Giles Watling Portrait

Giles Watling

Conservative - Clacton

First elected: 8th June 2017


Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
7th Jun 2023 - 11th Jul 2023
Powers of Attorney Bill
22nd Feb 2023 - 1st Mar 2023
Animal (Penalty Notices) Bill
1st Dec 2021 - 8th Dec 2021
Cultural Objects (Protection From Seizure) Bill
9th Nov 2021 - 17th Nov 2021
DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation
12th Mar 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Giles Watling has voted in 874 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
20 May 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 347 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 254
3 Dec 2021 - Copyright (Rights and Remuneration of Musicians, etc.) Bill - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 59 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 28 Noes - 59
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Giles Watling voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
View All Giles Watling 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(9 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
Mims Davies (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(21 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Giles Watling's debates

Clacton 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want suicide spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way. Speaking about suicide saves lives
The Dept for Education are conducting a review of the RSHE curriculum; this petition calls on the DfE to include suicide prevention within the statutory guidelines of the new curriculum.

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


Latest EDMs signed by Giles Watling

4th March 2024
Giles Watling signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 4th March 2024

Future defence spending

Tabled by: Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
That this House calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to require that a minimum of 3% of GDP be allocated to defence spending; recognises that defence spending is at a three-year high but should be protected to prevent economic downturns from impacting the defence budget adversely; believes …
5 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
24th July 2018
Giles Watling signed this EDM on Tuesday 24th July 2018

AUCHENGEICH COLLIERY DISASTER (No. 2)

Tabled by: Hugh Gaffney (Labour - Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
That this House notes that 18 September 2018 will mark the 59th anniversary of the Auchengeich Colliery disaster, in which 47 miners went to work never to return home to their families, leaving 76 children without a father and a community devastated; recognises the fact that the youngest man to …
23 signatures
(Most recent: 9 Oct 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Scottish National Party: 5
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Conservative: 2
View All Giles Watling's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Giles Watling, 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 Giles Watling

1 Adjournment Debate led by Giles Watling

Wednesday 16th June 2021

4 Bills introduced by Giles Watling


A Bill to make provision about the scrutiny and approval by Parliament of appointments to senior civil service roles; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 5th March 2024
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 17th May 2024

A Bill to transfer responsibility for marine licensing from the Marine Management Organisation to local authorities; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 12th October 2022
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision about extended collective licensing in relation to copyright and performers' rights; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 20th June 2022

A Bill to prohibit the use of certain anti-loitering devices without a licence; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 17th July 2018

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will meet with a delegation of tidal range developers to discuss support for the advancement of tidal power.

The Government is open to considering well-developed proposals for harnessing the tidal range energy in the bays and estuaries around our coastlines, including barrage schemes and other alternatives. The developers should write to my office in the first instance and set out the issues they would like to explore in discussion.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of using voluntary collective licensing schemes to enable the licensing of copyright protected material for use in the training of generative AI models.

The Government recognises the benefits of collective licensing, in delivering efficient outcomes for users of copyright material, but has made no specific assessment of the potential merits of collective licensing in relation to the training of AI models. Collective licensing was examined by the working group convened last year to develop a voluntary code of practice on copyright and AI, but no agreement on a way forward was reached between rights holders and AI companies.

The Government will continue to work closely with AI developers and rights holders, including collective management organisations, on these issues and will share a public update soon.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she is taking steps to support the growth of the human-specific technology sector.

We look forward to the moment when technology will allow the end of all animal testing. In the meantime, we are committed to supporting the growth of technologies that support human-specific research. The UK has a world leading reputation for the delivery of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research (3Rs).

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment her Department has made of the potential Americanisation of (a) spelling, (b) vernacular, (c) cultural reference and (d) design in British books in the event that the Intellectual Property Office introduces an international copyright exhaustion regime.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The Government will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of an international exhaustion regime on UK author incomes.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The potential impact of an international exhaustion regime on UK authors is likely to form part of the overall assessment, alongside the potential effect on other sectors of the economy. The Government will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the publishing industry is consulted by the Intellectual Property Office as part of its review of the UK’s future intellectual property exhaustion regime.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. During the consultation period, the Intellectual Property Office held constructive discussions with stakeholders across multiple business sectors, including representatives of the publishing industry and wider creative industries.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of an international exhaustion regime on UK authors.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The Government is currently assessing consultation responses. and will provide an update on this consultation in due course.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that concerns of the publishing industry and wider creative industries are taken into account by the Intellectual Property Office in its consultation into the UK’s future intellectual property regime.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. Before and during the consultation period, the Intellectual Property Office held constructive discussions with stakeholders across multiple business sectors, including representatives of the publishing industry and wider creative industries. The Government is currently considering consultation responses and is grateful for the contributions from interested parties.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compliance of Ofgem's RIIO-2 Draft Determinations for Transmission, Gas Distribution and Electricity System Operator with the UK's net zero target.

Ofgem, as the independent expert regulator, has an important role in the transition to net zero. Its principle duty is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers, and this includes consumers’ interests in the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas supply. Ofgem also has a duty to have regard to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and gas. These duties are set out in Part 1 of the Gas Act 1986 and Electricity Act 1989.

Network regulation is a matter for Ofgem – by law Government has no role. In its RIIO-2 Draft Determinations Ofgem has announced £3bn of upfront funding to connect green electricity sources and transmission grid upgrades. In addition, Ofgem is introducing mechanisms to inject £10bn or more of additional funding that companies can access over the price control to drive decarbonisation and infrastructure upgrades as required, and help to drive green and resilient economic recovery.

In its Decarbonisation Action Plan (link to Plan here), Ofgem stated that it would be ‘reviewing the way our energy systems are managed to ensure they are fit for a net-zero future’.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the publication of the RIIO-2 Draft Determinations for Transmission, Gas Distribution and Electricity System, whether he plans to align Ofgem’s remit to net zero.

Ofgem, as the independent expert regulator, has an important role in the transition to net zero. Its principle duty is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers, and this includes consumers’ interests in the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas supply. Ofgem also has a duty to have regard to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and gas. These duties are set out in Part 1 of the Gas Act 1986 and Electricity Act 1989.

Network regulation is a matter for Ofgem – by law Government has no role. In its RIIO-2 Draft Determinations Ofgem has announced £3bn of upfront funding to connect green electricity sources and transmission grid upgrades. In addition, Ofgem is introducing mechanisms to inject £10bn or more of additional funding that companies can access over the price control to drive decarbonisation and infrastructure upgrades as required, and help to drive green and resilient economic recovery.

In its Decarbonisation Action Plan (link to Plan here), Ofgem stated that it would be ‘reviewing the way our energy systems are managed to ensure they are fit for a net-zero future’.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that Ofgem policies support an investment-led green economic recovery.

Ofgem, as the independent expert regulator, has an important role in the transition to net zero. Its principle duty is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers, and this includes consumers’ interests in the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas supply. Ofgem also has a duty to have regard to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and gas. These duties are set out in Part 1 of the Gas Act 1986 and Electricity Act 1989.

Network regulation is a matter for Ofgem – by law Government has no role. In its RIIO-2 Draft Determinations Ofgem has announced £3bn of upfront funding to connect green electricity sources and transmission grid upgrades. In addition, Ofgem is introducing mechanisms to inject £10bn or more of additional funding that companies can access over the price control to drive decarbonisation and infrastructure upgrades as required, and help to drive green and resilient economic recovery.

In its Decarbonisation Action Plan (link to Plan here), Ofgem stated that it would be ‘reviewing the way our energy systems are managed to ensure they are fit for a net-zero future’.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the intellectual property of sports bodies is protected from piracy; what plans he has to investigate the potential commercial effect of the activities of the Saudi-based pirate broadcaster beoutQ on the UK's creative industries; and if he will make a statement.

Officials in the Intellectual Property Office work closely with their counterparts in the Department for International Trade work, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on matters relating to the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights around the world.

Government Ministers and HM Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have raised this matter with the Saudi Arabian Government and will continue to make representations about any alleged broadcast infringement activities of UK IP.

We understand broadcasting piracy in Saudi Arabia, through the pirate operator beoutQ, has now stopped. This followed pressure by the UK, the US, European countries, and major sports rights holders.

The Government will continue to with the UK creative industries to try to understand the commercial effect of the alleged piracy by beoutQ.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 2 May 2019 to Question 247159, what progress has been made on tackling the widespread theft of the UK creative industries intellectual property rights by the pirate network beoutQ.

Officials in the Intellectual Property Office work closely with their counterparts in the Department for International Trade work, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on matters relating to the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights around the world.

Government Ministers and HM Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have raised this matter with the Saudi Arabian Government and will continue to make representations about any alleged broadcast infringement activities of UK IP.

We understand broadcasting piracy in Saudi Arabia, through the pirate operator beoutQ, has now stopped. This followed pressure by the UK, the US, European countries, and major sports rights holders.

The Government will continue to with the UK creative industries to try to understand the commercial effect of the alleged piracy by beoutQ.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department plans to establish a Hydrogen cluster by the end of the next Parliament.

Low carbon hydrogen could play a vital role in meeting the UK’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, supporting both our Industrial Strategy and the revitalisation of the economies of the UK’s industrial areas.

Government is committed to exploring hydrogen’s potential through up to £108 million in innovation funding and £100 million to deploy low carbon hydrogen production capacity. The Government has also committed to invest £800 million to build the first fully deployed CCUS cluster by the mid-2020s and £500 million to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques, which could include the use of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is likely to play an important role in achieving the Industrial Clusters Mission, creating the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low carbon cluster by 2030. This is supported by up to £170 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support the deployment of low carbon technologies and enabling infrastructure in one or more clusters.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Breaching of Limits on Ticket Sales Regulations 2018 at preventing the use of automated software to purchase more tickets than the maximum permitted number.

We are committed to supporting fair and transparent ticket pricing and tackling unacceptable behaviour in this market.

We have strengthened the law in relation to ticketing information requirements and have introduced a criminal offence of using automated software to buy more tickets online than is allowed. We also support the work of enforcement agencies in this area, such as the Competition and Markets Authority, National Trading Standards, and the advertising industry's own regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority.

The effectiveness of any legislation is dependent on people and organisations reporting suspected breaches to the relevant enforcement agencies, and we strongly encourage anyone with evidence of suspected ticketing fraud to report it to them.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made regarding the impact of artificial intelligence developments on employment opportunities for performers and creative workers.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the global trends which will transform our future, changing jobs across the economy, including those working in the arts and creative industries.

The creative industries’ growing interdependence with the digital sector is inspiring business growth, invention and investment. The sector already makes ingenious use of AI in many ways: to recommend content on streaming platforms, to create Luke Skywalker’s voice in The Mandalorian, and to govern the behaviour of non-playable characters in video games. However adoption of AI is not uniform across the sub sectors, which risks us missing prime opportunities to improve productivity and growth.

We want our creative workers to be able to build further on these technological opportunities, which will play an increasingly vital part in the sectors’ success, whilst safeguarding against risks associated with increasing automation. Our Creative Industries Sector Vision will set out a long-term strategy focused on promoting growth, with a section dedicated to the exciting future of this dynamic workforce, including the impact of AI.

In the National AI Strategy, the government set out a number of steps it is taking to develop the brightest, most diverse workforce: from bolstering the provision of higher level skills at PhD and Masters level to developing research that helps employees, from across sectors, to understand what skills are needed for them to effectively use AI in a business setting.

Additionally, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is developing a programme to help accelerate the adoption of AI in certain low AI maturity sectors which are key to the UK economy, with the creative industries being a potential priority sector to explore, which will help to improve the sector’s productivity.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent progress he has made on (a) short term visa and (b) work permit requirements for touring artists and support staff since since the publication on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

We have always acknowledged that the end of freedom of movement would have consequences for touring musicians and performers. That is why, as the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency to provide greater clarity about the current position, including working with our friends in EU Member States, to support the creative sectors tour in Europe with ease.

Member States are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake in the EU, and we have spoken to every Member State. We have established musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours in at least 19 out of 27 Member States. This includes France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and many more. The length of tour permitted without a visa or permit varies across Member States. For many Member States it is for up to 90 days, which will capture the vast majority of tours.

We are continuing to speak to all Member States to encourage them to ensure their rules and guidance are clear and accessible. And we are now working closely with those Member States that do require visas or work permits for short-term tours to encourage them to adopt a more flexible approach, in line with the UK’s own rules which allow creative professionals to tour here easily. Formal approaches have been made to those Member States, and DCMS ministers will play an active role in discussions.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer on 25 May to Question 3150 on Theatre: EU Countries, what assessment his Department has made of the varying time limits placed on touring activities without needing visas or work permits offered by the 17 EU Member States.

We have always acknowledged that the end of freedom of movement would have consequences for touring musicians and performers. That is why, as the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency to provide greater clarity about the current position, including working with our friends in EU Member States, to support the creative sectors tour in Europe with ease.

Member States are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake in the EU, and we have spoken to every Member State. We have established musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours in at least 19 out of 27 Member States. This includes France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and many more. The length of tour permitted without a visa or permit varies across Member States. For many Member States it is for up to 90 days, which will capture the vast majority of tours.

We are continuing to speak to all Member States to encourage them to ensure their rules and guidance are clear and accessible. And we are now working closely with those Member States that do require visas or work permits for short-term tours to encourage them to adopt a more flexible approach, in line with the UK’s own rules which allow creative professionals to tour here easily. Formal approaches have been made to those Member States, and DCMS ministers will play an active role in discussions.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government's proposed trade deals with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein include permit free touring provisions for UK support staff involved in touring activities in the EEA.

The UK’s creative industries are the finest in the world and this Government understands that the cultural and creative sectors rely on the ability to move people across borders quickly, simply, and with minimal cost and administration.

On 8 July, the UK - Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein Free Trade Agreement was signed.

The agreement allows UK touring artists, entertainers and support staff to travel to and work in Norway and Liechtenstein for 90 days in any 180 day period, and Iceland for 90 days in one calendar year without the need for a work permit.

The deal was based on the same UK offer that the EU turned down in negotiations. This shows our proposals were workable and our door remains open if the EU is willing to reconsider its position.

To provide further clarity on the arrangements, UK and EEA states plan to issue a non-binding clarification of entry routes for performers, artists and their support staff.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU on the ability of theatre productions that originate in the UK to undertake a continuous multinational tour in Europe.

This Government recognises the importance of our world leading creative and cultural industries, including theatre. Touring is a vital part of performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world. Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation.

UK performers and artists are of course still able to tour and perform in the EU, and vice versa. However, we understand the concerns about the new arrangements and we are committed to supporting the sectors as they get to grips with the changes to systems and processes.

As the Prime Minister has said, we're working flat out with the industry, including through the DCMS-led working group, on plans to support the creative sectors tour in Europe. Through our bilateral discussions with EU Member States, we have established that in at least 17 out of 27 Member States some touring activities are possible without visas or work-permits.

In recognition of the value of the cultural and creative industries - including theatre - at Budget 2021 this government announced an additional £300 million of support in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. This extra funding means that our total support package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2 billion. These are unprecedented sums.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allocating additional funding to the Public Lending Right fund to assist authors with falling incomes during the covid-19 outbreak.

There are no current plans to increase the overall amount of the PLR central fund in response to the COVID -19 outbreak or more generally. The British Library administers the PLR Scheme on behalf of the Government and the funding level of the PLR would form part of the consideration of British Library’s overall funding at a future spending review.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has undertaken research on the value added by scriptwriting to the UK creative industries.

The Government supports scriptwriters as part of its broader sectoral support for the film sector, in particular through the approximately £70 million provided annually (including Lottery funding) to our lead agency for film the British Film Institute, and its funded partners. This funding supports screenwriting specific opportunities offered as part of the BFI Film Academy and BFI NETWORK, which invest in the next generation of screenwriting talent.

While the Department has not undertaken such specific research, the global box office performance of UK films and foreign productions which draw on UK source material is a good indicator of the value of scriptwriting. Of the top 200 grossing films released worldwide from 2010 to 2019, 26 are based on stories and characters created by UK writers, and collectively these films have earned $19 billion at the global box office,13% of the total.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will allocate additional funding to the Public Lending Right fund.

There are no current plans to increase the overall amount of the PLR central fund in response to the COVID -19 outbreak or more generally. The British Library administers the PLR Scheme on behalf of the Government and the funding level of the PLR would form part of the consideration of British Library’s overall funding at a future spending review.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timeframe is for the reopening of soft play centres as the covid-19 outbreak restrictions are eased.

On 13 August, the Government announced that indoor play and indoor soft play venues can open from 15 August. We have also been working with BALPPA, the trade body that represents the industry to develop guidance that lays out detailed measures that should be taken by indoor play and indoor soft play operators to make venues COVID-secure. These include closing ball pits and sensory areas, reducing capacity of venues and soft play frames, regular deep cleaning, pre-bookable timed sessions, increased sanitation, and a rigorous process to support track and trace. Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active and the Government is committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so. Since 4 July other indoor facilities, including some indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues have reopened.


As with all aspects of the Government’s response to COVID-19, we continue to be guided by public health considerations to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to protect (a) the Premier League and (b) other sports bodies following the denial by the Saudi Arabian Government of access by the Premier League to legal representation; and if he will make a statement.

My officials are working closely with their counterparts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Trade to ensure the international interests of the Premier League and other UK sports bodies are protected and promoted around the world. We know that the Premier League is a great soft power asset for the UK, and we will continue to encourage relevant national governments to ensure it receives parity of treatment in all international markets.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to introduce an arts premium following the conclusion of the Spending Review 2021.

The government is committed to high-quality education for all pupils, and arts and music are integral to this. With the significant impact of COVID-19 on children’s learning, the department’s priorities have inevitably had to focus on education recovery over the next 3 years.

The department will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, through our music, arts and heritage programmes. This includes Music Education Hubs, the Music and Dance Scheme, British Film Academy, the Bridge organisations, and working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Arts Council England and others.

With the real terms per pupil increases to core school funding and the additional £1 billion new funding announced specifically for recovery, schools will continue to have the flexibility to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum and enrichment activities, including in the arts.

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to encourage the energy industry to increase the number of apprenticeships in that industry.

We have put employers at the heart of our apprenticeship system, empowering them to design the standards they need to meet their emerging skills needs in a changing economy. The independent Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education supports employers to develop standards and acts as the guarantor of their quality. Apprenticeships available in the sector include junior energy manager, smart home technician and power engineer.

Employers in the energy industry in England can use their apprenticeship levy funds to invest in these new high quality apprenticeship standards, unlocking the productivity benefits associated with employing apprentices.

We are encouraged to see companies in the energy sector engaging positively with the apprenticeship system. E.ON, for example, has apprentices working throughout its business in areas as diverse as cyber security, renewables, smart metering and customer service.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the reasons for changes in the amount of foie gras imported in 2023 compared with previous years; what information his Department holds on the number of businesses involved in importing foie gras in 2023; and when he plans to conclude the evidence base research phase of the foie gras importation ban consultation.

The Government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare and has made clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese using force feeding raises serious welfare concerns.

Whilst we have domestic restrictions on the production of force-fed foie gras, it is possible to import foie gras from abroad. In line with the Government’s commitment to improving animal welfare standards as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are committed to building a clear evidence base to inform future decisions.

We do not currently have an end date for when this research will conclude.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the total tonnage of foie gras imported in 2023; and whether he plans to ban its importation when produced via force-feeding.

In 2023 the UK imported 628 tonnes of fatty livers of geese and ducks, valued at £3.3m (source HMRC UK Trade Info; data for 2023 is provisional and subject to change).

The Government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare and has made clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese using force feeding raises serious welfare concerns.

We are committed to building a clear evidence base to inform future decisions. Any proposals would be informed by the evidence base and likely subject to consultation.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to (a) monitor and (b) restrict fur imports from European countries, in the context of outbreaks of avian flu in Europe in 2023.

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

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to (a) monitor and (b) restrict as necessary fur imports from European countries, in the context of outbreaks of avian flu in Europe.

While fur cannot be farmed in this country, and some fur from particular species is prohibited from import and sale, it is still possible to import and sell other types of fur from abroad. It is also possible to re-export fur and fur products that have been imported.

We have committed to explore potential action in relation to animal fur, as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, and have since conducted a Call for Evidence on the fur sector. We are continuing to build our evidence base on the fur sector, which will be used to inform any future action on the fur trade. However, currently we are not seeking to restrict fur imports based on avian influenza.

24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will introduce mandatory animal welfare labelling on supermarket products.

In 2021, Defra ran a call for evidence to gather data on the potential impacts of different types of labelling reform for animal welfare. We received over 1,600 responses and a summary of these responses is available on GOV.UK.

Based on the evidence provided, Defra is continuing to explore options for improving and expanding mandatory animal welfare labelling, covering both domestic and imported products.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for preventing dog breeding which results in puppies with extreme conformation.

All dog breeders are obliged under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) to protect their animals from suffering and provide for their welfare needs in line with best practice. A breach of these provisions may lead to imprisonment, a fine, or both. The 2006 Act is backed up by a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs: Code of practice for the welfare of dogs (publishing.service.gov.uk).

This code of practice provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their dogs, as required by the 2006 Act. The code of practice recommends owners seek the advice of a veterinary professional on the risks of inherited and exaggerated features, that could affect the welfare of the puppies, before allowing their dog to breed.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, commercial dog breeders in England are prohibited from breeding from a dog where it can be reasonably expected that its genotype, phenotype, or state of health could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring.

More detailed advice for those wishing to breed from their dogs can be found in the Canine & Feline Sector Group’s Code of Practice for Dog Breeding which is available here: Code of Practice for Dog Breeding 2020.indd (cfsg.org.uk)

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a code of practice to the regulate the breeding of dogs.

All dog breeders are obliged under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) to protect their animals from suffering and provide for their welfare needs in line with best practice. A breach of these provisions may lead to imprisonment, a fine, or both. The 2006 Act is backed up by a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs: Code of practice for the welfare of dogs (publishing.service.gov.uk).

This code of practice provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their dogs, as required by the 2006 Act. The code of practice recommends owners seek the advice of a veterinary professional on the risks of inherited and exaggerated features, that could affect the welfare of the puppies, before allowing their dog to breed.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, commercial dog breeders in England are prohibited from breeding from a dog where it can be reasonably expected that its genotype, phenotype, or state of health could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring.

More detailed advice for those wishing to breed from their dogs can be found in the Canine & Feline Sector Group’s Code of Practice for Dog Breeding which is available here: Code of Practice for Dog Breeding 2020.indd (cfsg.org.uk)

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Code of Practice for the Welfare for Dogs will be reviewed.

Defra’s Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs provides dog owners and keepers with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their animals, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The code of practice is kept under review and updated when required, and in line with legislative developments and changes in animal welfare practice.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to set up a national database for dog and cat microchips.

We are not proposing to create a single cat and dog microchip database. Database operators are commercial enterprises which offer a range of services and provide choice for pet owners.


A consultation seeking views on changes to the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 closed on 20th May 2022 and we are analysing the responses. The consultation sought views on creating a single point of access facility for approved users to quickly search compliant databases for a microchip record. We intend for this to also apply to cat microchip records.


This is a devolved matter and these developments relate to the situation applying in England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to set up a national database for microchip companies to input data received for dogs and cats.

We are not proposing to create a single cat and dog microchip database. Database operators are commercial enterprises which offer a range of services and provide choice for pet owners.


A consultation seeking views on changes to the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 closed on 20th May 2022 and we are analysing the responses. The consultation sought views on creating a single point of access facility for approved users to quickly search compliant databases for a microchip record. We intend for this to also apply to cat microchip records.


This is a devolved matter and these developments relate to the situation applying in England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to bring forward legislation to stop holiday firms promoting experiences with Asian elephants to tourists.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 21 June to the hon. Member for Crawley, PQ 19607.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support the Government is providing to farmers who are struggling to manage the outbreak of sheep scab, or psoroptic mange, on their farms.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Endemic diseases like sheep scab affect animal health and welfare, as well as productivity. As set out in the 25 year Environment Plan and the Agricultural Transition Plan: June 2021 progress update, we are working with industry to reduce the impact of endemic diseases, including through the launch in 2022 of an Annual Health and Welfare Review for eligible livestock farmers.

Sheep Scab initiatives are currently managed at a local level but we are working with Devolved Administrations to plan how we tackle the condition across regions.

A group of experts have recently been successful in a bid for funding from Defra via the Rural Development Programme for England to lead a two-year community-led project to improve the control of sheep scab in three hot spot areas where scab currently presents a significant problem: the North West, the Midlands and the South West. Farmers participating in this initiative will receive a unique combination of on-farm advice, best practice training, and free blood testing.

Farmers seeking further advice on sheep scab can contact the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what measures the Government is taking to work with devolved nations to tackle the spread of sheep scab across the regions.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Endemic diseases like sheep scab affect animal health and welfare, as well as productivity. As set out in the 25 year Environment Plan and the Agricultural Transition Plan: June 2021 progress update, we are working with industry to reduce the impact of endemic diseases, including through the launch in 2022 of an Annual Health and Welfare Review for eligible livestock farmers.

Sheep Scab initiatives are currently managed at a local level but we are working with Devolved Administrations to plan how we tackle the condition across regions.

A group of experts have recently been successful in a bid for funding from Defra via the Rural Development Programme for England to lead a two-year community-led project to improve the control of sheep scab in three hot spot areas where scab currently presents a significant problem: the North West, the Midlands and the South West. Farmers participating in this initiative will receive a unique combination of on-farm advice, best practice training, and free blood testing.

Farmers seeking further advice on sheep scab can contact the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what measures the Government is taking to work with key stakeholders to manage the spread of sheep scab, or psoroptic mange, in England.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Endemic diseases like sheep scab affect animal health and welfare, as well as productivity. As set out in the 25 year Environment Plan and the Agricultural Transition Plan: June 2021 progress update, we are working with industry to reduce the impact of endemic diseases, including through the launch in 2022 of an Annual Health and Welfare Review for eligible livestock farmers.

Sheep Scab initiatives are currently managed at a local level but we are working with Devolved Administrations to plan how we tackle the condition across regions.

A group of experts have recently been successful in a bid for funding from Defra via the Rural Development Programme for England to lead a two-year community-led project to improve the control of sheep scab in three hot spot areas where scab currently presents a significant problem: the North West, the Midlands and the South West. Farmers participating in this initiative will receive a unique combination of on-farm advice, best practice training, and free blood testing.

Farmers seeking further advice on sheep scab can contact the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his planned timetable is for the distribution of funding previously allocated to HS2.

In October, the Prime Minister announced that the full £36bn saved from HS2 up to 2041 will be reallocated with £19.8 billion for the North, £9.6 billion for the Midlands and £6.5 billion for the rest of the country.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
31st Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to implement the policies set out in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

Transformation of our railways has begun, and passengers are already benefiting, including through the introduction of new flexi season tickets.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the new cabotage rules set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, what recent assessment he has made of ways to ease new restrictions on cabotage and road haulage for tours operating from the UK.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) allows EU hauliers to continue to operate to, from, through and within the UK without the need for permits. The TCA ensures that the vast majority of journeys will continue as they did before the end of the transition period.

The Department for Transport continues to have regular discussions with colleagues across Whitehall on this issue, and is working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through their Touring Working Group. The Department also continues engage directly with the road haulage sector to help them adapt to the new rules under the TCA.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress he has made on the publication of guidance for (a) splitter vans and (b) all other vehicles used by artists touring in the EU.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) allows EU hauliers to continue to operate to, from, through and within the UK without the need for permits. The TCA ensures that the vast majority of journeys will continue as they did before the end of the transition period.

The Department for Transport continues to have regular discussions with colleagues across Whitehall on this issue, and is working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through their Touring Working Group. The Department also continues engage directly with the road haulage sector to help them adapt to the new rules under the TCA.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made with the EU on negotiating a cultural exemption on cabotage limits for UK hauliers involved in touring activities in the EU.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) allows EU hauliers to continue to operate to, from, through and within the UK without the need for permits. The TCA ensures that the vast majority of journeys will continue as they did before the end of the transition period.

The Department for Transport continues to have regular discussions with colleagues across Whitehall on this issue, and is working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through their Touring Working Group. The Department also continues engage directly with the road haulage sector to help them adapt to the new rules under the TCA.