David Jones Portrait

David Jones

Conservative - Clwyd West

Draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill
26th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Apr 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Draft Health Service Safety Investigation Bill (Joint Committee)
17th Apr 2018 - 27th Jul 2018
Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union)
17th Jul 2016 - 12th Jun 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Sep 2012 - 15th Jul 2014
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
17th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Minister (Wales)
8th Nov 2006 - 6th May 2010
Welsh Affairs Committee
17th Jul 2005 - 6th May 2010


Oral Question
Wednesday 1st December 2021
12:00
Cabinet Office
Oral Question No. 9
If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 1 December.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
13:45
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th December 2021
09:30
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The Work of the Electoral Commission
7 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
John Pullinger CB - Chair at The Electoral Commission
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 14th December 2021
09:30
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Scrutiny 2020-21
14 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rob Behrens CBE - Chair and Ombudsman at Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Amanda Amroliwala CBE - Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Ombudsman at Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 290 Conservative Aye votes vs 3 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 244
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
Independent Fan-led Review of Football Governance

I also congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Tracey Crouch) on this review.

The English football …

Written Answers
Thursday 25th November 2021
Ivermectin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential therapeutic …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 31st March 2014
Wales Act 2014
To make provision about elections to and membership of the National Assembly for Wales; to make provision about the Welsh …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from Associated Newspapers Ltd of Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT:
EDM signed
Friday 20th December 2019
Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big …
Supported Legislation
House of Commons (Precedence of Government Business) (European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, David Jones has voted in 328 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
David Jones voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
David Jones voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
David Jones voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
David Jones voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
David Jones voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
David Jones voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
David Jones voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All David 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(17 debate interactions)
Simon Hart (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Wales
(10 debate interactions)
Steve Barclay (Conservative)
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(21 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(6 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all David Jones's debates

Clwyd West Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Clwyd West signature proportion
Petitions with most Clwyd West signatures
David Jones has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by David Jones

19th December 2019
David Jones signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 48
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
11th April 2019
David Jones signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 11th April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All David Jones's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David 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.


David Jones has not been granted any Urgent Questions

David Jones has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by David Jones

Introduced: 31st March 2014

To make provision about elections to and membership of the National Assembly for Wales; to make provision about the Welsh Assembly Government; to make provision about the setting by the Assembly of a rate of income tax to be paid by Welsh taxpayers and about the devolution of taxation powers to the Assembly; to make related amendments to Part 4A of the Scotland Act 1998; to make provision about borrowing by the Welsh Ministers; to make miscellaneous amendments in the law relating to Wales; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 17th December 2014 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 31st March 2014

To make provision about elections to and membership of the National Assembly for Wales; to make provision about the Welsh Assembly Government; to make provision about the setting by the Assembly of a rate of income tax to be paid by Welsh taxpayers and about the devolution of taxation powers to the Assembly; to make related amendments to Part 4A of the Scotland Act 1998; to make provision about borrowing by the Welsh Ministers; to make miscellaneous amendments in the law relating to Wales; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 17th December 2014 and was enacted into law.


108 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
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the reasons are for the delay to the publication of the Office of National Statistics survey on Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2020 until 7 September 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of advice to the public on the covid-19 restrictions applicable in (a) England and (b) Wales.

The UK Government is regularly publishing and updating information and guidance for the public on the Covid-19 outbreak. Where a matter is devolved, UK Government guidance available on GOV.UK is clear that measures apply in England-only and should be considered alongside local public health requirements, guidance and legislation in Wales.

The UK Government continues to work with the Welsh Government and other devolved administrations on decisions and guidance related to the current measures.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the suitability of the Wylfa site on Anglesey for redevelopment as a new, large-scale nuclear power plant.

The Government believes there is an important role for large-scale nuclear in the UK and has been clear in its commitment to “at least one more” gigawatt power plant, subject to clear value for money for both consumers and taxpayers and all relevant approvals. The Wylfa Newydd site remains a candidate for new nuclear power, despite Hitachi’s withdrawal from the proposed nuclear project, and has the potential to host a range of nuclear technology – GW and/or small modular reactors – and the Government is continuing to discuss new projects with other viable companies and investors wishing to develop sites, including this one.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what role the development of nuclear power stations will have in the Government’s levelling up agenda; and whether regional disparities will be considered when determining which sites to prioritise for development.

New nuclear can bring significant economic benefits, including high-skilled employment, to regions across the UK. The construction of Hinkley Point C has to-date seen EDF spend £3.5 billion in the south-west and create well over 10,000 job opportunities. It is for private developers to propose and develop projects at suitable sites, however in recognising the importance of nuclear, the government has set out a new £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund towards the development of nuclear projects. More details of the Fund and how it will operate will be released in due course. Government would expect to see similar levels of economic impacts to those at Hinkley in the regions where future power stations might be built.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential economic merits of proceeding with the Wylfa Nuclear Power plant project on Anglesey for (a) North Wales, (b) the Northern Powerhouse region and (c) the UK.

New nuclear projects can deliver significant local, regional, and national economic benefits, including high-skilled employment, to the UK. Government would expect to see similar levels of economic impacts to those at Hinkley in the regions where future power stations might be built.

The construction of Hinkley Point C has to-date seen EDF spend £3.5 billion in the south-west, and it is estimated that a large-scale nuclear plant would support around 10,000 jobs at peak of construction.

The Government has set out a new £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund towards the development of nuclear projects. More details of the Fund and how it will operate will be released in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to secure the development of the Wylfa nuclear site on a sustainable basis, in the context of the withdrawal of interest from Hitachi.

The Government is aware of the strong interest and support in North Wales for the development of this site and continues to discuss new projects with other viable companies and investors wishing to develop sites including Wylfa Newydd.

The Government has also set out a new £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund towards the development of nuclear projects. There remain a number of optimal sites for new nuclear, including the Wylfa Newydd.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that future participants in the UK’s nuclear energy sector do not pose a threat to national security.

