promote departmental social media content managing several corporate social media channels as well as some behavioural change campaign channels. For example THINK!, the critical road safety campaign to help reduce deaths and serious injury on roads; and ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ championing equal access on public transport. The number of officials in the central team, working across a range of disciplines including media and digital, equates to approximately 7.15 FTE in 2018/19, 7.4 FTE in 2019/20, and 8.15 FTE in 2020/21

These people are not solely focussed on the production and promotion of online content for social media although it forms the majority of their role alongside channel management, brand and design, accessibility, insight and evaluation and wider social media support including training.

HR and some policy teams across the department also own and manage their own social media channels. The number of officials across HR and the different policy teams equates to approximately 4 FTE in 2018/19 and 2019/20 and 4.5 FTE in 2020/21.



Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's report Gear Change, a bold vision for cycling and walking, when he plans open applications for local authorities to bid for funding to become (a) mini-Hollands and (b) zero-emission cities.

Funding for, and announcements on, long-term commitments in Gear Change, including for 'mini-Hollands' and zero-emission cities, is subject to the forthcoming multi-year Spending Review, expected later this year. Decisions on how local authorities will be able to register interest in taking part in the selection process, and how the selection will be made, will be announced in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report published by his Department in July 2020 entitled Gear Change, whether he plans to bring forward proposals to fund cycle hire schemes in cities outside London; and what steps his Department is taking to solve the last-mile problem to enable low-carbon multi-modal journeys.

On 28 July 2020 the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking. This included a £2 billion five-year package of funding for active travel, the bulk of which will go to local authorities across England to support schemes, including potentially cycle hire schemes, in their areas.

The Spending Review in November confirmed that £257 million of dedicated funding would be made available next financial year to support cycling and walking schemes. Further details about how this funding will allocated will be announced in due course. Decisions on how best to support low-carbon last-mile journeys in their areas are matters for local highway and planning authorities.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to ensure that Compulsory Basic Training certificates can be renewed or extended during the covid-19 national lockdown.

The two-year validity period of a compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate is set out in legislation. It is in place to ensure learner moped and motorcycle riders can ride safely on their own, with L-plates, while they practise for a full moped or motorcycle test. The Government has no plans, on road safety grounds, to waive that two-year validity period.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Transport plays an important role in supporting the aims of the 2017 Industrial Strategy; central both to the Infrastructure Foundation and the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. Key areas of activity span the department, for example in areas such as Transport for the North and Midlands Connect, local transport investment through the Transforming Cities Fund and policies on EV infrastructure and incentives. A cross-Department Future of Transport (FoT) programme has also been established to manage changes in transport technology over the decade, including (1) a regulatory review to address barriers to deployment; (2) Future Transport Zones to enable local authorities to actively engage and shape transport innovations; and (3) sector-specific work in zero emission and connected/automated vehicles to secure UK leadership.

DfT contributions to delivery of the Industrial Strategy are not localised within specific teams across the department, and so we are unable to provide officials numbers as requested. However, for example there has been an increase in officials supporting the Office for Low Emission Vehicles programme, and a further increase for officials supporting electric and autonomous vehicles. These programmes share common outcomes with the Industrial Strategy, particularly in meeting the grand challenge set for the Future of Mobility in the UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason MOTs have not been extended in the context of the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Garages testing and repairing vehicles are allowed to remain open for business during the English lockdown announced in January, on the basis of Covid-secure working practices. The vast majority (over 95%, in the last week) of the testing network is open for business. There is widespread availability of contact free, pick-up and drop-off MOT services. The MOT test is important to vehicles being roadworthy and dangerous defects being identified and rectified. As with other aspects of the lockdown, the position is subject to review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will review public health guidance on driving instruction to permit practical lessons to continue for key workers during covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives it is vital that approved driving instructors respect the national restrictions in England, reduce day-to-day contact with others, and not carry out driver training. Pupils can still have private practice using their own car providing they and the supervising driver are from the same household and it is travel for work, education or for other legally permitted exemptions.

In line with the Government’s national restrictions, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has suspended practical driver testing in England until Thursday 3 December 2020. Given the short period of time the new restrictions are in place, the DVSA will not be offering a critical worker priority service, but the agency will keep this under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his news story, Idling drivers could face higher fines under new government crackdown, published 29 June 2019, what progress he has made on proposals to charge idling drivers higher fines.

Existing guidance to Local Authorities makes clear that fines should be dispensed to motorists only as a last resort. The priority must be to change motorists’ behaviour – to encourage them not to idle, which after all is wasting their fuel, and instead to encourage motorists towards using the technological solutions now available.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the use of air curtains in indoor settings to help prevent the airborne transmission of covid-19.

DfT is considering a range of potential engineering mitigations for Covid-19 on the transport network. We are following advice from SAGE which has considered the potential benefits of improved ventilation flows, however to date no assessment on the use of air curtains directly has been made.

We are aware that experts are producing guidance such as the CIBSE Covid-19 Ventilation Guidance and the REHVA Covid-19 Guidance.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to ensure that road hauliers have access to (a) hot food, (b) toilet facilities, and (c) washing facilities while making long-distance deliveries during the covid-19 outbreak.

Officials in the Department have been working closely with the freight associations and operators of Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), to ensure that the MSAs continue to provide suitable food, toilets and shower facilities to hauliers travelling on the road network. We have also been working with large Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs), to ensure they have implemented hygiene procedures and social distancing in line with government guidelines.

In a small number of cases, MSA operators have reduced the opening hours of some facilities, but fuel, toilets, and takeaway food and drink currently remain available at all MSAs 24 hours a day. MSAs must provide these amenities as required by the DfT planning circular.

