Edward Leigh Portrait

Edward Leigh

Conservative - Gainsborough

First elected: 9th June 1983


Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since January 2020)
Restoration and Renewal Programme Board (since February 2023)
Public Accounts Commission
16th Nov 2017 - 4th Jul 2022
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
28th Sep 2020 - 17th May 2022
Draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill
26th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
19th Mar 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
International Trade Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Public Accounts Commission
4th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Procedure Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Panel of Chairs
7th Jul 2010 - 3rd May 2017
Members' Expenses Committee
18th Jul 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Accounts Commission
16th Mar 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Liaison Committee (Commons)
5th Nov 2001 - 6th May 2010
Public Accounts Committee
14th Apr 2000 - 6th May 2010
Public Accounts Committee
17th Oct 2001 - 1st Jan 2010
International Development Committee
14th Jul 1997 - 19th Jul 2001
Social Security
11th Dec 1995 - 13th Dec 2000
Deregulation
29th Jul 1997 - 4th Dec 1997
Agriculture
26th Feb 1996 - 17th Oct 1996
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry)
2nd Nov 1990 - 27th May 1993
Defence Committee
9th Jun 1983 - 15th May 1987


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 51 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 81
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
T6. Gainsborough was once the capital of England under the incomparable Sweyn Forkbeard. It is an historic market town with …
Written Answers
Tuesday 16th January 2024
Churches: Nigeria
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church has had discussions with the …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 12th May 2022
Arrests in Hong Kong
That this House notes with concern reports that His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, aged 90, …
Bills
Tuesday 17th November 2015
House of Lords (Parliamentary Standards Etc) Bill 2015-16
A Bill to amend the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to make provision for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to be …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 14th February 2022
1. Employment and earnings
26 January 2022, received £200 from the BBC, 99 Great Portland Street, London W1A 1AA, for appearing on Any Questions …
EDM signed
Thursday 7th December 2023
Verification of gestational age for at-home abortions
That this House welcomes the introduction of the At Home Early Medical Abortion (Review) Bill [HL] that seeks a review …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 11th October 2022
Sale of Property (Sealed Bids) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to prohibit the sale of property by sealed bids; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Edward Leigh has voted in 714 divisions, and 12 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh 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
8 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 16
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh 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
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
28 Jun 2023 - Holocaust Memorial Bill: Committal - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 11 Noes - 379
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Edward Leigh voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Edward Leigh 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)
(31 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(30 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(25 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(68 debate contributions)
Home Office
(66 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(61 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Edward Leigh's debates

Gainsborough 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 Gainsborough signature proportion
Petitions with most Gainsborough signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Swifts have declined by over 50% in the UK. Adult swifts, known for site-fidelity, return to the same nests. We want swift bricks to be required in all new housing, to provide homes for these birds. Surveys show these are used by red-listed swifts, house martins, starlings and house sparrows.

As Parliament considers the Bill of Rights, the Government must reconsider including abortion rights in this Bill. Rights to abortion must be specifically protected in this legislation, especially as the Government has refused to rule out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.


Latest EDMs signed by Edward Leigh

29th November 2023
Edward Leigh signed this EDM on Thursday 7th December 2023

Verification of gestational age for at-home abortions

Tabled by: Carla Lockhart (Democratic Unionist Party - Upper Bann)
That this House welcomes the introduction of the At Home Early Medical Abortion (Review) Bill [HL] that seeks a review into the risks to women of at-home abortion under current law; expresses its support for the Bill; calls on the Government to reinstate in-person medical appointments before abortion pills may …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
Conservative: 6
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
27th November 2023
Edward Leigh signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 29th November 2023

Dogs

Tabled by: Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 1164), dated 31 October 2023, a copy of which was laid before this House on 31 October 2023, be annulled.
13 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Jan 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 8
Labour: 4
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Edward Leigh's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Edward Leigh, 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.


Edward Leigh has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Edward Leigh has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Edward Leigh


A Bill to amend the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to make provision for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to be responsible for determining, paying, maintaining oversight of, and adjudicating complaints relating to, the allowances, expenses and financial interests of members of the House of Lords; to amend the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 to provide for the compulsory retirement of members of the House of Lords under certain conditions; to make provision for the reduction of the number of members in the House of Lords; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 17th November 2015

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 29th January 2013

24 Bills co-sponsored by Edward Leigh

Sale of Property (Sealed Bids) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Bill Wiggin (Con)

Doctors and Nurses (Developing Countries) Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Andrew Mitchell (Con)

Free Trade (Education and Reporting) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Green Belt (Protection) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Coastal Path (Definition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Value Added Tax Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Student Loans (Debt Interest) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (England) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Fiona Bruce (Con)

Affordable Home Ownership Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Principal Local Authorities (Grounds for Abolition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Authorities (Borrowing and Investment) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

National Health Service (Co-Funding and Co-Payment) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Border Control Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Voter Registration Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Business of the House Commission Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

June Bank Holiday (Creation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Peter Bone (Ind)

BBC Licence Fee (Civil Penalty) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Judicial Appointments and Retirements (Age Limits) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Benefits and Public Services (Restriction) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

International Development Assistance (Definition) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)

Local Authorities (Removal of Council Tax Restrictions) Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christopher Chope (Con)


101 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
2 Other Department Questions
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church has had discussions with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the attack on the St Francis Xavier Church in Owo, Nigeria in 2022; and whether the Church is providing aid for the victims of that attack.

The Church Commissioners have indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
9th Mar 2023
What steps her Department is taking to help ensure community participation in the celebration of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

The Coronation will be a historic moment to celebrate and strengthen our national identity and showcase the best of the UK to the world.

DCMS is leading a programme of events and projects enabling local communities across the UK to celebrate the Coronation.

This includes a national Coronation Big Lunch, street parties, and The Big Help Out - a day of community volunteering.

And Lottery distributors are making funds available for community events.

You can visit Coronation.gov.uk for information about the Coronation and ways to get involved.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the closure of the blast furnaces in Scunthorpe on virgin steel production.

Almost all the G20 countries have operational blast furnaces, and a number of those are transitioning to electric arc furnaces as well.

We know the importance of Scunthorpe, which is a key driver of economic growth. British Steel provides a third of all domestic production supplied to the construction and rail industries.

We continue to be in negotiations to make sure that we secure the best deal, and one that is good value for taxpayers, when it comes to Scunthorpe.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on steps to prevent protestors from disrupting sporting events.

Recent disruption of sporting and cultural events is totally unacceptable, and the Government has taken steps to empower the police to ensure the smooth running of major events.

I recently attended a roundtable with cabinet colleagues, police and sports representatives to ensure major sporting events this summer are protected from disruption, and we will continue to work with event organisers and police to protect the uninterrupted enjoyment of major sporting and cultural events.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons the Government ended the UK's membership of the European University Institute.

The Convention setting up a European University Institute (EUI) states that accession to the Convention is restricted to European Union (EU) member states. When the UK ceased to be an EU member state, our formal membership of the Institute ended. The UK has been operating under the terms of an interim arrangement with the EUI since 2020, while discussions took place to explore the possibilities for future UK participation. It has not been possible to conclude a partnership agreement between us at this time.