The Government takes nuclear security extremely seriously. All civil nuclear operators must comply with the UK’s world-leading nuclear security regulatory regime, overseen by a robust and independent regulator - the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Furthermore, all investment involving critical infrastructure is subject to thorough scrutiny and needs to satisfy our robust legal, regulatory and national security requirements. The National Security & Investment Act gives the Government powers to scrutinise and intervene in acquisitions that may pose national security risks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2020
S4C
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to meet the acting Chair of the S4C Authority.

Ministers regularly meet with a range of people on a range of issues.

Officials have engaged closely with S4C, including the acting Chair of the S4C Authority, on a range of relevant matters.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jan 2020
S4C
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she last met the Chair of the S4C Authority.

Ministers regularly meet with a range of people on a range of issues.

Officials have engaged closely with S4C, including the acting Chair of the S4C Authority, on a range of relevant matters.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on UK agriculture of a foreign takeover of Morrisons plc.

We continue to monitor the situation. The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK remains open for business, while protecting the livelihoods of British workers and investment in the UK. We recognise that overseas investors play a major and positive role in stimulating economic growth in every part of the UK. In most cases, it is right that mergers are treated as a commercial matter for the parties involved.

We have received reassurances from Morrisons of the priorities of the potential new investor, including support of the relationships Morrisons has fostered with small suppliers and farmers and no material changes to existing payment practices are expected.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of appointing a (a) zoo and (b) aquarium expert to the new Animal Sentience Committee.

The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill creates an expert committee, the Animal Sentience Committee, which has powers to consider how Ministerial policy decisions have paid all due regard to the welfare of animals as sentient beings. The Bill introduces new powers for the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to appoint appropriate committee members. Recruitment activity for the Committee will be in line with standard public appointments rules and will take place as soon as is practicable. This includes the principle that candidates should be drawn from a strong, diverse field, and that their skills, experiences and qualities should meet the needs of the Committee.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects to announce that zoos will be permitted to reopen.

We understand the challenges faced by zoos and aquariums during these unprecedented times. We also appreciate the significant opportunities zoos can provide for the public to access well managed and controlled outdoor spaces, and the potential to improve general wellbeing.

However, the Government has taken the decision that zoos and aquariums should not yet reopen, and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, which came into force on 1 June, provide greater clarity and certainty on this. While each individual attraction can be made safer, it is vital that we do not move too quickly in reopening to ensure public health is protected.

We are continuing to work with the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums to understand how we can reopen zoos in a safe way as soon as possible with social distancing measures in place.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the average time taken was for a substantive response to letters to his office from hon. Members in the latest period for which figures are available.

In line with Cabinet Office guidance, Defra has a target of replying to correspondence within 20 working days where a response is required.

As you will understand, Defra is currently dealing with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. All correspondence received from Members is being reviewed and will be responded to as soon as possible.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the arrangements will be for the oversight of the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status of British regional and traditional food after the transition period.

At the end of the transition period, we will establish our Geographical Indication (GI) schemes, as part of our strategy to protect regional and traditional foods. All current UK GI-protected products, including TSGs like Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork, will continue to enjoy legal protection in the UK.

The new UK GI schemes will welcome applications from the day the schemes enter into force. The Secretary of State will be responsible ultimately for decision-making on new GIs, but we will work closely with Devolved Administrations to run the new schemes. The current enforcement and control rules that apply for GI schemes in the UK will continue to apply after the transition period, including the role of local authorities in ensuring that protection for TSG products is upheld.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to the Palestinian Authority to tackle the covid-19 pandemic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The UK has pledged £744 million to support the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. We?have?delivered?additional vital support in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by providing funding to WHO and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of?medical equipment,?treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

The UN assesses that although the current number of detected cases remains relatively low, the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with an expected increase in COVID-19 cases is poor. The situation is particularly severe in Gaza, where the health system has shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment. We continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with the UN and the international community to ensure a co-ordinated response.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions her Department has had with the US Administration on the removal of UK tariffs on American whiskeys.

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has engaged with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, most recently on 12 November, to press for a resolution to the Section 232 tariffs. Our preference is the full removal of 232 tariffs, in which case the UK's tariffs on American whiskeys will not be required.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what consultations (a) she has held and (b) plans to hold with the North Wales Economic Ambition Board on the terms of free trade agreements she has concluded, or is seeking to conclude.

Ministerial colleagues at the Office of Secretary of State for Wales regularly engage with the North Wales Economic Ambition Board on a wide range of policy areas.

The Department for International Trade has established an extensive stakeholder engagement framework consisting of various mechanisms to allow business and civil society stakeholders the opportunity to feed into its trade policy, ensuring the UK position is well-informed and reflects the interests of the whole of the UK.

We want every relevant organisation, in every part of the UK, to feel engaged with our trade policy and we will continue to engage with a range of businesses, industry, civil society and all willing stakeholders in different ways as we continue to seek out the opportunities free trade provides us.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to help safeguard the interests of British agriculture in trade negotiations with the United States.

Any trade deal with the US must work for UK consumers, farmers, and companies. A deal with the US can help create opportunities for agricultural producers by opening up new markets for the UK’s high-quality produce.

As set out in our manifesto, we will not compromise our standards as we negotiate new trade deals. At the end of the transition period, all existing EU food safety, animal welfare, and environmental standards will be retained and form part of our domestic law. This includes all existing import requirements.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she plans to appoint a trade envoy to Libya.

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys are appointed at the discretion and direction of the Prime Minister.

The position of PM’s Trade Envoy to Libya has been vacant since my former colleague Sir Henry Bellingham stepped down as a Member of Parliament. I would take this opportunity to state my appreciation for all of the work he undertook to advocate UK trade in relation to Libya.

17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve the efficiency of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s total workforce of more than 6,000, just under 35 per cent are working from home. The staff working from home are mainly from support areas, including Human Resources, Commercials, Finance, Policy and Communications. Most operational staff work on site in order to process the 60,000 items of mail the DVLA receives daily which must be dealt with in person.

Information on the amount of correspondence awaiting a substantive response is not available. The DVLA is working hard to process applications and answer correspondence as quickly as possible. The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the DVLA is by using its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application. Industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. Throughout the pandemic the DVLA has been working with a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements. The current increased demand for the DVLA’s services has also contributed to delays with paper applications.