Truck stops and garages may also provide facilities, however, these are private businesses which are subject to different levels of regulation to MSAs.

Where access to toilet or handwashing facilities is denied, and proper social distancing measures are not in place, this can be reported via e-mail to covid19info@rha.uk.net.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people who have applied for a key worker lorry driving test due to the covid-19 outbreak have been able to access such a test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has booked 302 emergency lorry driving tests for critical workers for the period 23 March to 19 June 2020.

The DVSA does not hold data on the number of people who have applied for a key worker lorry driving test due to the covid-19 outbreak. This is because the booking system that was used between 23 March and 24 April 2020 was a manual system that captured the number of emails received, not number of unique requests received.

The DVSA has now streamlined the process and introduced a new online application form.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department for Transport (DfT) works closely with its operators on risk assessment and mitigation measures for transport infrastructure. DfT contributed to the Government’s National Adaption Programme 2018 and Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017. These two documents set out Government’s adaptation measures and predicated climate change impacts nationally. DfT is continuing to work with transport operators and delivery partners to increase climate resilience in the planning and design of transport infrastructure and will keep incorporating adaptation into its strategies.

Government is committed to delivering a net zero emission transport system, which will deliver wider benefits for the UK and its citizens, as soon as possible. These benefits include improved air quality and public health, new opportunities for economic growth and high-quality jobs in clean growth, as well as a sustainable and more efficient transport system. The forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out our bold and ambitious policies for transport to ensure the transport sector plays its part in ending the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he will make an assessment of the merits of the requirement provided for in the Third European Driving Licence Directive for a minimum horizontal visual field of 120 degrees for Group 1 licence eligibility after the UK leaves the EU.

As part of our preparations future relationship negotiations with the EU, we will be considering all aspects of applicable EU law. However, we would want to ensure that our high safety standards are maintained on UK roads while considering opportunities that may arise from the UK’s exit from the EU.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what provisions are in place to ensure continued receipt of child maintenance payments from a parent who is imprisoned but still in receipt of income from personal assets.

Where a paying parent is in prison and receives income from certain assets, then a variation can be considered and that income may be taken into account when calculating the maintenance liability.

If the paying parent fails to make payments that are due, the Child Maintenance Service can make arrangements to enforce payment of any arrears.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government has made representations to the Greek Government on unpaid pension entitlements due to Greek citizens residing in the UK.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement set out the rules on the payment of state pensions when individuals of any nationality have moved, or move in future, between the UK and EU member states.

These agreements maintain the same rules as prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in respect of the payment of their state pension and the coordination between states in its calculation. The UK and EU Member State governments are bound by obligations in those agreements.

The agreements also provide mechanisms for raising issues relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU with the European Commission and the governments of Member States.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what arrangements her Department has put in place to maintain EU member state derived pension entitlements for EU citizens residing in the UK following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement set out the rules on the payment of state pensions when individuals of any nationality have moved, or move in future, between the UK and EU member states.

These agreements maintain the same rules as prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in respect of the payment of their state pension and the coordination between states in its calculation. The UK and EU Member State governments are bound by obligations in those agreements.

The agreements also provide mechanisms for raising issues relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU with the European Commission and the governments of Member States.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many officials in (a) her private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The DWP is the largest department in Whitehall, making a difference to the lives of millions of people right across the country, and as such it is vital that communications are far-reaching, clear and effective. DWP manages social media through these key areas;

  • At a national level in the Strategic Communications Directorate (SCD) to communicate key policy areas to the public, campaign messaging and ministerial priorities.

  • At a local level in the Customer Experience Directorate (CED) through operational staff using jobcentre accounts that are a valuable resource to help people find work and access the support they need.

  • In the Digital Group (DG) to communicate how it uses technology and innovation to build products and services that change the lives of people across the UK.

The following table shows the amount of staff who have a role in the production of social media content.

Year

Number of staff

2018/19

20

2019/20

27

2020/21

25

Operational staff who manage local jobcentre accounts are not included in these figures as social media forms a small part of their daily role. There are no officials in Ministers’ private offices that create or manage content for social media.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Given DWP’s strong focus on supporting individuals into employment a significant number of officials have been and continue to be involved in aspects of Industrial Strategy design and delivery. However, the Department does not keep this information centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, whether he plans provide unpaid carers with a supplementary Carer's Allowance payment.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Parliamentary Question 54856 on 9 June 2020.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to reform calculation of monthly equivalents for universal credit claimants with weekly rent liabilities by multiplying the weekly rent by the (a) number of rent weeks in the year, and dividing that figure by 12 or (b) average number of weeks in a year.

Neither tenants or landlords lose a week’s rent in a 53 weekly rent payment year as has been alleged; no year contains 53 weeks. The problem is alignment between weekly and monthly cycles. Each month the UC housing element is a constant figure but claimants with weekly tenancy agreements will be required to make either four or five rent payments within this period. When rent is always paid on time, in five payment months they are effectively making payment for part of the following month. That month will always be a four rent payment month, so the combination of the advance payment and the ‘overpayment’ of housing support during that month will result in the correct amount of housing element being paid.

Where a landlord charges rent weekly on a Monday, because of the way the calendar falls every 5 or 6 years, they will seek 53 rent payments in a year, with the 53rd payment in part covering the tenancy for the first few days of the following year. The effect of this is that, over the course of the next housing association rental year, a tenant’s UC payments will accurately reflect their liability, irrespective of the 53 payment weeks.

There is a separate issue with respect to the way the calculation in the Universal Credit regulations converts a weekly liability into a monthly allowance. The conversion is achieved by multiplying the weekly rent by 52 and then dividing by 12. This effectively means one day’s rent a year (two days in a leap years) are not covered by UC. We are currently considering whether this formulation around weekly rents, and potentially other weekly amounts in the UC calculation, should be amended.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

The Department for Work and Pensions assesses climate change as a potential risk to its operational responsibilities.

