Holly Lynch Portrait

Holly Lynch

Labour - Halifax

First elected: 7th May 2015

Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

(since September 2023)

Shadow Minister (Home Office)
10th Apr 2020 - 5th Sep 2023
Firearms Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill
25th Jan 2023 - 1st Feb 2023
National Security Bill
29th Jun 2022 - 18th Oct 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
16th Sep 2021 - 4th Nov 2021
Home Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Flooding and Coastal Communities)
3rd Jul 2017 - 30th Jul 2018
Women and Equalities Committee
28th Feb 2017 - 3rd May 2017
Procedure Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 28th Feb 2017
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Sep 2015 - 9th Oct 2016
Environmental Audit Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Inter Faith Network Closure
I thank my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Sir Stephen Timms) for having secured this urgent question; …
Written Answers
Thursday 8th February 2024
Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Safety
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2024 to Question 10491 on …
Early Day Motions
Monday 20th January 2020
Children and mental health legislation
That this House welcomes the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Mental Health Act will be reformed; agrees that …
Bills
Wednesday 24th February 2021
High Performance Vehicle Renting (Regulation) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to regulate the renting of high performance road vehicles; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th March 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: (1) Körber-Stiftung (2) Stiftung Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz (gemeinnützige) GmbH
Address of donor: (1) Kehrwieder 12, 20457 Hamburg, Germany …
EDM signed
Tuesday 16th November 2021
Town and Country Planning
That the Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021 (SI, 2021, No. 962), dated 26 August 2021, …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 9th February 2021
Victims of Crime and Anti-social Behaviour, Etc (Rights, Entitlements and Related Matters) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about the duties and responsibilities of the Victims’ Commissioner and about the Victims’ Code; to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Holly Lynch has voted in 781 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Holly Lynch 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
Kevin Foster (Conservative)
(45 debate interactions)
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
(40 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(309 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(51 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(14 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Holly Lynch's debates

Halifax Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

As a teacher in 2018 I started a bed poverty charity, since then schools have referred 1400 children without beds. Bed poverty is affecting educational outcomes for children across the UK

A national sleep strategy must resource local authorities to identify, address and ultimately end bed poverty

Make specialist training mandatory for all police and other government agencies that support black women and girls affected by domestic abuse. Police and agencies should have culturally appropriate training to better understand the cultural needs of black women affected by domestic abuse.


Latest EDMs signed by Holly Lynch

16th November 2021
Holly Lynch signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 16th November 2021

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That the Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021 (SI, 2021, No. 962), dated 26 August 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27 August 2021, be revoked.
18 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Liberal Democrat: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 1
Green Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
19th April 2021
Holly Lynch signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 19th April 2021

Public Health

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 150), dated 12 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12 February 2021, be revoked.
10 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Green Party: 1
View All Holly Lynch's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Holly Lynch, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Holly Lynch

1 Adjournment Debate led by Holly Lynch

Wednesday 10th January 2024

4 Bills introduced by Holly Lynch


A Bill to regulate the renting of high performance road vehicles; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 24th February 2021
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to grant the Environment Agency additional powers to require water companies to manage reservoirs to mitigate flood risk; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 17th July 2019
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to extend the National Living Wage to people aged 18 to 24.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th July 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make certain offences including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assault aggravated when perpetrated against a constable, firefighter, doctor, paramedic or nurse in the execution of his or her duty or against a person assisting these persons in the execution of their duty; to make provision to require those suspected of certain assaults that may pose a health risk, including spitting, to be required to undergo blood tests and to make it an offence, without reasonable excuse, to refuse to undergo such tests; to make provision about the sentences for those convicted of the offences; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 7th February 2017
(Read Debate)

243 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
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the nature was of the security breach that resulted in the Rt Hon Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip being advised to keep his phone turned off from April 2021 onwards.

I refer the Hon Member to the correspondence from the then Independent Adviser for Ministerial Interests to the then Prime Minister of 17 December 2021, which can be found on gov.uk.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, the Government does not comment on security matters.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use in each Department as of 2 September 2022.

Cabinet Office can only provide the answer for their own sites; each government department holds their own information.

The total number of workstations available for Cabinet Office staff to use across all our offices is 5286.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will commit to publishing the report on the Infected Blood Compensation Framework Study in full; and when the Government plans to publish that report.

I refer the Honourable Member to my answer to PQ 150265, and the Written Ministerial Statement HCWS681 I made on 15 March.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he met Alexander Lebedev in April 2018 in any capacity.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to my answer to PQ 139374 on 17 March.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the National Resilience Strategy will be published.

The Integrated Review, published in March 2021, set a goal to strengthen the UK’s national resilience. The Integrated Review also committed to the development of a new Resilience Strategy to set out a new vision and approach to support improvements to our national resilience. Following a successful Call for Evidence in the summer of last year, the government plans to publish the Strategy in spring 2022.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his planned timetable is for publication of the outcome of the infected blood inquiry compensation consultation.

I refer the hon. Member to my written statement of 23 Sept 2021 - the consultation closed on 9 August 2021 and the Terms of Reference for the study have now been published online. I look forward to receiving Sir Robert's recommendations.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his expected timetable is for publication of the final report of the Infected Blood Inquiry.

The timetable for the Infected Blood Inquiry is a matter for Sir Brian Langstaff, the Chair of the independent statutory Inquiry. Sir Brian has said that the work of the Inquiry will be completed as quickly as reasonable thoroughness permits - recognising that those infected and affected are still suffering today.

The Inquiry is continuing to work at pace, and will hear evidence and presentations between now and December 2021. Further details on progress can be found on the Infected Blood Inquiry website - https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
15th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she has received the correspondence sent by the hon. Member for Halifax on 6 April 2023 with reference ZA35937.

I replied to the hon. Member’s correspondence on 13 June.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with Royal Mail Group on the Universal Service Obligation.

The Department has regular discussions with Royal Mail on a wide range of issues.

The Government has no current plan to change the minimum requirements of the universal postal service that are set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

Ofcom has been given the powers and tools to protect the universal service and it has in place an effective monitoring regime that is able to identify any threats to it.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with Royal Mail Group on six-day letter deliveries.

The Department has regular discussions with Royal Mail on a wide range of issues.

The Government’s objective continues to be ensuring the provision of a sustainable, accessible, and affordable universal postal service. The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service which are set out in the Postal Services Act 2011.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

The number of workstations estimated to be available for people employed by the Department within its office locations is 3419.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use within his Department on 11 October 2022.

The number of workstations available for civil servants to use on 11 October 2022 at the Department’s main London building at 1 Victoria Street was 2492.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department has taken to help ensure that in the event of power outages people will still be able to make emergency calls, following the proposed changes to the Public Switched Telephone Network in 2025.

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a privately-owned telecoms network and the decision to upgrade it has been taken by the telecoms industry, not the government. However, the government and Ofcom are working together to ensure consumers and sectors are protected and prepared for the upgrade process.

Ofcom, the independent telecoms regulator, has issued guidance on how telecoms companies can fulfil their regulatory obligation to ensure that their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) customers have access to the emergency services during a power outage. This guidance was prepared following consultation with Ofgem and the industry, looking at data on average power outages among other factors.

This guidance states that providers should have at least one solution available that enables access to emergency organisations for a minimum of one hour in the event of a power outage in the premises, and that the solution should be suitable for customers’ needs and should be offered free of charge to those who are at risk as they are dependent on their landline. Ofcom’s full guidance is available on its website here.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether it is her Department's policy to ensure that the proposed changes to the Public Switched Telephone Network in 2025 are accompanied by improved broadband access and speeds, especially in more rural areas.

The Public Switched Telephone Network is a privately-owned telecoms network and the decision to upgrade it has been taken by the telecoms industry, not the government. The decision has been taken as the network is increasingly unreliable and prone to failure, and spare parts are becoming harder to source due to a reduction in global production.

However, some Internet Service Providers are planning on migrating customers from PSTN connections only when a full-fibre connection is available at their premises, meaning higher broadband speeds and greater reliability.

More broadly, the government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Today, over 65% of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. The Government is also investing £5 billion as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage: up to 2.5 million premises are within the scope of procurements we have already announced.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Sep 2021
What steps she is taking to help prevent people from becoming digitally excluded.

The Government has worked closely with providers to put in place social tariffs. These provide low cost landline and broadband services for people on means-tested state benefits. We are encouraging providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so. The telecoms industry has also removed data caps on fixed broadband packages, and provides free or low cost data boosts on mobile services to support vulnerable consumers.

In February DCMS also launched a £2.5 million Digital Lifeline Fund to reduce the digital exclusion of people with learning disabilities.This fund has provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities, enabling them to connect with friends and family, and access services and support groups, promoting overall well being.

The Government has also introduced a digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications, up to level 1, free of charge.

Finally, around 2,900 public libraries in England provide accessible locations offering free Wi-Fi, computers, and other technology. Library staff, often supported by volunteers, can provide library users with digital support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether eligible students can access free school meals when they have been withdrawn from school by their parent or guardian.

The Education Act 1996 places a duty on maintained schools and academies to provide free school meals (FSM) to pupils of all ages that meet the criteria for eligibility and who are attending school during term time. The Act makes clear that a child must be registered at a publicly funded school as a condition of claiming FSM. Free meals are not available to those who elect to undertake education from home, nor to pupils of private institutions.

Schools should continue to provide free meals for registered pupils either on the school premises or at any other place where education is being provided.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to provide free school meals to children who are permanently excluded.

Schools are legally required to provide free school meals (FSM) to eligible pupils. Pupils must be registered at the school in order to be eligible. For temporary or fixed term exclusions, schools should continue to provide FSM for registered pupils, either on the school premises or at any other place where education is being provided.

In the case of pupils who have been permanently excluded, and are no longer registered with a school, the Local Authority must arrange suitable full time education for the pupil to begin from the sixth school day after the first day the permanent exclusion took place.

26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department will be providing to schools to help ensure they can manage increased energy costs.

The department recognises that schools will be facing cost pressures in the coming months, particularly due to the increase in energy prices. We are looking carefully at how this will impact schools and are considering what additional support we could offer.

The department contacted all schools in England to get basic data on their current and future energy tariffs to better understand how they have been affected by recent energy price increases. The survey closed on 2 June 2022, and the responses will be used to understand the impacts of energy cost increases on schools and inform considerations of additional support the department could offer.

Cost increases should be seen in the wider context of funding for schools. The government is delivering a £4 billion cash increase in the core schools budget next year, taking total funding to £53.8 billion. This includes an additional £1.2 billion for schools in the new schools supplementary grant for the 2022/23 financial year. Overall, this represents a 7% cash terms per pupil boost, which will help schools meet the pressures we know they are facing, particularly around energy costs.

All schools can access a range of school resource management (SRM) tools to help them get the best value from their resources, to help them save on regular purchases and reduce non-teaching costs. Our SRM tools include recommended deals for energy costs and ancillary services relating to energy. The department will also update and strengthen guidance on a regular basis to inform schools of the market and commercial position, with practical advice on exiting existing and entering new contracts, available here: https://www.get-help-buying-for-schools.service.gov.uk/procurement-support. The get help buying for schools service will also be able to offer support to schools in switching and entering new contracts.

The department recognises that every school’s circumstances are different, and where schools are in serious financial difficulty, they should contact their local authority or the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to next review its covid-19 guidance in relation to childminding settings.

Keeping children and staff safe is the department’s utmost priority and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have listened carefully to the latest scientific and medical advice when developing guidance.

The department has recently reviewed and updated its guidance for childminders with the UK Health Security Agency. This guidance is available here: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/18/childminders-can-continue-to-operate-from-home-if-someone-in-their-house-has-tested-positive-for-covid/.

Since 17 March 2022, childminders can continue to childmind in their homes if someone who lives with them has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms.

Childminders are advised to follow the steps below to reduce the risk of onward transmission:

  • The person who has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms should avoid contact with the children being cared for in the setting.
  • Where possible, use separate toilet and handwashing facilities. If this is not possible, maintain extra cleaning and hygiene routines, particularly after the person has used the facilities.
  • Notify parents, carers, and any assistants that someone has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms, as soon as reasonably possible and maintain open communication with them throughout.
  • Consider the need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with mitigations, such as ventilation and extra cleaning and hygiene routines. They should be applied where practical and safe to do so. Additional information on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is available in the guidance published by the Cabinet Office here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae?utm_source=17%20March%202022%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19.
  • Comply with health and safety law by reviewing your risk assessment. The risk assessment must demonstrate that the provision of childcare in your setting is safe, and how you will put into place any additional but proportionate measures.

Childminders can also consider using alternative places to operate, such as other childminders’ houses, where possible.

16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Minister for the Cabinet Office on strengthening national flooding preparedness.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of issues, including future flood preparedness, and Cabinet discussions are considered confidential. Preparing for flooding in England remains a priority for Defra and the Environment Agency to protect communities.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2022 to Question 25935 on Barbecues: Environment Protection, when the research on the potential damage caused by (a) disposable barbecues and (b) portable stoves will be published.

Research into the environmental impacts of single use barbecues, and other items, concluded in March. We are currently considering next steps which we aim to finalise soon.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

The estimated total number of workspace/desks is 19,800. This includes all sites including Weybridge, council offices (where we have some desks) and labs. This includes Defra or any of the arm’s length bodies (Environment Agency/Rural Payments Agency/Natural England/etc).

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Oral contribution of the Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, Official Report, column 360WH, when her Department plans to commence the research into the extent of damage caused to (a) peatlands and (b) other landscapes by disposable barbecues and portable stoves; what he plans that commissioned research to cover; and what his timeline is for publishing the finding of that research.

We are commissioning research to examine the impact on the environment, including peatlands, of barbecues and other flammable items, including sky lanterns and portable stoves, in order to support potential regulation. We expect this research to be completed in due course, when we will be in a position to consider further action.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support farmers and workers in the UK’s global agricultural supply chains to help (a) decarbonise production systems and (b) absorb the costs of more sustainable methods of farming.

The UK Government is committed to tackling deforestation and greening agricultural supply chains. We are supporting a broad package of measures to support the transition to sustainable global supply chains and to protect forests and other ecosystems.

We are working with developing country governments to identify how public policies and support to agriculture can be developed or reformed to leverage private investment into more sustainable agriculture; and to support farmers to shift from environmentally harmful practices to more sustainable ones. Together with the Just Rural Transition initiative launched in 2019, and in partnership with the World Bank, we are assisting interested developing countries to analyse their policy options for helping farmers to make this transition. Through the COP26 Sustainable Agriculture campaign, we are mobilising further support to help those countries to develop, test and pilot sustainable approaches. This includes re-orienting investment in research, development and innovation to help farmers access and scale up sustainable technologies and practices.

We are also supporting multilateral organisations to improve climate outcomes in their agricultural programming. This includes providing £150 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s flagship ‘Adaptation for Smallholder Adaptation Programme’ and mainstreaming climate work into the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme.

We are introducing world-leading due diligence legislation through the Environment Bill to tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains, and have convened the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue as part of our COP 26 Presidency. Through the FACT dialogue we are working with other producer and consumer governments to develop a shared roadmap of actions to protect forests and other ecosystems while promoting sustainable development and trade.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits making flood resilience grants available throughout the year.