The DVLA continues to explore opportunities to improve the time taken to deal with paper applications and has been developing additional new online services and recruiting additional staff. The DVLA is looking to secure extra office space to accommodate more staff as surge capacity accommodation and resource to help reduce backlogs while providing future resilience and business continuity.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency are working from home.

Of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s total workforce of more than 6,000, just under 35 per cent are working from home. The staff working from home are mainly from support areas, including Human Resources, Commercials, Finance, Policy and Communications. Most operational staff work on site in order to process the 60,000 items of mail the DVLA receives daily which must be dealt with in person.

Information on the amount of correspondence awaiting a substantive response is not available. The DVLA is working hard to process applications and answer correspondence as quickly as possible. The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the DVLA is by using its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application. Industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. Throughout the pandemic the DVLA has been working with a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements. The current increased demand for the DVLA’s services has also contributed to delays with paper applications.

The DVLA continues to explore opportunities to improve the time taken to deal with paper applications and has been developing additional new online services and recruiting additional staff. The DVLA is looking to secure extra office space to accommodate more staff as surge capacity accommodation and resource to help reduce backlogs while providing future resilience and business continuity.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the extent of correspondence awaiting reply by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in terms by (a) volume and (b) estimated waiting time for a substantive response.

Of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s total workforce of more than 6,000, just under 35 per cent are working from home. The staff working from home are mainly from support areas, including Human Resources, Commercials, Finance, Policy and Communications. Most operational staff work on site in order to process the 60,000 items of mail the DVLA receives daily which must be dealt with in person.

Information on the amount of correspondence awaiting a substantive response is not available. The DVLA is working hard to process applications and answer correspondence as quickly as possible. The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the DVLA is by using its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application. Industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. Throughout the pandemic the DVLA has been working with a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements. The current increased demand for the DVLA’s services has also contributed to delays with paper applications.

The DVLA continues to explore opportunities to improve the time taken to deal with paper applications and has been developing additional new online services and recruiting additional staff. The DVLA is looking to secure extra office space to accommodate more staff as surge capacity accommodation and resource to help reduce backlogs while providing future resilience and business continuity.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to authorise the opening of air corridors with the United Arab Emirates.

Our approach to travel corridors has been guided by the science and we have worked closely with health and policy experts from across government to ensure the steps we are taking will minimise the risk of importing COVID-19 cases, while helping to open our travel and tourism sector. The Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Chief Medical Officer, has developed an approach to assessing the public health risk associated with inbound travel from specific countries and territories. The resulting categorisation methodology has been informed by a number of factors including an estimate of the proportion of the population that is currently infectious in each country, trends in virus incidences and deaths, transmission status and international epidemic intelligence. We have also considered issues such as the testing capacity of each country and the quality of the data available.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of UK seafarers stranded overseas and awaiting repatriation.

It is estimated that there are approximately 2-2,500 UK seafarers who either are coming to the end of their contract or will already have had it extended.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to extend the Post Office card account customer cash delivery service to Wales.

The responsibility for any card account customer cash delivery service poca for customers living in Wales is a matter for Welsh Government.

The alternative method of payment service, including cash by exception, run during the COVID-19 Pandemic has been offered to DWP customers in England who are not paid by the Department’s standard payment methods and have been required to follow the Shielding guidance provided by NHS England.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time taken was for a substantive response to letters to her office from hon. Members in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information is not available in the format requested.

The volume of correspondence to the Department’s Ministers is currently three times higher than it was prior to the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks the Department has also redeployed thousands of staff to manage the significant increase in claims for benefits and to ensure that claimants are paid in a timely manner. The Department ensures that urgent cases raised by hon. Members are prioritised and is taking steps to provide substantive replies in as short a time as possible.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to enable its officials to work from home during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP is committed to supporting everyone during this unprecedented time.

Where colleagues can effectively contribute to this effort working from home then they are doing so. Not all colleagues can work from home because they need to access equipment, programmes and support to enable them to do their telephony and processing work. We are requiring these employees to be in the office but in line with the Government’s advice on critical workers, we are taking all practical steps to protect the health and safety of colleagues working in our offices.

The Department has procured significantly more portable computers to expand our home working capacity. Colleagues who require specialist IT equipment for accessibility reasons are able to order this for use at home and those who are in the vulnerable or shielding category can have it delivered to their home address.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2021 to question 61122 on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and with reference to the 2017 conclusion of the Independent Committee on Toxicity that heated tobacco may be less harmful than conventional cigarettes, whether he has commissioned or plans to commission further research on the health impacts of heated tobacco products.

The next Vaping in England report published by the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities will include a chapter with a summary of the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of the health effects of heated tobacco products and analysis of data on patterns of use. The report is due to be published early next year.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential therapeutic applications of Ivermectin as a protease inhibitor.

Protease inhibitors have an important role in the treatment of COVID-19. Therefore, the United Kingdom recently secured 250,000 patient courses of the Pfizer PAXLOVID protease inhibitor, as well as 480,000 patient courses of Merck Sharp Dohme’s polymerase inhibitor Lagevrio. Evidence for ivermectin as a treatment of COVID-19 is inconclusive at this stage. However, the Therapeutic Taskforce continues to monitor any emerging evidence for ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment from clinical trials worldwide. This includes clinical trials considering ivermectin’s potential application as a protease inhibitor.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2021 to Question 21839 on Coronavirus: Ivermectin, what further assessment he has made of the efficacy of the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for covid-19.

The Department continues to monitor any new evidence for ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. While we are aware that although some clinical trials have shown positive signals for the potential efficacy of ivermectin, there are no supportive randomised control trials and insufficient evidence to support use for COVID-19. Results from the PRINCIPLE clinical trial platform, launched in June, are expected in early 2022 and we will monitor data from worldwide clinical trials on the efficacy of ivermectin.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out the positions the Government will advance at Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP9) on (a) e-cigarettes, (b) heated tobacco and (c) snus.

The Department’s policy position on e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, and snus at the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will be in accordance with the current 2017 Tobacco Control Plan for England, the regulations set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030.