The UK Government recognises climate change as a material risk to most if not all pension schemes. Therefore, we have clarified trustees’ investment duties in legislation to consider all financially material considerations – including climate change. Trustees have to document a policy on how they take account of climate change. Defined contribution and hybrid benefit schemes are required to publish their policy and defined benefit schemes will be required to publish from 1 October.

With respect to its own operations, the Department applies criteria that considers the effect of climate change, such as flood risk, when deciding on future site strategy.

The Department also undertakes regular reviews of their location specific emergency planning, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

The Department’s estate supply chain is undertaking site visits which include an assessment of climate change risk with recommendations on investment. Investment in the Departmental estate is focused upon its core assets, with the level of criticality of those assets a key measure. This helps to ensure that its buildings are as resilient as possible. By using data, asset management principles and specialist knowledge we are able to identify assets most at risk of failure and to mitigate accordingly.

The DWP has a dedicated Estates Sustainability and Environment Team. Their purpose is to oversee that from an estate perspective: -

• Our effects on sustainability and the environment from appropriately managed and

• That risks from the environment are proportionately managed.

In terms of sustainability, the Department is committed to tackling climate change and delivering against the Government’s sustainability targets. We are currently exceeding our carbon reduction targets under the Greening Government Commitments (GGC). The GGC requires the Department to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2020 against a 2009/10 baseline. As of June 2019, we are currently at a 56% reduction.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) prepare for and (b) procure covid-19 booster vaccine doses for variants of concern.

We are preparing for a Covid-19 booster vaccination programme and planning for several potential scenarios. Final decisions on the timing and scope of the programme will be taken later this year, in line with results from key clinical studies. Any decision will be informed by independent advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what performance metrics his Department plans to publish for private sector providers of rapid covid-19 testing services for international travel.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason a covid-19 test for travel to France costs £219 each way when that travel is for a permitted reason, such as a family funeral.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure equal access to covid-19 rapid testing for (a) people who are visually impaired and (b) other people who are unable to administer the tests themselves.

NHS Test and Trace has worked with a number of charities, including RNIB, the Macular Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary.

NHS Test and Trace has undertaken trials with RNIB and volunteers with differing levels of vision quality. New tools are being introduced for those ordering home test kits who are visually impaired, including improved boxes which are easier to assemble for the returning of tests; instructions in braille, audio and large print; and an RNIB information line hear a recorded version of the instructions.

On 1 April, we launched the ‘Be My Eyes’ app which offers live video assistance from trained NHS Test and Trace staff. To support those who are unable to administer a test themselves, there are now more than 50 static regional test sites across the United Kingdom which offer assisted testing.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of covid-19 vaccine prioritisation for people who are visually impaired and unable to manage social distancing in all circumstances.

Visual impairment is not a risk factor for clinically more serious outcomes from COVID-19. Therefore, those with a visual impairment are not prioritised on the basis of this condition. However, some visually impaired individuals who are aged 50 years old and above or who meet the criteria for one of the nine priority groups will have been prioritised in phase one, in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of when people with asthma should be prioritised to receive a covid-19 vaccination; and whether he has directed the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to make an assessment of when people with asthma should be prioritised for that vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent body of scientific and clinical experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has concluded that only a subset of those with asthma are at clinically high risk from COVID-19. This group are defined as adults with asthma who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission and will be vaccinated as part of priority group six.

An individual with a more severe case of asthma may have been included in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, in which case they will be vaccinated as part of priority group four. Those in priority group four should already have been offered the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to authorise GPs to issue prescriptions for Fampridine for multiple sclerosis patients at the standard NHS prescription charge.

It is for the prescribing clinician to decide on the most appropriate course of treatment for their patient. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) current recommendation is that fampridine is not a cost-effective treatment for lack of mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s commissioning policy concluded in 2016 that there is not enough evidence to make the treatment available at that time. However, NICE is currently updating its guideline on multiple sclerosis, including to take account of new evidence on the effectiveness of fampridine for treating mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. NICE currently expects to publish final updated guidance in July 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the finding by Mencap that 80 per cent of deaths of people with a learning disability in the week ending 22 January 2021 were related to covid-19, if he will include people with mild to moderate learning disabilities in the first phase of covid-19 vaccinations; and whether he (a) has directed or (b) plans to direct the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to make an assessment of the potential effects of (i) including and (ii) excluding people with mild to moderate learning disabilities from the first vaccination phase.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed data on mortality from COVID-19 in coming to its recommendation, which included the available data on those with learning disabilities. As a result, individuals with severe and profound learning disabilities and younger adults with learning disabilities living in residential and care homes are prioritised for a vaccination in group six. Adults with Down’s syndrome were included in the clinically extremely vulnerable cohort and have therefore been included within priority group four.

Everyone on their general practitioner’s Learning Disability Register will be vaccinated as part of priority group six in phase one.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to include staff working in (a) nursery schools and (b) other early year providers in the same priority category as primary and secondary school teachers for the covid-19 vaccine.

Staff working in nursery schools or in other early years roles, like teachers in primary and secondary schools, will be offered their vaccinations alongside other adults of the same age, or earlier if they have underlying health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They are not currently being prioritised because of their occupation alone.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent body made up of scientific and clinical experts who advise Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 Government departments and arm’s length bodies.

This information is not held centrally as work on the strategy is embedded in a number of roles across the Department.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to enable families with disabled children over the age of five to form support bubbles during the covid-19 outbreak.

People can form a support bubble if they fulfill the eligibility criteria, including if their household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of five years old. The eligibility criteria are limited to ensure we strike the right balance between providing support to those most in need and controlling transmission risks.

