Iain Duncan Smith Portrait

Iain Duncan Smith

Conservative - Chingford and Woodford Green

4 APPG memberships (as of 4 May 2022)
Dying Well, Gambling Related Harm, Magnitsky Sanctions, Uyghurs
3 Former APPG memberships
Dark Skies, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, Street Children
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
12th May 2010 - 19th Mar 2016
Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition
12th Sep 2001 - 6th Nov 2003
Leader of the Conservative Party
12th Sep 2001 - 6th Nov 2003
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
15th Jun 1999 - 12th Sep 2001
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
11th Jun 1997 - 15th Jun 1999
Standards and Privileges
23rd Oct 1996 - 21st Mar 1997
Administration Committee
11th Jan 1994 - 21st Mar 1997
Members' Interests
24th Mar 1995 - 8th Nov 1995
Standards in Public Life
16th Nov 1994 - 8th Nov 1995
Health and Social Care Committee
24th Jan 1994 - 10th Jul 1995


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 304 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Northern Ireland Protocol
I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement. The powerful article by Lord Trimble, one of the architects of the Good …
Written Answers
Monday 16th May 2022
Investment Security Unit: Standards
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the target response time …
Early Day Motions
Monday 7th June 2021
UK representation at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
That this House notes with concern that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will take place alongside a rapidly deteriorating human …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 19th April 2022
1. Employment and earnings
23 March 2022, received £500 for an article published on 27 February 2022. Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 07 April 2022)
EDM signed
Friday 20th December 2019
Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 30th January 2018
Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
A Bill to Provide that the Secretary of State’s powers in relation to the management of the Royal Botanic Gardens, …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Iain Duncan Smith has voted in 416 divisions, and 17 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 317
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
7 Dec 2021 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 289 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 251 Noes - 296
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
20 Apr 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Iain Duncan Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 293 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 296 Noes - 184
View All Iain Duncan Smith 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
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(26 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(19 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Iain Duncan Smith's debates

Chingford and Woodford Green Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Chingford and Woodford Green signature proportion
Petitions with most Chingford and Woodford Green signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Many missing microchipped pets are never reunited as it’s optional to scan & check microchip registration. It’s time veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues checked pet & keeper match on the original database at a pets 1st consultation or yearly checkup. It’s their only chance to get home

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.


Latest EDMs signed by Iain Duncan Smith

7th June 2021
Iain Duncan Smith signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 7th June 2021

UK representation at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Tabled by: Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative - Chingford and Woodford Green)
That this House notes with concern that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will take place alongside a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where Uyghurs and other minority groups are subject to widespread forced labour, sterilization, political indoctrination and arbitrary detention; reaffirms its opinion that …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 4
Scottish National Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 3
Conservative: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
19th December 2019
Iain Duncan Smith signed this EDM on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 47
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Labour: 1
View All Iain Duncan Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Iain Duncan Smith, 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.


4 Urgent Questions tabled by Iain Duncan Smith

Thursday 12th May 2022
Monday 14th June 2021
Wednesday 16th December 2020
Monday 29th June 2020

1 Adjournment Debate led by Iain Duncan Smith

Thursday 13th January 2022

Iain Duncan Smith has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


18 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
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the target response time between (a) notification being made to the Investment Security Unit and (b) response from that Unit; and what his Department's latest assessment is of that Unit's performance against that target.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 requires the Secretary of State to prepare an annual report, including information on the numbers of notifications accepted and rejected, the average number of working days taken to accept or reject them, and the sectors in which they fall.

The first annual report covering 4 January 2022 – 31 March 2022 is currently being prepared and will be laid before both Houses and published in due course.

The Government does not publish individual notifications in recognition of the fact that most acquisitions raise no national security risks and are primarily a matter for the parties.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish those notifications made to the Investment Security Unit under the National Security and Investment Act 2021, by sector.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 requires the Secretary of State to prepare an annual report, including information on the numbers of notifications accepted and rejected, the average number of working days taken to accept or reject them, and the sectors in which they fall.

The first annual report covering 4 January 2022 – 31 March 2022 is currently being prepared and will be laid before both Houses and published in due course.

The Government does not publish individual notifications in recognition of the fact that most acquisitions raise no national security risks and are primarily a matter for the parties.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many notifications the Investment Security Unit has received in relation to the National Security and Investment Act 2021 since that Act came into force.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 requires the Secretary of State to prepare an annual report, including information on the numbers of notifications accepted and rejected, the average number of working days taken to accept or reject them, and the sectors in which they fall.

The first annual report covering 4 January 2022 – 31 March 2022 is currently being prepared and will be laid before both Houses and published in due course.

The Government does not publish individual notifications in recognition of the fact that most acquisitions raise no national security risks and are primarily a matter for the parties.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the reasons for International Olympics Committee President Thomas Bach's intervention in the voting process that led to the award of the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing at the meeting of the International Olympics Committee in Kuala Lumpur in 2015.

The voting procedures to award the hosting of Olympic Games are a matter for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The British Olympic Association are our representatives to that forum, operating independently of the government.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Department has made of the Bet365's compliance with Chinese law in relation to its operations in that country.