The UK remains committed to strong research collaboration with our European partners, and remains open to exploring other opportunities for collaboration with the EUI in the future. UK universities will be able to continue to work with the EUI and engage in the collaborative research projects it leads.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his Department's policy that schools retain discretion as to the use of the resources recommended within the Relationships and sex education statutory guidelines including the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare's Abortion Care Factsheet.

The Department does not comment on individual resources and schools retain discretion over the resources they use. Schools must have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), and they must consult with parents in developing and reviewing their policy.

The Department expects schools to make reasonable decisions about the content of their curriculum and use of resources. The implementation guidance for the RSE and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, which came into force in September 2020, sets out clear advice for schools in choosing resources. It states that schools should assess all resources carefully to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality. The list at annex B of the statutory guidance for RSHE illustrates some of the free resources that are available to schools.

The Department does not have a role in reviewing the content of the resources listed and cannot advise schools on which resources will be the most suitable to use. Schools operate in a variety of different contexts and have both the expertise and knowledge that makes them best placed to make these decisions.

The statutory guidance makes clear that by the end of secondary education young people should know the facts relating to pregnancy and states that there should be medically and legally impartial information on all options. Pupils should be made aware of the relevant legal provisions when particular topics are being taught. It is for schools to decide how best to comply with this in order to meet the needs of their pupils.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence the Department has produced RSHE Teacher Training Modules which are available for all schools. The intimate and sexual relationships training, including a sexual health teacher training module, covers pregnancy specifically. Each training module covers safeguarding to make sure teachers, pastoral staff, and the designated safeguarding lead are equipped to deal with sensitive discussions and disclosures.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to remove the 50 per cent cap on faith-based admissions to religious schools.

The Government strongly supports schools with a religious character and recognises that they are often high performing and popular with parents.

We are pleased that the Voluntary-Aided scheme has allowed the creation of new Catholic and Church of England schools, but we recognise that some groups, including the Catholic Church, feel unable to participate in the free schools programme because of the 50% cap on faith admissions.

We will continue to keep the 50% cap under review and are open to discussing this issue with groups who provide schools with a religious character, including the Catholic Church.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to Marie Stopes International in each of the last two years.

The Department for International Development gave Marie Stopes International £57.1million in 2017-18 and £54.9million in 2018-19.

This data comes from DFID’s supplier analysis portal and funding comes from 12 programmes located in Africa and Asia working on the full range of sexual and reproductive health. It reflects actual spend rather than the value of programmes awarded in these years.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the causes of poverty and deprivation in the South West ward of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire; and if she will make a statement.

No such assessment has been made.

The Government’s long-term ambition is to level up across the country and continue to tackle poverty through our reformed welfare system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move back into and progress in work wherever possible. Our £30bn Plan for Jobs is the first step on the ladder to achieving this and will support economic recovery through new schemes including Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support.

The Government has also been taking various steps to help vulnerable people and those on low incomes, especially during the pandemic. This includes an additional £9.3bn boost to our safety net welfare system, and £63m fund for councils to help with targeted support for people and families in need. We have gone further this winter, recently introducing a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support children, families and the most at risk over the coming months. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to help with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.In Lincolnshire, we have allocated £45 million of additional COVID19 funding.

In May, the Government also provided £16m to charities to provide food for those struggling due to the immediate impacts of the pandemic. Earlier this month, a further £16m was announced to fund local charities through well-established networks and provide immediate support to front-line food aid charities who have a vital role to play in supporting people of all ages.

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Westminster Hall debate on Skin Conditions and Mental Health on 25 January 2022, Official Report, cols 322-338 WH, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to mental health services for people with skin conditions.

We are investing at least £2.3 billion of additional funding a year by 2023-24 to expand and transform mental health services in England so that two million more people, including those with skin conditions, will be able to access the mental health support they need.

In addition, we provided an additional £500 million for 2021/22, to accelerate our NHS mental health expansion plans, including NHS talking therapies through the improving access to psychological therapies services (IAPT). All integrated care systems are expected to commission IAPT services, integrated into physical care pathways, as part of their IAPT expansion plans locally.

To support healthcare professionals in the implementation of clear care pathways, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the diagnosis and treatment on a range of common skin conditions including eczema, acne, and psoriasis.  The guidance emphasises the need for health care professionals to consider a patient’s psychosocial wellbeing and refer onto specialist care where appropriate.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support her Department is providing to immunosuppressed people to help prevent the spread of covid-19; what progress the government has made on approving Evusheld for use by those people; and if she will make a statement.

Those at higher risk from COVID-19 due to their immune system continue to be supported by a number of interventions. Interventions for this group include:

· Prioritisation for vaccinations and boosters

· Priority access to Covid-19 therapeutic and antiviral treatments

· Advice on protective behaviours

· Guidance for this cohort can be found on gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk)

Although Evusheld was granted conditional marketing approval from the MHRA in March 2022, the decision not to procure Evusheld at this present time is based on independent clinical advice by the multi-agency initiative RAPID C-19 and a national expert policy working group, following a review of a range of evidence including clinical trial data. Their conclusion is that there is insufficient evidence of benefit to recommend deployment at this time. The Chief Medical Office for England is content that the correct process for providing clinical advice has been followed and it has now been referred to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for further evaluation.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Abortion notification forms for England and Wales, for what reason there is a discrepancy between the HSA4 paper form and the HSA4 electronic form related to written confirmation being required for patients under 13; and what safeguarding procedures her Department has put in place to ensure vulnerable children under 13 are cared for.

All abortion notification forms are reviewed and data quality checks are completed. Whilst electronic forms automatically send a prompt to check date of birth for a patient under the age of 14 years old, paper forms where the age is recorded as under 14 years old are returned by post for confirmation of the date of birth.

The Department has specific required standard operating procedures for independent providers to follow for those aged under 13 years old accessing services. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health recently published safeguarding guidance for those aged under 18 years old accessing services, which will ensure that robust safeguarding processes are embedded and that vulnerable children under 13 years old are appropriately cared for.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence her Department assessed prior to the decision to update the HSA4 electronic form to note that for medical abortions, abortion providers should use the dates that they supplied the medication to the patient, rather than the dates the provider advised the patient that they should take them; and what steps are being taken to ensure complications arising from the same early medical abortion are recorded, given that complications would be unknown prior to the pills being taken.

The Abortion (Amendment) Regulations 2022 updated the notification requirements for medical abortion. When both pills for medical abortion are taken in the clinic, providers are required to record the date of treatment. When one or both pills are to be self-administered at home, providers are required to record the date on which the early medical abortion pill was due to be taken by the patient, in accordance with the medical practitioner’s instructions.

The Department is aware that complications may be less likely to be recorded where one or both pills are taken at home. We are currently identifying additional sources of information to complement data on complications from notification forms and review and improve the reporting of serious incidents.

6th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 20 May 2022 to Question 604 and of 23 May 2022 to Question 2703, which stated that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists were reviewing the latest evidence on fetal pain and fetal awareness, whether her Department has taken steps to help ensure that there is no conflict of interest in their guidelines.

