Fabian Hamilton Portrait

Fabian Hamilton

Labour - Leeds North East

Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

(since September 2020)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
10th Oct 2016 - 2nd Sep 2020
Shadow Minister (Defence)
10th Oct 2016 - 10th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
7th Jan 2016 - 4th Jul 2016
International Development Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 8th Feb 2016
Panel of Chairs
25th Jun 2015 - 11th Jan 2016
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
14th Jul 2015 - 1st Oct 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
24th Jun 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
International Development Committee
4th Feb 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
8th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls
24th Jun 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Mar 2008 - 6th May 2010
Foreign Affairs Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 6th May 2010
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Mar 2008 - 6th May 2010
Administration Committee
28th Jul 1997 - 11th May 2001


Department Event
Tuesday 6th September 2022
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Sep 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Monday 4th July 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 150 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 209 Noes - 282
Speeches
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Hong Kong Anniversaries
I absolutely and fully understand why the Minister cannot speculate about individuals, but will she reassure Members that she will …
Written Answers
Wednesday 6th July 2022
Refugees: Afghanistan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to make an assessment of the potential …
Early Day Motions
Monday 12th September 2016
PEACE AND RECONCILIATION IN CYPRUS
That this House congratulates all those involved in the work that has been invested in the Cyprus talks between Greek …
Bills
Wednesday 21st November 2018
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Consent) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 29th November 2021
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Cypriot House of Representatives (Parliament)
Address of donor: House of Representatives, 1402 Nicosia, Cyprus
Estimate of the …
EDM signed
Monday 28th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Fabian Hamilton has voted in 396 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Fabian Hamilton 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(8 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
(6 debate interactions)
Andrew Stephenson (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(2 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(2 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Fabian Hamilton has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Fabian Hamilton's debates

Leeds North East 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 Leeds North East signature proportion
Petitions with most Leeds North East signatures
Fabian Hamilton has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Fabian Hamilton

23rd March 2022
Fabian Hamilton signed this EDM on Monday 28th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
23rd September 2021
Fabian Hamilton signed this EDM on Monday 25th October 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 97
Scottish National Party: 16
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Fabian Hamilton's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Fabian Hamilton, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Fabian Hamilton

Thursday 20th January 2022

Fabian Hamilton has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Fabian Hamilton


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the person registering a marriage or civil partnership to attest the valid consent of both parties to the marriage or civil partnership before it is solemnized; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st November 2018
(Read Debate)

Fabian Hamilton has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


214 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
3 Other Department Questions
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many applications to sponsor refugees have been made via the Homes For Ukraine Scheme by households in Leeds North East constituency as of 1 June 2022.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities how many people have used the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to settle in the Leeds Local Authority Area.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he is taking steps to (a) end Section 21 evictions and (b) ensure no other route is created for no fault evictions.

The Government is committed to bringing in a Better Deal for Renters to deliver a fairer and more effective rental market that works for both tenants and landlords, which includes taking steps to end Section 21 evictions.

We will publish a White Paper in 2022 detailing our plans for reform of the private rented sector, and we are working with stakeholders from across the sector to inform this. It will provide further detail on repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to improve security for tenants by putting an end to evictions where the landlord doesn't have to provide a reason.

At the same time, we must ensure landlords have the tools they need to gain possession of their property when they have a valid reason to do so. Through the Bill, we will strengthen the rights of landlords to recover their properties when it is necessary and fair, including when they want to sell or move into the property themselves.

This represents a generational change in the law that governs private renting, and it is only right that our legislation considers the impact of the pandemic and is a balanced set of reforms which improves the private rented market.

We will bring forward legislation in due course and when parliamentary time allows.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March 2022 to Question 143578, whether the updated guidance in the Public Contracts Regulations will explicitly incorporate provisions for UK incorporated companies operating globally, to help ensure adequate protections for citizens of foreign nations, particularly in Latin America.

The Regulations require contracting authorities to exclude bidders where they have established by verification or are otherwise aware that the bidder has been convicted of certain offences. These include offences related to participation in a criminal organisation, corruption, fraud, terrorist offences, money laundering or terrorist financing, and child labour and other forms of trafficking in human beings. These requirements apply both to convictions in the UK and equivalent convictions overseas. In certain circumstances, civil matters may be relevant to the discretionary exclusion grounds, for example, grave professional misconduct which renders the supplier’s integrity questionable.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure Government contracts are not granted to companies that are complicit in serious human rights abuses.

The Cabinet Office published in Procurement Policy Note 05/19 comprehensive commercial policy and guidance to identify and tackle modern slavery and labour abuse risks throughout the commercial life cycle. This advocates a risk based approach and applies to central government, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies. Other public sector contracting authorities may wish to apply the approach set out in this PPN.

This is being updated to strengthen the guidance on using the existing grounds in the Public Contracts Regulations for excluding suppliers and will set out enhanced due diligence activities. This will be published in due course.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the most recent annual review for the (a) Colombia Peace Programme and (b) Peru and Colombia: Serious Organised Crime Programme.

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

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to amend Section 414C of the Companies Act and to ensure that companies do not inadvertently allow corporate directors to conceal or otherwise diminish the impacts of corporate negligence judged to be immaterial by the Financial Reporting Council Conduct Committee.

The directors of a company have a duty to prepare a strategic report and are responsible for its contents and their judgements. The auditor is required to review the strategic report and, based on the work done during the audit of the accounts, to state whether information in the strategic report is consistent with the accounts and has been prepared in accordance with applicable legal requirements. Both the directors and the auditor are accountable to the shareholders of the company for the contents of the strategic report.

The Financial Reporting Council, through its Supervision Committee, reviews the annual reports of public and large private companies for compliance with the law. The FRC’s corporate reporting review work does not duplicate the role of directors or auditors. Directors are responsible for the judgements in the strategic report, not the FRC’s Supervision Committee.

The Government will publish a post-implementation review of non-financial reporting regulations shortly. The post implementation review will cover both the 2013 regulations, which introduced the requirement for a strategic report, and the 2016 regulations requiring reporting on environmental, social and community matters, applicable to large Public Interest Entities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to make companies licensed in the UK legally accountable for failing to prevent (a) human rights abuses and (b) environmental damage in their (i) operations and (ii) supply chains.

The UK has a strong record on human rights and environmental awareness and protection, much of which results from our framework of legislation. The UK already requires companies to undertake due diligence on sustainability matters under existing legislation on corporate transparency. UK listed companies are required to report on relevant environmental, social and governance aspects in their annual reports. Large businesses are also required to publish supply chain transparency statements on steps they have taken to ensure that no modern slavery or human trafficking is taking place in their business or through their supply chains. Both reporting requirements compel disclosure of a company’s due diligence arrangements where these are in place.

In certain circumstances, companies can already be held liable for breaches of duties of care to others where harm is suffered as a foreseeable consequence of the breach.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to transition the UK energy sector to sustainable energy sources, such as wind, tidal or hydro, following sanctions on the Russian Government.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the Government’s flagship scheme for supporting new low-carbon electricity generation projects in Great Britain. The latest auction is underway and aims to secure more low-carbon electricity capacity than the previous three rounds combined, supporting an expanded number of renewable technologies, including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, tidal stream and floating offshore wind. In February, the Government also announced that the next CfD allocation round will be brought forward to March 2023, and future rounds will run annually, rather than every two years, thereafter. These steps will help drive forward the deployment of renewable power.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to facilitate community renewable energy generation; what assessment he has made of the potential for the provisions in the Local Electricity Bill to achieve that; and whether he plans to support that Bill.

The Government is committed to achieving its net zero target by 2050 and is supportive of community energy, recognising the valuable role that community and locally owned renewable energy projects can and do, play in supporting our efforts to decarbonise the economy. The Government understands the role of community energy in raising awareness, increasing participation and, promoting the behaviour change necessary if we are to achieve both net-zero and a green recovery.

While the Government agrees with the broad intentions of what the Local Electricity Bill seeks to achieve and wants to see more local energy schemes as part of delivering a net-zero energy system, it does not support the Bill as the means to enable local energy supply.

The right to local energy supply already exists under the Electricity Act 1989 and Ofgem, the independent energy regulator, has existing flexibility to award supply licences that are restricted to specified geographies and/or specified types of premises. Changing the licensing framework to suit specific business models risks creating wider distortions elsewhere in the energy system, which could increase costs for other consumers and further unintended consequences.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the impact of potential solar storms on the UK's energy infrastructure.

On the 27th September 2021, the Government published the Severe Space Weather Preparedness Strategy. This sets out a 5-year roadmap to enhance our understanding of severe space weather, its impacts to UK energy infrastructure, and the UK’s ability to forecast events, respond and recover from them quickly. The Strategy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-severe-space-weather-preparedness-strategy

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in the context of the recent success of UK cyclists at the 2022 UCI Cycli-cross World Championships, whether her Department (a) has provided and (b) plans to provide support to enable a round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup to take place in the UK in the near future.

The government, through UK Sport, provides funding towards the staging of major sporting events in line with the Gold Framework guidance on UK-level support available when bidding for and staging major sporting events.

Given that Cyclo-cross is currently not an Olympic or Paralympic discipline, it is unlikely to be eligible for this type of funding (unless taking place as part of an event covering multiple cycling disciplines).

However, UK Sport does have regular contact with British Cycling about their event-hosting ambitions and is supporting the staging of the combined UCI World Championships in Glasgow in 2023

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that covid-19 related funding allocated to cultural organisations is distributed equitably.

Rigorous criteria have rightly been applied to all applications made to the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), to ensure we are supporting organisations that have national and local importance, and those that play a key role in the levelling up agenda. Additionally, decisions on larger grant payments have been scrutinised by the independent CRF Board. The Board also takes decisions on the repayable finance element of the Fund. This adds additional assurance that funding decisions are fair and unbiased.

To date over £500 million has been allocated to over 2,000 organisations across England, and 70 per cent of the latest round of Culture Recovery funding was awarded outside London.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help women on maternity leave return to work in the event that they are finding it difficult to meet childcare costs.

The cost of childcare is a key concern for parents, which is why the government has made an investment in childcare over the past decade, with over £3.5 billion spent in each of the past three years on the department’s early education entitlements.

The department has also introduced Tax-Free Childcare, which is available for working parents of children aged 0-11 (or up to 16 if their child has a disability). This scheme can save parents up to £2,000 per year (or up to £4,000 for children with disabilities) from their childcare costs.

Working parents on a low income, including those returning from maternity leave, may also be eligible for help with up to 85% of their childcare costs through the childcare element of Universal Credit. This is subject to a monthly limit of £646 for one child or £1108 for two or more children aged 0-16.

The government’s range of childcare offers includes 15 hours free early education for all three- and four-year-olds, regardless of parental income or working status. This helps children to develop social skills and prepare them for school, regardless of their background.

Working parents of three- and four-year-olds may also be eligible for an additional 15 hours of free childcare, known as 30 hours free childcare. To be eligible for 30 hours free childcare, a lone parent must earn from just over £7,400 a year, and a couple, where both parents are working, from just over £14,800 per year, to access 30 hours.

Parents can usually continue accessing, and applying for, 30 hours free childcare if they are on paid maternity leave. If parents are on unpaid maternity leave, they can apply for 30 hours free childcare (for their 3- or 4-year-old) 31 days before their expected return to work date.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure (a) collaboration and (b) information sharing between (i) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), (ii) GPs and (iii) adoption support workers providing care to children with mental health issues.

Foster parents and adoptive parents receive support in different ways, as their roles and responsibilities differ. Foster parents look after children on behalf of a local authority, and decision-making for the child is shared. Adopters become the child’s new permanent legal parents and make all parental decisions.

We are committed to ensuring foster parents get appropriate recognition, support and training. In July 2018, we published ‘Fostering Better Outcomes’, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for improving the outcomes and experiences of children in foster care.

The government’s adoption strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence Everywhere’ (July 2021), sets out a vision to support Regional Adoption Agency leaders to secure adopters who are well-prepared to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It also commits to the development of national standards for adoption support services.

Adoptive parents can access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions from mainstream NHS services. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides support to help adoptive children and families overcome earlier trauma, such as through psychotherapy, family and creative therapies. The ASF has supported nearly 40,000 children to date, and we are investing a further £144 million over the next 3 years.

Most children are adopted before they reach school age, but we recognise the need to support children both before and after adoption. We are seeking to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and have committed to fund training for all senior mental health leads by 2025.

Looked-after children of school age going through the adoption process are also entitled to support from designated teachers and the local authority virtual school heads. The child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) will include support when a child has a plan for permanence, such as through adoption. The PEP will identify developmental needs, including any related to attachment and past trauma, and outline support for any mental health needs.

The adoption strategy sets out an ambition that all Regional Adoption Agencies will have strong education policies, working with local virtual school heads and designated teachers to use the best practice to drive high quality support for adopted children in schools across the country.

To support better collaboration and information sharing between health services and local authorities, the adoption strategy sets out a commitment to build on the success of the two current Regional Adoption Agency Centres of Excellence. We will be providing funding to other Regional Adoption Agencies to develop Centres that provide joined up assessment and packages of support across children’s social care, education, and health, including better access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted is responsible for independent inspection of the effectiveness of local authority children’s social care services. Ofsted’s inspection framework includes consideration of permanence arrangements for children who are looked after, including adoption. Ofsted also reviews the effectiveness of leadership and management, and the quality of professional practice.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools on providing (a) social, (b) emotional and (c) mental health support to children going through the adoption process.

Foster parents and adoptive parents receive support in different ways, as their roles and responsibilities differ. Foster parents look after children on behalf of a local authority, and decision-making for the child is shared. Adopters become the child’s new permanent legal parents and make all parental decisions.

We are committed to ensuring foster parents get appropriate recognition, support and training. In July 2018, we published ‘Fostering Better Outcomes’, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for improving the outcomes and experiences of children in foster care.

The government’s adoption strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence Everywhere’ (July 2021), sets out a vision to support Regional Adoption Agency leaders to secure adopters who are well-prepared to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It also commits to the development of national standards for adoption support services.

Adoptive parents can access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions from mainstream NHS services. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides support to help adoptive children and families overcome earlier trauma, such as through psychotherapy, family and creative therapies. The ASF has supported nearly 40,000 children to date, and we are investing a further £144 million over the next 3 years.

Most children are adopted before they reach school age, but we recognise the need to support children both before and after adoption. We are seeking to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and have committed to fund training for all senior mental health leads by 2025.

Looked-after children of school age going through the adoption process are also entitled to support from designated teachers and the local authority virtual school heads. The child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) will include support when a child has a plan for permanence, such as through adoption. The PEP will identify developmental needs, including any related to attachment and past trauma, and outline support for any mental health needs.

The adoption strategy sets out an ambition that all Regional Adoption Agencies will have strong education policies, working with local virtual school heads and designated teachers to use the best practice to drive high quality support for adopted children in schools across the country.

To support better collaboration and information sharing between health services and local authorities, the adoption strategy sets out a commitment to build on the success of the two current Regional Adoption Agency Centres of Excellence. We will be providing funding to other Regional Adoption Agencies to develop Centres that provide joined up assessment and packages of support across children’s social care, education, and health, including better access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted is responsible for independent inspection of the effectiveness of local authority children’s social care services. Ofsted’s inspection framework includes consideration of permanence arrangements for children who are looked after, including adoption. Ofsted also reviews the effectiveness of leadership and management, and the quality of professional practice.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing an independent body to investigate the conduct of local authorities during the adoption process.

Foster parents and adoptive parents receive support in different ways, as their roles and responsibilities differ. Foster parents look after children on behalf of a local authority, and decision-making for the child is shared. Adopters become the child’s new permanent legal parents and make all parental decisions.

We are committed to ensuring foster parents get appropriate recognition, support and training. In July 2018, we published ‘Fostering Better Outcomes’, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for improving the outcomes and experiences of children in foster care.

The government’s adoption strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence Everywhere’ (July 2021), sets out a vision to support Regional Adoption Agency leaders to secure adopters who are well-prepared to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It also commits to the development of national standards for adoption support services.

Adoptive parents can access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions from mainstream NHS services. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides support to help adoptive children and families overcome earlier trauma, such as through psychotherapy, family and creative therapies. The ASF has supported nearly 40,000 children to date, and we are investing a further £144 million over the next 3 years.

Most children are adopted before they reach school age, but we recognise the need to support children both before and after adoption. We are seeking to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and have committed to fund training for all senior mental health leads by 2025.

Looked-after children of school age going through the adoption process are also entitled to support from designated teachers and the local authority virtual school heads. The child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) will include support when a child has a plan for permanence, such as through adoption. The PEP will identify developmental needs, including any related to attachment and past trauma, and outline support for any mental health needs.

The adoption strategy sets out an ambition that all Regional Adoption Agencies will have strong education policies, working with local virtual school heads and designated teachers to use the best practice to drive high quality support for adopted children in schools across the country.

To support better collaboration and information sharing between health services and local authorities, the adoption strategy sets out a commitment to build on the success of the two current Regional Adoption Agency Centres of Excellence. We will be providing funding to other Regional Adoption Agencies to develop Centres that provide joined up assessment and packages of support across children’s social care, education, and health, including better access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted is responsible for independent inspection of the effectiveness of local authority children’s social care services. Ofsted’s inspection framework includes consideration of permanence arrangements for children who are looked after, including adoption. Ofsted also reviews the effectiveness of leadership and management, and the quality of professional practice.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to enable adopted children to access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions.

Foster parents and adoptive parents receive support in different ways, as their roles and responsibilities differ. Foster parents look after children on behalf of a local authority, and decision-making for the child is shared. Adopters become the child’s new permanent legal parents and make all parental decisions.

We are committed to ensuring foster parents get appropriate recognition, support and training. In July 2018, we published ‘Fostering Better Outcomes’, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for improving the outcomes and experiences of children in foster care.

The government’s adoption strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence Everywhere’ (July 2021), sets out a vision to support Regional Adoption Agency leaders to secure adopters who are well-prepared to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It also commits to the development of national standards for adoption support services.

Adoptive parents can access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions from mainstream NHS services. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides support to help adoptive children and families overcome earlier trauma, such as through psychotherapy, family and creative therapies. The ASF has supported nearly 40,000 children to date, and we are investing a further £144 million over the next 3 years.

Most children are adopted before they reach school age, but we recognise the need to support children both before and after adoption. We are seeking to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and have committed to fund training for all senior mental health leads by 2025.

Looked-after children of school age going through the adoption process are also entitled to support from designated teachers and the local authority virtual school heads. The child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) will include support when a child has a plan for permanence, such as through adoption. The PEP will identify developmental needs, including any related to attachment and past trauma, and outline support for any mental health needs.

The adoption strategy sets out an ambition that all Regional Adoption Agencies will have strong education policies, working with local virtual school heads and designated teachers to use the best practice to drive high quality support for adopted children in schools across the country.

To support better collaboration and information sharing between health services and local authorities, the adoption strategy sets out a commitment to build on the success of the two current Regional Adoption Agency Centres of Excellence. We will be providing funding to other Regional Adoption Agencies to develop Centres that provide joined up assessment and packages of support across children’s social care, education, and health, including better access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted is responsible for independent inspection of the effectiveness of local authority children’s social care services. Ofsted’s inspection framework includes consideration of permanence arrangements for children who are looked after, including adoption. Ofsted also reviews the effectiveness of leadership and management, and the quality of professional practice.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide equal support to foster parents and adoptive parents including through provision of (a) training, (b) respite and (c) financial support.

Foster parents and adoptive parents receive support in different ways, as their roles and responsibilities differ. Foster parents look after children on behalf of a local authority, and decision-making for the child is shared. Adopters become the child’s new permanent legal parents and make all parental decisions.

We are committed to ensuring foster parents get appropriate recognition, support and training. In July 2018, we published ‘Fostering Better Outcomes’, which sets out our ambitions and priorities for improving the outcomes and experiences of children in foster care.

The government’s adoption strategy, ‘Achieving Excellence Everywhere’ (July 2021), sets out a vision to support Regional Adoption Agency leaders to secure adopters who are well-prepared to meet the needs of children waiting for adoption. It also commits to the development of national standards for adoption support services.

Adoptive parents can access medical support and treatment for mental health conditions from mainstream NHS services. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides support to help adoptive children and families overcome earlier trauma, such as through psychotherapy, family and creative therapies. The ASF has supported nearly 40,000 children to date, and we are investing a further £144 million over the next 3 years.

Most children are adopted before they reach school age, but we recognise the need to support children both before and after adoption. We are seeking to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges and have committed to fund training for all senior mental health leads by 2025.

Looked-after children of school age going through the adoption process are also entitled to support from designated teachers and the local authority virtual school heads. The child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) will include support when a child has a plan for permanence, such as through adoption. The PEP will identify developmental needs, including any related to attachment and past trauma, and outline support for any mental health needs.

The adoption strategy sets out an ambition that all Regional Adoption Agencies will have strong education policies, working with local virtual school heads and designated teachers to use the best practice to drive high quality support for adopted children in schools across the country.

To support better collaboration and information sharing between health services and local authorities, the adoption strategy sets out a commitment to build on the success of the two current Regional Adoption Agency Centres of Excellence. We will be providing funding to other Regional Adoption Agencies to develop Centres that provide joined up assessment and packages of support across children’s social care, education, and health, including better access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Ofsted is responsible for independent inspection of the effectiveness of local authority children’s social care services. Ofsted’s inspection framework includes consideration of permanence arrangements for children who are looked after, including adoption. Ofsted also reviews the effectiveness of leadership and management, and the quality of professional practice.

21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will takes steps to help ensure local authority accountability in cases where full mental health information is not disclosed to adoptive parents prior to adoption.

Adoption regulations, supported by statutory guidance, provide for a full range of information to be gathered about a child where adoption is considered to be the most appropriate permanence option. The child’s permanence report, which is shared with prospective adopters, must include a summary of the child’s current physical and mental health written by the relevant medical adviser. It is in the best interests of children that all accurate information, where known, is shared with adoptive families.

Where an adopter believes that this has not happened, they can make a complaint under the local authority published complaints procedure. If someone is dissatisfied with the response they get from their local authority they can refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

As part of the implementation of the government’s adoption strategy, achieving excellence everywhere, the department will work with regional adoption agencies to ensure all adopters are given all the health information about the child they will be adopting.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that parents in higher education are eligible for childcare grants through Student Finance England.

The government recognises the value of parents continuing in, or returning to education, and provides support to those enrolled in recognised education courses. Eligible student parents may be able to claim for the Childcare Grant, which offers parents support with up to 85% of their childcare costs depending on their household income.

The maximum Childcare Grant for the 2021/22 academic year is:

  • Up to £179.62 a week for one child.
  • Up to £307.95 a week for two or more children.
Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government's criteria for parents in full time higher education to access childcare grants is the same as the criteria set out by Student Finance England.

Eligibility criteria for the childcare grant (CCG) are set out here: https://www.gov.uk/childcare-grant/eligibility. Student Finance England administers the grant in accordance with the regulations on behalf of the government. CCG pays 85% of the actual cost of registered or approved childcare throughout the academic year, during term time, short vacations and the longest vacation.

Students who are potentially eligible for CCG are single parents who are students, student couples with children and student parents with a partner on a low income.

CCG is available in respect of an academic year in which the student incurs prescribed childcare charges for:

  • a dependent child who is under the age of 15 immediately before the beginning of the academic year, or
  • a dependent child who has special educational needs within the meaning of section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and is under the age of 17 immediately before the beginning of the academic year.
Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives of (a) Ofqual and (b) other parties on the introduction date for the proposed GCSE in British Sign Language.

The department is continuing to work closely with subject experts to develop draft subject content for a British Sign Language GCSE. We are also working with Ofqual to ensure the subject content can be assessed appropriately. We are aiming to consult publicly on the draft subject content in early 2022.

Once final subject content is published, it will be for individual exam boards to decide whether to develop a GCSE in British Sign Language, which would then need to be accredited by Ofqual. It is not possible at this stage to know how long that process might take and, therefore, when a new GCSE might be introduced.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timescale is for subject experts and Ofqual to develop draft subject content for the proposed GCSE in British Sign Language.

The department is continuing to work closely with subject experts to develop draft subject content for a British Sign Language GCSE. We are also working with Ofqual to ensure the subject content can be assessed appropriately. We are aiming to consult publicly on the draft subject content in early 2022.

Once final subject content is published, it will be for individual exam boards to decide whether to develop a GCSE in British Sign Language, which would then need to be accredited by Ofqual. It is not possible at this stage to know how long that process might take and, therefore, when a new GCSE might be introduced.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans for the public consultation to be held on the content of the proposed GCSE in British Sign Language.

The department is continuing to work closely with subject experts to develop draft subject content for a British Sign Language GCSE. We are also working with Ofqual to ensure the subject content can be assessed appropriately. We are aiming to consult publicly on the draft subject content in early 2022.

Once final subject content is published, it will be for individual exam boards to decide whether to develop a GCSE in British Sign Language, which would then need to be accredited by Ofqual. It is not possible at this stage to know how long that process might take and, therefore, when a new GCSE might be introduced.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure Muslim students are able to access student loans without contradicting their religious beliefs on interest.

I refer the hon. Member for Leeds North East to the answer I gave on 9 June 2021 to Question 10312.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding from the taxpayers purse was spent on Military Ethos programmes in each year since 2013.

The Military Ethos in Schools Programme was launched by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, in 2012. It comprised of three distinct work strands: the Cadet Expansion Programme, which was run jointly with the Ministry of Defence to create new cadet units in state schools; Troops to Teachers, to attract ex-service personnel into teaching; and military ethos alternative provision, which aimed to raise educational attainment and improve behaviour and attendance for children and young people at risk of exclusion.

The Department funded the Troops to Teachers and military ethos alternative provision work streams. The Troops to Teachers programme was replaced in 2018 by the Troops to Teachers undergraduate initial teacher training (ITT) bursary. This bursary offers undergraduate service leavers £40,000 over two years to train as a secondary school teacher in mathematics, physics, computing or modern foreign languages. It should be noted that graduate service leavers can complete postgraduate ITT, therefore data regarding expenditure on the Troops to Teachers undergraduate ITT bursary does not encompass all service leavers entering teaching.

The Cadet Expansion Programme was funded jointly by the Department for Education and the Ministry of Defence between 2012 to 2015. From 2015 to 2020, the Government used £50 million of the London Inter-bank Offered Rate funding to further increase the number of cadet units in schools.

A yearly breakdown starting from the financial year 2012/13, detailing all three Military Ethos in Schools Programmes, is provided in the attached table.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government's decision to remove home student status from EU students will not adversely affect UK universities income.

As a consequence of EU exit, the UK will no longer have a justification to provide home fee status and student support to EU nationals. It is therefore right that EU students, other than those from Ireland, should in future be treated the same as other international students. Students from Ireland will be able to access student support on a reciprocal basis through the Common Travel Area arrangement. We now look forward to being truly open to the rest of the world.

EU citizens and their family members starting courses in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support for the duration of their course.

International students make a vital contribution to UK universities. Our institutions thrive on being global institutions and will always be open to international students, including the thousands of highly valued EU students that study at UK universities each year.

The government is committed to continuing to improve our UK’s world-class offer to international students, which is why we have announced the new graduate route, to be introduced in summer 2021. The graduate route will be simple and light-touch and will permit graduates at undergraduate and masters level to remain in the UK for 2 years and PhD graduates to remain in the UK for 3 years after they have finished their studies and to work or look for work at any skill level - a significant improvement in our offer.

The UK’s new International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, will assist with opening up export growth opportunities for the whole UK education sector, which will include attracting EU students to UK universities. The government is also working alongside stakeholders to support students and the UK higher education (HE) workforce to manage the transition period. This involves working to solidify existing and establish important new global relationships and promoting an open and welcoming message to all international – EU and non-EU – students wishing to come to the UK to study at our world-class education institutions.

The government has acted to help HE providers deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19 through the combination of the HE stabilisation package announced on 4 May which reprofiled public funding and introduced measures to stabilise admissions, the broader government-backed business support schemes and the research stabilisation package announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 27 June.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government's decision to remove home student status from Cypriot students will not deter Cypriots from attending university and further education in the UK.

International students make a vital contribution to UK universities. Our institutions thrive on being global institutions and will always be open to international students – this includes the thousands of highly valued Cypriot students, as well as EU students, who study at UK universities each year.

The government will also be implementing the new graduate route in summer 2021 to support providers in attracting overseas students. This will allow international students in the UK who are on a Tier 4 visa at the time it is introduced the options to stay and work in the UK at any skill level for 2 years.

EU citizens and their family members who start courses in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support or an Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England as well as further education funding for students aged 19 and over for the full duration of their course provided that they meet the residency requirements.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support the Government is providing to students who are no longer occupying their accommodation but who are still being required to pay rent.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19. We expect universities to communicate clearly with residential students on rents for this period and administer accommodation provision in a fair manner.

Students will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the current 2019/20 academic year. Many higher education (HE) providers will have hardship funds to support students in times of need, including emergencies. The expectation is that, where any student requires additional support, providers will support them through their own hardship funds. As part of the HE stabilisation package, the government has worked closely with the Office for Students to help clarify that providers can draw upon existing funding to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. Providers are able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April through to July, towards student hardship funds, including for the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

A number of universities and large companies have waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts. Students who are tenants with individual private landlords can discuss the possibility of an early release from their lease. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay their rent, support is available: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. In the first instance, a student should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context tenants and landlords are encouraged to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme. If a student thinks that their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/; https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and: https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

Information published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gives guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak’s effects on consumer contracts and may be helpful to students, including those who have already paid deposits for accommodation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds.

The guidance sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and to help businesses treat their customers fairly. Students may be entitled to refunds from certain accommodation providers depending on the terms of their contract and their particular circumstances. If students need help, organisations such as Citizens Advice offer a free service, providing information and support.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance the Government is giving landlords of student accommodation on collecting rent on unoccupied accommodation.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

We expect universities to communicate clearly with residential students on rents for this period and to administer accommodation provision in a fair manner.

While it is for universities and private accommodation providers to make their own decisions about charging rents to absent students, we encourage them to consider the fairness of doing so and to clearly communicate their policies to students. We are aware that a number of universities and large companies have waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.

Students who are tenants with individual private landlords can discuss the possibility of an early release from their lease. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay their rent, support is available: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. In the first instance, a student should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context, tenants and landlords are encouraged to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme.

Information published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gives guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak’s effects on consumer contracts and may be helpful to students, including those who have already paid deposits for accommodation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds.

The guidance sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and to help businesses treat their customers fairly. Students may be entitled to refunds from certain accommodation providers depending on the terms of their contract and their particular circumstances. If students need help, organisations such as Citizens Advice offer a free service, providing information and support.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/; https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

To support landlords who are experiencing a temporary loss of income, mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to 3 months where this is needed due to COVID-19-related hardship, including for buy-to-let mortgages. On 2 June, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that borrowers can apply for an extension to any holiday already taken while extending the window for new applications to 31 October. Landlords should contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if the payment holiday is a suitable option for them.

We have also amended the COVID-19 regulations to make clear that people who wish to move home can do so. Landlords can now advertise and let properties where they are empty or where the current tenants have agreed to move. Landlords are also encouraged to contact their local authority homelessness departments or private rented sector procurement team who can discuss renting their property to a homeless household, which may guarantee an income during this time.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the Jewish community is able to continue performing Shechita.

The Government is committed to protecting the rights of Jews to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. This includes slaughtering animals by the shechita method. This is a fundamental issue of religious freedom and belief, which the Government upholds.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the Jewish community's supply of kosher meat is uninterrupted.

The Government is committed to protecting the rights of the Jewish community to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. This is a fundamental issue of religious freedom and belief, which the Government upholds. As the global economy has rebounded from the pandemic, we have seen pressures placed on supply chains across sectors and across countries. The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges and we have been taking decisive action to ease these pressures where immediate interventions have been required, including making available temporary visas in some sectors such as HGV drivers and the poultry sector. We have well-established ways of working with the food industry to address potential food supply chain disruptions and that hasn’t changed. As such we are confident the supply of kosher meat will continue uninterrupted.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications of the killing of 43 people by police in Colombia during protests in April and May 2021 for the UK-Andean trade agreement.

We have raised our concerns with all levels of government in Colombia regarding human rights violations. We welcome the Colombian government’s commitment to transparent investigations into all allegations of excessive use of force, and to take appropriate action against those responsible.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK arms sold to Colombia are not being used against the civilian population.

Arms exports require an export licence, and all export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

The Consolidated Criteria take into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. They provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. These are not decisions we take lightly and HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk, that the items might be used for internal repression.

In addition, HM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated Criteria.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will publish the risk assessment it carried out on the use of Lithium-ion batteries in buses.

Before a vehicle can be sold or registered in the UK, vehicle manufacturers must demonstrate compliance with a broad range of technical construction requirements. The majority of these requirements are established at an international level through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, in which the Department is an active member. Electric vehicles, including buses which use lithium-ion batteries, are subject to specific provisions regulating their electrical systems and batteries to protect passengers, emergency services personnel and other users from harm. The risks for electric vehicles, however, are different to traditional vehicles and need to be understood and controlled. The safety of electric vehicles is of paramount importance to the Government, and working with experts, we keep it under regular review.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government carried out comparative fuel economy trials for the change from E5 unleaded petrol to E10; and if he will make a statement.

Comparative fuel economy trials were not commissioned by the Department.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to convert more motorways to smart motorways.

Since assuming office, the Secretary of State’s focus has been to ensure that Smart Motorways are safer than conventional motorways, committing an additional £500 million in infrastructure, technology and communications to make these roads safer.

We welcome the Transport Select Committee (TSC) report Rollout and safety of smart motorways, published on 2 November 2021, scrutiny and will now consider its recommendations in detail, providing a formal response in due course. This is a serious piece of work which we will engage with closely in the months ahead. We are pleased that the TSC recognises that reinstating the hard shoulder on all all-lane running motorways could put more drivers and passengers at risk of death and serious injury and that we are right to focus on upgrading their safety.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact on CO2 emissions of the change from E5 unleaded petrol to E10.

E10 petrol (petrol containing up to 10% bioethanol) was introduced as the standard petrol across Great Britain in September. The impact assessment published alongside the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) and the Biofuel (Labelling) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021, which introduced E10, estimates that the change from E5 unleaded petrol to E10 is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 0.7 to 0.8 megatonnes per year.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's publication, Gear change: A bold vision for cycling and walking, published in 2020, whether the target that half of all journeys in towns and cities being walked or cycled by 2030 replaces the target to double cycling and walking by 2025 in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.

It does not: The Gear Change vision and Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy aims are complementary. The second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS 2) will be published once the Government has agreed its long-term spending plans for active travel at the next multi-year Spending Review. It will give a statutory basis to the vision outlined in the Gear Change plan, as well as setting out the financial resources available for cycling and walking and the other matters required by the Infrastructure Act 2015, including targets for cycling and walking. These plans will be formally set out to Parliament in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that the UK welfare system provides people with enough funds to access (a) food and (b) other essential supplies.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now run to the 20th June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

We are investing up to £220m in the Holiday Activities and Food programme which has been expanded to every local authority across England this year. Children eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals will have the option to join a holiday club programme that provides healthy food and enriching activities during the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays in 2021. We also increased the value of Healthy Start Vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 in April.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that people receive support from local welfare assistance schemes when necessary.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age and children in 2020/21 including around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures. In December 2020 we introduced the Covid Winter Grant to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed. Recognising that some restrictions on the economy are still in place we have created the Covid Local Support Grant which will run until June, with a total investment of £269m.

Covid Local Support Grant is ring-fenced with at least 80% targeted to assist with food and bills, and at least 80% for families with children. Within these parameters, Local Authorities have discretion to decide how to allocate Government funding in their areas, recognising that they are best placed to understand local needs and they have shown how they are able to respond at pace to put innovative measures in place to support vulnerable households.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase funding into the causes of and treatments for Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological disorders.

Through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) the Department has funded or supported studies into the causes and treatments for Tourette’s syndrome. This includes a study on deep brain stimulation in people with Tourette’s syndrome and a digital behavioural intervention for tics in children and adolescents. In 2020/21, the NIHR’s expenditure on mental health research was £109 million. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR’s funding is available through open competition and researchers are encouraged to submit applications in this area.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness and role of the NICE guidance for Tourette’s Syndrome and other neurological disorders.

No specific assessment has been made. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines on a range of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. It has also published a guideline and quality standard for the recognition and referral of suspected neurological conditions. NICE guidelines represent best practice which healthcare professionals are expected to take fully into account in the treatment of individual patients.

NICE has not published a guideline on Tourette’s Syndrome. Decisions on the topics where NICE will develop guidelines are based on factors such as the evidence base and clinical need. A topic selection oversight group at NICE considers topics for guideline development on this basis. Clinical guideline topics prioritised through this process are formally referred to NICE by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure that specialist medical services for Tourettes Syndrome are accessible to people outside of London.

The Department of Health and Social Care has 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.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to improve the quality of training on Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological disorders for service providers in England.

Individual National Health Service employers are responsible for ensuring that staff are trained, competent and have the necessary skills to safely and effectively treat patients in their care, including those with Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological disorders. Health Education England’s e-learning for healthcare also offers sessions including content on Tourette’s syndrome.

Patients with Tourette’s syndrome are usually referred to specialist neurology services. A new curriculum for dual training in neurology and internal medicine produced by the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board is being implemented in August 2022 to manage the growing number of people with neurological diseases who can be treated and require long-term management and those who present acutely to neurology, stroke and general medical services.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the number of specialist practitioners researching and treating Tourette’s Syndrome and other neurological disorders.

Patients with Tourette’s syndrome can require support from a range of professionals, including clinical psychologists and neurologists. Health Education England is increasing the number of trained clinical psychologists through a 60% expansion in the clinical psychology training intake in the last two years. The number of postgraduate neurology training posts in England will also be increased by 10 from August 2022.

While there are no specific plans to increase the number of specialist practitioners researching Tourette’s syndrome, the National Institute for Health and Care Research and UK Research and Innovation welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including Tourette’s syndrome. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition. We continue to engage with stakeholders regarding Tourette’s syndrome and I recently met with the charity Tourette’s Action.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether private healthcare staff who are unvaccinated against covid-19 will be permitted to carry out NHS treatment.

The vaccination requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Regulations 2021 apply to both public and private providers of Care Quality Commission regulated services.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether private healthcare facilities will be able to hire staff from the NHS who have not been vaccinated against covid-19 and who have subsequently lost their jobs as a result.

The vaccination requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Regulations 2021 apply to both public and private providers of Care Quality Commission regulated services.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department’s elective recovery plan will include details on how (a) hospital bed and (b) surgical capacity should be prioritised to ensure the continuation of trauma and orthopaedic operations throughout the 2021 winter period.

The Department’s elective recovery plan will set out the long-term ambitions for recovery. Prioritisation of services will continue on the basis of clinical need and then by the length of time patients have been waiting. Plans for bed and surgical capacity, including the continuation of trauma and orthopaedic operations, will be considered as part of winter planning.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department collects on the number of NHS Trusts that are having to cancel priority two elective procedures because of capacity limitations.

The Department does not collect this data. While the collection of data on cancelled elective operations has been paused due to the pandemic, it is set to resume for Quarter 3 2021/22. However, this will not include data on operations by priority groups.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of waiting times for children's ADHD treatment within the NHS.

No specific assessment has been made. There is not a single, established dataset that can be used to monitor referrals for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessments and treatments nationally or the provision of wider ADHD services. Clinical commissioning groups and National Health Service trusts should have due regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management’. This guideline aims to improve the diagnosis of ADHD, the quality of care and support that children receive, including access to medication. The guideline does not recommend a maximum waiting time for children to receive ADHD treatment within the NHS.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for adults waiting for an NHS referral for ADHD treatment.

Clinical commissioning groups and National Health Service trusts should have due regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management’. This guideline aims to improve the diagnosis of ADH and the quality of care and support that adults receive, including access to medication. The guideline does not recommend a maximum waiting time for adults to receive ADHD treatment.

Gillian Keegan
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 potential merits of an annual ring-fenced disabled children’s grant for children's hospices.

We have made no specific assessment. Local authorities have a statutory duty to assess the social care needs of disabled children and young people, with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) holding the equivalent responsibility for their health needs. Local authorities and CCGs should work together to plan and commission the most appropriate package of care for the children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in their area.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the relative quantity of vaccine used by (a) intradermal and (b) intramuscular vaccination.

Public Health England has not made a comparative assessment of the relative quantity of vaccine used by intradermal and intramuscular vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has commissioned research on the efficacy of intradermal immunisation in the administration of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Department has not commissioned any specific research on the efficacy of intradermal immunisation in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that community pharmacy staff are regularly tested for covid-19 including when they are not displaying symptoms.

Lateral flow tests have been provided across primary care including general practice, community pharmacy.

Staff are asked to test themselves at home twice a week with results available before coming to work.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what processes are available to members of the public to report possible increases in covid-19 cases at a workplace.

If an employee or client tests positive, either they or the employer should notify their local Public Health England Health Protection Team (PHE HPT) or their local authority public health or environmental health teams. In some cases, an employer may be advised directly by NHS Test and Trace or the local PHE HPT that the results of testing indicate that there might be an outbreak in their workplace.

Action Cards have been developed for businesses and organisations to provide information, including contact details, in the event of a suspected outbreak in their setting.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to require people to wear masks in (a) shopping malls and (b) other public indoor spaces.

From Friday 24 July, members of the public must wear a face covering when visiting a shop or supermarket. Guidance on this was published on 14 July. For other public indoor spaces, the Government already advises people to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where they cannot easily social distance and where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet.

The Government continually reviews and refines its advice on face coverings, led by the latest scientific evidence and advice provided to us.

27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had recent discussions with her Haitian counterpart on gang-related violence in that country.

I have not met with the Haitian Government's Foreign Minister to discuss the increase in criminal activity. However FCDO officials, including HM Ambassador to Haiti, have met with senior Haitian Government officials to discuss their response to the proliferation of violence. These meetings occur regularly, the last of which was held on 17 June.

The continued deterioration of the security and human rights situation in Haiti is deeply abhorrent. We are aware of an increase in kidnappings, indiscriminate criminal violence, and instances of human trafficking.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government is providing assistance to Haiti in the context of reports that at least eight inmates have starved to death at an overcrowded prison.

We are aware of the reports of fatalities from malnutrition in a prison facility in Les Cayes, Haiti. These tragedies are rooted in the economic and health crises experienced in Haiti. They have been compounded by the devastating earthquake last year, and by the rise in global food prices resulting from Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, routes in and out of Port-Au-Prince, which may be used to transport supplies, are obstructed by an increase in criminal activity.

Through our support to the United Nations (and other international organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations) we are providing assistance to the Haitian Government to address systemic in-country issues - including chronic hunger that impacts over 4.7million Haitians.

We encourages all actors to work constructively to find solutions to the causes of these crises, and to support recovery and progress for the Haitian people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Cuban counterpart on the imprisonment of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and Maikel Osorbo Castillo Perez following recent protests in that country.

We are clear that human rights must be respected by the Cuban Government; that all Cubans have the right to protest peacefully and that the threat of arrest and excessive sentencing must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression or the right to assemble. The sentences handed down to Luis Manual Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo are a clear violation of these principles.

In conjunction with the UK and other international partners, the British Embassy in Havana sought to attend the trial of Otero Alcántara and Castillo but were refused entry. The UK was one of the first countries to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully following the Cuban Government's response to demonstrations on 11 July and we continue to raise the detentions of protestors and excessive sentencing directly with the Cuban Government, both in London and Havana.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report entitled 2nd National Survey on Food Insecurity 2022 in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Brazil, published by the Brazilian Research Network on Food and Nutrition Sovereignty and Security, what discussions she has had with her Brazilian counterpart on the findings that the number of people without full access to food in the state of Rio de Janeiro has increased by 400 per cent in the last four years.

We regularly engage with the Government of Brazil at Ministerial level and through our Embassy in Brazil on the issues of food security and commodity prices. During our visit to Brazil in March 2022, Minister Jayawardena and I discussed the impact of the Ukraine conflict on global food security.

Through our climate partnership with Brazil the UK also supports Brazil's sustainable agriculture ambitions.

The UK is working with Brazil and other international partners in multilateral fora, such as the World Trade Organisation, to monitor and address global food security issues, focusing on the ongoing benefits of open markets, and working to ensure that sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food continues to available and accessible to all.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of reports that the majority of the 6,141 homicides registered in the 170 most violent municipalities in Mexico so far in 2022 were the result of confrontations between organised crime groups; and whether the Mexican Government has requested support from the UK Government in respect of that matter.

Organised crime groups in Mexico have proliferated in recent years and are geographically concentrated, which leads to their competing for territory and an increase in levels of violence in some areas. We assess that organised crime groups have been implicated in numerous killings, acting with impunity and at times in collusion with federal, state and local security officials. We regularly discuss the security situation with the Mexican Government and with British companies operating in Mexico. The UK has supported the Mexican Government's efforts to tackle the underlying security and justice issues as well as addressing impunity and corruption.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for democracy of reports that the Brazilian Armed Forces will act as election observers in the Presidential Election in October 2022 in that country.

We are aware of reports that President Bolsonaro has suggested that the Brazilian armed forces should have a role in monitoring the presidential elections in Brazil this October. It is important for all participants to respect core democratic principles and electoral processes. We continue to engage with the Brazilian Government, political parties and civil society organisations on this basis. Independent election monitoring provides vital support for credible and inclusive elections and we will continue to support the work of international election observation organisations in Brazil.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to assist Kiribati in collecting information on the possible impacts of past nuclear weapons testing on its territory.

Ministers have not discussed this topic with Kiribati counterparts. The UK government appreciates the importance of the biodiversity and cultural value of the many islands that make up the Republic of Kiribati including those affected by nuclear testing in the pre-independence period and acknowledges the Line and Phoenix Islands Integrated Development Strategy 2016-2036. The UK hopes that its increased funding for environmental and climate related initiatives in the Pacific region will be able to contribute to the achievement of this strategy in line with the needs of Kiribati communities in the islands.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Kiribati counterpart regarding past UK nuclear weapons testing in that country.

Ministers have not discussed this topic with Kiribati counterparts. The UK government appreciates the importance of the biodiversity and cultural value of the many islands that make up the Republic of Kiribati including those affected by nuclear testing in the pre-independence period and acknowledges the Line and Phoenix Islands Integrated Development Strategy 2016-2036. The UK hopes that its increased funding for environmental and climate related initiatives in the Pacific region will be able to contribute to the achievement of this strategy in line with the needs of Kiribati communities in the islands.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Brazilian counterpart on the disappearance of Dom Phillips.

I was sorry to hear that Dom Phillips's body has now been identified. My thoughts are with his family. I [Minister Ford] discussed the search and rescue effort with Brazil's Justice and Public Security Minister on 9 June. I [Minister Ford] am grateful to everyone who was involved in the searches. Consular officials in Sao Paulo and London continue to provide support to Mr Phillips' family in Brazil and the UK. My officials at the British Embassy in Brazil remain in regular and close contact with the Brazilian authorities as the investigation into this case proceeds.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Costa Rican counterpart on the deployment of Russian troops and equipment to Nicaragua.

Since 2012, Nicaragua's Congress has approved the entry of foreign military personnel, including Russians, into the country. The recent Nicaraguan presidential decree again authorises access to Nicaragua for military assets from the United States, Russia and regional countries for humanitarian reasons and training. The Minister for Latin America, Vicky Ford MP, met with Costa Rica's Foreign Minister, Arnold's Andre, at the Summit of Americas on 9 June 2022 and discussed the 7 June 2022 decree, amongst other issues. We have also discussed this issue with other partners in the Americas and will continue to monitor the situation.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Colombian counterpart on the recent (a) attacks against and (b) surveillance of members of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective.

UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. Most recently, Lord Ahmed discussed human rights and the security situation in Colombia in his meeting with President Duque on 12 April. I also discussed human rights concerns with Vice-President and Foreign Minister Ramírez on 10 February.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we also consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders, including social leaders and indigenous leaders at the UN Security Council, as we did on 12 April. We look to the Colombian Government to further integrate its presence in conflict-affected areas, and strengthen the institutions that can investigate and prosecute the criminal actors responsible.

Last April, officials from our Embassy in Bogotá met with Wayúu Indigenous leaders to discuss concerns and FCDO officials in London met with a member of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective on 25 May. Through our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme, which has provided £69 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders, social leaders and indigenous communities

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Colombian counterpart on the recent attacks against Wayúu Indigenous leaders in La Guajira.

UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. Most recently, Lord Ahmed discussed human rights and the security situation in Colombia in his meeting with President Duque on 12 April. I also discussed human rights concerns with Vice-President and Foreign Minister Ramírez on 10 February.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we also consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders, including social leaders and indigenous leaders at the UN Security Council, as we did on 12 April. We look to the Colombian Government to further integrate its presence in conflict-affected areas, and strengthen the institutions that can investigate and prosecute the criminal actors responsible.

Last April, officials from our Embassy in Bogotá met with Wayúu Indigenous leaders to discuss concerns and FCDO officials in London met with a member of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective on 25 May. Through our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme, which has provided £69 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders, social leaders and indigenous communities

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Argentine counterpart on Argentina's intention to participate in the Summit of G7 leaders in June 2022.

Invitations to the Summit of G7 leaders are handled by the organisers of the event. The UK Government has not had discussions on this topic with the Government of Argentina.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policy of the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June 2022.

UK policy towards Cuba and Nicaragua is not affected by their Summit participation and we will continue to engage in support of our priorities. The UK does not recognise the result of the illegitimate National Assembly election in Venezuela held on 6 December 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Argentine Government's decision to join the BRICS group of emerging economies.

The issue of BRICS membership is a matter for members of that group.

The UK wants to see a prosperous and stable economy in Argentina. On 25 March, the UK voted in favour of a new IMF deal to restructure the country's debt. We believe Argentina's IMF programme provides the best vehicle for macroeconomic stability, and we expect Argentina to continue to honour its commitments as part of that agreement.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her counterpart in the US government on the exclusion of (a) Cuba, (b) Venezuela and (c) Nicaragua from the Ninth Summit of the Americas in June 2022.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs has not discussed the US Government's exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the Ninth Summit of the Americas in June 2022 with her US counterpart.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Venezuelan counterpart on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In line with many other countries, the UK Government does not recognise the Maduro regime.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her policies of the decision of the United States Government to ease some of the sanctions placed on Cuba.

The UK considers the continued US embargo against Cuba to be counterproductive and we consistently vote in support of the annual United Nations General Assembly Resolution calling for it to be lifted. In light of this, the UK welcomes the announcement by the United States Government of plans to ease some of the restrictions they have imposed on Cuba via a set of measures which are a first step towards encouraging economic growth, especially in support of the private sector, and enabling the reunification of many Cuban families. Nevertheless, the UK continues to consider the activation of Titles III and IV of the Helms Burton Act, which strengthen and continue the embargo against Cuba, to be contrary to international law. We have made our position on this clear, and continue to regularly engage US officials on this issue through our Embassy in Washington, as well as with the US Embassies in Havana and London.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Mexican counterpart on reports that the number of people that have disappeared in the country has reached 100,000.

We are deeply concerned that official statistics have recorded 100,000 disappeared people in Mexico. On 2 March I [Minister Ford] discussed human rights with the Mexican Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. We are working with the Federal, State and municipal governments in Mexico on the development of a new investigation protocol to support law enforcement agencies in the investigation of crimes. We welcome the initiative from the Mexican Government to develop a new national search plan and the creation of the National Centre for Human Identification. We also welcome the Mexican Interior and Foreign Ministries' commitment to address areas highlighted by the report of the UN Committee for Enforced Disappearances following the Committee's visit to Mexico in November 2021.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her policies of the decision of the United States Government to ease some of the sanctions placed on Venezuela.

The FCDO works very closely with US, Canadian and European allies on Venezuela and we will continue to coordinate our efforts to help encourage an end to the political crisis in that country and a return to democracy. The US and UK sanctions regimes are entirely distinct. Unlike the US, the UK has never imposed sectoral sanctions on Venezuela. The UK only has individual sanctions in Venezuela, targeted against individuals who have undermined democracy, engaged in grand corruption, or been involved in human rights abuses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to take steps to assist the (a) Uruguayan and (b) Brazilian Government following the damage caused to those countries by Cyclone Yakecan.

The UK is monitoring the impact of Cyclone Yakecan, which caused damage, power cuts and loss of life in Uruguay and southern Brazil on 17-18 May. Local authorities are currently assessing the damage.

The UK will continue to monitor the situation in Uruguay and Brazil to understand if support is needed.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding allocation the British Council received in the 2021 Spending Review.

The FCDO agreed to provide the British Council with £511 million total grant funding across the 2022-25 spending review period. This will comprise £396 million Official Development Assistance (ODA) and £115 million non-ODA, and includes restructuring funds. The non-ODA portion includes an increase on the provisional allocation, contingent on there being no further closures of British Council offices across the three-year period, and further funding to retain the British Council's offices in Australia and New Zealand.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Argentine counterpart on reports of a further military deployment in Tierra del Fuego, particularly on the security of the Falkland Islands.

UK Government ministers and officials are in regular contact with their Argentine opposite numbers. For example, the Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean met with Foreign Minister Cafiero on 11 March. The United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas, and no doubt about the principle and the right of self-determination for the Falkland Islanders. The UK Government remains absolutely committed to the protection of the Falkland Islands and its population. Our forces in the Falkland Islands are defensive and the levels are kept under review: the UK undertakes regular assessments of possible threats to the Islands to ensure that an appropriate defence capability is maintained.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK is providing (a) technical and (b) other assistance to the El Salvador Government following the declaration of a state of emergency in that country.

HMG has not received any request for assistance from the Government of El Salvador since the declaration of a state of emergency on 27 March. The UK has a good relationship with El Salvador. Priority areas for UK programming and assistance in El Salvador include: climate change and biodiversity; tackling and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic; governance and transparency; media freedom; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and human rights, with an emphasis on women's rights and empowerment and prisoners' rights and reintegration. Our Embassy in San Salvador will continue to monitor and report on the current state of emergency and respond appropriately to any request for technical or other assistance.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she is taking steps to support the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Arturo McFields, in response to his address to the OAS and comments on the leadership of his country.

The UK Government has publicly commended the courage of Arturo McFields, Nicaragua's former Ambassador to the Organization of American States, for bravely denouncing the Ortega-Murillo regime's dictatorship. The UK has been vocal in condemning the Nicaraguan Government's crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms since the events of 2018 and last year's undemocratic elections. We have raised our concerns on the deteriorating political and human rights situation with Nicaraguan government representatives in London, in Managua, at multilateral fora and publicly through a series of statements. The UK continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua, including opposition leaders and for the full restoration of all their civil and political rights. The UK will continue to work closely with our partners to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Nicaragua.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of reports that a network of Russian nationals allegedly sent money to Colombian nationals to fund civil unrest and influence the upcoming Colombian presidential election on 29 May 2022.

We are monitoring reports. The threat of illicit financial flows linked to Russia and dirty money is a trans-national one and it is important to combat this threat from source to destination. We remain clear that credible and inclusive elections are essential components of a functioning democracy.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Jamaican counterpart on the open letter put together by a coalition of Jamaican politicians, business leaders, doctors and musicians on colonialism and the payment of slavery reparations.

Slavery was and still is abhorrent. The British Government renews its expressions of deep sorrow that the transatlantic slave trade could ever have happened, and recognises the deep sense of injustice felt in Jamaica and the other most affected parts of the world.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Cuban counterpart on reports that over 100 people who took part protests in Cuba in July have been sentenced to jail terms of up to 30 years.

We have raised our concerns over ongoing detentions, both in London and Havana, and continue to do so directly with the Cuban Government. We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully and that detention must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly and religion or belief

The UK was one of the first countries to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully following the Cuban Government's response to demonstrations on 11 July.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the detainment of opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro in Nicaragua.

Since the events of 2018 in Nicaragua, and more recently, Cristina Chamorro's arrest and the unfair trial and detentions of other opposition leaders, the UK has been vocal in condemning the government's crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms.

In parallel with the US and Canada, the UK imposed sanctions on a further eight Nicaraguan officials in November 2021 following Nicaragua's undemocratic elections. The UK continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all opposition leaders, including Cristiana Chamorro and other political prisoners in Nicaragua and for the full restoration of all their civil and political rights. We have raised our concerns with the Nicaraguan Government in London and in Managua and at multilateral fora. We will continue to work closely with our partners to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Nicaragua.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Brazilian counterpart regarding reports that an American spy attempted to sell nuclear submarine secrets to Brazil in 2021.

It is the longstanding policy of successive British Governments that we do not comment on intelligence matters.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of report by The Council for Human Rights and Displacement which states that 10,698 people were affected by mass forced displacement in Antioquia, Colombia, between January and November of 2021 with most victims being from the indigenous community.

The British Government remains concerned about reports of confinement and threats made against human rights defenders, social leaders and indigenous communities in Colombia. Colombia is an FCDO Human Rights Priority Country and UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government. Most recently, I raised human rights concerns when I spoke to Vice President Ramírez on 10 February. Officials from our Embassy in Bogotá also visited Antioquia to discuss security guarantees and preventive measures with different Government stakeholders to improve protection and security in that Department.

To date, we have spent over £68 million through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia and improve stability and security. Our funding is supporting the Colombian Government's rural development and reintegration programmes, transitional justice mechanisms, and strengthening the security and participation of communities in conflict-affected areas. We will continue to prioritise funding interventions to support at risk communities and victims, improve early warning and help tackle the root causes of the violence.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has plans for further sanctions on the Nicaraguan Government.

The UK's sanctions measures against Nicaraguan officials are part of a wider set of UK actions aimed at promoting democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua. Most recently, the UK announced a further eight designations in November 2021 following undemocratic elections. We continue to work with partners in the region and our allies to press the Nicaraguan Government to end the repression in the country. We will keep the situation under close review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Nicaraguan counterpart regarding the imprisonment of President Ortega's political opponents in that country.

The Nicaraguan elections of 7 November 2021 were neither free nor fair. The authorities used their powers to detain and threaten Presidential candidates and therefore prevented the Nicaraguan people from making a democratic choice. The arrests of political leaders violated the guarantees in the Nicaraguan Constitution; the UK continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Nicaragua and for the full restoration of their civil and political rights. We have made the views of the UK government clear when meeting representatives of the Nicaraguan authorities in London, in Managua, and at multilateral fora. We have published a series of statements highlighting the UK's deep concern about the deterioration of political and human rights in Nicaragua and the subversion of democratic processes, including at the UN Human Rights Council earlier this month. We are working closely with partners to promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Nicaragua.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Mexican Government counterpart regarding the murder of Chris Cleave in that country.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has raised Mr Christopher Cleave's case with the relevant Mexican authorities. The FCDO is also providing Mr Cleave's family with dedicated consular assistance.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Chinese counterpart regarding the Chinese Government's support for Argentina's claims to the Falkland Islands.

We reject any questions over sovereignty of the Falklands. The Falklands are part of the British family and we will defend their right of self-determination. China must respect the Falklands' sovereignty and my Department has been in direct contact with the Chinese Embassy to convey this position.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the increased prison sentences for women who have abortions in Guatemala.

The UK monitors the human rights situation in Guatemala closely, particularly women's rights. A recently proposed "Law for the Protection of Life and Family", which included increased prison sentences for women who have had abortions in Guatemala, was vetoed by Guatemalan President Giammattei this month. The British Embassy in Guatemala has raised the UK's concerns on women's rights directly with the Guatemalan government, including with the Presidential Secretariat for Women. The UK is also currently funding a regional project, including in Guatemala, focused on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, with the objective of strengthening local women's organisations' ability to identify priorities and challenges to ending violence.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policy of the Argentine Government's decision to join China's Belt and Road Initiative.

China is an important source of aid, trade and investment for many countries and Argentina is free to pursue its economic, social and cultural development as it sees fit. What's important is that in the UK we demonstrate confidence in our own model, our democracy and our values. By championing our ideas, building our influence and inspiring others, we can forge ahead as a global network of liberty.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Argentine counterpart regarding gender-based violence and violence against women in that country.

Engaging with Argentina on gender based violence is a priority for the British Embassy in Buenos Aires and officials have worked with local civil society organisations on projects to gather evidence of abuse. As co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), the UK and Argentina regularly discuss gender issues. Alongside 40 other countries and with over 120 civil society organisations, we are working together to end the violence, discrimination and persecution that persists today. Most recently, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights, the Rt Hon Lord Herbert, visited Argentina in February to discuss this important agenda and advance plans for the ERC conference we are hosting in June.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Peruvian counterpart on the availability of visas for Peruvians who would like to travel to the UK.

Visas are a subject of regular discussion between the UK and the Peruvian Governments. Standard visit visa applications for Peruvians are currently taking on average six weeks to process, with some delays occurring due to the number of applications that were on hold during the pandemic. Peruvians wishing to apply for a visa to visit the UK can do so up to three months ahead of their travel.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in Latin America on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in their respective country.

The UK is a champion for the human rights of LGBT+ people. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to champion LGBT+ equality and inclusion, adopting new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

In December 2021, the UK celebrated adoption of same-sex marriage legislation in Chile - the eighth country in Latin America to support equal marriage. We look forward to welcoming representatives from Latin America to the Safe To Be Me conference on LGBT+ equality in June.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government's position is on sending election observers to Brazil for the 2022 Presidential Election.

The UK is committed to building a Network of Liberty that will put us at the heart of economic, diplomatic and security partnerships. Promoting democratic values is a key objective of this, and election observation allows us to support democracies and strengthen democratic electoral processes around the globe.

We are considering our approach for the Brazilian Presidential elections, and will continue to support ongoing work by existing international election observation organisations. We are clear that independent election monitoring provides vital support for credible and inclusive elections.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Brazilian counterpart on a peaceful transfer of power in the event that one is necessary following the 2022 Presidential Election in that country.

The UK values its wide-ranging relationship with Brazil, among the elements of which are our bilateral partnerships on climate, trade, security and development.

The UK is clear about our position on the importance of respect for electoral processes, peaceful transfers of power and accountable democratic institutions. We continue to engage with the Brazilian government, political parties and civil society organisations on this basis. In the lead up to Brazil's October 2022 presidential elections, it will be important for all participants to respect core democratic principles and avoid inflammatory rhetoric.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans she has to (a) increase monitoring of human rights in Brazil and (b) include Brazil in her Department's annual report on human rights and democracy for 2022.

The UK regularly engages with the Brazilian government, civil society organisations and other partners to monitor human rights developments and respect for the rule of law in Brazil. We consider human rights issues in the development and implementation of projects supported by our Embassy in Brazil.

The FCDO's human rights work goes much wider than the priority countries highlighted in the Department's Annual Human Rights Report. There is no plan to include Brazil as a priority country in the FCDO Annual Human Rights Report for 2022.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Dominican Republic counterpart regarding reports of plans to build a wall between that country and Haiti.

No minister or official within the FCDO has discussed the issue of a wall with counterparts in the Dominican Republic. We will continue to encourage all actors to work constructively and cooperatively with the Haitian and Dominican Republic authorities to find solutions to issues of concern to both sides.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Russian counterpart on that country's obligations under the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.

The UK condemns the indiscriminate or disproportionate use of any weapon, and the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian objects in contravention of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, other relevant instruments and international humanitarian law. Lord Ahmad and the UK's Disarmament Ambassador denounced Russian violations of international law and the UN Charter during speeches to the Conference of Disarmament in March. The UK also led efforts to expedite an ICC investigation into Russian war crimes in Ukraine. We will be forthright in holding Russia to account for the use of indiscriminate force against innocent civilians in its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of reports that more than 1,000 square km of the Amazon rainforest has been felled to expand soya farms in Mato Grosso, Brazil, despite an agreement to protect that area.

While we are concerned by the rising rates of deforestation in the Amazon, we were pleased to welcome Brazil's positive commitments at COP26. Brazil signed the Forest and Land Use pledge and committed to eliminating illegal deforestation by 2028, and to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The UK will support this and other climate commitments by doubling our International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion over the next five years - we will be investing at least £3 billion of this in solutions that protect and restore nature.

In addition, we have introduced world-leading due diligence legislation through the Environment Act to tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains. Our law will make it illegal for larger businesses operating in the UK to use key forest risk commodities produced on land illegally occupied or used. The UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya brings together significant players in the UK soya market, creating a space for companies and industry associations to work together to achieve a shared goal of a secure, resilient, sustainable supply of soya to the UK, with joint progress monitoring and reporting.

The UK will continue to work with Brazilian stakeholders, including the Federal Government, state level leadership, the private sector and civil society to help tackle deforestation and protect the rainforest.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has provided support to the government of the Dominican Republic for the investigation into the death of Lindsay de Feliz in that country.

The FCDO is not aware of any requests for assistance from the Dominican Republic to support their investigation into the death of Lindsay De Feliz. FCDO officials have been in regular contact with Ms De Feliz's family to provide them with dedicated consular assistance for those bereaved through murder or manslaughter abroad. We will continue to offer support to the family throughout the trial, but the UK cannot interfere in another country's investigation or judicial processes, just as we do not allow other governments to interfere in our own systems.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her US counterpart on reports that Iran may have enough material to acquire nuclear weapons in weeks.

Iran's nuclear programme is more advanced than it has ever been. We are in the end game of negotiations to restore the JCPoA and reverse Iran's nuclear escalation. A conclusion is needed in the coming days. In a call on 15 February, and in person in Munich on 18 February, the Foreign Secretary discussed with her French, German and US counterparts the urgency of concluding this deal and returning Iran to full compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPoA. The Foreign Secretary also discussed this with Secretary Blinken on 12 February and with Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian on 14 February.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ratify Protocol V of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons; and when that convention will be ratified by the House.

The comprehensive cross-Government review of Protocol V ratification continues. We hope to conclude shortly, and will update more fully at that point. The UK already abides by the spirit of the protocol and existing UK Armed Forces operational policy and practice are in line with obligations. We remain committed to its humanitarian aims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the assassination attempt on Libyan prime minister, Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah.

The UK is working with international partners to support the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor to Libya, Stephanie Williams, to mediate a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned inclusive political process, including the delivery of free, fair and credible elections. All parties must refrain from actions that could undermine the progress of the last two years and continue to fully implement and respect the October 2020 ceasefire agreement.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Honduran counterpart on the guilty verdict findings against six environmental activists for alleged crimes against a mining company in that country.

The British Embassy in Guatemala (which develops and maintains relations between the UK and Honduras) has paid close attention to the cases of individual human rights defenders in Honduras, including the cases of the environmental defenders from Guapinol. Officials from the Embassy virtually attended court hearings in December 2021, January and February 2022, as well as sharing key messages on social media calling for due process and the Rule of Law to be respected. The Embassy has also called on the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on several occasions. We have used these meetings to raise concerns about these and other human rights defenders, and the improper use of the Penal Code to punish human rights defenders, especially in rural areas. Support for the exercise of human rights in Honduras will be a continuing priority for our Embassy.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her US counterpart on the operations of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Cuba.

The UK has regular discussions with the US and other member states on the FAO's work across a wide range of policy and geographic priorities, as well as with countries in the Latin America Group, of which Cuba is a member.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure her Department has a gender balance in its staffing.

When the FCDO was created we were clear about our ambition to be a truly inclusive organisation. We want the FCDO to fully reflect the diversity of the UK population we serve. As of 30 September 2021 51.8 per cent of FCDO staff are female. A key objective of the new department is to ensure that our aligned policies both support and promote gender equity. More broadly, the FCDO is committed to widening representation for under-represented groups, including women, and building an inclusive workplace to attract, engage, develop and retain talented, diverse staff.

The FCDO has also made significant progress over the last year. Women now make up over 30% of all Heads of Missions and 42% of all senior civil servant roles are filled by women. Of the Heads of Mission roles in our top 26 diplomatic missions, 18 are filled by women, including in Berlin, Tokyo and Washington.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Brazilian counterpart on the situation between Ukraine and Russia, following reports that President Bolsonaro will travel to Russia to meet with President Putin.

The Foreign Secretary last spoke to Foreign Minister França at the UN General Assembly in New York in September. On 3 February, I met the Ambassador of Brazil to the UK and thanked him for Brazil's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity at the UN Security Council. British diplomats in Brasilia, including Her Majesty's Ambassador, continue to discuss these issues with the Brazilian Government.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help the Ecuadorian Government following the flooding in Quito.

We were saddened to learn of the landslide from the slopes of the Pichincha volcano in Quito on Monday evening. We continue to monitor the situation and explore options for assistance; we understand that no British Nationals have been affected by the landslide. As the effects of climate change make extreme weather events increasingly likely around the globe, including in Ecuador, the UK will continue to work closely with the Ecuadorean government to tackle this crisis and mitigate its effects.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with the British Council regarding the recent data breach which has reportedly exposed at least 10,000 records held by the British Council.

The FCDO has received updates from the British Council regarding the incident, which has been reported to the Information Commissioner's Office and the Charity Commission. The incident has been investigated and the Council is working closely with suppliers, to seek assurances that there are no further risks. The FCDO will continue to liaise with the Council on this matter.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Barbadian counterpart following the recent General Election in that country.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs has written to congratulate Foreign Minister Walcott on his reappointment to the Cabinet of the Government of Barbados. My Right Honourable friend the Prime Minister has also written to Prime Minister Mottley, to congratulate her on her historic re-election.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Cuban counterpart on the arrest of peaceful protestors aged under 18 during the 2021 protests in that country.

Many protestors including minors remain detained in Cuba following protests in July 2021. The UK Government has raised the ongoing detentions directly with the Cuban Government, both in London and Havana. We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully, and that detention must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. The UK was one of the first countries to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully following the Cuban government's response to the July protests. We are concerned that lengthy prison sentences are being handed down to discourage any further peaceful protests and that the Cuban Government refused permission for protests in November. We have also urged the Cuban Government to ensure transparency in judicial proceedings, and ensure appropriate conditions for those held on violent crimes charges. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Cuban counterpart on the arrest of peaceful protestors during the protests in 2021 in that country.

Many protestors including minors remain detained in Cuba following protests in July 2021. The UK Government has raised the ongoing detentions directly with the Cuban Government, both in London and Havana. We are clear that all Cubans should have the right to protest peacefully, and that detention must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. The UK was one of the first countries to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully following the Cuban government's response to the July protests. We are concerned that lengthy prison sentences are being handed down to discourage any further peaceful protests and that the Cuban Government refused permission for protests in November. We have also urged the Cuban Government to ensure transparency in judicial proceedings, and ensure appropriate conditions for those held on violent crimes charges. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK is supporting the work of the Core Group in Haiti.

The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned by the political, social and humanitarian landscape in Haiti, and the entrenchment of the problems faced by the Haitian population. The complex challenges faced by Haiti can only be resolved by unified support for Haitian-led solutions.

We welcome efforts underway to secure political consensus and join the international community, including the Core Group, in calling upon all political actors to work constructively in support of a peaceful, democratic solution for the Haitian people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Mexican counterpart on the recent murder of several journalists in that country.

We are deeply concerned about the reports of journalists killed in Mexico in January 2022 as a result of their reporting on violence, corruption and criminal groups. Promoting media freedom and the protection of journalists remains a priority for the UK Government. In January 2022, the FCDO's Deputy Director of Democratic Governance and Media Freedom Coordinator visited Mexico to discuss the issues of violence against journalists and the threats to media freedom with the Mexican Government, journalists and civil society, as well as to explore areas of joint collaboration. We continue to engage regularly with Mexican authorities at ministerial, official, and state level to discuss and to support a broad human rights agenda in Mexico. Our Embassy in Mexico City works closely with the Mexican Government and civil society organisations on understanding and reducing the risks faced by journalists and human rights defenders due to their professions. For example, in 2021 our Embassy in Mexico City worked with UNESCO to support the promotion and protection of freedom of expression by supporting journalists through training to develop investigative skills for reporting.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether (a) she will be attending or (b) the UK will send Observers to the first meeting of states parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from 22 to 24 March 2022 in Vienna.

The Government does not believe the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons. The UK will not sign the Treaty and the Foreign Secretary will not be attending the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, nor will the UK send Observers. The Government firmly believes that the best way to achieve our collective goal of a world without nuclear weapons is through gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated using a step-by-step approach, under the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assistance the Government is providing to Peru following the severe flooding as a result of the volcanic eruption in Tonga.

The volcanic eruption in Tonga caused anomalous waves and temporary changes in sea-level along parts of the Peruvian coast, which sadly led to the loss of two lives. Whilst some buildings were damaged by flooding, this was on a limited scale and the Peruvian Government has not requested any assistance from the international community.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her (a) Cuban and (b) Venezuelan counterpart on the Russian Government's refusal to rule out military deployments to those countries.

We have not had discussions with the Cuban Government or with counterparts in Venezuela, where we do not recognise the Maduro regime. We are, however, concerned by Russia's refusal to rule out military deployments to Venezuela and Cuba.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recommendations the Government is making to the International Criminal Court to assist with its investigation into human rights violations in Venezuela.

The UK respects the independence of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and as a State Party to the Rome Statute, we do not provide recommendations on investigations undertaken by the Office of the Prosecutor. As an ICC State Party, the UK often provides assistance in response to requests for assistance or cooperation from the Court pursuant to Part 9 of the Rome Statute. However, we have not yet received any such requests in relation to this situation.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Brazilian counterpart on the Brazilian government's response to the covid-19 pandemic, including the take-up of covid-19 vaccines.

The UK engages regularly with Brazil on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines. Over the last two years this has been a core area of cooperation between our countries. The UK has supported the partnership between a Rio-based research institution, Fiocruz, and Oxford-AstraZeneca which has been fundamental to increasing the production of vaccines in Brazil.

In late October 2021, Secretary of State Sajid Javid met with Brazilian Health Minister Queiroga to discuss how we can continue and deepen our work together. In June 2021 my predecessor also discussed vaccine cooperation with Brazilian Foreign Minister França. In addition, senior officials in Brasilia regularly engage with the Brazilian government to ensure that we are working closely and effectively in the global effort to combat the pandemic. We look forward to continuing our productive and valuable partnership with Brazil in response to COVID-19.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recommendations the Government is making to the UN Human Rights Council in regard to its Universal Periodic Review into Venezuela.

We are currently finalizing our statement for the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review into Venezuela. The Advance Questions we have submitted to the UN highlight our concerns around humanitarian access, LGBTQ+ rights, the justice system, treatment of prisoners and the handling of corrupt individuals who cause harm to society. We expect that the recommendations in our statement will address some of these points.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will ensure that the conclusions of the British Council investigation into alleged racism in Kenya are made publicly available.

The FCDO and the British Council take any allegations of racism very seriously. The British Council are conducting an investigation into the claims, which is expected to conclude in January. Issues regarding British Council staff are operational matters for the British Council. It is for the British Council to respond once the investigation has concluded.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what training the UK has provided to the (a) Colombian police force in general and (b) the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD).

The UK is a key supporter of the implementation of Colombia's historic peace agreement. Since 2015, the UK has provided £68 million through our Conflict, Security, and Stabilisation Fund (CSSF), which has allowed us to provide niche technical and financial support on stabilisation, policing, and transitional justice in Colombia.

As part of the CSSF funding in Colombia, the UK launched a three year, £2.1 million Police Innovations for Stabilisation in Colombia Programme (SCIP) in 2020, which is helping the transformation of the Colombian National Police. The SCIP aims to contribute to the modernisation of the police service by scaling up and improving police practices with a preventive approach, focusing on i) building links and trust with communities to improve relations and reduce conflict; ii) putting human rights first when managing social tensions and preventing violence; iii) developing and implementing strategies for tackling and preventing gender-based violence. The project is being implemented through the International Organisation of Migration, which will design and deliver activities alongside the Colombian National Police at national and field level, with strategic support and advice from Police Scotland. FCDO programming does not support the training of any units from ESMAD.

The UK is committed to continuing its programming in support of peace, stability and security in Colombia to help implement the peace agreement and build a more peaceful and prosperous society.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, (a) what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the Government's existing sanctions on Nicaragua; and and whether more sanctions are under consideration by her Department.

The UK's sanctions measures against Nicaraguan officials are part of a wider set of UK actions aimed at promoting democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua. Most recently, the UK announced a further eight designations in November 2021 following the sham elections. We continue to work with partners in the region and our allies to press the Nicaraguan Government to end the repression in the country. We will keep the situation under close review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her US counterpart on sanctions the placed by the US on Nicaragua.

UK officials have been in close contact with US and Canadian counterparts over sanctions measures imposed by all three countries in recent months. In parallel with the US and Canada, the UK imposed sanctions on a further eight Nicaraguan officials in November following the detention of key opposition figures and a crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms during Nicaragua's sham elections. The UK will continue to promote democracy in Nicaragua with countries in the region, with our allies and at relevant multilateral bodies.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Iranian counterpart on the imprisonment of Mehran Raoof.

We work closely with the families of those British nationals detained in Iran, where they have asked for consular assistance, lobbying where they request that we do so. We are always happy to discuss the detail of cases with constituency MPs where the individual has given consent for us to do so.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking assist the British Council with its inquiry into alleged racism in Kenya.

The FCDO and the British Council take any allegations of racism extremely seriously. Issues regarding British Council staff are operational matters for the British Council. The British Council are conducting an investigation into the claims, which is expected to conclude in January.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Paraguayan counterpart on the protection of the Ayoreo people following the forced removal from their homes in the Chaco forest.

The British Embassy in Asuncion regularly discusses both human rights and deforestation issues with the Paraguayan authorities, and the British Ambassador has raised this issue directly with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and for the Environment.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the killing of human rights and LGBT rights campaigner Cristina Cantillo in Colombia.

The British Government remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights' defenders, and social leaders in Colombia. Through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF), which has provided £68 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security, and stability in Colombia since 2015, we will continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders and social leaders.

Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country,' and we consistently raise our concerns regarding violence against human rights defenders and social leaders with the Colombian Government, and in multilateral fora. Most recently, as the UK's Minister for Europe and Americas, I [Minister Wendy Morton] spoke to Vice President Ramírez regarding the human rights situation during a visit to Colombia from 22-24 November.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the Colombian government’s progress in investigating alleged police killings of protesters during protests in that country in April and May 2021.

The British Government remains concerned about reports of human rights violations in Colombia during recent protests. We are clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully, and that the right to peaceful assembly and association should be guaranteed.

We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any reports on excessive use of force against protestors, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, and any complaints thoroughly investigated.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the Colombian government’s progress in investigating alleged police killings during protests in that country in September 2020.

The British Government remains concerned about reports of human rights violations in Colombia during recent protests. We are clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully, and that the right to peaceful assembly and association should be guaranteed.

We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any reports on excessive use of force against protestors, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, and any complaints thoroughly investigated.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to negotiate a new agreement with China to limit the proliferation of hypersonic missile technology, particularly missiles that can be mounted with nuclear warheads.

The UK is monitoring international developments in missile technology. We will continue to push for all countries to act responsibly in the international system.

The UK engages regularly with Chinese officials and civil society on arms control issues, including through our annual dialogue on Counter Proliferation and discussions with the Chinese Arms Control and Disarmament Association. We further these discussions with China through the P5 Process.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to assist the UK’s allies and international partners with mine clearance.

The Global Mine Action Programme 3 (GMAP3), is due to begin in 2022. The programme will involve landmine clearance and risk education to help affected communities keep safe and capacity development for national authorities to help them manage their landmine contamination. The precise budget and country allocations are being finalised.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 56589, on Armed Forces: Children, what specific diplomatic steps the Government is taking in respect of listed governments and armed groups to help prevent the unlawful recruitment or use of children in armed conflict.

The UK is an active member of the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. The UK applies diplomatic pressure to listed parties to enter into concrete UN action plans to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. We also press for the inclusion of child protection provisions in UN peacekeeping mandate renewals and resolutions.

The UK is also supporting the work of UNICEF in strengthening the UN-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) - enhancing the safe and accurate collection of timely, objective, and reliable data, ensuring the MRM remains robust.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Japanese counterpart on the development of hypersonic missile technology in Asia.

The UK is monitoring international developments in missile technology. We will continue to push for all countries to act responsibly in the international system.

The Foreign Secretary has discussed a range of defence and security issues with Foreign Minister Motegi, most recently on 22 September. We will continue to engage with our partners and allies on how we can collectively support the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to facilitate discussions with other nuclear armed states on a new international agreement on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The UK is fully committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The best way to achieve this is through gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated using a step-by-step approach, under the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Government is not discussing a new international agreement and intends to continue to make progress under the framework of the NPT. We look forward to the upcoming NPT Review Conference in January. The Government has regular dialogue with Nuclear Weapon States on nuclear issues through the P5 Process. This dialogue has included our respective nuclear doctrines, strategic risk reduction and increasing transparency.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) technical, (b) humanitarian and (c) medical assistance the Government is providing to Haiti following the August 2021 earthquake.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake the UK announced that £1 million of support was available for the response effort. This is in addition to our significant contributions to the UN, the Red Cross and the Start fund. A UK Emergency Medical Team completed its assessment mission of the needs caused by the earthquake, and the UK funded an expert to join the UN's Disaster Assessment and Coordination mission, conducting an initial assessment and coordinating the international response. 1,300 UK-funded shelter, hygiene and lighting kits were sent to Haiti from the UK and Panama. Support was also provided via the World Food Programme to ensure 15,000 families received assistance to buy food and other basic supplies. The UK has also provided funding to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is assisting with operations and coordination of earthquake response. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Wave Knight was deployed offshore from Haiti until 29 August, supporting the US humanitarian response by serving as a landing pad for US helicopters. The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), of which the UK is a founding donor, has agreed a pay out of approximately $40 million. We are clear our support has aided Haiti in a technical, humanitarian and medical capacity. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her US counterpart on the development of hypersonic missile technology.

The Foreign Secretary holds regular discussions with her US counterpart on a range of issues, including on security policy. These discussions are reflected and supported by daily cooperation at official level on arms control and strategic stability between the UK and the US, as well as by wider cooperation with NATO Allies.

The UK is monitoring international developments in missile technology. We will continue to push for all countries to act responsibly in the international system.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to implement the Paris Principles on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups.

The UK is  committed to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as outlined by the Paris Principles. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), we are using our membership to ensure that conflict related child-protection issues remain a key part of the Council discussions and to ensure that UN operations retain the necessary capacity to address all child protection issues, including the continued use of child soldiers in conflict zones. This also includes pressing those parties to conflict listed in the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC to enter into concrete action plans with the UN to verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces and to prevent re-recruitment. We apply diplomatic pressure to listed governments and armed groups to prevent the unlawful recruitment or use of children in armed conflict.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the number of children (a) killed and (b) injured in conflict zones over the last 10 years.

The FCDO does not routinely collect this data, however the UN-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) monitors, and verifies information and reports to the Security Council on six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict situations by armed forces and groups, including the killing and maiming of children. Every year, the UN Secretary-General produces an annual report on Children and Armed Conflict, which is based on the MRM. These reports can be found online and detail the number of violations that take place each year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the change in the level of Official Development Assistance to date; and if he will make an assessment of the effect of that change on the UK's bilateral relationship with Colombia.

Allocation decisions have been taken by Ministers in line with the objectives set out in the Integrated Review. These took account of a full range of factors, including analysis of potential impacts on beneficiaries of UK aid. We remain a world-leading aid donor, and across HMG, will spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change, and improve global health.

Colombia is a key partner to the UK in Latin America, and the two countries will continue to work closely together. We have contributed more than £63 million in support via the UK's Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund, and are the largest donor to the UN Trust Fund for Colombia, supporting implementation of the peace accords. We are proud to lead on the issue at the UN Security Council, and will continue to strengthen the international community's support and commitment to peace, stability, and justice in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on the UK's policy of aircraft disembarkation before flights reach northern Cyprus.

The Foreign Secretary has not held discussions with his Turkish counterpart on this issue. Arrangements for passengers arriving in Turkey from the UK who are transferring to other flights are a matter for the Turkish authorities and airlines concerned.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will review the UK's policy on aircraft disembarkation for passengers flying from North Cyprus' Ercan Airport.

A review by FCDO in 2018 concluded that no alteration to the position on travel between Ercan airport and the UK was possible. In accordance with legal obligations under the 1944 Chicago Convention, there are no direct flights between Ercan and the UK. Passengers who book a flight from Ercan to Turkey and then an onward flight to the UK are required to disembark in Turkey before boarding their UK bound flight, as these are separate flights.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assistance the Government is providing to the Haitian Government in securing supplies of a covid-19 vaccine.

The UK has been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19. We have committed up to £1.3 billion of aid spending to counter the impact of the pandemic. The UK Government is one of the leading donors to COVAX, committing £548 million to the scheme, which will contribute to the supply of at least 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries. The UK is pleased that the Government of Haiti has recently announced that the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is now authorised for use. GAVI has since confirmed the availability of an initial 130,000 doses which should be delivered before the end of July.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Haitian counterpart on the proposed changes to that country's constitution and upcoming referendum.

The UK is closely following developments in Haiti including the upcoming constitutional referendum. We have regular Ministerial and official engagement with both the Haitian Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Euvrard Saint Amand, and relevant Haitian Ministers on these issues. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Caribbean, last spoke to the Haitian Ambassador to the UK on 28 May 2021 about a range of issues including the upcoming constitutional referendum. The UK also supports the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN Special Political Mission, BINUH, in their diplomatic engagement with the Haitian authorities on both the proposed constitutional referendum and elections.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assistance the Government is providing to Haiti to tackle the recent surge in cases of covid-19 in that country.

The UK has been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19. We have committed up to £1.3 billion of aid spending to counter the impact of the pandemic. The UK Government is one of the leading donors to COVAX, committing £548m to the scheme, which will contribute to the supply of at least 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries. The UK is pleased that the Government of Haiti has recently announced that the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is now authorised for use. GAVI has since confirmed the availability of an initial 130,000 doses which should be delivered before the end of July.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what Colombian police units are receiving training from UK personnel; and what assessment he has made of whether (a) those units or (b) personnel have been involved in alleged human rights abuses during recent protests in that country.

We are clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully. We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully the excessive use of force against protesters, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints thoroughly investigated. The UK is a key supporter of the implementation of Colombia's historic peace agreement. Over the past five years, the UK has provided £63 million through the Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund (CSSF), which has allowed us to provide niche technical and financial support on stabilisation, peacebuilding, and transitional justice.

Our Embassy regularly reviews Overseas Security and Justice Assessments, ensuring steps are taken to mitigate any risk human rights abuses, and strengthen the impact of our interventions on improving respect for human rights. HMG work on security and justice overseas is based on British values, including human rights and democracy.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps are being taken to ensure Colombian police units receiving UK police training are not involved in human rights abuses.

We are clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully. We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully the excessive use of force against protesters, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints thoroughly investigated. The UK is a key supporter of the implementation of Colombia's historic peace agreement. Over the past five years, the UK has provided £63 million through the Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund (CSSF), which has allowed us to provide niche technical and financial support on stabilisation, peacebuilding, and transitional justice.

Our Embassy regularly reviews Overseas Security and Justice Assessments, ensuring steps are taken to mitigate any risk human rights abuses, and strengthen the impact of our interventions on improving respect for human rights. HMG work on security and justice overseas is based on British values, including human rights and democracy.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has plans to send election observers to Haiti for the upcoming referendum on the proposed changes to the Haitian constitution.

The UK is closely following developments in Haiti including the proposed constitutional referendum. We do not have any plans to send election observers to Haiti at the moment. The UK supports the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN Special Political Mission, BINUH, in their ongoing diplomatic engagement with the Haitian authorities on both the proposed constitutional referendum and elections. The UK continues to use its platform both in country and at United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to call for credible and transparent elections as soon as technically feasible, to ensure Haiti is governed by strong democratic institutions chosen by the Haitian people. The UK supported the UNSC's decision for a one year extension for BINUH. We also chaired a meeting on Haiti at the UN Security Council on 22 February 2021.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish the most recent programme summaries for the (a) Colombia Peace Programme and (b) Peru and Colombia: Serious Organised Crime Programme.

The CSSF programme summaries for 20/21 will be published by Cabinet Office before Parliament rises for summer.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when the Government plans to publish the programme summary for the Police Innovations for Stabilisation in Colombia Programme.

The £2.1 million Police Innovations for Stabilisation in Colombia multi-year project was launched in 2020 and is supporting the transformation of the Colombian National Police. The intervention aims to contribute to the modernization of the police service by scaling up and improving police practices with a preventive approach, focusing on i) Community-based police prevention; ii) Transformation of large-scale social conflicts from a rights-based approach; and iii) Gender mainstreaming. This work is part of the CSSF Colombia Peace and Stabilisation Programme.

The CSSF programme summaries for 20/21 will be published by Cabinet Office before Parliament rises for summer.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support he is providing to UK citizens who wish to be evacuated from St Vincent in response to the volcanic activity on that island.

We are monitoring the situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines closely and our thoughts are with those affected by the eruptions. This is a distressing time for British Nationals there and we have provided support to those who have contacted us. We have supported 7 British Nationals who took up an offer of a transfer from St Vincent to St Maarten on a Royal Caribbean ship which left St Vincent on 16 April and arrived in St Maarten on 17 April. To meet the ship, and assist these British Nationals on arrival in St Maarten, a 5 person UK Rapid Deployment Team arrived on St Maarten in the afternoon of 16 April. We encourage British Nationals to consult our Travel Advice. Those in need of assistance should contact Consular officials at the British High Commission in Bridgetown.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of reports of threats of violence made against human rights defenders and environmental organisations in Barrancabermeja and Magdalena Medio, Colombia.

The UK Government remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders, and environmental activists in Colombia. Colombia is a UK Government 'Human Rights Priority Country' - UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues, as well as specific cases of concern, with the Colombian Government, and in multilateral fora. Most recently, the UK's Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, raised our concerns around killings of human rights defenders, as well as media freedom and sexual violence, on a virtual visit to Colombia in February. We will continue to raise our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Through our CSSF programme, which has provided £63 million in support of peace agreement implementation, security and stability in Colombia since 2015, we continue to prioritise funding interventions to protect human rights defenders, social leaders, and ex-combatants. In Barrancabermeja and Magdalena Medio specifically, we are supporting the work of the Transitional Justice System and the Organisation of American States' Peace Process Support Mission. We are also funding civil society participation in the implementation of the peace agreement, and the development and implementation of rural development plans in conflict-affected territories.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) technical support the Government is providing to the St Vincent Government in response to the recent eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano.

We are monitoring the situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines closely and our thoughts are with those affected by the eruption.

The UK has pledged an initial £200,000 to help address the immediate humanitarian impact of the volcano eruption, which will be used for emergency supplies and other immediate needs.

Urgently needed technical experts will support relief efforts on the ground, support emergency telecommunications, and restore critical lifeline facilities, like transport links.

We will continue to work with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to provide further support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Republic of Cyprus ahead of the P5+1 talks on a political settlement for the island of Cyprus.

A Cyprus Settlement is in the best interests of both Cypriot communities, the wider region and the UK. The Foreign Secretary has therefore been actively engaged in support of UN efforts to find a Cyprus solution and will represent the UK as a Guarantor Power at the UN-led, informal talks from 27-29 April.

The Foreign Secretary spoke to the Cypriot Foreign Minister on 22 March and the Turkish Foreign Minister on 23 March. The Foreign Secretary visited the island on 4 February and met President Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar and the UN. The Foreign Secretary also met the Greek Foreign Minister on 2 February. The UK is urging all sides to approach the UN talks in a spirit of flexibility and compromise. During my visit to Cyprus (7-9 April), I reiterated this message and the UK's support for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart ahead of the P5+1 talks on a political settlement for the island of Cyprus.

A Cyprus Settlement is in the best interests of both Cypriot communities, the wider region and the UK. The Foreign Secretary has therefore been actively engaged in support of UN efforts to find a Cyprus solution and will represent the UK as a Guarantor Power at the UN-led, informal talks from 27-29 April.

The Foreign Secretary spoke to the Cypriot Foreign Minister on 22 March and the Turkish Foreign Minister on 23 March. The Foreign Secretary visited the island on 4 February and met President Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar and the UN. The Foreign Secretary also met the Greek Foreign Minister on 2 February. The UK is urging all sides to approach the UN talks in a spirit of flexibility and compromise. During my visit to Cyprus (7-9 April), I reiterated this message and the UK's support for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Colombian counterpart on the removal of the Colombian Police Force from that country's Ministry of Defence.

The internal structures of the Colombian Government and state are a matter for that Government.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage the Colombian Government to tackle reported violence against trade unionists in that country.

UK Ministers and senior officials regularly raise human rights issues with their Colombian counterparts. Most recently, the UK's Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, raised our concerns around killings of human rights defenders, media freedom, and sexual violence, on a virtual visit to Colombia in February.

We continue to support efforts to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders, including through the UK's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on plans to increase the amount of nuclear warheads held by the UK.

The Foreign Secretary wrote to a number of his counterparts, including US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. Senior UK officials have also briefed a number of states, including the US, on the nuclear and counter-proliferation aspects of the Review. Nuclear cooperation remains an important element of the enduring Special Relationship between the US and the UK, enhancing trans-Atlantic security. We will continue to work closely with the US on nuclear matters, including nuclear deterrence policy.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to promote an educational partnership between academic institutions in Haiti and the UK.

The United Kingdom has some of the best education providers in the world, and a reputation for excellence. We work with people globally through our Chevening Scholarships, and the newly launched Turing Scheme. These build links around the world, including between Haiti and the UK, and promote the UK as a partner in education. There have been 17 Haitian Chevening scholars in the past 5 years, and we are working with the Chevening Alumni Community to promote the scheme in country. We have also shared information about the Turing scheme with the Haitian government. These schemes help to support the long-term prosperity and stability that is essential to reducing poverty in countries like Haiti, and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.2. Ultimately, individual institutions will make independent decisions on educational partnerships.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of attempts by China to extend the political and economic influence of that country to the Caribbean.

The UK recognises China as a source of aid, trade and investment for many countries including in the Caribbean. Chinese investment can support jobs and growth, but this must be developed and delivered in line with the highest international standards, particularly with regard to environmental and social safeguards, transparency, and debt sustainability. It is precisely because we recognise China's role in the world that we expect China to live up to its international obligations and international responsibilities and we will hold China to account when it does not.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Saudi Arabian counterpart on reports that that country is establishing a uranium enrichment programme.

The Department has not engaged with the Saudi authorities on this matter.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ratify Protocol V of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

The UK is undertaking a comprehensive cross-Government review of Protocol V ratification. It has taken longer than anticipated due to the complexities involved. The assessment is drawing to a close and we will provide an update in due course. The UK continues to abide by the spirit of the protocol and we remain committed to its humanitarian aims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) technical support the UK provides to the Colombian (i) police and (ii) armed forces.

The UK is a key supporter of the implementation of Colombia's historic peace agreement. Over the past five years, the UK has provided £61.7 million through the Conflict, Security, and Stabilisation Fund (CSSF), which has allowed us to provide niche technical and financial support on stabilisation, policing, and transitional justice. In 2020, the UK launched a three year £2.1 million Police Innovations for Stabilisation in Colombia Programme (SCIP), which is helping the transformation of the Colombian National Police. The SCIP aims to contribute to the modernization of the police service by scaling up and improving police practices with a preventive approach, focusing on i) Community-based police prevention; ii) Transformation of large-scale social conflicts from a rights-based approach; and iii) Gender mainstreaming.

Fewer than 10 UK armed forces personnel are deployed to Colombia in support of the Colombian police and armed forces, as well as in capacity building support to the Colombian Ministry of Defence, which has responsibility for both the Colombian Armed Forces and the police service.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many UK armed forces personnel are stationed in Colombia to assist with training the Colombian police force.

Fewer than ten members of the UK armed forces are deployed to Colombia to assist the Colombian police service.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the Colombian peace agreement is upheld.

The UK has been a leading international advocate of Colombia's peace process, and supporting the Colombian Government in its commitment to implement the 2016 Peace Accords will remain an important priority. We have contributed more than £60 million in support via the Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund (CSSF) and are the largest donor to the UN Trust Fund for Colombia. CSSF resources are targeted at accelerating the implementation of the peace accord, including support for the Government's rural development and reintegration programmes, and strengthening the participation of the communities in conflict-affected areas.

We are proud to lead on the issue at the UN Security Council, and will continue to strengthen the international community's support and commitment to peace and stability in Colombia. Significant progress has been made on peace and security in Colombia in the past four years - whilst security challenges do remain, and will take time and resources to overcome, the situation has improved considerably.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Haitian counterpart on the potential effect of climate change on Haiti.

In August, the COP26 President Designate, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy hosted a virtual round table discussion on climate change with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at which the Haitian Minister of the Environment participated. The meeting discussed the climate change agenda, with a particular focus on helping Caribbean countries on accessing finance, climate change mitigation and adaptation and resilience. This was the first Ministerial discussion on climate change with CARICOM in 2020 and paved the way for strong partnership with all Caribbean Small Island Developing States. We have since partnered with the region on building stronger pipelines of foreign direct investment in renewables, promoting youth engagement on building a more climate resilient future, and provided technical and financial support in the development of National Determined Contributors. We are acutely aware of the vulnerability of Haiti and all Small Island Developing States and remain committed to developing their resilience and promoting their moral voice within multilateral fora.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help tackle poverty in Haiti.

The UK recognises the severe impacts caused by poverty in Haiti. The impact of COVID-19, alongside environmental and political challenges has caused a rise in food insecurity with over 4.1 million people assessed as being at levels 3 (Crisis) and 4 (Emergency) of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. As a UN Security Council P5 member, the UK has supported the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), which is now preparing to implement socio-economic interventions aimed at addressing and reducing the root causes of community and gang violence, by developing employment opportunities with a focus on youth most at risk.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the Government of Haiti deliver free and fair elections.

The UK recognises the challenges faced by Haiti, particularly in the face of COVID-19. The UK continues to use its platform at United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to call for credible and transparent elections as soon as possible, to ensure Haiti is governed by strong democratic institutions. The UK also supports the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN Special Political Mission, BINUH, in their ongoing diplomatic engagement with the Haitian authorities on elections. We also support BINUH's advisory role in support of the Haitian National Police's efforts to ensure a safe and secure environment for the conduct of elections. The UK supported UNSC's decision for a one year extension for BINUH.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Saudi Arabian counterpart on ensuring that country (a) records and (b) retains data on the (i) locations and (ii) types of explosive ordnance they have used in Yemen.

The UK regularly raises the importance of International Humanitarian Law and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations with Saudi Arabia, including at senior levels. We share UK experience of best practice for conducting air operations in accordance with acceptable international norms. This includes the provision of training to the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) on best practice for investigating alleged violations. We have supported the development of the JIAT's investigations into allegations and continue to urge Saudi Arabia to ensure findings from its investigations are published clearly and its recommendations, including payment of compensation and changes to procedures, are properly implemented.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of commitments in the Colombian peace deal for the Colombian Government to work towards the dismantling of paramilitary successor groups.

We remain concerned about the continued presence and activities of illegal armed groups in Colombia, and the impact?that?their involvement in,?and competition for,?control of illicit economies has on local people. We are aware of reports of the activities of?one such group,?Los?Rastrojos,?which has led?to the deaths?and widespread displacement of civilians near the Colombia-Venezuela border. Our Embassy continues to monitor the situation.

We remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace. We regularly raise our concern about the activities of illegal armed groups with the Colombian Government,?and in multilateral fora. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the UN spoke on this issue at the UN Security Council on 14 July, and we consistently press the Colombian Government to focus on extending the rule of law to all parts of the country.?More widely, long-term security depends on socioeconomic development across Colombia as a whole. Embassy programmes?are working?to help communities develop alternative?livelihoods,?and?tackle the root causes of insecurity?in order?to?build?towards a sustainable and inclusive peace.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of ongoing actions of the paramilitary successor group Los Rastrojos in Colombia.

We remain concerned about the continued presence and activities of illegal armed groups in Colombia, and the impact?that?their involvement in,?and competition for,?control of illicit economies has on local people. We are aware of reports of the activities of?one such group,?Los?Rastrojos,?which has led?to the deaths?and widespread displacement of civilians near the Colombia-Venezuela border. Our Embassy continues to monitor the situation.

We remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace. We regularly raise our concern about the activities of illegal armed groups with the Colombian Government,?and in multilateral fora. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the UN spoke on this issue at the UN Security Council on 14 July, and we consistently press the Colombian Government to focus on extending the rule of law to all parts of the country.?More widely, long-term security depends on socioeconomic development across Colombia as a whole. Embassy programmes?are working?to help communities develop alternative?livelihoods,?and?tackle the root causes of insecurity?in order?to?build?towards a sustainable and inclusive peace.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Republic of Cyprus counterpart on the reopening of the crossings between Northern Cyprus and the Republic.

On 14 May the Foreign Secretary raised the reopening of the crossing points with his Republic of Cyprus counterpart. Our High Commissioner in Nicosia and his staff have also been in contact with officials across the island on the issue of the crossing points, encouraging crossings to re-open.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, unilateral action was taken by both sides over the crossing points, which effectively temporarily ended the free movement of Cypriots across the island. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two communities, in particular, through the bi-communal technical committees. We welcomed the agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders that Turkish Cypriot students, Turkish Cypriot workers and Maronites would be able to cross the Green Line from 8 June. We urge both sides to take the appropriate action at the checkpoints to enable Cypriots to be able to travel across their own island unrestricted, as they could before the COVID-19 crisis. This is vital for bi-communal interaction in support of a settlement.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he supports the reopening of Crans-Montana talks after the postponed Turkish Cypriot elections.

Although the talks in Crans Montana ended without agreement, important progress towards addressing outstanding issues was made. We will continue to support the UN and other parties in their work towards a settlement. The UK is open to whatever arrangements the two sides and the other Guarantor Powers can agree on in order to meet the security needs of a reunited Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot leader election will now take place in October 2020. It will be important that further talks progress following that election.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what role the UK Government has played in the reunification negotiations as the UN penholder on the Cyprus peace process.

The UK is a strong supporter of a comprehensive and just Cyprus settlement based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. We regularly engage with the parties to the settlement talks at all levels. We continue to encourage all parties to engage constructively in talks about a settlement and demonstrate they are committed to making progress. We endorse the UN Secretary-General's view that prospects for a settlement remain alive. We welcome his continued willingness to work with the parties, such as his meeting of 25 November 2019 with the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, and the engagement of UN Secretary General's Representative on the Cyprus Dispute, Ms Jane Holl Lute, and hope this will lead to a return to comprehensive negotiations. As penholder on the UN Security Council we fully support the renewal of mandate for the UN's peacekeeping force on Cyprus.

The UK continues to contribute to a settlement through practical assistance to help the two sides move towards a settlement. We are one of the largest troop contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island, UNFICYP. It is for the sides to agree on the details of any final settlement deal which will require the agreement of the two leaders, the support of Greece and Turkey and - importantly - successful referenda in each community.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on support for the work of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' Personal Envoy, Jane Holl Lute, in continuing contact with the two Cypriot communities, Greece, Turkey and the UK on a peace process for the island of Cyprus.

The UK is a strong supporter of a comprehensive and just Cyprus settlement based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. We regularly engage with the parties to the settlement talks at all levels. We continue to encourage all parties to engage constructively in talks about a settlement and demonstrate they are committed to making progress. We endorse the UN Secretary-General's view that prospects for a settlement remain alive. We welcome his continued willingness to work with the parties, such as his meeting of 25 November 2019 with the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, and the engagement of UN Secretary General's Representative on the Cyprus Dispute, Ms Jane Holl Lute, and hope this will lead to a return to comprehensive negotiations. As penholder on the UN Security Council we fully support the renewal of mandate for the UN's peacekeeping force on Cyprus.

The UK continues to contribute to a settlement through practical assistance to help the two sides move towards a settlement. We are one of the largest troop contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island, UNFICYP. It is for the sides to agree on the details of any final settlement deal which will require the agreement of the two leaders, the support of Greece and Turkey and - importantly - successful referenda in each community.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Turkish counterpart on the detention of journalists and writers in that country.

We regularly raise our human rights concerns with the Turkish authorities at the highest level, particularly around detentions, freedom of expression and association. We continue to urge the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards. We will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these important issues, and to urge respect for freedom of the media. We continue to be clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the situation for human rights defenders and journalists held in pre-trial detention in Turkey, in relation to the risk that overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in Turkish prisons pose to transmission of covid-19.

We regularly raise our concerns with Turkey about conditions in Turkish prisons and the risks posed by COVID-19 in Turkey. We continue to urge the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards. Ministers and our Ambassador to Turkey continue to engage the Turkish Government on Covid risks and future work to tackle the disease.

We support the call made by the UN Secretary-General in his message of 22 April that human rights must be at the front and centre of the COVID-19 response and recovery. We continue to be clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens. We support all efforts by the UN to minimise long-term damage to global economies, societies, politics and freedoms.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of progress on the rural reform chapter of the peace agreement in Colombia.

President Duque's Government has publicly committed to implementing the Peace Accords of 2016 in their entirety, and we remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace in Colombia. We are proud to be the penholder on the issue at the United Nations Security Council, and have committed almost £53 million over 5 years through the United Kingdom Conflict Stability and Security Fund for Colombia to support development across conflict-affected regions. We regularly raise progress in implementation of the peace agreement with the Colombian authorities, including the need to prioritise rural reform, where progress is crucial to sustainable peace. UK-funded programmes across a range of areas are helping to improve the socio-economic conditions in rural areas, particularly through the implementation of the rural development programmes (PDETS) set out in the peace accords.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Colombian counterparts on the security of former combatants living in newly created areas outside the official reincorporation zones.

The United Kingdom welcomes the Colombian Government's longstanding commitment to assisting former guerrilla fighters transition to civilian life following the peace agreement of 2016. We have committed almost £53 million over 5 years through the United Kingdom Conflict Stability and Security Fund for Colombia to support development across conflict-affected regions. This includes programmes designed to build state capacity to ensure the safety of former fighters and of other vulnerable individuals and groups, including outside of official reincorporation zones.

Our Embassy regularly raises concerns about specific communities with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

We also raised our concern about this issue at the United Nations Security Council session on Colombia on 14 April, where we called on the Colombian Government to accelerate its reintegration programmes for former combatants. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian Government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of protestors being killed during protests against forced eradication programmes in Colombia.

The United Kingdom is committed to the implementation of the Peace Accords of 2016, and we remain steadfast in our support of the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace in Colombia. Part of this includes direct support to the Government's voluntary crop substitution programme and to supporting state capacity to better protect community leaders involved in this work. We are aware of reports of two deaths during coca eradication operations in recent months. As we mentioned at the UN Security Council session on 13 January, we are particularly concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders and community leaders and have called on the Colombian Government to prioritise the tackling of this violence. We have regularly raised the need for a holistic approach to improving security conditions in rural areas.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to repatriate British citizens stranded in (a) Cuba, (b) Barbados, (c) Grenada, (d) Montserrat and (e) Antigua and Barbuda as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities, and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March, with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have brought home over 32,000 people on 153 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories. We have also supported over 11,000 people to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means.

There are currently no scheduled commercial flight options available to return to the UK from Cuba, Barbados or Grenada. We are aware of a commercial flight operated by British Airways which departed on Sunday 17 May and this was highlighted in our public messaging especially to those in Antigua and Barbuda and also to those in Montserrat who could benefit from this flight. Our consular network in the region continues to provide support to British nationals who require assistance.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of British citizens still awaiting repatriation to the UK from countries in the Caribbean region due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have now brought home nearly 31,000 people on 144 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 27 countries and territories.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March - with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers. On 8 May, we brought back more than 300 people from Jamaica and Guyana on charter flights organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We have supported nearly 11,000 to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means.

We are aware that there are British nationals remaining overseas in the Caribbean region and our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prioritise the return from abroad of non-UK nationals who are normally resident in the UK and who are (a) vulnerable and (b) classified as critical workers.

Our objective remains to bring home British travellers who want to return to the UK, as soon as possible. British travellers will therefore be prioritised for seats on repatriation flights. From the outset, our priority for the charter flight programme has been getting British travellers home. But after we launched the charter flight programme, it became clear that there are people with indefinite leave to remain (ILR) who normally reside in the UK, and want to get back. So where possible, we are working to help vulnerable UK residents with ILR. This is beyond the scope of our standard consular assistance, which is usually just for UK nationals. But these are exceptional times. We are seeking to help vulnerable people with ILR wherever possible, provided that they have lived in the UK within the last year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Turkish counterpart on the (a) prosecution of (i) Amnesty International Turkey's Tan Kilic and Idil Eser and (ii) other human rights defenders in that country and (b) legitimacy of human rights defenders and their work.

We remain concerned by the Amnesty arrests in the summer of 2017, as well as that of the civil society activist Osman Kavala in October the same year, and have been following both cases closely. We have raised their cases at ministerial level with the Turkish Government on several occasions, most recently in January this year. We hope that the outstanding charges against them can be brought to a timely and equitable conclusion. We will be monitoring the next hearing on 19 February.

We have long encouraged Turkey to work towards the full protection of fundamental rights, including those of human rights defenders, and in support of freedom of expression. The United Kingdom recognises that human rights defenders play an essential role in promoting and protecting democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Our commitment to human rights defenders was publicly emphasised by the publication in July 2019 of the document 'UK Support for Human Rights Defenders'. We will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these important issues.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of including Afghan journalists previously employed by the BBC in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme for British Council staff and contractors.

To qualify for relocation under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), Afghan nationals must have worked in exposed, meaningful or enabling roles in ways which made a material difference to the delivery of the UK mission in Afghanistan (e.g. linguistic services to UK Armed Forces). Eligibility for the scheme has been extended several times since it launched in April 2021 and there are no plans to extend it further.

Approximately 100 Afghan journalists have been evacuated and brought to safety since Operation Pitting, in August 2021.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will provide up to 20,000 women, children, and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

Under Pathway three of ACRS in the first year, the government is honouring its commitment to resettlement by offering places for up to 1,500 eligible individuals from the following groups: British Council contractors, Gardaworld contractors or Chevening alumni.

Beyond the first year of the third pathway, the government will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome wider groups of Afghans at risk.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2022 to Question 23234, under which scheme 100 Afghan journalists been relocated to the UK; and what type of visas they have been granted.

100 Afghan journalists have been brought to safety during and after OP Pitting under the ACRS through pathway one.

They were granted Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) for 6 months and will be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain under the scheme.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to provide visas to Afghan journalists who have worked for the BBC.

The Government responded swiftly to the fast-moving and challenging events in Afghanistan, including supporting the largest and fastest evacuation in recent history. We helped over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan in August 2021 and we continue to do all we can to enable those who are eligible to relocate to the UK.

There have been approximately 100 Afghan journalists who have been evacuated and brought to safety since 1 August 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that Peruvians who would like to travel to the UK are able to do so without a visa.

There are no current plans to change the visa requirements for citizens of Peru.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many digital devices have been provided to settled refugees on UK Resettlement Scheme to assist them with English for Speakers of Other Languages training and job applications.

Local authorities receive a generous funding package for the support they provide for refugees resettled under the UK Resettlement Scheme.

The overall package also includes additional ESOL funding to improve the English language skills of adults and helping support better employability and integration outcomes. This package enables local authorities to support refugees as they rebuild their lives in safe and secure surroundings, among supportive communities in the UK.

The Home Office does not provide any digital devices, so any provision would be separate from Government, as such we do not hold this information.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the potential merits of standardising the English for Speakers of Other Languages curricula to enable settled refugees to learn necessary materials to integrate successfully into British society.

This Government recognises the ability to speak English is key to helping refugees integrate into life in the UK, as well as to breaking down barriers to work and career progression. The Home Office works very closely with other Government departments to ensure mainstream English language provision meets the needs of refugees.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications are available at five levels, funded through the Adult Education Budget and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Qualifications are aimed at providing learners with the skills they need for life and work in the UK.

Ofqual regulate ESOL qualifications so the outcomes achieved by learners attest to the level of knowledge, understanding and skills set out in the qualification.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis on her meeting with the Colombian Defence Minister in December 2021.

The UK Government does not comment on the content of meetings held by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and other Government authorities.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Feb 2022
AWE
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answers of 24 June 2021 to Question 19488 and 6 December 2018 to Question 198373, what his most recent estimate is of the (a) anticipated out-turn cost and (b) projected in-service date of each of the approved and planned projects in the Atomic Weapons Establishment Site Development Context Plan.

The currently approved cost and in-service dates for AWE infrastructure projects, are as follows:

Project/Programme

Approved Cost

Approved In-service Date

MENSA

£1996 million

2024

PEGASUS

£634 million

Material Handling Store - 2025 Manufacture Capability – 2030

Project MENSA received a revised approval to its cost and in-service date in February 2022 reflecting, inter alia, the impacts of COVID-19 and amendments to the project to support the future warhead programme.

All outstanding infrastructure related projects at AWE are still subject to internal departmental approval processes and approved outturn cost and in-service dates are not yet available.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to help ensure that there is oversight and accountability of the UK's military partnerships and that key policies and processes governing those relationships involve Parliament.

MOD Ministers are committed to their accountability responsibilities to Parliament on key policies and processes regarding our relationships with our international partners. The Department makes regular announcements on defence activity to ensure Parliament is kept up to date and we also ratify legally binding instruments through Parliament to ensure proper oversight and accountability of these agreements. Parliament holds the Department to account through monthly Defence questions, regular Parliamentary Questions, requests for information through Ministerial Correspondence, Ministerial Statements and announcements, and Select Committee inquiries.

Oversight and monitoring of the UK's military partnerships is managed within the Department through rigorous assessment processes underpinned by formal documentation. This includes regular updates to Ministers both on any new partnership agreements and on operational activity undertaken as part of existing ones.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jun 2021
AWE
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his most recent estimate is of the (a) anticipated out-turn cost and (b) projected in-service date of each of the projects in the Atomic Weapons Establishment Site Development Context Plan.

The currently approved cost and in-service dates for AWE infrastructure projects, are as follows:

Project/Programme

Approved Cost

Approved In-service Date

MENSA

£1806 million

2023

PEGASUS

£634 million

Material Handling Store- 2025 Manufacture Capability - 2030

All outstanding infrastructure related projects at AWE remain in pre-approval stage and approved outturn cost and in-service dates are not available.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what representations he has received on the draft text of an International Political Declaration to restrict the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The final version of the Political Declaration has not yet been published.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had on using an International Political Declaration to restrict the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The final version of the Political Declaration has not yet been published.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department's review into promotion boards is published.

As part of the Ministry of Defence's ongoing commitment to maximising the full potential of all our personnel, the Chiefs of Staff announced last year an ambitious programme of policy and process reviews. In consultation with the single Services and on reviewing work already in progress, it was agreed that this review would focus on the processes and procedures that lead up to a Promotion Board rather than the Boards themselves. There is no intention to publish this review outside of the Department, rather, it will be used internally to further inform policy development to deliver on departmental ambitions.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many chaplains in each religious denomination served in the Sea Cadet Corps in 2019.

The information requested is not held by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Unlike the Army, Royal Air Force and Combined Cadet Forces, the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) is not wholly funded or managed by the MOD. SCC units are independent charities in their own right, affiliated to the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), itself an independent charity. The MSSC is responsible for the overall management of cadets and volunteers.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information his Department holds on the religious denomination of (a) cadets and (b) adults in the Sea Cadet Corps in the last two years.

The information requested is not held by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Unlike the Army, Royal Air Force and Combined Cadet Forces, the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) is not wholly funded or managed by the MOD. SCC units are independent charities in their own right, affiliated to the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), itself an independent charity. The MSSC is responsible for the overall management of cadets and volunteers.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) abuse allegations, (b) abuse cases referred to the police, (c) volunteers dismissed as a result of abuse allocations were recorded in the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) in each year since 2017; and how many chaplains serving in the SCC were involved in those cases.

The information requested is not held by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Unlike the Army, Royal Air Force and Combined Cadet Forces, the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) is not wholly funded or managed by the MOD. SCC units are independent charities in their own right, affiliated to the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), itself an independent charity. The MSSC is responsible for the overall management of cadets and volunteers.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions the Administration of the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus has had with the local population on future developments of that base.

The Sovereign Base Areas Administration (SBAA) regularly engages with its local communities through the Administrator and his officials, supported by the High Commission in Nicosia where appropriate. This regular engagement includes discussion on future development, on which the views of the local communities are sought. Most notably, the SBAA continues to engage extensively with representatives and members of the communities on non-military development, with a full public consultation taking place earlier this year.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with the Law Commission on the date of the publication of that body's report on reforming the laws on wills.

We regularly discuss with the Law Commission the timeframes for reports which the Government has commissioned, and which the Commission has to prioritise in order to resource each law reform project appropriately. The Commission paused completion of the wills project following Government’s request for it to prioritise work on weddings, in the light of the pressing need for reform in relation to how and where people can marry. The Law Commission expects to return to the wills project later this year.

James Cartlidge
Assistant Whip