The Department continues to support the use of e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking and as a tool to help people to quit and we will continue to monitor the evidence. In 2017, the independent Committee on Toxicity recommended that heated tobacco still poses harm to users but may be less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes. However, information on the health impacts is limited and therefore we recommend that people quit tobacco use altogether rather than move to these products. Oral tobacco or ’snus‘, remains banned under The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the devolved Administrations on the development of the Tobacco Control Plan.

Departmental officials regularly meet with the devolved administrations to discuss tobacco control matters and share best practice, including progress on the forthcoming Tobacco Control Plan.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 27 July 2021 to Question 36588 on Tobacco, if he will publish his planned timetable for publication of the Tobacco Control Plan for England.

The Department is currently in the process of drafting the new Tobacco Control Plan working closely with Public Health England and other Government departments. We expect the final Tobacco Control Plan to be published by the end of the year.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) creating a separate regulatory category for non-combustible nicotine products and (b) including snus in that category.

There are no current plans to make such an assessment. However, the Department is due to publish its post implementation review on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 by the end of the year. Following this review, the Department will consider the need for any regulatory changes, including on non-combustible nicotine products and oral tobacco.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific research-based evidence he plans to use to inform his decision on whether or not to legalise snus.

The Department is currently undertaking a post-implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. We have analysed research and evidence submitted through a public consultation, including on oral tobacco, known as snus and on the harms of tobacco use more generally. The review will inform our decision on whether such products should be regulated in the future.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to legalise the use of snus, tobacco-based products.

No assessment has been made and oral tobacco products are banned under The Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (TRPR). The Department is currently undertaking a post implementation review of TRPR which will consider if the regulations have met their objectives, or if any future regulatory changes should be considered. The report of the review will be published by the end of the year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will request the Committee on Toxicity to undertake a toxicological evaluation of the effect of nicotine delivery levels in e-cigarettes.

There are no plans to do so.

The Department and Public Health England previously asked the Committee on Toxicity (CoT) to review the potential toxicological risks from electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems. This included information on ENDS e-liquids that contain nicotine, concentrations, and nicotine exposure. The CoT’s statement is available at the following link:

https://cot.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2020-09/COT%20E%28N%29NDS%20statement%202020-04.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to conduct further reviews of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems after his Department has published its eighth evidence review on those matters in March 2022.

Further plans for reviewing the evidence for e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems are being considered and will be outlined in the new Tobacco Control Plan for England which will be published later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department's next review of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems will be conducted by the Office for Health Promotion; when that review will be published; and whether that review will include a chapter on heated tobacco.

The Department does not recognise the term ‘Authoritative Assessment’. The next iteration of Vaping in England was commissioned by Public Health England in 2020 and is being conducted by an international panel of tobacco control experts led by King’s College London. This will be the eighth evidence review and it will cover the relative harms of nicotine delivery products.

The report will include a summary of the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of the health effects of heated tobacco products and analysis of data on patterns of use. It is expected that this will be published in March 2022 by the Office for Health Promotion, following its launch on 1 October 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England will provide this Department with (a) an Authoritative Assessment and (b) the eighth evidence review on relative harms of nicotine delivery products in 2022.

The Department does not recognise the term ‘Authoritative Assessment’. The next iteration of Vaping in England was commissioned by Public Health England in 2020 and is being conducted by an international panel of tobacco control experts led by King’s College London. This will be the eighth evidence review and it will cover the relative harms of nicotine delivery products.

The report will include a summary of the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of the health effects of heated tobacco products and analysis of data on patterns of use. It is expected that this will be published in March 2022 by the Office for Health Promotion, following its launch on 1 October 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commission independent research on the impact of early medical abortions on (a) those experiencing domestic violence, (b) trafficked women and sex workers and (c) other vulnerable groups before any decision on their continuation is made.

There are no plans to do so. commission research on these issues. The Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women asked questions on the impact of making permanent the temporary measure on people with protected characteristics. The consultation also sought views on the potential for making permanent home use of both pills for early medical abortion to reduce or increase inequality in health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. The consultation has now closed and we will be considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what datasets he will be using as part of the Woman's Health Strategy review in respect of telemedical home abortions other than HSA4 forms submitted by abortion providers; and if he will make a statement.

Abortion is not in scope of the Women’s Health Strategy.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation, Home use of both pills for early medical abortion, which closed on 26 February 2021, whether individuals or organisations other than Ministers or officials of his Department (a) have and (b) have had access in real time to the responses to that consultation received by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

A external company has been contracted by the Department to undertake independent analysis of consultation responses. They are able to access data for reporting and analysis purposes at the Department’s request and are supporting the impartial analysis of responses to the consultation on the temporary approval. The strength and robustness of evidence or research submitted as part of this consultation will be assessed and considered alongside any potential conflicts of interest.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation, Home use of both pills for early medical abortion, which closed on 26 February 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure the impartial assessment and evaluation of empirical evidence collected in the course of that consultation.

A external company has been contracted by the Department to undertake independent analysis of consultation responses. They are able to access data for reporting and analysis purposes at the Department’s request and are supporting the impartial analysis of responses to the consultation on the temporary approval. The strength and robustness of evidence or research submitted as part of this consultation will be assessed and considered alongside any potential conflicts of interest.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department is undertaking on the efficacy of Ivermectin in the treatment of covid-19.

The Department is closely monitoring the evidence on the case for ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. On 23 June, the PRINCIPLE clinical trial platform announced that ivermectin would be investigated to generate robust data on its effectiveness in treating adults aged 18 years old and over who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. We will closely monitor the data from this trial, as well as emerging evidence from the large number of clinical trials worldwide to expand our evidence-base on the efficacy of ivermectin.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of appointing a champion to promote public awareness of the benefits of e-cigarettes as a reduced-harm alternative to combustible tobacco for people seeking to quit smoking.

No assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve public access to information about (a) e-cigarettes and (b) reduced-harm alternatives to combustible tobacco.

The National Health Service website provides public information on the harms of smoking and advice to help people quit smoking, including information on using e-cigarettes. In addition, central stop smoking campaigns such as Stoptober have supported the use of e-cigarettes as a tool to help smokers quit.