Whilst a household with a disabled child over five years old may not be able to form a support bubble, there are exemptions from gathering and ‘stay at home’ restrictions for the purposes of providing care to a vulnerable person and respite care. The Government keeps support bubbles eligibility under continual review and will make changes if the data and science support it.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase biomedical research on the causes and treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis in the UK.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2020, the NIHR and the Medical Research Council, through UK Research and Innovation, came together to fund the world’s largest genome-wide association study of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This £3.2 million study, ‘DecodeME’, will analyse samples from 20,000 people with ME/CFS to search for genetic differences that may indicate underlying causes or an increased risk of developing the condition. DecodeME is a partnership between biomedical scientists at the University of Edinburgh and ME/CFS charities and people with lived experience of ME/CFS. It is hoped that the outcomes of this study will aid the development of diagnostic tests and targeted treatments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will work with the Welsh Government to bring forward specific travel guidance for researchers and students at Welsh universities who are resident in England and require laboratory access to complete their qualifications.

We continue to work closely with colleagues in the devolved administrations including in the Welsh Government on the implications of guidance about travel during national restrictions.

In England until 2 December, people should avoid travel outside their local area, unless for permitted reasons. These reasons include work and education, therefore enabling researchers and students to access the laboratory when necessary and complete their qualification. If this would include travelling to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, they should refer to the specific rules in place there.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including soft tissue therapy in those medical practices permitted to continue operating during covid-19 restrictions.

No specific assessment has been made.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase funding for bariatric surgery in the UK.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning complex obesity services for adults, which include all bariatric surgical procedures and the associated care. We are already providing all National Health Service organisations with significant funding commitments including the Chancellor’s funding for the healthcare response to COVID-19, with £31.9 billion of support for health services announced at the summer Economic Statement and a further £16.4 billion as part of the Winter Economy Plan. This is in addition to the funding increase by £33.9 billion by 2023-24.

Through ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ we are delivering a range of measures on weight management. Further details about these measures will be available later in the year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans NICE has to review recent research on the (a) use of and (b) eligibility for Spinraza for treatment of type three spinal muscular atrophy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has committed to reviewing new evidence that becomes available for non-ambulant spinal muscular atrophy type 3 patients during the five-year course of the existing managed access agreement (MAA). This review will assess whether any new evidence has become available to support a change in the MAA treatment eligibility criteria.

NICE expects to commence the review later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to issue revised guidance for managing a funeral during the covid-19 outbreak; and what changes the Government plans to make to that guidance.

Public Health England (PHE) is keeping all guidance related to COVID-19 under review, including ‘Managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic’. PHE updates guidance as new evidence emerges and legislation is updated.

Updated guidance will be published shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will allow GP practices to administer flu vaccines to their own staff members.

General practitioners are able to administer the flu vaccine to their own staff as part of their occupational health responsibilities to staff working in their practice. Advice is available at the following links:

https://www.themdu.com/guidance-and-advice/latest-updates-and-advice/providing-work-related-vaccinations-to-practice-staff

https://www.sps.nhs.uk/articles/written-instruction-for-the-administration-of-seasonal-flu-vaccination/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to encourage locum doctors to work more hours during the covid-19 oubreak; and whether he has reviewed death in service benefits for locum doctors since the start of that outbreak.

The National Health Service has mobilised a large number of clinical and non-clinical staff, both retired and who normally work in the private sector, to ensure sufficient supply of medical staff to manage the challenges that this pandemic has created for the NHS.

In addition, the NHS has a robust temporary staffing supply chain to ensure it can bring in the right people at the right time to deal with fluctuations in demand.

In general practice, general practitioner (GP) locums as well as returners and substantive GPs wishing to increase their hours are providing additional patient care within the NHS 111 COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Services.

The NHS Pension Scheme provides good quality death in service benefits to all members. The Secretary of State recently announced a new life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract COVID-19 during the course of their work. The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of COVID-19 and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, if he will take steps to ensure that UK ports publish regularly updated health information on covid-19 from each docking ship's Maritime Declaration of Health.

At the point at which a ship's declaration would be received, any report could only be treated as a suspected case, as laboratory testing takes place later in the care pathway. For this reason, the United Kingdom ports do not routinely publish this information on COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department has made assessments of the effect of climate change on the work of the Department in developing our commitments for the health and social care system within the National Adaptation Programme available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/climate-change-second-national-adaptation-programme-2018-to-2023

It has also developed a Departmental Sustainable Development Plan, which sets the ambition for the Department to embed sustainability in all policy development and includes our commitment to the ‘Greening Government Commitments’. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/greening-government-commitments

This Department works closely across Government to ensure that climate change policies also deliver associated benefits to public health where appropriate.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Communications directorate is responsible for delivering digital communications on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and supporting the social media activity of an overseas network of embassies. In the years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-21 between 20 and 30 people have worked in the Communications directorate and key communications hubs to support and deliver digital communications activity. This covers those working to produce and disseminate social media content, deliver social media training, website publishing and social media analytics and evaluation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arm's-length bodies.

Given the breadth of the delivery work, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy within the FCDO. The information is not readily available/held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges facing the world today. However, no country alone can solve this problem. That is why climate change is a top priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and why the British government bid and secured responsibility to host COP26 in Glasgow this year, in partnership with Italy. COP26 will be a major international moment in 2020, and the FCO network will have a key diplomatic role to play, along with other government departments, in efforts to raise global ambition in all countries to tackle climate change.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) pensioner and (b) other people who apply for credit without a comprehensive credit rating have fair access to finance.

The Government believes that a consumer without a comprehensive credit rating should have fair access to credit.