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. The Gambling Commission expects operators to obey the laws of other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires operators to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction.

Operators must inform the Gambling Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain. Where this is the case, the Gambling Commision asks operators why they do not consider themselves to be acting illegally by providing gambling facilities in these jurisdictions. This may be because they are licenced to operate in that jurisdiction, or because they have satisfied themselves in some other way that they are not breaking the law by providing gambling facilities. If operators are found to not to be acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions, the Gambling Commission will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made representations to universities in the UK that have (a) awarded honorary doctorates and (b) otherwise honoured members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government in the context of its role in the Government-acknowledged ongoing breach of the Sino-British Declaration in Hong Kong.

The department has not made representations to universities in the UK in the context as described. It is for universities as autonomous institutions to make their own judgement calls, in line with our laws. We continue to recommend that university due diligence processes, including regarding appointments, should consider reputational, ethical and security risks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a separate offence for pet theft to tackle the level of pet theft.

All reported crimes should be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences. The theft of a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 and the maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment.

The Government takes the issue of pet theft very seriously and is concerned by suggestions that occurrences are on the rise. We consider that the current offences which apply to cases of pet theft are appropriate.

Sentencing is a matter for the Courts and should take into account the circumstances of each case. When deciding on an appropriate sentence, the Courts may consider aggravating and mitigating factors, in line with sentencing guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council. In February 2016 the Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences. The guidelines take account of the emotional distress, and therefore harm, that theft of a pet can have on the victim, and accordingly the guidelines recommend higher penalties for such offences.

If someone causes an animal to suffer in the course of stealing it they are also liable to prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The existing maximum custodial penalty for causing animal cruelty is 6 months' imprisonment. Legislation is currently before Parliament - the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill - which when passed will increase the maximum penalty to 5 years' imprisonment. This will be the highest penalty for animal cruelty in Europe. The Government will support this Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.

As I said at the recent Westminster Hall debate on pet theft, we continue to keep the situation under review and are keen to explore ways to address pet theft that will be effective and have a meaningful impact. That includes working with interested parties, including the police and animal welfare organisations to try and get messages across to pet owners to help them keep their pets safe.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to (a) the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 16 June 2021, Official Report, column 287, (b) the oral contribution of the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of 12 January 2021, Official Report, column 162, (c) the Answer of 25 June 2021 to Question 16783 on Import Controls: China, (d) the Answers of 5 July 2021 to Questions 24880 and 24881, (e) the Answer of 12 July 2021 to Question 28048 and (f) in accordance with the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 7 July 2021, Official Report, column 901, if she will clarify whether the UK (i) has or (ii) plans to implement import controls on goods made in China believed to be the product of forced labour.

HM Government is committed to tackling the issue of forced labour in global supply chains, including through strengthening the Modern Slavery Act, and the introduction of financial penalties for businesses that fail to meet their statutory obligations.

Whilst we do not have plans to place import controls on goods from China, we have announced a range of other measures, including a comprehensive review of export controls. We are working closely with international partners too. Last month, under our G7 Presidency, G7 leaders committed to work together to make sure that global supply chains are free from the use of forced labour.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 16 June 2021, Official Report, what progress her Department has made on implementing import controls on goods from China to the UK which are believed to be the product of forced labour including in the supply chain.

On 12th January, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced a series of measures to help make sure that British businesses and the public sector are in no way complicit in violations of rights and responsibilities in Xinjiang.

This included a review of export controls to make sure we are doing all we can to prevent the export of goods that may contribute to such violations. This review is ongoing and we will report its outcome to Parliament in due course.

Import controls and export controls are governed by different processes and legislation. HM Government has only announced plans to review export controls. We do not have plans to place import controls on goods from China at present.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Hikvision products are in use in (a) his Department and (b) the NHS.

There are 82 Hikvision products in use in the Department. Information on the usage of Hikvision products by the National Health Service is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using trained covid detection dogs to identify covid-19 infections; and if he will urgently set out a timescale for deployment of those dogs.

The Department has been funding a clinical trial investigating whether COVID-19 can be detected by dogs. This work has been undertaken by a coalition including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the charity Medical Detection Dogs.

We have received the results from phase one of the trial.

NHS Test and Trace is engaging with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Medical Detection Dogs about potential next phases of the trial.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she has taken in response to reports that HSBC has invested in Xinjiang Tianye Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which was sanctioned by the US for slave labour and genocide.

The Government has taken a number of measures to help ensure that no British organisations are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities. We have introduced new guidance for UK businesses on the risks of doing business in Xinjiang - supported by a programme of Ministerial engagement - and announced enhanced export controls, as well as a commitment to introduce financial penalties for non-compliance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. Our overseas business risk guidance makes clear to UK companies the risks of operating in Xinjiang, and urges them to conduct appropriate due diligence and consider their corporate responsibilities when making investment decisions.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to (a) his oral contribution of 16 June 2021, Official Report, column 287, (b) the oral contribution of the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of 12 January 2021, Official Report, column 162, (c) the Answer of 25 June 2021 to Question 16783 on Import Controls: China and (d) the Answers of 5 July 2021 to Questions 24880 and 24881, whether import controls are in place on goods made in China, believed to be the product of forced labour.

