David Mundell Portrait

David Mundell

Conservative - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

First elected: 5th May 2005


Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since March 2020)
International Development Committee (since November 2022)
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 21st Nov 2022
Secretary of State for Scotland
8th May 2015 - 24th Jul 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Scotland Office)
14th May 2010 - 8th May 2015
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
10th May 2005 - 6th May 2010
Scottish Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 6th May 2010


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Ministerial Severance: Reform
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 273 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 192 Noes - 275
Speeches
Thursday 1st February 2024
Living Standards
I call the Minister. My only request is that we leave a few minutes for Mr McDonald to conclude the …
Written Answers
Friday 9th February 2024
Pesticides: Regulation
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness …
Early Day Motions
Monday 21st February 2022
Team GB Curling at the 2022 Winter Olympics (No. 2)
That this House wholeheartedly congratulates the Great Britain’s Women’s Curling Team of Eve Muirhead, Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff …
Bills
Thursday 28th May 2015
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
8. Miscellaneous
From 28 January 2020, membership of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament Association. This is an unpaid role.
EDM signed
Monday 5th February 2024
Scottish curlers gold at Winter Youth Olympics
That this House congratulates Logan Carson, Tia Laurie, Archie Hyslop and Holly Burke on winning gold in the mixed team …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 13th June 2023
Spiking Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the law in relation to administering or attempting to administer drugs, alcohol or any …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, David Mundell has voted in 646 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
David Mundell 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
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
David Mundell voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
27 Jun 2023 - Schools (Gender and Parental Rights) - View Vote Context
David Mundell voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative No votes vs 25 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 34 Noes - 40
View All David Mundell 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
Alister Jack (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Scotland
(24 debate interactions)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(16 debate interactions)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(29 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(25 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Finance Act 2020
(707 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all David Mundell's debates

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale 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 Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale signature proportion
Petitions with most Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Call an immediate general election so that the people can decide who should lead us through the unprecedented crises threatening the UK.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

For the most recent hunting season, Forestry England gave hunting licences for 34 fox & hare “trail hunts”. Despite hunting wild mammals with dogs being illegal, two of the licensed/previously licensed trail hunts have been associated with convictions under the Hunting and Animal Welfare Acts.

In March 2021 Mini the cat was chased and killed by hunting hounds in a quiet residential area.
The Government should back Mini’s Law (Public and Animal Safety Bill 2021) to ensure safety to the public and animals from hunting activity, such as trail hunts and exercise of hunting hounds.

Given how many animals are sold online, we want Government to introduce regulation of all websites where animals are sold. Websites should be required to verify the identity of all sellers, and for young animals for sale pictures with their parents be posted with all listings.

Endometriosis and PCOS are two gynaecological conditions which both affect 10% of women worldwide, but both are, in terms of research and funding, incredibly under prioritised. This petition is calling for more funding, to enable for new, extensive and thorough research into female health issues.

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

As a country we see many water-related fatalities every year. We see many more call outs to water related incidents. Throughout lockdown year our coastguards were tasked to almost double the call outs than in the previous year. Our children NEED to learn about Cold water shock & rip currents.

Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.'

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.

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

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

Every year more and more people, animals and wildlife get hurt by fireworks. It’s time something was fine to stop this. There are enough organised firework groups around for us to still enjoy fireworks safely so please help me stop the needless sale of them to the public!


Latest EDMs signed by David Mundell

1st February 2024
David Mundell signed this EDM on Monday 5th February 2024

Scottish curlers gold at Winter Youth Olympics

Tabled by: Angela Crawley (Scottish National Party - Lanark and Hamilton East)
That this House congratulates Logan Carson, Tia Laurie, Archie Hyslop and Holly Burke on winning gold in the mixed team curling at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea; understands that they came from behind to defeat Denmark 7-5 after an extra end in the gold medal match; …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 14
Liberal Democrat: 2
Conservative: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
31st January 2024
David Mundell signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 1st February 2024

LGBT+ History Month

Tabled by: Christine Jardine (Liberal Democrat - Edinburgh West)
That this House recognises February 2024 as LGBT+ History Month; notes this year’s theme of UnderTheScope, which aims to recognise the work of LGBT+ people in healthcare and medicine; celebrates the amazing contributions the LGBT+ community make to British society, including staff in the NHS, social care, research and other …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 7
Scottish National Party: 4
Labour: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 1
Conservative: 1
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All David Mundell's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David Mundell, 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 Mundell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

David Mundell has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by David Mundell

Introduced: 28th May 2015

This Bill received Royal Assent on 23rd March 2016 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 5th November 2012

A Bill to make provision for the prosecution in Scotland of partnerships, partners and others following dissolution or changes in membership.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 25th April 2013 and was enacted into law.


160 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
1 Other Department Questions
9th Jun 2021
What steps he is taking to consult with (a) civil society and (b) youth groups in preparation for COP26.

I have established a diverse international Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council, the first of its kind at any COP, to work with the UK Presidency to deliver a successful summit. The co-chairs are young climate activists, one from the global north and one from the global south.

I have also committed to and have been meeting civil society and youth groups on my international visits to ensure their voices are heard at COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will confirm that (a) Sir Robert Francis' Infected Blood Compensation Framework Study will be published soon after he has received it and (b) it will be given to the Infected Blood Inquiry soon after he has received it.

I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 24 February to PQ 125060.

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish Lord Dunlop's Review of UK Government Union Capability.

Lord Dunlop has concluded his review and the UK Government is carefully considering its recommendations.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has had recent discussions with the Information Commissioner’s Office on the adequacy of the guidance provided on their website for (a) identifying and (b) reporting breaches of data protection law related to personal health data.

The UK’s data protection legislation requires all organisations to process personal data lawfully, fairly, transparently and securely. There are stricter conditions and safeguards in relation to processing of personal data relating to people’s health.

The Data Protection and Digital Information (no. 2) Bill does not remove or amend these foundational principles. Instead, it builds on the existing elements of the legislation to make it more ambitious and innovation-friendly, while still underpinned by secure and trustworthy data standards.

The ICO already has published guidance for organisations on the use of special category data, but it has recently been made aware of concerns linked to the inappropriate sharing of personal health data, including the HIV status of individuals. It is currently engaging with the organisations involved to understand these issues further. It has indicated that it will take the necessary steps to ensure that it supports and advises relevant organisations about sharing sensitive information, and that it is clear in its guidance about identifying and reporting breaches linked to health data.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if the Information Commissioner’s Office will publish guidance for (a) employers, (b) health and social care settings and (c) police forces on sharing data about a person's HIV status.

The UK’s data protection legislation requires all organisations to process personal data lawfully, fairly, transparently and securely. There are stricter conditions and safeguards in relation to processing of personal data relating to people’s health.

The Data Protection and Digital Information (no. 2) Bill does not remove or amend these foundational principles. Instead, it builds on the existing elements of the legislation to make it more ambitious and innovation-friendly, while still underpinned by secure and trustworthy data standards.

The ICO already has published guidance for organisations on the use of special category data, but it has recently been made aware of concerns linked to the inappropriate sharing of personal health data, including the HIV status of individuals. It is currently engaging with the organisations involved to understand these issues further. It has indicated that it will take the necessary steps to ensure that it supports and advises relevant organisations about sharing sensitive information, and that it is clear in its guidance about identifying and reporting breaches linked to health data.

11th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill on people living with HIV.

The UK’s data protection legislation requires all organisations to process personal data lawfully, fairly, transparently and securely. There are stricter conditions and safeguards in relation to processing of personal data relating to people’s health.

The Data Protection and Digital Information (no. 2) Bill does not remove or amend these foundational principles. Instead, it builds on the existing elements of the legislation to make it more ambitious and innovation-friendly, while still underpinned by secure and trustworthy data standards.

The ICO already has published guidance for organisations on the use of special category data, but it has recently been made aware of concerns linked to the inappropriate sharing of personal health data, including the HIV status of individuals. It is currently engaging with the organisations involved to understand these issues further. It has indicated that it will take the necessary steps to ensure that it supports and advises relevant organisations about sharing sensitive information, and that it is clear in its guidance about identifying and reporting breaches linked to health data.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how are new providers selected following the collapse of an energy supplier.

The Government and Ofgem will ensure customers do not experience any disruption to their supply when a company leaves the market. The Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process is triggered by Ofgem when a supplier becomes insolvent. Ofgem invites suppliers to bid to be the SoLR and chooses the supplier that will offer the best value for consumers, this includes ensuring the protection of customer credit balances.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the tariff obligations are on energy providers that supply customers who were previously served by a provider that went into administration.

Ofgem runs the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process that ensures customers do not experience any disruption to their supply when a company leaves the market. Ofgem will work with suppliers to appoint the SoLR that provides the best deal for customers. Customers will continue to be protected from unfair prices by the price cap.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Smart Energy Guarantee in encouraging community energy development; and what additional support he plans to provide the community energy development sector in order for it to grow more widely.

Ofgem are to publish their first report on the provisions made by suppliers for smaller scale exports under the Smart Export Guarantee in the summer. We will review this before considering whether there are any further barriers to community energy development that need to be addressed. The Government continues to offer support to communities who want to generate energy locally through the Rural Community Energy Fund.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the role of the Scotch Whisky industry in supporting (a) hospitality and (b) other businesses in the UK supply chain.

The Government has made available a substantial package of financial support over the last year for the hospitality sector. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer will be making further announcements on the next phase of our economic support package in his Budget on 3rd March.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of Scotch Whisky distillers producing hand sanitiser for (a) the emergency services and (b) communities.

This is a commercial matter for Scotch Whisky distillers. However, the Government would like to thank those distilleries which repurposed their facilities for the production of hand sanitiser for their tremendous contribution to the UK’s response to Covid-19.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Bounce Back Loans have been approved in Scotland to date; and what the total value is of those loans.

As of 21 June, 921,229 loans have been issued under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), with a total value of £28.09 billion.

Issuing new loans is the priority for lenders and the Government.

At this time, we are unable to provide a breakdown of lending or number of applications by region or devolved region. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to publish its next steps following the consultation on changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure.

The technical consultation on changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure in England closed on 14 June 2021. We are now considering the responses to the consultation and the Government will publish its response in due course.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received from (a) sporting clubs, (b) theatres, (c) exhibition groups and (d) other event operators on Government support for the contingency insurance market during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We encourage businesses experiencing financial difficulty to research the initiatives in the Government’s support package such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Our schemes are continuously under review to make sure our schemes are accessible, fair and targeted to help those who need it the most.

DCMS also regularly engages with businesses and sector representative bodies in order to properly understand the issues being faced as well as to develop means of offering support. Over recent months DCMS has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders such as Sport England, Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel.

Some of the support the government has offered includes the unprecedented £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund - the largest ever one-off investment in culture - to help countless organisations weather the COVID storm; and the £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, which will assist the film and TV production sectors who are ready to return to work, but are precluded from doing so by the difficulties they face obtaining insurance cover for Covid-19. The scheme will be available to compensate Film and TV productions after they have restarted, and where costs are then incurred due to delays or abandonment as a result of Coronavirus.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what priority his Department plans to accord to supporting the recovery of (a) theatres, (b) the exhibitions sector, (c) the sporting tournaments sector and (d) live industries ahead of the summer 2021 season; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of the struggles of the entire events industry and their supply chain, and DCMS prioritises all of our sectors. We are working hard to provide financial support for all sectors, with businesses being able to access the Government’s UK wide support package. We are dedicated to helping all of our sectors survive the winter months ahead.

As part of the Government’s 5 stage roadmap to get performing arts and live entertainment sectors back up and running as soon as possible, venues and organisations are able to put on live performances in front of a socially-distanced audience in line with the latest Covid secure guidance.

Similarly, the exhibitions sector will be allowed to continue hosting events providing that they follow all Covid-19 Secure guidance. This guidance has been developed by the Events Industry Forum in collaboration with DCMS so local authorities can safely host a multitude of events.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total package up to £210 million. We will return spectators to elite and professional sports events when it is safe to do so.

We have already saved 135 grassroots music venues from imminent collapse. Arts Council England and other DCMS arms-length bodies are currently assessing thousands of applications from other organisations, and successful applicants will be informed from October. We are committed to ensuring that live performances will be fully back up and running when it is safe to do so.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received from the Let Live Thrive Campaign for live events in the UK.

We have not received any representations from the Let Live Thrive Campaign regardings live events in the UK.

The Secretary of State announced an unprecedented £1.57 billion support package for the cultural sector which will benefit the live events sector by providing support to music venues and many other cultural organisations to stay open and continue operating.

We continue to engage with the sector to discuss the on-going challenges facing the industry.

22nd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of pesticide regulation by the (a) Health and Safety Executive and (b) Expert Committee on Pesticides.

The UK has one of the most robust regulatory systems in the world. Pesticides are only authorised following a thorough scientific risk assessment that concludes all safety standards are met. Pesticides that pose unacceptable risks are not authorised.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are responsible for these authorisations. They also undertake compliance and enforcement activities to ensure that where pesticides are used, they are used safely and in accordance with the law.

The role of the Expert Committee on Pesticides is to provide independent scientific advice, views and recommendations where required. The ECP publishes its annual report each year which summarises its work & it delivers expert advice as requested. The latest annual report to be published can be found here.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what further steps his Department plans to take to help tackle equine EHV1 infections.

The Government is aware of the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Europe and is working closely with the equine sector to ensure owners are aware of the risks and are taking the necessary precautions to keep their animals safe.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is not notifiable and isolation of sick animals is the best protection against infection. There is no public health risk.

Horse owners are advised to contact their private vet if they observe any respiratory illness, abortion or neurological signs in horses or ponies in their care or would like to discuss options for vaccination against the disease.

All horses imported into the UK are required to be certified as being fit to travel and not to have originated from premises where disease is known to be present. Any horses imported into the UK should be placed in isolation for at least 10 days before allowing them to mix with other equines.

Comprehensive industry advice and guidance on biosecurity and vaccination is available online and the Animal and Plant Health Agency international trade team is, on behalf of Defra, writing to anyone wishing to import any equine from Europe to remind them of this guidance and strongly recommend that it is followed.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Scotch Whisky industry in advance of COP26.

Defra works closely with the Scotch Whisky Association who have recently launched a new Sustainability Strategy, with an aim to achieve Net Zero emissions in their operations by 2040. We welcome this industry-led initiative, which will help secure a sustainable future for Scotch whisky and make a significant contribution to tackling climate change, building a green future in line with the UK’s core themes at UNFCCC COP26 due to be held in Glasgow later this year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the Scotch Whisky industry’s role in supporting agriculture in the UK.

No specific assessment has been made of the role of the Scotch whisky industry in supporting agriculture in the UK. The majority of the industry’s barley and wheat requirements are sourced in Scotland and the industry maintains a strong relationship with the cereals supply chain.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that wet markets do not reopen.

‘Wet markets’ sell a range of fresh produce and can be found across the globe, including farmers markets and seafood markets in the UK. They are an important source of food and income for many people globally. The Government recognises that markets selling live animals and meat are a high risk environment for the transmission of zoonotic diseases if they are not subject to high standards of biosecurity and hygiene. We therefore agree with the World Health Organization that markets should close if these standards are not met.

The Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and driving up standards in food production and food safety around the world. We will continue to support swift policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases and are underpinned by sound evidence.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Jul 2020
With reference to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, what plans she has to increase support for nutrition programmes throughout the world.

The Secretary of State was incredibly pleased to be invited to write a foreword to the Global Nutrition Report this year. As highlighted in the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report launched yesterday, progress to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030 remains off-track and is set to stall further in the face of COVID-19. The UK remains committed to preventing and treating malnutrition as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children and DFID has contributed £15 million?of UK aid to the World Food Programme’s global COVID-19 response. In addition, I’m pleased to say that the RAF has now flown?four?UK aid-funded flights in support of WFP’s COVID-19 response plan.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make it her policy to maintain the Government's commitments under the Nutrition for Growth global pledging moment after December 2020.

The UK has been a global leader on nutrition since 2013 and remains committed to address malnutrition, particularly as the indirect impacts of COVID-19 are set to increase malnutrition significantly in the poorest countries of the world. We are looking carefully at options for a new UK commitment?post 2020?and will provide an update on our plans?in due course.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be taking on the Department for International Development legal obligation as set out in the International Development Act 2002 to prioritise poverty reduction.

Spending 0.7 percent of our national income on aid is enshrined in law. As per the Prime Minister’s statement to the House, the work of UK Aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development office. We will undertake the necessary parliamentary process to transfer responsibilities under the International Development Act to the new department.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, what steps the Government is taking to help prevent hunger and malnutrition throughout the world.

The UK has been a global leader on nutrition since it hosted the first Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit in 2013. The Summit generated £15 billion in new financing for nutrition up to 2020. Between 2015 and March 2019, DFID reached 50.6 million women, adolescent girls and young children with nutrition services in 25 countries, including Bangladesh, Somalia, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Yemen.

The UK remains committed to preventing and treating malnutrition as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children. Continued investment to prevent and treat malnutrition is important, particularly as countries face worsening levels of malnutrition in the face of COVID-19. The Secretary of State reiterated the importance of nutrition in her endorsement for the DFID-funded Global Nutrition Report 2020, which was published in May.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Government's hosting of the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 on 4 June 2020, what steps she plans to take to help ensure that there is a globally coordinated response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is proud to have raised $8.8 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance at the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June. The UK pledged £1.65 billion to Gavi for 2021 to 2025. The Gavi Alliance, which includes the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, will play a vital role in maintaining essential services, including routine immunisation, throughout the pandemic. Routine immunisation is the strongest shield against secondary outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. The funding raised by all donors at the Global Vaccine Summit will enable Gavi to immunise 300 million more children and save up to 8 million lives by 2025. The UK has also reallocated $60 million for Gavi’s Covax AMC, to ensure access in the poorest countries to any COVID-19 vaccine.

The UK is a key supporter of the COVID-19 pandemic response. This includes a global health response led by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The UK is a key donor to the WHO and has already contributed £75 million to help the organisation lead international efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will make her policy to maintain the protections granted in the 2018 Economic Partnership Agreement in relation to Scotch Whisky exports to Japan.

The UK and Japanese governments started negotiating a UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement on 9 June. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be used as the basis?and may be enhanced?in areas of?mutual?interest.

Regarding the protection of the Scotch Whisky Geographical Indication (GI) in Japan, the UK’s published negotiating objectives for trade negotiations with Japan state that “the UK will secure protections for UK GIs”. The UK Government recognises the high value of GIs to both the communities that produce them and as illustrations of the wide range of quality British products enjoyed around the world.

Regarding tariffs, UK exporters will continue to be able to export Whisky to Japan duty free as Japan applies no tariffs to their Whisky imports regardless of which country the imports come from.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has made representations to her counterparts in the (a) EU and (b) US Administration on urgently suspending tariffs on US and EU consumer goods as a result of the steel-aluminium and Airbus disputes during the covid-19 outbreak, in order to support Scottish exporters that are subject to US tariffs.

The UK Government takes the negative impact of US tariffs and the additional impact of Covid-19 on Scottish exporters very seriously.

Last week, my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade engaged with her opposite numbers in both the US administration and the European Commission. She will continue to work with the EU, other Airbus nations and the US on a negotiated settlement to the Airbus-Boeing disputes. She will also continue to push the US and work with the EU for the removal of tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic and the rebalancing measures imposed in response.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress Highways England have made on improving the signage to Langholm on (a) Junction 44 of the M6 and (b) the A7.

National Highways has finalised the design of new signage to Langholm on the roundabout at M6 Junction 44. At the same time, Cumberland Council, who are responsible for signage on the A7 itself in Cumbria, is planning to modify two existing signs on the A7 to include signing for Langholm. This is at an advanced stage well beyond design. To ensure consistency of signing, we understand that National Highways and Cumberland Council are working collaboratively to agree an installation date once all the signs required have been manufactured, but this will be early in the new year.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had discussions with representatives of the US Administration on the basis on which people who have received the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine would be admitted to the US for as long as that vaccine has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Prime Minster and President Biden have made clear the importance of bringing about the return of safe trans-Atlantic travel as soon as possible. Department for Transport Ministers are in regular contact with US partners on driving forward this goal.

The newly formed joint UK-US Experts’ Working Group is now underway, and we are working closely with our US partners on delivering the practical solutions to effectively restoring travel.

We are hopeful that vaccines will play an important role in normalising travel between the UK and US and confident that the AstraZeneca vaccine will underpin this for UK citizens.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the expiry date of driving theory tests for people who have had their practical driving test cancelled during the covid-19 outbreak.

The two-year validity period of the theory test certificate is set in legislation and the Government has taken the decision not to lay further legislation to extend it. The primary reason is that the two-year validity is in place to ensure that a candidate’s theoretical knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point they drive on their own for the first time. Extending the validity would provide less reassurance that this is the case. Those whose certificate previously expired and have since passed the theory test will now have a further two years in which to pass the practical test.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for the resumption of driving tests in (a) rural and (b) urban areas in Scotland.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to protect the public and save lives. That remains its priority as it restarts its services.

As different approaches to easing lockdown are currently being adopted across England, Scotland and Wales, the DVSA is following published guidance in each of those countries as it restarts its services safely for customers and staff.

The DVSA will continue to observe the guidance and scale up its services when it is permissible and lawful to do so.

In Scotland, theory tests and motorcycle instruction may restart on 22 July 2020. Motorcycle module 1 and module 2 tests, and tractor driving tests, will restart on Monday 3 August 2020.

Other types of driving tests are still suspended. When the DVSA has more detail, it will inform instructors and candidates.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits for the Scottish economy of implementing the recommendations in High Speed Rail Group's report on extending HS2 upgrades beyond phase 2b.

The Government is committed to levelling-up the whole of the UK, including Scotland. In 2016, HS2 Ltd. made an early assessment of extending high speed lines into Scotland, taking into account the benefits for the region through reduced journey times as well as forecasted demand. At present, the Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and the North is, among other things, looking at delivering better rail connectivity to Scotland, considering economic arguments around how this can be achieved.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the 365 payment period for people affected by covid-19 and claiming new style or contributions based employment and support allowance and who have not had a decision made on their capability for work in that time.

The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) temporary Coronavirus regulations mean that everyone infected with covid-19, or who is required to self-isolate in line with Government guidelines, will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA without the requirement for fit notes or a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). These measures also apply to clinically extremely vulnerable people who are unable to work from home and have been advised to shield in line with the relevant public health advice in England, Wales and Scotland.

There are no plans to extend the time limit for people claiming contributory ESA who are affected by covid-19, and reach their 365-day limit. The majority of the covid-19 related claims will not reach this limit as they are for short periods.