To support those struggling to access credit, in 2018, the Government announced the winners of its £2 million Rent Recognition Challenge. The winners offer apps for renters to record and share their rent payment data, helping boost their credit score. Further, since 2019, the Government has provided £96 million to Fair4All Finance to increase the financial resilience and wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances through improving availability of fair and accessible financial products and services.

For consumers struggling to access credit, Credit Reference Agencies can advise consumers to add a Notice of Correction (of up to 200 words) to their credit report explaining any special circumstances, and to explain how their situation has now changed or improved. The content of the Notice should be taken into account alongside the information on the consumer’s report.

To support pensioners, those in receipt of Pension Credit may be able to apply for Budgeting Loans available through DWP’s Social Fund. These are interest-free loans, which are repayable from benefit awards and are designed to help with intermittent expenses that are considered difficult to budget. Those in receipt of Universal Credit can access new claim advances at the beginning of their claim should they have upfront costs. There are also budgeting or change of circumstances advances, available throughout a Universal Credit claim, should someone encounter unexpected one-off expenses.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are no officials in private office allocated to the production and promotion of online content. The digital capability in communications team is not wholly devoted to social media but also deals with content production for other purposes such as design and photography. With that caveat the number of civil servants for whom this is a part of their role for the relevant years is:

2018-19: 4

2019-20: 5

2020-21: 6 ( and 1 vacancy)

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support his Department can provide to UK-based, French-owned companies who no longer benefit from French research and development tax credits for UK-based work.

Firms within the charge to UK corporation tax, which undertake qualifying R&D, may be able to claim R&D tax reliefs via the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) or the Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) R&D Relief.

Combined, these reliefs provided £5.1 billion of support to nearly 60,000 businesses in 2017-18.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reducing wine duty to support the UK's wine industry.

Alcohol duties are kept under review and the merits of a change to wine duty is considered at each fiscal event. Announcements about any changes to wine duty will be made in the usual way at the next Budget.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is responsible for the overall delivery of the Industrial Strategy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish guidance on the support available under his economic recovery plan for (a) mothers, (b) lone parents, (c) survivors of domestic abuse and (d) refugees.

The Government has listened to charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner about the pressures the sector faces and is providing extra funding for charities which support victims and their children. The Home Office launched an awareness campaign in April called #YouAreNotAlone, in order to raise the profile of domestic abuse victims during COVID-19 and signpost victims to the support services available.

£76 million of support announced in May is helping the most vulnerable in society, including domestic abuse victims, through:

  • £10 million from MHCLG for charities providing safe accommodation, such as refuges.
  • £2 million from the Home Office for national and other non-local charities providing support to victims of domestic abuse in the community. The fund was opened for bids for the first time on 22 May 2020, closing on 8 June, and £793,000 has now been allocated to 13 successful applicants. On 8 July, the remaining £1,207,000 of the fund was opened for further bids.
  • £25 million from the Ministry of Justice to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the community access support services during the coronavirus outbreak, and a further £3 million per annum investment in Independent Sexual Violence Advisors until 2022.

The Government is allowing households where there is only one adult – including people who live alone or single parents with children under 18 – to form a “support bubble” with another household.

The Plan for Jobs package also provides support to those who have lost their jobs and DWP will ensure that support from Jobcentres and partners addresses the needs of those who are underrepresented in the labour market, such as BAME groups and lone parents.

Through the furlough scheme, the Government has supported those who have been unable to work for childcare reasons. The Government is continuing to fund free early years entitlements, and the minimum income for Tax-Free Childcare has also been temporarily suspended for those who would have met the requirement were it not for the pandemic.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the Government's financial support packages for agency workers who (a) are unable to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) have recently lost their employment and (c) who are ineligible to claim universal credit because they hold more than £16,000 in savings.

The Government is committed to protecting people’s jobs and incomes as far as possible. In March the Government announced the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has so far supported more than 7.5 million jobs and was recently extended to October. Employers can claim for employees on any type of contract, including agency workers.

For individuals who need to rely on the safety net of the welfare state, the Government has announced a significant package of temporary measures to support them. These include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance, and for renters, an increase to the Local Housing Allowance rates so that the UC housing element covers the cheapest third of local rents.

In order to ensure that support is targeted at families most in need, households with capital, such as savings, above £16,000 will be ineligible for UC. In such cases, it is likely that they will have alternative means of financial support.

Individuals who have lost their jobs may be entitled to other welfare support. If they have made sufficient National Insurance contributions, they may be eligible for new style Jobseeker’s Allowance, which does not take savings into account. More information is available at

www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to extend the provisions of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to cover creditors that are third-parties.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 usually only applies when there is a direct transactional relationship between the debtor (the consumer), the creditor (the credit card provider), and the supplier of goods and services.

If a credit card is used to pay for something through a third-party intermediary service, for example a payment services provider, the conditions in section 75 may not be met.

This aims to strike the right balance between consumer protection and proportionate burdens on business, and the Government does not intend to extend the liability of a creditor with respect to suppliers with which it has no relationship or arrangement.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to allow local authorities to extend covid-19 business rates relief for 2020-21 tax year to English language centres.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as English language centres, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter.

The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will issue updated guidance on the makes and models of car-derived vans and combi-vans which HMRC defines as (a) cars and (b) vans for input tax deduction purposes.

HM Revenue and Customs update the list of relevant vehicles upon receipt of a notification from manufacturers or sole concessionaires of new vehicles that qualify as car-derived vans and combi-vans for input tax deduction purposes. The current list was discussed with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders trade body in April 2019 and to date no new notifications have been received.
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

HM Treasury takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. As you would expect, we are considering what further fiscal and other policy measures are needed to meet our 2050 net zero target.

HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review is looking into how the transition to a net zero economy will be funded, and where the costs will fall. The review will publish its findings in Autumn 2020.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Northern Ireland Executive will receive the full £1 billion extra funding agreed in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party during the last Parliament.

The Confidence and Supply financial annex committed the UK Government to providing £1 billion to Northern Ireland. £ 763 million has been released so far and the release of further funding would take place following Parliament’s approval in the normal way through the Estimates process.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong can apply for residency in the UK once their British National (Overseas) passports have been relinquished as required by the Chinese government.

China has made the decision to no longer recognise BN(O) passports as valid identity or travel documents. The UK continues to recognise valid BN(O) passports as valid travel and identity documents.

Those wishing to apply to the BN(O) route do not need to apply using their BN(O) passport and can apply using another valid identity document such as a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport. Those applying for the route will need to be able to prove they hold BN(O) status and where an individual is unable to provide their BN(O) passport, eligibility checks can be made using historical records held by Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

Those applying for the route do not need to travel to the UK on their BN(O) passport, but will need another valid travel document in order to travel from Hong Kong given the decision of the Chinese Government not to recognise them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials in (a) her private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are currently 9 social media specialists in the department working as part of the communication directorate on the production and delivery of social media products to promote the important work the department does to secure our borders and protect the public. The department has approximately 33,000 staff with a communication directorate of 121 staff.

In 2018-19, there were 6 specialists and at the beginning of 2020 there were 8 specialists in the social media team.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support her Department is providing to Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure the continued presence of police community support officers.

On the 4th February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21 which will ensure forces continue to make progress towards recruiting 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023.

Decisions on how to deploy resources are a matter for Chief Constables and locally elected Police & Crime Commissioners.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) own the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

As the Home Office contributes to delivery of the aims of the Industrial Strategy through existing workstreams rather than dedicated resource, it is not possible to provide the information requested.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the Government's migration policy on the status of EU nationals currently working in the UK as au pairs.

EU citizens currently in or resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, including those working as Au Pairs, can apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme, to enable them to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021 in the same way as they do now.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to issue revised guidance on the resumption of in-person eligibility meetings for civil partnerships; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of facilitating those meetings through the use of video-conferencing.

The local registration service has been advised attesting civil partnership notices can recommence where these can be safely delivered in line with public health and local authority guidelines.

In accordance with legislation, meetings to complete the legal preliminaries of giving notice for a civil partnership must be conducted in the presence of the relevant authorised person.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accuracy of reports that police forces have conducted searches of Clearview AI’s facial recognition database; and what assessment she has made of the legal basis for police forces to conduct such searches in the course of their investigations.

The use of suppliers and systems by the police to carry out a search of a database is a matter for the relevant police force, operating in accordance with the law.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has (a) live and (b) historic contracts with (i) Clearview AI and (ii) subsidiaries of that company.

Our records show that the Home Office has no (a) live or (b) historic contracts with (i) Clearview AI or (ii) the 2 identified subsidiaries, Smartcheckr or Insight Camera.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of fire authorities to respond to fires in (a) electric and (b) hydrogen vehicles.

It is the responsibility of each fire and rescue authority to determine their operational response based on its analysis of risk and local circumstances, and drawing on national operational guidance provided by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Government plans to phase out the use of EEA national identity cards as a valid form of identification at the UK border.

The documents that EEA and Swiss nationals need to travel to the UK will not change until at least 2021.

We will announce further details of our plans to phase out the use of EEA national identity cards in due course.

However, EU Settlement Scheme status holders and others who are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and equivalent agreements with the EFTA states will continue to be able to use national identity cards for travel to the UK until at least December 2025, in accordance with the terms of those agreements. Thereafter, they will continue to be able to travel here on their national identity card, provided it meets International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

My Department recognises the importance of climate change with regard to policy development. We are keeping the effects of climate change on Home Office business under consideration. We have also been mindful of the Greening Government Commitments.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Please find below the information requested:

a) SofS private office – 0

b) Wider Departmental figures are as follows:

Year

Total number of officials in the wider Department allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media

2018 – 2019

37

2019 – 2020

37

2020 – 2021

37

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Ministry of Defence does not record the exact numbers of officials who contribute to the delivery of industrial strategy. A large number of teams across the department support work in this area. These include staff working on prosperity, industrial policy, strategic relationship management and the National Shipbuilding and the Future Combat Air Strategies. In March 2020 we announced the launch of the cross-Government Defence and Security Industrial Strategy review which will outline how we work with the defence sector in the future.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Ministry of Defence recognises the need to adapt quickly to mitigate its own impact on the climate and to build resilience to new threats caused by climate change.

To face this challenge, the Department has established a team to review its current position and drive progress towards the Government's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to prevent leasehold management companies from imposing five year ground rent review periods which limits the owner's ability to secure a mortgage.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are therefore taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market.

We know that high or increasing ground rents are a cause of considerable concern to affected leaseholders. We introduced the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill into Parliament last month, which will prevent landlords from including a financial ground rent in new leases.

We also asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate potential mis-selling of homes and unfair terms (such as high and increasing ground rents) in the leasehold sector. On 19 March 2021, the CMA announced that it is requiring the removal of ground rent terms which it thinks are unfair from all existing Countryside and Taylor Wimpey contracts. The companies must also agree not to use the terms again in any future leasehold contracts. The Government strongly welcomes the CMA's efforts to bring justice to homeowners affected by unfair practices and continues to keep a close eye on the CMA investigation. We will consider any next steps once the CMA have progressed their enforcement action.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the number of people choosing to migrate to the UK from Hong Kong on the availability of affordable housing; and what steps he is taking to ensure that an increase in demand for that housing does not lead to a lack of affordable housing stock for people who need it.

We are proud to welcome those arriving from Hong Kong who have strong cultural and historical ties to the UK. The Government’s new visa route is a generous offer to Hong Kong BN(O) status holders and their family members, who in turn will be expected to be self-sufficient and contribute to UK society.

Approximately 27,000 BN(O) status holders and their family members have applied for a visa since January – this number reflects applications rather than visa holders. The evidence from the Home Office’s Impact Assessment published in October 2020 suggests this visa will have a net positive impact on the UK of between £2.4 and £2.9 billion over 5 years.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

Further to this, the Secretary of State announced a new £43.1 million UK wide welcome programme to support Hong Kong BN(O) status holders. This will provide support for BN(O) status holders and reduce impacts on resident communities

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his press release, Right to Regenerate to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets, published 16 January 2021, whether council-owned land designated as a nature reserve will be exempted from the right to regenerate.

The Right to Regenerate is about making sure that people and communities can hold public bodies to account, and make sure that public land is put to the best use possible. Designated nature reserves exist to protect the natural environment: the land would clearly be in use, and is highly unlikely to be suitable for disposal. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation, and will publish a formal response in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made on the First Homes scheme and if he will make a statement.

First Homes, the Government’s new home ownership initiative, will provide a sustained and ongoing supply of homes sold to first-time buyers and key workers with a discount of at least 30% below market value. In some areas, the discount could be as high as 50%. Crucially, the discount will be passed on each time the property is sold, ensuring local areas continue to benefit for generation to come.

The Government has published two consultations regarding the implementation of First Homes. The first of these was published on 7 February 2020 and closed on 1 May that year, we responded to that consultation on 6 August 2020.

On that same day we published the second consultation, as part of the wider document ‘Changes to the current planning system’. This consultation was technical in nature, exploring specific planning system changes required to implement First Homes. This consultation closed on 1 October and we have been analysing responses. We hope to be able to publish our response and outline next steps very soon.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

MHCLG has a creative team which supports the Department's digital channels. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, content creation for social media. This team’s headcount in the format requested is as follows:

  • 2018-19 – 4
  • 2019-20 – 5
  • 2020-21 – 5
Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will (a) bring forward legislative proposals to provide financial support to assist private leaseholders in complying with their legal obligations to remove and replace unsafe external cladding and (b) review the adequacy of free legal advice available to leaseholders in understanding their rights and obligations in relation to fire safety.

It is the responsibility of the building owner, whether freeholder or commonholder, to ensure their building is safe. This includes ensuring that there is an up-to-date fire risk assessment. The Department has made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding, and a large proportion of this will protect leaseholders from these costs and will deal with some of the highest risk and highest cost safety defects on high-rise buildings. The Department continues to work with, and has provided additional funding to, the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) to ensure that leaseholders are aware of their rights and are supported to understand the terms of their leases.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a shortage of surveyors competent to undertake EWS1 assessments on the ability of mortgage providers to make timely lending decisions.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designed the EWS1 process in conjunction with mortgage lenders to assist with valuation of high-rise residential buildings. Some lenders are asking for information that they do not need, and are requesting EWS1 forms for a greater range of buildings than the process was designed for. The EWS1 process is not a Government regulatory requirement and the Government does not support the blanket use of EWS1, especially for lower rise blocks.

The Department is aware that there are capacity challenges with the availability of professionals to undertake fire safety assessments of external wall systems. We are working with professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments where one is required.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to support leaseholders in replacing cladding on their properties when they are unable to secure financing from their mortgage providers.

The Department has made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding, and a large proportion of this will protect leaseholders from these costs and will deal with some of the highest risk and highest cost safety defects on high-rise buildings.

To support the valuation process for high-rise residential buildings with cladding, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors designed the EWS1 process. The EWS1 process is not a regulatory requirement and the Department does not support a blanket approach to EWS1. The Department is working with mortgage lenders to support a more pragmatic approach in their valuation of homes within multi occupancy, multi storey residential buildings. We are encouraging lenders to accept a broader range of evidence to assure themselves of a building’s safety.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Government's Planning for the Future consultation and forthcoming proposals for reform to planning regulation, what assessment he has made of the need to preserve existing (a) requirements for archaeological investigation and (b) safeguards for heritage and the historic environment as part of the planning process.

The Government is committed to the protection of the historic environment and we have put in place a strong legislative and policy framework to achieve this. In bringing forward any reforms to the planning system, we will ensure that heritage considerations, including the need for archaeological surveys, are taken into account.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Answer of 9 July 2020 to Question 68414 on Letting Agents: Fees and Charges, what assessment he has made of (a) the potential inefficacy of the provisions in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in relation to preventing office and administrative costs being (i) improperly, (ii) excessively and (iii) arbitrarily passed to tenants by lettings agents; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to (b) stop the charging of those costs.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 bans unfair fees paid by tenants in the private rented sector in England. This includes most office or administration costs such as referencing, administration, inventory, renewal and check-out fees. Such fees are prohibited payments, and charging them to the tenant is a breach of the Tenant Fees Act.

Letting agents or landlords that are found to have committed a breach of the Act will be liable for a £5,000 fine in the first instance, and if a further breach is committed within five years they will be liable for up to a £30,000 fine, as an alternative to prosecution. The Act is enforced by local enforcement authorities, normally trading standards, who are supported with advice and information by a lead enforcement authority.

The Act created this new Lead Enforcement Authority to support action against rogue agents. The Secretary of State has appointed the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to this role, and has provided them over £1,000,000 per annum in funding since the Act came into force.

The Government has no current plans to bring forward further legislation at this time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to (a) restrict the ability of lettings agents to charge administrative fees to tenants and (b) sanction the (i) improper, (ii) excessive and (iii) arbitrary levying of those fees.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 was approved by Parliament with cross-party support and came into force on 1 June 2019.

The Tenant Fees Act bans unfair letting fees and caps tenancy deposits paid by tenants in the private rented sector in England. From 1 June 2020 the Act applies to all assured shorthold tenancies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to amend section 122(1) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to impose duties on public landlords as well as private landlords of residential premises in England for the purposes of ensuring that electrical safety standards are met during any period when the premises are occupied under a tenancy.

In the Social Housing Green Paper we asked whether safety standards, including electrical safety, that apply in the private rented sector should also apply to social housing.

We will bring forward a?Social Housing White Paper, which will set out further measures to ensure social homes are safe and decent. This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing. We will publish the White Paper in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

My Department has a critical role in fighting climate change through our work on housing, planning and building standards. Our consultation on energy efficiency standards for new homes closes on 7 February. The Department is also responsible for working with local government to build resilience capability in response to its impacts.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether people categorised as key workers during the covid-19 outbreak remain exempt from being called for jury service.

In line with the Juries Act 1974, jurors are summoned randomly by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) using the Electoral Voting Registers. The registers are a list of everyone who has registered themselves as eligible to vote which are supplied to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) by every Local Authority each year. At the point of being called for jury service a person’s occupation is not known.

At this time, the Government does not expect frontline emergency services staff, including those in the NHS, Police and Fire Service, to be serving on juries. Anyone in these groups, or any Key Worker working in any other frontline role, who is summoned for jury service should contact the JCSB. While by law we cannot automatically defer jurors, HMCTS has issued guidance to help staff deal sympathetically with all requests from the public who wish to be released or deferred from jury service as a result of COVID-19. Each application for deferral/excusal is considered on its own merit, in a way that is both fair to the individual and consistent with the needs of the court in providing a representative jury. We are keeping the situation under constant review.

We have published further details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#jury-trials-and-jury-service

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arm’s-length bodies.

The Ministry of Justice does not maintain records of the number of officials associated with supporting the Industrial Strategy. It is a departmental priority to support a flourishing legal services sector and the growth of the UK’s £6bn trade surplus in legal services through improving market access for UK legal professionals overseas and by maintaining and promoting the strength of UK legal services, English and Welsh law and the UK courts.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to (a) resolve conflicts which arise between contract and probate law when the nominated completion date for sale of a property postdates the vendor's death but precedes probate being granted to their beneficiaries and (b) provide for affected contracts to be automatically extended or nullified on the death of the vendor.

There are no current plans to bring forward legislation as these cases are exceptional, and the existing law provides for the means of resolving disputes arising in such circumstances. Nevertheless, the Government will keep this area of law under review and would welcome any examples of problems that have arisen.

Generally, where one of the contracting parties to the sale of a property dies before the completion of the sale, their legal responsibilities transfer to their personal representatives. They are able to enter into discussions with the other party to vary the contract (for example extend it) by mutual agreement.

If no such agreement can be reached, the Probate Registry can operate an emergency system to expedite the Grant of Probate or for a limited Grant of Probate to be issued. This may be used to enable the sale of the property to take place with minimum delay.

If probate is unlikely to be granted before a fixed completion date, the personal representatives may agree to allow the buyer into the property on licence pending formal completion.

In addition, Section 113 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 empowers a court to grant probate or administration in respect of any part of a deceased person’s estate, limited as a court feels is appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce statutory access rights for grandparents to their grandchildren.

The Government understands the difficulties that some grandparents face in continuing relationships with their grandchildren following disputes arising from parental separation. We also recognise the importance of ensuring that the child’s welfare is paramount in court decisions regarding future arrangements for them following parental separation.

We wish to understand the outcome of the President of the Family Division’s consultation – which concluded last year - on recommendations for reforming how child arrangements cases are dealt with by the family court before deciding whether any specific proposals are needed in respect of child arrangements and grandparents.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

The Ministry of Justice takes climate change very seriously and is committed to tackling the impact of this on its operations by collaborating across government to adapt and be resilient to the inevitable effects of climate change on its work.

As the second largest central government contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, we are very clear that reducing our emissions is a key priority. We have already reduced our emissions by 38% since 2009/10 and reduced our energy bill by £12m/year since 2014-15, enabling more funding for frontline services. The department is also currently discussing a new emissions reduction target for 2020 to 2025 with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Ministry of Justice is developing its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prepare for the risks associated with, and impacts, of climate change on our estate, people, and operations.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Northern Ireland Office supports the Greening Government Commitments and has taken steps to improve the environmental performance of its own estate and operations. The Department has introduced initiatives such as the use of more energy efficient LED lighting, removal of single use plastic products, investment in new energy efficient boilers, and taken steps to reduce its energy footprint by cutting down the requirement for staff to travel by making greater use of modern technology to broaden the range of video conferencing facilities. .

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

We are delighted that the UK Government is hosting COP26 in Glasgow in November. This will be a great opportunity for the UK government to continue to show great leadership on this vital issue, having already become the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has put in place a number of measures necessary to adapt to future climate change including contributing to the overall reduction in the size of the UK Government estate and the amount of carbon emissions for which the UK Government as a whole is responsible; reducing unnecessary travel and utilising public transport; minimising paper use and eliminating the purchase of single use plastics.

The UK Government will set out further plans to deliver net zero throughout 2020 ahead of COP26, including plans on energy and heat in buildings.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrates the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (OSSW) is committed to tackling climate change and delivering our world-leading net zero target. We are focused on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and report our progress in doing so in the Office’s Annual Report and Accounts. We are committed to working with other government departments in delivering on the Greening Government Commitments.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)