Risk Management Authorities can develop local Property Flood Resilience (PFR) grant schemes and apply to Regional Flood and Coastal Committees for a contribution towards their cost through Local-Levy or Grant-in-Aid.

As set out in our Policy Statement, we want to encourage a faster transition to a market place for PFR, including advice, products and service delivery. We also want to ensure the right incentives and financial products are available to encourage property flood resilience installation. This winter, we will be publishing a Call for Evidence on PFR policy.

In addition, we are investing £200m in an innovative resilience programme to drive and test innovation at a local level to improve resilience to flooding and coastal erosion. This includes an action on PFR. We will be inviting expressions of interest later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to incentivise the installation of flood (a) resistant and (b) resilient measures to help improve protections for properties from future flooding.

The Government launched a Policy Statement in July 2020 setting out how we want to boost uptake of Property Flood Resilience (PFR) in homes and businesses across the country. We want to encourage a faster transition to a market place for property flood resilience, including advice, service provision, products, and incentives.

We want the right incentives and financial products in place to encourage uptake of property flood resilience. We are considering options to remove barriers through the operation of the Flood Re scheme. This will include encouraging insurers to price policies in ways that reflect risk reductions as a result of PFR and enable the scheme to support insurance pay-outs covering the additional cost of recoverable repairs. This winter, we will be consulting on these changes and publishing a Call for Evidence on PFR policy.

£2.9 million funding from the 2018 budget is already supporting 3 pathfinder projects up to September 2021 in Yorkshire, the South West and South Midlands. The funding is creating demonstration centres, engaging with suppliers and developing advice portals to promote uptake of PFR by homes and businesses. These innovative schemes will provide useful learning for other local authorities.

In addition, we are investing £200m to drive and test innovation at a local level to improve resilience to flooding and coastal erosion. There will be a PFR action as part of this. We will be inviting expressions of interest later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government on updating building regulations to include resilience standards that must be met when properties that have been flooded are being reinstated.

Defra and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) are in regular contact.

MHCLG keeps Building-Regulations under review. Approved Document C includes a reference to potential damage from flooding and states that buildings should be designed to mitigate this flood risk. Defra worked with MHCLG in 2015 on the development of a British Standard (BS85500:2015) on flood resilient construction for new buildings and retrofits for existing buildings, which complements building regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide an update on the proposed redevelopment of Queensbury Tunnel.

The Department has not yet received a final version of the report from Bradford City Council and will make an announcement on next steps in due course.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
4th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide an update on progress on the feasibility study into the redevelopment of Queensbury Tunnel, West Yorkshire; and whether he has received a final version of the report from Bradford Council.

The Department has not yet received a final version of the report from Bradford City Council and will make an announcement on next steps in due course.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate she has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

There are 11,284 work stations available for use on departmental premises.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use in the headquarters of her Department on 11 October 2022.

At the Department’s main headquarters building in London there are 1668 work spaces available for use.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to make provision for there being a short grace period exempting a driver from the requirement to hold vehicle tax for a particular vehicle in the event of the death of the registered keeper of that vehicle to enable family members or close friends of that former registered keeper to be able to drive that vehicle, providing they are insured to drive that vehicle.

All vehicle excise duty automatically ends when a vehicle is sold to a new keeper, transferred to the motor trade or when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is notified that the registered keeper has passed away.

The DVLA recognises that this is a distressing time for family members and has a specialist team in place to deal with these cases sensitively. When the DVLA receives a notification of a bereavement this specialist team will write to the family to confirm what actions need to be taken.

The law does not provide for any grace period or for vehicle excise duty to be transferred to a new keeper.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report, Drug driving: the tip of the iceberg, published by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, if he will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the findings of that report that (a) 44 per of drug driving offences are committed by a reoffender and (b) 67 per cent of those convicted of drug driving had one or more previous conviction; and what steps his Department plans to take in response to that matter.

In the Department for Transport Road Safety Statement 2019 the Government announced that we are considering a proposal for a scheme for drug-driving offenders that is similar to the High-Risk Offenders scheme for the worst drink-drive offenders. The Department is working on this matter.

We will be conducting a call for evidence on parts of the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is expected that we will be in a position to publish this later this year.

While details are still being worked up as to its scope, it is expected that it will include drink and drug driving offences, and the offence of failure to stop and report.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department’s Road Policing Review: call for evidence in July 2020, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy of the finding that since 2010, road collision statistics and the numbers of fatal injuries and serious injuries from road collisions have plateaued.

The Roads Policing Review was part of the Government’s response to the plateauing of road casualties since 2010. The review has brought together 16 organisations to look at the policing of our roads and how that can improve road safety. These include DVLA, DVSA, The National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. The Review is identifying ways to increase capability and capacity across a range of agencies. This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.

The call for evidence saw 149 responses submitted. We will publish once we have given the responses our full consideration.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his press release of 21 January 2022 on reducing train announcements, whether British Transport Police announcements with counter-terror information, and details of how to report concerns via the See it. Say it. Sorted campaign, will be decreased or removed from train announcements.

Train operating companies are required to make security announcements at a set frequency to encourage the public to be vigilant for all types of crime and to report this to either Rail Staff or the British Transport Police. This requirement has not changed, but we will be ensuring that rail operators do not make more announcements than they are required to do and to avoid unnecessary repetitions of the message.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the DVLA is taking to improve response times for renewing driving licences when there is a medical consideration.

The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process applications as quickly as possible.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has been working with fewer operational staff on site to allow for social distancing, in line with Welsh Government requirements. This, along with ongoing industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services union and an increased demand for DVLA services, has caused delays. Drivers with a medical condition may experience further delays as the DVLA is often reliant on receiving information from medical professionals to ensure drivers can meet the required medical standards.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the findings and recommendations of the William's Rail Review.

The government is committed to bringing forward vital sector-wide reforms and commissioned Keith Williams to carry out the first root and branch review of the rail industry in a generation.

The Williams Review was in its final stages at the outbreak of Covid-19.

The reforms are as important as ever and the government intends on publishing a White Paper with details of its plans for rail reform when the course of the pandemic becomes clearer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

The total number of workstations available for colleagues to use across the Department is currently 110,750. This figure includes the 991 workstations in the Department’s headquarters in London Caxton House and the 1,215 in Leeds Quarry House as provided in an earlier response.

On 17 March 2022, a statement was made to Parliament outlining the Department’s intention to consolidate its estate as it has too much space. As such, these figures will reduce over time.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use in the headquarters of her Department on 11 October 2022.

London Caxton House 991 workstations

Leeds Quarry House 1,215 workstations

This is consistent with our cabinet office return.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many letters have been sent from her Department in the last 12 months that ask GPs to no longer provide their patients who claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with fit notes, as they have been found fit for work by the DWP.

We have taken your question to refer to the ESA65B letter which is normally automatically issued to GPs by the Department’s IT system in every case where an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimant has been found ‘fit for work’ following a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

If a claimant states that they do not agree to information about the determination of their WCA being shared with their GP, the claim will be maintained clerically and the papers noted that the letter is not to be issued.

A revised version of the ESA65B letter went live in June 2019. The revised letter states the circumstances in which fit notes are required including to support Employment and Support Allowance appeals, where a claimant’s condition has worsened or if the claimant has developed a new health condition or disability.

The Department does not hold information on the number of ESA65B letters sent to GPs.

The latest ESA statistics, which show the number of claimants found fit for work, can be found here: ESA: Work Capability Assessments, Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals: March 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will ensure continuity in the payment of Child Maintenance Service during a review of those payments so that parent in receipt continues to be financially supported.

Where paying parents experience a change in income, the Child Maintenance Service can review their case and check if the liability should change. Paying parents are legally obliged to continue making payments while the case is being reviewed.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the reasonable adjustments her Department has made for blind and sight impaired universal credit claimants to ensure that those claimants are able to access universal credit services online or by phone.

Universal Credit has been designed with accessibility in mind. We have automated accessibility tests continuously running and we regularly test the service with assistive technology, including screen readers and screen magnifiers. The claimant-facing side of Universal Credit was audited by the RNIB in 2016 and passed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at an AA standard. In 2020/2021, we again linked up with RNIB to trial and roll out external learning for our work coaches and disability employment staff in Universal Credit. This focused on providing additional support for our agents when working with sight loss customers and the support RNIB can offer. We are committed to further improving the service we provide and a further external accessibility audit is currently taking place.

Our system generated letters are available in a variety of alternative formats, such as large print or Braille. We regularly review our communication products and are committed to providing personalised support for all claimants. If a claimant is unable to make a digital claim, they can make and maintain their claim via our Freephone Universal Credit helpline. A phone claim is also clearly marked on the service to remind DWP staff to use alternative channels to communicate information with a claimant and the claimant’s monthly award statement will be sent via post.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Government’s frozen pensions policy on members of the Windrush generation.

The policy on up-rating UK state pensions overseas is a long-standing one of successive post-war Governments. The UK State Pension is payable worldwide and is up-rated where there is a legal requirement to do so. There are no plans to change this.

No assessment has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government has plans to form new reciprocal agreements to uprate the state pensions of British pensioners overseas.

The Government has no plans for new reciprocal agreements on pensions uprating with countries where pensions are not currently uprated.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure an adequate supply of Ozempic for patients with diabetes.

We are aware of a supply issue with Ozempic, which has been largely driven by off-label use for weight loss. We have issued guidance in the form of Medicine Supply Notifications and, on 18 July, issued a National Patient Safety Alert which made it clear that Ozempic, which is solely licensed to treat Type 2 diabetes, should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss.

We have engaged with relevant regulators, and the General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards.

We have also added Ozempic and other glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists to the list of medicines that cannot be exported from, or hoarded in, the United Kingdom.

We are continuing to work closely with manufacturers and others working in the supply chain to help ensure the continued supply of these medicines for UK patients, for example by asking suppliers to expedite deliveries.

We have provided advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine whilst there are shortages and are keeping this under review as the situation evolves. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of Ozempic.

We are aware of a supply issue with Ozempic, which has been largely driven by off-label use for weight loss. We have issued guidance in the form of Medicine Supply Notifications and, on 18 July, issued a National Patient Safety Alert which made it clear that Ozempic, which is solely licensed to treat Type 2 diabetes, should only be used for that purpose, and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss.

We have engaged with relevant regulators, and the General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards.

We have also added Ozempic and other glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists to the list of medicines that cannot be exported from, or hoarded in, the United Kingdom.

We are continuing to work closely with manufacturers and others working in the supply chain to help ensure the continued supply of these medicines for UK patients, for example by asking suppliers to expedite deliveries.

We have provided advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine whilst there are shortages and are keeping this under review as the situation evolves. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients were waiting for NHS treatment as of 30 August; and what was the average waiting time for NHS treatment in August 2023.

The requested data for August 2023 has not yet been published. The most recent published data showed that the total waiting list for elective consultant-led treatment was 7.57 million in June 2023. For patients waiting to start treatment at the end of June 2023, the median waiting time was 14.3 weeks.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of medical detection and bio detection dogs.

No assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of potential merits of NICE guidance for (a) Tourrette syndrome and (b) other tic disorders.

Decisions on which topics the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will develop guidelines on are made by its cross-agency topic prioritisation (CATP) group. The CATP is a formal group that includes senior executives from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), NHS England, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and the Department.

When deciding which topics to develop guidelines on, and in what order, the group takes into account factors such as the health and care burden, the evidence base and variation in practice. The group met on 2 November 2022 to discuss the topic of Tourette syndrome and did not consider this topic to be a priority for guidance development at this time.

NICE’s guideline on suspected neurological conditions covers the initial assessment of symptoms and signs that may indicate a neurological condition and makes recommendations on tics and involuntary movement in children. Best practice guidance on the management of Tourette syndrome is accessible from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and available at the following link: https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/1042

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that all patients with primary breast cancer have an end of treatment summary in order to speed up detection of secondary breast cancer.

The NHS Long Term Plan states that, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including a needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This includes provision of end of treatment summaries, empowering people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer.

The introduction of tailored follow up pathways for people after their initial breast cancer treatment has ensured there are clear access points for people with worrying symptoms or concerns to speak immediately to someone in the cancer team. Breast cancer-tailored follow up, which includes ‘patient initiated follow up’ or ‘open access follow up’ for suitable patients, is now in place in 95% of trusts.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the Scottish Medicines Consortium collaborate effectively on drug approvals for metastatic breast cancer treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is committed to publishing draft recommendations on all newly licensed treatments around the time of licensing in England and works closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure that licensing procedures and health technology assessments are as streamlined as possible.

Both NICE and the Scottish Medicines Consortium are permanent partners in the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway which supports more rapid review and approval of promising new cancer treatments.

NICE is an England-only body. Health is a devolved matter and as such decisions on access to drugs in Scotland is a matter for the devolved Government.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to ensure as far as possible that access to clinical trials for treatment of metastatic breast cancer is open to patients (a) from all areas of the UK (b) regardless of line of therapy restrictions and (c) who have pre-existing conditions.

The Government published ‘Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery’ in March 2021. The phase two implementation plan for the vision, published in June 2021, aims to make it easier for all patients, including cancer patients, to access relevant research.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) infrastructure supports clinical research, including metastatic breast cancer. The NIHR Clinical Research Network includes 15 Local Clinical Research Networks, accessible across all geographies in England, including underserved regions and communities. The NIHR also provides the online platform 'Be Part of Research' allowing users to search and register interest in research studies relevant to them across the United Kingdom.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that data is collected to assess the success rates of metastatic breast cancer treatment pathways.

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service works closely with hospital trusts to determine sources of data which can be used to complete the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset data and also works with the software suppliers of cancer management systems to ensure that data items are able to be recorded. Compliance with data standards is monitored by local integrated care boards (ICBs).

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership commissions, develops, and manages the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, on behalf of NHS England, Wales and other devolved administrations. These audits have been introduced to reduce variation in treatment by demonstrating where care is being provided in line with standards and where a service is doing well or could be improved. Five additional new clinical audits were announced in May 2021, one of which will focus on metastatic breast cancer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that data is collected to find out the number of patients living with metastatic breast cancer.

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service works closely with hospital trusts to determine sources of data which can be used to complete the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset data and also works with the software suppliers of cancer management systems to ensure that data items are able to be recorded. Compliance with data standards is monitored by local integrated care boards (ICBs).

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership commissions, develops, and manages the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, on behalf of NHS England, Wales and other devolved administrations. These audits have been introduced to reduce variation in treatment by demonstrating where care is being provided in line with standards and where a service is doing well or could be improved. Five additional new clinical audits were announced in May 2021, one of which will focus on metastatic breast cancer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to speed up the drug approval process for new metastatic breast cancer treatments.

The Government is committed to supporting timely patient access to clinically- and cost-effective new drugs, including for metastatic breast cancer.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England are working closely together to ensure that there is a joined-up, timely approach to supporting access to new medicines for National Health Service patients, including those licensed through Project Orbis and the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway. NICE is also able to make recommendations through the cancer drugs fund (CDF), which has benefitted over 88,000 patients as of March 2023. The CDF has allowed patients with metastatic breast cancer to access new medicines like trastuzumab, deruxtecan and palbociclib, while allowing for the collection of further data on their clinical- and cost-effectiveness to inform a final NICE recommendation.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure awareness of metastatic breast cancer among NHS staff involved in primary care.

In April 2020, NHS England introduced the 'early cancer diagnosis service specification' for Primary Care Networks (PCNs), which 99% of general practices (GPs) are signed up to. This is designed to support improvements in rates of early cancer diagnosis by requiring PCNs to review the quality of their practices’ referrals for suspected cancer and take steps to improve this.

NHS England is supporting GPs to diagnose more cancers early by making funding available to embed clinical decision support tools within general practice. These tools are designed to support GPs in clinical decision making, such as whether to refer or request further diagnostic investigation in patients where they believe there is a risk of cancer, and identifying patients who may be at risk of cancer based on the symptoms they present with.

Cancer education programmes such as ‘Gateway C’ are available online and include specific courses on breast cancer, and face-to-face education sessions have now resumed and are offered by a range of providers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase the number of metastatic breast cancer treatment clinical trials in view of the number of affected patients.

The Department does not typically ring-fence funds for specific topics or conditions. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funds research on any aspect of human health, including metastatic breast cancer, subject to peer review and open competition. Awards are based on topic importance, value for money, and scientific quality.

The Government's vision, Saving and Improving Lives, published in March 2021, outlines plans to increase clinical trials, including for metastatic breast cancer, in the 2022-2025 implementation plan, published June 2021. The Government also entered a 10 year partnership with Moderna, with substantial investment in United Kingdom based research and development, including cancer research. Additionally, Lord James O’Shaughnessy has been independently commissioned to review commercial clinical trials in the UK and plans are to publish recommendations for 2023 and longer-term ambitions for UK clinical trials this spring.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has taken recent steps to ensure that clinical trial databases are kept up to date in order to allow patients with metastatic breast cancer to participate in those trials.

To help improve digital infrastructure and services, the Government has increased funding for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which supports and funds clinical trials in the United Kingdom, including those for metastatic breast cancer. NIHR provides an online service called 'Be Part of Research' which promotes participation in health and social care research by allowing users to search for relevant studies and register their interest.

The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service collects and analyses data on all people in England diagnosed with cancer, providing comprehensive data collection and quality assurance over the entire cancer pathway managed by NHS Digital. Health Research Authority has also introduced functionality to automatically register studies seeking approval on the UK-based clinical trials register ISRCTN, which feeds into the Be Part of Research System, increasing data coverage and accuracy for potential participants.

24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate she has made of the backlog of DBS check applications for people seeking to work in social care; and what assessment she has made of the effect of those backlogs on the level of the social care workforce.

No specific assessment has been made. The Disclosure and Barring Service is meeting the service standard of completing 80% of enhanced check applications within 14 days.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he received the letter from the hon. Member for Halifax and the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton of 12 May 2022 on the Gratitude Games; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal for the Gratitude Games.

We have received the letters dated 12 May 2022 and I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Officials are currently assessing this proposal and we will respond in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he received the letter sent by the hon. Member for Halifax and the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton of 12 May 2022 on the Gratitude Games; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal for the Gratitude Games.

We have received the letters dated 12 May 2022 and I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Officials are currently assessing this proposal and we will respond in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that oestrogen hormone replacement therapy products are accessible to those requiring them.

The Department has well established procedures to deal with medicine shortages and discontinuations should they arise. We work with pharmaceutical companies and trade bodies to regularly discuss the issue of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) supply. While there are a limited number of oestrogen only and oestrogen containing HRT products currently in shortage, alternative products remain available.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of ensuring NHS England provide guidance to commissioners and providers of mental health, learning disability and autism services, including the provisions of a centralised database, to facilitate patient choice in line with physical health conditions as part of parity of esteem.

No specific assessment has been made.

On 8 March 2022, we set out plans for reforming the health system. The plans contain a focus on personalisation and strengthening the role of patient choice, including in mental health, learning disability and autism services. This aims to create a more integrated and collaborative health system, which is highly responsive to patients.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of requiring employers to carry out covid-19 risk assessments for their immunocompromised employees in the health and social care sector.

We have made no such assessment. The Government continues to provide guidance for employers, including in the health and social care sector, to take reasonable steps to manage the risks of COVID-19 and protect staff. ‘Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplace’, published on 1 April 2022, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reducing-the-spread-of-respiratory-infections-including-covid-19-in-the-workplace

For workers who are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19, such as those with a weakened immune system, employers may wish to consider their specific needs, including any entitlement to a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010.

The Health and Safety Executive no longer requires every business to consider COVID-19 in its risk assessment or have specific measures in place. However, employers may still choose to continue to include COVID-19 in risk assessments. Employers should also continue to comply with the requirements for cleaning, ventilation and welfare facilities in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 or the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 to control occupational health and safety risks. Employers have a duty to consult with employees or their representatives on health and safety matters.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that covid-19 safety information is accessible to immunosuppressed people who do not have access to the internet.

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

23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of stroke patients being automatically eligible for medical exemption certificates in respect of prescription costs.

There are no current plans to review or extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list to include long term conditions such as stroke. Approximately 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and arrangements are already in place to help those with the greatest need. Eligibility depends on the patient’s age, whether they are in qualifying full-time education, whether they are pregnant or have recently given birth or whether they are in receipt of certain benefits or a war pension. Some stroke patients may meet the eligibility criteria for prescription charge exemptions and may therefore be in receipt of free prescriptions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive Answer to Question 108576, tabled on 20 January 2022.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 108576.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to provide a substantive Answer to Question 112622, tabled on 26 January 2022.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 112622.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is providing support to employers to ensure that their clinically extremely vulnerable or severely immunosuppressed employees can work from home if they wish to and are able to.

People previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to follow general guidance while considering additional precautions to reduce the risk of infection. The latest guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

On 24 December 2021 updated public health advice was issued for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19. This guidance is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

Guidance issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport recommends that employers should give additional consideration to people who may consider themselves to be at higher risk and to workers facing mental and physical health difficulties. Employers should also consider other workers who are at higher risk and for whom additional precautions, advised by their doctors, should be considered. The guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/offices-factories-and-labs#offices-2-2

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans that his Department will be able to ensure that a NHS covid pass is available for 12 to 15 year olds, to evidence proof of vaccination and/or proof of recovery from covid-19.

Since 3 February 2022, children aged 12 years old and over can obtain a digital NHS COVID Pass for international travel. The pass is available via NHS.UK for those aged 12 years old and over and via the NHS App for those aged 13 years old and over. The digital NHS COVID Pass provides a record of COVID-19 vaccinations received and evidence of natural immunity for 180 days following a positive National Health Service polymerase chain reaction test.

15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who is responsible for the enforcement of the wearing of face coverings in supermarkets and shops.

There is a legal requirement for in-scope businesses, including shops, to display signage to inform the public that face coverings are mandated in their premises, unless they are exempt from wearing them or have a reasonable excuse. Staff should remind people of the requirement to wear a face covering, but this should not result in anyone having to prove that they have an exemption or reasonable excuse. If necessary, police and police community support officers can issue a fixed penalty notice to anyone who does not comply without a valid exemption or reasonable excuse.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2021 to Question 73966 on Travel: Coronavirus, what his timescale is for ensuring that a NHS COVID Pass is available for fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds.

We are looking at ways to provide fully vaccinated 12 to 15 year olds with a travel NHS COVID Pass. This will be available shortly, initially via a NHS COVID Pass travel letter. Further information will be made available in due course.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve referral pathways and diagnostic rates for people with Tourette's Syndrome in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The majority of services for people with Tourette’s syndrome are commissioned locally by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), who are best placed to plan the provision of services subject to local prioritisation and funding. Decisions on how to improve referral pathways and diagnostic rates for Tourette’s syndrome will vary across individual CCGs located in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with each CCG taking into consideration attributes of its local population to assess the level of need.

At a national level, Health Education England is increasing the number of trained clinical psychologists, supporting a 60 per cent expansion in the clinical psychology training intake over the past two years. Clinical psychologists are well placed to develop new services and undertake bespoke development to respond to the needs of patients with Tourette’s syndrome.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve referral pathways for children with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder.

In 2019/20, NHS England and NHS Improvement funded seven community eating disorder teams in each region in England for children and young people in a pilot programme to improve access, assessment and treatment for children presenting with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). The pilots included training to support the adaption of each service’s existing care pathways, assessments and treatment interventions for children and young people with ARFID. The training from these pilots is now available for local areas to commission community children and young people’s eating disorder services. In 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement also commissioned ARFID training for staff delivering treatment in inpatient children and young people’s mental health services.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is planning to take to help improve the diagnostic rates of children with Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

In 2019/20, NHS England and NHS Improvement funded seven community eating disorder teams in each region in England for children and young people in a pilot programme to improve access, assessment and treatment for children presenting with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). The pilots included training to support the adaption of each service’s existing care pathways, assessments and treatment interventions for children and young people with ARFID. The training from these pilots is now available for local areas to commission community children and young people’s eating disorder services. In 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement also commissioned ARFID training for staff delivering treatment in inpatient children and young people’s mental health services.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Written Statement of 11 January 2021, HCWS692, Update on the Government’s response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, whether he plans to support a redress scheme for the families affected by sodium valproate.

The Government published its response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review on 21st July 2021. In this response the Government did not accept the recommendation to establish separate redress schemes for the three interventions discussed in the report, including sodium valproate. Our primary focus is on improving future medicines and medical devices safety and it is therefore crucial that we focus Government funds on initiatives that directly improve future safety (including specialist mesh centres and support for families affected by medicines in pregnancy). For this reason, redress schemes will not be established in response to the recommendation in the report.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who have received two covid-19 vaccinations, including Oxford AstraZeneca batch numbers (a) 4120Z001, (b) 4120Z002 and (c) 4120Z003, are able to travel to EU countries.

The European Union has recently published a list of vaccines it sees as equivalent to those authorised by the European Medicines Agency, for travel purposes which is at the following link:

https://reopen.europa.eu/en

The list includes all vaccines administered in the United Kingdom, including all batches of AstraZeneca vaccine administered in the UK known commercially as Vaxzevria. This also includes batches 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003. Decisions on which vaccines EU Member States will accept at their borders is for those countries to decide. We are not aware that any have decided not to accept UK vaccines.

23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women under the age of 30 have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccination to date.

The information is not currently held centrally held in the format requested.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dentists in (a) Calderdale and (b) England.

Contractual arrangements for the first six months of the 2021/22 financial year have been communicated to dental practices by NHS England and NHS Improvement. National Health Service dentists have been asked to maximise safe throughput to meet as many prioritised needs as possible. A revised unit of dental activity threshold has been set at 60% for full payment of NHS contractual value, based on data that indicates practices have capacity to safely achieve more dental activity than in the final quarter of 2020/21. It is expected that this increased threshold will improve access to NHS dentistry. Arrangements will continue to be monitored and at current are expected to be in place for six months in order to provide increased stability for dental practices.

Calder Valley, received additional funding as part of the access scheme. This has been extended until the end of September 2021 and NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently considering the most effective way to support practices to improve access for patients. In circumstances where patients are unable to access an urgent dental appointment directly through a NHS dental practice, they are advised to call NHS 111 who will assist in booking an appointment at one of over 100 designated urgent care centres, which continue to stay open across Yorkshire.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the procurement process for the provision of healthcare services for the new Hassockfield Immigration Removal Centre has been completed.

The procurement process has not yet been completed.

5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2021 to Question 146935, what advice Public Health England provided in respect of the removal of residents from Napier Barracks.

Following initial investigations, Public Health England advised moving those who are clinically vulnerable and those who have testing negative off-site. If it was not possible to relocate all negative individuals off site, then they should be accommodated separately on-site, with numbers in groups kept as small as possible to reduce the risk of ongoing transmission. This has remained the advice since.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS health and social care workers of non-British nationality were working in the UK as of 20 January 2021; and what proportion of those people had indefinite leave to remain as of that date.

As at September 2020 there were 176,965 NHS staff with a non-UK nationality. Information on the proportion of staff who had indefinite leave to remain as at September 2020 is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the resumption of endoscopy service provision during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service has continued to provide urgent and emergency services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure patient safety and continuation of service, local systems and Cancer Alliances are providing diagnostic and surgical provision through cancer hubs and contracted independent sector hospitals.

Diagnostics and treatment are actively being brought back up to pre-pandemic levels and referrals into services are being encouraged through campaigns such as the ‘Open for Business’ media campaign to encourage people with potentially serious health issues, such as cancer, to continue to seek medical advice and attend essential appointments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his Department's policies of recent legislative changes in Hong Kong that allow its Chief Executive to veto foreign lawyers from working on cases brought under its National Security Law.

We have made clear our strong opposition to China's imposition of the National Security Law, which represents a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Foreign Secretary set out those views at the UN Human Rights Council on 27 February and with Chinese Vice-President Han Zheng on 5 May. In the latest Six-monthly Report, the Foreign Secretary stated that the recent legislative changes have transferred powers once vested in the judiciary to the Chief Executive. We will monitor closely how these changes will be implemented. As the Foreign Secretary said at Mansion House on 25 April, we will continue to speak out against the clear erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he held discussions with the Israeli Prime Minister on that country's proposed judicial reforms during the visit of the Prime Minister to the UK in March.

As set out in the Foreign Secretary's statement on 27 March, the UK welcomes the decision taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pause legislation to reform Israel's judiciary. During his meeting with PM Netanyahu on 24 March in London, the Prime Minister made clear the importance of upholding the shared democratic values that underpin our relationship, including in relation to the proposed judicial reforms in Israel. The Foreign Secretary also raised judicial reform and the importance of seeking consensus on this sensitive issue, with Israel's Foreign Minister Cohen during his visit to London on 21 March. The UK enjoys a deep and historic relationship with Israel, and we continue to urge all parties to ensure that a robust system of checks and balances, and the independence of Israel's judiciary, are preserved.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the process is for determining whether a person should face sanctions in connection with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Government does not comment on our internal assessment processes for sanctions, or speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future. To do this could reduce the impact of designations.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the statement from the Canadian Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of 20 May 2022, whether she has asked her Canadian counterpart to share their assessment of the reasons for which Alexander Lebedev was deemed to have directly enabled Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and bore responsibility for the suffering of the people of Ukraine when imposing sanctions on him and 14 others on 18 May 2022.

UK sanctions have been coordinated with international allies, including Canada, to impose severe cost on Putin and his regime. We are acting together, as our collective impact is greater than the sum of its parts. So far the UK has sanctioned over 1000 individuals, and over 100 businesses since Putin's invasion of Ukraine, including oligarchs worth £117 billion.

The Government does not comment on our internal assessment processes for sanctions, or speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future. To do this could reduce the impact of designations. We will continue to work with our international partners ratchet up the pressure on Putin until he withdraws his forces from Ukraine and stops his unjust war of aggression.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has received (a) any information and (b) a recommendation from the National Crime Agency on whether sanctions should be imposed on Alexander Lebedev.

We do not speculate on future designations, or on cross-government discussions on potential targets. To do this could reduce the impact of designations. We have now sanctioned over 1000 individuals, and over 100 businesses since Putin's invasion of Ukraine including oligarchs worth £117 billion. We will not stop targeting Russia's economy until Ukraine prevails. The whole of the UK government, along with our international allies, is working to ensure that happens.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many requests the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has received to grant licenses for legal fees to people designated under sanctions in the last 12 months; and how many and what proportion of those requests it has granted.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) publishes the number of financial sanctions licences issued in its Annual Review. Information about the total number of licences and the total number of legal fees licences that OFSI has granted for the last five financial years can be found in OFSI’s Annual Review documents, which are publicly available on OFSI’s website. OFSI will publish the latest figures in the next Annual Review in due course.
James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the special licenses granted by his Department to the law firm undertaking work on behalf of Yevgeny Prigozhin required Ministerial approval.

HM Treasury does not comment on individual licensing cases.

HM Treasury’s Office for Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) takes operational decisions relating to the implementation of financial sanctions in line with the relevant regulations. OFSI has not considered it appropriate for the Treasury to effectively decide on whether a case has sufficient merit to be permitted to proceed by deciding whether to license legal fees. Rather, OFSI's position has been that the merits should be decided by the appropriate court. OFSI assesses cases on a costs-basis only, ensuring that the fees requested are reasonable in accordance with the derogations available under the sanctions regimes.

We need to carefully balance the right to legal representation - which is a fundamental one - with wider issues, including the aim and purpose of the sanctions. It is right therefore that Ministers are examining whether there are any changes that can be made to this policy.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many workstations were available for civil servants to use in his Department's offices as of 11 October 2022.

HM Treasury has over 1000 workstations available to use across its 3 sites (London, Darlington and Norwich) which is sufficient to support staff attending the office at least 50% of the time.
Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the fairness of the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) is a tax charge which applies to anyone with an income of over £50,000 who gets Child Benefit, or whose partner receives it. The charge increases gradually for those with incomes between £50,000 and £60,000 and is equal to one per cent of a family’s Child Benefit for every extra £100 of income that is over £50,000 each year. Where income exceeds £60,000, the tax charge is equal to the amount payable in Child Benefit. HICBC is calculated on an individual rather than a household basis, in line with other income tax policy.

Basing HICBC on household incomes would mean finding out the incomes of everyone in each of the 7.7 million households currently registered for Child Benefit. This would effectively introduce a new means test, which would be costly to administer and create burdens on the majority of families who receive Child Benefit. The Government decided that charging HICBC to those on higher incomes ensures that everyone makes a fair contribution, while those with the lowest incomes continue to be supported.

The Government set the HICBC thresholds at these levels to help target public expenditure in the way it considered most effective. As with all elements of tax policy, the Government keeps this under review as part of the annual Budget process.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the mileage allowance payment per mile in light of the increasing cost of fuel.

The Government sets the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) rates to minimise administrative burdens. AMAPs aim to reflect running costs including fuel, servicing and depreciation. Depreciation is estimated to constitute the most significant proportion of the AMAPs.

Employers are not required to use the AMAPs. Instead, they can agree to reimburse the actual cost incurred, where individuals can provide evidence of the expenditure, without an Income Tax or National Insurance charge arising.

Alternatively, they can choose to pay a different mileage rate that better reflects their employees’ circumstances. However, if the payment exceeds the amount due under AMAPs, and this results in a profit for the individual, they will be liable to pay Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on the difference.

The Government keeps this policy under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial support to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who work in (a) the health and social sector and (b) other sectors that may put them at further risk of infection from covid-19.

The Government has been clear on the need to balance the risk of infection for those who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable with the benefits of gradually returning to normal life. The Government will continue to assess the situation and the risks posed by COVID-19 and, based on clinical advice, will respond accordingly to keep the most vulnerable safe.

Vaccines are expected to be largely effective against severe disease. Those at higher clinical risk have been prioritised for third doses or booster vaccines and are being encouraged to take up that offer as soon as possible. In addition, there are new therapeutic and antiviral treatments being made available within the community to NHS patients at greater risk.

On 8 December 2021, the Government implemented its Plan B response to managing COVID-19. Plan B has been designed to help control the virus’s spread while avoiding unduly damaging economic and social restrictions. The measures under Plan B, including introducing face coverings, mandatory certification, and working from home, will help to reduce transmission, adding a further layer of protection for the most vulnerable.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, which (a) organisations and (b) other stakeholders her Department plans to consult on the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals for a new cuckooing offence.

The Government fully recognises the serious impact that persistent Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) can have on both individuals and the wider community. The ASB Action Plan, published on 27 March, commits to tackling ASB across five key themes: 1) stronger punishment, 2) making communities safer, 3) building local pride, 4) prevention and early intervention, 5) improving data, reporting and accountability for action.

As part of the plan, which is backed by £160m of funding, we are committed to tackling the exploitation and degrading behaviour that is associated with cuckooing. The targeted stakeholder engagement exercise commenced in the Spring of 2023 and is ongoing. We are engaging on the potential merits and scope of a new offence with a variety of key stakeholders such as the police, CJS partners, local authorities, other Government departments, specialists in the field and the Devolved Governments.

There is no centrally held data on the number of cuckooed properties. The National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) regularly coordinates weeks of intensive action against county lines gangs, in which all police forces take part. The most recent week of intensification, which took place between 27th February to 5th March 2023, saw 887 cuckooed properties visited.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) research she has commissioned and (b) information her Department holds on the (i) prevalence and (ii) impact of cuckooing in vulnerable communities.

The Government fully recognises the serious impact that persistent Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) can have on both individuals and the wider community. The ASB Action Plan, published on 27 March, commits to tackling ASB across five key themes: 1) stronger punishment, 2) making communities safer, 3) building local pride, 4) prevention and early intervention, 5) improving data, reporting and accountability for action.

As part of the plan, which is backed by £160m of funding, we are committed to tackling the exploitation and degrading behaviour that is associated with cuckooing. The targeted stakeholder engagement exercise commenced in the Spring of 2023 and is ongoing. We are engaging on the potential merits and scope of a new offence with a variety of key stakeholders such as the police, CJS partners, local authorities, other Government departments, specialists in the field and the Devolved Governments.

There is no centrally held data on the number of cuckooed properties. The National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) regularly coordinates weeks of intensive action against county lines gangs, in which all police forces take part. The most recent week of intensification, which took place between 27th February to 5th March 2023, saw 887 cuckooed properties visited.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to paragraph 59.g of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, updated on 17 May, what discussions she has had with stakeholders on the introduction of the new offence of cuckooing .

The Government fully recognises the serious impact that persistent Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) can have on both individuals and the wider community. The ASB Action Plan, published on 27 March, commits to tackling ASB across five key themes: 1) stronger punishment, 2) making communities safer, 3) building local pride, 4) prevention and early intervention, 5) improving data, reporting and accountability for action.

As part of the plan, which is backed by £160m of funding, we are committed to tackling the exploitation and degrading behaviour that is associated with cuckooing. The targeted stakeholder engagement exercise commenced in the Spring of 2023 and is ongoing. We are engaging on the potential merits and scope of a new offence with a variety of key stakeholders such as the police, CJS partners, local authorities, other Government departments, specialists in the field and the Devolved Governments.

There is no centrally held data on the number of cuckooed properties. The National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) regularly coordinates weeks of intensive action against county lines gangs, in which all police forces take part. The most recent week of intensification, which took place between 27th February to 5th March 2023, saw 887 cuckooed properties visited.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to shut down so-called Chinese secret police stations operating in the UK.

As I stated to the House on 1 November, and as my honourable friend Minister Philip referenced during debate in the House on 19 April, investigations are ongoing. It would be inappropriate for me to comment any further on operational matters.

We continually assess potential threats in the UK, and take protection of individuals’ rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2023 to Question 165293 on Biometric Residence Permits: ICT, how many biometric resident permits were affected by this IT issue; and what recent estimate she has made of when these issues will be resolved.

The information requested could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.

6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Defending Democracy Taskforce plans to make an assessment of trends in the level of state threats towards (a) journalists and (b) the legal profession.

It is our long standing policy that we do not comment on operational intelligence or security matters. We continually assess potential threats in the UK, and take protection of individuals’ rights, freedoms, and safety in the UK very seriously. The Home Office works closely with other government departments as well as relevant agencies and law enforcement to protect people identified as being at risk. Any threats made by a foreign state against individuals in the UK, including journalists and members of the legal profession, will be thoroughly investigated.

For instance, as set out in my statement to the House on 20 February, we are taking steps to address the concerning activities of the Iranian regime and its operatives in the UK, including threats towards UK-based journalists working for Iran International. We will offer Iran International every support that we can in establishing and securing their new premises, and until such a time as that location is ready I have asked officials to support Iran International in finding a new, temporary secure location for its operations in the UK.

Attempts by foreign Governments to coerce, intimidate, harass or harm their critics overseas, undermining democracy and the rule of law, are unacceptable. As demonstrated by the upcoming National Security Bill which will strengthen our legal powers to counter foreign interference, and the establishment of the Defending Democracy Taskforce to drive forward work to protect UK democratic processes, this Government is committed to tackling this challenge.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that first responder organisations have adequate resources to support victims of trafficking; and whether her Department has a process in place for specialist organisations to apply to become first responders.

The Home Office launched an e-learning package for First Responders in 2020. This consists of two modules, one on indicators of modern slavery and how to make a referral into the NRM (published summer 2020) and a second (published in June 2021) which focuses on the vulnerabilities of child victims. The training modules can be found here: Home Office First Responder Training (policingslavery.co.uk)

The Home Office continues to work with stakeholders to review the role of First Responders. This includes options for how non-statutory organisations can apply to be a First Responder Organisation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will publish its response to the call for information on the effectiveness of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which closed in August 2021.

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is the main legislation relating to cybercrime, and it is essential that we ensure that it continues to be effective. We are still considering the proposals put forward to the Call for Information, and we will inform Parliament shortly of the way forward on the review of the Computer Misuse Act.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the The National Police Chiefs Council's letter to Chief Constables requiring all pre-2006 officers to be vetted against national databases, dated 20 January 2023, what estimate she has made of the number of officers who will need to be vetted in line with that letter; and how many of those officers will require vetting by the Cabinet Office in all categories of vetting.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council have asked all police forces to check their officers and staff against the police national database (PND) to identify any intelligence or allegations that need further investigation.

This will help identify anyone who has slipped through the net before vetting standards were toughened, and ensure those who are unfit to serve can be rooted out. Further details of the NPCC’s commission can be found on their website: https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/all-police-staff-records-to-be-checked-for-allegations-and-intelligence-by-march

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the list of stakeholders which responded to the Protect Duty consultation.

The Protect Duty consultation closed in July 2021. The consultation response was published in January 2022. As a result, the Home Secretary was pleased to announce the policy proposals for the Duty, now known as Martyn’s Law, in Parliament on the 19th December.

The department will publish a list of organisations who responded to the Protect Duty consultation at the earliest opportunity on gov.uk.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on appointing a new Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The role of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) as set out in the 2015 Modern Slavery Act is to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences and the identification of victims.

The process to recruit a new IASC follows the principles set out within the Cabinet Office Governance Code on Public Appointments.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/578498/governance_code_on_public_appointments_16_12_2016.pdf

A decision on the appointment is under consideration.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to create the Protect Duty.

The first duty of the Government is to protect the public, and we are committed to improving the security of public places, to ensure the public can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

The commitment made to the ‘Protect Duty’ in the Queen’s Speech and the 2019 manifesto remains, and we are working hard to bring forward this important piece of legislation as soon as possible.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to tackle backlogs in DBS checks.

The DBS issues four levels of certificates of criminal records, known as DBS certificates and operates a system of updating certificates through its Update Service.

Basic DBS check

A Basic DBS check is available for any position or purpose. A Basic certificate will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent. DBS operates to service standards of completing 80% of Basic check applications within 2 days.

Standard DBS check

Standard DBS certificates show relevant convictions and cautions held on the Police National Computer (PNC), subject to filtering rules. DBS operates to service standards of completing 80% of Standard check applications within 5 days.

Enhanced DBS check

An Enhanced DBS check is available to anyone involved in work with vulnerable groups, and other positions involving a high degree of trust. Enhanced certificates contain the same information as a Standard certificate, with the addition of relevant local police force information. DBS operates to service standards of completing 80% of Enhanced check applications within 14 days.

Enhanced with Barred List(s) DBS check

An Enhanced with Barred List(s) DBS certificate will contain the same information as an Enhanced DBS certificate but includes details of whether the individual is included on one or both of the Barred Lists. These lists include individuals barred from working with children and vulnerable groups where the role is in regulated activity.

There are currently no delays in DBS processing times and performance against these targets is strong. The average processing time in September for all Basic applications was 0.9 days; for all Standard applications was 1.6 days; and for all enhanced applications was 10.4 days.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

There are 23,466 workstations in the Departments property holdings. Additional desking is provided for staff working within Ports and airports.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use at her Department’s 2 Marsham Street office on 11 October 2022.

On 11 October 2022 the Home Office had 2014 workstations.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has taken steps to establish if material taken from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI relates to the national security of the UK.

In line with the long standing policy of successive Governments we do not comment on national security matters.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to introduce 12 months of individualised support for victims of modern slavery following a positive conclusive grounds decision.

The Government has made clear its commitment that, where necessary, all those who receive a positive conclusive grounds decision and are in need of specific support will receive appropriate tailored support for a minimum of 12 months.

We are actively considering how to deliver this commitment in a way that best serves the individual needs of modern slavery victims and will be able to provide further details in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on introducing 12 months of individualised support for victims of modern slavery following a positive conclusive grounds decision.

The Government has made clear its commitment that, where necessary, all those who receive a positive conclusive grounds decision and are in need of specific support will receive appropriate tailored support for a minimum of 12 months.

We are actively considering how to deliver this commitment in a way that best serves the individual needs of modern slavery victims and will be able to provide further details in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time is for asylum seekers to be invited to a substantive asylum interview after arrival in the UK.

This information is not routinely published and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics: List of tables - GOV.UK (List of tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the Police Federation's proposals for a Victoria medal to be awarded to the families of Police officers killed whilst on duty.

It is important that we recognise the vital role the police play in society. This is never more true than when officers and staff make the ultimate sacrifice in order to help keep us safe. That is why the Government supported the creation of the National Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum and enshrined the Police Covenant in law.

All UK honours and medals are in the personal gift of HM The Queen under the Royal prerogative. The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medal (HD Committee) gives advice to The Queen on honours matters, including new forms of official national recognition. The Honours and Appointments Secretariat in the Cabinet Office supports the Committee and will consider the options for recognition.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the circumstances in which close protection could be declined by Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs during an overseas visit.

It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on matters of protective security. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals concerned.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average processing time is for British citizenship by naturalisation applications.

The Secretary of State’s Home Department publishes data on naturalisation applications made and completed every quarter on the Gov.uk website. The most recent data set was published on 26 May 2022 and can be found here:

https://gov.uk/goverment/publications/visas-and-citizenship-data-q1-2022

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to evaluate the Recovery Needs Assessment; and if she will make it her policy to include consultation with survivors and the anti-slavery and trafficking sector in any review of that assessment.

The Government is committed to delivering tailored, needs-based support to assist victims of modern slavery in their recovery.

The Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) was introduced on 27 September 2019. Throughout the design and implementation of the Recovery Needs Assessment we engaged with our primary support provider, The Salvation Army, and our network of specialist support providers who work closely with victims on a daily basis.

We are committed to embedding survivor voice in our policy development. In 2020 we undertook work engaging with survivors directly, to better understand their recovery needs and their experiences of the National Referral Mechanism.

We are engaging with survivors, as well as the broader sector, on a new government strategy to tackle modern slavery, alongside ongoing work to improve the victim journey through the RNA process.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any consultation with survivors took place prior to the design and implementation of the Recovery Needs Assessment.

The Government is committed to delivering tailored, needs-based support to assist victims of modern slavery in their recovery.

The Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) was introduced on 27 September 2019. Throughout the design and implementation of the Recovery Needs Assessment we engaged with our primary support provider, The Salvation Army, and our network of specialist support providers who work closely with victims on a daily basis.

We are committed to embedding survivor voice in our policy development. In 2020 we undertook work engaging with survivors directly, to better understand their recovery needs and their experiences of the National Referral Mechanism.

We are engaging with survivors, as well as the broader sector, on a new government strategy to tackle modern slavery, alongside ongoing work to improve the victim journey through the RNA process.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the policy on data sharing is for providers subcontracted under the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract; and when the temporary restrictions placed on providers sharing data will be reviewed.

In March, a contract change was agreed within the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC).

This contract change specifically facilitates for the use of sensitive authority data (whilst providing better oversight of data protection risks) in research projects by sub-contractors of that contract.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the membership of the firearms licensing fees working group.

The Government is committed to ensuring an efficient and effective firearms licensing system and to achieving full cost recovery for the police. We have commenced a review of firearms licensing fees for police issued certificates, which will be informed by the work of a Firearms Fees Working Group. The Working Group will carry out a detailed review of the cost to the police of administering firearms licensing and develop proposals for revised fees, in accordance with HM Treasury Guidance.

The Firearms Fees Working Group will be chaired by the Home Office, and comprise representatives of the following organisations:

  • National Police Chiefs’ Council;
  • Police Scotland;
  • Association of Police and Crime Commissioners;
  • British Shooting Sports Council;
  • British Association for Shooting and Conservation;
  • Gun Trade Association;
  • National Gamekeepers Organisation;
  • Countryside Alliance;
  • Scottish Association for Country Sports;
  • Scottish Government; and
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The proposals for new fees for police issued certificates will be subject to public consultation in due course.

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2022 to Question 111653, on British Nationality, whether her Department plans to consult relevant stakeholders to inform the drafting of the statutory guidance for the Nationality and Borders Bill.

The nationality guidance is not statutory guidance with a duty to consult on. We will, however, engage with relevant nationality stakeholders prior to implementation of the nationality provisions of the Bill.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to deploy civil nuclear constabulary officers on British cross-Channel ferries.

The Government will always take the strongest possible action to protect our national security. Our priority remains the safety and security of our citizens. A range of measures are currently being explored to further mitigate the risk of terrorism to UK citizens, which will include fully equipping law enforcement and other emergency responders to respond effectively to terrorist incidents, no matter where they occur.

However, we are not able to comment on specific operational deployments.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report, Drug driving: the tip of the iceberg, published by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, what assessment she has made of the extent of variation in enforcement of drug driving laws across different police forces in England and Wales.

Enforcement of drug driving legislation and how available resources are deployed is an operational matter for individual Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners to determine in conjunction with local crime and policing plans, taking into account the specific local problems and demands with which they are faced.

The Government will continue to support the police to ensure that they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward proposals equivalent to those under the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 to increase the period where an individual can be charged for drug driving offences up to the point of receipt of lab results of the evidential sample.

We have given consideration to this approach but have no plans to make such a change, especially given that we have been advised by the National Police Chief’s Council that toxicology supply has now significantly increased, and all backlogs have been cleared.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) extent of delays in lab testing blood samples as a means of evidencing drug driving offences and (b) impact of that matter on charging rates.

We are aware from engagement with the National Police Chief’s Council that between January and September 2021, there were some delays in drug drive testing due to Covid related pressures on forensic services. Toxicology supply has now significantly increased, and all backlogs have been cleared. Some cases could not be charged during this period, but none of these involved serious injury or death.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) speed of lab testing oral fluid rather than blood samples as evidential confirmation of drug driving offences.

No such assessment has been made. We have been advised by the National Police Chief’s Council that, despite some backlogs with blood samples last year, toxicology supply has now significantly increased, and all backlogs have been cleared.

We will continue to monitor the situation as appropriate.

8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her policy that firearms officers from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary will be deployed on British ferries; and what assessment her Department has made of whether that deployment would require legislative change.

The Government will always take the strongest possible action to protect our national security. Our priority remains the safety and security of our citizens. A range of measures are currently being explored to further mitigate the risk of terrorism to UK citizens, which will include fully equipping law enforcement and other emergency responders to respond effectively to terrorist incidents, no matter where they occur.

However, we are not able to comment on specific operational deployments.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people who are eligible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), who already hold valid limited leave to remain in the UK, will be able to benefit from the ACRS; and if she will publish guidance on the necessary steps to take.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6 January 2022 and will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

Anyone resettled under the ACRS will receive Indefinite Leave to Remain. The ACRS policy statement can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle delays in registering an asylum claim.

1) We are increasing the size of the National Asylum Intake Unit in response to the exceptional challenges of large-scale clandestine arrivals. This additional resource will enable us to reduce the time asylum seekers wait between registering their asylum claim and conducting the screening interview.

2) Since 1 January 2020, the mean average number of days between asylum application raised date and asylum screening is 36.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the current average waiting time is from when a person contacts the National Asylum Intake Unit to register an asylum claim to when they have their screening interview.

1) We are increasing the size of the National Asylum Intake Unit in response to the exceptional challenges of large-scale clandestine arrivals. This additional resource will enable us to reduce the time asylum seekers wait between registering their asylum claim and conducting the screening interview.

2) Since 1 January 2020, the mean average number of days between asylum application raised date and asylum screening is 36.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how can a person who requires asylum support and who is unable to register their asylum claim due to delays in the asylum system can access asylum support.

The Home Office ensures asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are not left unsupported.

Where there are delays in the asylum system, individuals continue to be supported under section 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she publish the (a) timeline and (b) consultation process for drafting the statutory guidance for the Nationality and Borders Bill; and where responsibility for the guidance for the different parts of that Bill sits.

Any statutory guidance will be developed in line with usual process, which includes any requirements to consult. The timetable for implementing the guidance will be dependent on the passage of the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers are currently serving in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Unit.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the size of the police workforce in England and Wales on a biannual basis in the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin

Information on the number of police officers, police staff and Police Community Support Officers by function is published annually in tables F1, F2 and F3 accompanying the police workforce statistics as at 31 March. The latest data, covering the situation as at 31 March 2021 are available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1005990/police-workforce-mar21-tables.ods

The data in these tables include the number of police officers and staff working under function 9 – National Policing.

Function 9 - "National Policing" - includes officers, staff, and PCSOs working primarily in the following subfunctions:

  • Counter Terrorism/Special Branch
  • NPCC Projects / Initiatives
  • Hosting National Services
  • Other National Policing Requirements

Table F4 provides further details on the types of roles covered by these functions. For reasons of national security, we do not separately publish the number or officers in each of these roles.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of financial support for rehoming retired police dogs.

Information on police dogs is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on the number, make up and deployment of police dogs are made on a force by force basis and are a matter for Chief Constables, working with their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Similarly, decisions on the retirement and re-homing of police dogs are made locally by the Chief Constable after having carefully considered the specific circumstances of each case. Each force has its own system in place to manage this, which may include charitable organisations and volunteers.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average cost of a serving police dog’s veterinary fees is each year.

Information on police dogs is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on the number, make up and deployment of police dogs are made on a force by force basis and are a matter for Chief Constables, working with their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Similarly, decisions on the retirement and re-homing of police dogs are made locally by the Chief Constable after having carefully considered the specific circumstances of each case. Each force has its own system in place to manage this, which may include charitable organisations and volunteers.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police dogs that retired from service in 2021 (a) remained in the care of their handlers and (b) were rehomed.

Information on police dogs is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on the number, make up and deployment of police dogs are made on a force by force basis and are a matter for Chief Constables, working with their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Similarly, decisions on the retirement and re-homing of police dogs are made locally by the Chief Constable after having carefully considered the specific circumstances of each case. Each force has its own system in place to manage this, which may include charitable organisations and volunteers.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police dogs retire across the UK on average each year.

Information on police dogs is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on the number, make up and deployment of police dogs are made on a force by force basis and are a matter for Chief Constables, working with their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Similarly, decisions on the retirement and re-homing of police dogs are made locally by the Chief Constable after having carefully considered the specific circumstances of each case. Each force has its own system in place to manage this, which may include charitable organisations and volunteers.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police dogs retired in each of the last three years.

Information on police dogs is not held by the Home Office. Decisions on the number, make up and deployment of police dogs are made on a force by force basis and are a matter for Chief Constables, working with their Police and Crime Commissioners.

Similarly, decisions on the retirement and re-homing of police dogs are made locally by the Chief Constable after having carefully considered the specific circumstances of each case. Each force has its own system in place to manage this, which may include charitable organisations and volunteers.

9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to publish any consultation undertaken by her Department on the creation of the Immigration Enforcement Competent Authority.

The creation of the Immigration Enforcement Competent Authority (IECA) was an internal restructure within the Home Office and no public consultation occurred. A full assessment of the Public Sector Equality Duty was undertaken and in line with our ongoing duty, will be kept under review.

The change is part of a wider approach to ensure decision making is streamlined and funding for the IECA is being built into our plans for the next fiscal year.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an equality impact assessment was conducted prior to the creation of the Immigration Enforcement Competent Authority; and whether an estimate was made on the additional cost of having two National Referral Mechanism decision making bodies in place.

The creation of the Immigration Enforcement Competent Authority (IECA) was an internal restructure within the Home Office and no public consultation occurred. A full assessment of the Public Sector Equality Duty was undertaken and in line with our ongoing duty, will be kept under review.

The change is part of a wider approach to ensure decision making is streamlined and funding for the IECA is being built into our plans for the next fiscal year.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have been supported by Independent Child Trafficking Regional Co-ordinators in each year since that service came into existence.

The Home Office has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice for trafficked children, in two thirds of local authorities across England and Wales.

ICTGs provide one-to-one support for children who have no one with parental responsibility for them in the UK via an ICTG Direct Worker. They also provide an expert ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinator, first introduced in October 2018, for children where there is someone with parental responsibility for them in the UK.

A staggered approach has been adopted in the delivery of ICTGs, together with built-in evaluations to ensure the ICTG service meets the needs of the children it supports. ICTGs were first introduced to three initial adopter sites in January 2017. Following the findings of the interim evaluation published in 2018, ICTGs were expanded to a further three sites in 2018 and 2019. In May 2021, ICTGs were rolled out to eleven additional areas extending the service to cover two thirds of local authorities across England and Wales.

Data tables published in October 2020 as part of the Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – Regional Practice Co-ordinators: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-analysis-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians show the number of ICTG referrals for Direct Workers and Regional Practice Coordinators since 2017, split by local authority area. This data covers the period from Q1 2017 – Q4 2019.

Data tables published in November 2021 in the UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery: 2021 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery (accessible version) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) show the numbers of children referred to Direct Workers and Regional Practice Coordinators, broken down by region, in 2019 and 2020. This shows an overall increase in referrals between 2019 and 2020.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have been supported by Independent Child Trafficking Direct Workers in each year since that service came into existence.

The Home Office has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice for trafficked children, in two thirds of local authorities across England and Wales.

ICTGs provide one-to-one support for children who have no one with parental responsibility for them in the UK via an ICTG Direct Worker. They also provide an expert ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinator, first introduced in October 2018, for children where there is someone with parental responsibility for them in the UK.

A staggered approach has been adopted in the delivery of ICTGs, together with built-in evaluations to ensure the ICTG service meets the needs of the children it supports. ICTGs were first introduced to three initial adopter sites in January 2017. Following the findings of the interim evaluation published in 2018, ICTGs were expanded to a further three sites in 2018 and 2019. In May 2021, ICTGs were rolled out to eleven additional areas extending the service to cover two thirds of local authorities across England and Wales.

Data tables published in October 2020 as part of the Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – Regional Practice Co-ordinators: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-analysis-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians show the number of ICTG referrals for Direct Workers and Regional Practice Coordinators since 2017, split by local authority area. This data covers the period from Q1 2017 – Q4 2019.

Data tables published in November 2021 in the UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery: 2021 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery (accessible version) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) show the numbers of children referred to Direct Workers and Regional Practice Coordinators, broken down by region, in 2019 and 2020. This shows an overall increase in referrals between 2019 and 2020.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many victims of modern slavery exploited as adults have been subject to immigration control in each year from 2016 to 2021.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many victims of modern slavery with a positive Conclusive Grounds decision were subsequently (a) granted and (b) not granted humanitarian protection, by age at the time of exploitation, in each year from 2016 to 2021.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate the Government has made of the number of children affected by child criminal exploitation as of 25 November 2021.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many victims of modern slavery with a positive Conclusive Grounds decision were subsequently (a) granted and (b) not granted asylum, by age at the time of exploitation, in each year from 2016 to 2021.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many victims of modern slavery with a positive Conclusive Grounds decision were subsequently (a) granted and (b) not granted Discretionary Leave, by age at the time of exploitation, in each year from 2016 to 2021.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of individuals who were identified as being victims of modern slavery, who had been exploited as children, and were subject to immigration controls, in each year since 2016.

Statistics on the number of individuals referred into the National Referral Mechanism can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The data includes breakdowns of the number of positive conclusive grounds decisions made per quarter for victims who were exploited as children. The data also contains figures for the number of potential victims who were referred on the basis of criminal exploitation when a child.

Statistics on immigration outcomes including figures for grants of asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2021

Statistics on the immigration status and immigration outcomes for victims of modern slavery are not currently published.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has for replacement funding for organisations that currently receive support through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

The Department is currently considering allocations of its Spending Review settlement internally, including allocations to areas which have previously received funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

The outcome of this work will be included in the Main Estimate publication for the start of the next financial year as per the normal process.

8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long on average a caseworker responsible for processing asylum claims is in post for.

The Home Office is unable to report how long on average a caseworker responsible for processing asylum claims is in post for or the number of staff who are responsible for processing asylum claims across each of the last five years, as this information is not recorded and held in a reportable format. To obtain this information would require detailed reporting against multiple cost centres and could only be obtained at disproportionate costs.

However, the Home Office can provide the number of asylum case working staff for each of the last five years. This data can be found in ASY_04 of the published Transparency data:

Immigration and protection data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In support of increasing the number of initial asylum decisions, the Home Office has recruitment strategies in place to increase staffing to more appropriate levels. We are working to almost double the number of decision makers to c.1000 by March 2022.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many caseworkers are responsible for processing asylum claims; and how many have been responsible in each of the last five years.

The Home Office is unable to report how long on average a caseworker responsible for processing asylum claims is in post for or the number of staff who are responsible for processing asylum claims across each of the last five years, as this information is not recorded and held in a reportable format. To obtain this information would require detailed reporting against multiple cost centres and could only be obtained at disproportionate costs.

However, the Home Office can provide the number of asylum case working staff for each of the last five years. This data can be found in ASY_04 of the published Transparency data:

Immigration and protection data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In support of increasing the number of initial asylum decisions, the Home Office has recruitment strategies in place to increase staffing to more appropriate levels. We are working to almost double the number of decision makers to c.1000 by March 2022.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether legal practitioners are providing in-person attendance to all suspects who have not tested positive for covid-19 in police custody.

The Joint Interim Interview Protocol was developed by the CPS, NPCC, Law Society, Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association as a temporary requirement at the start of the pandemic to ensure the functioning of the criminal justice system was maintained.

Since stage 3 of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown on 17 May, solicitors have been required to attend interviews with children and vulnerable adults in person to ensure the most vulnerable in society receive in person support. A complete exit strategy from the protocol is ongoing with the intention to return to full provision of in person advice. It is for the signatories to this protocol – the NPCC, CPS and solicitors’ organisations – to determine how this should progress.

The Home Office has been chairing a weekly operational meeting with custody partners since March 2020 which ensures the operational impact of the interview protocol is assessed on a continuing basis.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the longest time recorded is for an individual to receive (a) a Reasonable Grounds decision and (b) a Conclusive Grounds decision.

Figures on the First Responder organisations making referrals into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the nationality of potential victims being referred, the gender of potential victims can be found in the published statistics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Country Guidance Decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

As outlined in the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the expectation is that the Single Competent Authority (SCA) will make a Reasonable Grounds decision within five working days, where possible, of the NRM referral being received. Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (publishing.service.gov.uk).

Following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and the minimum recovery and reflection period, the Single Competent Authority makes the Conclusive Grounds decision as soon as possible and only once there is sufficient information to do so. The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Conclusive Grounds decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

A First Responder Organisation is an authority that is authorised to refer a potential victim of modern slavery into the National Referral Mechanism. The list of First Responder Organisations can be found in the Modern Slavery Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, which also sets out their roles and responsibilities.

The SCA is currently recruiting a large number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and reduce decision making timescales; this brings additional resource pressures initially (for training and upskilling) but will have substantial long-term benefits for decision making timescales.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which agencies are making referrals to the National Referral Mechanism.

Figures on the First Responder organisations making referrals into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the nationality of potential victims being referred, the gender of potential victims can be found in the published statistics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Country Guidance Decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

As outlined in the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the expectation is that the Single Competent Authority (SCA) will make a Reasonable Grounds decision within five working days, where possible, of the NRM referral being received. Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (publishing.service.gov.uk).

Following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and the minimum recovery and reflection period, the Single Competent Authority makes the Conclusive Grounds decision as soon as possible and only once there is sufficient information to do so. The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Conclusive Grounds decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

A First Responder Organisation is an authority that is authorised to refer a potential victim of modern slavery into the National Referral Mechanism. The list of First Responder Organisations can be found in the Modern Slavery Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, which also sets out their roles and responsibilities.

The SCA is currently recruiting a large number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and reduce decision making timescales; this brings additional resource pressures initially (for training and upskilling) but will have substantial long-term benefits for decision making timescales.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK citizens are in the National Referral Mechanism; and what proportion of those people are female.

Figures on the First Responder organisations making referrals into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the nationality of potential victims being referred, the gender of potential victims can be found in the published statistics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Country Guidance Decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

As outlined in the Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the expectation is that the Single Competent Authority (SCA) will make a Reasonable Grounds decision within five working days, where possible, of the NRM referral being received. Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (publishing.service.gov.uk).

Following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and the minimum recovery and reflection period, the Single Competent Authority makes the Conclusive Grounds decision as soon as possible and only once there is sufficient information to do so. The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics regarding the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). These include the average time taken to make a Conclusive Grounds decision. The latest published NRM statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

A First Responder Organisation is an authority that is authorised to refer a potential victim of modern slavery into the National Referral Mechanism. The list of First Responder Organisations can be found in the Modern Slavery Statutory Guidance for England and Wales (under s49 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) and Non-Statutory Guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland, which also sets out their roles and responsibilities.

The SCA is currently recruiting a large number of new decision makers across the UK to increase capacity for NRM decision-making and reduce decision making timescales; this brings additional resource pressures initially (for training and upskilling) but will have substantial long-term benefits for decision making timescales.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria she plans to use to assess covid-19 self-isolation exemptions for police officers.

Self-isolation remains an essential tool to reduce the spread of coronavirus. However, the Government recognises the impact self-isolation following a positive case contact is having on individuals, particularly those delivering critical functions. In such circumstances there are a limited number of exemptions to enable named workers to leave self-isolation under specific controls. The criteria for assessing exemptions are set out in the guidance published on GOV.UK.

In addition to the exemption for critical services, daily contact testing is also now available to frontline emergency workers. This includes the Police to mitigate against any potential disruption to key services.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether one of the people due to be deported on the charter flight to Vietnam scheduled for 21 April 2021 has made a legal submission on the grounds of being a potential victim of trafficking; and what the outcome was of that legal submission.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuilt their lives.

Each and every person on the flight had the appropriate opportunity to raise any representations which were carefully considered and responded to in accordance with published policy. All individuals on a charter flight have opportunities for legal advice and the UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and, where appropriate, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure that people set to be deported on the charter flight to Vietnam scheduled for 21 April 2021 have received appropriate legal advice.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuilt their lives.

Each and every person on the flight had the appropriate opportunity to raise any representations which were carefully considered and responded to in accordance with published policy. All individuals on a charter flight have opportunities for legal advice and the UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and, where appropriate, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that none of the people set to be deported via the charter flight to Vietnam scheduled for 21 April 2021 have been subjected to exploitation in the UK and have a right to remain in the UK.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuilt their lives.

Each and every person on the flight had the appropriate opportunity to raise any representations which were carefully considered and responded to in accordance with published policy. All individuals on a charter flight have opportunities for legal advice and the UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and, where appropriate, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any of the people onboard the deportation flight to Vietnam scheduled for 21 April 2021 have been through the National Referral Mechanism.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuilt their lives.

Each and every person on the flight had the appropriate opportunity to raise any representations which were carefully considered and responded to in accordance with published policy. All individuals on a charter flight have opportunities for legal advice and the UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and, where appropriate, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are set to be deported via the charter flight to Vietnam scheduled for 21 April 2021.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

The Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuilt their lives.

Each and every person on the flight had the appropriate opportunity to raise any representations which were carefully considered and responded to in accordance with published policy. All individuals on a charter flight have opportunities for legal advice and the UK only ever returns those who both the Home Office and, where appropriate, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of dispersal asylum properties that are required to end the use of hotels as asylum accommodation; and what the timeframe is for contractors to acquire those properties.

We currently have c8100 people in hotels, although the exact number will change daily.

Our providers are working to procure sufficient accommodation to exit contingency accommodation and maintain a business as usual operation thereafter.

We require providers to work at pace, but at the same time have directed them to procure accommodation which is safe and secure for asylum seekers and the communities in which they live. This is the principle we continue to follow, so where there is substantive and reliable evidence which raise doubts in such regard, we will work with local authorities, Police and providers to resolve them.

We remain committed to working in partnership with Local Authorities, through the use the Strategic Migration Partnerships to ensure the views of Local Authorities are included when forward planning

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to open a short-term immigration holding facility for men and women at Morton Hall in Lincolnshire.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review, to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity and provides value for money.

The Home Office is developing plans for a new small residential short-term holding facility on part of the site of the current Morton Hall immigration removal centre, which will open later this year.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Questions 167900 and 167901 answered on 12 March 2021, who the members are of (a) the Illegal Migration Strategy Board and (b) Clandestine Threat Board.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer given on 12th March 2021 to UIN 167900 and 167901. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2021 to Question 169893, whether the Equality Impact Assessment carried out by her Department will be published after completion.

The Home Office plan to supplement the opening of a new immigration removal centre (IRC) for women, in County Durham, by continuing to provide some detention capacity for women at Colnbrook, Dungavel and Yarl’s Wood IRCs.

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) will be completed for the change to predominantly male accommodation at Yarl’s Wood IRC. The Home Office will publish the EIA in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the report into Home Office official Mick Cain's conduct undertaken by her Department's anti-fraud and criminal investigations unit in 2016.

We expect the highest levels of professional conduct from our civil servants, and, in 2016, the Department acted decisively in this case. You will be aware the Home Office has obligations under data protection legislation and in law generally, and I regret disclosing information relating to an individual would run contrary to those principals.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the guidance on what her Department's officials are required to declare in terms of (a) additional earnings, (b) gifts and (c) hospitality provided to them by law firms.

Per the Civil Service Code, Civil Servants must not accept gifts or hospitality or receive other benefits from anyone which might reasonably be seen to compromise their personal judgement or integrity.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-code/the-civil-service-code

The Home Office policy on Gifts and Hospitality is in line with Cabinet Office guidance.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum claims have been deemed inadmissible since the most recent Immigration Rule changes came into effect.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum applications are published in Table Asy_D01 and data on the number and type of asylum initial decisions are published in table Asy_D02 of the Asylum and Resettlement datasets.

Figures on the number of asylum application decisions made in the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. We are working to bring inadmissibility decisions in line with current reporting and hope to publish that information in the same timeframe.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the details of (a) additional earnings, (b) gifts and (c) hospitality received by civil servants in her Department from law firms.

There is no mechanism for capturing additional earnings. It is possible for Civil Servants to have other sources of income over and above their civil service salary, where those present no, or no perceived, conflict of interest.

However those arrangements are between the parties and do not involve the Home Office. Staff are required to report these arrangements to their manager and no central record is maintained.

Gifts and hospitality offered and received are recorded and reported internally. The Home Office publishes details of permanent secretaries’ external meetings and senior officials’ business expenses and hospitality on a quarterly basis.

The most recent publication of data can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-senior-officials-business-expenses-and-meetings-july-to-september-2020

In order to ascertain whether the gift or hospitality was offered to or received from a law firm, we would need to scrutinise every entry on the register individually and this would represent a disproportionate cost.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2021 to Question 162658, on Detention Centres: Females, whether her Department has plans to undertake an equality impact assessment on the practice of detaining women at immigration removal centres that predominantly hold men.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. We plan to supplement the new Hassockfield IRC by continuing to provide some detention capacity for women at Colnbrook, Dungavel and Yarl’s Wood IRCs.

The operational capacity for women under normal operating conditions is 18 at Colnbrook IRC, 12 at Dungavel IRC and 304 at Yarl’s Wood IRC. Yarl’s Wood has additional capacity of 68 for adult families more than half of whom could be women.

An Equality Impact Assessment will be completed for the change to predominantly male accommodation at Yarl’s Wood IRC.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2021 to Question 162658, what the current operational capacity is of the units for women at (a) Colnbrook, (b) Dungavel and (c) Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centres.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. We plan to supplement the new Hassockfield IRC by continuing to provide some detention capacity for women at Colnbrook, Dungavel and Yarl’s Wood IRCs.

The operational capacity for women under normal operating conditions is 18 at Colnbrook IRC, 12 at Dungavel IRC and 304 at Yarl’s Wood IRC. Yarl’s Wood has additional capacity of 68 for adult families more than half of whom could be women.

An Equality Impact Assessment will be completed for the change to predominantly male accommodation at Yarl’s Wood IRC.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what ratio of male to female staff members will be put in place at the new Hassockfield Immigration Removal Centre in response to its planned use to detain only women.

Our Detention Centre Rules are designed to ensure the rights and safety of those in detention are our foremost priority and we expect the highest standards from our contractors in this regard. This includes mandatory gender-specific training for those working with women in detention.

The workforce requirements for the new Hassockfield immigration removal centre (IRC) will reflect the lessons learned from detaining women at Yarl’s Wood IRC and will include a ratio of female to male custodial staff that is appropriate for the specifics needs of women in detention.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who sits on the Clandestine Threat Board; and when it plans to publish reports on its activities.

The Illegal Migration Strategy Board and the Clandestine Threat Board direct the Home Office’s strategic and operational response to illegal migration. The groups are accountable to the Home Secretary and form part of the overall governance arrangements within the department. Home Office Ministers have regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who sits on the Illegal Migration Strategy Board; and when it plans to publish reports of its activities.

The Illegal Migration Strategy Board and the Clandestine Threat Board direct the Home Office’s strategic and operational response to illegal migration. The groups are accountable to the Home Secretary and form part of the overall governance arrangements within the department. Home Office Ministers have regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what training will be provided to staff at the new Hassockfield Immigration Removal Centre in response to its planned use to detain only women.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. Initial discussions with the planning authority at Durham Country Council have taken place and given the site’s previous history as a custody facility, planning designation for the site does not need to change in order to operate as an IRC.

People who are detained must be advised of their right to legal representation and of how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an IRC. The Home Office recognise the importance of ensuring that such legal advice can be easily obtained by those in detention and we will be working closely with the Legal Aid Agency to ensure appropriate legal provision at the site.

The rights of all detained individuals, including women, are safeguarded by the Detention Centre Rules, published Operating Standards for IRCs and individuals under escort and Detention Services Orders (DSO).

The training requirements for Home Office, custodial service provider and healthcare staff at Hassockfield IRC will be equivalent to those for Yarl’s Wood IRC. As set out in published DSO 06/2016 ‘women in the detention estate’, all staff working with women must receive appropriate gender specific training (such as the protocol for entry to bedrooms), in addition to any generic training they receive when they undergo initial training. Appropriate refresher training should be undertaken, to include equality and diversity, human trafficking and modern slavery.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of detainees’ ability to access appropriate legal advice in the area surrounding the new Hassockfield Immigration Removal Centre.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. Initial discussions with the planning authority at Durham Country Council have taken place and given the site’s previous history as a custody facility, planning designation for the site does not need to change in order to operate as an IRC.

People who are detained must be advised of their right to legal representation and of how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an IRC. The Home Office recognise the importance of ensuring that such legal advice can be easily obtained by those in detention and we will be working closely with the Legal Aid Agency to ensure appropriate legal provision at the site.

The rights of all detained individuals, including women, are safeguarded by the Detention Centre Rules, published Operating Standards for IRCs and individuals under escort and Detention Services Orders (DSO).

The training requirements for Home Office, custodial service provider and healthcare staff at Hassockfield IRC will be equivalent to those for Yarl’s Wood IRC. As set out in published DSO 06/2016 ‘women in the detention estate’, all staff working with women must receive appropriate gender specific training (such as the protocol for entry to bedrooms), in addition to any generic training they receive when they undergo initial training. Appropriate refresher training should be undertaken, to include equality and diversity, human trafficking and modern slavery.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what planning permissions are required in relation to the new Hassockfield Immigration Removal Centre; and whether those permissions have been obtained.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. Initial discussions with the planning authority at Durham Country Council have taken place and given the site’s previous history as a custody facility, planning designation for the site does not need to change in order to operate as an IRC.

People who are detained must be advised of their right to legal representation and of how they can obtain such representation, within 24 hours of their arrival at an IRC. The Home Office recognise the importance of ensuring that such legal advice can be easily obtained by those in detention and we will be working closely with the Legal Aid Agency to ensure appropriate legal provision at the site.

The rights of all detained individuals, including women, are safeguarded by the Detention Centre Rules, published Operating Standards for IRCs and individuals under escort and Detention Services Orders (DSO).

The training requirements for Home Office, custodial service provider and healthcare staff at Hassockfield IRC will be equivalent to those for Yarl’s Wood IRC. As set out in published DSO 06/2016 ‘women in the detention estate’, all staff working with women must receive appropriate gender specific training (such as the protocol for entry to bedrooms), in addition to any generic training they receive when they undergo initial training. Appropriate refresher training should be undertaken, to include equality and diversity, human trafficking and modern slavery.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's response to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration's Report on modern slavery published 4 March 2021, what the proposed timescale is for the review accepted in Recommendation One; and when its findings will be published.

The UK is regarded as a world-leader for its response to modern slavery.

The UK response is underpinned by the Modern Slavery Strategy 2014 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the first legislation of its kind in the world. The Government remains committed to tackling this crime.

We are currently considering how to take forward the review of roles and responsibilities of operational partners in Border Force, IE, UKVI and NCA. Findings will be shared with the BICS Board and Home Office ExCo, before being shared with partner agencies and communicated as appropriate.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recommendation two of her Department's response to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration's Report on modern slavery published 4 March 2021, what the proposed timescale is for delivering new BICS specific guidance on the identification, reporting and pursuit of perpetrators of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The BICs guidance on the identification, reporting and pursuit of perpetrators of modern slavery and human trafficking is being drafted.

The guidance will be shared with the BICS Board and Home Office ExCo, before being shared with partner agencies, and communicated as appropriate in due course.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recommendation four in her Department's response to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration's Report on modern slavery published 4 March 2021, what the proposed timescale is for providing details of key findings, clarifying roles and responsibilities and streamlining governance on organised immigration crime; and when details of the new streamlined governance will be published.

The 4 March 2021 ICIBI report on modern slavery and human trafficking refers, in a Note to Section 4.1, to Recommendation 1 of the March 2020 ICIBI report on in-country clandestine arrivals and irregular migrants arriving via "small boats”. This recommendation proposed a “fundamental review of the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System’s criminal investigation and prosecution capabilities and capacity”.

The Government response, published in November 2020, partially accepted the recommendation, and undertook to take the findings of the March 2020 ICIBI inspection fully into account alongside the findings of the Independent Review of Serious and Organised Crime (IRSOC), led by Sir Craig Mackey QPM, when working with partners, including the National Crime Agency.

Significant changes in the governance and delivery of organised immigration crime have already been implemented. The November 2020 Government response noted both the Illegal Migration Strategy Board and the Clandestine Threat Board have been established since the ICIBI March 2020 report was issued, with the Clandestine Channel Threat Command now in place.

The Government undertaking to provide “details of key findings” relates to the IRSOC. The Government published the key findings of the IRSOC on 16th March, alongside the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. The Integrated Review sets out our priorities for strengthening our response to serious and organised crime following the IRSOC.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to establish smaller capacity immigration detention units for women located in existing male detention facilities.

There are no plans to expand immigration detention capacity for women.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre (IRC) for around 80 women by the autumn. We plan to supplement the new Hassockfield IRC by continuing to provide some detention capacity for women at Colnbrook, Dungavel and Yarl’s Wood IRCs, in order to provide flexibility in placement and shorter escorting journeys for those in detention.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review, to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity for men and women it proves necessary to detain for the purposes of removal, and to protect the public; and to provide value for money.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the pilot on reducing the time period for automatic referrals for immigration bail hearings from four to two months has concluded.

The pilot for making an automatic referral for consideration of immigration bail for non-FNOs at two months, as opposed to four months at present, has concluded and the department is in the process of evaluating the findings. Automatic bail referrals are an additional safeguard and do not affect the rights of detainees to apply for bail at any time, regardless of the timeframe for automatic referrals.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the pilot for reducing the time period of auto-bail hearings from four to two months has concluded.

The pilot for making an automatic referral for consideration of immigration bail for non-FNOs at two months, as opposed to four months at present, has concluded and the department is in the process of evaluating the findings. Automatic bail referrals are an additional safeguard and do not affect the rights of detainees to apply for bail at any time, regardless of the timeframe for automatic referrals.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to open a new immigration removal centre for women on the former site of the Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham.

The immigration removal estate is kept under ongoing review to ensure that the Home Office has sufficient capacity, in the right places and that it provides value for money.

The Home Office has acquired the former Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham and will open it as an immigration removal centre for women by the autumn. Initial discussions with the planning authority have taken place and work has commenced at the site. An Equality Impact Assessment will be completed as part of this programme of work.

In order to meet operational needs and demands we will continue to operate the immigration removal estate in a flexible manner.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether asylum seekers from red-list countries will be denied entry to the UK in accordance with the new travel regulations announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 9 February 2021.

Asylum seekers are not going to be denied entry to the UK from red-list countries and their asylum claims will be processed as usual. The UK has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution, and every asylum claim is considered carefully, sensitively and on its individual merits by caseworkers who receive extensive training. Those asylum seekers who arrive in UK through illegal means are treated the same as every other arrival and must quarantine for 10 days – this is in line with Public Health England guidance. They are transported to designated accommodation where providers will monitor their isolation period and as would be expected if they break restrictions, we expect the police to take enforcement action.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are being processed each week on average; and what the average waiting time is for applicants submitting an application to that scheme.

The latest published information shows the total number of concluded applications to the EU Settlement scheme was 4.68 million up to 31 January 2021.

The latest figures can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics.

Applications concluded by month and decision type are published in the detailed quarterly release – ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics, September 2020’. The statistics for October to December 2020 will be released on 25 February 2021.

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. Complete applications are usually processed in around five working days.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the outcome was of Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group's recent infection control assessment of Napier Barracks.

We take the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide them with safe, suitable, Covid-secure accommodation where they receive three meals a day, all paid for by the taxpayer.

We have been following public health advice at all times and the accommodation at Napier remains safe, suitable and Covid-secure. This has included putting in place a range of infection control measures and configuring the site so that social distancing can be maintained.

Despite our best efforts and the robust measures in place at our sites, a number of asylum seekers accommodated at Napier recently tested positive for coronavirus.

It was also incredibly disappointing that a number of individuals refused coronavirus tests and had refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules, despite repeated requests to do so.

In line with advice from Public Health England and as part of our outbreak management plan, the Home Office moved a number asylum seekers out of the site who had not tested positive for coronavirus. The purpose of this move was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and facilitate a deep clean of the site.

An independent rapid review was also recently conducted to assure ourselves of the extensive COVID-19 protocols in place to safeguard the health and safety of asylum seekers during the pandemic. The Home Office is currently reviewing and acting upon the recommendations of the review and, as previously stated, will seek to publish a summary of the recommendations in due course. We will also hold round tables with stakeholders to discuss the recommendations, actions taken and proposed next steps.

We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for enhancement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been moved out of Napier Barracks after testing negative for covid-19.

We take the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously. We provide them with safe, suitable, Covid-secure accommodation where they receive three meals a day, all paid for by the taxpayer.

We have been following public health advice at all times and the accommodation at Napier remains safe, suitable and Covid-secure. This has included putting in place a range of infection control measures and configuring the site so that social distancing can be maintained.

Despite our best efforts and the robust measures in place at our sites, a number of asylum seekers accommodated at Napier recently tested positive for coronavirus.

It was also incredibly disappointing that a number of individuals refused coronavirus tests and had refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules, despite repeated requests to do so.

In line with advice from Public Health England and as part of our outbreak management plan, the Home Office moved a number asylum seekers out of the site who had not tested positive for coronavirus. The purpose of this move was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and facilitate a deep clean of the site.

An independent rapid review was also recently conducted to assure ourselves of the extensive COVID-19 protocols in place to safeguard the health and safety of asylum seekers during the pandemic. The Home Office is currently reviewing and acting upon the recommendations of the review and, as previously stated, will seek to publish a summary of the recommendations in due course. We will also hold round tables with stakeholders to discuss the recommendations, actions taken and proposed next steps.

We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for enhancement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the recent fire at Napier Barracks.

A number of asylum seekers at Napier Barracks previously tested positive for coronavirus. In line with advice from Public Health England, over the last week the Home Office moved a number of asylum seekers from the site.

The purpose of this was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and conduct a site-wide deep cleaning exercise.

On Friday, 29 January, a number of asylum seekers who remained at Napier objected to not being moved off site. They became aggressive toward staff on site, turned violent and set about destroying the barracks, putting lives in danger.

An accommodation block was set on fire resulting in a kitchen and canteen being badly damaged. The fire-damaged block has been secured and cordoned off and other blocks remain in use. Meals continue to be provided to those accommodated at the site.

Kent Police and Fire & Rescue Service attended the site to maintain order and extinguish the fire. The situation is now under control: a number of arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. We are aware of one person with minor injuries, from which they are expected to make a full recovery.

We are clear that this type of action will not be tolerated, and the Home Office will support the police to take robust action against those vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what damage was caused by the fire at Napier barracks; and how that fire has affected its ability to be used as asylum accommodation.

A number of asylum seekers at Napier Barracks previously tested positive for coronavirus. In line with advice from Public Health England, over the last week the Home Office moved a number of asylum seekers from the site.

The purpose of this was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and conduct a site-wide deep cleaning exercise.

On Friday, 29 January, a number of asylum seekers who remained at Napier objected to not being moved off site. They became aggressive toward staff on site, turned violent and set about destroying the barracks, putting lives in danger.

An accommodation block was set on fire resulting in a kitchen and canteen being badly damaged. The fire-damaged block has been secured and cordoned off and other blocks remain in use. Meals continue to be provided to those accommodated at the site.

Kent Police and Fire & Rescue Service attended the site to maintain order and extinguish the fire. The situation is now under control: a number of arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. We are aware of one person with minor injuries, from which they are expected to make a full recovery.

We are clear that this type of action will not be tolerated, and the Home Office will support the police to take robust action against those vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any (a) asylum seekers and (b) staff sustained injuries as a result of the fire at Napier Barracks.

A number of asylum seekers at Napier Barracks previously tested positive for coronavirus. In line with advice from Public Health England, over the last week the Home Office moved a number of asylum seekers from the site.

The purpose of this was to allow others at Napier to self-isolate more easily and conduct a site-wide deep cleaning exercise.

On Friday, 29 January, a number of asylum seekers who remained at Napier objected to not being moved off site. They became aggressive toward staff on site, turned violent and set about destroying the barracks, putting lives in danger.

An accommodation block was set on fire resulting in a kitchen and canteen being badly damaged. The fire-damaged block has been secured and cordoned off and other blocks remain in use. Meals continue to be provided to those accommodated at the site.

Kent Police and Fire & Rescue Service attended the site to maintain order and extinguish the fire. The situation is now under control: a number of arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. We are aware of one person with minor injuries, from which they are expected to make a full recovery.

We are clear that this type of action will not be tolerated, and the Home Office will support the police to take robust action against those vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how applicants taking the Life in the UK citizenship test are able to find out the (a) number of incorrect answers and (b) correct answers to those questions.

Customers who fail the Life in the UK test are not informed of the number of questions they answered incorrectly, and they are not given the correct answers. They are told they have failed the test and are advised which subject areas of the official handbook they need to study.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure Life in the UK citizenship test centres (a) correctly inform applicants of their results and (b) receive unannounced inspections from her Department.

The Life in the UK (LitUK) test is a computer delivered test and automatically marked, which mitigates against any potential incorrect results. We are not aware of any cases where a customer has been given an incorrect result.

The Home Office undertakes a schedule of unannounced inspections of all LitUK test centres. This has been impacted as a result of Covid-19 during 2020/21, but will recommence when it is appropriate to do so.

In addition to the inspections undertaken by the Home Office, the test provider is required to undertake audits of each of the test centres. Each centre will receive a combination of both an in-person audit and remote audit undertaken via CCTV monitoring.

Also, the test provider is required to facilitate independent third-party mystery shopping events for each test centre assessing the security arrangements at the centre.

The results of both the audits and mystery shopping events are provided to the Home Office officials for review and monitoring purposes. These audits and mystery shopping events and Home Office review thereof have continued during 2020/21.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of Life in the UK citizenship tests taken have been passed by nationality annually since 2010 in (a) English, (b) Welsh and (c) Scots Gaelic.

Since 2010 there has been one test taken in Welsh by a Brazilian national and one test taken in Scots Gaelic by a German national.

Table 1 shows the number of tests taken by nationality. Table 2 shows the proportion of LitUK tests that have been passed by nationality.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the most number of times is that someone has taken the Life in the UK citizenship test before passing from the most recent data available.

The highest number of times an individual has taken the Life in the UK test is 118 times in 2015 and 2016. This is a unique case and the vast majority of customers pass by their 3rd attempt.

Whilst the test provider does not disclose which answers they got wrong if they fail they are advised which parts of the handbook they need to study in more depth to help them pass future tests.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what data her Department holds on the number of asylum seekers currently housed at Napier barracks who have tested positive for covid-19.

Asylum seekers at the barracks, in common with the rest of the population, must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has. We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice. Some individuals have not agreed to be tested.

We do not publish data on the numbers of asylum seekers who have tested positive for covid-19.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on how many calls have been made to Migrant Help from residents at Napier Barracks since it started being used as asylum accommodation.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating. Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has.

We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

The accommodation at Napier has been arranged to allow for social distancing and Covid safety in line with public health advice. This includes limiting occupancy of each dormitory to a maximum of 14 persons, with each dormitory effectively operating as a separate household on site.

There is a ratio of 1:5 showers, these are separate showers inside and in portable units. There is also a ratio of 1:5 toilets and additional urinals inside the blocks and separate toilet cubicles inside portable units.

The Home Office does not publish information on the number of telephone calls made to Migrant Help from asylum seekers. This not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the ratio is of bathrooms to residents at Napier Barracks.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating. Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has.

We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

The accommodation at Napier has been arranged to allow for social distancing and Covid safety in line with public health advice. This includes limiting occupancy of each dormitory to a maximum of 14 persons, with each dormitory effectively operating as a separate household on site.

There is a ratio of 1:5 showers, these are separate showers inside and in portable units. There is also a ratio of 1:5 toilets and additional urinals inside the blocks and separate toilet cubicles inside portable units.

The Home Office does not publish information on the number of telephone calls made to Migrant Help from asylum seekers. This not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers are currently being housed at Napier Barracks; and how many of those people have tested positive for covid-19 in the most recent period for which figures are available.

There are currently 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks, Kent.

We take the welfare of those in our care seriously and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of Covid-19. Our accommodation provider Clearsprings have an outbreak management plan which is enacted if there are positive Covid-19 tests and the Home Office is following national guidance in relation to testing.

Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating. Asylum seekers at the barracks must self-isolate if they test positive or have been exposed to someone who has.

We are working closely with the local health authority and Public Health England and additional support staff, as well as on site medical staff, are there to ensure that all individuals who have to self-isolate can do so and are following all medical advice.

The accommodation at Napier has been arranged to allow for social distancing and Covid safety in line with public health advice. This includes limiting occupancy of each dormitory to a maximum of 14 persons, with each dormitory effectively operating as a separate household on site.

There is a ratio of 1:5 showers, these are separate showers inside and in portable units. There is also a ratio of 1:5 toilets and additional urinals inside the blocks and separate toilet cubicles inside portable units.

The Home Office does not publish information on the number of telephone calls made to Migrant Help from asylum seekers. This not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people with no recourse to public funds are eligible for test and trace support payments.

To qualify for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, individuals must be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home, will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and be in receipt of certain ‘public funds’ benefits. Therefore, people with no recourse to public funds are not eligible for test and trace support payment.

However, a discretionary fund akin to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, in the form of a £500 discretionary payment, paid by local authorities is available to those with no recourse to public funds, provided they meet the criteria set by the local authority for discretionary payments in their area. Further information on this scheme can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme

The Government remains committed to protecting vulnerable people and has acted decisively to ensure that we support everyone through this pandemic.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the information her Department holds on covid-19 safety in establishments being used as asylum accommodation; and if she will commission a review on that matter.

The Home Office is currently reviewing the recommendations of the rapid review and, as previously stated, will seek to publish a summary of the recommendations.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the Government's planned timeframe is for the (a) consultation on and (b) publication of the proposed sovereign borders Bill.

The Home Secretary has set out the Government’s ambition to overhaul our approach to asylum and illegal migration, delivering a firm but fair system, including bringing forward new legislation this year.

Any consultation that may take place will do so in line with established principles as well as taking into account any other relevant statutory duties.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people detained in immigration removal centres are women.

The Home Office publishes statistics on people in detention on the last day of each quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on people in detention under immigration powers, are published in Table Det_03a of the ‘Detention summary tables

The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Further breakdowns by gender can be found in the Immigration detention detailed datasets

Figures on people in detention at the end of December 2020 will be published on 25 February 2021.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many deportation flights have been carried out by her Department in the last twelve months; and what the departure and arrival locations were for these flights.

In the last twelve months, 49 charter deportation flights have left the UK to a range of destinations globally.

Every week we remove people who have no right to be here from the UK to different countries. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to return and deport foreign national offenders and other immigration offenders where flight routes have been available to us, both on scheduled flights and charter flights.

This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals and other immigration offenders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what effect the accidental loss of 150,000 arrest records has had on visa processing.

The Home Office temporarily suspended processing those visa applications which might have been impacted.

Once we were satisfied those applications could be processed without adverse impact on the decision-making process, visa operations resumed.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the immigration status is of migrant healthcare workers who are currently without Biometric Residence Permits.

All migrants granted leave receive written notification of their immigration status and are issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP) as evidence of their immigration status. Migrants who are waiting for a decision on their in-time immigration application are entitled to remain in the country on their current conditions until their application is resolved.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Her Majesty’s Passport Office's update on passport applications published on 24 July 2020, how many passport applications are currently being processed by HM Passport Office.

Due to COVID-19, Her Majesty’s Passport Office continues to operate at reduced staffing levels so that its people can continue to socially distance, and it is therefore taking longer than usual to process passport applications. As part of its contingency arrangements, HM Passport Office is rapidly increasing its capacity for processing passport applications, in line with public health guidance, that will help to ensure that it continues to meet the travel needs of its customers.

As at 31 August 2020, passport applications work in progress is approximately 239.1k. There are a further 134,414k applications that will need to be worked through in the coming weeks once initial documentation has been received and allocated.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many data breaches have been reported by HM Passport Office’s security team since the 23 March 2020.

From 23 March to 31 August 2020 inclusive, Her Majesty’s Passport Office submitted 279 Data Incident Reports and 277 were assessed as constituting Personal Data Breaches. From 23 March to 30 June HM Passport Office received 545,806 passport applications.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's news story of 31 March 2020, NHS frontline workers visas extended so they can focus on fighting coronavirus, how many healthcare workers’ biometric residence permit renewals her Department (a) is currently processing and (b) has processed; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest length of time her Department has spent on processing such a renewal.

Published statistics pertaining to the number of NHS visas extended as of June 2020, can be found via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020

Updated statistics regarding those extended after this date will be published in future.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passports issued by HM Passport Office have failed to be successfully delivered by courier since the 23 March 2020.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office can confirm that no passports have failed to be successfully delivered by a UK courier since 23 March 2020. For international deliveries by courier there are nine confirmed losses, which resulted in these passports being cancelled on the system and reissued and successfully delivered.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many women and girls with an FGM protection order have applied for asylum in the UK as at July 2020.

The Home Office are unable to state how many women and girls with an FGM protection order have applied for asylum and have been refused asylum in the UK as at July 2020 as this information is not held in a reportable format and easily aggregated.

The Home Office can state how many people have applied for asylum and have been refused asylum in the UK and can be found in the published immigration statistics March 2020 at Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 and can be broken down by gender:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many women and girls with an FGM protection order have been refused asylum in the UK as at July 2020.

The Home Office are unable to state how many women and girls with an FGM protection order have applied for asylum and have been refused asylum in the UK as at July 2020 as this information is not held in a reportable format and easily aggregated.

The Home Office can state how many people have applied for asylum and have been refused asylum in the UK and can be found in the published immigration statistics March 2020 at Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 and can be broken down by gender:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#asylum-and-resettlement

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many under 18 year olds are detained in immigration detention centres; and if she will publish a breakdown of the ages of people detained that are under 28 years old as at 21 April 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers, broken down by nationality, age, and length of detention are published in table Det_D02 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19 up to the end of April.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the nationalities of people as at 21 April 2020 detained in immigration detention centres.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers, broken down by nationality, age, and length of detention are published in table Det_D02 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19 up to the end of April.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people detained in immigration detention centres are foreign national offenders as at 21 April 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers, broken down by nationality, age, and length of detention are published in table Det_D02 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19 up to the end of April.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people detained in immigration detention centres have been held for longer than 28 days in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers, broken down by nationality, age, and length of detention are published in table Det_D02 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19 up to the end of April.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are as at 21 April 2020 detained in immigration detention centres.

The Home Office publishes data on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of people detained under immigration powers, broken down by nationality, age, and length of detention are published in table Det_D02 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the 'summary tables'. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A statistical report Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020released on 28 May 2020 provides further high-level information relating to detention and Covid-19 up to the end of April.

Figures covering the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’. https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2024 to Question 10491 on Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Accidents, how he plans to monitor implementation of the recommendations made by the Defence Safety Authority Service Inquiry into the fatal accident involving a Scimitar Fighting Vehicle on Salisbury Plain Training Area - 15 October 2021, published on 23rd November 2023.

The welfare of our personnel is of the utmost importance and all 52 of the recommendations in this report have been accepted and assigned an appropriate Owner within the Department. The Owner will, when appropriate, submit their evidence to the Defence Safety Authority, where the Director General will consider closing the outstanding action.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status is of all scimitar combat reconnaissance vehicles that are no longer in active service.

It is taking time to collate the information. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to issue a response to the Defence Safety Authority's report entitled fatal accident involving a Scimitar Fighting Vehicle on Salisbury Plain Training Area 15 October 2021, published on 23 November 2023.

A redacted version of the Defence Safety Authority (DSA) Service Inquiry (SI) report following the death of Private Jethro Watson-Pickering from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, in an accident involving a Scimitar Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) on Salisbury Plain Training Area on 15 Oct 21 was published in Nov 23.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-into-the-fatal-accident-involving-a-scimitar-fighting-vehicle-on-salisbury-plain-training-area-15-october-2021

The welfare of our personnel is of the utmost importance and the Army has accepted all 52 of the recommendations in this report. There are however no plans to issue a formal response.

CVR(T) Scimitar is no longer in service; however, where the recommendations are applicable to other in-service armoured platforms, they will be implemented as soon as possible. The Army will review the Coroner's findings when available, to identify any additional recommendations.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK meets its obligations to NATO.

NATO is undergoing a once-in-a-generation transformation that orientates it towards the main threats of Russia and Terrorism.

Our commitment to NATO is unconditional and our contribution to deterrence and defence of the Euro-Atlantic will be delivered via credible, deployable and lethal warfighting capabilities into the NATO Force Model.

Under the new Regional Plans, UK forces, operating alongside our Allies in NATO will deter further aggression and defend every inch of NATO territory. In the first year of these new plans, the UK will have enhanced our force posture in Estonia with rapid reinforcements on standby, have sent warships and fighter aircraft to south-east Europe and the Mediterranean and lead the inaugural very high-readiness Allied Reaction Force.

We will continue to contribute to every NATO mission and declare the UK’s nuclear deterrent to NATO.

19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

Each Ministry of Defence site is individually responsible for determining the number of work stations available for employee use. This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2023 to Question 182308 on Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom: Finance, for what reason his Department will stop funding the Inter Faith Network in the 2023-24 financial year.

This department has provided funding to the Inter Faith Network UK since 2006/07. When making funding decisions, the Government considers a wide range of factors, including government priorities and current budgetary pressures. The department monitors all funded organisations throughout the lifecycle of their project for the purposes of assessing delivery against workplan targets, compliance and evaluation, in line with best practice for the management of public funding.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to assist councils in cases where they have been allocated funding from the Levelling Up Fund for specific projects, but where due to increases in inflation and borrowing costs since funding was allocated that funding is no longer sufficient to meet the cost of those approved projects.

The department continues to monitor the impact of inflation closely through formal reporting mechanisms and on the ground relationships.

As we have set out previously, the Levelling Up Fund has in place a proportionate project adjustment process. Through this, we can work with places to make sensible adjustments to the scope and phasing of projects to mitigate delivery challenges including cost inflation whilst also maintaining value for money.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that tenants with a periodic tenancy who give notice to leave their rental property, but vacate the property before the date on which the tenancy ends, are held liable for council tax owed up to the end of the tenancy rather than the landlord.

The collection of council tax is a matter for councils. They will decide who is liable for council tax by reference to the hierarchy of liability set out in the Local Government Finance Act 1992 . If individuals are concerned about the calculation of their council tax liability, they should contact their council. There is also a right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to support councils in delivering the levelling up agenda during current levels of material, energy and labour price inflation; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing councils with additional funds to compensate for those increased costs.

The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, announced in December, makes available an additional £3.5 billion to councils, including funding for adult social care reform. This is an increase in local authority funding for 2022-23 of over 4% in real terms, which will ensure councils across the country have the resources they need to deliver key services.

Local authorities have the flexibility to use funding in a way that responds to local needs, and can prioritise based on their own understanding of the needs of their communities.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on what date organisations will be able to make applications to the Community Ownership Fund.

The Community Ownership Fund bidding prospectus, assessment guidance notes and application form was published on 15 July. Eligible community organisations will be able to submit their application by 30 July.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation by the Prison Service Pay Review Body to offer different paid contracts for Prison Officers on Fair and Sustainable rates and closed rates; and what steps he is taking to address disparities between the two pay structures.

In 2012, HMPPS introduced of a new common pay and grading structure called Fair & Sustainable (F&S) that applied to all new staff who joined the service after 1 April 2012 and existing staff who would benefit from opting into the modernised pay structures. This was a Workforce Policy decision and therefore not determined by the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB). There are, however, still a group of staff employed pre-2012 who remain on legacy “closed” grade pay structures. The reason for this is that they would not benefit financially from “opting in” to F&S so they have been allowed to remain on legacy terms. This year, because of the Prison Service Pay Review Body recommendations, the majority of closed grade staff will financially benefit from opting into the Fair & Sustainable pay structures and we will encourage them to do so.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take to support parents who do not live with their children to maintain contact where that contact is hindered by the resident parent or guardian.

The Government is aware of the difficulties that parents can face in continuing a relationship with their child following parental separation or divorce.

Under the current legal framework, a parent can apply for a child arrangements order for the child to live with or spend time with them. The welfare of the child is paramount in any decision regarding child arrangements, including decisions about the nature and extent of parental involvement.

We are committed to supporting families to resolve private family law matters outside of court where appropriate to ensure that matters are resolved earlier, before conflict becomes entrenched.

The Family Mediation Voucher Scheme provides families with up to £500 towards mediation with a trained, authorised professional to help resolve child arrangement issues in a less adversarial way. As of 26 March 2023, over 16,100 families have now benefitted from the scheme. Analysis of the first 7,200 users shows 69% wholly or partially resolve their issues and don’t need to go on to court, other than for a consent order to formalise their agreement. The government announced on 23 March that an additional £15m would be provided to continue the scheme for up to a further two years. This will allow it to help around a further 28,500 families over the period.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of work stations available for people employed by his Department on departmental premises.

We refer the honourable member to the reply for PQ No. 61202, which provided the number of workstations available for Civil Servants to use in our headquarters buildings.

There is no central record held regarding the number of workstations available across the rest of our estate

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many work stations were available for civil servants to use in the headquarters of his Department on 11 October 2022.

There are currently 3,146 work stations available for civil servants to use in the buildings across the UK that are used by MoJ’s headquarters.

21st Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to tackle backlogs in the coroners' court system.

Coroner services are funded and administered by local authorities. However, the Government recognises the pressures experienced by local authorities as a result of the pandemic and has provided £6.15 billion in un-ringfenced funding to local authorities in England and additional funding to the Devolved Administrations under the Barnett formula, to help them manage the costs of those additional pressures, which could include coroner services.

The Chief Coroner has issued guidance to coroners on developing recovery plans and engaging with local authorities on the resources required to deal with the outstanding backlog of cases caused by the Covid 19 pandemic: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/GUIDANCE-No-39-Covid-recovery-20-05-2021-002.pdf. He is also undertaking a tour of all coroner areas to engage with them on their post-pandemic recovery plans.

The Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent on 28 April, includes a number of measures to streamline coroners’ court processes, support the coronial system with post-pandemic recovery plans and minimise distress to bereaved families.

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women and girls in the UK have an FGM protection order in place as at July 2020.

The Ministry of Justice collates information on the number of applications and the number of FGM protection orders granted. There is no mandatory requirement to collate statistics on the duration of orders and whether they remain in place at any point in time. The quality of available data can only, therefore, be verified at disproportionate cost. However, following their introduction in July 2015, 584 FGM protection orders have been granted up to 31 March 2020, the latest period for which information is available.

Similarly, data relating to the age of the person to be protected by an FGM protection order granted by the court is not collated and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Data relating to age is collated, however, on a person or persons named in any application for a FGM protection order. Following their introduction in July 2015, 405 applicants, aged 17 or under, had been the subject of an application for an FGM protection order up to 31 March 2020, the latest period for which statistics are available.

Statistics to the end of June 2020 are scheduled for publication in late September, and statistics for July are scheduled for publication in late December.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many girls under the age of 18 in the UK have an FGM protection order in place as at July 2020.

The Ministry of Justice collates information on the number of applications and the number of FGM protection orders granted. There is no mandatory requirement to collate statistics on the duration of orders and whether they remain in place at any point in time. The quality of available data can only, therefore, be verified at disproportionate cost. However, following their introduction in July 2015, 584 FGM protection orders have been granted up to 31 March 2020, the latest period for which information is available.

Similarly, data relating to the age of the person to be protected by an FGM protection order granted by the court is not collated and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Data relating to age is collated, however, on a person or persons named in any application for a FGM protection order. Following their introduction in July 2015, 405 applicants, aged 17 or under, had been the subject of an application for an FGM protection order up to 31 March 2020, the latest period for which statistics are available.

Statistics to the end of June 2020 are scheduled for publication in late September, and statistics for July are scheduled for publication in late December.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice