Janet Daby Portrait

Janet Daby

Labour - Lewisham East

Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Faiths, Women and Equalities)
10th Jul 2020 - 7th Dec 2020
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Apr 2020 - 10th Jul 2020
Home Affairs Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Home Affairs Committee
8th May 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Justice Committee
19th Nov 2018 - 8th May 2019


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th November 2021
14:00
Justice Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The work of the Ministry of Justice
30 Nov 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP - Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice at Ministry of Justice
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Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill

My hon. Friend’s comments are also pertinent to my area, where we have seen so many local banks close. That …

Written Answers
Thursday 25th November 2021
Maternity Leave and Maternity Pay: Multiple Births
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what extra statutory maternity pay and leave provisions are available …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 21st April 2020
Childcare fees
That this House expresses concern that parents, including those who have suddenly lost income as a result of coronavirus, are …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
Until 20 March 2019, Councillor, Lewisham Council, Civic Suite, Catford, London SE6 4RU. From November 2018, I received an annual …
EDM signed
Tuesday 26th October 2021
The service of Oliver Denton Lieberman
That this House recognises Oliver Denton Lieberman’s dedication and public service as an office manager during many turbulent years in …
Supported Legislation
Clean Air (No. 3) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Janet Daby has voted in 300 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Janet Daby 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(22 debate interactions)
Andrew Selous (Conservative)
Second Church Estates Commissioner
(13 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(13 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Janet Daby's debates

Lewisham East Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Lewisham East signature proportion
Petitions with most Lewisham East signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

Matthew was taken to, ‘a place of safety’, and died 7 days later.
24 others died by the same means, dating back to the year 2000. An indicator that little was done to address the growing problems.
Something went terribly wrong with the NHS Mental Health Services provided to my son.

The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police.


Latest EDMs signed by Janet Daby

26th October 2021
Janet Daby signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 26th October 2021

The service of Oliver Denton Lieberman

Tabled by: Tulip Siddiq (Labour - Hampstead and Kilburn)
That this House recognises Oliver Denton Lieberman’s dedication and public service as an office manager during many turbulent years in politics; appreciates that he has coordinated the campaign within Parliament to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and supported her family; acknowledges the role he has played in running an efficient office and …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
17th May 2021
Janet Daby signed this EDM on Wednesday 19th May 2021

Attacks on journalists in Gaza

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House deplores the attack by the Israeli military on the building in Gaza housing media including Associated Press and Al Jazeera, which follows attacks or detentions of at least thirty journalists and two previous strikes on journalist's offices in Gaza; supports the demands of the International Federation of …
51 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 29
Scottish National Party: 13
Independent: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Janet Daby's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Janet Daby, 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.


Janet Daby has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Janet Daby has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Janet Daby has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


113 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the impact of Airbnb on the availability of homes for long-term renting.

We recognise the benefits that short-term holiday lets such as Airbnb, can bring to local economies, as well as some of the challenges that this can sometimes pose to communities. Whilst we have not made an assessment of the impact of Airbnb on the availability of homes for long-term renting, we keep this under review.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has plans to provide a photo identification card for every British citizen free of charge as a form of identification for general purposes.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ188127 on 29 April 2021.


Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/voter-identification-faqs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential environmental effects of Cambo drilling for oil near Shetland, Scotland.

Projections of future supply of oil and gas from the UK, as used by BEIS and the Climate Change Committee, factor in assumed production from fields that have been licensed to date (including Cambo).

All development proposals for oil and gas fields with existing licences are subject to a robust regulatory process before a decision on approval is made by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the ability of Ofgem to effectively regulate prices of energy providers and (b) the potential merits of bringing all energy providers into public ownership.

The prices charged by energy providers are set by the market and are largely determined by the cost of internationally-traded electricity and gas. For default tariffs, where competition has less of an effect on price, Ofgem sets a price cap on suppliers, based on the efficient costs of supply. During its first year the default tariff price cap was estimated to have saved households £1 billion and continues to save consumers £75- £100 a year on average.

The Government sees competition as the best way of securing value and quality service for consumers. The number of domestic gas and electricity suppliers has increased from 10 in 2010 to around 50 now, and customers who switch can save up to £150 a year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential implications for national security of (a) Amazon and (b) other companies based in the UK using technology from the Chinese-state linked company, Beijing Genomics Institute, to test their workforces; and whether the Government has had discussions with representatives of (i) Amazon and (ii) other companies on the potential risks of DNA harvesting by state-linked companies associated with such testing.

The Government takes the importance of public trust and security in the handling on genomic data seriously.

When an individual is swabbed for a Covid-19 test that specimen will contain human DNA. Any analysis of that DNA without consent from the individual would contravene the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the individuals and companies, or agencies would be liable to criminal prosecution.

We are not aware of any discussions with Amazon or other companies on the potential risks of DNA harvesting by state linked companies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an equality impact assessment of hair care products for Black hair being classed as non-essential items during the covid-19 lockdown; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that matter on (a) closure levels of businesses selling Black hair care products during covid-19 lockdowns and (b) the extent to which those products are stocked in major retailers.

Throughout the national restrictions, we have sought to keep as much of the retail sector open as possible, whilst balancing the need to reduce our day-to-day contact. In doing so, we have taken evidence from SAGE into account when making decisions.

Retailers have been permitted to sell their goods online and for click-and-collect (where possible) throughout the pandemic and, as of Monday 12th April, the retail sector is now open in its entirety. There has never been a defined list of essential and non-essential goods.

We continually review the impacts of the pandemic on all groups with protected characteristics.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a work visa that professionals can use to travel to the 27 EU states with one document.

There is no precedent in a Free Trade Agreement for EU Member States offering a single visa for work.

However, in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK and EU did agree a range of facilitations for those travelling temporarily for work (Mode 4). The commitments agreed between the UK and the EU guarantee market access to business travellers in a wide number of sectors, waive work-permits for a range of short-term business visits, and provide for a minimum standard for how service providers should be treated when working in the other Party. We have also agreed commitments that will make it easier for professionals engaged in cross-border trade to apply for visas.

Commitments in the Mode 4 chapter are in addition to the EU already having legislated to allow UK nationals to travel visa-free for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This will allow UK nationals travelling to, and within, the Schengen Area to undertake a limited range of activities, such as tourism, or attending business meetings, or cultural and sports events.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the BBC's reporting on Sir Cliff Richard in 2014 and the BBC's rehiring of Martin Bashir, if he will make an assessment of the BBC's effectiveness in delivery of reforms under the Charter.

The BBC has a duty to deliver impartial and accurate news coverage and content under its Royal Charter.

It is for the BBC Board to ensure that BBC output meets the highest standards the public expects and for Ofcom to hold the BBC to account on its delivery against the Mission and Public Purposes set out in 2017.

However, in light of the findings of the Dyson Report, the Secretary of State has said that the BBC needs to improve its culture to ensure similar events never happen again which means a new emphasis on accuracy, impartiality and diversity of opinion.

The government will therefore reflect on Lord Dyson’s thorough report and any changes made following the review being conducted. We will then consider whether further governance and regulatory reforms at the BBC are needed in the upcoming mid-term Charter review.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking with social media companies to tackle fake social media profiles that spread misinformation and are operated from hostile states.

We take the issue of dis- and misinformation very seriously and DCMS leads work across Government to tackle it. We engage regularly with social media companies to encourage the introduction of systems and processes that promote authoritative sources of information, and to help them identify and take action to remove dis- and misinformation, in line with their terms and conditions.

It is a Government priority to protect the UK against foreign interference. We know that certain states routinely use disinformation as a foreign policy tool and have seen evidence of this happening in other countries. We monitor for disinformation campaigns so that we can be ready to respond to them quickly and effectively. We work closely with international partners to share information to better understand and then develop approaches to counter the threat from disinformation.

The Government is legislating on these issues. The Counter State Threats Bill will provide the Security Services and Law Enforcement Agencies with the tools they need to tackle the evolving threat from hostile activity by states and actors. The legislation will make the UK a harder environment for states to conduct hostile activity in, and increase the cost to them of doing so.

We have also published the draft Online Safety Bill, which will bring in a legal duty of care and give companies clear legal responsibilities to improve user safety. The new laws will have robust and proportionate measures to deal with disinformation that could cause significant physical or psychological harm to an individual, such as anti-vaccination content and falsehoods about COVID-19.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on the proposed arrangement for musicians to tour in the EU without needing individual visas for each country.

Regrettably we do not believe the sector’s visa waiver proposal is viable. The Commission would be likely to argue that any EU-wide visa waiver agreement can only be part of a wider package with a binding non-discrimination clause and a reciprocal visa waiver agreement covering all current and future Member States, as they proposed in negotiaions. This remains incompatible with our manifesto commitment to take control of our borders.

The UK took an ambitious approach during negotiations that would have ensured that touring artists and their support staff did not need work-permits to perform in the EU. Regrettably, our proposals were rejected by the EU, but our door remains open if the EU wants to reconsider its position.

UK performers, artists, and musicians are of course still able to tour and perform in the EU, and vice versa. As the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency and have provided much greater clarity about the current position.

We have published guidance on GOV.UK, signposting to official information provided by EU countries about their business travel routes. And through our bilateral discussions with EU Member States, we have established that in at least 17 out of 27 Member States some touring activities are possible without visas or work-permits. The UK has significantly more generous arrangements for touring professionals than many Member States, and should they be willing to change their rules to more closely align with ours we will have those discussions and encourage them to do so.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of issuing mandatory diversity quotas for artists whose art is displayed by galleries which receive funding from his Department.

The Government is clear that it expects the cultural sectors to represent our diverse society in their artistic talent, workforce and audiences. As the national development agency for art and culture, Arts Council England (ACE) has a responsibility to ensure that public money benefits all of the public.

ACE ensures there is diversity in audiences, leaders, producers and creators of arts and culture. Their Inclusivity and Relevance principle sets out how organisations in receipt of public funding, including galleries, can work towards this objective across their workforce and governing bodies, the programmes they present, and the audiences they engage with.

ACE has also developed a set of accessible resources which are available online to support organisations to develop their ambitions of becoming more inclusive, including addressing any barriers faced for example by disabled people and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent comparative assessment he made of the proportional representation of female artists and male artists in Britain’s major galleries.

DCMS does not play a role in the creative or curatorial decisions of Britain’s major galleries.

Major galleries present both male and female artists within their permanent collections and curators seek to increase representation where needed. Major galleries, including the National Gallery Tate, and National Portrait Gallery also run exhibitions focused on displaying female artists.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how the funding from the covid-19 financial support package for the arts and culture sector will be distributed; and whether his Department has conducted an equality impact assessment on the allocation of that funding.

On 5 July, the government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

In line with our obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty, my department and its Arm’s Length Bodies have considered equalities impacts during the policy development process, and will continue to do so during delivery. Organisations in receipt of funding will also be expected to demonstrate progress in diversity and outreach over the coming years in return for this investment into their futures.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of financial support available to workers in the music industry, including (a) music managers, (b) artists, (c) promoters and (d) stage workers.

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a huge challenge to the music industry and the freelancers and the self-employed workers within it. The Government’s response has been one of the most generous and comprehensive in the world, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the Bounceback Loan Scheme and business rates reliefs. In addition, the Government has adapted the welfare system so that the self-employed can access Universal Credit in full, to help people get quicker and more generous support when they need it most.

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors, including music.

We are working closely with DCMS’ Arm’s Length Bodies to develop guidance indicating who can apply for the different elements of this funding, and we will publish detailed guidance as soon as possible.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made on the effect of the covid-19 on the financial sustainability of independent festivals.

In order to support the sustainability of the Arts sector, including independent festivals, DCMS has worked closely with Arts Council England (ACE) to provide a tailored package of financial support. In March, ACE announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the financial measures already announced by the Government, and provide financial support for Arts organisations and individuals so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. More than 9000 individuals and organisations have been successful in applying for this emergency funding.

The Secretary of State, myself and officials continue to consult the sector extensively to ensure we fully understand the financial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector. On the basis of that engagement, DCMS and ACE are continuing to work closely to consider the additional measures that are needed to ensure the long-term recovery and growth of the cultural sector.

Alongside this, I chair the Cultural Renewal Taskforce which is supported by 8 ministerially-chaired working groups that include representatives from key sector bodies and organisations. The working groups will produce sector-led guidance for the safe reopening of events and businesses across the arts and creative industries sectors.

Membership of the Entertainment and Events Working Group, chaired by the Minister for Digital and Culture, includes the Association of Independent Festivals and the National Outdoor Events Association.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allocating additional funding to schools to strengthen health and safety measures against infection from covid-19.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has balanced education and public health considerations, weighing the impact of these measures on teaching, educational attainment, the health and wellbeing of children, pupils, students and staff and the functioning of nurseries, schools and colleges, against the risks posed by COVID-19. The situation has now fundamentally changed due to the success of the vaccination programme.

The 2019 Spending Round committed to significant additional investment in schools of £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. At the same time, schools are benefitting from a substantial recovery package to tackle the impact of lost teaching time, including over £3 billion in additional support. Decisions on future funding will be made as part of this year’s Spending Review.

Schools have the flexibility to make their own decisions on how to prioritise their spending to invest in a range of resources that will best support their staff and pupils. Schools continue to be able to access existing support for financial issues, including a wide range of school resource management tools, and, in serious circumstances, additional funding or advances from local authorities for maintained schools, or the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academy trusts.

All schools have a range of measures in place to manage COVID-19 transmission day to day. This includes ventilation and hygiene measures for schools and testing for pupils in Year 7 and above.

Schools must continue to comply with health and safety law and put in place proportionate control measures, such as keeping occupied spaces well ventilated. Schools must regularly review, update and monitor their risk assessments, outlining what they would do if children or staff test positive and how they would operate if measures needed to be stepped back up to break chains of transmission.

The government is committed to ensuring the safety of all pupils, which is why CO2 monitors have begun to be provided to state-funded early years, schools and further education providers. This has been backed by £25 million in government funding.

A director of public health or a local health protection team may give schools and colleges advice reflecting the local situation. In areas where rates are high, this may include advice that local circumstances mean that the thresholds for extra action can be higher. If they judge that additional action should be taken, they might advise the school or college to take some, or all, of the measures described in the contingency framework guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-restrictions-in-education-and-childcare-settings/contingency-framework-education-and-childcare-settings#other-measures.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to plans to suspend free travel in London for people aged under 18, what plans he has to financially support students attending (a) school and (b) college from low-income backgrounds in London.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide free home to school transport for eligible pupils. A pupil is eligible if they are aged between 5 to 16, attend their nearest suitable school, live more than the statutory walking distance from it, or could not reasonably be expected to walk there because of their special educational needs, a disability or mobility problem, or because the route is unsafe.

There are additional entitlements to free home to school transport for those children who are from low income families. National taxpayers will continue to fund free travel for eligible pupils. The Mayor of London has announced plans to fund travel for other under 18s through an increase in council tax and the continuation of temporary changes made to the congestion charge.

In addition, the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is allocated directly to schools and colleges to support young people who may need additional support with costs such as transport.

As part of the latest Extraordinary Funding and Financing Agreement, agreed on 1 June, Transport for London is pushing forward an ambitious active travel plan to promote cycling and walking. These measures will enable short journeys to be made safely via active travel.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he has made on reducing the attainment gap between children receiving pupil premium funding and those not receiving it.

Enabling every child, irrespective of their background, to realise their potential at school has been the driving mission of the Department for Education since 2010. To this end, we have introduced a range of reforms to curriculum, teacher training, assessment and accountability, as well creating the pupil premium in 2011. The Department is spending more than £2.5 billion on the pupil premium in the 2021/22 financial year, meaning we will have invested more than £20 billion extra in our schools since its introduction so that they can provide additional support to disadvantaged pupils of all abilities. School leaders use this extra funding to tailor their support, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils, and focus on proven practice to improve outcomes, such as resources published by the Education Endowment Foundation.

A disadvantage gap index has been developed, that is unaffected by the Department’s widespread educational reforms. Between 2011 and 2019, the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils narrowed by 13% at age 11 and 9% at age 16, according to the disadvantage gap index, and most disadvantaged pupils now attend good or outstanding schools. The Department’s reforms, and the focus provided by the pupil premium, have supported this improvement.

In addition to protecting the pupil premium, the Department continues to support disadvantaged pupils and address the barriers to success that they face. In June 2020, as part of the £1 billion COVID-19 catch up package, we announced £350 million to fund the National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged students for the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22. There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate pupil progress, and the Department wants to extend this opportunity to disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. The programme provides additional, targeted support for those children and young people who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education because of school closures. Teachers and school leaders should exercise professional judgement when identifying which pupils would benefit most from this additional support.

On 24 February, the Department announced a £700 million education recovery package, building on the £1 billion from last year. As well as a range of measures to support all pupils to recover lost education, the package includes significant funding aimed at addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils. This includes a new one off £302 million Recovery Premium, which includes £22 million to scale up proven approaches, for state funded schools in the 2021/22 academic year. Building on the pupil premium, this grant will further support pupils who need it most. Allocations will reflect disadvantage funding eligibility and will have additional weighting applied to specialist schools, recognising the significantly higher per pupil costs they face.

The Government has also invested over £400 million to support vulnerable children in England to continue their education at home. To date, over 1.3 million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education colleges.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing further funding for schools to deal with the costs of (a) insurance, (b) sick pay, (c) supply teachers and (d) other costs associated with staff sickness during the outbreak of covid-19.

School budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year and will increase by a further £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

As part of the three-year increase to core funding – the biggest in a decade – schools have continued to receive their core funding throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of any periods of reduced attendance. This will ensure they can continue to pay their staff and meet other regular financial commitments.

Workforce absence and community transmission rates have reduced since the autumn term when we introduced the COVID-19 Workforce Fund to support schools and colleges with high staff absences and significant financial pressures to remain open. We will continue to monitor the situation.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) teaching resources and (b) continuous professional development materials provided by schools on climate change are (i) adequate and (ii) up-to-date.

The National Curriculum already includes content which allows for teaching on environmental and sustainability issues such as climate change in both the science and geography curricula from Key Stage 1 onwards.

As the National Curriculum is a framework setting out the content that the Department expects schools to cover in each subject, teachers have the flexibility and freedom to determine how they deliver the content in the way that best meets the needs of their pupils. They can choose to cover particular topics in greater depth if they wish, such as the impact of human actions on the environment. This may be influenced by the latest academic developments on climate change, which teachers can access via resources available from the science and geography learned societies and subject associations.

The Department wants to ensure that all teachers have access to high-quality teaching resources and continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities to ensure pupils have a firm understanding. In order for CPD to be effective, it needs to be tailored to the needs of the individual, their career context and their development needs. As such, decisions related to CPD participation and selection rest with schools, headteachers, and teachers.

The Department has invested in specialist training, including science specific CPD available through the national network of Science Learning Partnerships. We also fund bursaries for science teachers to attend the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning Centre through Project Enthuse. £4.84 million has also been made available for the Oak National Academy for academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21 to provide a wide range of subject video lessons and teaching resources from Reception up to Year 11 within which topics relating to climate change and the environment are covered.

1st Mar 2021
What funding he plans to allocate to schools to cover the costs of families who sign up for pupil premium later in the school year.

Pupil premium funding for the financial year 2021-22 will be based on the October 2020 census data. Pupils who become eligible later in the year will be provided for in the following year.

The move to using the October census for pupil premium funding will provide both schools and the Department with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year. This will bring the pupil premium in line with the great majority of schools’ funding, which is already calculated by using data from the October census.

Pupil premium will continue to be based on “Ever6 free school meals”, whereby all pupils eligible for free school meals at the time of the October census, or at any point in the previous six years, will attract pupil premium funding. Per pupil funding rates for the pupil premium in 2021-22 will be the same as in 2020-21. As a result, we expect a typical school to see an increase in pupil premium funding from 2020-21 to 2021-22 as more children have become eligible for free school meals as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition to the £2.5 billion in pupil premium funding for 2021-22, on 24 February 2021 the Government announced a further £300 million for a one-off Recovery Premium which will be allocated to schools based on the same methodology as the pupil premium. In this way, schools with more disadvantaged pupils will receive larger amounts.

Schools are best placed to decide how to use their pupil premium funding, and they can spend the funding on pupils who do not meet the eligibility criteria. As such, pupils that become eligible for free school meals after October 2020 can still benefit from the pupil premium.

Further information on this change can be found on gov.uk under “allocation changes from 2021 to 2022” at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium/pupil-premium.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of cancelling examinations due to the covid-19 outbreak on the mental health of A-level students; and what support he plans to provide to help those students cope with the pressure of studying during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

The Government remains clear that exams are the fairest method to assess students. Given the further disruption, however, we cannot guarantee that all students will be able to sit their exams fairly this summer and GCSE, AS and A levels will not go ahead as planned. We have already confirmed our proposals that in summer 2021, students taking GCSE, AS and A levels regulated by Ofqual should be awarded grades based on an assessment by their teachers. To provide clarity to the sector as soon as possible, and to ensure that our approach is developed with the sector, Ofqual and the Department have launched a two-week consultation on how to fairly award grades for all students.

The Department has worked with our partners, the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England, Public Health England, and key voluntary sector organisations, to deliver Wellbeing for Education Return. This project, backed by £8 million, has trained local experts to provide additional advice and resources for schools and colleges to help support pupil and student, parent and carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery in light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. It will give staff the confidence to support students, their parents, carers, and their colleagues, and know how and where to access appropriate specialist support where needed.

Over 85% of local authority areas in England have told us how they are delivering additional training and support into local schools and further education providers as a result of the funding. Nationally, our information indicates that more than 15,000 schools and colleges are being offered additional training and support.

In recognition of the significant pressures on school and further education provider staff, local areas are tailoring their support, and offering interactive training sessions and follow up support on key themes to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff and pupils in response to COVID-19.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the need to provide digital devices to adult learners during the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the department has worked with further education provider associations to understand the need for support on devices among adult students. For adults aged 19 and over, we have introduced flexibilities to the Education and Skills Funding Agency Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding rules for the 2020-21 academic year to enable providers to use learner support funds to purchase IT devices and/or internet access for disadvantaged students to help meet technology costs. In areas where the AEB budget is devolved, mayoral authorities determine adult student support arrangements.

Earlier this year, we updated our further education operational guidance to emphasise the importance of preserving on-site provision for those students who need it, including vulnerable learners. We outlined our definition of vulnerable learners to be clear that those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home, for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study, can be considered vulnerable and therefore able to attend onsite provision during the period of national lockdown: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951465/January_2021_FE_operational_guidance_FINAL.pdf.

For adults aged 19 and over with an education, health and care plan who are in receipt of free meals, further education providers will shortly be able to receive devices through the Get Help with Technology service: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/devices/how-to-order. The majority of further education providers with eligible learners will be able to order their devices by the end of January.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support he is providing to institutions that teach English as a second language (ESOL) during the covid-19 outbreak.

We understand the challenges faced by further education providers and will continue to work with the sector to establish the best way to support students to make up for the disruption due to COVID-19. It is our ambition that all students have the chance to make up for lost education.

We support English for speakers of other languages courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England through the £1.34 billion Adult Education Budget (AEB). We have changed the AEB Funding Rules for the 2020-21 academic year to enable providers to use their Learner Support funds to purchase IT devices for learners aged 19 and over, and to help them meet learners’ IT connectivity costs, where these costs are a barrier to accessing or continuing in their training. In areas where the AEB has been devolved, Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority are responsible for considering any provider flexibilities in their areas.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children who were previously receiving free school meals but are now being taught from home as a result of the covid-19 outbreak do not go hungry.

As schools and their kitchens are now open, they should provide healthy, nutritious meal options for all children who are in school, and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria.

If children are eligible for benefit-related free school meals, but are self-isolating, we expect catering providers to be in a strong position to support any eligible pupils through food parcels, be those daily or weekly. We have put guidance in place for schools on how they can support children in these circumstances. This is complemented by advice from the schools food trade organisation, Lead Association for Catering in Education, and Public Health England, on what a good food parcel should comprise. Our latest guidance for schools is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has been made of the level of support available to foster carers to meet the needs of children in care during the covid-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought unprecedented challenges to some foster families. Our priority is to protect foster families, to keep them together and continue to offer safety and stability to the vulnerable children they care for. That is why we have committed £125,000 between June and October to fund a new FosterlinePlus service. Foster families experiencing difficulties will have free access to a range of specialist one-to-one services. We will continue to monitor this support to better understand the issues foster families are facing and how the department can tackle them.

The government has also provided over £3.7 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures, including within children’s social care. We know that local authorities and fostering agencies are responding to the challenge by finding innovative ways to continue to support their foster carers, and we will keep this under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to eradicate period poverty in schools.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available in state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

This is an important step to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to learning and that no one is held back from reaching their potential.

We are continuing to monitor schools’ engagement with the scheme during the COVID-19 outbreak. All schools and colleges continue to be able to order period products and to distribute them to learners according to their own local arrangements.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education on training providers to assess apprentices' qualification based on (a) progress at work and (b) coursework results.

Wherever possible, we want apprentices and employers to continue apprenticeships and complete end-point assessment. We are working closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to introduce flexibilities to mitigate the effects of disruption to assessment, training or employment caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

End-point assessments can now be carried out remotely if they are authorised by the external quality assurance provider for the apprenticeship standard. The requirements for this are set out in the guidance published on the IfATE’s website: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/response-to-covid-19/.

Our intention is to safeguard the quality of apprenticeships and end-point assessment is an important part of that. We do not consider that it would be appropriate to estimate an apprentice’s occupational competence by other means.

Guidance setting out how the apprenticeship programme is responding to the impact of Covid-19 is available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response. We are keeping the guidance under review and will publish updates as the situation evolves.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

The government’s Spending Round in August 2019 identified the need to increase funding for 16 to 19 year olds’ education to ensure that they fulfil their potential and develop the skills that the country needs. That is why we are investing an extra £400 million in 16 to 19 education in the financial year 2020-21.

We will increase the base rate of funding by 4.7%, from £4,000 to £4,188, for the academic year 2020/21. Over and above the base rate rise, this extra spending also includes new resources for high value and high cost courses, as well as funding to support those on level 3 programmes to continue to study English and maths where needed. This is the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010, with funding increasing faster for 16 to 19 than in 5 to 16 schooling. We will of course continue to look at the needs of 16 to 19 education in future Spending Reviews.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of demand for additional support for the zoo and aquarium sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

From 12 April zoos have been able to welcome back visitors, reopening their outdoor areas as part of step two in the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions. Our assessment was that zoos would need further support, which is why we extended the Zoo Animals Fund. We have extended the application deadline from 26 February 2021 to 28 May 2021 to give zoos more time to apply and have extended the support provided from the end of March 2021 to the end of June 2021. The fund has been a lifeline for many zoos and small, medium and large zoos have been able to secure funding to help them through this difficult time. Fund recipients have reached out to express how funding has supported their animals and what a difference it has made to them to receive this help.

Under both zoo support schemes we have so far awarded over £10 million to 56 zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums to care for their animals and we are currently processing further applications. This money has provided for animal care costs and essential maintenance costs for those zoos experiencing severe financial difficulties due to covid-19. Under the Zoo Animals Fund only two applications have been rejected on the basis that the businesses in question were ineligible as they did not have the necessary licence or exemption. We encourage zoos in need to apply to the Fund and we will continue to work closely with the sector on reopening guidance to ensure that zoos and aquariums are able to welcome visitors safely.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to (a) encourage supermarkets to prioritise shielding customers and (b) discourage increases in costs of at-home deliveries.

(a) Defra is continuing to work closely with supermarkets to provide clinically extremely vulnerable individuals in England with priority access to supermarket delivery slots. When the tiered system was in operation, any clinically extremely vulnerable person living in a Tier Three or Tier Four local area who did not already have priority access to delivery slots was still able to register for this support through the GOV.UK website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support.

During the third lockdown, all clinically extremely vulnerable people are able to register for priority access to delivery slots with seven supermarkets: Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose. All clinically extremely vulnerable individuals who have registered through GOV.UK will retain their priority access to delivery slots until at least March 2021.

(b) Defra is continuing to hold regular conversations with each of the seven supermarkets participating in the priority access to online deliveries offer: Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose. The department uses these meetings as an opportunity to convey any concerns raised by charities or local authorities around topics such as delivery charges. Although Defra cannot legally dictate the delivery costs charged by supermarkets, our regular conversations ensure that supermarkets understand the impact that delivery charges can have in preventing a clinically extremely vulnerable person from being able to access food.

Alongside encouraging supermarkets to consider the impact delivery charges can have on vulnerable people, the department also monitors delivery charges and circulates this information to local authorities to allow them to advise their residents accordingly.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what armaments the UK exported from January 2018 to January 2021.

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020.

Information covering 1st July – 30th September 2020 will be published on 9th February 2021 and information covering 1st October 2020 – 31st December 2020 will be published on 13th April 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent amendments her Department has made to export controls in the context of the potential provision of armaments to the Israeli Government.

The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”) remains the policy for assessing all licence applications on a case-by-case basis.

The Consolidated Criteria has long provided a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to assess the impact of licensing equipment and its capabilities. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her Department's policy is on the supply to the Israeli Government of (a) mechanical diggers and (b) other large-scale industrial or agricultural equipment that may potentially be used for the destruction of buildings in that country; and whether her Department has supplied such equipment to the Israeli Government.

The United Kingdom applies export controls to military items and certain dual-use items. Standard mechanical diggers and agricultural machinery are not subject to such controls, but the Department for International Trade is not a supplier of such equipment.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made made of the potential effect of e-scooters on the safety of visually impaired people.

Since July 2020 I have held four e-scooter roundtable meetings with groups representing the interests of disabled people, including those with sight loss. The most recent roundtable was held on 7 June 2021. Local areas involved in the trials gave presentations on what they are doing to address the concerns of disabled people in trial areas.

We have instructed all local authorities participating in trials to engage throughout the trial period with these groups in their local areas to ensure their concerns are being heard and, where possible, mitigated. Following our consultation last year, and feedback from subsequent stakeholder activities, we have required all e-scooters used in trials to have a horn or bell so that users can make others aware of their presence. The Department’s guidance for trial areas is also clear that there needs to be sufficient parking provision in trial areas; where a dockless operating model is being used, local authorities should ensure that e-scooters do not become obstructive to other road users and pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities.

The Department has in place a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme and we have also made additional commitments such as allowing vulnerable road user groups to take part in the evaluation process.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of the London Ambulance Service to access sites affected by Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes.

Implementation of traffic management schemes, including Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods, is a matter for local authorities. The Department has made no such assessment.

No ambulance trust has raised concerns with the Department about access or response times in such schemes. In addition, data obtained by Cycling UK shows that no such schemes had been implemented without the knowledge of the relevant ambulance trust and that no trust had identified delays to emergency response times resulting from schemes.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made on the effect on trends in the level of (a) school and (b) college attendance of the suspension of free and discounted travel for under 18’s in London.

The £1.6 billion Extraordinary Funding and Financing Agreement to enable Transport for London (TfL) to continue operating services contained a series of conditions to facilitate safe travel on public transport in London, including the temporary suspension of free travel for under 18s.

The Department is working closely with TfL and the Department for Education on how the temporary suspension can be operationalised. Any child eligible for free home to school travel under the Education Act 1996 will still receive this. The Department is also completing an Equality Impact Assessment, which will consider whether there are further categories of children that should receive free transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what extra statutory maternity pay and leave provisions are available for parents of multiple births.

Statutory Maternity Pay is paid in respect of each pregnancy. This provides a measure of financial security which allows a pregnant working woman to take time off from work towards the end of her pregnancy, and in the months following childbirth in the interest of her own and her babies' health and wellbeing.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government has taken to implement recommendation 15 of the Environmental Audit Committee's Twentieth report of Session 2017-19 entitled, Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life, HC1805.

When deciding whether to prescribe new diseases under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Scheme Minsters are guided by the recommendations of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (“IIAC”). IIAC are independent of government,

Following the recommendation of the Environmental Audit Committee IIAC launched an investigation into the cancers likely to be suffered by fire fighters, building on the extensive commissioned review it carried out in 2010. To inform its investigation, IIAC engaged with the University of Central Lancashire and conducted a detailed search of the published scientific literature in this field in order to scrutinise the available evidence. Having analysed the evidence in depth, IIAC is currently in the process of concluding its deliberations and expects to be able to respond to the Environmental Audit Committee in due course. IIAC plans to publish a position paper setting out its findings.

Fire and Rescue Services have duties to prevent and control risks (so far as reasonably practicable) to the health of their employees due to exposure to hazardous substances, and the Health and Safety Executive expects Fire and Rescue Services to ensure that measures are in place to control exposure and minimise contamination, as this may lead to health risks. Such measures would include the provision and maintenance of suitable personal protective equipment, facilities for storing and cleaning such equipment and providing information, training and appropriate supervision to their employees on potential risks.

The Health and Safety Executive is monitoring the progress of all current research which seeks to improve the working environment for firefighters, and will ensure that Fire and Rescue Services continue to identify and control risks to their employees. HSE are also aware that United Kingdom Fire and Rescue Services (UKFRS) are also researching health risks and effects from contaminated kit. HSE have provided support at National Level to ensure that this is kept near the top of the priority list.

Background info:

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee

20th Report: “Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life”

Recommendation 15 (page 47):

94. We recognise that firefighters have a greater risk from environmental contamination from fires and support the research being undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire and the Fire Brigades Union. This is still in its early stages. However, research from the US has already shown that firefighters suffer higher instances of cancer in carrying out their duties than the normal population. The Government should update the Social Security Regulations so that the cancers most commonly suffered by firefighters are presumed to be industrial injuries. This should be mirrored in the UK’s Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Scheme. We also recommend that the Health and Safety Executive monitors the progress of the Fire Brigades Union research and provides assistance in implementing recommendations which seek to improve the work environments of UK firefighters. This should include measures to minimise contamination from clothing and equipment and reduce the overall exposure of firefighters, their families and the public.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of increasing funding for research into ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The Government invests in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), through UK Research and Innovation. The NIHR and MRC both welcome high-quality applications for research into all aspects of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). No assessment has been made of the merits of increasing funding for research into ME/CFS. While it is not usual practice for the NIHR and MRC to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the MRC has had a cross-board highlight notice on CFS/ME open since 2003.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for people who have (a) multiple sclerosis and (b) other disabilities preventing them from receiving the covid-19 vaccine of the use of vaccine passports which may be mandatory for some activities.

Any venue that adopts COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry must comply with the relevant legal obligations such as the Equalities Act 2010 when deciding whether or not to accept medical exemptions.

Senior clinicians are currently drafting clinical guidance which will include and apply to conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other disabilities.

We will set out our plans shortly for a clinical review of medical exemptions which will enable individuals to show their COVID-19 status using the NHS COVID Pass.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of mandatory covid-19 vaccinations for all home carers.

The Government has launched a consultation on vaccination as condition of deployment in health and social care settings.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making it Government policy to permit pharmacies to re-allocate unopened pharmaceuticals to other patients to help tackle wastage.

The Department does not promote the reuse of medicines returned from patients once it has left a pharmacy. It is not possible for pharmacists to assure the quality of returned medicines on physical inspection alone. They cannot guarantee that the medicines have been stored or handled appropriately and this can impact on patient safety.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average NHS waiting times for psychiatric care in July 2021.

The data is not held in the format requested as a national access and waiting times standard for National Health Service mental health services has not yet been defined. Currently, access and waiting times standards exist for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services and performance data is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-sets/improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-data-set;

Early intervention for psychosis services performance data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/eip-waiting-times/

Children and young people's eating disorder services performance data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cyped-waiting-times/

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to invest at least an additional £2.3 billion a year into mental health services by 2023/24. This increased investment will ensure that an additional 345,000 children and young people and 380,000 more adults will have timely access to NHS funded mental health services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the (a) Home Office and (b) Ministry of Justice on the way in which the police can deal sensitively with people undergoing mental health crises; and whether he has plans to review the need for mental health professionals to attend to such circumstances.

The Department for Health and Social Care and the Home Office have established a Crisis Care Senior Operational Group, with membership from both Departments, the National Police Chiefs Council, the Association for Police and Crime Commissioners, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Mind and others. This group recently discussed a national agreement between mental health services, social care and the police to ensure that people detained by the police under section 136 are safely and effectively transferred into health services.

Department of Health and Social Care and Home Office officials meet regularly and are members of the cross-Government governance group overseeing implementation of the Mental Health Act 1983 reforms, as set out in the White Paper published earlier this year. This work includes our commitment to remove police stations as a designated place of safety under the Act. The Ministry of Justice is not responsible for policing.

The NHS Long Term Plan and the Mental Health Act reforms proposed in the recent White Paper aim to improve the provision of community mental health and crisis care services to ensure that people in crisis receive the care and support they urgently need from health professionals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) assessment he has made of the additional risk of the covid-19 virus to South Asian communities and (b) additional support will be provided to improve South Asian communities access to vaccines and health care.

Across the pandemic period to date, the cumulative mortality and hospital admission rates were highest in the Black and Asian groups. Among the Black and Asian groups, the Other Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups had the highest rates. The hospital admission rate for the Black and Asian groups was three times higher than the rate for the White group. The mortality rate for the Black and Asian group was two times higher than the White group.

These differences are reduced when looking at survival following infection. In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in England, after adjusting for pre-existing conditions, age, sex, region and deprivation, the Bangladeshi ethnic group had the poorest survival and had 1.88 times the odds of dying once infected when compared with the White ethnic group. The Pakistani, Chinese, and Black Other ethnic groups had 1.35 to 1.45 times the odds of dying once infected and the Indian group 1.16.

Clear, informative communications explain how, at any possible opportunity, to access the vaccine. Our communications include information and advice via television, radio and social media and have been translated into 13 languages, including Bengali, Chinese, Filipino, Gujarati, Hindi, Mirpur, Punjabi and Urdu. Temporary vaccination sites are in place at targeting areas with low vaccine uptake within inclusion groups and ethnic minorities.

The Government has provided up to £23.75m to local authorities and the voluntary and community sector to improve the reach of official public health guidance and other messaging or communications about the virus into specific places and groups most at risk from COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving home carers the same priority for covid-19 vaccinations as professional care workers.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent body made up of scientific and clinical experts who advise Government on COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation at a population level.

The JCVI has assessed and reviewed data to understand the association between occupation and the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the risk of COVID-19 disease and the risk of COVID-19 related severe outcomes. Based on their assessments, the JCVI concluded that frontline health and social care staff and adult carers should both be prioritised for vaccination in Phase One of the COVID-19 vaccination programme as they are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and may also expose vulnerable individuals and other staff members whilst providing care. This includes both paid professionals and unpaid carers, who provide care in people’s own homes, and are prioritised in cohorts two and six respectively.

The Government has accepted this advice. Priority cohorts two and six have both been called forward for vaccination earlier this year.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing public usage of (a) vitamins D and C to improve immune system responses and (b) other potential alternative methods to an annual vaccination to protect against covid-19.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) considered nutrition and immune function in relation to COVID-19 at its meeting in June 2020 and agreed that a scoping exercise indicated a lack of robust evidence to suggest that specific nutrients, such as vitamins C and D, can reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19.

At its meeting in March 2021, the SACN noted that there was currently no new evidence that would change current dietary advice in relation to immune function. The SACN continues to monitor research in this field, which would include any available evidence on nutrition and vaccine response in relation to COVID-19.

The Antiviral Taskforce has been set up with the aim of identifying an effective novel antiviral treatment to augment the current vaccine and therapeutic programmes. The programme would seek to make available an oral drug that would be able to be taken in an outpatient setting. The drug will target the virus at an early stage, preventing progression to more severe, or even critical, symptoms, and minimising the risk of ‘long’ COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reimbursing workers who are required to travel abroad for work the cost of fees for covid-19 tests upon their return to work.

There is currently no exemption from purchasing tests under the international travel testing regime for individuals who are traveling abroad for work.

Since requirements were introduced for international travel testing, the costs have fallen significantly. We are committed to working with the travel industry and private testing providers to reduce the cost of travel testing. NHS Test and Trace tests are available at the market mid-point.

We offer deferred payment plans and hardship support for people who cannot afford to pay for the cost of managed quarantine and testing up front. In some circumstances this may be available to those who are not in receipt of income related benefits.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to prevent shortages of the Pfizer vaccine and ensure that people are able to book a second dose.

We have sufficient doses to maintain our vaccination programme. We are in constant contact with the vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer, and remain confident that the supply of vaccine to the United Kingdom will not be disrupted. We are on track to meet our target to offer a vaccine to all adults by the end of July.

Vaccine supplies have already been set aside for everyone who has already received their first dose and there are currently no delays in the administration of the second dose of the vaccine. If an individual is invited for a COVID-19 vaccination via a general practitioner, a second vaccination appointment can then be offered to the patient in the following 12-week period.

Where a patient has been invited to book their own appointment, they will be required to book their second appointment in a time slot 11 to 12 weeks on from their first appointment. NHS England’s guidance states that all vaccination centres should ensure that all second dose appointments are booked in by the twelfth week.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will prioritise police officers for the covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has concluded that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, as this is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations and the speed of delivery is crucial to provide more people with protection from COVID-19. Police officers, in line with the JCVI’s advice, will therefore be prioritised for vaccination according to their age and clinical risk along with the rest of the population. They will not be prioritised based on their occupation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to GP surgeries' role in delivering the flu vaccine, f his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of prioritising GP surgeries to provide the covid-19 vaccine over 24-hour vaccination centres specially-created.

There are no plans to make such an assessment.

We will continue to pilot extended opening hours but there are no current plans to open vaccination sites 24 hours per day. We will keep this under review based on patient and staff feedback.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays to postal deliveries as a result of sickness in the postal service workforce on people receiving their vaccination letters.

No specific assessment has been made.

Local vaccination services are for the most part using text messages or phone calls as the first approach. Follow up phone calls are also being made to those who have not responded to initial invitations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the covid-19 vaccine rollout to staff in the Ambulance Service; and whether such staff are able to receive that vaccine in the hospitals they are delivering their patients to.

No specific assessment has been made.

However, staff in the ambulance service who are deemed to be front line healthcare workers have been offered their first vaccine as part of priority cohort 2. The National Health Service met its target of offering all staff in priority groups one to four their first vaccine before its 15 February.

When invited for their vaccine, ambulance staff would have had various options for the location and time most convenient for them which may have included the hospitals they are delivering their patients to.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to provide (a) personal protective equipment, (b) sanitiser and (c) other support to people required to shield during the covid-19 outbreak.

Those considered as clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to shield during the period of national lockdown and the Government is providing support with shopping, free medicines deliveries and helping in the provision of other basic needs.

Personal protective equipment and sanitiser are not provided to the clinically extremely vulnerable as part of the Government’s support package. Both are readily available to be purchased at many shops, and can be delivered by friends, family or the NHS Volunteer Service. Alternatively, such items could be delivered directly from supermarkets and clinically extremely vulnerable people are able to request priority delivery slots.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to give (a) local authorities and (b) local public health teams the (i) funding and (ii) powers to lead on contract tracing for covid-19.

As of 2 December, we have in place 265 local contact tracing teams. Local authorities use their expertise and resources to increase the proportion of people reached as part of a joint national and local effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The Government has committed to providing further financial support to upper tier local authorities in England facing tier 2 or 3 restrictions, which is potentially over £200 million per 28 days until the end of the financial year. This is in addition to the more than £780 million of financial support already committed to local authorities. This is comprised of over £480 million provided during the period of local COVID alert levels and national restriction measures and on top of the £300 million given in June 2020 for test, trace and contain activity.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon Member for Lewisham East of 1 July 2020 on the recognition of NHS and key workers.

The Department replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 6 October 2020.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase covid-19 testing capacity in London.

We are increasing our testing capacity, both through current swab testing and new, rapid lateral flow tests to cut the spread of COVID-19 nationwide.

The United Kingdom’s daily testing capacity passed 500,000 on 31 October. Testing capacity in the UK across all pillars between 29 October and 4 November was at 4,367,049 tests - an increase of 21% compared to the previous week.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that pharmacies have a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment.

The Department is working to provide community pharmacies with personal protective equipment (PPE). In March we delivered PPE to around 11,500 pharmacies in England, with a further supply in July delivered to pharmacies in Leicester, which were affected by the local lockdown. Further supplies of PPE can be ordered through the wholesalers and distributor networks that supply to community pharmacies. Those pharmacies who are critically short of PPE, should phone the National Supply Distribution Response on 0800 915 9964 for an urgent delivery.

From 3 August, all community pharmacies were invited to register with the PPE portal, where they can order up to a set amount of PPE per week. Pharmacies are encouraged to register promptly for the PPE portal, to ensure they can order emergency PPE from a central inventory. Pharmacies can contact the Department’s customer services team on 0800 876 6802 if they have any queries or are struggling to register with the portal. Information on what items are available for this sector and size are available on the Department’s Guidance at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-protective-equipment

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to provide personal protective equipment for NHS staff with (a) turbans and (b) other religious head coverings.

We are clear frontline staff should have the equipment they need to do their job safely. The National Medical Director and Chief Nursing Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote on 24 April 2020 to NHS Chief Executives, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors, emphasising the importance of proper fit testing of disposable sessional personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks (such as FFP3 masks). The Government is dedicated to providing appropriate fitting PPE for all frontline staff, including those with religious beards, turbans and other religious head coverings.

We are also working to secure products for specific groups of patients and staff, for example, having 2,000 powered respirators that Sikh male doctors or others who cannot fit test well against masks will be able to use.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken to provide appropriate personal protective equipment to NHS staff with religious beards.

We are clear frontline staff should have the equipment they need to do their job safely. The National Medical Director and Chief Nursing Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote on 24 April 2020 to NHS Chief Executives, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors, emphasising the importance of proper fit testing of disposable sessional personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks (such as FFP3 masks). The Government is dedicated to providing appropriate fitting PPE for all frontline staff, including those with religious beards, turbans and other religious head coverings.

We are also working to secure products for specific groups of patients and staff, for example, having 2,000 powered respirators that Sikh male doctors or others who cannot fit test well against masks will be able to use.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that dental practices are provided with adequate personal protective equipment.

Dentists normally purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) through dental wholesale suppliers. However, for PPE which is needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has made supplies available free of charge for National Health Service dental contractors. A dedicated PPE portal has been developed to deliver these items. As of 4tNovember, over 5,100 NHS dental and orthodontic providers in England have registered with the PPE portal and over 36 million items have been delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to address the concerns of women facing delays in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer in England.

Improving faster and earlier diagnosis of cancer is a top priority for the National Health Service. To deliver the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions, we have set up Rapid Diagnostic Centres that bring together diagnostic equipment and expertise to streamline diagnostic services for cancer, including cancers that are sometimes harder to diagnose, such as ovarian cancer.

NHS England and NHS Improvement encourage anyone with symptoms to continue to contact their general practitioner and have issued clear guidance to the NHS to maintain urgent referral and diagnostic services for suspected cancer.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that retailers receive the list of vulnerable peoples in order to support online deliveries.

There are some clinical conditions which put people at an even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to complex health problems. These clinically extremely vulnerable people have been advised to shield themselves by staying at home at all times.

Wherever possible, those shielding should rely on friends, family and wider community support to help them with any essential activities like shopping. Where this is not possible those shielding are eligible for food delivery which they register for via the web or by phone. Once these individuals have registered, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provides the details of all those eligible to supermarkets so that they are given priority for online deliveries.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is collating data on the ethnicity of people that have died from covid-19.

NHS England publishes deaths from COVID-19 reported in hospital settings on their website, which includes a breakdown by ethnicity. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-daily-deaths/

The Office for National Statistics has published a provisional analysis of deaths involving COVID-19 by ethnicity for England and Wales for all deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred between 2 March and 15 April 2020. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/coronaviruscovid19relateddeathsbyethnicgroupenglandandwales/2march2020to15may2020

Public Health England (PHE) publishes weekly surveillance reports on GOV.UK with confirmed cases, hospitalisations and deaths broken down by ethnicity can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/weekly-covid-19-surveillance-report-published#history

PHE undertook a rapid review to better understand how COVID-19 may be having an impact on different ethnic groups. PHE published its epidemiological report on 2 June and the Minister for Equalities will be taking forward further work following this report which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has provided to employers with staff who have recently returned from areas with prominent cases of covid-19.

The Department and Public Health England have advised that individuals returning from travel to high-risk areas should self-isolate at their residence and call NHS 111 for advice. Guidance for employers and businesses is available online and includes advice for situations where a member of staff or public with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 has been in the workplace.

The guidance for employers and businesses can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19#what-to-do-if-a-member-of-staff-or-the-public-with-suspected-covid-19-has-recently-been-in-your-workplace

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
What progress he has made on making an assessment of the potential merits of granting diplomatic protection to Anoosheh Ashoori.

We have received Mr Ashoori’s application for diplomatic protection. The Foreign Secretary is considering the matter carefully. We remain committed to securing Mr Ashoori’s immediate and permanent release. We have been supporting Mr Ashoori’s family since we became aware of his detention. The Foreign Secretary has remained in contact with the family to reinforce the UK's efforts to bring him home. He last met them on 17 June.

We will continue to press for consular access and appropriate medical care until he is released.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to advocate for children in Saudi Arabia who are at risk of execution as a result of partaking in democratic resistance; and what steps he took to support Mustafa Al-Darwish before he was executed.

The United Kingdom strongly opposes the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. The Saudi authorities are aware of the UK Government's strong position on such cases. We reiterated our opposition to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia in a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September 2020. On 24 May 2021, during my visit to Saudi Arabia, I discussed the death penalty, including those charged with conducting crimes as minors, with the President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, Dr Awwad Alawwad. The British Embassy Riyadh raised our concerns regarding Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish with the Saudi authorities ahead of, and following, his execution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports that (a) the Chinese government is testing emotion recognition technology on detained Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region and (b) technology firms Hikvision and Dahua are developing facial recognition technologies to identify and track Uyghurs; and whether he plans to take steps to prevent (a) Government departments and (b) firms and consumers in the UK from purchasing goods from firms that are reportedly providing technology to the Chinese government for the surveillance of Uyghurs.

The UK is committed to promoting the ethical development and deployment of technology in the UK and overseas. We are aware of a number of Chinese technology companies linked to violations taking place in Xinjiang, and are monitoring the situation closely.

On 12 January, the Foreign Secretary announced a series of measures to help ensure UK businesses and the public sector are not complicit in human rights violations or abuses in Xinjiang. These measures, which are being implemented by the UK Government, include a review of export controls; the introduction of financial penalties under the Modern Slavery Act; increasing support for UK government bodies to exclude suppliers complicit in violations or abuses; and strengthening the Overseas Business Risk guidance to highlight that businesses engaged in the fields of surveillance, biometrics, or tracking technology are at heightened risk of complicity in human rights violations in Xinjiang.

The UK Government has also published guidance to help cutting-edge UK firms negotiate the ethical, legal and commercial questions they may encounter when working with Chinese businesses, supporting safe and appropriate UK-China collaboration in digital and tech. The guidance provides firms with clear, up-to-date information and specialist support which reflect the UK's values and take account of national security concerns.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli authorities.

The UK regularly raises demolitions with the Government of Israel. I called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised my concerns about demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures with the Israeli Ambassador on 29 October 2020. UK officials from the British Consulate in Jerusalem have made regular visits to areas at risk of demolition and eviction to reiterate UK support for those communities. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of reports by Save the Children that Palestinian children are being detained in Israeli prisons; and what steps his Department is taking in response to those reports.

We are concerned by the findings of the Save the Children's report entitled, 'Defenceless: The impact of the Israeli military detention system on Palestinian children'. UK officials are in contact with Save the Children over the report's findings. We remain concerned about the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons. Reports of the heavy use of painful restraints and the high number of Palestinian children who are not informed of their legal rights, in contravention of Israel's own regulations, are particularly concerning, as is the continued transfer of Palestinian child and adult detainees to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv have a regular dialogue with Israel on this issue. We also fund projects providing legal aid to minors and capacity building to local lawyers. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the government of Haiti in establishing conditions for a fair and transparent election process.

The UK continues to monitor developments in Haiti. We support the work being done by the UN and others to take forward the electoral process. We hope that this will enable credible elections to take place so that democratic institutions can be restored in the country as soon as possible.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to pursue sanctions against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament. This sanctions regime allows for asset freezes and travel bans on targeted individuals and organisations. It is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future, as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has received any reports of incidents involving British journalists in the US since May 2020.

We are aware of a small number of British journalists and camera crews being affected by the US police response to the recent unrest. Our Embassy in Washington has raised the issue with the US Administration. Journalists all around the world must be free to do their job and to hold authorities to account without fear of arrest or violence.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received of continued shelling of the Al-Khadra Hospital in Tripoli by forces allied to Khalifa Haftar.

The UK is deeply concerned at reports that shells fired by forces opposed to the Government of National Accord landed on Al-Khadra hospital on 7 April. Intentional shelling of a hospital would constitute a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law. We continue to urge all parties, including General Haftar, to de-escalate, commit to a ceasefire and return to UN-led political talks. Libya remains vulnerable to a significant coronavirus outbreak. Fighting must stop to allow Libyan health authorities and aid agencies to respond to the pandemic.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken with international allies to tackle the blocking of water supplies to Tripoli by forces allied to Khalifa Haftar.

We are deeply concerned that civilians continue to suffer inexcusably from the conflict in Libya. Cutting off water supplies in Tripoli as coronavirus hits will seriously endanger civilian lives. We have raised this issue with the Government of National Accord, and remain active in wider efforts to end the current fighting. Ministers maintain regular contact with regional and European partners on Libya, and continue to call on all parties, including General Haftar, to de-escalate, support a ceasefire and a return to UN-led political talks.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Iranian counterpart on the jailed British national Anoosheh Ashoori.

The Foreign Secretary raised his concerns about dual national detentions with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on 6 January. The Prime Minister raised his concerns with Iranian President Rouhani on 9 January. The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr Murrison, raised dual-national cases with the Iranian ambassador on 13 January. We remain extremely concerned about the welfare of all British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran, including Mr Anoosheh Ashoori. We have made clear to Iran that we expect them to ensure he is treated humanely and in line with international standards. We are committed to ensuring that we do everything we can, including continuing to press the Iranian authorities for consular access.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, what plans he has to meet the family of Anoosheh Ashoori to discuss progress the Government has made on securing the release of that person from prison in Iran; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains extremely concerned about the welfare of British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran, including Anoosheh Ashoori. Iran does not recognize dual nationality and therefore does not permit access to British-Iranian detainees. We are committed to ensuring that we do everything we can, including continuing to press the Iranian authorities for consular access to ensure that they are treated in accordance with international standards and that their welfare needs are met.

The Foreign Secretary raised his concerns over dual nationals most recently in his call with Foreign Minister Zarif on 9 January. The Prime Minister also raised his concerns in a recent telephone call with President Rouhani. The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr Murrison, raised dual-national cases with the Iranian Ambassador on 13 January.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of threats faced by Christian communities in Nigeria; and what assistance his Department is providing to those communities.

Increasing insecurity in Nigeria is affecting communities of all faiths. Intercommunal violence across multiple states has had a devastating impact on both Christian and Muslim communities. In North East Nigeria, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa seek to undermine the Nigerian constitutional right to freedom of religion by deliberately attacking both Christian and Muslim communities and religious leaders.

We regularly raise our concerns about increasing levels of violence with the Nigerian Government, including most recently by the Prime Minister during his meeting with President Buhari at the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20 January. We also engage closely with the federal government, state government, international partners and the National Economic Council to help address the root causes of intercommunal violence and to maintain the right to freedom of religion. We continue to push for solutions that meets the needs of all communities affected. Over five years (2018-2022), the UK is providing £300 million of humanitarian support to communities in North East Nigeria.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on increasing the level of statutory sick pay.

In response to the pandemic, the Government has extended Statutory Sick Pay so that self-isolators are eligible and it is payable from day one rather than day four. Statutory Sick Pay is a statutory minimum and more than half of employees receive more when they are off sick. Changes to Statutory Sick Pay are one part of the Government’s wider support package for those sick or self-isolating, which includes the Test and Trace Support Payments, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the temporary £20 per week increase in Universal Credit.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the effective tax rate at which Gift Aid is paid to 25 per cent.

The Government is fully committed to supporting charities through the Gift Aid regime. This relief is tied to the basic rate of tax paid by donors, currently at 20%, so can only be changed if the personal basic tax rate changes.

The Government recognises that the sector is experiencing significant pressures and has made available an unprecedented package of economic support, including a £750 million package specifically for charities.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) credit unions and (b) credit unions affiliated to faith groups there are in the UK.

There are currently 429 active credit unions in the United Kingdom.

Neither HM Treasury, the Prudential Regulation Authority nor the Financial Conduct Authority collect information on the affiliation of credit unions to faith groups. It is therefore not possible to provide the number of credit unions affiliated to faith groups in the United Kingdom.

The Government is, however, aware of the strong links between certain faith communities and credit unions. I was pleased to take part in a roundtable recently hosted by one such credit union, the Pentecostal Credit Union, to discuss issues facing its members.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the net amount was of unclaimed eligible gift aid in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

In 2018 HMRC published research which estimated there was up to £564 million of Gift Aid that was not claimed on eligible donations. This is published on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charitable-giving-and-gift-aid-research

HMRC does not make annual estimates of unclaimed eligible gift aid as customers do not supply the necessary administrative information.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support company directors during the covid-19 outbreak who have previously paid themselves through a combination of salary and dividends.

Those who pay themselves a salary through their own company may be eligible to claim for 80% of usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS is available to employers, including personal service companies, and individuals paying themselves a salary through a PAYE scheme are eligible.

Income from dividends is a return on investment in the company, rather than wages, and is not eligible for support. Under current reporting mechanisms it is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources, and between dividends in lieu of employment income and as returns from other corporate activity. Expanding the scope would require HMRC to collect and verify new information. This would take longer to deliver and put at risk the other schemes which the Government is committed to delivering as quickly as possible.

Individuals who are not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme might be able to access the other support Government is providing, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at?www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of relaxing immigration rules for skilled archaeologists fleeing Afghanistan.

Those brought to the UK under the Afghan Resettlement Assistance Programme and Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme will have the right to work in the UK.

It is also open for archaeologists to apply for permission under the Skilled Worker route provided they are sponsored by a licenced sponsor. Archaeologists are also one of the occupations on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2021 to Question 11166 on Police: Biometrics, whether the police (a) are required to (i) obtain consent from and (ii) inform the public where facial recognition technology is used in a public place and (b) have powers to fine people who deliberately avoid detection by facial recognition software.

When using technologies like live facial recognition (LFR) it is important that the police maintain public trust in line with the principle of policing by consent. Opinion polling shows strong public support for its use, particularly for serious and violent crimes.

The College of Policing has consulted on guidance, which covers the importance of providing the public with information about when LFR is used. This guidance, and local force policies, will also explain the basis on which police forces process personal data – typically in line with Section 35(5) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

In normal circumstances (other than when a section 60AA Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 order is in place) the police do not have a legal power to issue fines simply where a person chooses not to walk past a LFR system.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a non-sponsored route similar to the Frontier Worker scheme to include new employed and self-employed social care workers who are not resident in the UK.

The Citizens’ Rights Agreements protect those EEA or Swiss citizens who were frontier workers in the UK by the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020 and who continue to be so. The UK’s frontier worker permit scheme, which has been open to applications since 10 December 2020, allows those protected frontier workers to obtain a permit, free of charge, as evidence of their right to continue entering the UK as a frontier worker after 30 June 2021.

There is no deadline by which protected frontier workers must apply for a permit, though it is mandatory for non-Irish frontier workers to hold a frontier worker permit to enter the UK for work from 1 July 2021.

Where an overseas worker is not protected by the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the new points-based immigration system provides routes for skilled workers. There are no plans to make available a route for those who do not meet the skills threshold of the Skilled Worker route. Nursing auxiliaries and Social Care workers including health care support workers, senior carers, senior support workers and nursing home team leaders do meet the skills threshold but would need to be sponsored by a licenced sponsor.

The introduction of the Health and Care visa last August made it quicker and cheaper for regulated health and care professionals – including Senior Care Workers - and their dependants to secure their visa. We have commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to look further at the issues surrounding the ending of free movement on the social care sector and we look forward to receiving their report by the end of April 2022.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allowing refugees and asylum seekers to gain employment whilst waiting for their asylum decisions.

Asylum seekers are allowed to work in the UK if their claim has been outstanding for 12 months or more, through no fault of their own. Those permitted to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, which is based on expert advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee. Those with refugee status have immediate and unrestricted access to the labour market.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing a photo identification card for every British citizen free of charge as a form of identification for general purposes.

The Home Office has made no recent assessment on ID cards as we do not plan to introduce them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of reviewing the statutory framework on the (a) possession and (b) use of crossbows.

Crossbows are subject to statutory controls in the Crossbows Act 1987. This Act makes it an offence to sell or hire a crossbow, with a draw weight of 1.4 kilograms or greater to anyone under the age of 18 and prohibits anyone aged under 18 from buying or hiring a crossbow. It is also an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to possess a crossbow which can discharge a missile or parts of a crossbow which together (and without any other parts) can be assembled to form a crossbow capable of discharging a missile, unless they are under the supervision of a person who is aged 21 or older.

Crossbows may also be considered as offensive weapons. The Prevention of Crime Act 1953 prohibits the possession, in a public place, of any offensive weapon without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Additionally, under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 it is also an offence to be in possession of crossbow bolts in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

If a crossbow is misused to harm a person this is a very serious offence that could amount to actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm or murder under existing criminal legislation. These offences attract severe penalties including life imprisonment in the case of murder.

Whilst it is shocking and tragic when incidents occur where crossbows have been misused, these incidents are fortunately very rare. The vast majority of those using crossbows do so safely and responsibly. At the present time, we believe the laws around crossbows strike the correct balance between protecting the public and also allowing people to own and use crossbows for legitimate activities. In light of this, we have no current plans to review the statutory framework or introduce further legislation relating to crossbows.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what oversight mechanisms are in place for facial recognition technology used by the police; and what consent is required from members of the public to capture their features for analysis.

There is a comprehensive legal framework for the management of biometrics, including facial recognition. This includes the Data Protection Act 2018, regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office, Human Rights Act 1998, Equality Act 2010, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA), and police forces’ own published policies. The College of Policing is carrying out a public consultation on national police guidance for the use of live facial recognition. The guidance covers the oversight arrangements and the importance of public notification and engagement. When there is no alert for a possible match, the biometrics of those captured by the system are deleted immediately.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government provides to families of people whose deaths are found to have been caused or partially caused by police actions; and where responsibility for funeral costs falls in such cases.

Every death that occurs following contact with the police is a tragedy for all concerned. That is why we commissioned Dame Elish Angiolini to consider what more could be done to reduce the number of such deaths and improve support.

Following the publication of the Angiolini Review into Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody in 2017 the Government has reflected on the process following the death involving contact with the police and are committed to ensure that all agencies involved are sympathetic to the needs of family and loved ones.

The Government has provided support and funding to charities and organisations who offer and signpost grieving friends and family members to tailored bereavement support. In Autumn 2021 the Ministry of Justice will publish a Means Test Review which will look at the thresholds and criteria for legal aid entitlement, including for families participating in inquests in relation to a death following police contact.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what specialist training is given to police officers attending to people experiencing mental health crises; and what consideration is given to the use of physical force in those circumstances.

All officers receive comprehensive training in assessing the potential vulnerabilities of a person. This includes training on awareness of mental health issues, skills for managing a person at the point of contact, de-escalation skills and understanding the dangers of using restraint techniques with vulnerable people.

Training on mental-ill health is integrated throughout the initial police learning programme which all new recruits must complete. Many individual forces have also gone on to develop their own training programmes, including joint training with partner agencies and local Mental Health trusts.

In October 2016, the College published Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, and this guidance supports all police officers, including custody staff, in responding to people suffering with mental health issues. This training package is currently being reviewed with a planned release shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees from Hong Kong the UK has received since 31 January 2021; and what support the Government has put in place to help those refugees settle in the UK.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Tables Asy_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets include the number of asylum applications, broken down by nationality. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data is up to the end of December 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 asylum and resettlement.

Data on asylum applications for January – March 2021, as well as data on the Hong Kong BN(O) visa route will be published in the next quarterly Immigration Statistics on 27 May 2021. Further information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those that need it – and this Government is committed to ensuring that they can take positive steps towards integration as they rebuild their lives in the UK.

All refugees and those granted protection in the UK should be able to fully integrate into life here and become self-sufficient, providing for themselves and their families, and contributing to the economy.

Refugees in the UK have access to mainstream benefits and services to enable their integration; and we are working across Government to ensure these services meet the needs of refugees.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what quantity of flame retardant is held by each fire service in England and Wales.

The Home Office does not hold information on the quantity of flame retardant held by each fire and rescue service.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what languages have been used in public communications to raise awareness of the support available for victims of domestic abuse as part of the You are not alone campaign.

The Government launched the #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost support available to victims of domestic abuse during lockdown. Translated radio adverts ran in Hindi, Polish and Punjabi and campaign materials have been translated into Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Welsh. Translated domestic abuse guidance is also available in these languages at gov.uk/domestic-abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she intends to respond to my letter of 6 April on notice of marriage fees.

A response was sent by myself as the relevant Minister on 24 July 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason HMS Queen Elizabeth has been deployed to waters off South Korea; and what assessment he has made of the potential response from North Korea to that deployment.

The Integrated Review commits us to pursuing deeper engagement in the Indo-Pacific in support of shared prosperity and regional stability. The Carrier Strike Group deployment is an embodiment of this commitment and therefore included a programme of activity to strengthen our bilateral defence relationships with key partners in the region, including South Korea. Our presence in the region sends a clear message to all of the UK's ability to protect its interests globally.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department policy is on the use of drone strikes outside of recognised war zones; and what support the Government provides to victims of such strikes.

As the Government has stated previously there is no separate policy on the use of force outside of an armed conflict. Rather it has a policy to defend the UK and its citizens against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack; in extremis, lethal force could be used where there is no other effective option. Every situation would be considered on its merits and the appropriate course of action would depend on the circumstances prevailing at that time.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2020
What recent estimate he has made of the number of armed forces personnel who have tested positive for covid-19.

Up to 30 June 2020 a total of 366 Service personnel had tested positive for COVID-19.

In line with Government measures, these personnel were directed to self-isolate for the mandatory 14 days once they were confirmed as infected.

This has not affected Defence’s ability to sustain its critical outputs.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timescale is for the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill; what the Government's plans are for section 21 notices; and what plans he has to increase security for older private renters in that upcoming bill.

As announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Government plans to introduce a package of reforms to deliver a better deal for renters and a fairer and more effective rental market. The Renters’ Reform Bill will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for short-term tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will include repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and represents a generational change in the law that governs private renting.

However, at the current time, our collective efforts are focused on protecting people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. That means supporting our communities as well as making sure measures to help renters and landlords over the next few months are effective.

Our recent consultation ‘ A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants’ sought views from across the private and social rented sectors on how a new system should operate, in order to ensure that we get the details right?and?create?a new framework which works for everyone. We received responses to our consultation which highlighted the experience of a range of people who rent their homes in the private rented sector, including older people. In total, almost 20,000 responses to the consultation were received and these are being carefully considered to help inform the Renters’ Reform Bill. We will respond fully to the consultation in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what specialist training is given to staff in prisons to handle individuals in custody who are experiencing mental health crises; what the procedure is for assessing the need for use of physical force on those individuals; and whether expert opinions from mental health professionals are sought in dealing with those cases.

This government takes the mental health needs of prisoners very seriously and to keep them safe and well, prison officers must have the skills, knowledge and confidence to offer support, alongside healthcare professionals.

Improved mental health awareness training has been developed as part of Prison Officer Entry Level Training and refresher training for existing staff. We are currently developing an improved modular safety training package. This includes an enhanced mental health training module, building on the introductory module for staff supporting individuals with complex needs. Resources also include a suicide and self-harm learning tool, developed in partnership with Samaritans, and a range of guidance relating to known risk factors.

Any use of force must be necessary, reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of the circumstances. A clinical assessment must take place to determine whether the prisoner has capacity. If the prisoner has been assessed as not having capacity, then the Mental Capacity Act 2005 makes provision for the person to be treated and, if necessary, for force or restraint to be used. When considering the options, healthcare/clinical staff will make the decision and liaise closely with prison staff on the level and type of restraint that might be used.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to implement the recommendations of the review commissioned by his Department in 2018 into Tottenham Park Cemetery; and what recent assessment he has made of the need to regulate private cemeteries.

We continue to work closely with all relevant stakeholders in light of the findings of the 2018 statutory inspection of Tottenham Park Cemetery.

While private burial grounds are not covered by the same regulations and guidance that govern local authority burial grounds, MoJ anticipates that private cemeteries will adhere to those standards.

The Law Commission’s current Programme of Law Reform includes a project to consider modernising and streamlining the law governing the disposal of human remains, with a view to putting forward a legal framework for the future. We will ensure that issues around the management of private cemeteries are brought to the Law Commission’s attention in this context.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the money given to women leaving prison in line with inflation.

HMPPS recognises the importance of addressing issues around female offending and supporting women when they are leaving prison to deliver effective rehabilitation and better protect the public. This commitment is underpinned by the Female Offender Strategy published by the Government in June 2018 and more recently, reinforced by the Concordat on Women in or at risk of contact with the Criminal Justice System published in January 2021.

More widely, all eligible prison leavers are provided with a Discharge Grant of £46 and all prison leavers are given a travel warrant or fares paid to their destination within the UK. An additional payment of up to £50 may also be paid directly to a genuine accommodation provider to help the prison leaver secure a release address.

The Government is reviewing the discharge policy to make sure prison leavers receive adequate financial support in the first few days after release and before they might reasonably be able to access other legal sources of income such as applying for state benefits.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the legal recognition of humanist marriages in Scotland since 2005; and if he will make it his policy to legally recognise those marriages in England.

Reform of marriage law in England and Wales should be undertaken on a comprehensive rather than piecemeal basis. That is why we invited the Law Commission last year to review the law on how and where couples may marry. As part of that review, the Law Commission will make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Commission initially delayed its publication of the consultation paper due to the Coronavirus pandemic but the consultation is now live. The law on wedding ceremonies is a complex and important area of the law. The Commission considered it essential to conduct a proper consultation with the wide range of interested groups and individuals who would be affected by reform. It did not feel that publishing during the initial period of public emergency would achieve this, particularly when weddings were being postponed.

The Commission will be considering its overall timetable in light of the timing of the consultation, and it expects to report to Government with its recommendations in the second half of next year.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the covid-19 outbreak has delayed the Law Commission review of marriage law; and what the timescale is for that review.

Reform of marriage law in England and Wales should be undertaken on a comprehensive rather than piecemeal basis. That is why we invited the Law Commission last year to review the law on how and where couples may marry. As part of that review, the Law Commission will make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Commission initially delayed its publication of the consultation paper due to the Coronavirus pandemic but the consultation is now live. The law on wedding ceremonies is a complex and important area of the law. The Commission considered it essential to conduct a proper consultation with the wide range of interested groups and individuals who would be affected by reform. It did not feel that publishing during the initial period of public emergency would achieve this, particularly when weddings were being postponed.

The Commission will be considering its overall timetable in light of the timing of the consultation, and it expects to report to Government with its recommendations in the second half of next year.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)