As set out in our response of 5 July, the Foreign Secretary announced on 12 January a review of existing export controls as they apply to Xinjiang to identify whether we can bring into scope any additional goods which could be used for internal repression or human rights violations in the region. This review is ongoing and the Government will report back to Parliament on the outcome. Import and export controls are governed by different processes and legislation, and the Foreign Secretary's announcement on 12 January referred only to export controls. The Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang and we keep our policy response under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to (a) the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 16 June 2021, Official Report, column 287 and (b) his oral contribution of 12 January 2021, Official Report, column 162, and pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2021 to Question 16783 on Import Controls: China, whether the Government has import controls on goods made in China, believed to be the product of forced labour.

On 12 January, the Foreign Secretary announced a review of existing export controls as they apply to Xinjiang to identify whether we can bring into scope any additional goods which could be used for internal repression or human rights violations in the region. This review is ongoing. Import and export controls are governed by different processes and legislation, and the Foreign Secretary's announcement on 12 January referred only to export controls. The Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang and we keep our policy response under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to (a) the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 16 June 2021, Official Report, column 287 and (b) his oral contribution of 12 January 2021, Official Report, column 162, and pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2021 to Question 16783 on Import Controls China: whether the Government plans to implement (i) import and (ii) export controls on goods made in China, believed to be the product of forced labour.

On 12 January, the Foreign Secretary announced a review of existing export controls as they apply to Xinjiang to identify whether we can bring into scope any additional goods which could be used for internal repression or human rights violations in the region. This review is ongoing. Import and export controls are governed by different processes and legislation, and the Foreign Secretary's announcement on 12 January referred only to export controls. The Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang and we keep our policy response under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment the Government has made of the scale of illegal money lending in England.

HM Treasury regularly monitors developments in the consumer credit market, including those regarding illegal money lending, as part of its normal process of policy development.

However, it does not conduct research regarding the scale of illegal money lending in England. Instead, HMT draws on the research of various stakeholders, including the England Illegal Money Lending (IMLT) team, consumer groups and thinktanks, to inform policy development.

HM Treasury recognises the risks posed by illegal lenders and the harmful impacts they cause to their victims and communities.

That is why, in financial year 2022/23, the Government will provide over £6.7 million of funding to IMLTs across the UK, an increase of over 5% compared to 2021/22. This funding enables IMLTs to investigate and prosecute loan sharks and use their legal powers to tackle the wider criminality they inflict on communities, such as violence and blackmail.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the report by the Centre for Social Justice entitled Swimming with Sharks, what steps his Department is taking to address the risk of illegal money lending.

HM Treasury regularly monitors developments in the consumer credit market, including those regarding illegal money lending, as part of its normal process of policy development.

However, it does not conduct research regarding the scale of illegal money lending in England. Instead, HMT draws on the research of various stakeholders, including the England Illegal Money Lending (IMLT) team, consumer groups and thinktanks, to inform policy development.

HM Treasury recognises the risks posed by illegal lenders and the harmful impacts they cause to their victims and communities.

That is why, in financial year 2022/23, the Government will provide over £6.7 million of funding to IMLTs across the UK, an increase of over 5% compared to 2021/22. This funding enables IMLTs to investigate and prosecute loan sharks and use their legal powers to tackle the wider criminality they inflict on communities, such as violence and blackmail.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2022 to Question 105332 on HSBC: Xinjiang Tianye, what plans she has to investigate the veracity of HSBC’s Modern Slavery Statement in response to reports that the company holds shares in Xinjiang-based companies alleged to have perpetrated mass atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs and others; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has serious concerns about the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. The Government’s overseas business risk guidance makes clear to UK companies the risks of operating in Xinjiang, and urges them to conduct appropriate due diligence and consider their corporate responsibilities when making investment decisions.

With regard to transparency reporting on modern slavery, the UK was the first country in the world to require businesses to report on the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery. The landmark provision in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires organisations, including financial institutions, with a turnover of £36m or more, to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery. Section 54 therefore does not require organisations to certify that their supply chains are ‘slavery free’ or require the Government to verify the content of modern slavery statements. The Government expects companies to report transparently about how they are mitigating modern slavery risks and to use their modern slavery statements to demonstrate year on year progress. This enables consumers, shareholders and civil society to scrutinise the efforts being made.

Anyone with concerns about an organisation’s modern slavery statement should write to the Board of Directors (or equivalent) as the Act requires a modern slavery statement to be approved by the Board and signed by a Director (or equivalent) to ensure senior level accountability for modern slavery. Senior leaders are responsible for ensuring that their statements reflect the circumstances and action their organisation is taking.

Under the current provisions of section 54, if an organisation does not comply with their legal requirements in relation to producing a modern slavery statement, the Home Secretary can apply for an injunction to enforce compliance. To enhance the impact of transparency and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government committed to strengthening the reporting requirements contained in section 54 and to introduce financial penalties for organisations that fail to meet their statutory obligation to publish modern slavery statements. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)