The Department has not done so. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is an independent organisation, responsible for producing clinical guidelines which set standards for high quality women’s healthcare.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will require the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to publish the responses by the peer reviewers to (a) Fetal awareness: review of research and recommendations for practice, published in 2010 and (b) the forthcoming set of guidelines on fetal pain.

The Department does not set clinical practice. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines ‘The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion’ and ‘Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice’, which are available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

The Royal College is currently reviewing ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’, independently of Government. The Department has brought Dr Stuart Derbyshire’s research to the attention of the College, which established a review group to consider the latest evidence on fetal pain and fetal awareness. The gathering of evidence for the review is a matter for this group.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of research conducted by Dr Stuart Derbyshire, if he will ask the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to update its guidelines on the use of fetal painkillers from 18 weeks gestation prior to an abortion.

The Department does not set clinical practice. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines ‘The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion’ and ‘Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice’, which are available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

The Royal College is currently reviewing ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’, independently of Government. The Department has brought Dr Stuart Derbyshire’s research to the attention of the College, which established a review group to consider the latest evidence on fetal pain and fetal awareness. The gathering of evidence for the review is a matter for this group.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department is maintaining the temporary at-home abortion policy in place while other covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion. We will publish our response as soon as possible. The approval was put in place on a temporary basis and is time limited for two years or until the end of the pandemic.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department's response to the consultation on home use of both pills for early medical abortion will be published.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion. We will publish our response as soon as possible. The approval was put in place on a temporary basis and is time limited for two years or until the end of the pandemic.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the temporary at-home abortion policy will end with the expiration of Coronavirus Act 2020 in March 2022.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion. We will publish our response as soon as possible. The approval was put in place on a temporary basis and is time limited for two years or until the end of the pandemic.

13th Jul 2021
What assessment his Department has made of the future of the provision allowing both sets of abortion pills to be taken at home.

The Government has undertaken a public consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure for home use of both pills for early medical abortion. We are considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year. The temporary measure will be kept in place until a decision has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the research by Hakansson et alia, published in the journal Pediatrics in July 2004, on increases in the number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation that can survive outside the womb and the increase in that number with proactive perinatal care, what plans his Department has to review the time limits on abortion in the UK.

It is for Parliament to decide whether to make any changes to the law on abortion. As with other matters of conscience, abortion is an issue on which the Government adopts a neutral stance and allows hon. Members to vote according to their moral, ethical or religious beliefs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, published in 2019, that neonatal stabilisation may be considered from 22 weeks gestation.

The Department has considered the ‘Framework on Perinatal Management of Extreme Preterm Birth before 27 Weeks of Gestation’ published by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine.

MBRRACE-UK published guidance in November 2020 to support health care professionals in the assessment and documentation of signs of life in extremely preterm births to support consistent decision making about birth classification.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answers of 16 February 2021 and 8 February 2021 to Questions 151601 and 150684 respectively, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the disposal of human remains in the sewage system since the temporary measure to allow home abortions in March 2020 on people working in (a) sewage and (b) waste disposal; and if the Department will consider making such an assessment.

No assessment has been made and there are no plans to do so.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase regional availability of palliative, respite, and end-of-life care to babies and infants by supporting the establishment of more baby and infant-specific hospices.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the commissioning of end of life and palliative care services. CCGs develop strategic clinical plans covering a wide range of health care services based on their local population needs. This includes specialised care for babies and infants with complex needs at children’s hospices.

Within the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England is increasing its contribution to the national children’s hospice grant by match-funding CCGs who commit to increase their investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services including children’s hospices. This will increase funding from £11 million to a combined total of £25 million a year by 2023/24.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure continuity in the provision of palliative, respite, and end-of-life care to babies and infants at Zoe's Place Baby Hospice.

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

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether domestic waste companies and sewage treatment services were consulted before the approval of home use of both abortion pills in March 2020.

No such assessment has been made.

Domestic waste companies and sewage treatment services were not consulted before the temporary approval in March 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the effect on the (a) sewage and (b) non-recyclable waste systems of home abortions since March 2020.

No such assessment has been made.

Domestic waste companies and sewage treatment services were not consulted before the temporary approval in March 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2020 to Question 125929 on Abortion: Drugs, whether people can respond by email to respondents to his Department's consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women; and what email address his Department has made available for that purpose.

People cannot respond this consultation by email. We do not have a dedicated email inbox set up for the consultation. This is to ensure all responses are processed securely and following data protection best practice. The Department’s preferred method of response to the consultation is via submission online at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/home-use-of-both-pills-for-early-medical-abortion

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will increase their investment in (a) palliative and (b) hospice care for 2021 to support people approaching the end of life.

As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care, is a local matter, over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly.

Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement committed to increasing its contribution towards palliative care over the next five years, by match-funding clinical commissioning groups who commit to increase their investment in local children’s palliative and end of life care services, including children’s hospices. This should more than double the NHS support, from £11 million up to a combined total of £25 million a year by 2023/24.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of improved recognition of palliative care needs and services outside hospitals on (a) the standard of palliative care in the UK and (b) annual hospital costs.

No specific recent assessment of palliative and end of life care needs and services outside hospitals in England has taken place. As health is a devolved matter, any such action or assessment in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be decisions for the respective devolved administrations.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to an NHS email of 21 May 2020 from a Regional Chief Midwife on the reported escalating risk relating to home medical abortions, what assessment he has made of the veracity of incidents cited in that email of (a) women attending ED with significant pain and bleeding related to the process through to ruptured ectopics, major resuscitation for major haemorrhage and the delivery of infants who are up to 30 weeks gestation, (b) three police investigations including a murder investigation as there is a concern that the baby was live born and (c) a woman receiving pills at 32 weeks' gestation; and whether he holds information on similar incidents and in that or other regions in the last eight months.

Safe, continued access to key services is our priority during this difficult period. We are aware of a small number of incidents which we are looking into alongside with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other partners.

The Department is aware of reports of two women who died after seeking abortion treatment earlier this year. Both deaths have been appropriately investigated and in one case investigations are continuing. For the other case, the coroner concluded that there was no evidence to suggest the pregnancy or abortion contributed to the death either directly or indirectly. Both women attended an abortion service in person and based on information provided to the Department at least one of these women was supplied with pills to take at home under the 2018 approval.

We continue to closely monitor the impact of the temporary approval for women’s homes to be classed as of place where both sets of medication for early medical abortion can be taken. Officials have regular meetings with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the CQC and abortion service providers to ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect women accessing this service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November 2020 to Question 99518 on Abortion: Private Sector, whether the incidents of complications relating to home medical abortion referred to in an NHS email of 21 May 2020 from a regional chief midwife describing an escalating risk of the Pills by Post scheme have been investigated.

Safe, continued access to key services is our priority during this difficult period. We are aware of a small number of incidents which we are looking into alongside with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other partners.

The Department is aware of reports of two women who died after seeking abortion treatment earlier this year. Both deaths have been appropriately investigated and in one case investigations are continuing. For the other case, the coroner concluded that there was no evidence to suggest the pregnancy or abortion contributed to the death either directly or indirectly. Both women attended an abortion service in person and based on information provided to the Department at least one of these women was supplied with pills to take at home under the 2018 approval.

We continue to closely monitor the impact of the temporary approval for women’s homes to be classed as of place where both sets of medication for early medical abortion can be taken. Officials have regular meetings with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the CQC and abortion service providers to ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect women accessing this service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to review the 2010 guidelines on the Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality in England, Scotland and Wales from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists with respect to advancements in antenatal screening since those guidelines were published.

The Department does not set clinical practice. It is for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to consider whether to revise their guidelines, having looked at the available evidence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the HSA4 Abortion Notification forms received by the Department of Health and Social Care since 1st January 2020, how many abortions have been carried out under Ground E; and how many of the Ground E abortions (a) mentioned medical condition, (b) method of diagnosis, and (c) whether that was the only ground for abortion given.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, a pregnancy may be lawfully terminated by a registered medical practitioner in approved premises, if two medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith, that the abortion is justified under one or more of grounds A to G. Ground E refers to cases where “there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”. There can be multiple reasons for an abortion for a fetal abnormality, therefore there can be more than one medical condition mentioned on a HSA4 form.

This data should be treated as provisional, meaning that it may be subject to revision if the Department receives further information from hospitals and clinics on missing information from HSA4 forms, or more forms are received.

There were 1,619 abortions performed under ground E between January to June 2020.

The attached table shows abortions performed under ground E, between January to June 2020 as follows:

- Total number of abortions performed under ground E alone or with any other ground;

- Total number of abortions performed under ground E alone;

- Total mentions of medical conditions; and

- Method of diagnosis.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on second trimester abortion of the finding of the British Medical Journal article, Reconsidering fetal pain, published on 14 January 2020 that pain emerges around 18-20 weeks of gestation.

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guideline on ‘Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice’, published in March 2010.

The Department has brought the article by Dr Stuart W G Derbyshire and John C Bockmann to the attention of the RCOG. It is for the RCOG to consider whether to revise the guidelines, having looked at the available evidence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that safe and healthy pregnancy information is communicated effectively as outlined in the NHS' guidance entitled Saving Babies’ Lives Version Two, published in March 2019.

The second version of the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle has been updated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to reflect the most up to date information for women to receive safe and healthy pregnancy information. NHS England and NHS Improvement are asking trusts to work towards full implementation of the Care Bundle as the safety of maternity services is a key priority.

Information and advice for the public from the Care Bundle is contained on the NHS.UK Start 4 Life webpages, which women are encouraged to use. The Care Bundle document is also available on NHS England and NHS Improvement’s webpages, and has been promoted widely to all Local Maternity Systems.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to investigate the reasons for the annual increase in the number of abortions performed in private clinics.

The Department has no specific plans to investigate the reasons for the number of abortions performed in private clinics. However, the Department has commissioned the King’s Fund to undertake a piece of work to provide insights into factors contributing to changing patterns of abortion uptake in England.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning termination of pregnancy services and are increasingly commissioning from the independent sector abortion providers. All independent sector clinics wishing to perform abortions must be approved by the Secretary of State under section 1(3) of the Abortion Act 1967 and registered with the Care Quality Commission.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have died as a result following abortion carried out in a private clinic in the last five years.

Mortality statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that between 2015 and 2019 there was one death where abortion was listed as the underlying cause of death on the death certificate. It is not possible to identify whether this abortion was performed at a National Health Service hospital or at an independent clinic.

The Department is aware of reports of two women who died after seeking abortion treatment earlier this year. Both deaths have been appropriately investigated and in one case investigations are continuing. For the other case, the coroner concluded that there was no evidence to suggest the pregnancy or abortion contributed to the death either directly or indirectly.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is available patients with non-melanoma skin cancer to help with the psychological effect of (a) the disease and (b) the treatment for that disease.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets a clear ambition that where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer should have access to personalised care by 2021. Over the next five years, Cancer Alliances will be embedding personalised care interventions, which will identify and address the changing needs of cancer patients from diagnosis onwards.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference Melanoma UK's report entitled, State of the Nation: Non Melanoma Skin Cancer, published in March 2020, what steps he is taking to increase public awareness of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Public Health England (PHE) supports Melanoma UK’s ambition to increase awareness of non-melanoma skin cancer.

PHE ran a regional Be Clear on Cancer campaign in 2014 to raise awareness of the signs of skin cancer aimed at people aged 50 and over, the age group most likely to be diagnosed with the most serious form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma.

The Be Clear on Cancer campaigns are designed to improve rates of early diagnosis of cancer by raising the public’s awareness of specific cancer symptoms and encouraging people with those symptoms to go to the doctor promptly. The Be Clear on Skin Cancer advertising resources are available on the PHE Campaign Resource Centre, to a range of partners including the National Health Service, charities and local authorities for their continued use where needed. The Be Clear on Cancer Resources can be accessed at the following link:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/16-be-clear-on-cancer/resources

PHE also provides advice to other Government departments, such as the Health and Safety Executive, on sun safety to help develop their policies.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference Melanoma UK's report entitled, State of the Nation: Non Melanoma Skin Cancer, published in March 2020, if he will make it his Department's policy to highlight the importance of wearing (a) sunscreen and (b) a hat when outside in the sun to help prevent skin cancer.

Public Health England (PHE) is supportive of Melanoma UK’s initiative to increase awareness of non-melanoma skin cancer.

PHE supports the guidance on sun protection provided on the NHS website at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/

This guidance supports the wearing of hats and mentions the use of sunscreen. However, it states that sunscreen should not be relied upon alone to provide protection.

The ultraviolet (UV) Index provides an indication of the likelihood that the UV from the sun will cause sunburn. The BBC and the Met Office provide UV Index forecasts and advises that people check the UV Index forecasts. PHE reports near-live data from its monitoring sites across the UK at the following link:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/uv-index-graphs

Further advice on sun safety is included in the Heatwave Plan for England, available to view at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888668/Heatwave_plan_for_England_2020.pdf

PHE also provides advice to other Government departments, such as the Health and Safety Executive, on sun safety to help develop their policies.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what correspondence his Department has had with (a) Marie Stopes, (b) BPAS, (c) RCOG, and (d) CQC on (a) monitoring compliance of use of abortion pills at home with the practice of use before the end of 10 weeks' gestation and (b) recording the number of instances of prescription of those pills to women beyond that gestation period.

Abortion data is published annually and data for 2020 is not due to be published until 2021. The data requires full quality assurance prior to release. The Code of Practice outlined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 prohibits the pre-release of official statistics before the due date of publication.

The Department is carefully monitoring the impact of and compliance with the temporary approval of home administration of both sets of abortion medication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials have regular meetings with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Care Quality Commission and abortion service providers to discuss the impact and any issues arising.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, at what phase of the easing of covid-19 restrictions the Government plans to reverse the changes to abortion regulation made on 30 March 2020.

The measures were put in place to ensure that the vast majority of women and girls could continue to access abortion services whilst limiting COVID-19 transmission. This change was made on a temporary basis only and is time limited for two years, or until the pandemic is over. The Department is keeping under review when the temporary approval will be removed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women beyond 10 weeks' gestation have taken both sets of abortion pills in their home since 1 April 2020.

Abortion data is published annually and data for 2020 is not due to be published until 2021. The data requires full quality assurance prior to release. The Code of Practice outlined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 prohibits the pre-release of official statistics before the due date of publication.

The Department is carefully monitoring the impact of and compliance with the temporary approval of home administration of both sets of abortion medication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials have regular meetings with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Care Quality Commission and abortion service providers to discuss the impact and any issues arising.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to support the needs of (a) autistic people and (b) people with learning difficulties during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 15 April, we set out our comprehensive action plan to support the adult social care sector in England throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, including ramping up testing, overhauling the way personal protective equipment is being delivered to care homes and helping to minimise the spread of the virus to keep people safe.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published a range of guidance to support management of people with autism and learning disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak which has been updated throughout the pandemic at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/letter-responding-to-covid-19-mental-health-learning-disabilities-and-autism/

On 8 April, the Chancellor announced £750 million to support the charity sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22 May a further announcement was made which detailed the health and social care charities that would be in receipt of a further £22 million of that funding, which includes funding for learning disability and autism charities. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/22-million-awarded-to-life-saving-health-charities-during-virus-outbreak

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department undertook a risk assessment before issuing the March 2020 Approval of a Class of Places approval enabling at-home abortions.

Powers under the Abortion Act 1967 were used to temporarily approve women’s homes as a class of place where both abortion pills can be taken for early medical abortion following careful consideration of the risks and issues. In particular account was taken of social isolation and social distancing advice, that services were closing and appointments being cancelled. The measures were put in place to ensure that the vast majority of women and girls could continue to access abortion services whilst limiting COVID-19 transmission. In addition, access to abortion is an urgent matter as the procedure’s risk increases at later gestations and there are legal gestational limits for accessing services. This change was made on a temporary basis only and is time limited for two years, or until the pandemic is over.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is able to ensure that a woman prescribed both abortion pills (a) over the phone, (b) via video conference and (c) by other electronic means will consume (i) both pills and (ii) both pills in the manner required; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers have used powers under the Abortion Act 1967 to temporarily approve women’s homes as a class of place where both abortion pills can be taken for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation.

As part of their consultation prior to treatment commencing, women will be clearly informed that medical abortion is a two-stage process which requires the administration of Mifepristone followed by Misoprostol to successfully complete the procedure.

In addition, the taking of Misoprostol at home, a policy which has been in place since December 2018 and has not led to any identified clinical compliance or other concerns.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department plans to record any complications that result from at-home abortions; and whether the NHS will be required to report on the number of women that are admitted to hospital for complications after being prescribed (a) Mifepristone and (b) Misoprostol by telephone, video conference or other electronic means.

The Department is carefully monitoring the impact of home use of the administration of abortion medication which has been introduced as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complications are recorded on the HSA4 abortion notification form sent to the Chief Medical Officer. In addition, there is a statutory requirement for providers to notify the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in cases of serious injury. Providers should be reporting and escalating issues to the CQC, who will follow up directly with the provider as required. Patients presenting in a National Health Service setting unexpectedly, due to complications, should be highlighted to the relevant independent health provider and all cases should be reported on the Strategic Executive Information System. The CQC engages regularly with the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement on these matters.

The Required Standard Operating Procedures set out in the Department’s Procedures for the Approval of Independent Sector Places for the Termination of Pregnancy require that all providers should have in place a formal risk management system and keep a risk register to identify and minimise any risks to patients and staff.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that abortion clinics (i) report cases of suspected sexual abuse and exploitation, (ii) flag cases of underage girls being brought to their clinic for an abortion by the same unrelated adult and (iii) ensure that consent is properly obtained from minors; and if he will make a statement.

All abortion providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All providers must have policies and protocols in place for dealing with these groups. Health professionals are required to be competent in child protection and are expected to participate in regular training to update their skills. All clinical staff working in abortion services should be trained to at least level 3 of the intercollegiate framework, Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff. Providers should have protocols in place for obtaining consent and pathways and support for all women who lack capacity to consent. Officials meet regularly with abortion service providers and discuss a range of issues.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of abortion clinics licenced by his Department on ensuring that those clinics (a) report cases of suspected sexual abuse and exploitation, (b) flag cases of underage girls being brought to their clinic for abortion by the same unrelated adult, (c) ensure that consent is provided in writing by minors; and if he will make a statement.

All abortion providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All providers must have policies and protocols in place for dealing with these groups. Health professionals are required to be competent in child protection and are expected to participate in regular training to update their skills. All clinical staff working in abortion services should be trained to at least level 3 of the intercollegiate framework, Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff. Providers should have protocols in place for obtaining consent and pathways and support for all women who lack capacity to consent. Officials meet regularly with abortion service providers and discuss a range of issues.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department’s guidance allowing misoprostol to be taken at home, what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take in the next six months to ensure that (i) misoprostol is only given to the woman who wish to use it, and (ii) there is appropriate screening to ensure women are not being compelled to take misoprostol against their will; and if he will make a statement.

Medical abortion is a two-stage process which requires the administration of Mifepristone followed by Misoprostol to successfully complete the procedure. Misoprostol can only prescribed for home use when the woman has requested an early medical abortion and given her informed consent after being assessed by two doctors as meeting the legal grounds for termination of pregnancy as set out in the Abortion Act 1967. The first stage, Mifepristone, must continue to be administered in an National Health Service hospital or an approved independent sector clinic.

Safeguards are in place under the Department’s required standard operating procedures (RSOPs) for independent sector abortion providers to identify women and young girls who may feel coerced or endangered and enable them to raise their concerns in confidence. Guidance produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists outlines best clinical practice for medical abortion at home and safeguarding vulnerable women and young girls and is available at the following link:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/early-medical-abortion-at-home-guideline-england.pdf

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions officials in her Department have had with their counterparts in the Government of Nigeria on the human rights of Mubarak Bala.

The UK Government has followed Mr Bala's case closely, and has raised his case on multiple occasions with the Nigerian authorities, including following his recent sentencing. We believe that the right of individuals to express opinions is essential to a free and open society.

We are concerned by the severity and length of sentence received by Mr Bala at trial. The British High Commissioner has expressed these concerns to the Kano State Government and the Nigerian President's Chief of Staff. We will continue to follow developments in Mr Bala's case closely, and will continue to stress the importance of Mr Bala being treated in full accordance with his human rights, the rule of law, and the Nigerian constitutional right to freedom of religion or belief.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what her Department's budget is for the international conference to promote freedom of religion or belief due to take place in London in July 2022.

The UK-hosted International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in July 2022 will drive forward international efforts on this agenda and demonstrate the UK's leading role in supporting freedom and openness. This conference will allow us to use our global influence to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief for all internationally. Preparations for the conference are ongoing, including working with delivery partners to develop a comprehensive budget.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what her Department's objectives are for the international conference to promote freedom of religion or belief due to take place in London in July 2022.

The UK-hosted International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in July 2022 will drive forward international efforts on this agenda and demonstrate the UK's leading role in supporting freedom and openness. This conference will allow us to use our global influence to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief for all internationally. Preparations for the conference are ongoing, including consultations with our international and domestic partners to consider possible themes and outcomes.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make it her policy to make her Department's humanitarian programmes in Pakistan conditional on the Government of Pakistan's steps to protect freedom of religion or belief minority groups from forced conversions and marriages in that country.

We frequently raise the issues of freedom of religion or belief and human rights with the Government of Pakistan, including with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi. We press the Pakistan Government to honour its international commitments and obligations. UK aid in Pakistan targets the most marginalised and vulnerable communities, and we fund programmes that work to address discrimination against minorities and gender-based violence.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to Marie Stopes International over the last five years for spending overseas (a) in total and (b) on the provision of abortion.

(a) From January 2015 to December 2019 FCDO allocated a total of £240 million to Marie Stopes International (MSI), broken down as follows:

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

£38,808,563

£42,970,672

£47,347,033

£62,344,791

£48,686,615

Comparable figures beyond December 2019 are not yet available.

(b) As FCDO takes an integrated approach to our programming on sexual and reproductive health and rights, it is not possible to give a specific figure for our funding to MSI for the provision of safe abortion services.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the value of the (a) former HMRC property Custom House in the City of London and (b) land attached to that property.

HMRC still retain ownership of the freehold interest in Custom House, London. The advice they have received from external surveyors is that the value of their freehold interest is probably negligible as it is subject to an unexpired long lease on the property which is owned by Mapeley, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contractor. The value of the grant of the long leasehold interest was reflected in the PFI contractor’s bid price at the start of the contract.

HMRC understand that Mapeley have received an offer for their unexpired long leasehold interest in the property, subject to planning permission being granted, for the development of a hotel, but is not party to the details of that proposal. HMRC have no interest in, or information about, any additional land that may be proposed as part of a wider redevelopment of the area.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the rate of Gift Aid under an enhanced Gift Aid scheme to help civil society sector recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is fully committed to supporting charities through the Gift Aid regime. This relief is tied to the basic rate of tax paid by donors, currently at 20%, so can only be changed if the personal basic tax rate changes.

The Government recognises that the sector is experiencing significant pressures and has made available an unprecedented package of economic support, including a £750 million package specifically for charities.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made recent progress on temporarily housing asylum seekers at Catterick Garrison; and what recent estimate she has made of when that site will begin receiving asylum seekers.

The Home Office is considering a range of options to deliver accommodation requirements as part of the implementation of the Illegal Migration Act. Work is ongoing to bring forward accommodation at Catterick garrison as part of wider efforts to relieve pressure on the asylum system.

3rd Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department have made an assessment of potential radioactivity levels at the former RAF base at Scampton.

The Home Office will ensure that all accommodation is safe, habitable, fit for purpose and meets all regulatory requirements.

28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the potential cost per person per day of housing asylum seekers on former military bases.

Cost information is prospective and commercially sensitive, and as such is not available to be released.

24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 May 2023 to Question 183657 on RAF Scampton, for what reason the Material Safety Data Sheets will not be published publicly.

The Home Office do not publish health and safety documentation in relation to accommodation sites. Considerations and assessments will remain ongoing, and documentation may be released by the Home Office or other involved government departments if required.

11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department will take to maintain the runway at RAF Scampton in good working order while that site is being used to house asylum seekers.

The Government values the rich heritage at RAF Scampton and is committed to preserving and enhancing the heritage assets at the site. The Home Office will not be using any of the heritage assets, including the runway, within our accommodation plans.

The Home Office has undertaken extensive engagement with Historic England. We are creating an Operational Management Plan (OMP) which will set out clear actions and responsibilities to protect the heritage assets at RAF Scampton.

5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the works at the former RAF base at Scampton to accommodate asylum seekers, when those works will commence; when those works will be completed; and what effect those works will have on existing heritage assets on that site.

Physical works on site will begin shortly. The work required will be completed as soon as possible.

The Home Office recognises the importance of the rich heritage at RAF Scampton and is committed to preserving and enhancing the heritage assets at the site. We will not be using any of the heritage assets, including the runway within our accommodation plans.

The Home Office has undertaken significant engagement with Historic England. We will create an Operational Management Plan (OMP) which will set out clear actions and responsibilities to protect the heritage assets at RAF Scampton.

We are aware of a planning application submitted by the RAF. This is a matter solely for West Lindsey district council planning department. Whatever decision is taken we will respect, and if any heritage asset is left in our care we will take the necessary steps to protect it.

3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Material Safety Data Sheets for the disused buildings at the former RAF Scampton will be published publicly.

The Material Safety Data Sheets for RAF Scampton will not be published publicly.

28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the (a) proportionality of the balance between freedom of expression and assembly and public order and (b) effectiveness of public spaces protection orders around abortion clinics.

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, local authorities can impose Public Space Protection Orders to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space. A local authority may impose a Public Space Protection Order if satisfied on reasonable grounds that activities carried on in a public place have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.

Public Space Protection Orders have been imposed outside a number of abortion clinics, including in Ealing, Richmond, Manchester, Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Decisions regarding what restrictions are imposed are matters for local authorities, which are required to act compatibly with the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes the balancing of Articles 9, 10 and 11 with Article 8 rights. The enforcement of PSPOs is a matter for local authorities and the police.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the compatibility of the restrictions imposed by public spaces protection orders around abortion clinics with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, local authorities can impose Public Space Protection Orders to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space. A local authority may impose a Public Space Protection Order if satisfied on reasonable grounds that activities carried on in a public place have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.

Public Space Protection Orders have been imposed outside a number of abortion clinics, including in Ealing, Richmond, Manchester, Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Decisions regarding what restrictions are imposed are matters for local authorities, which are required to act compatibly with the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes the balancing of Articles 9, 10 and 11 with Article 8 rights. The enforcement of PSPOs is a matter for local authorities and the police.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential implications for her policies of the the fine imposed on Adam Smith-Connor in Bournemouth in December 2022; and whether she plans to have a discussion with the Attorney General on a review of the provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 relating to the power to make Public Space Protection Orders in respect of fundamental rights of freedom of thought and religion.

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, local authorities can impose Public Space Protection Orders to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space. A local authority may impose a Public Space Protection Order if satisfied on reasonable grounds that activities carried on in a public place have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.

Public Space Protection Orders have been imposed outside a number of abortion clinics, including in Ealing, Richmond, Manchester, Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Decisions regarding what restrictions are imposed are matters for local authorities, which are required to act compatibly with the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes the balancing of Articles 9, 10 and 11 with Article 8 rights. The enforcement of PSPOs is a matter for local authorities and the police.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether police forces receive training on methods of removing those who obstruct public highways and thoroughfares.

The actions being taken by the Insulate Britain (IB) group to block the M25 have caused major upheaval and disruption to the public. That is why we intend to use the PCSC Bill to increase the maximum penalty for obstruction of a highway from the current £1,000 fine to an unlimited fine, six months’ imprisonment, or both.

The police have extensive training programmes for dealing with public order, this includes tactics for removing those who are obstructing public highways and thoroughfares.

Each public order trained officer receives a concentrated training refresher at least once a year. Police forces have specialist “protester removal teams” who are trained to quickly and effectively remove those who are obstructing public highways and thoroughfares, and who will receive even more regular training.

Individual training packages are determined by police forces with guidance provided by the college of policing.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what feedback her Department has received on the quality of the manufacture and printing of new UK passports; and what estimate she has made of value for money in the award of the contract for the manufacture and printing of those passports.

The new British passport is a highly secure document containing some of the most sophisticated security technologies. Its components are rigorously tested to simulate normal passport handling over its ten-year lifespan.

Her Majesty's Passport Office undertakes routine quality assurance, and remains content the latest version of the British passport, including the personalisation process, continues to meet its requirements. The current contract to design, manufacture, and personalise the British passport continues to ensure good value for the taxpayer, with expected savings of approximately £140m compared to the previous contract awarded in 2009.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the disparity in per capita funding of police forces between urban and rural areas.

On the 4th February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21. This continued investment shows the Government is committed to supporting the entire policing sector.

The police funding formula remains the most reliable mechanism we have to distribute core grant funding although this Government is alive to the concerns many in the policing sector hold over the current formula and we acknowledge that the current arrangements are out of date. Careful consideration will be given during the upcoming Spending Review and as part of our longer-term vision for policing.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on a potential offer of asylum to Maira Shahbaz.

I am not able to provide specific information with regards to Maira Shahbaz’s case as it is a longstanding Government policy not to comment on individual cases. Departing from this policy may put individuals and their family members in danger.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. However, there is no provision within our Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to seek asylum or temporary refuge.

Whilst we sympathise with people in many difficult situations around the world, we are not bound to consider asylum claims from the very large numbers of people overseas who might like to come here. Those who need international protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety.

The UK Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan. Our concerns about such cases, as well as Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls’ rights and gender equality more broadly, are regularly raised with the Government of Pakistan.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent research her Department has undertaken into victims of sexual abuse and exploitation being forced to undergo abortions; and if she will make a statement.

Neither the Home Office nor the Department of Health and Social Care have commissioned research into coerced or forced abortions. All abortion providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All providers must have policies and protocols in place for dealing with these groups. Health professionals are required to be competent in child protection and are expected to participate in regular training to update their skills. All clinical staff working in abortion services should be trained to at least level 3 of the intercollegiate framework, Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff. Providers should have protocols in place for obtaining informed consent abortion including identifying women and girls who may feel coerced or endangered and enable them to raise their concerns in confidence.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were arrested for hate speech in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, and (c) 2018.

The term ‘hate speech’ does not have any legal meaning, nor does it relate to a criminal offence in the UK. For any example of hate speech to be treated as a hate crime it would need to meet the police and Crown Prosecution Service definition of a hate crime.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were arrested for praying in buffer zones around abortion clinics in 2018.

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of arrests for notifiable offences, conducted by each police force in England and Wales, on an annual basis.

Information on the number of arrests for praying in buffer zones around abortion clinics in 2018 is not held centrally, as it is not a notifiable offence.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of transferring RAF Scampton to the Home Department on the preservation of defence heritage.

The MInistry of Defence has had to make some difficult decisions to dispose of sites that have become surplus to military requirements in accordance with HM Treasury guidance on the management of surplus government land. Full consideration was given to the history and heritage of the site ahead of the decision to dispose, and plans to protect the heritage for future generations were put in place ahead of closure. These included relocating a number of heritage assets where appropriate, and ensuring the future owners are aware of their responsibilities in the preservation of all listed assets as is standard for all disposals. The responsibility of Scampton has now been officially transferred from the RAF to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, where the final processes will be completed before the site ownership is transferred to the Home Office, where it has been selected to temporarily house asylum seekers.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of using surplus accommodation on his Department's sites as temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees.

Formal approaches can be made to the Ministry of Defence for the leasing of void housing stock and requests made by Local Authorities for the use of military housing for Ukrainian refugee relocation and resettlement purposes are being handled in a similar way to the Defence Afghan Relocation and Resettlement Programme (ARAP). When formal requests are received for Defence to assist with accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, they are considered in line with Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) principles.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which RAF bases in the UK his Department has disposed of since 2000; how much each site was sold for; and to whom or what entity each was sold.

A copy of the information relating to those RAF locations where significant Ministry of Defence assets have been disposed of during the period in question is attached.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to ensure that flying space above and around RAF Scampton is preserved for the use of the RAF Aerobatic Team once his Department disposes of that site.

The Ministry of Defence has no requirements to preserve the restricted flying space above and around RAF Scampton for the use of the RAF Aerobatic Team and the site will be sold without any encumbrances.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what maintenance or other works have been undertaken on the defence estate in the last six months.

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost, as across every Ministry of Defence site maintenance tasks are carried out on a daily basis.

For example, Amey, who are responsible for the maintenance of Service Family Accommodation, carry out approximately 250,000 maintenance tasks per year under the National Housing Prime contract.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to progress the development of the RAF Scampton site; if he will engage with potential developers or purchasers for the site; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the disposal of the site is undertaken in such a way as to maximise public benefit for Lincolnshire.

RAF Scampton will be disposed of in accordance with Treasury guidelines following the closure of the site, which is currently planned for 2022. The Ministry of Defence is aware of the interest in the future of the site and will continue to engage with the local authority as plans develop.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Right hon. Member for East Hampshire representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, with reference to the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal press release published on 19 May 2020, what the names are of the people appointed to the expert team to examine the plans for the restoration.

On 19 May the Sponsor Body announced it would conduct a strategic review of the Restoration and Renewal Programme.

The review team will be led by the chief executives of the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority, Sarah Johnson and David Goldstone, who will be supported by infrastructure and programme management experts drawn from both organisations. The chairs of the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority, Liz Peace and Mike Brown, will also provide input.

As the review progresses input and challenge will be sought from within Parliament and externally.

The review is expected to conclude in the autumn and its findings will be considered by the Sponsor Body Board and the Commissions of both Houses in the first instance.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team plans to vacate RAF Scampton; and to which RAF base that Team will relocate.

As announced in July 2018, RAF Scampton is due to close in 2022. The future location of the Red Arrows is still being determined, with RAF Leeming, RAF Waddington and RAF Wittering identified as potential sites.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the results of the Land Quality Assessment for RAF Scampton.

The information requested will be placed in the Library of the House.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of closing places of worship during the covid-19 pandemic on people’s (a) physical and (b) mental health; and if he will make a statement.

Freedom of religion or belief and the freedom to worship are fundamental human rights.

That is why the decision to close our Places of Worship, alongside all other places where people gathered, was made with great reluctance in the very earliest stages of the pandemic.

Recognising the importance of our Places of Worship to the spiritual, mental and physical health of our communities, we worked hard to ensure that they were able to reopen as soon as possible.

Gradual reopening began in June 2020 when it was clear how risks to worshippers could be minimised and our Places of Worship were able to remain open for worshippers throughout the remainder of the pandemic.

Simon Hoare
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has for further devolution in England.

As the Chancellor set out at Autumn Statement, we remain committed to ensuring that every part of England that wants a devolution deal by 2030 will have one.

In addition to the four new devolution deals and deeper devolution offer announced last week, we have committed to consider whether level 2 powers and funding can be devolved to county councils that meet key criteria set out in the Levelling Up White Paper. We are also in advanced discussions with Devon and Torbay about a devolution deal there.

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to publish the report from the Independent Faith Engagement Review.

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to my answer to Question UIN 96636 on 30 November 2022.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he made of (a) the historical importance of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and (b) its potential viability as a commercial operation as part of his decision on the Whitechapel Bell Foundry site.

The decision to grant planning permission for the proposals at Whitechapel Bell Foundry was published on 13 May. The Secretary of State did not make this decision. In reaching his decision, the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government took into account a wide range of issues, based on the detailed findings of the Planning Inspector who held a public local inquiry into the case. The published decision letter sets out in detail the full reasoning and conclusions and, like all decisions, is published on the gov.uk website.

As the decision is final, unless challenged through the courts, the Government has no further jurisdiction in this matter and I am unable to give any further comment on the merits of the proposals.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with representatives of the (a) Society of Antiquaries,(b) Royal Astronomical Society, (c) Geological Society, (d) Linnean Society and (e) Ministers and officials in other Government departments on the future of the aforementioned learned societies at Burlington House.

Five Learned Societies are tenants of New Burlington House, owned by the Department. Following a High Court settlement, all parties agreed in 2005 that rent would increase to market levels over a period of 80 years. The Department clarified that the referenced rent is limited to reflect cultural and educational purposes, rather than commercial office rent. A market rental valuation was agreed between the Department and the Learned Societies; mostly recently in 2019. The Learned Societies currently pay around 30% of this agreed market rent and will not pay full market rent until 2085.

The Department is sympathetic to the Societies’ position and is exploring whether there is a solution that can deliver value for taxpayers and help the Learned Societies to remain at New Burlington House, and an assessment of value will be made as part of an agreement. The Department has been discussing options with the Learned Societies and DCMS given their responsibility for policy in regards to culture, museums and heritage.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the (a) covid-19 lockdown process on the human right to practice religion corporately and (b) ban on marriages during lockdown on the right to family life.

Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right, and one which underpins many of the others. The closure of our places of worship for communal prayer and for weddings is a step to be considered only in the most exceptional circumstances. However, our view is that this is a qualified right, subject to necessary limitations in the interest of public safety.

This includes the protection of health to protect the fundamental right to life of the population set out in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 2 remains the overriding concern for the protection of the nation’s health as a whole.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Places of Worship Taskforce was consulted on the announcement that communal worship will not be allowed during the new covid-19 lockdown.

The Places of Worship Taskforce met on 2 November. In addition, roundtables have been held with the country’s major faith groups to discuss the now published guidance.

Discussions with our faith groups at these meetings, as they have been throughout the pandemic, have proved to be extremely helpful in sharing information with our faith groups, as well as hearing of their concerns. We are very grateful to all members of the Taskforce for their support and understanding during these difficult times for our faith communities, and we will continue to draw on the expertise of the Taskforce members.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what consultations his Department has had with prison officers before raising their retirement age to 68.

Prior to 2007, the pension age within the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme was 60. In July 2007 Cabinet Office introduced a career average scheme for new entrants, which increased the normal pension age from 60 to 65. In designing the 2007 scheme, Cabinet Office did give consideration to the fact that the prison officer role was a physically demanding one, but they concluded that, as there were a number of other Civil Servants whose jobs were similarly demanding, that a lower pension age could not be justified compared to other scheme members. From 2015 the pension age in the Civil Service Pension Scheme was increased to reflect the State Penson Age of the member, after the recommendations made in the 2011 Hutton Report on the sustainability of public sector pensions.

We highly value our hardworking prison staff and offer access to medical professionals and an employee assistance programme to ensure continued physical and mental wellbeing. The pension age for Prison Officers is set under the Civil Service Pension Scheme, which is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office and consultation was undertaken by them.

I have met the Prison Officer’s Association for our introductory meeting at which a range of issues were raised, including pension age. I am meeting them in the new year to discuss this issue again.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the new edition of the Equal Treatment Bench Book, published in February 2021 and the Answer of 29 June 2021 to Question 19486, what legal advice was used to inform the information and guidance provided in Chapter 12 on Transgender People.

No assessment of the effect of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is made by the Ministry of Justice. To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College, which also produces the Equal Treatment Bench Book.

Fair treatment is a fundamental principle embedded in the judicial oath and the Equal Treatment Bench Book is compiled by the judiciary to provide general guidelines for judicial office holders to apply as appropriate in any particular case. It is reviewed by a judicial editorial panel, with content from judicial experts and information from subject experts. The identities of the principal contributors appear in the Acknowledgments. The external documentary sources relied upon by the editors of the Bench Book are set out in full in the footnotes.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 330 in Chapter 12 of the Equal Treatment Bench Book, what evidence exists to support the claim that It is important to be alive to the fact that the gender history of a person may be something an opponent litigant may seek to use in order to place pressure on them.

No assessment of the effect of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is made by the Ministry of Justice. To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College, which also produces the Equal Treatment Bench Book.

Fair treatment is a fundamental principle embedded in the judicial oath and the Equal Treatment Bench Book is compiled by the judiciary to provide general guidelines for judicial office holders to apply as appropriate in any particular case. It is reviewed by a judicial editorial panel, with content from judicial experts and information from subject experts. The identities of the principal contributors appear in the Acknowledgments. The external documentary sources relied upon by the editors of the Bench Book are set out in full in the footnotes.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference t to Chapter 12 of the Equal Treatment Bench Book, what assessment he has made of the effect on victims of violent and sexual assault of instances where those victims are instructed to use preferred pronouns instead of referring to their alleged attacker as a member of the sex that they experienced them to be.

No assessment of the effect of the Equal Treatment Bench Book is made by the Ministry of Justice. To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College, which also produces the Equal Treatment Bench Book.

Fair treatment is a fundamental principle embedded in the judicial oath and the Equal Treatment Bench Book is compiled by the judiciary to provide general guidelines for judicial office holders to apply as appropriate in any particular case. It is reviewed by a judicial editorial panel, with content from judicial experts and information from subject experts. The identities of the principal contributors appear in the Acknowledgments. The external documentary sources relied upon by the editors of the Bench Book are set out in full in the footnotes.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference the advice of Chapter 12 of the Equal Treatment Bench Book, what assessment has been made of the potential effect of the advice that the court may consider making reporting restrictions under section 4 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 to prevent disclosure of a transgender person’s previous name and transgender history or it may direct a private hearing on the freedom of the press.

To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice, the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College and are outside the remit of the Ministry of Justice which means that no assessment is undertaken by the Ministry of Justice of its effect.

The Equal Treatment Bench Book (ETBB), reviewed by a judicial editorial panel, with content from judicial experts and other subject experts including academics and external bodies, is a general guidance document designed to encourage effective communication between all court users. It is not legally binding on judges or court users, who are free to decide what is appropriate in any given set of circumstances.

The content referred to in chapter 12 reflects the current law in the Gender Recognition Act 2004 regarding the revealing of transgender history of applicants for a Gender Recognition Certificate. It is for individual judges to balance reporting restrictions with the requirements of open justice in any particular case involving a transgender person where transgender history is not at all relevant to the subject of the proceedings.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)