To support our Smokefree 2030 ambition, the upcoming Tobacco Control Plan will set out a range of measures which will help smokers to quit, including through the use of less harmful products such as e-cigarettes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to regulate non-nicotine products intended for vaping which are not currently covered by the provisions of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

Non-nicotine vaping products are regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR) 2005. The GPSR requires all products to be safe in their normal, or reasonably foreseeable, usage. The Department is also undertaking a post implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and we will publish a response later this year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what reciprocal arrangements with the Welsh Government exist for the vaccination against covid-19 of Welsh residents temporarily living in England and English residents temporarily living in Wales.

Individuals who live in Wales can access their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in England, and vice versa. This is in line with existing reciprocal healthcare arrangements between England and Wales.

Work is ongoing to transfer data between England and the devolved administrations to ensure that vaccinations which occur outside of the patient’s ‘home’ nation are delivered to their patient record.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the forthcoming Tobacco Control Plan.

The Department plans to publish a new Tobacco Control Plan (TCP) later this year. The Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 will also be published by the end of the year. Evidence gathered from this Review will be considered as part of the development of the new TCP.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 187176, whether he plans to delay the publication of the Tobacco Control Plan to take into account the conclusions of the Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.

The Department plans to publish a new Tobacco Control Plan (TCP) later this year. The Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 will also be published by the end of the year. Evidence gathered from this Review will be considered as part of the development of the new TCP.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Tobacco Control Plan will take into account the conclusions of the consultation on the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015, published on 29 January 2021.

The Tobacco Control Plan will take into account the conclusions of the Post Implementation Review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. We are also considering whether other regulatory measures are required to support the Smokefree 2030 target.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Public Health England evidence review on e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems will be published in time for its conclusions to be taken into account in the forthcoming Tobacco Control Plan.

Public Health England (PHE) published its seventh commissioned report on vaping in February 2021. The conclusions of this report and all previous reports will be considered as part of the scoping for the new Tobacco Control Plan. PHE’s eighth report is expected in March 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is planning to take to increase housing-based care options for older people as part of its forthcoming plans for social care reform.

Housing-based care options have a vital role in enabling older people to live independently. The Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provide capital funding subsidy to incentivise the supply of housing-with-care. We are committed to working closely together and across Government, to refine our understanding of the evidence around specialist housing, adult social care and health. We are also committed to further improve the diversity of housing options available to older people and continue to engage closely with a range of stakeholders on this issue.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to name one of the 40 new hospitals to be constructed by 2030 in memory of the late Sir Tom Moore.

The Government is considering ways to mark the memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 92724, tabled on 21 September 2020 by the Rt hon. Member for Clwyd West.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question 92724 on 22 October.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive response to Question 92724, tabled on 21 September 2020 by the hon. Member for Clwyd West.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave him to Question 92724 on 22 October.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the minutes of the deliberations of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on the use of Vitamin D3 in the treatment of covid-19.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a rapid evidence summary on vitamin D for COVID-19 in June. This includes vitamin D3. There are no minutes as the process for developing rapid evidence summaries does not include a committee stage. Instead, NICE conducted a robust targeted review with a wide range of external expert advisers, as listed in the evidence review. This is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es28/evidence/evidence-review-pdf-8777674477

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the availability of Priadel to NHS prescribers.

Supplies of Priadel (lithium carbonate) are currently available.

The Department is aware Priadel tablets are being discontinued in April 2021, but alternative lithium products will remain available and we have worked with national mental health experts to issue guidance for healthcare professionals to support those affected.

We continue to work closely with the supplier and wholesalers to maintain the availability of Priadel and to ensure supply remains available for patients. We are aware that the supplier has quotas in place to reduce the risk of stockpiling but have confirmed that ordering mechanisms are in place to ensure all prescriptions for Priadel can access this treatment.

We have also added lithium carbonate to the parallel export restriction list (8 September 2020) to ensure supplies remain available for the United Kingdom.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the conclusions of the study by the Reina Sofia University Hospital, Córdoba, on the use of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the treatment of covid-19, published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on 29 August 2020.

The Department has noted the findings from this study. Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring any new, high quality evidence on nutrition and COVID-19 and is seeking further advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) as appropriate. On 29 June 2020, the SACN and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a rapid evidence review which concluded that there is currently no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19.

In April 2020, PHE re-issued advice on vitamin D supplementation, advising that people who do not go outdoors often should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D to prevent deficiency. Existing evidence also highlights that people who have dark skin – for example, have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – may also not get enough vitamin D from sunlight. This advice is not about reducing the risk of COVID-19 or mitigating its effects; vitamin D is needed to keep bones and muscles healthy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to authorise the marketing of the IQOS electrically heated tobacco system as a modified risk tobacco product in the US, if he will (a) undertake a review of policy in relation to such products in the UK and (b) introduce a regulatory framework for those goods based on risk.

On 7 July 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) classified IQOS as a ‘modified risk product’ and permitted the use of certain information in their advertising and marketing of the products. The FDA states that this does not mean these products are safe or “FDA approved” and they will continue to monitor them.

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) provided an independent assessment of the harms of heated tobacco products for the Government. COT reported in December 2017 and found that the evidence suggests heated tobacco products pose a risk to users and though there is likely to be a reduction in risk for cigarette smokers who switch to these products, it is best to quit entirely.

In the United Kingdom heated tobacco products are regulated under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and classed as a novel tobacco product. The Government has a legal commitment to carry out a post-implementation review of TRPR by May 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether general practitioners are entitled to conduct covid-19 antibody tests on their own authority.

Antibody tests are available to National Health Service and care staff, eligible patients and care residents in England to see if they have had COVID-19 as part of the new national antibody testing programme. The antibody test will be available for clinicians to use in their routine management of NHS patients as appropriate, and also for any patient who is already having blood taken as part of other tests. A positive test result for antibodies does not mean that the person being tested is immune to COVID-19. There is currently no firm evidence that the presence of antibodies means someone cannot be re-infected with the virus or will not pass it on to someone else. If someone tests positive, they still need to follow social distancing measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Welsh Government on co-operation between England and Wales for the NHS Test and Trace service.