Where an individual requires further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance she has issued to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the discharge of HSE's responsibilities during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State and I have had regular meetings with senior officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in order to assess in what ways the Department can support HSE on the work it is doing to support the Government during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the COVID–19 outbreak started the Department has received a weekly written update on the work HSE is doing, this includes:

  • maintaining its wide ranging regulatory functions, in particular continuing to investigate work related fatalities and the most serious major injuries, dealing with reported concerns and regulating major hazard industries. Undertaking regulatory activities that do not require site visits such as approvals and permissioning work. Whilst some of HSE’s regulatory intervention work can be done remotely, where it is necessary to provide public assurance that hazards are being effectively managed and to secure compliance with the law, site visits are being made;

  • working with Public Health England (PHE), other Government departments and Devolved Administrations to ensure the country is geared up to treat people in Great Britain diagnosed with the COVID-19. HSE continues to offer information and advice on workplace and workforce issues to support the government’s response, including technical advice on personal protection equipment to ensure that healthcare workers and others are adequately protected;

  • working closely with stakeholder groups including trade unions to develop practical guidance to support businesses to continue to operate and, where currently closed, to return to operation whilst ensuring the safety of workers; and

  • where it comes to HSE’s attention that employers are found not to be complying with PHE’s guidelines taking appropriate action, ranging from specific advice through to serving enforcement notices, so as to ensure that practicable measures are implemented to protect workers and others.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that (a) access to and (b) uptake of (i) PrEP and (ii) other HIV preventative measures is equitable across different groups.

As part of our HIV Action Plan implementation, we are working together with key stakeholders to improve access to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for key population groups. The HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group is working to develop a roadmap, based on the PrEP Access and Equity Task and Finish group’s recommendations, to help guide our efforts to ensure access, uptake, and use of PrEP meets the needs of groups most at risk of HIV.

HIV PrEP is routinely available in specialist sexual health services throughout the country since March 2020 and we invested more than £34 million in PrEP in 2020/21 and 2021/22. PrEP funding has been fully included within the public health grant since 2022/23 and funds appointments and testing in sexual health services, whilst NHS England covers the costs of the drug itself.

As part of the HIV Action Plan and our combination approach to HIV prevention, we are investing £3.5 million over 2021 to 2024 in HIV Prevention England, a national HIV prevention programme targeting key population groups with a high burden of HIV. NHS England has committed £20 million, 2022 to 2025, to fund the expansion of HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments in areas with extremely high HIV prevalence, which has helped find more than 550 cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV in the first year of the programme. Treatment as prevention is a key HIV prevention measure and treatment coverage in England remained high in 2021 at 99% and was consistent across all groups.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the availability of HIV testing.

Local authorities in England are responsible for commissioning open access sexual and reproductive health services, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, through the Public Health Grant, funded at £3.5 billion in 2023/24. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need and to commission the service lines that best suit their population.

Increasing the availability of HIV testing is one of our core ambitions in the Government’s HIV Action plan published in December 2021. As part of the plan, the Department is investing over £3.5 million from 2021 to 2024 to deliver the National HIV Prevention Programme. This includes national campaigns such as the National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) and the Summer Campaign designed to normalise and reduce barriers to testing, such as stigma. In 2023 the NHTW delivered more than 20,000 HIV testing kits targeted at the most affected communities.

NHS England has committed £20 million, between 2022 to 2025, to fund the expansion of HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments in areas with extremely high HIV prevalence. This has helped diagnose 2,000 new cases of blood-borne viruses (Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV) in the first year of the programme. We will be considering the data recently released alongside the data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions within England by 2030 to examine the feasibility of further expanding this programme.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) improve quality of life for and (b) reduce the stigma faced by people living with HIV.

Improving Treatment and retention in care, as well as quality of life for and reducing the stigma faced by people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are objectives in the Government’s HIV Action plan published in December 2021.

NHS England are currently reviewing the national Service Specification for Adult HIV services, which sets out the standards of care that HIV providers are expected to meet, including availability of community, psychological and psychosocial support for patients to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.

As part of the HIV Action Plan Steering Group, a re-engagement and retention in care task and finish group was established in 2023. This group will provide advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective treatment. They will present their recommendations to the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group, who will agree on how the advice will be taken forward.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the availability of HIV (a) treatments and (b) retention in care settings.

Improving Treatment and retention in care, as well as quality of life for and reducing the stigma faced by people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are objectives in the Government’s HIV Action plan published in December 2021.

NHS England are currently reviewing the national Service Specification for Adult HIV services, which sets out the standards of care that HIV providers are expected to meet, including availability of community, psychological and psychosocial support for patients to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.

As part of the HIV Action Plan Steering Group, a re-engagement and retention in care task and finish group was established in 2023. This group will provide advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective treatment. They will present their recommendations to the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group, who will agree on how the advice will be taken forward.

25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to provide Descovy as a HIV prevention drug.

The updated NHS England clinical commissioning policy establishes the use of generic and second line pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus prevention, including emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy®) as a second line treatment option for individuals who meet the inclusion criteria and cannot take the usual first-line PrEP therapy due to risk factors.

The commissioning policy was published on 22 May 2023 and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/reimbursement-for-the-use-of-generic-drugs-for-pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep-for-the-prevention-of-hiv/

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on potential joint working to help reach zero HIV transmissions by 2030.

Health is a devolved matter, though officials at the Department continue to meet with counterparts from Scotland and Wales to share information to help end new HIV transmissions by 2030.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had recent discussions with the (a) Welsh, (b) Scottish and (c) Northern Irish governments on taking steps to introduce a UK-wide HIV testing week.

No discussions have taken placed around introducing a United Kingdom wide HIV testing week.

Health is a devolved matter and it is the responsibility of individual Governments to commission comprehensive healthcare based on population need.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing an HIV testing week.

The HIV Action Plan 2022/25 for England includes a commitment to deliver National HIV Testing Week in England, an annual campaign which increases awareness and acceptability of HIV testing and aims to reduce barriers to access.

HIV Prevention England operates the annual National HIV Testing week campaign, on behalf of the Department, which is taking place between 6 February and 12 February 2023.

30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has provided for public health campaigns on HIV for heterosexual (a) women and (b) men in each year since 2018.

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is the national HIV prevention programme for England and is funded by the Department. The programme aims to support communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men and Black African heterosexual men and women. The Department has appointed Terrence Higgins Trust, a national charity who provide services related to sexual heath and HIV, to deliver the programme from 2021/2024. HPE delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The table below shows the funding that has been provided specifically for HIV public health campaigns within the HPE contract:

2018-19

£484,800

2019-20

£442,000

2020-21

£524,000

2021-22

£500,000

2022-23

£500,000

The Department does not provide funding for separate national HIV public health campaigns specifically targeted at women or the black community or heterosexual women and men.

30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has provided for public health campaigns on HIV aimed at the black community in each year since 2018.

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is the national HIV prevention programme for England and is funded by the Department. The programme aims to support communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men and Black African heterosexual men and women. The Department has appointed Terrence Higgins Trust, a national charity who provide services related to sexual heath and HIV, to deliver the programme from 2021/2024. HPE delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The table below shows the funding that has been provided specifically for HIV public health campaigns within the HPE contract:

2018-19

£484,800

2019-20

£442,000

2020-21

£524,000

2021-22

£500,000

2022-23

£500,000

The Department does not provide funding for separate national HIV public health campaigns specifically targeted at women or the black community or heterosexual women and men.

30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has provided for public health campaigns on HIV for women in each year since 2018.

HIV Prevention England (HPE) is the national HIV prevention programme for England and is funded by the Department. The programme aims to support communities who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men and Black African heterosexual men and women. The Department has appointed Terrence Higgins Trust, a national charity who provide services related to sexual heath and HIV, to deliver the programme from 2021/2024. HPE delivers a nationally co-ordinated programme of HIV prevention work, including public campaigns such as National HIV Testing Week, that is designed to complement locally commissioned prevention activities in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The table below shows the funding that has been provided specifically for HIV public health campaigns within the HPE contract:

2018-19

£484,800

2019-20

£442,000

2020-21

£524,000

2021-22

£500,000

2022-23

£500,000

The Department does not provide funding for separate national HIV public health campaigns specifically targeted at women or the black community or heterosexual women and men.

24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much from the public purse the Government spent on HIV research and development in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020, (d) 2021 and (e) 2022.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, funds research relating to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) across all UKRI councils.

The latest spend figures available for research on HIV are as follows:

Financial expenditure

Funded by

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

NIHR

£8,087,542

£5,786,318

£6,153,681

£7,341,078

£8,310,996

UKRI*

£6,771,301

£9,024,753

£10,511,516

£12,545,525

£8,905,895

*collated data on expenditure for Medical Research Council (MRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This includes payments due for 2022/23 financial year.

10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that contracts awarded to HIV clinics require those clinics to conduct annual audits of (a) the number of people in the local area requiring HIV care and (b) the capacity of those clinics to provide that care.

Contracts awarded to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinics are the responsibility of NHSE specialist commissioning groups and local authority commissioners who assess the need in their local populations and set the requirements of the contracts. Data on HIV treatment and care are collected from HIV services by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency and reported back centrally to assist commissioners and service providers in monitoring performance.

9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to provide additional funding for sexual health services to help recover services that have been affected by the monkeypox outbreak.

In 2022/23, we have allocated more than £3.4 billion to local authorities in England to fund public health services, including sexual health services, through the public health grant and provided additional funding for the monkeypox response, including the supply of medicines and vaccinations.

The Department continues to work closely with the UK Health Security Agency, local authorities and NHS England to monitor the impact of monkeypox on sexual health services and support system-wide action to maintain access to routine sexual and reproductive health services.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning comprehensive, open access sexual health services to meet local demand and individual local authorities decide on spending priorities based on an assessment of local need for sexual health services. We will announce the 2023/24 public health grant allocations to local authorities in due course.

9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to involve people living with HIV in the (a) development, (b) linkage with community-based services and (c) further implementation of quality-of-life measurement tools in health facilities.

The HIV Action Plan, published in 2021, sets out our key commitments in relation to supporting the needs of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In delivering against these commitments, UK Health Security Agency published the HIV Action Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Framework in December 2022. Reducing stigma and promoting quality of life are themes in the framework which includes a quality-of-life baseline indicator. The framework will continue to monitor and evaluate quality-of-life from this baseline.

The framework also states that further work will be undertaken with the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and with professional groups, the HIV community and academic partners to develop further indicators to monitor quality of life for those living with HIV. The British HIV Association in close collaboration with people living with HIV, has developed guidelines for the delivery of HIV treatment, care and support.

9th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will expand HIV opt-out testing to local authority areas where there are between two and five per 1,000 people living with HIV.

As part of the Government’s HIV Action Plan, NHS England has expanded opt-out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in accident and emergency departments in the 21 local authority areas across the country with the highest prevalence of HIV, over 5 cases per 1,000 people, a proven effective way to identify new HIV cases. NHS England is investing £20m over 2022 to 2025 to support this activity.

We will be considering the full evidence from the first year of opt-out testing, alongside the data on progress towards our ambition of ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, to decide whether we further expand this programme to areas with high HIV prevalence, 2 to 5 cases per 1,000 people. We will also share the findings from the opt-out testing programme with local health systems to inform local decisions on expansion.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she plans to make fostemsavir available for the treatment of people with multi-drug resistant HIV.

NHS England has developed a national clinical commissioning policy proposition for Fostemsavir for the treatment of multi-drug resistant HIV-1 infection. The proposition was submitted for stakeholder testing in February 2022 and was considered in the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group’s (CPAG) relative prioritisation meeting in July 2022.

NHS England will decide whether this intervention will be available on the National Health Service on the basis of the CPAG’s recommendation and level of funding available for investment. A decision is expected shortly.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on (a) its strategy for Monkeypox vaccination and (b) ensuring that people in high risk groups can access a Monkeypox vaccination quickly.

On 21 June 2022, the UK Health Security Agency published a targeted vaccine strategy which recommends that gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men at higher risk of exposure to monkeypox should be offered a smallpox vaccine, Imvanex, to control the outbreak. NHS England will offer the vaccine to those most likely to be exposed to monkeypox, including healthcare workers and close contacts of confirmed infections. The local National Health Service will contact members of the public risk of exposure to offer a vaccination in due course.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of monkeypox on the availability of health service appointments for prescribing the HIV prevention drug PrEP.

While no specific assessment has been made, we will monitor the impact of monkeypox on these services.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to provide financial support equivalent to previous covid-19 test and trace support payment scheme to people required to self-isolate due to Monkeypox diagnoses.

The Government and local authorities are continuing to support those who are asked to self-isolate in England as the result of a monkeypox diagnosis.

On 9 June 2022, the UK Health Security Agency published guidance for those self-isolating, including on how to reduce the spread of monkeypox within their household. Individuals who are unable to work because they have monkeypox may also be eligible for financial support in England. We will continue to keep this approach under review.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has made to measure HIV stigma since the publication of the HIV Action Plan.

The HIV Action Plan commits to the development of a plan to increase innovation in the delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), improving access for key groups, including provision in settings outside of sexual and reproductive health services. The plan will be based on evidence from the findings of work the English Sexual Health and HIV Commissioners group are undertaking with potential PrEP users and providers, which will explore the acceptability and feasibility of delivering PrEP in settings such as drug and alcohol services and pharmacies.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a pilot for accessing PrEP in prisons. Timelines for taking forward the Action Plan will be published in the monitoring and evaluation framework in 2022. The framework will include key indicators, including those on addressing stigma, to be monitored at national, regional and local levels.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timeline is for developing a plan to drive innovation in PrEP delivery under the HIV Action Plan; and which groups his Department plans to engage and consult on that plan.

The HIV Action Plan commits to the development of a plan to increase innovation in the delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), improving access for key groups, including provision in settings outside of sexual and reproductive health services. The plan will be based on evidence from the findings of work the English Sexual Health and HIV Commissioners group are undertaking with potential PrEP users and providers, which will explore the acceptability and feasibility of delivering PrEP in settings such as drug and alcohol services and pharmacies.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a pilot for accessing PrEP in prisons. Timelines for taking forward the Action Plan will be published in the monitoring and evaluation framework in 2022. The framework will include key indicators, including those on addressing stigma, to be monitored at national, regional and local levels.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to tackle HIV stigma in the health service through improved training for the workforce.

The HIV Action Plan is planned for publication on 1 December 2021. The Government’s policy on issues related to HIV, such as equitable access to testing and treatment and tackling HIV-related stigma and health disparities, will be addressed in the Action Plan.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help reduce the number of people who leave sexual health services without being offered or taking up a HIV test.

The HIV Action Plan is planned for publication on 1 December 2021. The Government’s policy on issues related to HIV, such as equitable access to testing and treatment and tackling HIV-related stigma and health disparities, will be addressed in the Action Plan.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve the support Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) mental health services can offer people living with HIV, through better training on HIV issues for IAPT staff; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of developing an IAPT-LTC pathway for HIV.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing £2.3 billion each year in mental health services including expanding access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services to a total of 1.9 million adults a year by 2023/24, including people living with long term conditions such as HIV.

While we have no current plans to make a formal assessment of a potential IAPT pathway for HIV, we would expect that treatment services, such as HIV clinics, would take patients’ mental health needs into account as part of their overall care.

We are publishing a HIV Action Plan on 1 December 2021, which will set out plans for HIV services, including on mental health.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent unintended impacts from sanctions on food imports to Yemen by (a) the private sector and (b) humanitarian organisations.

The UK seeks to mitigate any unintended negative impacts of sanctions, including on humanitarian aid delivery. The UK's Yemen sanctions regulations include an exception which allows eligible humanitarian organisations, their service providers and delivery partners, to undertake activities necessary to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to support other activities that support basic human needs.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to work with (a) international organisations and (b) partners to improve access to (i) antiretroviral therapy and (ii) other affordable medications in regions with high HIV prevalence.

Our pledge of £1 billion to the Global Fund for 2023-2025 will save over 1 million lives, including by providing antiretroviral therapy for 1.8 million people and HIV counselling and testing for 48 million people. FCDO also supports research and market shaping initiatives into HIV commodities to improve their development, access and affordability, particularly in low-income and high-burden countries . For example, the UK funds the WHO hosted Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction which has led important research on HIV, such as the recent ECHO trial on the link between HIV infection and contraceptive methods. FCDO also funds the International Partnership on Microbicides, a Product Development Partnership which develops innovative technologies, for example the dapivirine ring, the first long-acting HIV prevention product to help address women's unmet need for new methods of HIV-prevention. Our catalytic funding to MedAccess - an innovative social financing company for healthcare products - has led to the development of HIV-syphillis dual tests, and to securing HIV self-tests at a historic price of $1.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department plans to take to promote (a) gender equality and (b) women's empowerment for women suffering from HIV.

We are committed to driving progress and demonstrating leadership on gender equality and women's empowerment, including for women living with HIV, on the global stage. In April 2023, the UK convened member states, civil society, UN agencies and grassroots organisations at Wilton Park to bolster support for and resist rollback on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) at the national, regional and global level. In May 2023, the UK joined other G7 leaders in re-asserting the critical role of comprehensive SRHR, including HIV services for women, in our efforts to achieve gender equality.

Our political action on this is also supported by our programming investments. For example, 60 per cent of the Global Fund's spending is specifically targeted to programs for women and girls and about one-third of Global Fund investments directly benefits SRHR. Our Women's Integrated Sexual Health programme delivers integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV services, across 17 countries in in sub-Saharan Africa. Up to £200 million will also be delivered towards the WISH Dividend women's sexual health programme focussed on sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest rates of fertility, child marriage and maternal mortality in the world. The Dividend programme will reach up to 10.4 million women, including women with HIV.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to share best practice in HIV (a) prevention, (b) treatment and (c) capacity building with other countries.

The UK remains a global leader in the HIV response. We continue to fund and work with all our key global partners to pursue global initiatives and share best practice, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, WHO, Unitaid, UNAIDS and others such as the Global Financing Facility, and continue to support stronger health systems worldwide which help end AIDS-related deaths and prevent new HIV infections, particularly in low-income and high-burden countries.

The UK's investments, including to the WHO, help to ensure that people at high risk of HIV in the global south can access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and other HIV prevention and treatment services, to reduce their risk of infection. WHO has recently published new guidelines on HIV, STI and viral hepatitis prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, which will support countries and local organisations in designing and implementing their HIV strategies and interventions.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department are taking to provide funding for global initiatives focused on HIV prevention, treatment and research in (a) low-income and (b) high-burden countries.

The UK remains a global leader in the HIV response. We continue to fund and work with all our key global partners to pursue global initiatives and share best practice, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, WHO, Unitaid, UNAIDS and others such as the Global Financing Facility, and continue to support stronger health systems worldwide which help end AIDS-related deaths and prevent new HIV infections, particularly in low-income and high-burden countries.

The UK's investments, including to the WHO, help to ensure that people at high risk of HIV in the global south can access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and other HIV prevention and treatment services, to reduce their risk of infection. WHO has recently published new guidelines on HIV, STI and viral hepatitis prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations, which will support countries and local organisations in designing and implementing their HIV strategies and interventions.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to take steps to support LGBTQ+ communities in Uganda providing HIV prevention, testing and care services.

Through our contributions to the Global Fund, the UK is helping to tackle HIV/AIDS in Uganda by providing targeted prevention, testing and treatment services. This is through community outreach and the facilitation of drop-in centres that offer services such as legal and human rights, psychosocial and mental health support. The UK is the third largest donor to the Global Fund, having contributed £4.4 billion since its inception. Last year, the UK committed to providing a further £1 billion over three years to the Global Fund which will help to reach three million members of key populations, such as LGBT+ groups, worldwide with prevention programmes.

The UK was proud to play a strong role with our partners in shaping the progressive new Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Global AIDS Strategy "Ending Inequalities" 2021-26 and an ambitious UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS in June 2021 to enhance reporting against targets to end AIDS by 2030.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has taken steps to offer support to local organisations who provide prevention, testing and care services for HIV and AIDS in the Global South.

The UK remains a world leader in efforts to end the global AIDS epidemic and funds all key partners in the global AIDS response, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.

Our recent pledge of £1 billion to the Global Fund will save over 1 million lives, including by providing antiretroviral therapy for 1.8 million people and HIV counselling and testing for 48 million people. Our funding for the Robert Carr Fund and UNAIDS supports initiatives to empower local civil society and grassroots organisations, predominantly in the Global South, to increase access to HIV prevention, testing and care services.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to provide (a) financial and (b) other support to help other countries reduce cases of HIV and AIDS.

The UK remains a world leader in efforts to end the global AIDS epidemic and funds all key partners in the global AIDS response, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.

Our recent pledge of £1 billion to the Global Fund will save over 1 million lives, including by providing antiretroviral therapy for 1.8 million people and HIV counselling and testing for 48 million people. Our funding for the Robert Carr Fund and UNAIDS supports initiatives to empower local civil society and grassroots organisations, predominantly in the Global South, to increase access to HIV prevention, testing and care services.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his Department's guidance is for HIV and AIDS organisations applying for bilateral funding under the International Development Strategy.

FCDO spending on global health is guided by the International Development Strategy together with the Department's Health System Strengthening and Ending Preventable Deaths approach papers. Prospective partners seeking bilateral funding should consult these documents and the terms of any calls for proposals when submitting applications.

Health systems strengthening is key to the UK's long-term approach to protecting and promoting good health, including HIV prevention and response. The UK will focus on integrating essential services, including HIV services, through improved primary health care that includes public health functions, quality of care, rights and equity, including for women with HIV who have some of the highest maternal death rates.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the refurbishment of the residence at the UK embassy in Washington DC will be completed by June 2023.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, along with our suppliers, continue to work hard to deliver the important project of restoring our prestigious Residence in Washington DC, to a high standard, as soon as we can.

Our ambition is to complete the refurbishment work in June 2023. It is important that we ensure that the works carried out are of a high standard, and are sympathetic to Sir Edwin Lutyens' 1928 design.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has plans to hold World AIDS Day receptions in embassies and posts on 1 December.

The UK remains a world leader in efforts to end the AIDS epidemic and continues to fund all key partners in the global AIDS response, including UNAIDS, the WHO and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We recognise the importance of World AIDS Day for raising awareness and galvanising the global AIDS response. We will be planning our engagements for the next World AIDS Day on 1 December 2023 nearer to the time.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has to hold Pride receptions in June in embassies and posts to celebrate LGBTQ+ people.

The UK is proud to champion LGBT+ rights around the world. Through our international programmes and diplomatic engagement, we bring communities and governments together to strengthen rights and freedoms in every part of the world. The UK's diplomatic missions are encouraged to host events, receptions and joint statements with like-minded partners to celebrate local LGBT+ communities as well as to attend Pride parades. Support will also be given to UK missions this year to deliver the UK's new GREAT Love marketing campaign to highlight the UK's commitment to inclusion.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with the government of Peru on the use of force during recent protests in Peru.

The Foreign Secretary discussed developments in Peru during a call with Peru's Foreign Minister on 21 February. Minister Rutley spoke with the Peruvian Vice Foreign Minister on 22 February 2023. Our Embassy in Lima has regular discussions with the Peruvian Government about the situation, including reports of abuses and the deaths of protestors that have occurred since the change of government in December, highlighting the need to protect lives and for greater transparency in ensuring respect for fundamental rights.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Feb 2023
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 recent protests in Peru.

We are closely monitoring political developments and public protests in Peru, and the implications of these developments for our work in the region. We continue to work with the Peruvian Government across a broad range of shared priorities including infrastructure, trade, security, the environment and values. We have made clear the UK's support for the Peruvian Government, the constitutional process and Peruvian democracy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress his Department has made on integrating the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's policy marker on nutrition into its portfolio.

The UK is committed to integrating nutrition objectives and interventions across multiple sectors including health, humanitarian, women and girls, climate and economic development partnerships. The OECD Nutrition Policy Marker is now embedded in our systems to ensure that FCDO programmes contributing to nutrition objectives are 'marked' from the point of programme design and for onward funding. This will help to improve tracking accountable nutrition programmes.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for International Development, with reference to Save the Children’s press release entitled new figures reveal more than half of children in Somalia now facing malnutrition, published on 14 September 2022, what recent assessment she has made of that organisation's recommendation to invest £70m to help treat malnourished children in the Horn of Africa.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia is devastating, with roughly half of the country now in need of life saving aid. In order to alleviate the impact of drought and address the risk of famine, since 1 April 2022, the UK has allocated £52.8 million in humanitarian, health and nutrition support to Somalia. UK funded activities are making a difference and saving lives.

The FCDO is prioritising spending that is vital to protect against immediate threat to life and wellbeing, will prevent people falling into humanitarian need, or will prevent delays to accessing healthcare, primary education, sanitation and clean water. Ministers will make any adjustments and final aid prioritisation decisions based on additional Official Development Assistance pressures this autumn.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential long-term impact of ongoing hunger crises in East Africa on levels of malnutrition in that region.

Across East Africa over 51 million people face severe food insecurity, of which 700,000 are facing famine-like conditions in South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia. The ongoing drought in the region and dire water shortages are driving alarming levels of malnutrition; about 4.9 million children and 986,100 pregnant and lactating women are acutely malnourished in drought affected areas in the Horn of Africa, including about 1.4 million children who are severely acutely malnourished. There are concrete warnings that the October - December rains might fail. If so, serious humanitarian needs will persist into 2023.

The UK is a major donor to the East Africa region and UK-funded activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Financial Year 2022/23, the UK intends to provide £156 million in humanitarian aid towards crises in East Africa. Of this amount, nearly 50 percent has been allocated as of mid-September.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for International Development, what plans she has to join the USAID, European donors, and private philanthropies in supporting the provision of child wasting treatments as announced at the UN General Assembly.

Nutrition is a core focus of our work on global health, our humanitarian response and in support of UK goals on girls' education and climate. The UK remains committed to tackling child wasting, and this was reaffirmed by Lord Goldsmith at the United Nations General Assembly event on child wasting in September hosted by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and USAID.

The UK launched a five year partnership with UNICEF in 2020 to work to reform the prevention and treatment of child wasting. The Nutrition Match Fund is an early success of this partnership; it provides an equal financial match to countries' domestic contributions for therapeutic feeding. The UK Government announced a £2 million contribution to the Match Fund in June 2022 for a total UK contribution so far of £4 million.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade on 30 June 2022, Official Report, column 555, what initiatives her Department is developing to provide financial support for ensuring that LGBT+ non-governmental organisations are able to challenge discrimination in countries where same sex relationships are illegal.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK has committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in Commonwealth countries; whether her Department has made funding available to LGBT+ organisations which work to tackle that legislation in those countries in the last year; and if she will take steps to make the UK a leading funder of those organisations.

As Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights across the Commonwealth, including through partners such as The Commonwealth Equality Network, Human Dignity Trust and Kaleidoscope Trust.

Since CHOGM 2018, UK funding has facilitated the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to eight Commonwealth countries seeking to repeal or reform legislation that discriminates on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. This is extremely sensitive work, often conducted discreetly due to political, social and cultural sensitivities.

On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced £2.7 million of new UK funding to support the vital work of LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders. We will continue to work closely with like-minded countries and civil society organisations to defend the human rights of LGBT+ people, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of (a) the potential merits of the investment case for the Global Fund's seventh replenishment and (b) how additional financing through that fund will advance the Government's commitment to supporting women and girls.

The UK is a strong supporter of the Global Fund, investing in £4.1 billion to date. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's investment case for the 7th replenishment in line with our new International Development Strategy and recent global health position papers on Health Systems Strengthening and Ending Preventable Deaths. The Global Fund is a key player in the fight against the three diseases and a major contributor to the health and wellbeing of girls and women globally. In particular, the investment case places a strong focus on adolescent girls and young women who continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, including addressing the structural barriers such as stigma and violence against women that underpin the epidemic. We will continue to make financial and leadership contributions to the Global Fund which will continue our commitment to supporting women and girls.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) impact of the work of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Ukraine and (b) Global Fund's ability to have a positive impact in complex operating environments.

The Global Fund responded quickly to ensure continuity of HIV and TB services for affected populations following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. This included reprogramming existing grants and rapidly allocating US $15 million in additional emergency funding. The Global Fund has demonstrated flexibility and responsiveness in a range of challenging operating environments, including Afghanistan as well as Ukraine, and engages efficiently with humanitarian partners and coordination mechanisms to deliver HIV, TB and malaria prevention and treatment services in complex emergencies and in refugee settings.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will prioritise increasing the UK’s pledge contribution for the Global Fund’s upcoming 7th Replenishment in response to the (a) 65 per cent reduction in AIDS-related deaths (b) and 54 per cent reduction in new HIV infections since the Global Fund was founded.

The UK has contributed over £4.1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We are proud of the Global Fund's achievements in helping to reduce AIDS-related deaths by 68% and HIV infections by 54%. Our priority is to ensure that UK aid continues to protect millions of people around the world. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's 7th replenishment investment case and will continue to work with all G7 and G20 members to support progress in the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what strategic priority her Department allocates to the Global Fund in response to its provision of 25 per cent of all international financing for the global HIV and AIDS response.

The UK has contributed over £4.1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We are proud of the Global Fund's achievements in helping to reduce AIDS-related deaths by 68% and HIV infections by 54%. Our priority is to ensure that UK aid continues to protect millions of people around the world. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's 7th replenishment investment case and will continue to work with all G7 and G20 members to support progress in the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it is her policy that (a) securing effective support for the 7th Replenishment for the Global Fund should be a high priority for the G7 and G20 this year and (b) this prioritization should be reflected in the UK’s pledge contribution to the Global Fund’s upcoming 7th Replenishment.

The UK has contributed over £4.1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We are proud of the Global Fund's achievements in helping to reduce AIDS-related deaths by 68% and HIV infections by 54%. Our priority is to ensure that UK aid continues to protect millions of people around the world. We are currently reviewing the Global Fund's 7th replenishment investment case and will continue to work with all G7 and G20 members to support progress in the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his policy is on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as pandemics by 2030; and what financial commitments the Government is making to achieve those goals.

The UK is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals including ending the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria pandemics by 2030. The UK pledged £1.4 billion in the 6th replenishment (2020-2022) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, making us the 2nd largest donor towards the 6th replenishment and 3rd largest donor since the Global Fund's creation. We are on track to fulfil our 6th replenishment pledge. Our health investments help countries to build stronger and more inclusive health systems to address all causes of ill health. We also invest in research and innovation to help people access new treatments and diagnostics, and support countries affected by these diseases to strengthen their health systems.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to The Gobal Fund's Results Report 2021, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings in that report that AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 65 per cent in countries where The Global Fund invests and new infections have been reduced by 54 per cent since that fund was founded; and if she will significantly increase the UK’s pledge contribution for The Global Fund’s upcoming 7th Replenishment.

The Global Fund's Results Report 2021 shows the achievements of the Global Fund partnership as well as the challenges posed by COVID-19. Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund partnership has saved 44 million lives and led to a reduction by 46% in deaths from HIV, TB and malaria in the countries where it invests. The UK is the second largest donor to the sixth replenishment (2020-2022). We look forward to reviewing the Global Fund's investment case for the 7th Replenishment. This investment case, which will set out the resources needed to achieve the first stage of the Global Fund's 2023-2028 strategy, will underpin the UK's future funding commitment.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the forthcoming UK Government hosted Cepi replenishment conference will highlight the contributions that The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria makes to global health security and pandemic preparedness and response.

The Foreign Secretary will host the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit on 8 March 2022 to raise funds for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI)'s 5-year strategy for preventing future pandemics. This will support CEPI's work to improve pandemic preparedness, including through investing in vaccines research and development to enable the world to have vaccines within 100 days of a future pandemic threat being identified.

In addition, the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit will recognise the importance of Global Health Institutions, like the Global Fund, in enabling coherent global pandemic preparedness and response. The Global Fund and CEPI have worked closely together since the pandemic's onset through mechanisms such as the ACT-Accelerator (which both organisations co-launched) and the Global Fund's C19 Response mechanisms to address inequity in access to health services, strengthen health systems in lower- and middle-income countries, and build resilience.

Separately, the Global Fund will have its own replenishment later in 2022, hosted by the United States Government.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Safe To Be Me conference will provide opportunities to platform UK Government funded aid mechanisms, including the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, that support marginalised groups in accessing healthcare.

With the risk of acquiring HIV globally 25 times higher amongst men who have sex with men, and 34 times higher for transgender women, it is clear that this remains one of the greatest healthcare challenges for LGBT+ people. The UK Government continues to be a major donor to international health organisations and programmes, including the Global Fund.

'Safe To Be Me: A Global Equality Conference' will take place 29 June-1 July 2022, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first official London Pride marches. The global event will be the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together governments, policy experts and international organisations who advocate for human rights in every corner of the globe, as well as representatives from business who are leading the way in their respective sectors. It will provide many opportunities to highlight the amazing work that the UK government and our partners are doing to improve the lives of LGBT+ people around the world, including in accessing healthcare and other services.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to continue to work with the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in the Government’s planned international development and global health strategies.

The UK is the second largest donor to the sixth replenishment (2020-2022) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with a pledge of up to £1.4 billion. Future support to the Global Fund will be determined through the finalisation of the Spending Review and linked to the next Global Fund replenishment round taking place in Autumn 2022, and with a view to the international development and global health strategies which remain under development.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make representations to the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen to help ensure that its Final Report for 2021 is evidence-based and fairly constituted.

The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen plays a vital role in providing independent monitoring on the implementation of the UN sanctions regime. Officials engage with the Panel throughout the year to facilitate its work by sharing evidence, and encourage other international partners to do the same. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity. Following the Panel of Expert's last report, we have liaised with the Panel of Experts and the HSA Group, Yemen's primary food importer, on the robust use of evidence and analysis in reporting.
James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Final Report for 2021 of the Panel of Experts on Yemen to the UN Security Council is (a) evidence-based, (b) accurate and (c) does not contain information which may hamper the efforts of humanitarian organisations engaged in delivering relief on the ground in Yemen.

The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen plays a vital role in providing independent monitoring on the implementation of the UN sanctions regime. Officials engage with the Panel throughout the year to facilitate its work by sharing evidence, and encourage other international partners to do the same. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity. Following the Panel of Expert's last report, we have liaised with the Panel of Experts and the HSA Group, Yemen's primary food importer, on the robust use of evidence and analysis in reporting.
James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions and communications she has had with her counterparts and representatives of the United Nations regarding the Panel of Experts on Yemen’s Final Report; if she will intervene to ensure that this year’s report does not have a negative effect on the ability of Yemen’s private sector to provide humanitarian aid; and if her officials will take steps to help ensure that no unsubstantiated assertions or erroneous allegations are published in the forthcoming Panel of Experts report.

The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen plays a vital role in providing independent monitoring on the implementation of the UN sanctions regime. Officials engage with the Panel throughout the year to facilitate its work by sharing evidence, and encourage other international partners to do the same. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity. Following the Panel of Expert's last report, we have liaised with the Panel of Experts and the HSA Group, Yemen's primary food importer, on the robust use of evidence and analysis in reporting.
James Cleverly
Home Secretary
26th Oct 2021
When she plans to announce her strategy for the Nutrition for Growth Summit taking place in Tokyo in December 2021.

The prevention and treatment of malnutrition remains important for the UK as part of our work on global health, humanitarian response and in support of our goals on girls’ education.

The Government is actively considering its approach to the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit, including any new nutrition commitment, and will update the house following the conclusion of the Spending Review.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans the Government has to consult community and civil society organisations ahead of the development of its international development strategy.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary is leading work on the new International Development Strategy, which will be cross-government in scope. We look forward to engaging with partners and stakeholders, including civil society organisations, over the coming months. This will build on the extensive engagement and call for evidence that was undertaken to inform the Integrated Review.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of changes to bilateral funding for HIV on the ability to (a) advance community-led responses and (b) reach the Sustainable Development Goal target of ending AIDS by 2030.

The Secretary of State provided thematic ODA allocations for 2021/22 in a written ministerial statement which included £1,305 million allocated to global health. The impact of the global pandemic on the economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including within our global health portfolio. The aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial climate of COVID-19. Finalised FCDO spend for 2020 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2021 and details of FCDO spend for 2021 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2022.

The UK remains committed to working as part of a global community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and welcomes the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021-26 which sets out a clear approach to accelerating progress on HIV and AIDS. We remain strong supporters of the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria. We continue to support UNAIDS. At the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS (June 2021), Minister Morton announced the UK will provide an additional £7 million over 3 years to the Robert Carr Fund which provides grants to grass-roots and community-led organisations that reach inadequately served populations and communities.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much the Government plans to disburse in bilateral funding to tackle HIV and AIDS in 2021.

The Secretary of State provided thematic ODA allocations for 2021/22 in a written ministerial statement which included £1,305 million allocated to global health. The impact of the global pandemic on the economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including within our global health portfolio. The aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial climate of COVID-19. Finalised FCDO spend for 2020 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2021 and details of FCDO spend for 2021 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2022.

The UK remains committed to working as part of a global community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and welcomes the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021-26 which sets out a clear approach to accelerating progress on HIV and AIDS. We remain strong supporters of the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria. We continue to support UNAIDS. At the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS (June 2021), Minister Morton announced the UK will provide an additional £7 million over 3 years to the Robert Carr Fund which provides grants to grass-roots and community-led organisations that reach inadequately served populations and communities.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much the Government disbursed in bilateral funding to tackle HIV and AIDS in the financial year 2020-21.

The Secretary of State provided thematic ODA allocations for 2021/22 in a written ministerial statement which included £1,305 million allocated to global health. The impact of the global pandemic on the economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including within our global health portfolio. The aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against the challenging financial climate of COVID-19. Finalised FCDO spend for 2020 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2021 and details of FCDO spend for 2021 will be available in the "Statistics on International Development" publication in Autumn 2022.

The UK remains committed to working as part of a global community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and welcomes the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021-26 which sets out a clear approach to accelerating progress on HIV and AIDS. We remain strong supporters of the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria. We continue to support UNAIDS. At the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS (June 2021), Minister Morton announced the UK will provide an additional £7 million over 3 years to the Robert Carr Fund which provides grants to grass-roots and community-led organisations that reach inadequately served populations and communities.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support private sector food importers in Yemen and the role those importers play in that country's food security.

The UK is working hard to ensure that vital commercial imports of food and fuel are able to enter Yemen and monitors this closely. Food imports are on track to meet monthly averages, but fuel imports into northern ports are too low. We have successfully lobbied the Yemeni Government to release of eight fuel ships into Hodeidah so far this year. This fuel is critical to the processing and distribution of food by private sector importers. The UK also supports the UN's Verification and Inspection Mechanism to facilitate commercial imports into Hodeidah and Saleef ports, by giving the Coalition confidence that weapons are not coming in on commercial ships. We are also currently considering ways to provide sustainable trade finance for key imports.

We continue to urge both the Houthis and Government of Yemen to work constructively with the UN Special Envoy to find a longer-term sustainable solution for the management of Hodeidah port revenues to enable restrictions on imports to be eased.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the Final report of Panel of Experts on Yemen for 2020 to the UN Security Council.

The Panel of Experts on Yemen provides a vital role in monitoring the implementation of the sanctions regime and the conflict, including highlighting the destabilising role Iran is playing and their investigation into the Houthi attack on Aden Airport. The panel's most recent report made recommendations to improve the accountability and transparency of the Government of Yemen and Central Bank of Yemen. The UK is providing technical support and advice to both institutions to enact much needed reforms, and to this end we regularly engage with the Panel of Experts. We note the successful appointment by the UN Security Council of a new finance lead to the Panel of Experts, and the UK remains committed to supporting the valuable work of the Panel.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the final report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen to the UN Security Council, published on 25 January 2021, what steps his Department is taking to scrutinise the (a) activity and (b) expert members of that panel.

The Panel of Experts on Yemen provides a vital role in monitoring the implementation of the sanctions regime and the conflict, including highlighting the destabilising role Iran is playing and their investigation into the Houthi attack on Aden Airport. The panel's most recent report made recommendations to improve the accountability and transparency of the Government of Yemen and Central Bank of Yemen. The UK is providing technical support and advice to both institutions to enact much needed reforms, and to this end we regularly engage with the Panel of Experts. We note the successful appointment by the UN Security Council of a new finance lead to the Panel of Experts, and the UK remains committed to supporting the valuable work of the Panel.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to renew his Department's commitment to reach 50 million people with nutrition interventions over the next four years.

The Department is undertaking a rigorous internal prioritisation process in response to the spending review announcement. We will update on the implications of this for any new commitment to nutrition in due course.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to implement the OECD policy marker for nutrition in his Department's internal reporting systems.

The FCDO will apply the OECD nutrition policy marker to the spend data we publish through the OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System. The UK's 2019 aid spending data published recently by the OECD DAC included the policy marker for nutrition for the first time. The application of this new policy marker presents a significant improvement in the accountability of aid spending on nutrition.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that sanctions are not introduced on parties in Yemen that will inhibit the operation of the Yemeni private sector in importing food into the country.

UN Yemen sanctions carefully target specific individuals, and food and medicines are not subject to sanctions. Sanctions apply to prominent figures who have engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen, including obstructing the successful completion of the political transition, and, as outlined in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism Agreement, those who act directly or indirectly on their behalf and individuals who have committed human rights violations, including the use of sexual violence as a tool of war.

The UK and our partners have taken significant steps to mitigate against the wider impact of sanctions on Yemeni civilians, including working with the US on reversal of the US designation of the Houthis. We are deeply concerned at access restraints in Yemen, and we call on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for commercial and humanitarian actors. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity in country, and we engage with them often.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has received from the Yemeni private sector on the food security situation in that country.

UN Yemen sanctions carefully target specific individuals, and food and medicines are not subject to sanctions. Sanctions apply to prominent figures who have engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen, including obstructing the successful completion of the political transition, and, as outlined in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism Agreement, those who act directly or indirectly on their behalf and individuals who have committed human rights violations, including the use of sexual violence as a tool of war.

The UK and our partners have taken significant steps to mitigate against the wider impact of sanctions on Yemeni civilians, including working with the US on reversal of the US designation of the Houthis. We are deeply concerned at access restraints in Yemen, and we call on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for commercial and humanitarian actors. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity in country, and we engage with them often.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that sanctions are not placed on parties in Yemen that will (a) prevent aid reaching the Yemeni people and (b) prevent the private sector from assisting in that country’s humanitarian response.

UN Yemen sanctions carefully target specific individuals, and food and medicines are not subject to sanctions. Sanctions apply to prominent figures who have engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen, including obstructing the successful completion of the political transition, and, as outlined in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism Agreement, those who act directly or indirectly on their behalf and individuals who have committed human rights violations, including the use of sexual violence as a tool of war.

The UK and our partners have taken significant steps to mitigate against the wider impact of sanctions on Yemeni civilians, including working with the US on reversal of the US designation of the Houthis. We are deeply concerned at access restraints in Yemen, and we call on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for commercial and humanitarian actors. With 90% of Yemen's food imported, the UK recognises the important work of Yemen's food importers at a time of increasing food insecurity in country, and we engage with them often.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) security and (b) humanitarian situation in Yemen; and what support the Government is providing to that country.

Yemen remains one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, with two thirds of the entire population, requiring some form of humanitarian assistance. Recent escalations in conflict has already displaced thousands of civilians, and many more are at risk.

The UK will provide at least £87 million to Yemen over the course of our next financial year (2021/22), with the UK contributing over £1 billion since the conflict began. Our funding will feed an additional 240,000 of the most vulnerable Yemenis every month, support 400 healthcare clinics and provide clean water for 1.6 million people. We will also provide one-off cash support to 1.5 million of Yemen's poorest households to help them buy food and basic supplies.

An inclusive political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis. We fully support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to secure a lasting political settlement to the Yemen conflict.

I [Minister Cleverly] spoke with Special Envoy Griffiths on 1 March to discuss how the UK can best support the UN-led peace process.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to work with international actors ahead of the high-level pledging event on Yemen scheduled to take place on 1 March 2021.

Ministers and officials regularly engage with international actors, including the UN and other donors, to ensure life-saving humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Yemenis in need. On 25 February, the Foreign Secretary spoke to Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan about the Yemen peace process and he has also recently discussed this with US Secretary of State Blinken on 18 February.

I discussed Yemen with the Omani Ambassador to the UK on 4 February, and spoke to the Yemeni Foreign Minister on 20 January regarding the attack on Aden and the formation of the new cabinet. We fully support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to secure a lasting political settlement to the Yemen conflict. I spoke with Special Envoy Martin Griffiths on 1 March to discuss how the UK can best support the UN-led peace process.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that developing countries have access to covid-19 vaccines.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. The UK has committed up to £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. This makes the UK among the COVAX AMC's largest bilateral donors. Our commitment will support access to COVID-19 vaccines for up to 92 developing countries, by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021, and vaccinations for up to 500 million people.

8th Sep 2020
What the Government's timescale is for pledging funding for Nutrition for Growth post-2020.

Tackling malnutrition is a major priority for our work to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children. From April 2015 to March 2020, we reached 55.1 million young children, women and adolescent girls through UK nutrition programmes. Last week, we announced a package of £119m UK Aid to address COVID-19 and famine. This includes a new partnership with UNICEF to address acute malnutrition more effectively and efficiently. Nick Dyer has been appointed as the UK’s first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs. We are committed to Nutrition for Growth, with a new commitment subject to Spending Review decisions. We will update on plans following the outcome of that.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation prioritises urgent licence applications from start-up businesses that are unable to secure further funding without an approved application.

As set out in its published guidance, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation prioritises licence applications at times of high demand, and, in particular, where there are issues of personal basic needs and/or wider humanitarian issues at stake which are of material impact or urgency, or which are deemed to be of particular strategic, economic or administrative importance.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the expected processing time is for an asset freeze licence application by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) prioritize urgent licence applications including those which concern humanitarian issues and basic personal needs, or where there is a severely detrimental impact such as a threat to life. As every licence application is unique, OFSI take a tailored approach to cases, and there is no standard processing time.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the withdrawal of tax-free shopping for passengers travelling to non-EU destinations on spending by non-EU international visitors since 1 January 2021; and what data his Department holds on spending by non-EU international visitors (a) in each of the five years before and (b) since 1 January 2021 in (i) France and (ii) Italy.

The Chancellor announced on 17 October 2022 that the Government will not be proceeding with plans to introduce a new VAT-free shopping scheme.

Introducing VAT-free shopping would come at a significant fiscal cost as it would subsidise a large amount of tourist spending which already occurs without a tax relief in place.

The independent Office of Budget Responsibility published their assessment of the withdrawal of the previous VAT-free shopping schemes in November 2020. This showed that the withdrawal of VAT-free shopping would raise a significant amount of revenue and have a limited behavioural effect on decisions to visit, or spend, in the UK.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
14th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has conducted research on the potential economic impact of duty-free shopping in other countries for arriving passengers; and if he will make an assessment of the potential economic impact of introducing duty-free shopping for passengers arriving in the UK.

Duty-free on arrival would place additional pressure on the public finances to which excise duty makes a significant contribution.

Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Although there are no plans to introduce such a scheme, the Government keeps all taxes under review and considers all available evidence as part of the tax policymaking process.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to track levels of cash acceptance among retailers.

The Government recognises that the ability to transact in cash remains important to millions of people across the UK and has committed to legislating to protect access to cash.

The Government does not collect information on the levels of cash acceptance among retailers. Nonetheless, it remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess trends relating to cash.

The FCA has published research on cash acceptance by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which found that the primary motivation for accepting cash is to provide customers with choice. While it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card, nearly all (98%) of surveyed businesses stated they would never turn away a customer if they needed to pay by cash.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what comparative assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) voluntary commitments and initiatives from the payments industry and (b) statutory Government and regulatory oversight in protecting access to cash; and what his planned timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals on that matter.

The Government recognises that cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, particularly to those in vulnerable groups. That is why the Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

To support the development of legislation, the Government has undertaken an Access to Cash Consultation seeking views on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel reasonable distances to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities. The consultation closed on 23rd of September, and the Government will set out next steps in due course.

Alongside the Government’s commitment to legislate, industry also has an important role to protect access to cash. The Government therefore welcomes the announcement to fund additional shared service Bank Hubs and the direction set by the recent announcement from the Cash Action Group on industry commitments to support access to cash. The Government looks forward to seeing what results these industry initiatives deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.

HM Treasury does not make direct assessments of banks’ or building societies’ branch networks, and decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial decision for firms. The Financial Conduct Authority expects firms to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs and consider possible alternative access arrangements. Alternative options for access include the Post Office, where 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers can carry out their everyday banking.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent analysis from Which? on the rate of bank branch closures; and what his planned timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, particularly to those in vulnerable groups. That is why the Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

To support the development of legislation, the Government has undertaken an Access to Cash Consultation seeking views on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel reasonable distances to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities. The consultation closed on 23rd of September, and the Government will set out next steps in due course.

Alongside the Government’s commitment to legislate, industry also has an important role to protect access to cash. The Government therefore welcomes the announcement to fund additional shared service Bank Hubs and the direction set by the recent announcement from the Cash Action Group on industry commitments to support access to cash. The Government looks forward to seeing what results these industry initiatives deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.

HM Treasury does not make direct assessments of banks’ or building societies’ branch networks, and decisions on opening and closing branches are a commercial decision for firms. The Financial Conduct Authority expects firms to carefully consider the impact of planned branch closures on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs and consider possible alternative access arrangements. Alternative options for access include the Post Office, where 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers can carry out their everyday banking.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to ensure that the (a) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and (b) Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) (i) make consumers aware of FCA Comp rule 7.4.1, (ii) do not financially disadvantage consumers by not disclosing that rule and (iii) compensate consumers in the event that they are financially disadvantaged as a result of not disclosing that rule.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) seeks to recover some or all of the cost of compensation from financial firms that have failed. This benefits both the levy payers that fund the FSCS, and claimants who have been already been paid compensation by the FSCS but still have uncompensated losses. Since the start of the 2015-16 financial year, the FSCS has recovered more than £280mn from failed firms.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Compensation Manual, which sets out the rules regarding the FSCS’s duty to seek recoveries, is published and accessible to consumers on the FCA’s website. The FSCS also publishes information for consumers about its approach to recoveries on its website.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to extend the tax return deadline to support (a) SMEs and (b) small accountancy practices during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

The Government has carefully considered the arguments for extending the Self-Assessment filing date from 31 January but presently has no plans to extend that deadline.

The Government encourages as many people as possible to file on time even if they cannot pay their tax straight away. Only by filing a Self-Assessment return will taxpayers and their agents be able to determine the tax due for 2019/20 and the amount of any payments on account for 2020/21.

The Government recognises that some taxpayers will have difficulty submitting their Self-Assessment return due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on their personal or business circumstances.

HMRC do not charge penalties for failure to submit a return on time where taxpayers have a reasonable excuse. HMRC’s guidance explains that they will accept the impact of COVID-19 as a reasonable excuse for submitting a return late, provided that taxpayers explain how they were affected and submit the return as soon as they can. More information is available in the HMRC online guidance covering the reasonable excuse provisions.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress HMRC has made on its assessment of Hill Top Leaf Ltd's application to the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

HMRC do not disclose information about individual taxpayers.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people have used HMRC's Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme through (a) arbitration and (b) mediation in each year since the introduction of that scheme.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a voluntary, informal process in which an impartial HMRC mediator actively assists parties to work towards agreement of a tax dispute.

ADR is one facet of HMRC’s overall approach to dispute resolution, which is wherever possible to reach agreement with taxpayers through collaboration. The following is specific information relating to the ADR function only and therefore only forms part of the dispute resolution landscape in HMRC. HMRC do not currently offer arbitration as a means to resolve disputes.

For the period 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2020, there have been 5467 applications for ADR. Of these, 2,641 were suitable for mediation and accepted into the ADR process with an average resolution rate of 86.8% across all years.

Throughout a compliance check HMRC will provide accurate, consistent and clear information to the taxpayer, including details of any assessments raised and explanations for any decisions HMRC make during the check. Should a taxpayer have any questions about the compliance check or an assessment, they should write to HMRC who will seek to clarify anything that is unclear. However, HMRC’s approach also relies on a shared understanding of the full facts so that HMRC can understand the full nature of the tax risk and deal with it appropriately.

It is generally only when an impasse is reached between HMRC and the taxpayer that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is considered. In some cases the full facts will have been established and the mediation will focus on the consequent tax analysis. But in some, the value of ADR will be to seek through mediation, a shared understanding of the facts and help the case progress on that basis.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on failures by HMRC to abide by the HMRC Litigation and Settlement Strategy when dealing with taxpayers; and what plans he has to introduce a statutory code or framework for HMRC's officers.

HMRC and HMT Ministers receive representations on a wide range of matters. However, there have not been any formal representations regarding failures by HMRC to abide by the HMRC Litigation and Settlement Strategy when dealing with taxpayers.

A Statutory Framework already underpins HMRC, under which are various other commitments that ensure HMRC are open and transparent in the way officers conduct themselves. The Commissioners of HMRC have ultimate responsibility for every decision made in HMRC, although officers make day-to-day decisions on their behalf within an overall governance framework established when the department was formed. These governance processes are in place to ensure that HMRC deal with all cases fairly and in an even-handed manner.

The Tax Assurance Commissioner (TAC) is responsible for ensuring that HMRC have appropriate governance arrangements in place to meet those objectives and reports back to Parliament on an annual basis, in a report that is published. The latest report was published on 5 November 2020 as part of HMRC's Annual Report and Accounts 2019 to 2020.

HMRC are also developing one set of Professional Standards for civil compliance, the development of which was closely aligned to the work on revising HMRC’s Charter. The Charter is a legal requirement and the Legislation states the Charter “must include standards of behaviour and values to which Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will aspire when dealing with people in the exercise of their functions”. HMRC published a new Charter on 5 November 2020 after taking on feedback from a public consultation which ran between February and August 2020. The new Charter sets out responsibilities towards all of HMRC’s customers, and it also includes surrounding guidance on GOV.UK which sets out rights to review and appeal.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether prior to entering into HMRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme, HMRC’s officers provide their tax analysis to the taxpayer and answer questions that may arise from that analysis, to ensure that the parties enter into mediation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a voluntary, informal process in which an impartial HMRC mediator actively assists parties to work towards agreement of a tax dispute.

ADR is one facet of HMRC’s overall approach to dispute resolution, which is wherever possible to reach agreement with taxpayers through collaboration. The following is specific information relating to the ADR function only and therefore only forms part of the dispute resolution landscape in HMRC. HMRC do not currently offer arbitration as a means to resolve disputes.

For the period 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2020, there have been 5467 applications for ADR. Of these, 2,641 were suitable for mediation and accepted into the ADR process with an average resolution rate of 86.8% across all years.

Throughout a compliance check HMRC will provide accurate, consistent and clear information to the taxpayer, including details of any assessments raised and explanations for any decisions HMRC make during the check. Should a taxpayer have any questions about the compliance check or an assessment, they should write to HMRC who will seek to clarify anything that is unclear. However, HMRC’s approach also relies on a shared understanding of the full facts so that HMRC can understand the full nature of the tax risk and deal with it appropriately.

It is generally only when an impasse is reached between HMRC and the taxpayer that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is considered. In some cases the full facts will have been established and the mediation will focus on the consequent tax analysis. But in some, the value of ADR will be to seek through mediation, a shared understanding of the facts and help the case progress on that basis.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the (a) Financial Conduct Authority, (b) Payment Systems Regulator and (c) industry stakeholders on a minimum service guarantee for cash; and what the timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. The Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation.

To inform the development of this legislation, the Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. It remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has instructed Pool Reinsurance Company Limited to discuss with representatives of the insurance industry the matter of insurance for live events during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on what assessment Pool Reinsurance Company Limited has made of the challenges facing live events insurers during the covid-19 outbreak; and what recommendations that company has made to his Department as a result of that assessment.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has authorised Pool Reinsurance Company Limited to engage with representatives of the insurance industry on potential solutions to the current lack of available insurance for live events during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will facilitate discussions between Pool Reinsurance Company Limited and representatives of the insurance industry on potential solutions to the challenges facing the live events sector as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions Pool Reinsurance Company Limited has had with representatives of the insurance industry on the matter of insurance for live events in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions Pool Reinsurance Company Limited has had with live events insurers on the lack of available contingency insurance during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the sector can do to support firms in response to this pandemic. We also continue to gather and monitor information on how different sectors are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

We would not typically recommend drawing parallels with existing Government-backed insurance schemes given the specific design of any intervention is dependent on the size, frequency and nature of the risk being insured. Further, the Government would need to assess access to insurance alongside any other barriers to a sector re-opening, such as social distancing restrictions, when determining the appropriate course of action.

Event providers are eligible for assistance through the wider Government support package if they are in financial difficulty. We continue to keep the package under close review.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to give the Financial Conduct Authority responsibility for (a) tracking changes in cash acceptance by UK businesses and (b) evaluating the effect of cash refusal on consumers.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. The Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation.

To inform the development of this legislation, the Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. It remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of trends in people's ability to pay for goods and services using cash during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps the Government is taking to mitigate the risk of widespread cash refusal.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. The Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation.

To inform the development of this legislation, the Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. It remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's consultation on protecting access to cash, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) overall responsibility for maintaining a well-functioning cash system; and what discussions his Department has had with the FCA on them taking on that role.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. The Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation.

To inform the development of this legislation, the Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. It remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect people's access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation. To inform the development of this legislation, today (15 October) the Government published a Call for Evidence seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely during COVID-19, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. However, it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information the Government holds on the number of retailers no longer accepting cash due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people can continue to use cash to pay for goods and services for as long as is needed.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation. To inform the development of this legislation, today (15 October) the Government published a Call for Evidence seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely during COVID-19, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. However, it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether cash is a safe payment method to use and should continue to be accepted by retailers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Bank of England – whilst designing legislation. To inform the development of this legislation, today (15 October) the Government published a Call for Evidence seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system.

The Government also remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely during COVID-19, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. However, it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) functioning of the contingency insurance market and (b) ability of that market to provide sufficient support to the live events sector to enable that sector to plan for events to take place in 2021.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We are working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the industry can do to help individuals and businesses in time of need, and how the insurance market delivers the support firms need as the economy reopens.

The Government is exploring all options to ensure businesses can build resilience following the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage businesses encountering financial difficulty as a result of this unprecedented situation to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which the application window has been extended to 30 November, and businesses rates holidays. We have taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. We continue to keep the Government support package under close review.

Any potential further insurance interventions, including for the contingency insurance sector, will be assessed on a case by case basis; officials continue to gather and monitor information on how event providers are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover. As part of this monitoring, the Government is open to receiving representations from (a) the insurance industry and (b) the Let Live Thrive campaign.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the extent of Government support required for contingency insurance suppliers to be able to adequately support the return of live events to the UK as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We are working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the industry can do to help individuals and businesses in time of need, and how the insurance market delivers the support firms need as the economy reopens.

The Government is exploring all options to ensure businesses can build resilience following the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage businesses encountering financial difficulty as a result of this unprecedented situation to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which the application window has been extended to 30 November, and businesses rates holidays. We have taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. We continue to keep the Government support package under close review.

Any potential further insurance interventions, including for the contingency insurance sector, will be assessed on a case by case basis; officials continue to gather and monitor information on how event providers are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover. As part of this monitoring, the Government is open to receiving representations from (a) the insurance industry and (b) the Let Live Thrive campaign.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received from (a) representatives from the insurance industry and (b) the Let Live Thrive campaign on the underwriting by Government of contingency insurance contracts to support the live events sector.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We are working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the industry can do to help individuals and businesses in time of need, and how the insurance market delivers the support firms need as the economy reopens.

The Government is exploring all options to ensure businesses can build resilience following the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage businesses encountering financial difficulty as a result of this unprecedented situation to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which the application window has been extended to 30 November, and businesses rates holidays. We have taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. We continue to keep the Government support package under close review.

Any potential further insurance interventions, including for the contingency insurance sector, will be assessed on a case by case basis; officials continue to gather and monitor information on how event providers are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover. As part of this monitoring, the Government is open to receiving representations from (a) the insurance industry and (b) the Let Live Thrive campaign.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives of the insurance industry on the availability of contingency insurance for live events during covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We are working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the industry can do to help individuals and businesses in time of need, and how the insurance market delivers the support firms need as the economy reopens.

The Government is exploring all options to ensure businesses can build resilience following the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage businesses encountering financial difficulty as a result of this unprecedented situation to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which the application window has been extended to 30 November, and businesses rates holidays. We have taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. We continue to keep the Government support package under close review.

Any potential further insurance interventions will be assessed on a case by case basis; officials continue to gather and monitor information on how event providers are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support the Government is providing to the contingency insurance sector to help ensure the viability of contingency insurance market during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector on its response to this unprecedented situation. We are working closely with the insurers, the trade bodies and regulators to understand what more the industry can do to help individuals and businesses in time of need, and how the insurance market delivers the support firms need as the economy reopens.

The Government is exploring all options to ensure businesses can build resilience following the outbreak of COVID-19. We encourage businesses encountering financial difficulty as a result of this unprecedented situation to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package, such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, for which the application window has been extended to 30 November, and businesses rates holidays. We have taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. We continue to keep the Government support package under close review.

Any potential further insurance interventions will be assessed on a case by case basis; officials continue to gather and monitor information on how event providers are being affected by the current crisis and the availability of cover.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether people working in nuclear decommissioning for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will be exempt from the provisions of the Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020.

The Office for National Statistics classifies the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as public sector and therefore it is appropriate that they are in scope of the cap.

However, we recognise that the function of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is time-limited. Therefore, all employees are covered by a mandatory waiver. This means employees whose employment is terminated as a result of the decommissioning programme and for a reason which amounts to redundancy can receive, without seeking ministerial approval, certain pension related payments above the 95K threshold.

This was agreed between HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Unions and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2017.

This ensures the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority can continue to effectively fulfil their function and employees receive suitable renumeration for the important work they do.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to exempt (a) the Roadchef Employee Benefits Trust and (b) all-employee share schemes from tax.

The administration of the tax system is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs, who have indicated that they are in dialogue with the taxpayer. It would not be appropriate for Treasury ministers to become involved in the administration of the tax system in specific cases.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government has to provide long-term support to the food and drink wholesale sector.

The Government`s priority is to support the economy through the crisis; keep as many people as possible in their existing jobs, support viable businesses and protect the incomes of the most vulnerable. That is why the Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.

Food and drink wholesale distributors continue to have access to the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the four government-backed loan schemes for firms of all sizes. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

On 11 May the Government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy which sets out our plan for moving to the next phase of our response. Going forward, as the economy opens up, our energies will focus on supporting the recovery. The Government will continue to closely monitor the impacts of the support packages and continue to engage with businesses and representative groups in the wholesale sector. Any announcements on the next stage of our economic response will be made at the appropriate time.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the timeframe is for renegotiating the fiscal framework with the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government’s fiscal framework sets out the timeline for its review. An independent panel jointly commissioned by the UK and Scottish governments will report by the end of 2021. This will inform negotiations between the UK and Scottish governments that will conclude by the end of 2022.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on guaranteeing access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash plays a vital role in the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, including those who may be self-isolating due to Covid-19.

At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. The Government will continue to engage with regulators, industry and consumer groups whilst developing this legislation, to support those who rely on cash.

This will build upon existing initiatives from industry. LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, has put in place specific arrangements to protect free-to-use ATMs that do not have another free-to-use ATM or Post Office within 1 kilometre. The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator regulates LINK and is holding them to account over their public commitments.

Further information on the timing and detail of the legislation will be announced in due course.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the Government's self-employed income support scheme to director-owned small private companies where the directors of those companies cannot be furloughed due to ongoing business commitments.

Self-employed people who pay themselves a salary through their own company may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS is available to employers, including personal service companies, and individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme are eligible.

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of the usual monthly wage costs of furloughed employees (employees on a leave of absence) up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions for that wage.

This scheme supplements the other significant support announced for UK businesses, including the Bounce Back Loans Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will allow dividend income from an employer to be taken into account when calculating the income of directors of small private companies for the purposes of the Coronavirus Job retention scheme.

Those who pay themselves a salary through their own company may be eligible to claim for 80% of usual monthly wages, up to £2,500 a month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS is available to employers, including personal service companies, and individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme are eligible.

The Government’s priority has been to support as many people as it possibly can, and as quickly as possible. Under current reporting mechanisms it is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, and between dividends in lieu of employment income and as returns from other corporate activity. Expanding the scope would require HMRC to collect and verify new information and any such proposal would need to be considered against the other schemes which the Government is committed to delivering as quickly as possible.

Those who are not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme may be able to access other support Government is providing, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans Scheme for small businesses, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at?www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to provide to industries in Scotland affected by the recent introduction of US trade tariffs.

We are discussing with Cabinet colleagues our next steps regarding the Airbus dispute that has led to tariffs being imposed on a range of UK products. We are urging the US and EU to come to a negotiated settlement as soon as possible, as the best way to resolve this dispute.

Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress her Department has made on expanding the Youth Mobility Scheme.

We are open to negotiating Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) arrangements with other countries and territories. However, as each YMS is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK Nationals, with the detail negotiated and agreed between the relevant parties, we are unable to disclose the status of ongoing negotiations with partner countries as they occur.

Further details of additional YMS agreements will be announced once they are concluded.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on expanding the Youth Mobility Scheme.

We remain open to negotiating Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) arrangements with other countries and territories. However, as each YMS is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK Nationals, with the detail negotiated and agreed between the relevant parties, we are unable to disclose the status of negotiations as they occur.

Further details of additional YMS agreements will be announced once they are concluded.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to include the EU within the Youth Mobility Scheme.

We remain committed to expanding our Youth Mobility Scheme to more nations, including member states of the EU.

Each Youth Mobility Scheme is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK Nationals, with the detail negotiated and agreed between the relevant parties. We will not add nations unilaterally in the absence of such an agreement.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will include senior careworkers in the Shortage Occupation List.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) on 29 September.

This can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-shortage-occupation-list-2020.

We are considering carefully its recommendations before commenting on whether specific occupations will be included in the SOL.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) recent progress has been made on the Twenty Shilling Windfarm agreement and (b) assessment he has made of when that agreement will be concluded.

Ministry of Defence (MOD) officials are working collaboratively with the developer to see if a Mitigation Scheme could be devised to allow the Twenty Shilling windfarm to be built whilst protecting the nearby Eskdalemuir Seismological Array. The scheme is complex and covers noise monitoring, testing, reporting, compliance, and curtailment.

A legal agreement would need to be reached by all parties, that legal agreement is progressing. If a mitigation scheme is achievable MOD officials aim to be in a position to conclude the legal agreement in the next few months, subject to negotiation.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what steps his Department is taking to promote the importance of oil and gas jobs to Scotland.

It is vital that we make the most of our North Sea oil and gas resources. This will maintain the security of the UK’s energy supply, produce significantly lower emissions than imported alternatives and support tens of thousands of jobs across Scotland. The Government is therefore committed to Scotland’s oil and gas sector and maximising the potential of our offshore reserves.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland