Derek Thomas Portrait

Derek Thomas

Conservative - St Ives

Environmental Audit Committee
13th May 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Work and Pensions Committee
26th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Health and Social Care Committee
20th Feb 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Science and Technology Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th November 2021
14:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - against a party majority
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
Freedom of Religion or Belief: 40th Anniversary of UN Declaration

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce) for the role she plays in bringing attention to …

Written Answers
Monday 22nd March 2021
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the cost …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 1st November 2017
VALUE FOR MONEY AND SWANSEA BAY TIDAL LAGOON
"leave out from "House" to end and insert, "notes that the proposal for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon currently involves …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: The Methodist Church
Address of donor: 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Tuesday 16th November 2021
The 40th anniversary of the Penlee lifeboat disaster
That this House commemorates the Penlee Lifeboat disaster 40 years ago on 19 December 1981; honours the bravery of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Derek Thomas has voted in 320 divisions, and 9 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
20 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 265 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 204
15 Nov 2021 - Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 296 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 229
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Derek Thomas voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
View All Derek Thomas Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(8 debate interactions)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Derek Thomas's debates

St Ives 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 St Ives signature proportion
Petitions with most St Ives signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

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.


Latest EDMs signed by Derek Thomas

15th November 2021
Derek Thomas signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th November 2021

The 40th anniversary of the Penlee lifeboat disaster

Tabled by: Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
That this House commemorates the Penlee Lifeboat disaster 40 years ago on 19 December 1981; honours the bravery of the eight man crew of the Solomon Browne who in severe conditions went to sea to rescue eight people on board the stricken coaster The Union Star; remembers the tragedy of …
10 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 5
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
26th June 2019
Derek Thomas signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 26th June 2019

ALCOHOL LABELLING

Tabled by: Fiona Bruce (Conservative - Congleton)
That this House notes that the Chief Medical Officers' guidelines for low-risk drinking were updated in January 2016 to 14 units per week; recognises that consumers have a right to know information about alcohol products so they can make informed choices about their drinking, yet only 16 per cent of …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 3 Sep 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Conservative: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Derek Thomas's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Derek Thomas, 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.


Derek Thomas has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Derek Thomas has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Derek Thomas has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Derek Thomas has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


37 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
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of utility companies adopting a household ownership model similar to South West Water’s WaterShare+ scheme.

The WaterShare+ scheme is model in which customers can choose whether to have their share of the outperformance payment as either a credit on their water bill or shares in Pennon Group plc, SWW’s parent company.

We welcome companies supporting customers in different ways. In addition to South West Water’s WaterShare+, some water companies make a financial contribution to their social tariff schemes and others have established charitable trusts.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to Head Teachers to help ensure that the expectation on pupils to wear a face covering does not exclude those pupils who have a good reason not to wear one.

Schools and colleges have the discretion to require the use of face coverings for staff, visitors and pupils in schools for children in Year 7 and above in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed.

When an area moves to a local COVID-19 alert level of high or very high, in settings where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas, where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. This does not apply to children in primary schools and in early years settings where the risks to children are lower.

As set out in our guidance on GOV.UK, some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings, and we expect adults and pupils to be sensitive to those needs. No one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.

The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure all pupils have good access to toilets and wash rooms throughout the school day during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The guidance sets out the system of controls, which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff.

As part of the system of controls, pupils and staff must clean their hands thoroughly more often than usual. Schools should consider whether they have enough hand washing or hand sanitiser ‘stations’ available so that all pupils and staff can clean their hands regularly. Skin friendly cleaning wipes can be used as an alternative. Schools must also introduce enhanced cleaning, including regular cleaning of toilets. Schools can consider allocating different groups their own toilet blocks to help pupils to maintain the appropriate distance but this is not a requirement if the site does not allow for it.

Following a risk assessment, some schools may determine that small adaptations to their site are required, such as additional wash basins. This will be at the discretion of individual schools, based on their particular circumstances. We do not consider it necessary for schools to make significant adaptations to their site to enable them to welcome all children back to school.

Drinking water must be provided free of charge at all times to registered pupils on school premises. It is for schools to consider the most appropriate way to do this, within their wider system of controls. It is still recommended that pupils limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day to essentials, but this can include water bottles.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure all school pupils continue to have easy access to drinking water throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The guidance sets out the system of controls, which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff.

As part of the system of controls, pupils and staff must clean their hands thoroughly more often than usual. Schools should consider whether they have enough hand washing or hand sanitiser ‘stations’ available so that all pupils and staff can clean their hands regularly. Skin friendly cleaning wipes can be used as an alternative. Schools must also introduce enhanced cleaning, including regular cleaning of toilets. Schools can consider allocating different groups their own toilet blocks to help pupils to maintain the appropriate distance but this is not a requirement if the site does not allow for it.

Following a risk assessment, some schools may determine that small adaptations to their site are required, such as additional wash basins. This will be at the discretion of individual schools, based on their particular circumstances. We do not consider it necessary for schools to make significant adaptations to their site to enable them to welcome all children back to school.

Drinking water must be provided free of charge at all times to registered pupils on school premises. It is for schools to consider the most appropriate way to do this, within their wider system of controls. It is still recommended that pupils limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day to essentials, but this can include water bottles.

28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of designating a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on local landowners; and what support he provides to landowners affected by lower property values as a result of the designation of an SSSI.

A Natural England commissioned report of March 2011 examined the impact that Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status has on land values in England. The report concluded that impacts are variable, with valuers reporting positive, negligible and negative impacts depending on the context and land use of individual cases. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.

Notification of SSSIs falls to Natural England. It must notify all owners and occupiers where it considers an area to be of special interest. This will usually follow informal discussion with the owners and occupiers of the land, including discussion about management.

Consensus between regulators, land managers, users and other stakeholders is generally required in order to deliver positive conservation outcomes for SSSIs. Agri-environment schemes like Countryside Stewardship provide the principal funding mechanism to help land managers meet the cost of positive management to restore SSSIs to, or maintain them in, favourable condition.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to train operators operating limited timetables as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, whether the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to permit railcards not previously permitted to be used at peak times to be used during peak times to assist employees with the costs of commuting.

My Department took immediate action at the outbreak of the pandemic to support passengers and the rail industry by keeping the services people depend on running, protecting jobs, delivering refunds and removing charges for cancellations. In this context we must ensure the demands placed on taxpayers are fair and balanced and that Government focuses its investment on maintaining services, to enable social distancing and support our economic recovery.

All passengers are eligible to buy season tickets, offering significant savings for those who regularly commute on peak-time services. Additional provisions have been made for younger and lower-income commuters, with both the 16-17 Saver Railcard and the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card offering discounts on season tickets. While we have no plans at this time to offer further subsidies for peak-time travel, the Government recognises that the pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviours. My Department has proactively worked with the rail industry, and is currently considering proposals received from train operators, to try to ensure better value and convenience for part-time and flexible commuters.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the availability of charging points for electric vehicles.

We recognise that putting in place a joined up, easy to use and reliable network of public chargepoints is essential to overcome a key barrier for motorists considering switching to electric cars, and we will continue to work with industry to establish one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world.

In collaboration with industry, the Government will invest an additional £1 billion in charging infrastructure, ensuring that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid charging station for electric vehicles. To date, Government and industry have supported the installation of over 17,000 devices providing over 24,000 publicly available?chargepoints. This includes over?2,500 rapid?chargepoints?– one of the largest networks in Europe.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act gives the Government powers to improve the customer charging experience and increase the provision of electric vehicle infrastructure. This includes powers to regulate the technical standards of infrastructure to ensure easy compatibility with vehicles, to ensure availability of data on chargepoint locations and availability, and to require provision at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers.

To improve customers’ experience of using chargepoints, the Government announced in July 2019 that it wants to see all new rapid and higher-powered chargepoints provide debit or credit card payment by spring 2020, and that it expects industry to create a roaming solution across the charging network allowing electric vehicle drivers to use any public chargepoint through a single payment method. The Government continues to monitor industry’s progress in these and other areas.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to raise awareness of the safe use of electric vehicle charging points.

We encourage and support initiatives by all involved in the vehicle and chargepoint industry relating to the safe use of electric vehicle charging points. For example, we welcome updates, as the chargepoint industry matures, in the Code of Practice from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (which includes helpful advice on the avoidance of trip hazards), the wiring regulations (which sets technical standards for safe installations, including earthing requirements) and advice generally from vehicle and chargepoint manufacturers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to increase access to charging points for electric vehicles in rural areas.

Along with the private sector, the Government will invest an additional £1 billion in charging infrastructure, ensuring that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid charging station. We are already investing nearly £1.5bn? between April 2015 and March 2021 to support the transition to zero emission motoring and have put in place a range of grant schemes to support the installation of charging infrastructure that are available in any urban or rural areas across the UK.

Local authorities in rural areas are able to take advantage of the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which assists them with the cost of installing chargepoints on residential streets. The funding available is for 75% of the capital costs of procuring and installing the chargepoint and an associated dedicated parking bay.

In October 2019, the Secretary of State wrote to all local authorities encouraging them to send their strategies for infrastructure deployment and to take advantage of ORCS funding. In January we announced that Government funding will be doubled to £10 million for the installation of chargepoints on residential streets next year. This could support as many as 3,600 chargepoints for those that do not have off-street parking.

Our jointly funded £400 million Chargepoint Infrastructure Investment Fund’s first investment round, worth a total of £70 million, will ensure the delivery of a further 3,000 rapid charging devices by 2024, more than doubling the current number of rapid charging devices.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling personal independent payment claimants who are appealing a decision to retain the use of their Motability vehicle until the conclusion of a Tribunal hearing.

To be eligible for the Motability Scheme, claimants must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit. To keep a Motability car, pending an appeal being heard, DWP would need to continue to pay PIP even though a decision had been made that there was no entitlement. Should the appeal not succeed, this approach would also have created a large non-recoverable overpayment - a considerable cost to the taxpayer.

However, Motability Scheme customers who leave the Scheme due to losing eligibility following a PIP award review now receive a £1,000 Stopped Allowance Payment from Motability providing the vehicle is returned within 8 weeks and in good condition.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to apply the same labelling standards to alcohol products as currently apply to other food and drink products.

Through ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, published in July 2020, we are committed to consult shortly on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on all pre-packaged alcohol they sell. The consultation will also cover introducing calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks sold in the out of home sector, for example bought on draught or by the glass.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the cost of alcohol to the NHS.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, we are supporting acute hospitals to establish or improve specialist Alcohol Care Teams (ACTs) in hospitals with highest rates of alcohol harm. It is estimated that, if implemented in the 25% of hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol-dependence-related admissions, fully optimised ACTs could prevent 50,000 admissions over five years.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that integrated care systems and sustainability and transformation partnerships have up-to-date guidance on the increased risk to people with uncontrolled diabetes of covid-19; and what steps he is taking to ensure that regional NHS teams are monitoring their plans to (a) identify and (b) protect those people most at risk.

As part of the COVID-19 response from NHS England and NHS Improvement, weekly calls were established with regional Diabetes Clinical Network teams, the Primary Care Diabetes Society, Association of British Diabetologists and Diabetes UK, which supported the development and sharing of a range of up-to-date guidance on the increased risk of COVID-19 for people with diabetes as well as key resources to support clinical teams in the maintenance of essential diabetes services.

To support people living with diabetes during the pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement have also provided a range of tools to support people to manage their condition. This includes making available a new helpline for adults living with diabetes who are insulin dependent, as well as providing access to a variety of online self-management tools.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure people with (a) diabetes and (b) at risk of serious consequences from covid-19 are being actively reviewed by suitably qualified healthcare professionals.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic diabetes care has remained a priority, and general practitioners (GPs) have supported patients with long-term conditions to access care and support.

The Primary Care Diabetes Society developed the guidance ‘How to undertake a remote diabetes review’ to support healthcare professionals offering remote diabetes reviews, and NHS England and NHS Improvement and partners supported GPs with the guidance ‘Advice for healthcare professionals on COVID-19 and diabetes’, for the management of diabetes during the pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of psychologists (a) specialising in diabetes and (b) providing clinics for people with diabetes.

On 21 March 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement, along with the National Collaboration Institute for Mental Health, published ‘The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Pathway for People with Long-term Physical Health Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms’. The pathway provides primary care services including psychological therapies for common mental disorders across England. It includes therapists specially trained to provide psychological therapies for people with long term conditions, including diabetes. NHS England and NHS Improvement are expanding this service, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England is also working to improve care for those with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders (often referred to as diabulimia) by supporting two pilots to test, trial and evaluate the effects of integrated diabetes and mental health pathways for the identification, assessment and treatment of diabulimia. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an in-depth evaluation to assess the impact of these pilot services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the NICE Methods Review enables patients to access the latest treatments and medicines through the NHS.

We are informed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that its methods review is proceeding apace, and NICE is being ambitious in the scope and breadth of the review.

This methods review includes consideration of factors that may affect decision-making (‘modifiers’), uncertainty and the discount rate.

It is too soon for NICE to comment on the potential outcomes and any changes to its methods that may be proposed.

NICE will continue to welcome contributions from all stakeholders and there will be a public consultation on the case for change commencing in autumn this year. However, it is too soon to comment on the potential outcomes and any changes to its methods that may be proposed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps NICE is taking to (a) value the benefits of medicines through the introduction of modifiers into their decision making framework, (b) improve the way uncertainty of evidence is managed in appraisals and (c) align their discount rate with the latest guidance in the Treasury Green book.

We are informed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that its methods review is proceeding apace, and NICE is being ambitious in the scope and breadth of the review.

This methods review includes consideration of factors that may affect decision-making (‘modifiers’), uncertainty and the discount rate.

It is too soon for NICE to comment on the potential outcomes and any changes to its methods that may be proposed.

NICE will continue to welcome contributions from all stakeholders and there will be a public consultation on the case for change commencing in autumn this year. However, it is too soon to comment on the potential outcomes and any changes to its methods that may be proposed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of covid-19 on research-based health charities.

Medical research charities are an integral part of the United Kingdom’s world-leading life sciences sector. The Department is closely liaising with the Association of Medical Research Charities, as well as individual charities, to understand the impact of the pandemic on this sector and identify how best the Government and charities can work together to ensure that patients continue benefiting from charity-funded research.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the level of resources allocated for research into cancers is protected during the covid-19 outbreak.

As with other Government funders of health research, the Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, such as cancer, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

We have now entered a new phase of the pandemic, where the number of new cases of COVID-19 is declining, and we have a significant portfolio of nationally prioritised urgent public health studies which are actively recruiting participants. The time is right to work towards the restoration of a diverse and active portfolio of research funded and/or supported by the NIHR - including both non-COVID-19 research and important COVID-19 research which does not meet our ‘Urgency’ criteria. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/prioritising-funding-and-support-for-covid-19-research-across-the-uk/24820

To help initiate this process, the NIHR has developed a ‘Framework for Restart’ which provides a structure to guide the restarting of a full range of NIHR research, including cancer research, while maintaining local decision-making and flexibility. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/documents/restart-framework/24886

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS has spent on treating diabetic foot ulcers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not held centrally on the cost of treating diabetic foot ulcers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage podiatrists from overseas to work in the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

The Government will be introducing a National Health Service Visa which will incorporate reduced fees and fast-tracked entry to encourage increasing numbers of overseas healthcare workers, including podiatrists, to come and work in the NHS.

In addition, the Home Office has already set up a dedicated NHS team within United Kingdom Visas and Immigration to process all visa requests for healthcare staff coming to work in the NHS.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many multidisciplinary foot care teams there are in the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is not centrally held.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of people training to become podiatrists; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS People Plan, which will be published by the National Health Service in early 2020, will set out a clear framework for growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS.

The Government announced in December 2019 that new and continuing students from September 2020 will receive a £5,000-£8,000 grant during their course to help with their cost of living. Eligible students will receive at least £5,000 and an additional £1,000 for those with child dependants. In addition, eligible new students studying a specialist shortage subject including podiatry will be able to access a further £1,000. Subject to eligibility, up to a further £1,000 will be available to some new students in regions that are struggling to recruit.

These grants are on top of student loan allowances and do not need to be re-paid.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase access to podiatry services; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS People Plan work programme is completing a review of all allied health professions including podiatrists and the capacity requirement is being modelled to 2024. This will look at both the current and future capacity need for the allied health professions, including podiatrists in all health care settings.

In addition, on 3 March, I launched a £3.47 million recruitment campaign for allied health professionals. The national recruitment drive includes television advertisements, social media content and a new recruitment portal, and comes alongside a new package of financial support for students. From September, students training towards the careers highlighted in the campaign, which includes podiatry, will benefit from a new Government maintenance grant worth at least £5,000 a year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department has given the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean to ensure that future built developments incorporate climate resilience.

Following the destruction caused by hurricanes in 2017, the UK Government has funded construction work in several Overseas Territories (OTs), with a focus on building back with improved hurricane and seismic resilience. In Montserrat, the UK is investing in resilient infrastructure through the Capital Infrastructure Programme for Resilient and Economic Growth (CIPREG), including projects such as the recently laid fibre optic cable link that will bolster Montserrat's resilience against extreme weather. Additionally, with funding from the cross-Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has supported OTs in the Caribbean to build response and resilience models to hurricane related flood risks. This includes opportunities to maximise the role and value of the natural environment, including coastal vegetation, mangroves and coral reefs, to minimise flood damage, and the use of vulnerability mapping to inform on-island planning processes for new infrastructure and residential developments. The JNCC is also working with individual OTs to develop monitoring programmes capable of recognising changes to their marine and terrestrial environments, including those related to climate change.

Through the UK Government funded Darwin and Darwin Plus Initiatives, the UK continues to support the ability of the OTs to increase their resilience and ability to adapt in the face of climate change by funding individual projects, such as efforts to improve coastal ecosystem resilience in Anguilla and restoration of mangroves in the British Virgin Islands.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support he is providing to ensure climate adaptation plans are adopted and implemented in the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.

Following the destruction caused by hurricanes in 2017, the UK Government has funded construction work in several Overseas Territories (OTs), with a focus on building back with improved hurricane and seismic resilience. In Montserrat, the UK is investing in resilient infrastructure through the Capital Infrastructure Programme for Resilient and Economic Growth (CIPREG), including projects such as the recently laid fibre optic cable link that will bolster Montserrat's resilience against extreme weather. Additionally, with funding from the cross-Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has supported OTs in the Caribbean to build response and resilience models to hurricane related flood risks. This includes opportunities to maximise the role and value of the natural environment, including coastal vegetation, mangroves and coral reefs, to minimise flood damage, and the use of vulnerability mapping to inform on-island planning processes for new infrastructure and residential developments. The JNCC is also working with individual OTs to develop monitoring programmes capable of recognising changes to their marine and terrestrial environments, including those related to climate change.

Through the UK Government funded Darwin and Darwin Plus Initiatives, the UK continues to support the ability of the OTs to increase their resilience and ability to adapt in the face of climate change by funding individual projects, such as efforts to improve coastal ecosystem resilience in Anguilla and restoration of mangroves in the British Virgin Islands.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing VAT on domestic renewables and installations for a period of 10 years to (a) help grow the Green Economy and (b) stimulate the uptake of microgeneration in domestic properties.

The installation of many energy saving materials that generate domestic renewable energy are already subject to the reduced rate of VAT of 5 per cent when certain conditions are met.

Decisions on tax policy are made at fiscal events and the Government keeps all taxes under review.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on medical research charities in the UK.

Medical research charities are an important part of the UK’s world-class R&D ecosystem and are contributing directly to combating Covid-19. We know that many charities are struggling and the government is closely monitoring the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector.

Medical research charities can access the comprehensive support the government has made available for employers and businesses. Under these measures, charities can defer their VAT bills and pay no business rates for their shops next year. All charities are eligible for the job retention scheme and the right answer for many charities will be to furlough their employees with the Government paying 80% of wages. Charities are eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme. Registered charities are now exempt from the requirement that 50% of the applicant’s income must be derived from its Trading Activity.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to support medical research charities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Medical research charities are an important part of the UK’s world-class R&D ecosystem and are contributing directly to combating Covid-19. We know that many charities are struggling and the government is closely monitoring the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector.

Medical research charities can access the comprehensive support the government has made available for employers and businesses. Under these measures, charities can defer their VAT bills and pay no business rates for their shops next year. All charities are eligible for the job retention scheme and the right answer for many charities will be to furlough their employees with the Government paying 80% of wages. Charities are eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme. Registered charities are now exempt from the requirement that 50% of the applicant’s income must be derived from its Trading Activity.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of the minimum unit pricing for sales of alcohol in Scotland in reducing alcohol consumption; and what plans the Government has to introduce a similar policy in England.

There are no plans to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) in England at this time. MUP has been in place in Scotland for less than three years and the Scottish Parliament will not consider its extension until April 2024 when more will be known about its overall impact on consumption.

Public Health Scotland have commissioned a study to assess the impact of minimum unit pricing on areas of crime, public safety and public nuisance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a minimum price for alcohol.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of minimum unit alcohol pricing in Scotland and Wales as it emerges. Minimum unit pricing has been in place in Scotland for less than two years. The Scottish Parliament will not consider its extension until April 2024.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers are suspended pending investigation; how many of those investigations have taken longer than 12 months to resolve; and what steps her Department is taking to improve the time taken to reach a resolution for such investigations.

The Home Office does not hold information on how many police officers are suspended pending investigation or how many investigations where an officer has been suspended have taken longer than 12 months to complete.

The chief officer of a police force has the discretion to suspend an officer during an investigation, depending on the circumstances of the case.

The average investigation by police forces into complaints took 158 days (2018/19) – a fall from 173 days the previous year. Since the launch of the Independent Office for Police Conduct in January 2018, the IOPC has completed 93% of its investigations in under 12 months.

On 1 February 2020 the Government implemented reforms to improve the efficiency, accountability and proportionality of the police discipline system. The reforms require greater transparency by placing a duty on the IOPC or the police to provide a clear explanation should an investigation go beyond 12 months.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if they will mandate zero carbon heating options in the new Future Homes Standard building regulations and take steps to introduce such new regulations by December 2023.

From 2025, the Future Homes Standard will ensure that new homes produce at least 75 per cent lower CO2 emissions compared to those built to current standards. This represents a considerable improvement in the energy efficiency standards for new homes. Homes built under the Future Homes Standard will be ‘zero carbon ready’, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards.

We have listened to calls for a swifter and more certain pathway and our work on a full technical specification for the Future Homes Standard has been accelerated. We therefore intend to consult on this in 2023 and introduce the necessary legislation in 2024, ahead of full implementation of the Future Homes Standard in 2025.

The Building Regulations will continue to set a performance-based standard rather than mandating or banning the use of any technologies. However, to make sure that new homes are zero carbon ready we plan to set the performance standard of the Future Homes Standard at a level which means that new homes will not be built with fossil fuel heating. To ensure the Gas Act is in line with the Future Homes Standard, the Energy White Paper also confirmed that we will seek views on the feasibility of ending the connection of new build homes to the natural gas grid.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to make (a) heat pumps, (b) solar and (c) other domestic renewables compulsory for all new housing.

The Building Regulations are couched in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used. This allows builders and homeowners the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions appropriate in any development. For example, many roofs are not suitable for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels because of the visual amenity, strength, or direction of the building. 

We will need to move away from fossil fuel heating in order to meet our commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The future is likely to see a mix of low carbon technologies used for heating and it is unlikely that there will be a one-size-fits all solution, so multiple technologies will play a role. To make sure that homes built under the Future Buildings Standard are zero carbon ready, from 2025 we intend to set the performance standard at a level which means that new homes will not be built with fossil fuel heating. We expect heat pumps will become the primary heating technology for new homes under the Future Homes Standard and that heat networks will also have an important role to play.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on (a) ensuring contractors are not able to start work on site without evidence of a planning approval notice and (b) seeking consent from all landowners affected by the application to be given before starting work.

Local planning authorities have a range of planning enforcement powers to address unauthorised development, including where development has commenced in breach of appropriate planning permission, for example, before the discharge of pre-commencement conditions. It is the case that the grant of planning permission has no effect on the ownership of the land, and that obtaining planning permission does not automatically mean a development can go ahead. In particular, development cannot proceed without the agreement of the relevant owners.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the (a) potential merits of making local authorities economically liable for negligence in the exercise of their building control functions and (b) effectiveness of the exercise by those authorities of those functions.

As part of our reforms to building safety, we are establishing a new Building Safety Regulator which will provide enhanced oversight of the building safety regulatory system.

Building work is subject to building control either by the local authority or a private approved inspector. It is the responsibility of the building control body to take all reasonable steps to assess compliance. However, building control is a spot checking process at certain points during the building work.

A compliance certificate issued by a local authorities building control team is not an absolute guarantee of compliance and in no way removes the responsibility of compliance from the builder or installer.

If it is considered that the local authority building control team did not carry out its function properly or was negligent in the exercise of its building control functions, a complaint could be made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO), the website for which is https://www.lgo.org.uk/.

The LGSCO is a free and impartial service to the general public, which is independent of the Government. Considering that it investigates complaints about local governments along with other authorities and organisations, it is paramount that its decisions cannot be influenced by the Government. As always, it is also possible to apply to the High Court for a judicial review to challenge an Ombudsman’s decision should it be considered to be legally flawed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)