The importance of developing a consistent and joined-up approach to contact tracing and testing across the whole of the United Kingdom is regularly discussed between the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and his counterparts in each of the devolved administrations, most recently on 28 May 2020 at the weekly Four Nations ministerial call.

To support this, officials within the Department, NHSX and Public Health England are working closely with counterparts in the Welsh Government – as in each of the devolved administrations – to explore opportunities for aligning and integrating contact tracing and testing systems.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of Vitamin D in the (a) treatment and (b) prevention of covid-19.

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring any new, high quality evidence on nutrition and COVID-19 and seeking the advice of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) as appropriate. PHE is carrying out a rapid review of recent evidence relating to vitamin D and the prevention of acute respiratory tract infections for SACN to consider at its meeting in June 2020.

PHE is aware of reviews and trials underway further exploring the vitamin D and the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Examples of clinical trials underway on vitamin D and COVID-19 can be found at the following link:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=COVID&term=vitamin+d&cntry=&state=&city=&dist

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to revise its advice to diabetics in respect of the covid-19 outbreak.

Those with diabetes are already on the wider clinically vulnerable list and should be strictly following social distancing measures. The guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 has been developed by expert doctors identifying specific medical conditions based on what we know about the virus so far. We will continue to keep this evidence under review.

In addition, general practitioners and hospital specialists have been asked to recommend other patients follow shielding guidance, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of each individual’s needs.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there is sufficient interoperability between NHS England and NHS Wales IT systems for the effective operation of a test, trace and track app.

The Department and NHSX have been working closely with our partners in the devolved administrations throughout this outbreak. The National Health Service COVID-19 app will be available throughout the United Kingdom and the devolved administrations may choose to use the app as part of their response to COVID-19. A representative from each devolved administration has been sitting on the NHS COVID-19 app oversight board since mid-March. There is also a working group that is ensuring the NHS COVID-19 app can be integrated with devolved administrations’ test and trace plans.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what permissions the Government has (a) sought and (b) obtained from Apple for the use of the NHS test, trace and track app on iPhones.

We have sought and obtained permission from Apple to include the National Health Service COVID-19 app on the App Store.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he held discussions with his counterparts in the (a) Welsh Government, (b) Scottish Government and (c) Northern Ireland Executive on trialling the NHS contact tracing app in those parts of the UK.

The National Health Service COVID-19 app will be part of a wider approach that will involve contact tracing and testing. The Department and NHSX have been working closely with our partners in the devolved administrations throughout this outbreak, including on our contact tracing work, and will continue to do so going forward.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has weekly calls with his devolved administration counterparts and a representative from each devolved administration sits on the app oversight board.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the position taken by the World Health Organisation on electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The World Health Organization recommends regulating e-cigarettes in order to protect non-smokers and youth from accessing these products. The United Kingdom regulatory framework recognises this.

Although not risk free, in the UK, e-cigarettes have helped some smokers to quit tobacco use who would not have quit through other means. We continue to keep the evidence base on e-cigarettes under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's policy on electronic nicotine delivery systems will be at the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and if he will make a statement.

At the 9th World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of the Parties, officials will continue to communicate the United Kingdom Government’s position on e-cigarettes. That is, although not risk free, e-cigarettes have helped some smokers to quit tobacco use who would not have quit through other means. We have introduced a proportionate regulatory framework and continue to keep the evidence base on e-cigarettes under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether at the ninth Conference of Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control the UK will be required procedurally to vote in alignment with EU member states as a result of the conference taking place during the implementation period following the UK's departure from the EU.

The United Kingdom intends to attend the 9th Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in accordance with the terms set out within the withdrawal agreement with the European Union.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2021 to Question 62640 on Palestinians: Non-governmental Organisations, whether she has yet obtained additional information to understand the basis for the designations; what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the order referred to in that Question; and if she will make a statement.

We are in contact with the Government of Israel to understand the basis of the designations. We have made clear that human rights and civil society organisations have a vital role to play in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including those focused on Israel's conduct in the Palestinian Territories. Israel's long-standing commitment to democratic values is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy, and we continue to make clear that a strong, vibrant civil society is in Israel's own interest. As a friend of Israel, we are concerned by any developments that may undermine this commitment.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made, or plans to make, to the Israeli authorities in respect of the order of 19 October 2021 by the Israeli Defence Ministry declaring the NGOs Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International – Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees to be terrorist organisations.

We are aware of the decision by the Israeli authorities and will be seeking additional information to understand the basis for the designations. Human rights and civil society organisations have a vital role to play in the development of thriving, open societies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the order made by the Israeli Defence Ministry on 19 October 2021 declaring the NGOs Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International – Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees to be terrorist organisations; and if she will make a statement.

We are aware of the decision by the Israeli authorities and will be seeking additional information to understand the basis for the designations. Human rights and civil society organisations have a vital role to play in the development of thriving, open societies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans her Department has to renew its multi-year commitment to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is due to end in March 2022, so as to ensure the stability and predictability of UNRWA's service provision to Palestinian refugees.

The UK is a long-term supporter of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). We recognise UNRWA's unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to provide protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. Our future spending allocations will be set in the next Spending Review. Full budgets will be published in due course, including in our regular Statistics on International Development website and in the FCDO Annual Report and Accounts.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to tackle mental health needs in Gaza following the conflict of May 2021.

We have made clear our concern about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, including significant damage and destruction of civilian infrastructure following the escalation in violence in May 2021. The UK continues to urge Israel to ensure humanitarian access into and out of Gaza, including for essential health services. The UK remains a longstanding supporter to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides core services, including health and education to Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the humanitarian impact of prolonged internal displacement of Palestinians in Gaza whose homes were damaged during the conflict of May 2021.

We have made clear our concern about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, including significant damage and destruction of civilian infrastructure following the escalation in violence in May 2021. The UK continues to urge Israel to ensure humanitarian access into and out of Gaza, including for essential health services. The UK remains a longstanding supporter to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides core services, including health and education to Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what is the Government's policy on UK direct investment in Israeli enterprises operating in the occupied Palestinian territories.

