Harriett Baldwin Portrait

Harriett Baldwin

Conservative - West Worcestershire

Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
9th Jan 2018 - 25th Jul 2019
Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)
9th Jan 2018 - 25th Jul 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jul 2016 - 9th Jan 2018
Public Accounts Committee
7th Jul 2015 - 10th Oct 2016
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th May 2015 - 17th Jul 2016
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
15th Jul 2014 - 8th May 2015
Administration Committee
10th Mar 2014 - 1st Dec 2014
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
8th Feb 2014 - 15th Jul 2014
Work and Pensions Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 29th Oct 2012


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th October 2021
15:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Future of Financial Services
25 Oct 2021, 3 p.m.
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Anne Boden - Chief Executive Officer at Starling Bank
John Collins - Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Santander UK
Matthew Conway - Director for Strategy and Policy at UK Finance
David Livingstone - Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citigroup
Nigel Terrington - Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Banking Group
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
12:30
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th December 2021
12:30
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 210 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

T3. I recently held an event for leading Worcestershire businesses on the journey to COP26 and net zero, and was …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Warwickshire College: Closures
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Board of Warwickshire College …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 30th June 2010
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 4th October 2021
1. Employment and earnings
7 September 2021, payment of £150 from Britain Thinks, Metherell Gard, Morval, Looe PL13 1PN, for taking part in an …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Harriett Baldwin has voted in 336 divisions, and 6 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 328 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin 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
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin 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
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Harriett Baldwin voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 257 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 163
View All Harriett Baldwin 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
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(14 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(19 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(14 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Harriett Baldwin's debates

West Worcestershire 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).

Harriett Baldwin has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Harriett Baldwin

Harriett Baldwin has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Harriett Baldwin, 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.


Harriett Baldwin has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Harriett Baldwin has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Harriett Baldwin



Last Event - 3rd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 9th September 2011

Harriett Baldwin has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


146 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
19th Jan 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what plans the Government has to involve parliamentarians from around the world in COP26.

We are engaging globally with parliamentarians and civil society ahead of COP26, including during ministerial visits overseas. We are also engaging with groups, including the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, to support their plans to involve parliamentarians from around the world at COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
16th Jan 2020
What recent progress the CPS has made on tackling online crime.

The CPS is committed to robustly prosecuting online crime cases, including offline offences with online elements.

In December, the CPS successfully prosecuted three men who, via fake accounts on an online dating platform, met victims to inflict horrendous violent and homophobic abuse. The defendants received significant custodial sentences of between 15 and 17 years.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
21st Sep 2021
What steps his Department is taking to support the renewable energy sector.

The UK is a major global market for renewables. Last week we confirmed that this year’s Contracts for Difference round will be our largest renewables auction ever with a draft budget of £265 million. We are also spending £160 million to support ports and manufacturing infrastructure for offshore wind – securing local jobs and benefits.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to include carbon emissions from imports and exports in UK carbon budgets.

Measuring emissions associated with the production of goods and services consumed by the UK provides valuable insights, particularly in relation to policy on resource efficiency, and helpfully supplements the measurement of emissions generated within the UK’s borders. However, we do not plan to move to a system primarily based on consumption emissions as there is no internationally agreed approach to measuring these emissions. Estimates of imported emissions are associated with greater levels of uncertainty than estimates of UK-based territorial emissions.

The UK is at the forefront of measuring consumption emissions and developing policies to reduce them. Emissions on a consumption basis (including embedded in imports) fell by 21 per cent between 2007 and 2017. In addition, we believe that high standards of climate protection should be at the heart of global production and trade, and are committed to upholding our environmental standards and supporting global decarbonisation accordingly.

We constantly keep our policies under review. For example, the Government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England sets out its ambition to move from a make, take, use, throw linear economic model to a more circular economy which will reduce our carbon footprint from imported emissions through increasing repair, reuse, remanufacture and other waste prevention activities.

The Environment Bill includes measures that will help consumers to make purchasing decisions that support the market for more sustainable products. It contains powers to introduce clear product labelling, which will enable consumers to identify products that are more durable, reparable and recyclable and will inform them on how to dispose of used products.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether emissions from goods produced abroad that are consumed within the UK will be included in the UK's net zero carbon emissions target.

Measuring emissions associated with the production of goods and services consumed by the UK provides valuable insights, particularly in relation to policy on resource efficiency, and helpfully supplements the measurement of emissions generated within the UK’s borders. However, we do not plan to move to a system?primarily?based on?consumption?emissions as there is no internationally agreed approach to measuring these emissions. Estimates of imported emissions are associated with greater levels of uncertainty than estimates of UK-based territorial emissions.

The UK is at the forefront of measuring consumption emissions and developing policies to reduce them. Emissions on a consumption basis (including embedded in imports) fell by 21 per cent between 2007 and 2017. In addition, we believe that high standards of climate protection should be at the heart of global production and trade, and are committed to upholding our environmental standards and supporting global decarbonisation accordingly.

We constantly keep our policies under review. For example, the Government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England sets out its ambition to move from a make, take, use, throw linear economic model to a more circular economy which will reduce our carbon footprint from imported emissions through increasing repair, reuse, remanufacture and other waste prevention activities.

The Environment Bill includes measures that will help consumers to make purchasing decisions that support the market for more sustainable products. It contains powers to introduce clear product labelling, which will enable consumers to identify products that are more durable, reparable and recyclable and will inform them on how to dispose of used products.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Mar 2020
What plans he has to enable high street shops to set their opening hours.

Most shops are not constrained in their choices of opening hours.

In England and Wales large shops may only open for six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm on a Sunday. They may not open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day.

We have no plans to change these rules.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what advice he received from the Chief Medical Office on preventing amateur choral singing in groups of more than six people under covid-19 restrictions; and what plans he has for that advice to be reviewed.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Answer of 7 October 2019 to Question 290901, on Malvern Hills Trust, what plans he has to amend the governance provisions of the Malvern Hills Trust to make that trust subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Department has no plans to make the Malvern Hills Trust subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Malvern Hills Trust recently consulted publicly on proposals to amend its governance provisions and will set out its next steps in due course. The Department is in discussion with the Charity Commission and the charity on the most appropriate means of taking the changes forward and ensuring Parliamentary scrutiny.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Board of Warwickshire College Group on their policy on site closures.

The Board of Warwickshire College Group (trading as WCG) has a legal duty as charitable trustees to act in the best interest of the corporation and maximise the value of surplus assets. Decisions made by the board are expected to be in line with their Estates Strategy and Space Management Policy. The Education and Skills Funding Agency nor the Department for Education have the powers to influence the board’s decision on individual site closures.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the demand for further education from adults resident in (a) Worcestershire and (b) Herefordshire.

In 2019/20 there were 14,330 adult (19+) learners participating in further education and skills (including apprenticeships) in Worcestershire and 4,340 in Herefordshire.

It is for providers in local areas, including Worcestershire and Herefordshire, to determine the demand for provision from both learners and employers in their areas and tailor provision to meet those demands.

They do this by working with employers, other providers, and organisations such as Worcestershire and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnerships and their Skills Advisory Panels, which help to better understand, identify, and address skills challenges at a local level across England.

As we address the challenges presented by COVID-19 and prepare to seize the opportunities offered up by leaving the European Union, it is vital that we support adults, including those working in sectors directly affected by COVID-19, to attain the skills that will be needed in the economy of the future.

Starting this year, the government is investing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) in the National Skills Fund. This is a significant investment and has the potential to deliver new opportunities to generations of adults who may have been previously left behind.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced £375 million for the National Skills Fund at the Spending Review in November 2020. This includes £95 million funding for a new level 3 adult offer and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps. Investment in skills through the National Skills Fund is vital, ensuring adults have the opportunity to progress into higher wage employment and to support those who need to retrain at different points throughout their lives.

From April 2021, we will be supporting any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification – equivalent to two A levels, or an advanced technical certificate or diploma – to access nearly 400 fully funded courses.

Complementing the Level 3 adult offer, the Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Skills Bootcamps have the potential to transform the skills landscape for adults and employers.

The government plans to consult on the National Skills Fund in spring 2021 to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepares them for the economy of the future.

We are also continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (£1.34bn in 2020/21). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the provision of vocational training in West Worcestershire.

Local authorities have a critical role to play in ensuring adequacy of provision and support for young people to access and participate in education and training. Their responsibilities and duties relating to participation are set out in the published statutory guidance for local authorities, which is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/561546/Participation-of-young-people-in-education-employment-or-training.pdf. Specifically, the guidance states:

“To secure sufficient suitable education and training provision for all young people in their area who are over compulsory school age but under 19 or aged 19 to 25 and for whom an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is maintained. This is a duty under the Education Act 1996. To fulfil this, local authorities need to have a strategic overview of the provision available in their area and to identify and resolve gaps in provision.”

Where local authorities feel that there is a specific gap in provision that cannot be addressed by existing providers, there is a process by which this can be brought to the attention of the Education and Skills Funding Agency for consideration and action as appropriate.

The population of West Worcestershire aged 16-24 is approximately 4300 (NOMIS population data June 2020). Around 445 learners completed an apprenticeship programme in 2019 to 2020. Many of these students study locally, including at the Heart of Worcestershire College campus in Malvern which specialises in vocational provision such as brickwork, carpentry and painting and decorating.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of educational provision for young people aged 16 to 24 years in West Worcestershire.

Local authorities have a critical role to play in ensuring adequacy of provision and support for young people to access and participate in education and training. The offer available for 16-24 year olds in West Worcestershire includes:

  • Full-time education: there is a range of full-time education options funded for 16-19 year olds, including T levels, A levels, and Technical qualifications.
  • Traineeships: for young people qualified up to level 3 and with little work experience, but who are motivated and looking for an apprenticeship or work.
  • Apprenticeships: for those age 16+.
  • Kickstart programme: aimed at those aged 16-24 on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.
  • Core Youth Offer for 18-24: for young people claiming Universal Credit in intensive work search.

In addition to the schools providing 16-18 delivery in West Worcestershire, a number of further education and sixth-form college academies, including Heart of Worcestershire College, Warwickshire College Group, and Worcester Sixth Form College offer provision in a reasonable travel to learn area.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of planning for T-level provision for students in West Worcestershire.

The first T levels were introduced in September 2020 and these are part of a managed roll-out that continues over the next 3 years. We have selected a relatively small number of high performing providers for the initial roll-out to ensure high quality from the very start. We are working closely with these providers on their implementation planning to ensure readiness for delivery. Heart of Worcestershire College is one of 64 providers planning to deliver T levels from 2021 and will offer T levels in Digital and Education & Childcare to students in Worcestershire. As the roll-out continues and coverage widens, we will work to ensure that T levels are more widely available in all areas, including West Worcestershire.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to clear existing deficits in Dedicated Schools Grant High Needs block funding before the £780 million of additional funding is allocated in 2020-21.

​The Department has recently announced the high needs funding allocations for local authorities for 2020-21. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2020-to-2021. These allocations include an additional £780 million compared to 2019-20, and every local authority will see a minimum increase of 8% per head for those aged 2-18 years old.

In the autumn of 2019, the Department undertook a consultation on clarifying the status of the Dedicated Schools Grant and we will respond to this consultation shortly.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support hop growers affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the UK's proud hops growing tradition. We recognise the challenges that the sector has faced and continues to face due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To support businesses impacted by Covid-19, the Government made available financial support under several schemes during 2020. In April 2021, the Government also launched the Recovery Loan Scheme. This is intended to help give UK businesses ongoing access to finance as they recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19. In addition to this, Defra officials have also engaged with the relevant local authorities to assist the hops sector in accessing financial support under the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant Fund.

Defra officials continue to meet regularly with the British Hop Association to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hops industry and are working closely with them to help preserve the long-term future of the sector.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme; and when he plans to publish evaluation information on the (a) first-year pilot and (b) extended pilot.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further review of the Pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure experienced on farms when they are at their busiest. We intend to publish the first-year review later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office – who engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, when designing and implementing immigration policy – to understand better the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to include provision within Environmental Land Management scheme proposals to pay farmers and landowners to create active travel routes, including on old disused rail lines.

Beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment is an important part of our new environmental schemes.

These could support the creation of active travel routes through providing funding for access to infrastructure or for educational visits, for example. We will engage with a range of stakeholders as we develop the scheme. This includes through our tests and trials programme. Several tests and trials are considering how access can be incorporated in the new schemes.

We are working with stakeholders and end users to determine the specific land management actions that will be paid for under the Environmental Land Management scheme. We will set out more details on this later this year. 'The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024' set out examples of the types of actions that we envisage paying for under the scheme.

We'll also be testing and piloting key aspects of the new schemes in real situations with farmers and land managers beginning in 2021. This aims to learn and innovate prior to the start of an early prototype of the Sustainable Farming Incentive Scheme in 2022.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to make ecocide a crime.

This Government is committed to improving the environment in the UK and internationally. Environmental laws and other safeguards are in place and monitored by effective regulators and tiers of Government.

The Environment Bill will create a new, independent statutory body (the Office for Environmental Protection) with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and the improvement of the natural environment.

The Government is also consulting on a new law designed to prevent forests and other important natural areas from being converted illegally into agricultural land. If approved, this will require a relatively small number of larger businesses to ensure that the ‘forest risk’ commodities they use – commodities that can cause wide-scale deforestation – have been produced legally.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what payments have been made from the Flood Recovery Fund to farmers in (a) West Worcestershire and (b) Worcestershire.

The window for applications to the Farming Recovery Fund closed on 1 September 2020 and claims under successful applications can be submitted by farmers into spring 2021. Payments are made once the recovery work has been completed and claimed. All applications from the Worcestershire area have been from farmers in West Worcestershire.

To date, one agreement has been paid in full, totalling around £750. There are 35 successful applications, from which we expect to pay around £217,000. We have a further 19 applications, valued at around £300,000, in appraisal.

These figures will continue to change as projects move through their lifecycle.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with the Environment Agency on the (a) status and (b) future plans for flood alleviation schemes in Severn Stoke and Tenbury Wells in West Worcestershire.

The Environment Agency (EA) is continuing to work with partners and the local community to reduce the impacts of flooding in Severn Stoke and is reviewing all delivery options for a full flood defence scheme in Tenbury Wells, including engaging with Local Enterprise Partnerships, businesses and the local authority.

The Government is investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021, delivering over 1,000 schemes to better protect 300,000 homes.

Funding decisions are made on the basis of a rigorous assessment of local needs and the value for money of proposed schemes. Funding for all projects is allocated according to the rules that govern Defra’s existing six-year capital programme.

We will continue to work with the EA and HM Treasury to consider future investment needs and the Government’s role in supporting the resilience of communities.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the delivery of 12 years of quality education for every girl in each Official Development Assistance-eligible country.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the global learning crisis, especially for the most marginalised. It has been estimated that, at the peak of school closures, 1.3 billion children – 650 million girls - were removed from primary and secondary education. Girls face particular vulnerabilities that mean the most disadvantaged girls are at risk of dropping out of school permanently. As the effects of the COVID-19 crisis play out, the socio-economic impact on girls’ education in developing countries is becoming increasingly clear. From a learning perspective, closures – even with mitigating actions - will significantly reduce learning hours. The effects of school closures in developing countries are also much wider than reduced learning. For many disadvantaged children in developing countries, school closures expose them to increased hunger and malnutrition as well as increased risk of violence against women and girls.

The UK remains committed to 12 years of quality education for all girls. In our most recent published spend of ODA in 2018, our UK Bilateral ODA spend was £686 million and our UK Multilateral ODA spend was £293.7 million. We understand our leadership on girls’ education is more urgent and important than ever. DFID is adapting its bilateral education programmes in 18 countries. The UK has announced £20 million for the UN Children’s Fund crisis appeal, which includes education, and a further £5 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund to support emergency education in fragile contexts. The Global Partnership for Education, to which the UK is the largest donor, is flexing over £200 million to support education sector stability in response to the pandemic. We are also supporting efforts by UNICEF and others to support children back to school when it is safe to do so.

Our education response to the pandemic is two-fold, firstly to ensure preventative measures are taken to keep girls learning and returning to education, mitigating short term risks by focussing on safety, nutrition, wellbeing and the continuity of learning whilst schools are closed. Secondly, by supporting countries to protect and maintain their education budgets and ensuring that we build back better.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the education of children with disabilities in countries eligible for Official Development Assistance.

Before the pandemic, children with disabilities were already among the most marginalised. Emerging evidence suggests the impact of COVID-19 on their education will be significant in ODA eligible countries. Many children with disabilities are excluded from remote learning and as they lack assisted learning devices at home, accessible content and one-to-one support.

That is why the UK’s Ed Tech Hub is working to ensure distance education is inclusive for all learners, including those with disabilities. Through our flagship Girls’ Education Challenge Fund and the Inclusive Education Initiative, we are supporting children with disabilities to access quality education and building the evidence base on how to do this most effectively. And we will lend our full weight to global efforts, including the UNICEF-led campaign to ensure all children can return to school when it is safe to do so, and children with disabilities are not left behind.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of covid-19 on the adequacy of the education of refugees in Official Development Assistant-eligible countries.

COVID-19 is an education crisis as well as a health crisis, particularly for refugee children who, even before this unprecedented global pandemic, made up the largest group of those out of school. Today, we know that refugee education is a major gap in the COVID-19 response. The longer refugee children are out of school, the less likely they are to return, which is why the UK, as a leading donor to education in emergencies, is determined that refugee children should have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and achieve their full potential.

In response the UK has just announced a new £5.3 million commitment to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to enable more than 5500 teachers to provide vital education for refugee children in 10 countries over the crucial next seven months. In April the UK provided an additional £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to keep the most vulnerable children, including refugees, safe and learning during COVID-19. And we will lend our full weight to global efforts, including the UNICEF-led campaign, to ensure all children can return to school when it is safe to do so, including refugee children.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will include girls' education as a priority for the UK's forthcoming Presidency of the G7.

The Department for International Development is working closely with other government departments to define the objectives for the UK’s G7 Presidency in 2021. These objectives will be shared in due course.

The UK is a world leader in supporting girls’ education and standing up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is a priority for this government, including through international engagement with partners.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to host the forthcoming replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education.

The UK is proud to be the largest bilateral donor to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). As a major education multilateral, it has a key role in supporting governments to strengthen their education systems so that all children can receive a quality education.

The UK is keen to play an active part in the 2021 GPE replenishment, and we are exploring the possibility of co-hosting the replenishment.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to global education during the covid-19 pandemic.

Ensuring 12 years of quality education for all children, especially girls, is a UK priority, particularly in responding to the COVID 19 pandemic. This entails mitigating short term risks by focussing on safety, nutrition, wellbeing and learning whilst schools are closed; and supporting countries to protect and maintain education budgets in the longer term.

DFID is adapting its bilateral education programmes in 18 countries. The UK has announced £20 million for the UN Children’s Fund crisis appeal, which includes education, and a further £5 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund to support emergency education in fragile contexts. The Global Partnership for Education, to which the UK is the largest donor, is flexing over £200 million to support education sector stability in response to the pandemic.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to the International Financing Facility for Education.

The Prime Minister announced a commitment of up to £300 million for the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) at the UN General Assembly in September 2019, consisting of £100 million in grant funding and around £200 million in paid-in cash and guarantees.

The UK is working closely with the Education Commission and Netherlands to finalise plans for the Facility, which will be based in London. IFFEd will be a vital tool to help ensure education systems are adequately funded during and after the COVID 19 pandemic.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the role of global education in helping to tackle (a) the covid-19 pandemic and (b) future pandemics.

DFID’s objective in responding to the pandemic is to support a robust global public health response that empowers local leadership and works through national and regional systems.

Global education has a critical role to play in this and we are adapting programmes to raise community awareness of the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable. We are using lessons from Ebola and the current response to improve our approach.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the use of satellite technology in delivering remote learning to children that are not attending school as a result of (a) the covid-19 pandemic and (b) other reasons.

DFID is helping to deliver remote learning to children during the COVID19 crisis through radio, television and many mobile telephone networks that are providing educational applications free of charge.

Satellite internet technology has specific potential benefits in reaching children in remote areas where mobile telephone coverage is limited. The DFID-funded EdTech Hub is researching how to effectively scale this type of learning in low income countries, with a key focus on the Value for Money compared to non-tech interventions.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of using onebillion.org software to teach reading, writing and numeracy to children in developing countries; and whether her Department has allocated funding to provision of teaching using that software in those countries.

We are aware of the learning benefits of using onebillion, as shown by research and as the UK winner of the Global Learning X-Prize. Onebillion’s approach has demonstrated learning benefits for both girls and boys in areas of the world where access to education is limited. DFID has previously funded onebillion through Comic Relief and through an in-kind donation in Malawi.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of global education in reducing carbon emissions and tacking climate change.

The world must take increased, urgent action to tackle climate change and environmental degradation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Across the world governments, businesses, financial institutions, communities and individuals all need to play a part, and the Government is working hard so that, at the international climate summit next year in Glasgow, we accelerate progress to address these twin global challenges. Education, training and public awareness have a vital role in increasing the understanding of the impacts of climate change and our ability to respond and adapt.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she has plans to visit Sudan.

There are currently no plans for a Secretary of State for International Development visit to Sudan. However, as Minister for Africa, I am considering plans to travel to the continent, including to Sudan, in the near future.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the findings of Project Drawdown in 2017 on reversing global warming, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of educating girls and providing access to family planning to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by over 100 gigatonnes by 2050.

We are familiar with the Project Drawdown report and recognise the strong links between our work on girls’ education, gender, and tackling climate change, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Coping with climate change is a challenge that faces us all and it is having wide ranging effects on economies, livelihoods, access to education and natural resources. The poorest communities, and girls and women within them, are likely to be hardest hit, which is why we are investing in building the resilience of the world’s poorest by doubling our International Climate Finance. This has helped 57 million people cope with the effects of climate change since 2011.

The UK is firmly committed to working to ensure that all girls have access to twelve years of quality education. This access is significantly impacted by climate change. Girls are often the first to be taken out of school when climate affects livelihoods and household food security. Girls and women can also be powerful agents of change, at political, community and household level. For example, women in developing countries currently play critical roles in supplying and managing household energy which means they can make a significant contribution to the uptake of solid fuel alternatives and sustainable energy solutions. Indeed, educating women and girls has been described as one of the ‘best climate change disaster prevention investments’ both because educated women are better able to adapt their homes and livelihoods to climate extremes and because the evidence suggests that when a girl has an education, she marries later, has better employment and fewer children, who are healthier and better educated.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what programmes his Department funds in South Sudan.

DFID’s largest programme in South Sudan is our Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience programme, which provides life-saving assistance and helps people cope with conflict and climate shocks. Our Building Resilience through Asset Creation and Enhancement programme provides complementary support to help reduce hunger and mitigate conflict in rural areas.

DFID also makes a major contribution to the delivery of essential services in South Sudan, through our Girls Education South Sudan programme, which has a particular focus on supporting girls to complete their schooling; and through the DFID-led multi-donor Health Pooled Fund, through which we are supporting over 800 frontline health centres across South Sudan.

Finally, DFID is providing modest support to improve conflict sensitivity of donor aid to South Sudan and to pilot sub-national peace-building approaches through our Better Aid in Conflict and our Peace-building Opportunities Fund programming.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate he has made of the numbers of sanitary pads donated through UK aid programmes; and to what countries those donations were made.

In 2019, the UK announced new work to tackle period poverty and shame overseas and allocated £2m of funding for projects through UK Aid Direct in DFID priority countries.

DFID takes an integrated approach to tackling period poverty and shame, from reproductive health and sanitation programmes, to girls’ education and humanitarian programmes. Our programmes in Africa and Asia support access to products and safe and hygienic facilities. They also equip girls and women with knowledge about their bodies, seeking to address harmful stigma and shame.

We do not disaggregate the numbers of sanitary pads donated through UK aid programmes. We believe women and girls should be able to access a choice of period products that meet their needs, including sanitary pads. In some countries, UK aid is supporting women to make reusable products locally. This helps them generate an income and creates eco-friendly options that meet local women’s preferences.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much UK aid has been allocated to the International Financing Facility for Education; and what assessment his Department has made of effect of the work of that Facility on delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goal on global education.

The Prime Minister has publicly stated that education, particularly girls’ education, is a priority for the UK.

He announced a commitment of up to £300 million for the International Finance Facility for Education at the UN General Assembly in September 2019, consisting of £100 million in grant funding and $250 million in paid-in cash and guarantees.

The Facility will make a generate additional finance for education in up to 40 lower-middle income countries where funding is inadequate, learning is off track, and around 155 million children are out of school.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 3741 on Developing Countries: Education, how much of the £7.08 billion was spent bilaterally in each year from 2009 to 2018; and what the top 10 countries were in which that funding was spent.

Distribution of the £7.08 billion spent bilaterally on education between 2009 and 2018 is listed below:

2009

£523m

2010

£482m

2011

£649m

2012

£620m

2013

£905m

2014

£820m

2015

£651m

2016

£961m

2017

£785m

2018

£686m

These amounts include contributions which cannot be disaggregated by country, some of which is channelled through multilateral programmes such as the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait.

Top ten country spend over this time period is as below:

1

Pakistan

2

India

3

Bangladesh

4

Malawi

5

China

6

Nigeria

7

Ghana

8

Ethiopia

9

West Bank & Gaza Strip

10

South Africa

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the Girls' Education Challenge has achieved to date; and what the projected outcomes are of its programmes.

The UK launched our flagship Girls’ Education Challenge programme – the world’s largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education – in May 2012.

The first phase of the Girls’ Education Challenge (2012-2017) directly provided quality education for over a million marginalised girls through 37 different projects in 18 countries across Africa and Asia, many operating in conflict and crisis. The programme also benefitted other girls, boys, and wider communities through activities such as teaching training and improving school infrastructure.

The second phase of the Girls’ Education Challenge (2017-2025) is supporting up to 1.5 million marginalised girls with access to education through 41 projects across 17 countries. This second phase includes support for highly marginalised girls who have never attended school, or have dropped out due to poverty, motherhood, disability or conflict.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how Official Development Assistance has been allocated to Education Cannot Wait in each financial year since it was established; and what future allocations of funding he plans to make.

The UK is the largest donor to Education Cannot Wait. Education Cannot Wait has supported over 2 million children since its inception.

The funding provided directly to Education Cannot Wait in each financial year has been:

- 2016/17 - £7.5m

- 2017/18 - £10m

- 2018/19 - £12.1m

- 2019/20 - £38.5m

Total - £68.1m

Planned future spend provided directly is anticipated as:

- 2020/21 - £25.6m

- 2021/22 - £14.9m

- 2022/23 - £10m

Total - £50.5m

Exact disbursements are based on performance in annual reviews, together with reviews of financial documentation to ensure payments are not in advance of need. Allocations beyond 2022/2023 will be determined closer to the time, based on progress made.

Exact disbursements are based on performance in annual reviews, together with reviews of financial documentation to ensure payments are not in advance of need. Allocations beyond 2022/2023 will be determined closer to the time, based on progress made.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to support the fulfilment of the UN sustainable development goal of education for all girls and boys; and in which countries that funding was spent.

  1. The Prime Minister has publicly stated that education, particularly standing up for the right of every girl in the world to have 12 years of quality education, is a priority for the UK. Between 2009 and 2018, the Government spent £7.08 billion bilaterally from the public purse to support the fulfilment of the UN sustainable development goal on education. This does not include all multilateral spend. Between 2015 and 2019 DFID supported 14.8 million children to gain a decent education, of which at least 5.8 million were girls. UKAid is spent in the countries that need it the most. From 2015 to 2018, the largest number of children supported by DFID education programmes was in Africa, where the majority of out of school children live. Most of the children supported by DFID’s education programmes live in fragile states.
Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when the appeal to the Supreme Court in in respect of the process for issuing arms export licences to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners will take place.

The listing of the hearing is a matter for the Supreme Court and it would not be appropriate to comment until the Court has published the hearing dates.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress her Department's Export Control Joint Unit is making in developing a new licencing process in connection with exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners.

Work to develop a revised assessment process enabling the Secretary of State for International Trade to re-take the licensing decisions remitted to her by the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019, has advanced steadily and significantly since the judgment. An announcement will be made once the Secretary of State is in a position to re-take these decisions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress her Department's Export Control Joint Unit is making on re-evaluating of extant export licences in relation to the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Work to develop a revised assessment process enabling the Secretary of State for International Trade to re-take the licensing decisions remitted to her by the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019, has advanced steadily and significantly since the judgment. An announcement will be made once the Secretary of State is in a position to re-take these decisions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to progress plans to re-double the North Cotswold Line.

The Department is currently considering the Strategic Outline Business Case resubmitted by the North Cotswold Line Task Force in February 2021, which sets out their proposals for transforming services on the route. A decision on whether the scheme can enter the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline will be made shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to reduce carbon emissions to zero from 2050 from the (a) aviation and (b) maritime sectors for UK (i) imports and (ii) exports.

Our Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out the measures we will take to reduce carbon emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors for both freight and leisure travel, in line with our commitment to deliver net zero emissions across the transport sector by 2050.

The aviation and maritime sectors are international by nature and, in addition to our domestic work to reduce emissions, we are continuing to drive ambition for global emissions reductions in international fora.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2020 to Question 21252 on Oxford-Hereford Railway Line, whether he has received the draft evaluation from Network Rail of the Strategic Business Case for the North Cotswold Line Option 5 improvements.

The Department for Transport received Network Rail’s assessment on 26 August. A copy has been forwarded to North Cotswold Line Task Force representatives with an invitation to discuss the next steps for progressing the Business Case.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative assessment he has made of the frequency of serious accidents that close at least one lane in both directions from Junction 6 to Junction 4a of the M5 (i) before and (ii) since the M5 smart motorway was introduced.

The J4a-6 M5 smart motorway scheme started construction in January 2016 and was opened for traffic in May 2017. The table below contains the number of reported traffic collisions reported by Highways England for this stretch of road, where a lane closure has been implemented:

Calendar Year

No. of recorded Traffic Collisions with a lane closure

2015

97

2016

93

2017

121

2018

207

2019

136

The Department’s review of the safety of Smart Motorways across England, published in March 2020, showed that overall, the evidence shows that in most ways, smart motorways are as safe as, or safer than, the conventional ones. But not in every way. To ensure we are doing all we can do to improve safety, a package of 18 measures were published in March. This will allow us to retain the benefits of smart motorways while addressing the concerns that have been identified.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to the Prime Minister on including the North Cotswold Line Strategic Outline Business Case improvements within the remit of the Project Speed taskforce.

The Secretary of State has not made any representations regarding the North Cotswold Line SOBC to the Prime Minister. Network Rail is continuing undertake a review of the business case at the Department’s request, which is close to completion.

The Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, named ‘Project Speed’, will be led by the Chancellor and will bring forward proposals to deliver government’s public investment projects more strategically and efficiently. This will ensure we are building the right things better and faster than before. All infrastructure projects will be in scope of this work.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for the Network Rail to report its study of the North Cotswold Line Transformation Taskforce Option Five.

I have asked Network Rail to carry out an assessment of the Task Force’s Strategic Outline Business Case, and to work with Great Western Railway to assess the operational aspects of the scheme. I am expecting Network Rail to provide me with the first draft of their assessment by early Summer. This will enable the Department to take an informed decision on the Task Force’s funding request to take the proposal forward. I have also written to Lord Faulkner setting out the way forward.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric car charging points have been installed in (a) Worcestershire, (b) Malvern Hills District Council area and (c) Wychavon District Council area.

The Government does not hold records of public chargepoints. According to data from Zapmap, as of 1 October 2019 there are 97 chargepoints (of which 46 are rapid) in the Worcestershire area. In the district council area of Malvern Hills there are 12 chargepoints (of which 4 are rapid) and in Wychavon district council, 21 chargepoints (of which 10 are rapid).

My Right Hon Friend the Secretary of State has recently written to local authorities across the country, urging them to take advantage of funding on offer to build up their electric car charging infrastructure and to increase local access to chargepoints for drivers.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much of the pothole fund he plans to allocate to Worcestershire County Council in each of the next five financial years.

The Government is committed to improving local infrastructure and expects to announce details of the available funding shortly. Individual allocations of this funding will be subject to Ministerial decisions.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the performance of West Midlands Railway since that company was awarded its franchise.

The Department oversees the delivery of the West Midlands Franchise in conjunction with the West Midlands Railway Executive (WMRE), a consortium of 14 local authorities. The Department and WMRE monitor the performance of West Midlands Trains (WMT) performance against its obligations on a four weekly basis and meets with WMT regularly (both formally and informally) to discuss these matters. Operational performance since WMT implemented its new timetable in May 2018 has been particularly disappointing and the Department and WMRE are closely monitoring the steps WMT are taking to address the performance problems and, if appropriate, will be using the full range of remedies available under the Franchise Agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the performance of West Midlands Railway against their contractual commitments.

The Franchise Agreement with West Midlands Trains (WMT) contains a large number of contractual commitments, ranging from targets for train service performance, customer satisfaction, and service quality, to over 90 committed obligations designed to transform the quality of services operated by the Franchisee.

The Franchise Agreement is available on the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/west-midlands-2017-rail-franchise-agreement

The Department oversees the delivery of the West Midlands Franchise in conjunction with the West Midlands Railway Executive (WMRE), a consortium of 14 local authorities. The Department and WMRE monitor the performance of West Midlands Trains (WMT) against its obligations on a four weekly basis and meets with WMT regularly (both formally and informally) to discuss these matters. Operational performance since WMT implemented its new timetable in May 2018 has been particularly disappointing and the Department and WMRE are closely monitoring the steps WMT are taking to address the performance problems and, if appropriate, will be using the full range of remedies available under the Franchise Agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the performance of West Midlands Railway between Birmingham and Malvern Link.

The Department and West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) regularly monitor train service performance across the entire Franchise, and meet frequently with West Midlands Trains to support their plans for making services better and hold them to account when things go wrong. Since the timetable change, there has been a 3.89% (38.93% to 35.04%) reduction in right time arrivals in the Great Malvern and Malvern Link area, which is very disappointing. Since April 2019, a new ‘On Time’ performance measure was introduced. This new, tougher measure looks at the performance at every station along the route – not just whether trains reach their destination on time. This shows a collective commitment by industry and Government to provide a service on which passengers can rely.


In response to crowding issues, West Midlands Trains have added extra carriages to the 0650, 0739, 0810, and 0839 departures from Malvern Link, and the 1550 service from Birmingham New Street to Hereford. West Midlands Trains will also retain the Class 153 units until the delivery of their new trains later in 2020. These carriages will provide extra capacity for customers at Malvern Link station. West Midlands Trains has advised us they intend to recruit additional traincrew to make service delivery more robust.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the performance of West Midlands Railway services between Birmingham and Great Malvern station.

The Department and West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) regularly monitor train service performance across the entire Franchise, and meet frequently with West Midlands Trains to support their plans for making services better and hold them to account when things go wrong. Since the timetable change, there has been a 3.89% (38.93% to 35.04%) reduction in right time arrivals in the Great Malvern and Malvern Link area, which is very disappointing. Since April 2019, a new ‘On Time’ performance measure was introduced. This new, tougher measure looks at the performance at every station along the route – not just whether trains reach their destination on time. This shows a collective commitment by industry and Government to provide a service on which passengers can rely.


In response to crowding issues, West Midlands Trains have added extra carriages to the 0647, 0736, 0807, and 0836 departures from Great Malvern, and the 1550 service from Birmingham New Street to Hereford. West Midlands Trains will also retain the Class 153 units until the delivery of their new trains later in 2020. These carriages will provide extra capacity for customers at Great Malvern station. West Midlands Trains has advised us they intend to recruit additional traincrew to make service delivery more robust.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for the Office of Rail Regulation to approve the opening of Worcestershire Parkway station.

Worcestershire County Council and its rail industry partners agreed in December 2019 that the new Worcestershire Parkway station would become fully operational early this year. The Department understands that the date for this will be confirmed as soon as possible, and that the ORR authorisation process is currently underway.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what powers he has to require West Midlands Railway to compensate passengers for cancelled services.

Franchisees are contractually obliged under their Franchise Agreements to provide compensation to passengers in accordance with the National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC) and their Passenger’s Charter. All Franchise Agreements require Franchisees to pay the compensation for delays which passengers are entitled to.

West Midlands Railway’s Passenger’s Charter commits them to offer a Delay Repay scheme. This entitles customers holding valid tickets to compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more, regardless of the cause. The Passenger’s Charter was approved by the Secretary of State, and any future revisions to it must also achieve my consent.

The provisions within the Passenger’s Charter are enforced by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) as part of the railway licencing arrangements.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the level of opt-out from auto-enrollment into workplace pensions during the covid-19 lockdown period.

The Department does not yet have suitable data to make an assessment of the number of employees who have reduced their contributions, or have stopped saving, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period.

We are monitoring the impacts of covid-19 on workplace pension participation and saving levels and are working closely with the pensions industry and across government to understand the impact of the emergency.

Helping people to save for their futures remains a key priority for this Government. We put in place an unprecedented package of support to strengthen job and income security during the emergency; this included help to ease workplace pension saving for businesses with furloughed workers. As part of the next phase of its response, the Government’s goal is to support, create and protect jobs; and giving businesses confidence to retain and hire workers supports the capacity for retirement saving.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 lateral flow tests purchased by NHS Test and Trace are manufactured in China.

Approximately 90% of the lateral flow devices procured to date are manufactured in China.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to set up an independent review of the use of electro convulsive therapy.

We have no plans to do so.

Electroconvulsive therapy is regulated under the Mental Health Act 1983 and can only be given when a patient consents.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how long the personal information and references provided by volunteer covid-19 vaccinator applicants will be retained by the National Vaccination Programme.

Working in partnership with St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service, 420,000 volunteers have been deployed to help support the COVID-19 vaccine programme. St John Ambulance holds the only nationally procured contract for volunteer vaccinators and of the 26,858 individuals recruited to support the vaccination programme in partnership with St John Ambulance, approximately 11,510 of these volunteers have not yet been deployed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold any personal data on volunteers within the vaccination programme sourced through the national supply chain contracts. Lead employers would retain the information of locally sourced volunteers and this would be the responsibility of an individual organisation. The data controller is St John Ambulance or the Royal Voluntary Service and all data received to the national programme team is anonymised.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of successful applications from volunteer vaccinators who have not been deployed during the covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Working in partnership with St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service, 420,000 volunteers have been deployed to help support the COVID-19 vaccine programme. St John Ambulance holds the only nationally procured contract for volunteer vaccinators and of the 26,858 individuals recruited to support the vaccination programme in partnership with St John Ambulance, approximately 11,510 of these volunteers have not yet been deployed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold any personal data on volunteers within the vaccination programme sourced through the national supply chain contracts. Lead employers would retain the information of locally sourced volunteers and this would be the responsibility of an individual organisation. The data controller is St John Ambulance or the Royal Voluntary Service and all data received to the national programme team is anonymised.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department collects on the length of time covid-19 patients spend in (a) regular and (b) intensive care hospital beds.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that Minor Injuries Units are signposted where appropriate to callers to the 111 service in Worcestershire.

Patients using the NHS 111 online service or calling NHS 111 will speak to a trained adviser, or if required a clinician, who will ask questions about the injury and any symptoms the patient is experiencing to identify the most appropriate treatment. This includes being invited to attend a face-to-face appointment at their local minor injuries unit.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his oral contribution of 21 September 2020, Official Report, column 633, on Covid-19 Update, if he will publish the citation for the trial to which he referred that showed that Vitamin D has no impact on coronavirus.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published ‘Vitamin D for COVID-19: Evidence Review’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es28/evidence/evidence-review-pdf-8777674477

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition also published ‘Rapid review: Vitamin D and acute respiratory tract infections’ which is available at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/g0ldpth1upfd7fw763ew3aqa3c0pyvky

These rapid evidence reviews, published in June 2020, concluded that there is currently no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk and severity of COVID-19. My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was referring to these publications when he responded to the hon. Member for Ealing Central and Acton (Rupa Huq MP).

Public Health England will keep this topic under review and will consider updating this assessment if emerging high-quality evidence suggests a change to existing conclusions, and advise the Government accordingly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to Question 38910 tabled on 22 April 2020 by the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, on his policy on wearing masks.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question 38910 on 5 August.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to Question 63335 tabled on 23 June 2020 by the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, on his plans to use the independent health sector.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 28 July to Question 63335.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many oximeters have been purchased by NHS England for the treatment of covid-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have purchased a total of 324,811 oximeters through the NHS Supply Chain to support blood oxygen monitoring, including identification of ‘silent hypoxia’ and rapid patient deterioration at home of patients with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the covid-19 contract for all inpatient capacity in England with the Independent Healthcare Providers Network expires; and whether he plans to renew it.

National Health Service patients are benefitting from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals in the United Kingdom as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has provided additional funding to the NHS to allow them to continue to use additional hospital capacity from the independent sector until the end of March 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice that the public should wear a homemade cloth face covering outside the home where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

Since 11 May, we have advised people to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where they cannot easily social distance and might come into contact with people they do not normally meet, and from Friday 24 July, members of the public must wear a face covering when visiting a shop or supermarket in England.

In addition, the Government is running a major proactive communications campaign on face coverings to alert the public where they are now required to wear face coverings and educate the public on how to correctly wear one.

United Kingdom advice on face covering follows advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. As always, we are committed to following the evidence and will keep reviewing evidence from around the world and update our position as and when we need to.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ventilators are available in Worcestershire; and when more ventilators will be delivered.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 mechanical ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom. As of 27 May, we have around 14,000 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients. In addition, there are also 10,344 non-invasive ventilators available to the NHS across the UK which were not available before the start of the crisis in mid-March plus a further 73 from the private healthcare sector.

Mechanical ventilators are allocated pro rata between England and the devolved administrations, but then within each nation decisions of where to send ventilators are based on clinical need. In England hospitals can make a bid for ventilators and these are discussed and allocated with regional NHS England and NHS Improvement teams. Two of the new mechanical ventilators have been sent to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking ahead of the G7 to help ensure other key donors increase their contributions to the Global Partnership for Education.

The Prime Minister and President Kenyatta of Kenya will co-host the Global Education Summit: Financing the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in London in July 2021. As co-hosts, it is our policy to use all the means at our disposal to host a successful Summit. A well-funded GPE will be central to delivering the two ambitious global objectives endorsed by G7 Foreign and Development Ministers in London on 5 May of getting 40 million more girls in school, and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years.

Lobbying is underway with G7 partners, and guest countries in the run-up to the G7 to set the GPE on course to secure its financing target of $5 billion over the next five years. At the G7 Summit, the Prime Minister will call on leaders to make ambitious pledges to GPE in support of the G7-endorsed global objectives.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to reinstate research programmes which have been discontinued as a result of a reduction to Official Development Assistance (ODA) when ODA returns to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income; and what steps he is taking to mitigate the effect of temporary reductions in funding to those programmes.

We have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world. Following a thorough review, the FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate caused by COVID-19. FCDO will now work through what this means for individual research programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified

While we recognise some programmes will close, this will be done in a measured and responsible way, working closely with our delivery partners. We will return to spending 0.7 per cent as soon as the financial climate allows.  All FCDO teams will now plan their work based on the budget that has been allocated to them. We will discuss specifics with each individual project.  Budgets for 2022/23 and beyond will be determined through the spending review process later this year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to planned reductions in Official Development Assistance spending, what assessment has been made of the effects of changes in the level of funding to the South Sudan Council Of Churches’ Action Plan for Peace; and what assessment he has made of the total reduction to grassroots peacebuilding projects in South Sudan.

Faith organisations such as South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) play an important role in supporting peacebuilding in South Sudan. SSCC's work, under their Action Plan for Peace, has promoted advocacy, peace and reconciliation at both a national and community level. SSCC remains an important partner and we will continue to engage with them regularly, as well as work closely with other international partners to support SSCC in delivering our shared goals on bringing a lasting end to the conflict.

The UK supports a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace and stability at a grassroots level, on top of ongoing efforts to drive forward implementation of the 2018 Peace Agreement. This includes continued support to peace process grassroots mediation activities via the UK Peacebuilding Opportunities Fund and the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, to which the UK contributed £57.9 million in 2020-21. Earlier this year, through Peacebuilding Opportunities Fund, we supported peace dialogues in Jonglei state, an area of intractable conflict with extreme levels of humanitarian need, to bring fighting communities together and broker an agreement which has dramatically reduced violence. We will continue to support initiatives like this to help build lasting peace in South Sudan.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 April 2021, HCWS935 on FCDO update, what estimate he has made of the number of women and girls who will be affected by a reduction to UK Official Development Assistance to South Sudan.

he UK is committed to supporting the people of South Sudan, including women and girls, on their path to peace and stability. While we are still working through what the reduction to UK ODA means for individual programmes in South Sudan, our aid budget will be allocated according to the UK's strategic ODA priorities: global health security, girls' education, humanitarian preparedness and response, open societies, and conflict resolution. This includes continuing to provide life-saving access to health services in eight states across South Sudan and reaching at least 2 million people with at least one form of humanitarian assistance. Our Girls' Education in South Sudan programme is expected to support 550,000 students to get a decent education between 2019 and 2024. Through this, we will increase access and enable South Sudanese children, especially girls, to stay in school and complete primary and secondary education.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what programmes he has put in place to support the Government's Anti Corruption Strategy using Official Development Assistance in financial year (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22; and how much funding has been allocated to those programmes.

The last published Statistics on International Development report that the UK spent £57,084,711 of Official Development Assistance on Anti-Corruption in 2019, across a wide range of programmes in support of the UK's Anti-Corruption Strategy. In addition, some ODA programmes focussing on other areas contributed to reducing corruption, including programmes to improve public sector financial management systems and scrutiny by audit and civil society bodies. Equivalent statistics for 2020 are expected to be published in September 2021.

As announced last year, the impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to reduce temporarily how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The UK will remain a world-leading donor, spending over £10 billion in 21/22. No decisions on sectoral budgets have been made yet. The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget this year, including defending open societies. The recently published Integrated Review sets out the UK Government's commitment to fight corruption and illicit finance as significant threats to democratic values and open societies around the world.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UNAMID drawdown on safety and security in Darfur.

The UN Security Council ended the mandate of UNAMID at the insistence of the Government of Sudan, who asserted that they would assume full responsibility for Protection of Civilians. Recent violence has however exposed weaknesses that urgently need to be addressed. We welcome the Government of Sudan's open engagement on the issue of Geneina intercommunal violence and willingness to acknowledge the security challenges they face. This includes at a UK-requested briefing with the UN Security Council on 14 April, where the Sudanese outlined their commitment to dispatch security forces to the area, to expedite humanitarian assistance, and acknowledged the need to work with the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan to address Protection of Civilian issues.

During a visit to Sudan in April, the UK Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs travelled to Darfur and heard about some of the security challenges first hand; he drew on this in meetings with the Government of Sudan to urge them to prioritise humanitarian access and implement the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) as part of providing Protection of Civilians in Darfur.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to provide support for the economy of Sudan (a) directly and (b) via CDC Group as a result of the removal by the US of its state sponsor of terrorism designation from that country.

The UK welcomes the removal of Sudan from the United States State Sponsor of Terrorism list. This will enable Sudan to engage with international markets and investors as they reform and rebuild the economy. As a leading donor to Sudan, the UK is this year providing £125m in economic and humanitarian assistance to help build stability and improve the lives of ordinary Sudanese. On 21 January, the Foreign Secretary visited Sudan and reaffirmed the UK's commitment to support Sudan's democratic transition, including via £40m funding to the Sudan Family Support Programme, to support the Sudanese Government's programme of essential economic reforms. The Foreign Secretary also announced the UK's intent to provide a bridging loan to clear Sudan's arrears with the African Development Bank, as part of wider efforts on debt relief. Sudan falls within CDC's geographical remit for investment, but CDC does not currently have any investments in the country.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has for the UK as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to put the campaign for girls' education on the meeting agenda.

Girls' education is one of the most transformational interventions for tackling poverty. Standing up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is a major priority for this Government. As Chair in Office of the Commonwealth, the UK has worked to promote girls' education across the Commonwealth - for example, through the work of the Platform for Girls' Education and its policy papers, which include recommendations for action by policymakers and governments.

We are looking forward to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is being hosted by Rwanda this year. The UK will highlight the importance of girls' education, and encourage Commonwealth member states to continue committing to provide the opportunity for at least 12 years of quality education and learning for all girls and boys by 2030. We will also use our G7 Presidency this year to rally the international community in stepping up support for girls' education, and co-hosting the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education with Kenya in July.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the donation of the UK's surplus covid-19 vaccine doses to COVAX will be funded by Official Development Assistance.

The Prime Minister announced on 19 February that the UK would share majority of any surplus COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX. This is part of the significant support the UK is providing to COVAX, including £548 million to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment which is providing access to COVID-19 vaccines for the 92 most vulnerable countries. However, it remains too soon to say when we will have any surplus doses. We will set out more details on funding mechanisms in due course, including implications for Official Development Assistance, if and when a surplus has been identified.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has for allocation of funding of Overseas Development Assistance in South Sudan in the financial year 2021-22; and if he will make a comparative assessment of that allocation of funding with that funding so allocated in the financial years (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2019-20.

As announced last year, the impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance. The FCDO is reviewing all individual country allocations as part of the Country Business Planning process, including specific implications for all spend in South Sudan

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that elections in South Sudan take place in line with the timetable outlined in the Peace Agreement.

Despite significant delays to implementation of the 2018 Agreement, including a nine month delay in forming the Transitional Government of National Unity, the UK welcomes recent progress, notably finalising state governor appointments. Alongside our Troika partners (US and Norway), we continue to encourage South Sudan's leaders, including President Kiir and First Vice-President Machar, to expedite implementation, including setting the conditions for elections, ensuring a lasting end to violence and addressing the grave humanitarian crisis. As I [Minister Duddridge] made clear during a visit to South Sudan in October 2020, all parties must work together to create the conditions needed for elections to take place, including political progress and improvements to the security situation. More recently, the Foreign Secretary and I [Minister Duddridge] discussed stability issues including South Sudan with President Kenyatta on 20 January, given the important role of regional partners in supporting delivery of the 2018 Agreement. The UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan discusses these issues regularly with international and regional partners, including IGAD, Sudan, and with President Museveni in December 2020.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the basic pay is for UK Ambassadors and High Commissioners ranging from the (a) lowest to (b) highest basic salary in 2020-2021.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office salary scales for Ambassadors and High Commissioners at our overseas posts are shown below. Pay ranges for the Senior Management Structure were effective from 1 April 2020, and for delegated grades from 1 August 2020.

Grade

Minimum

Maximum

Senior Executive Officer

£38,300

£43,835

Grade 7

£49,365

£60,078

Grade 6

£60,705

£69,784

SMS 1

£71,000

£117,800

SMS 2

£93,000

£162,500

SMS 3

£120,000

£208,100

SMS 4

£150,000

£200,000

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Written Statement of 26 January on Development Update, how he plans to allocate the £8 billion of Overseas Development Assistance in 2021/22 between the priorities outlined.

ODA budgets will be allocated based on the new strategic approach for aid set out to the House on 26 November. This will also take into account considerations of need, including levels of poverty, ability of countries to fund themselves and to ensure that every pound we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has greatest impact the UK could help achieve.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help reduce the use of charcoal as a cooking fuel in the least developed countries.

Urbanisation in developing countries is resulting in a rapid increase in the use of charcoal for cooking, with consequent impacts on forest degradation and human health. Around 2.8 billion people rely on wood, charcoal, animal waste or other solid fuels for cooking and heating. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels, such as charcoal, contributes to 3-4 million premature deaths every year, which is more than malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Indoor air pollution is a source of health inequality, with women and children in least developed countries most vulnerable to experiencing the worst health outcomes. The WHO, which FCDO funds, works to increase recognition of air pollution as an important global public health issue, supporting developing countries to reduce air pollution and its impacts on the health and life chances of their citizens.

Renewable electric cooking represents a competitive alternative to charcoal without consequences for air pollution and forest resources. Our International Climate Finance includes up to £1 billion for the Ayrton Fund, which includes support for research, development and demonstration of new clean energy technologies with the potential to improve air quality, health outcomes, and reduce carbon emissions in developing countries. The £38m FCDO-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services research programme is working towards universal access to clean and affordable cooking technologies. Such technologies have the potential to displace harmful cooking practices, helping to eliminate indoor air pollution and the preventable deaths it causes.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on human health of the use of charcoal as a cooking fuel in least developed countries.

Urbanisation in developing countries is resulting in a rapid increase in the use of charcoal for cooking, with consequent impacts on forest degradation and human health. Around 2.8 billion people rely on wood, charcoal, animal waste or other solid fuels for cooking and heating. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels, such as charcoal, contributes to 3-4 million premature deaths every year, which is more than malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Indoor air pollution is a source of health inequality, with women and children in least developed countries most vulnerable to experiencing the worst health outcomes. The WHO, which FCDO funds, works to increase recognition of air pollution as an important global public health issue, supporting developing countries to reduce air pollution and its impacts on the health and life chances of their citizens.

Renewable electric cooking represents a competitive alternative to charcoal without consequences for air pollution and forest resources. Our International Climate Finance includes up to £1 billion for the Ayrton Fund, which includes support for research, development and demonstration of new clean energy technologies with the potential to improve air quality, health outcomes, and reduce carbon emissions in developing countries. The £38m FCDO-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services research programme is working towards universal access to clean and affordable cooking technologies. Such technologies have the potential to displace harmful cooking practices, helping to eliminate indoor air pollution and the preventable deaths it causes.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on deforestation of the use of charcoal as a cooking fuel in least developed countries.

Urbanisation in developing countries is resulting in a rapid increase in the use of charcoal for cooking, with consequent impacts on forest degradation and human health. Around 2.8 billion people rely on wood, charcoal, animal waste or other solid fuels for cooking and heating. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels, such as charcoal, contributes to 3-4 million premature deaths every year, which is more than malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Indoor air pollution is a source of health inequality, with women and children in least developed countries most vulnerable to experiencing the worst health outcomes. The WHO, which FCDO funds, works to increase recognition of air pollution as an important global public health issue, supporting developing countries to reduce air pollution and its impacts on the health and life chances of their citizens.

Renewable electric cooking represents a competitive alternative to charcoal without consequences for air pollution and forest resources. Our International Climate Finance includes up to £1 billion for the Ayrton Fund, which includes support for research, development and demonstration of new clean energy technologies with the potential to improve air quality, health outcomes, and reduce carbon emissions in developing countries. The £38m FCDO-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services research programme is working towards universal access to clean and affordable cooking technologies. Such technologies have the potential to displace harmful cooking practices, helping to eliminate indoor air pollution and the preventable deaths it causes.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support the UK Government provided (a) directly and (b) through partners to evaluate whether the recent presidential election in Uganda was free and fair.

The UK has consistently supported the development of democracy in Uganda as a vital part of it being stable and prosperous. We urged that the recent elections should be credible, including through my tweet on 13 January. I also spoke with Ugandan Foreign Minister Kutesa and the Ugandan High Commission on 12 January about the importance of ensuring that the UK was able to deploy election observers. To that end we deployed 15 teams consisting of a total of 51 Election Observers across Uganda on election day. They observed and evaluated over 120 polling stations and reported back to the British High Commission. We continue to consult with the diplomatic community in Kampala, civil society actors, other international observers, and the Government of Uganda to ensure we have a comprehensive and accurate picture of both the election and post-election period. We have also urged the Government of Uganda to respond to the concerns raised. We would also like to commend the Ugandan media for their reporting on the elections. The UK, as part of the Media Freedom Coalition underlined on 8 January the importance of the media's ability to provide accurate and reliable information, for journalists to be accredited ahead of Uganda's elections - and urged the Ugandan authorities to address restrictions. We will continue to work with Ugandan partners to build long-term political freedoms.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the US Government designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group on food insecurity in Yemen.

We are deeply concerned by assessments from the UN and NGOs that the US Administration's decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is likely to disrupt the humanitarian response and stop vital food supplies getting in to Yemen. We have already engaged with the US to urge them to ensure that the vital humanitarian response, including food supplies, are not disrupted.  Ministers and officials will continue to engage closely with the UN and other donors, including the US, to ensure life-saving humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Yemenis in need.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding his Department provides to Unicef for (a) core funding and (b) contracts awarded.

Information on how much ODA the UK channels through UN agencies, including UNICEF, is published in the National Statistics publication - Statistics on International Development (SID).

In calendar year 2019, the Department for International Development provided a total of £48 million core multilateral funding and a further £416 million bilateral through multilateral funding. In addition, other UK Government Departments provided a further £16.3 million bilateral through multilateral funding.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the political situation in Ethiopia.

We are concerned by the ongoing violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region and the risk it poses to civilians, and by reports of ethnically-motivated attacks. We are gravely concerned at Amnesty International's report of killings of civilians on 9 November and are investigating. The Foreign Secretary called Prime Minister Abiy on 10 November to raise our concerns and stress the urgent need to prioritise the protection of civilian lives, restore services (including banks and telecommunications) and enable humanitarian access. I also spoke to the Ethiopian Ambassador in London on 18 November to reiterate our concerns. The UK has called for immediate de-escalation in Tigray and is working closely with humanitarian agencies to ensure that aid reaches civilians affected by the fighting.

We are reviewing the impact the conflict is having on the delivery of essential health, food and education services in the region and assessing the humanitarian need. Before the current conflict there were already more than one million highly vulnerable persons across Tigray including refugees, internally displaced persons and chronically food insecure communities. The UN predicts that an additional 800,000 people could be impacted by violence in Tigray, causing internal displacement within Ethiopia and across international borders, notably in Sudan where UNHCR reports more than 27,000 people have now crossed the border. We continue to monitor the situation and are appealing to the Government of Ethiopia and others to ensure humanitarian access to those in need in Tigray and affected areas.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the political situation in Ethiopia on the humanitarian situation in (a) Ethiopia, (b) Eritrea and (c) Sudan.

We are concerned by the ongoing violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region and the risk it poses to civilians, and by reports of ethnically-motivated attacks. We are gravely concerned at Amnesty International's report of killings of civilians on 9 November and are investigating. The Foreign Secretary called Prime Minister Abiy on 10 November to raise our concerns and stress the urgent need to prioritise the protection of civilian lives, restore services (including banks and telecommunications) and enable humanitarian access. I also spoke to the Ethiopian Ambassador in London on 18 November to reiterate our concerns. The UK has called for immediate de-escalation in Tigray and is working closely with humanitarian agencies to ensure that aid reaches civilians affected by the fighting.

We are reviewing the impact the conflict is having on the delivery of essential health, food and education services in the region and assessing the humanitarian need. Before the current conflict there were already more than one million highly vulnerable persons across Tigray including refugees, internally displaced persons and chronically food insecure communities. The UN predicts that an additional 800,000 people could be impacted by violence in Tigray, causing internal displacement within Ethiopia and across international borders, notably in Sudan where UNHCR reports more than 27,000 people have now crossed the border. We continue to monitor the situation and are appealing to the Government of Ethiopia and others to ensure humanitarian access to those in need in Tigray and affected areas.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to recommend to the Prime Minister that he appoint a trade envoy to Sudan as a result of the US removing its state sponsor of terrorism designation from that country.

We welcome the commitment to delist Sudan from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The Foreign Secretary has commended this as a historic step for the two countries, one that will deliver compensation for victims of terror and support Sudan's transition to democracy. Over time, delisting will make an important contribution to Sudan's economic recovery. Our immediate priority is to support the economic reforms that Prime Minister Hamdok has committed to deliver, that will be key to stability and improving the investment climate. As these reforms deliver that change, we will consider the best way to support economic development and to promote UK private sector investment, along with the Department for International Trade and Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Africa.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of unrest on regions within Ethiopia.

The UK is concerned by the ongoing violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region. We are gravely concerned at Amnesty International's report of killings of civilians on 9 November and are investigating. The Foreign Secretary has written to Prime Minister Abiy and spoke with him on 10 November. He emphasised the need to protect civilians and allow humanitarian access. He also urged for a de-escalation of violence and called for swift moves to political dialogue. I have tweeted to urge the same.

Oromia and Amhara have also seen violent clashes in recent months. I condemn in the strongest terms the killing of Amharan civilians on 1 November in Oromia. I visited Ethiopia from 27 - 29 July and discussed growing ethnic tensions with the President and senior ministers. I expressed the need for more peaceful dialogue between ethnic groups and for space to be given for political debate. We will continue to monitor the situation and raise the importance of human rights with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is concerned by the ongoing violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region. We are gravely concerned at Amnesty International's report of killings of civilians on 9 November and are investigating. The Foreign Secretary has written to Prime Minister Abiy and spoke with him on 10 November. He emphasised the need to protect civilians and allow humanitarian access. He also urged for a de-escalation of violence and called for swift moves to political dialogue. I have tweeted to urge the same.

Oromia and Amhara have also seen violent clashes in recent months. I condemn in the strongest terms the killing of Amharan civilians on 1 November in Oromia. I visited Ethiopia from 27 - 29 July and discussed growing ethnic tensions with the President and senior ministers. I expressed the need for more peaceful dialogue between ethnic groups and for space to be given for political debate. We will continue to monitor the situation and raise the importance of human rights with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of food insecurity in the northwest and southwest region of Cameroon.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, where high levels of violence are having a tragic impact on civilians. There are currently 1.4 million people in the regions suffering from moderate and severe food insecurity.

In September I announced £4.5 million in additional funding to humanitarian efforts in Cameroon, which will provide vulnerable people with vital food packs, sanitation provisions, medical supplies and fund training for health workers. This will bring our total humanitarian support to Cameroon to £13.5 million for 2020. We continue to call for an end to the violence, unhindered humanitarian access to the affected populations and inclusive dialogue which addresses the root causes of the crisis.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of levels of school attendance in northwest and southwest Cameroon.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, where high levels of violence are having a tragic impact on civilians. Over the past three years, insecurity, displacement of teachers, threats and attacks on infrastructure and education personnel have left 850,000 children out of school. As we noted publicly on 4 November, we are appalled by the recent attacks on educational institutions in the Anglophone regions including in Kumba, Kumbo and Limbe. Every child has the right to a safe education and every teacher has the right to safety at work. The UK Government continues to call for the perpetrators of these acts to be held accountable.

Through the British High Commission in Yaoundé we will continue to work alongside local partners in Cameroon to promote the safe resumption of children's education in the North-West and South-West regions, conflict resolution, youth peacebuilders and human rights monitoring.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on the humanitarian situation in northwest and southwest Cameroon.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon, where high levels of violence are having a tragic impact on civilians. We regularly discuss the crisis, including the humanitarian situation, with international partners such as France. Our senior officials raised the issue with their French counterparts on 30 October. I intend to travel to Paris when circumstances allow, to discuss areas of mutual interest across the continent where we can work together. Cameroon will be high on that list.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which Official Development Assistance (ODA) programmes have been (a) ended, (b) scaled back and (c) cancelled before inception as a result of the £2.9 billion reduction announced in July 2020.

Difficult decisions have been necessary to identify the savings needed to ensure we meet the 0.7 per cent commitment this year, however all steps possible were taken to minimise the impact of the reduction in development assistance, including where appropriate and practical, delaying payments to future years instead of ending programmes completely. This was done in a way to ensure continued support for five Official Development Assistance (ODA) priorities; bottom billion poverty reduction, climate change, girls' education, COVID-19 and Britain as a force for good. As usual, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's National Statistics publication - 'Statistics on International Development' will provide a full breakdown of UK ODA spend for the previous calendar year. The Statistics for International Development published in Autumn 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK's ODA spend for 2020.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what programmes his Department is funding in Sudan.

The UK continues to be a leading humanitarian donor to Sudan. The UK's pledge of £150m at the Berlin Partnership Conference for Sudan includes £70m bilateral budget for 2020/21 and £80m to contribute to World Bank and International Monetary Fund to work with the Government of Sudan on economic reforms. The £70m bi-lateral budget is comprised of £60m in humanitarian aid to support the UN's $1.63bn appeal for Sudan. The remaining programming includes work to combat Female Genital Mutilation, provision of clean, affordable water to rural and urban communities and specialist support on the economy, health and media freedom.

The UK also delivers programmes that promote long-term stability in conflict- affected areas, to support marginalised groups, and to encourage reconciliation within conflicted communities. We also support the Chevening Scholarship programme.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the education of former combatants reintegrating into civilian life in Sudan.

The UK continues to support the civilian-led Transitional Government to achieve peace, agree a permanent constitution, and hold democratic elections. This is vital to our shared vision of a more stable and prosperous region.

While we do not currently have a programme that supports education for former combatants, the August 2020 peace agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and armed groups includes a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. This process will include removing weapons from members of armed groups, detaching those former combatants from their groups and helping them to reintegrate safely into civilian life. The establishment of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission which will assist Sudan in the implementation of any peace agreements will be central for the international community support of this process.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding he has allocated to support education in Sudan.

The UK is the largest bilateral donor to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest education-specific multilateral, providing approximately 15% of its funds. GPE is providing a five-year grant to Sudan worth US$62.62 million, which focuses on expanding access and improving the quality of basic education. Sudan has also received a US$11 million GPE grant specifically for COVID-19 education response, which includes support for distance learning and enhanced water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. In addition, FCDO has allocated almost £1 million to the UN's Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to support their work on education in Sudan. UK support will help provide primary education to over 38,000 refugee children and construct two schools.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has offered support to the Moria refugee camp in Greece.

The UK is responding to requests by the Greek Government to provide specific humanitarian goods and are urgently making plans for their delivery.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress he has made on preventing the flow of money from the UK to armed separatist groups in Cameroon linked to human rights abuses.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and security forces in Cameroon. We continue to call for investigations into all such reports. As the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights set out at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September, those who have abused and violated human rights in Cameroon, as anywhere else in the world, must be held responsible.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses by stopping them from entering our country, channeling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy, through the use of both asset freezes and travel bans. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to bring in UK visa and travel bans for the leaders of the armed separatist groups in Cameroon who commit human rights abuses.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and security forces in Cameroon. We continue to call for investigations into all such reports. As the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights set out at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September, those who have abused and violated human rights in Cameroon, as anywhere else in the world, must be held responsible.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses by stopping them from entering our country, channeling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy, through the use of both asset freezes and travel bans. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to bring in Magnitsky-style sanctions on the financial assets of any member of the (a) Government of Cameroon, (b) armed forces and (c) armed groups in Cameroon.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuses and violations by both armed separatists and security forces in Cameroon. We continue to call for investigations into all such reports. As the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights set out at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September, those who have abused and violated human rights in Cameroon, as anywhere else in the world, must be held responsible.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses by stopping them from entering our country, channeling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy, through the use of both asset freezes and travel bans. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to provide support to the people of Sudan following the recent flooding in that country.

In addition to supplies that were prepositioned in anticipation of this year's floods, the UK quickly responded through the UN's Sudan Humanitarian Fund which provided US $3.25 million, allowing UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO and NGOs to provide sleeping mats, clean water, food and medicines to help people affected. We also worked with our partners, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to reallocate UK funding for sandbags, water and sanitation and other immediate needs.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to introduce UK Aid Match to support charitable giving for the people of Sudan following the recent flooding in that country.

DFID has provided UK Aid Match funding to 10 emergency humanitarian appeals since 2013, most recently the DEC Coronavirus appeal. There are no plans to use UK Aid Match to support charitable giving for the people of Sudan following the recent flooding. However, UK aid-funded relief items are already at work in response to the widespread flooding that is occurring in Sudan. In partnership with aid agencies, the UK is providing emergency shelter, water and hygiene kits as well as blankets and sleeping mats. We will continue to take preventative action including against disease.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the reduction in CO2 emissions funded by UKAid climate finance outside the UK in each of the last 10 years.

Between 2011/12 and 2019/20 work supported through UK International Climate Finance (ICF) reduced or avoided 31,000,000 metric tonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (tCO2e). The full set of results achieved through UK ICF is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/911393/ICF-Results-Publication-2020.pdf

Annual figures for each of the last ten years are not available.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) food security and (b) human rights situation in the Southern Red Sea Denkalya Region of Eritrea during the covid-19 pandemic.

We are concerned that the people of Eritrea are facing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 and the desert locust outbreak have impacted existing humanitarian need as a result of lasting effects of war and climate change. Humanitarian and development programmes in Eritrea are being adapted to address current food security challenges. UK Aid funds life-saving activity in Eritrea, including providing £4m to UNICEF in 2019-20 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services.

We are also aware of reports that the Government of Eritrea is targeting the Red Sea Afar people in the Denkalya region during the COVID-19 pandemic. We raise our concerns about human rights in Eritrea with the Government at every opportunity, and we will continue to make clear that measures taken by them to tackle COVID-19 must be necessary, proportionate, time-bound, transparent and regularly reviewed. Eritrea remains a priority country for the FCO under our annual human rights reporting, and we will continue to monitor the situation there.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the security situation in Cameroon during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. As the UK highlighted at a United Nations Security Council briefing on Central Africa, on 12 June, high levels of violence are having tragic consequences on civilians. These could be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK has contributed approximately £540,000 to UNICEF to support with the COVID-19 response and related water, sanitation and hygiene activities in Cameroon. We have also contributed approximately £60,000 to the Centre Pasteur Cameroun to decentralise COVID-19 testing across the country, in support of the Government of Cameroon's National Response Plan. On 20 May the UK Government also announced investment of up to £20 million in the new African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, which will be used to tackle coronavirus, and save lives, including in Cameroon.

The UK welcomes the UN Secretary-General's call in February on armed actors to refrain from attacks against civilians in Cameroon. We also welcome his call on 23 March for an immediate global ceasefire in armed conflicts, and his appeal to open up spaces for diplomacy, protect the most vulnerable, allow humanitarian access, and focus our collective energies on fighting COVID-19.

On 19 May I spoke to the Prime Minister of Cameroon and discussed the need for a peaceful solution to the conflict. It is imperative that people are not prohibited by the violence from accessing testing or wider humanitarian assistance. We continue to call for an end to the violence in the North-West and South-West regions, and have shared experiences on conflict resolution with the Government of Cameroon. We will continue to work with international partners to support the restoration of peace in these regions, at the same time as we support Cameroon, and other African partners, to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on peace and security.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Eritrea on the release of political prisoners, journalists and Aster Fissehatsion.

We remain concerned about the human rights situation in Eritrea, including the arrests of opposition leaders, journalists and religious figures. Since Aster Fissehatsion and others were detained in 2001, the UK Government, along with partners in the international community, have taken every opportunity to voice our concern about arbitrary arrests and detentions in Eritrea, and have called for their release. We have done so directly with the Government of Eritrea and publicly - through our annual reporting on human rights and at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

On 26 February, the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, delivered a statement during the 43rd Session of the HRC expressing concern at continuing human rights abuses. Although welcoming Eritrean acceptance of Universal Periodic Review recommendations and offering UK assistance in support of their implementation, she said that the UK would continue to press for the release of arbitrarily detained individuals including journalists, as well as reform of the National Service and freedom of religion or belief for worshippers of unregistered religions.

During visits to Eritrea, the FCO's Head of East Africa Department, in November 2019, and the Home Office International Director, in February 2020, both raised human rights issues with senior members of the Eritrean Government, including Freedom of Expression and National Service. In April our Ambassador in Asmara raised the prospect of releasing prisoners given their increasing risk of infection from Covid-19 with the President's chief political adviser, Yemane Gebreab. Eritrea remains a priority country for the FCO under our annual human rights reporting, and we will continue to monitor the situation there.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Question 20480 on Libya and Sahel: Politics and Government, which bilateral and multi-lateral programmes he is planning to increase in (a) the Sahel region and (b) Libya.

On 25 February, the Minister for Africa attended the first meeting of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly and G5 Leaders' Summit in Mauritania, where he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to increased efforts to improve security and encourage development in the Sahel. The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to the region, and provided over £450 million in bilateral humanitarian and development assistance to the Sahel between 2015 and 2019. Last August, we also committed £30million to the Sahel and surrounding countries to support access to education for 100,000 children in crisis areas.

The British Government continues to support Libya through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF), supporting the delivery of greater security and resilience; promoting a more inclusive political dialogue; and boosting economic development. The UK funds a humanitarian programme in Libya focussed on health care and humanitarian coordination. As part of our current £75 million migration programme along the Central Mediterranean Route, we have allocated over £7 million to humanitarian assistance and protection for migrants and refugees in Libya, including targeted healthcare provision. Decisions on future UK funding will be taken in the context of the Spending Review.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) political, (b) humanitarian and (c) security situations in the Anglophone region of Cameroon; and what steps he is taking with the Government of Cameroon to resolve those situations.

The British Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. These regions suffer from high levels of violence, which have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. We have consistently called for an end to the violence, and for investigations into all reports of human rights violations. On 19 February, I issued a statement about the appalling attacks in February and called for an urgent and transparent investigation so that the perpetrators can be held accountable.

We welcomed the passing of legislation concerning bilingualism and special status for the North-West and South-West regions in December 2019. This was a welcome initial step forward. Commitments and legislation now need to be implemented in a timely manner to support genuine decentralisation of power and to tackle the root causes of the conflict. We continue to shine a spotlight on the crisis and raise our concerns at the highest levels, including with the Government of Cameroon, in multinational fora and with international partners. At the UN Security Council on 12 February, the UK highlighted the significant impact of the crisis on children. At the UN Human Rights Council on 27 February, the UK raised concerns about the protection of civilians in Cameroon.

The UK continues to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives and remains ready to work with the Government of Cameroon, and international partners, to bring peace and stability to the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support Sudan's transition to a democratically-elected civilian-led Government.

The UK welcomes the Constitutional Declaration signed on 17 August 2019 which sets out the plan for Sudan's transition to civilian government with elections in 2021. The fragile political, economic and security situation makes this a difficult task; the UK is committed to supporting Sudan through this transition and beyond. To date UK support has included providing technical advice to the government to address immediate needs, particularly around economic reform and strategic communications. Further to our extensive humanitarian assistance to Sudan, the UK has taken a leading role in coordinating with international partners and organisations to shape a package of assistance to support the civilian-led government as it implements economic and political reforms. In addition, our longstanding engagement with the Sudanese government and civil society to strengthen human rights, including media freedoms, remains a key part of our work to foster Sudan's democratic transition ahead of elections.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help the Sudanese Government seek its removal from the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sudan's removal from the U.S. State Sponsor of Terrorism List, a bilateral matter between the US and Sudan, is an important step in opening the way to international financial institution engagement on economic reform and debt relief. The UK supports Sudan's transition, and its demonstration of meaningful political reform as it moves through the de-listing process.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he is having with the Secretary of State for International Development on providing support for the reform of the Sudanese economy to reduce the number of Sudanese people living in extreme poverty.

Officials from the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office work together closely to assist the Government of Sudan as it addresses the large economic and political challenges the country faces in delivering the transition to democracy. HMG will continue to work closely with both the Sudanese government and international partners to provide support for the economic reforms, including mechanisms to mitigate the effects such reforms will have on the poorest in Sudan. In addition, through our humanitarian assistance the UK is committed to assisting all people in Sudan, and remains one of the largest bilateral humanitarian donors in the country.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the security situation in (a) the Sahel region and (b) Libya on the UK's national security.

The UK is deeply concerned at the continuing instability in the Sahel and Libya. The UK is clear that UK interests will be supported by lasting peace and stability in the Sahel and Libya. I represented the UK at the first meeting of the International Follow Up Committee for Libya, briefing fellow participants on recent UN Security Council Resolution 2510. The resolution demands full compliance with the UN arms embargo and an end to foreign military interference in Libya. The UK has also continued to urge both the Libyan parties and the key international players to engage fully with the UN-led political process. As part of the UK's new strategic approach to Africa we are increasing our support to the Sahel, bringing together our development, diplomacy and defence expertise to help tackle the underlying causes of poverty and conflict in the region.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the UK is providing to the UNAMID peacekeeping mandate in Sudan; and what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of that mandate.

As a member of the UN Security Council the UK has a long-standing role in supporting sustainable peace in those areas of Sudan where UN peacekeeping missions are in place (Darfur and Abyei). This includes the UK's commitment to funding peacekeeping missions globally through the "assessed contribution" system and our role as the penholder, alongside Germany, on the mandate for the UN/African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). This work has helped to ensure that the peacekeeping presence addresses the needs on the ground. We also welcomed the UN Security Council decision to extend the UNAMID mandate until 31 October while options for any future presence are developed. We continue to work with the UN, AU and the Government of Sudan to consider the appropriate scope of UN support to Darfur and Sudan.

We commend the role that UNAMID has played in the protection of civilians in Darfur since its creation in 2007 and its work to assist in bringing stability to the region. One of the largest factors influencing the effectiveness of the UNAMID mandate and its implementation has been the approach of the Government of Sudan. This has seen significant shifts since the revolution of 2019, including progress in peace talks on Darfur. We are encouraged by the recently appointed civilian-led government's pledge to facilitate unfettered access across Sudan, including in Darfur, for the UN. We remain concerned of reports that this has not been consistently implemented and continue to make clear the importance of unfettered access across Sudan for humanitarian actors and the UN at the highest levels.

We welcome the priority the civilian-led government of Sudan has given to securing a peace deal for Darfur, and the progress made in talks in Juba with armed opposition groups. Addressing the long-term drivers of conflict will contribute to the success of Sudan's transition to democracy and economic recovery. As a leading donor the UK is working closely with the civilian-led government and international partners to support implementation of the reforms needed to ensure that transition benefits all Sudanese.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affiars, what support his Department provides to the UNMISS peacekeeping mandate in South Sudan; and what assessment his department has made of the effectiveness of that mandate.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate is due for renewal by 15 March. We will continue to work with UN Security Council members to ensure this is extended and that the mission continues to have a mandate that focuses on: protection of civilians; human rights; peace process support; and humanitarian aid delivery. We continue to assess that these core tasks remain relevant and important, including as the peace process moves into the next phase if a government of national unity forms by the 22 February deadline.

As a member of the UN Security Council, the UK has a long-standing role in supporting the peace process in South Sudan and supporting UNMISS. This includes the UK's commitment to funding peacekeeping missions globally through contributed funds of £51.45m (in FY 2018/19) and circa 300 UK peacekeepers who have provided medical and engineering support to UNMISS since 2016.

Successes of the UK military contribution includes the building of a UN hospital in Bentiu, the upgrading of 15km of road used to deliver vital food and aid, as well as making a wider contribution to UN peacekeeping reform. In particular we commend the role that UNMISS and its leadership have played in the protection of civilians in South Sudan, and supporting both to human rights work and the peace process.

One of the largest factors influencing the effectiveness of the UNMISS mandate and its implementation has been the approach and the political will of the Government of South Sudan and opposition groups. The number of access issues has reduced since the signing of the 2018 peace agreement, but we are concerned by continued denials of access and hope this will improve as the peace agreement is implemented in full. Through our bilateral engagement we continue to make clear at the highest levels the importance of unfettered access across South Sudan for humanitarian actors and the UN.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border.

The UK commends the vital role that the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) plays in the protection of civilians and assisting to bring stability to the region. However, we remain concerned that a final agreement on the situation in Abyei has not been reached and by ongoing impediments which prevent UN peacekeepers from fully implementing their mandate. The UN Security Council made clear in a press statement of 29 January that the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan must provide their full support to UNISFA, including by removing any obstacles that hinder UNIFSA’s work to protect civilians.

We are also concerned by increasing intercommunal tensions and by the attack on Kolom in Abyei on Wednesday 22 January. We offer sympathies to all those affected. We welcome the commitment of the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to de-escalate tensions and jointly investigate and urge any investigation to be conducted swiftly and transparently. Our Minister of State for the Commonwealth, UN and South Asia reinforced this message with the Sudanese Ambassador on 28 January. We will also raise in New York the reports of UN peacekeepers’ failure to act in order to establish the facts of this tragic incident.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress his Department has made on delivering the goals agreed at the first meeting of the Platform for Girls Education at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018.

​The Platform for Girls’ Education was launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April 2018. The Platform aims to keep girls’ education high on the Commonwealth agenda during the UK’s term as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth. The former Foreign Secretary co-chaired the first meeting of the Platform at the UN General Assembly in September 2018. There, it was agreed that the Platform would issue a set of recommendations, in advance of the next meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in Rwanda in June 2020. These recommendations will focus attention on the key issues that need to be addressed if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Since then, the Platform has issued two papers – one on the state of girls’ education in the Commonwealth, the other on gender responsive education sector plans. The Platform will issue its flagship paper in February 2020, on the importance of political leadership in driving change on girls’ education. This paper will include the Platform’s recommendations, which we will promote within the Commonwealth and beyond. The Government continues to champion girls' education through the 'Leave No Girl Behind' campaign, and at the UN General Assembly in September 2019, the Prime Minister announced £515 million to provide over 12 million children – half of them girls – with a decent education.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of hostilities in South Sudan in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.

The first half of 2018 saw some of the worst violence of the South Sudan civil war that led to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people since 2013. Fighting between the Government and opposition groups in Unity State in April and May 2018 was especially violent and was referred to by the UN as 'deliberate, ruthless and violently bloody attacks on civilians'.

In June 2018 the parties to the conflict signed the Khartoum Declaration, which recommitted to earlier cessation of hostilities agreements and paved the way for the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), signed on 18 September 2018. Since then, there has been a significant and sustained reduction in violence between the parties to the agreement. Making an accurate assessment of fatalities and conflict incidents in 2018 and 2019 is challenging but, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, fatalities reduced from 848 in 2018, to 485 up to November 2019.

South Sudan remains a violent country and fighting continues today in some areas, most notably in Central Equatoria between the Government and the National Salvation Front, a militia group who are not signatories to the agreement. Further, whilst inter-communal conflict over resources and historic grievances pre-date the civil war, they have been exacerbated by it and continue to this day.

What peace there is in South Sudan is fragile. The UK consistently urges the parties to 2018 R-ARCSS to implement all commitments in full, to engage in a spirit of compromise and to adhere to the ceasefire. Through our Conflict Security and Stability Funding, the UK also supports the ceasefire monitoring bodies and sub-national efforts to address the drivers of conflict.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information she holds on when the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command plans to complete its investigation into the leak of diplomatic telegrams from the former UK Ambassador to the United States.

​The Metropolitan Police Service investigation is ongoing. This is an active criminal investigation and we have no information as to when it may conclude.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish his response to the Alcohol Duty Review; and what representations has he received from small cider makers as part of that review.

The Treasury is analysing the responses provided following the Alcohol Duty Review Call for Evidence. This included responses from small cider makers, and their views are being considered as part of the evidence base. Further information about the Review will be set out in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to engage with the insurance industry to assess the availability of pandemic insurance for businesses.

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

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, some insurance companies have chosen to pause the sale of some insurance policies, or will not include cover for COVID-19 related claims in any new or renewed policies. Insurers take commercial decisions regarding the products they offer and risks they cover based on their view of the likelihood of a risk occurring, and have cited the likelihood of COVID-19 risk crystallising as a challenge to insure.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere and encourages businesses to seek assistance through the wider support package if they are in financial difficulty.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential revenue accruing to the public purse from expanding the tax on sugary drinks to include sugary foods.

All taxes are kept under review, however, we currently have no plans to further extend this levy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of the Prospective Regulation exemption limit of 8 million euros for secondary public offerings.

The Prospectus Regulation is directly applicable EU legislation. The Regulation permits Member States to exempt offers of securities to the public, up to a maximum threshold of 8 million euros, from the obligation to produce a prospectus. In 2018, the government elected to set this threshold at its highest level.

The Prospectus Regulation also contains easements specific to secondary offerings, including a simplified prospectus document with lighter requirements.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on public finances of the soft drinks industry levy.

In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) raised £240 million.

Further data on the effect of the SDIL on the public finances can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/soft-drinks-industry-levy-statistics

Forecasts of future receipts are produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility on a regular basis as part of their Economic and Fiscal Outlook series. These are available on their website.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people on the PAYE system changed employers in each calendar month during 2018-19.

Unfortunately, due to data constraints, the requested analysis could not be completed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within the required timeframe. HMRC are therefore not able to provide information on individuals who changed employers.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of people on the PAYE system who voluntarily left their place of employment to start a new PAYE job between 28 February 2020 and 23 March 2020.

Unfortunately, due to data constraints, the requested analysis could not be completed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within the required timeframe. HMRC are therefore not able to provide information on individuals who changed employers.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential contribution to the public purse if National Insurance was payable by individuals over the state pension age.

The ‘Estimated Costs of Tax Reliefs’ publication sets out an estimate of the cost of the exemption from National Insurance contributions for those over state pension age. It is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/minor-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs

This publication estimates the latest cost of this exemption in 2019-20 at around £1billion. The figures can be found in the ‘Estimated costs of structural tax reliefs’ table:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/837775/Structural_FINAL.xlsx

As noted in the publication, the estimated costs do not represent the yield if the exemption were to be abolished. In practice if a relief was withdrawn, taxpayers’ behaviour would often alter so that the actual yield would be very different from, and often smaller than, that shown in the tables.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much duty is paid by cider makers.

Annually, Cider Duty accounts for between 2-3% of overall Alcohol Duty revenue received by HM Revenue and Customs. Historic Cider Duty revenue is found within the ‘T4’ tab of the tables which accompany the ‘UK Alcohol Duty Statistics’ publication, found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/alcohol-bulletin

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish Sir Amyas Morse's review of the Loan Charge.

The Government published Sir Amyas Morse’s independent review of the Loan Charge on 20 December, alongside the Government’s response to his recommendations. Further detail can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-independent-loan-charge-review/guidance

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of the pilot scheme for 30,000 seasonal agricultural workers in 2021.

The pilot scheme is subject to ongoing evaluation activity and we will make an assessment of it prior to a decision whether to extend its provisions into future years.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to offer UK resettlement to vulnerable unaccompanied minors from Syria who have been displaced again by the fire at the Moria refugee camp in Greece.

We are very concerned by the reports and images emerging from the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos following the devastating fire. We are working across government and with our embassy in Greece to actively monitor the situation as it develops.

Throughout the pandemic the UK has continued to receive those accepted for transfer under the Dublin III Regulation, including unaccompanied children. We are in regular contact with sending Member States, including Greece, who are responsible for arranging transfers.

We have also committed to continue to process transfer requests under the Dublin family reunion provisions from Greece and other Member States which were received before the end of the transition period.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what training UK armed forces are providing to the (a) armed forces and (b) security forces of the Government of Cameroon.

The UK has a longstanding relationship with Cameroon; we provide limited military capacity building which includes training on human rights. The UK and Cameroon cooperate closely in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Oct 2020
What steps he is taking to promote house building.

We have set out an ambitious package of measures to ensure we build the right homes in the right places; levelling up opportunities across the country. This includes, at £12 billion, the highest single funding commitment to affordable housing in a decade; and once in a generation reform to the planning system. This builds on the 240,000 new homes delivered last year; the highest in over 30 years.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the risk assessment that his Department commissioned when it advised landlords to continue to carry out in-home gas boiler inspections during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Health and Safety Executive is the regulator and independent enforcer of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and oversees the Gas Safe Register under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Health & Safety Executive has made clear that landlords should not suspend all annual gas safety checks at this time as it could put tenants at risk of serious illness or fatalities from gas explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly as people are spending all or most of their time at home. It is the responsibility of the dutyholder to assess on a case by case basis the risk of carrying out gas safety checks in a property. HSE guidance can be found here: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/landlords/.

Our guidance is clear that no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless the work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. Where entry is required for emergency repairs landlords should take every possible step to minimise contact with residents and follow government guidance on tradespeople working in people homes, which may be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19#social-distancing-in-the-workplace---principles.

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