We routinely update our guidance to British businesses on the Overseas Business Risk website. We advise British businesses to bear in mind the British Government's view on the illegality of settlements under international law when considering their investments and activities in the region. When approached by businesses, we set out the UK's clear position on Israeli settlements, and share with them our online guidance. This is voluntary guidance to British businesses on doing business in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Ultimately it will be the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but the British Government would neither encourage nor offer support to such activity.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the recommendation by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran for an independent inquiry into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and the alleged role played by members of the current Iranian government.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General's most recent report.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to help ensure compliance by Iran with the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s report on the human rights situation in that country, published on 4 August 2021.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General's most recent report.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report of the United Nations’ Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Iran published on 4 August 2021.

The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General's most recent report.

The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the displacement of Palestinian families from the community of Ras al Tin by Israeli forces on 14 July 2021.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation. The UK regularly raises the issue of forced evictions from their homes with the Government of Israel. The Foreign Secretary raised ongoing evictions, demolitions and settlement activity with the Israeli Authorities during his visit to the region on 26 May. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions, which in all but the most exceptional cases are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he is making to his Israeli counterpart on the displacement of Palestinian children and their families under its policy of home demolitions and forced evictions.

The UK regularly raises the issue of demolitions and forced evictions of Palestinian families from their homes with the Government of Israel. The Foreign Secretary raised ongoing evictions, demolitions and settlement activity with the Israeli Authorities during his visit to the region on 26 May. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of the Government of Israel’s demolitions policy on the rights of children in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including their right to education.

The UK opposes Israel's demolitions of Palestinian schools and we continue to urge Israel to cease such policies. The Foreign Secretary raised ongoing evictions, demolitions and settlement activity with the Israeli Authorities during his visit to the region on 26 May. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. It is essential to have a strong and thriving Palestinian education system to provide opportunities for the next generation. UK aid works to support the Palestinian education system; in financial year 2020/21 we provided £20 million in funding to the Palestinian Authority to support the salaries of education workers in the West Bank. Our ongoing programme support to UNRWA also helps to provide education to children across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including virtually since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the escalation in the rate of demolitions of homes and other property belonging to Palestinians on the West Bank.

The UK regularly raises the issue of demolitions and forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes with the Government of Israel. The Foreign Secretary raised ongoing evictions, demolitions and settlement activity with the Israeli Authorities during his visit to the region on 26 May. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Egyptian authorities on the detention of Mohamed Bashir, Karim Ennarah and Gasser Abdel-Razek.

The UK is deeply concerned about the arrest of Gasser Abdel Razek, Mohammed Basheer and Karim Ennarah. We continue to raise our concerns with the Egyptian authorities both in London and in Cairo. All human rights defenders should be able to work without fear of arrest or reprisals. The Foreign Secretary raised the issue directly with his Egyptian counterpart on 19 November. We are working closely with partners in the international community who share our concerns.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Venezuelan authorities on the condition of the of the barge Nabarima, moored in the Gulf of Paria.

We are aware of reports about the condition of the Nabarima floating storage and off-loading facility in the Gulf of Paria. We have not made representations to the Venezuelan authorities, but would urge them to take all necessary measures to prevent a potential environmental catastrophe that would have repercussions not only for Venezuela but also for the entire region.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Iran's commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, what assessment he has made of reports of a nuclear installation at Sorkheh-Hessar in Iran.

We are aware of public claims relating to a site in the Sorkheh-Hassar region. Iran's reductions in compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) continue to be of serious concern. The UK, with France and Germany, triggered the JCPoA's Dispute Resolution Mechanism on 14 January to try to resolve these concerns. The Foreign Secretary, along with his French and German counterparts has made clear that Iran must return to compliance with the JCPoA without delay. We have called for a ministerial meeting of parties to the JCPoA to seek a diplomatic way forward.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Iranian authorities on the execution of Navid Afkari.

The execution of Navik Afkari by the Iranian authorities was deplorable. The UK Government made clear its public condemnation of the action on 12 September. The UK Government is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country, as a matter of principle, and we unreservedly support the right to peaceful protest. Iran's human rights record is of serious and longstanding concern to the UK. The continued use of the death penalty, weak rule of law and restrictions on freedoms of expression remain deeply worrying. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranians at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what humanitarian support his Department is providing to people in Beirut.

The UK is a long-standing friend and supporter of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. We have provided significant assistance to Lebanon, allocating over £700 million in humanitarian and development funding since the start of the Syria crisis. The UK's development support and technical expertise has generated investment and jobs, provided children with access to quality education; and provided humanitarian support to those most in need - both refugees and vulnerable Lebanese.

We will continue to stand with Lebanon in its time of urgent need following the devastating Beirut Port explosion. We have announced a £25 million package of humanitarian support making us one of the biggest donors to the crisis. £20 million of this, through the UN's World Food Programme, will help the country's most vulnerable by going directly to those families most at risk to cover their essential survival needs, including access to food and medicine. We have also allocated £3 million to the British Red Cross to meet urgent multi-sector needs. And we have deployed UK technical expertise, including medical and humanitarian specialists to assist with the response on the ground and help plan the next stages of the UK and international response.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the US Administration on the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have been clear that the death of George Floyd was appalling, inexcusable and deeply distressing. We are aware that a suspect has been charged and there is a federal review underway. We would hope and expect justice to be done.

The violence we have seen is clearly very alarming. People must be allowed to protest peacefully - peaceful protest remains a vital part of a democratic society and we understand the strength of feeling around this issue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Iranian counterpart on the execution of juvenile offenders Shayan Saeedpour and Majid Esmailzadeh.

We are deeply concerned by the reports of the executions of these two juvenile offenders. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated these executions are prohibited under international human rights law and has violated the International Convention on the Rights of the Child which Iran had signed up to. The UK regularly raises human rights with the Iranian authorities at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to assist British seafarers stranded overseas as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to return to the UK.

The British Government's position on welfare was reiterated to the International Labour Organisation and International Maritime Organisation at the start of this crisis, and we will continue to uphold the highest standards for our seafarers. Where vessel operators request assistance to repatriate their employees, the British Government stands ready to work as quickly as possible to help those who may need rapid consular assistance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for Transport continue to work closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing of British national crew members. Operators are repatriating non-essential Crew and we have recently supported in country to ensure crew are able to disembark in Europe and the US.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to assist the repatriation of British merchant seafarers stranded overseas as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The British Government's position on welfare was reiterated to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at the start of this crisis, and we will continue to uphold the highest standards for our seafarers. Where vessel operators request assistance to repatriate their employees, the British Government stands ready to work as quickly as possible to help those who may need rapid consular assistance.

FCO and DFT continue to work closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing of BN crew members. Operators are repatriating non-essential Crew and we have recently supported in country to ensure crew are able to disembark in Europe and the US.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on securing free access to cash through ATMs.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

However, the Government recognises that free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of millions of people across the UK, as well as the impact that COVID-19 has had on cash usage.

At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. This will ensure that millions of people can get hold of the cash they need when they need it.

The Government continues to engage with the Payment Systems Regulator, who regulate LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, and the financial regulators on access to cash.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decrease in the number of high street ATMs on (a) small businesses and retailers and (b) consumers.

The Government recognises the continued importance of cash for many retailers and consumers, particularly in light of COVID-19. That is why, at the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. The Government will ensure that the approach reflects the needs of cash users across the economy.

With regard to ATMs, as of 2019, there were approximately 45,000 free-to-use ATMs in the UK. Although this is less than the peak number of free ATMs in 2017, this remains 13% higher than a decade ago. Furthermore, most ATMs are clustered together in areas of high demand and high footfall, particularly in retail centres and transport hubs. As of January 2020, 78% of all free-to-use machines were within 300 metres of the next, and 94% were within one kilometre of the next.

LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, has put in place specific arrangements to protect remote free-to-use ATMs one kilometre or further from the next nearest free-to-use ATM or Post Office, including all high streets with five or more qualifying retailers. Furthermore, LINK has made £5 million available to fund requests for new ATMs from communities with poor access to cash.

The Payment Systems Regulator, which regulates LINK, is monitoring ATM market developments closely and has used its powers to hold LINK to account over its public commitments.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the average substantive response time was for letters to his office from hon. Members in the latest period for which figures are available.

Information on average response times is not held.

However, in 2019, the Treasury replied to 90% of MPs’ correspondence within 15 working days.

The Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. All Member’s correspondence is currently receiving attention and will be responded to as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to review the Defence and Security Public Contracts Directive after the end of the Transition Period.

Consistent with the Withdrawal Act, the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) will be amended at the end of the Transition period to reflect the UK's new status.

Reform of the DSPCR is currently being actively considered as part of the cross-Government review into the UK's defence and security industrial sectors. Reform would, in due course, require new primary legislation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what is the current average length of time for processing online applications for (a) probate and (b) letters of administration.

The most recently published information regarding combined waiting times for a grant of probate, on paper and digital cases, covers April 2021 to June 2021 and is published on gov.uk via Family Court Statistics Quarterly (Table 25):

Family Court Statistics Quarterly: April to June 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to increase the penalties for criminal damage of war memorials and other monuments of national significance; and if he will make a statement.

Any vandalism or attack on property should be met with the full force of the law. Attacking any memorial is an insult, and this is particularly true of a war memorial commemorating those who have given their lives fighting for our freedom.

The Secretary of State has committed to reviewing the laws around criminal damage. We are also looking at penalties for this type of offending and will fully examine any proposed legislation put to us in the usual way.

The Secretary of State will be setting out plans later this year.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken is for the issue of a (a) grant of probate and (b) letter of administration by the Liverpool District Probate Registry; and if he will make a statement.

In January 2020 the figures are as follows:

Case type

Average weeks to issue

Median weeks to issue

Grant of Administration

13.1

5.2

Grant of Administration with Will annexed

10.2

5

Grant of Probate

8.8

4.6

Please note these figures include any time where the case is stopped, and also any time spent waiting for the applicant to submit documentation before the application can be processed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will respond to requests from the Road Haulage Association for a meeting to discuss the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland last met representatives of the Road Haulage Association on 22 January at a roundtable discussion convened by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Its representatives have also attended the Protocol sub-group of the Brexit Business Taskforce, which is co-chaired by officials in the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office.

The Secretary of State will continue to engage closely with businesses and representative organisations in Northern Ireland, and will consider any further requests for a meeting that the Road Haulage Association make.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Oct 2020
What recent discussions he has had with local authorities in Wales on the operation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

I am advocating a strong and active role for the 22 local authorities in Wales as we make progress on the Shared Prosperity Fund. Devolution isn’t simply about transferring powers to Cardiff Bay – it is about involving every region of Wales in decisions about the Fund.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with ministers in the Welsh Government on ensuring clarity for the public on the covid-19 restrictions applicable in (a) Wales and (b) England.

There have been unprecedented levels of engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, at present numbering over 100 such engagements. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with the First Minister and his ministerial team including through COBR(M) and the Ministerial Implementation Groups. I have set out a schedule of the Ministerial engagement between my Office and the Welsh Government since the start of the crisis.

All four UK administrations are committed to the UK-wide approach to tackling Covid-19. The overall approach in responding to the pandemic remains aligned across the UK, with each government able to modify that approach to reflect the needs of each nations.

There are some limited differences in the restrictions that apply between Wales and England. These are mainly at the margins of our common approach. It is important that the rationale for any differences is founded on evidence and is clearly explained to people on both sides of the border.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with ministers in the Welsh Government on consistency in the covid-19 restrictions applicable in Wales and England.

There have been unprecedented levels of engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, at present numbering over 100 such engagements. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with the First Minister and his ministerial team including through COBR(M) and the Ministerial Implementation Groups. I have set out a schedule of the Ministerial engagement between my Office and the Welsh Government since the start of the crisis.

All four UK administrations are committed to the UK-wide approach to tackling Covid-19. The overall approach in responding to the pandemic remains aligned across the UK, with each government able to modify that approach to reflect the needs of each nations.

There are some limited differences in the restrictions that apply between Wales and England. These are mainly at the margins of our common approach. It is important that the rationale for any differences is founded on evidence and is clearly explained to people on both sides of the border.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales