Jess Phillips Portrait

Jess Phillips

Labour - Birmingham, Yardley

Shadow Minister (Home Office)

(since April 2020)
Backbench Business Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Women and Equalities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion
15th Nov 2016 - 6th Nov 2019
Backbench Business Committee
13th Jun 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Women and Equalities Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Backbench Business Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 12th May 2016


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 152 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 212 Noes - 306
Speeches
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Local Government (Disqualification) Bill

I shall be briefer than I think I have ever been in Parliament and simply say that I and the …

Written Answers
Friday 19th November 2021
Adoption
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on women of …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 27th June 2019
INDEPENDENT PANEL INQUIRY FOR ZANE GBANGBOLA
That this House recognises the tragic death of seven year old Zane Gbangbola, who died during the storms and floods …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
From 1 November 2021 until further notice, I will receive £280 a week for writing a regular column. Hours: 1 …
EDM signed
Thursday 4th November 2021
Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 5th March 2019
Gender-based Pricing (Prohibition) 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, Jess Phillips has voted in 288 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Jess Phillips 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
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(83 debate interactions)
Alex Chalk (Conservative)
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
(33 debate interactions)
Peter Kyle (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(231 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(46 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(8 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Jess Phillips's debates

Birmingham, Yardley Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the UK Government to make it law that nightclubs must search guests on arrival to prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment. This could be a pat down search or metal detector, but must involve measures being put in place to ensure the safety of the public.

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.


Latest EDMs signed by Jess Phillips

23rd September 2021
Jess Phillips signed this EDM on Thursday 4th November 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
134 signatures
(Most recent: 3 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 97
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
22nd June 2021
Jess Phillips signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Jess Phillips's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jess Phillips, 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.



167 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
2 Other Department Questions
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of social house building rates.

We recognise the need to build more social housing, and since 2010 we have delivered over 542,400 new affordable homes, including over 382,300 affordable homes for rent.

To increase this further we are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme (AHP), which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow. Approximately half of the homes delivered will be for sub-market rent, and we will deliver more than twice as many homes for social rent as the current programme, with around 32,000 social rent homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to deliver a new deal for renters.

The Government remains committed to building back fairer and delivering a better deal for renters. We will publish a White Paper setting out a package of reforms that create a fairer private rented sector that works for both tenants and landlords. We are undertaking robust and structured stakeholder engagement working with the sector to inform this while also learning from the pandemic and its impact on the sector. We will bring forward legislation in due course and when parliamentary time allows.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for offences against children there have been for the Offence of Slavery, Servitude and forced or compulsory Labour under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year since its enactment.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including offences charged by way of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This data may be further disaggregated by the child abuse case monitoring flag. The CPS definition of child abuse covers any case where the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offence and includes allegations or crimes perpetrated by both adults and under 18s.

Section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides an offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; Section 2 provides for a single offence of human trafficking covering sexual and non-sexual exploitation; and, Section 4 provides that it is an offence to commit another offence with a view to committing a trafficking offence under Section 2.

Since the Act came into force and up to the end of March 2020, the number of Modern Slavery Act offences flagged as child abuse is as follows:

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 1 }

0

0

0

3

0

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 2 }

1

21

26

5

30

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 4 }

0

0

0

0

0

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

This data does not indicate the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the charged offence.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of exploitation carried out on victims of modern slavery or trafficking offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions for offences against children have there been for Human Trafficking under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year since its enactment.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) maintains a central record of the number of offences in which a prosecution commenced, including offences charged by way of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This data may be further disaggregated by the child abuse case monitoring flag. The CPS definition of child abuse covers any case where the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offence and includes allegations or crimes perpetrated by both adults and under 18s.

Section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides an offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour; Section 2 provides for a single offence of human trafficking covering sexual and non-sexual exploitation; and, Section 4 provides that it is an offence to commit another offence with a view to committing a trafficking offence under Section 2.

Since the Act came into force and up to the end of March 2020, the number of Modern Slavery Act offences flagged as child abuse is as follows:

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 1 }

0

0

0

3

0

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 2 }

1

21

26

5

30

Modern Slavery Act 2015 { 4 }

0

0

0

0

0

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

This data does not indicate the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the charged offence.

It is not possible to separately report the nature of, or type of exploitation carried out on victims of modern slavery or trafficking offences other than by manually examining case files at disproportionate cost.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of Innovate UK funding has been allocated to businesses led by women in financial year (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21 to date.

Innovate UK does not currently hold data in this form. Innovate UK are committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion in business innovation, they wish to find the best and most talented innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds, and provide them with the resources, advice and self-belief to succeed.

Programmes have been implemented to tackle the low number of female applicants, for example the Women in Innovation programme, launched in 2016, and the Young Innovators programme, launched in 2017.

Since 2017, Innovate UK have shared an EDI survey with people registering for support to gather EDI data, however, low completion rates (16%) resulting from this approach has required a change. From June 2020, all applicants for Innovate UK competitions are required to complete a new EDI survey. The survey asks questions on gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. This data will then be aggregated, anonymised and analysed to inform future actions to address under-representation across competitions.

Historic data analysis indicates that between 2013 and 2016, 14.3% of applications submitted were led by a woman. Analysis since 2016 indicates that this percentage has increased to around 24% (70% increase) and can be attributed to the focus on Women in Innovation, including the Innovate UK 2019 Women in Innovation Awards. A new competition for Women in Innovation Awards opened on 1 September 2020.

Most recently, Innovate UK’s “Business-led innovation in response to global disruption” competition (Open April 2020), 21.7% of applications were woman-led. This is in line with the levels we have seen since the growth of woman-led applications following the Women in Innovation focus.

On International Women’s Day, the Government committed almost £3 million and a package of business support to help inventions by women and young people like clean energy solutions and healthcare services. Over 100 entrepreneurial women and young people are set to benefit from government-backed funds to turn inspiring ideas into thriving businesses.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for disabled employees of Arlington Automotive following the insolvency of that company and resulting job losses.

Three companies in the Arlington Group entered administration on 7 May 2020. When any company becomes insolvent and redundancies are made, it is undoubtedly a distressing time for the company’s employees and workers and my officials at the Insolvency Service’s Redundancy Payments Service are ensuring that relevant payments are made. Former employees of the Arlington Group can claim redundancy payments and other contractual amounts (subject to statutory limits) such as unpaid wages, notice pay and outstanding holiday pay from the National Insurance Fund.

BEIS officials are working closely with the administrators to identify and offer support to ensure that employees who may require assistance because of a disability, are helped to submit claims so that they can be paid as soon as possible. I also understand that officials in the Solihull Jobcentre have been supporting affected employees by providing help and explaining the support that is available through Jobcentre plus.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on women of the policy of forced adoption during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

The government has great sympathy for those affected by historical adoption practices. Our hearts go out to the parents and children of those involved. Although from a modern perspective these practices are clearly wrong, they took place at a time when society shared very different values.


Thankfully society today takes a very different attitude to single parents. Lessons of the time have been learned and led to significant changes to legislation and practice. Single parents are now supported to help ensure that children and their families stay together, and children are only removed permanently by a court, without the consent of the parents, if it is satisfied that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to suffer significant harm.

Parents now have legal representatives appointed to support them, to ensure their views are heard and that evidence put forward can be challenged. In addition, NHS maternity services now have robust policy guidance and processes in place to safeguard care for vulnerable women and babies.

A range of help and support is available for those affected by historical adoption practices. For example, they can access intermediary services, provided by local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and registered adoption agencies, to help them trace their birth children or birth parents and establish whether contact is possible. Birth relatives and adopted adults can also add their details to the Adoption Contact Register at the General Register Office to find a birth relative or an adopted person.

We recognise that none of the above can change the heartbreak and impact of things done in the past and repeat again our deepest sympathy for all those affected.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the teaching of relationships and sex education on (a) contraception, (b) fertility and (c) abortion is based on scientific evidence; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to implement relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) and has published non statutory implementation guidance titled ‘Plan your Relationships, Sex and Health Curriculum’, alongside teacher training materials. Both are designed to provide teachers with further clarity and practical advice on how to implement the RSHE curriculum, to help all teachers increase their confidence and quality of teaching.

The teacher training module on intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health, covers contraception, fertility, and abortion. Information on this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. Specifically, pupils will be taught the facts about contraception, reproductive health, and medically and legally accurate, impartial information regarding pregnancy.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to prevent misogynistic and homophobic relationships and sex education (RSE) resources from being used in schools as RSE is rolled out; and if he will make a statement.

Schools must be aware of issues such as everyday sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and take positive action to build a culture where these are not tolerated, and that any occurrences are identified and tackled. As part of the statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, all pupils should be taught, at an age-appropriate point, how stereotypes, particularly stereotypes based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage.

To support the teaching of these subjects, the Department has published implementation guidance and teacher training modules to equip all schools to construct a comprehensive curriculum.

There are many external resources available to support the delivery of RSHE lessons. The Department does not play a role in assessing these. Any material used should align with the teaching requirements set out in the statutory guidance. Schools should assess all resources carefully to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality and the Equality Act.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the language in RSE teaching resources in terms of references to gender roles.

Schools must be aware of issues such as everyday sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and take positive action to build a culture where these are not tolerated, and that any occurrences are identified and tackled. As part of the statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum, all pupils should be taught, at an age-appropriate point, how stereotypes, particularly stereotypes based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage.

To support the teaching of these subjects, the Department has published implementation guidance and teacher training modules to equip all schools to construct a comprehensive curriculum.

There are many external resources available to support the delivery of RSHE lessons. The Department does not play a role in assessing these. Any material used should align with the teaching requirements set out in the statutory guidance. Schools should assess all resources carefully to ensure they are age appropriate, meet the outcome of the relevant part of the curriculum, and are in line with the school’s legal duties in relation to impartiality and the Equality Act.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Education, Health and Care plans are met as schools reopen during the covid-19 outbreak.

Children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans are expected to attend education settings if, following a risk assessment, it is determined that their needs can be as safely or more safely met in the educational environment.

We have recently published guidance that sets out how schools should be supporting children and young people with EHC plans as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance. In that guidance, we are clear that children and young people with EHC plans in mainstream and Alternative Provision settings who have not been attending and are in eligible year groups, should experience the same return to settings as their peers, informed by their risk assessment. Specialist settings should work towards welcoming back as many children and young people as can be safely catered for in their setting.

However, there are various reasons as to why it may not possible for all children and young people to attend education settings on a full time basis (for example, because they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or they attend a specialist setting that is operating an attendance rota). As a result, it may be impossible for local authorities and commissioning health bodies to carry out their normal statutory duty to secure or arrange in full the special educational provision that would normally be delivered through a full-time placement in an education setting. Examples of this include social skills training in small groups, or the delivery of a personalised curriculum with 1-1 support from a teaching assistant.

Because of these exceptional circumstances, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has issued a notice to modify temporarily this duty, so that they can discharge this by using their ‘reasonable endeavours’. The modified duty applies to all local authorities and health commissioning bodies in England. The current notice is in force from 1 June to 30 June 2020 (inclusive), following a notice that was issued for the month of May. The Secretary of State can issue a further notice if necessary.

The modified duty relates to the provision for each individual child and young person. Local authorities and health commissioning bodies must not apply blanket policies about the provision to be secured or arranged. Instead, in deciding what provision must be secured or arranged in discharge of its modified duty, the local authority and health commissioning body should work with education settings and other partners to consider: specific local circumstances; the needs of, and circumstances specific to, each child and young person with an EHC plan; and the views of children, young people and their parents as to what might be appropriate.

We are committed to ceasing this temporary change to the duty on local authorities and health commissioning bodies at the earliest opportunity and are keeping this under close review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will include (a) refuge workers and (b) domestic abuse professionals as key workers.

Guidance on maintaining educational provision sets out that schools should continue to offer provision to the children of critical workers and vulnerable children following school closures to help tackle COVID-19. It includes a range of sectors which are considered critical, and whilst it does not specify organisations or roles, there is scope for sensible local decision making on work that is critical. Many parents working in sectors which are listed will still be able to look after their children at home. For those that cannot, in the first instance they should confirm with their employer if their role is critical and if they are able to work from home, to establish whether they meet the criteria for their children to attend school. We are asking individuals, employers and schools to make sensible judgments about the policy.

The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking through the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum to tackle the effect of domestic abuse on children.

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. Through the new subjects of relationships, sex and health education, we want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

?These subjects will help in ensuring all young people, at age appropriate points, know the signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships and that violence in relationships and domestic abuse is unlawful and never acceptable. Throughout these subjects there is a focus on ensuring pupils know how to get further support.

Specifically, the guidance sets out that relationships and sex education will cover the concepts of, and laws relating to, sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, forced marriage, rape, domestic abuse and female genital mutilation, and how these can affect current and future relationships. The guidance can be accessed via the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/relationships-and-sex-education-and-health-education.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many hours of training teachers will receive to deliver the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education.

Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their relationships and sex education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content, in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum. The Department expects that schools will take a variety of approaches and not limit the delivery to taught lessons.

To support schools in their preparations, the Department is investing in a central package to help all schools to increase the confidence and quality of their teaching practice. We are currently developing a new online service featuring innovative training materials, case studies and support to access resources. This will be available from April 2020 with additional content added through the summer term, covering all of the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance. We will also publish an implementation guide which will be provided to all schools as part of this service and face-to-face training offers will be available for schools that need additional support.

The Department is currently working with lead teachers, non-specialist teachers, schools and subject experts to develop this central programme of support to help ensure it meets the needs of schools and teachers. It will complement the wide range of training opportunities that are being provided by local authorities and sector organisations.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that young people who have experienced abuse are able to access support services if they disclose domestic abuse in school; and what support is provided to teachers to deal with such disclosure.

The department’s statutory safeguarding guidance ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (KCSIE) includes detailed information about all forms of harm and abuse, including domestic abuse, its impact on children and how to recognise the signs. KCSIE sets out that all school and college staff should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. Every school and college should have a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) who will provide advice and support to staff to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care. KCSIE is clear that if staff have any concerns about a child and/or a child makes a disclosure, they should follow the school or college’s child protection policy, and speak to the DSL to seek support and advice on what to do next. Where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer harm, it is important that a referral to children’s social care, and if appropriate the police, is made immediately.

Local authority children’s social care should act as the principal point of contact for safeguarding concerns relating to children. Once a referral has been accepted, the lead practitioner role falls to a social worker. For children who are in need of immediate protection and removal is required, action must be taken by the social worker, the police or the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, as soon as possible after the referral has been made. It is essential that social workers provide effective support to children and families affected by domestic abuse. Our children’s social care reform programme is working to improve social work practice across the country through initial education, continued professional development and tougher professional regulation.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many FTE young people’s violence advisors are employed in England and Wales.

The information requested is not held centrally. Data on the number of FTE young people’s violence advisors employed in England and Wales is not collected by my department.

Young people’s violence advisors are either employed by local authorities or organisations like SafeLives who then work with local authorities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding the Government has allocated to the training of children’s social care workers in the last three years.

The Department for Education funds the training of children’s social care workers through fast-track initial education courses for students intending to become child and family social workers and for continuing professional development programmes. The amounts for the last three years are set out in the table below.

In addition and separate to this funding, there is a cross-government commitment and the Department for Health and Social Care funds the training of child and family social workers through investment in bursaries and other support for those following general courses of initial social work education.

2017-18 (£)

2018-19 (£)

2019-20 (£)

27,892,545

38,953,709

33,588,569

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he is taking to process the backlog of applications at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The quickest and easiest way to make an application to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is by using its extensive suite of online services. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their documents within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application. The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day and industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union has led to delays for customers. The DVLA has been working with a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements. The current increased demand for the DVLA’s services has also contributed to delays with paper applications.

The DVLA has introduced additional online services and recruited additional staff. The DVLA is urgently securing extra office space to house more staff as surge capacity accommodation and resource to help reduce waiting times while providing future resilience and business continuity.

The DVLA understands the impact that delays can have on people’s everyday lives and is working as quickly as possible to process paper applications and return people’s documentation to them.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing the threshold for weekly earnings to be eligible for Carers Allowance.

The Carer’s Allowance (CA) weekly earnings limit has increased by nearly a third since 2010 (£100 to £128), reflecting the increase in average earnings in recent years.

Going forward we plan to modernise the CA earnings rules and processes so they do more to support carers in combining their caring responsibilities with work where they can, by automating more of the earnings process by making fuller use of HMRC’s real time earnings information.

The Government keeps the earnings limit under review and increases it when warranted and affordable.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will clarify whether registered charities or voluntary organisations providing exempt accommodation under The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Supported Accommodation) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 can be connected to profit making organisations.

In order to meet the definition of exempt accommodation in Housing Benefit legislation, the provider of the claimant’s accommodation must be a non-metropolitan county council in England, a housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation.

Exempt accommodation providers can work with third parties such as leasing properties from them. Local authorities will consider this when assessing the Housing Benefit claim and deciding whether the conditions set out in the legislation have been met. Additionally, registered charities are regulated by the Charity Commission (in England and Wales) whilst voluntary organisations such as community interest companies have their own regulators that oversee their activities.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking with the Child Maintenance Service to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are protected from financial control.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is committed to ensuring that victims and survivors of domestic abuse get the support they need to use the CMS safely.

Parents who have experienced domestic abuse are exempt from paying the application fee. There are no ongoing charges for using Direct Pay, which is designed to be a safe service for victims of domestic abuse.

The CMS provides advice and support to help parents use the Service, without needing to have contact with an abusive ex-partner. This includes acting as an intermediary and providing information to parents about how to set up non-traceable payment methods. In addition, all CMS caseworkers have received specific training, developed with input from Women’s Aid, on domestic abuse so they can quickly identify parents who need additional support.

Those found to be abusing the system are subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps is the Child Maintenance Service taking to assess the finances of parents claiming they cannot pay due to the covid-19 outbreak.

No one should use this time as an excuse to avoid their child maintenance payments. However, where paying parents experience a change in income, we can review their case and check if the amount paid should change. If it does not, they should continue to make payments.

No one will get away with giving false information and those abusing the system will find themselves subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place in the Library any guidance or training materials that were issued by her Department to the Child Maintenance Service on how to manage changes in procedure in response to the covid-19 outbreak where domestic abuse was a factor.

All CMS staff are trained in how to support women who disclose domestic abuse and have access to The Domestic Abuse Plan which guides caseworkers through the appropriate action to take to help safeguard vulnerable women.

There are currently no plans to place Child Maintenance Service guidance or training materials in the Library.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to support disabled employees of Arlington Automotive following the insolvency of that company and resulting job losses.

We know this is a worrying time for people, and DWP are ready to support anyone impacted by job loss.

In response to covid-19, DWP has established an alternative service to our usual face to face offer. People will be able to access redundancy help and job search advice on the Department’s new Job Help campaign website. There’s also information on gov.uk. and updated information packs provided to employers to help them signpost employees to the support that is available. The support available includes:

  • Connecting people to jobs in the labour market.
  • Help with job search including CV writing, interview skills, where to find jobs and how to apply for them.
  • Help to identify transferable skills and skills gaps (linked to the local labour market)
  • What benefits they may get and how to claim

In addition, officials in the Solihull Jobcentre have supported both the employer and employees of Arlington Automotive, by providing a factsheet which gives an overview of the help and support through Jobcentre plus; details regarding the National Careers Service and relevant links. The factsheet is also available in alternative formats.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of setting up an enforcement telephone line for employees to report employers that are not following social distancing guidance relating to covid-19.

Employees with concerns about social distancing measures in their workplace can contact the Health and Safety Executive Concerns and Advice Team by completing an on-line form accessible on the HSE website https://www.hse.gov.uk/ or by calling the team on 0300 003 1647.

Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm (on Wednesdays from 10am to 5pm). HSE encourages workers to try to resolve workplace concerns through local discussions before contacting the enforcement body where possible.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what contingency plans she has to ensure that people unable to attend tribunal hearings for benefit allocations as a result of self-isolating have adequate living funds.

HMCTS has set out its priorities for managing the response to the coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation. This includes advice to those self-isolating to contact the tribunal in which the hearing is to take place. Judges can consider an audio or video hearing.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is his assessment of the impact of the covid-19 (a) outbreak and (b) vaccine rollout on the delivery of HPV vaccines in schools for 2021-22.

Routine childhood immunisation programmes continued to be delivered in primary care during the early stages of the pandemic. However, the closure of schools from 23 March 2020 disrupted the delivery of all school-aged immunisation programmes, including human papillomavirus (HPV).

Providers have adopted a flexible and transformative delivery model to address this and ensure that those who are eligible can receive their vaccinations. This includes prioritisation of immunisations based on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice, digitalising consent processes and utilising a range of alternative community settings to deliver vaccines where appropriate. The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England are working with the Department for Education to ensure that schools facilitate the continuation of vaccinations and improve uptake rates.

Providers are currently focussed on delivering the flu vaccine in schools as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The prioritisation of the flu vaccine is usual for this time of year and school providers will recommence work on routine vaccinations and those outstanding in the new year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to progress the delivery of HPV vaccination, following the Minister's response to HC Deb, 25 March 2021, who stated that missed school aged vaccinations would be delivered no later than August 2021.

The closure of schools from 23 March 2020 interrupted the delivery of school-aged immunisation programmes, including human papillomavirus (HPV). NHS England and its commissioned school aged providers continue to implement the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation regarding HPV vaccinations. The National Health Service is therefore prioritising the first dose of HPV vaccine for all those eligible whilst working to recover those school aged immunisations which have been previously missed. The Department and NHS England are working closely with the Department for Education to ensure that schools facilitate the continuation of vaccinations and improving uptake rates for school-aged vaccinations.

Providers are currently focussed on delivering the flu vaccine in schools, as is usual for this time of year, as well as the COVID-19 and expanded flu immunisation programme. School providers will recommence work on routine and outstanding vaccinations in the new year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what inspection regime is planned of sites where patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 are housed where they are not inspected by the Care Quality Commission.

Detentions for treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983 must take place in hospital and as such are inspected by the Care Quality Commission. Persons may exceptionally be subject to short-term holding powers elsewhere, for example in police stations, which are inspected by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made for the risk of women turning to illegal online abortion medication at home if he remove the temporary approval given during the covid-19 outbreak to women and girls to take an early medical abortion following a telephone or e-consultation with a clinician.

The Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women has now closed. We are considering all evidence submitted, including relating to illegal online abortion websites and plan to publish our response later this year.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his plans are to ensure the future protection for immunocompromised or immunosuppressed groups who are potentially at greater risk from covid-19 than the general population after the rollout of the vaccine.

Immunocompromised individuals are a priority cohort for research into therapeutic and prophylaxis treatments, such as monoclonal antibody therapies and repurposed compounds. The new Antivirals Taskforce is also identifying effective treatments for patients who have been exposed to the virus to prevent the spread of infection spreading and accelerate recovery time. The National Health Service is also developing plans to deploy monoclonal antibody therapies if these become available.

We are ensuring the supply of these treatments in the event that they are found to be effective at treating COVID-19, including for immunocompromised individuals.

Until these treatments are available, patients with immunosuppression are advised to continue to follow advice to reduce their chance of exposure.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to reduce the number of people with sarcoma who are diagnosed at stages three and four.

People diagnosed with sarcoma and those with a family history or risk factors are able to access genomics tests as commissioned through the NHS England genomics test directory to aid early diagnosis and treatment options.

There are fifteen specialist soft tissue sarcoma cancer centres and five specialist bone sarcoma centres in England. All accept referrals for patients with suspected diagnoses from genomics results or primary or acute care, thereby improving early diagnosis and treatments. Specialists sarcoma centres provide a full range of sarcoma care, ranging from diagnostics, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and any long-term follow-up. This can also include specialist palliative care and survivorship, when provided by a specialist cancer centre.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide funding for research into covid-19 vaccine efficacy among all types of blood cancer.

As part of the COVID-19 Immunity National Core Study, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing initial funding of £1.8 million for 12 months towards the OCTAVE study, examining the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups and £3 million towards a new research call to support projects investigating COVID-19 vaccine responses and immune failure. UKRI is also supporting the COVID-19 Data and Connectivity National Core Studies Programme with an investment of up to £15.2 million, which will enable studies including the evaluation of vaccine uptake and efficacy across all populations, including people with blood cancer.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to measure the value of covid-19 vaccine boosters for (a) people with blood cancer and (b) other immunocompromised groups.

To ensure ongoing protection for the United Kingdom population, particularly the most vulnerable, we are preparing for a potential booster vaccination programme. While we are planning for several potential scenarios, final decisions on the timing and scope of the booster programme will not be taken until later this year, in line with results from key clinical studies. This includes the OCTAVE study, which will examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups, including patients with certain immunocompromised conditions such as blood cancer.

Any decision on a booster vaccination programme will be informed by independent advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the extent of the UK’s access to monoclonal antibody therapies as an alternative to covid-19 vaccines.

The Therapeutics Taskforce continues to monitor a range of COVID-19 therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies, aimed at different stages of the treatment pathway. There has been a collaboration with the Vaccines Taskforce to assess the potential of neutralising monoclonal antibodies to provide passive immunity as an alternative to COVID-19 vaccines. We continue to work closely with the cross-agency group RAPID C-19, to assess evidence from clinical trials and delivery to patients, following regulatory approval.

We are in contact with a number of manufacturers to ensure that United Kingdom patients have access to COVID-19 therapeutics as evidence continues to emerge.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department to ensure that the Statutory Guidance to the Domestic Abuse Act 2020 includes best practice on interventions in health to ensure that they are implemented consistently throughout (a) care commissioning group and (b) NHS trust areas.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regularly speaks to Cabinet colleagues.

As set out in the NHS Constitution for England, the National Health Service aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism, with the patient at the heart of everything the NHS does.

Best practice is already shared in a number of ways, including through events, guidance and resources such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standards. Accountability and regulatory structures are also in place to ensure commissioned health services meet high standards of quality and safety.

In this case, the new Domestic Abuse Commissioner will help drive further consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas and agencies.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure the adequacy of funding for (a) best practice and (b) evidence-based interventions throughout the health service for victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regularly speaks to Cabinet colleagues. Funding is agreed with HM Treasury and funding beyond 2020/21 will be addressed through the next Spending Review due later this year.

Taking a multi-agency approach is important to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse. The Ministry of Justice will be developing a cross-Government victim funding strategy to ensure a strategic and joined-up approach to funding at both national and local level to maximise the impact of support we provide to victims and witnesses.

The Department will continue working with our partners to share best practice. The Pathfinder project developed a toolkit which is available for free online and aims to support development of a model health response to domestic abuse.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure the adequacy of funding for the effective provision of (a) services and (b) referrals in relation to incidences of violence against women and girls.

The National Health Service will see its day-to-day spending rise by £33.9 billion in cash terms by 2023-24, compared with 2018-2019, and the public health grant saw a real term increase to £3.279 billion in 2020/21. Responsibility for local decisions on funding services rest with the local areas to meet the needs of their population.

There are a wide range of healthcare services that victims and survivors of violence against women and girls may access. This includes sexual assault referral centres and female genital mutilation support clinics. The 47 sexual assault referral centres received £35 million in 2019/20, rising from £27 million in 2017/18.

We will continue to work across Government and agencies to ensure the effective provision of services to support victims and survivors and support multi-agency working and referrals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) safeguarding documents and (b) risk assessments that were undertaken to ensure that the test, track, trace and isolate scheme would be safe for victims of domestic and interpersonal abuse, in order to ensure that scheme cannot be used to isolate victims of abuse maliciously.

We are assessing the impact of the Test and Trace service on an ongoing basis as the service develops, taking into account those in vulnerable groups such as victims of domestic violence and abuse. This assessment is being used to inform policy development and actions to mitigate any impacts identified. A package of mitigations has been put in place to reduce the impact self-isolation may have on those affected by domestic abuse, including Government funding to domestic abuse charities and the launch of a new public awareness campaign highlighting the support available.

We have prioritised security and privacy in all stages of the service’s development and are considering steps to further safeguard it from malicious use.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the failure to collect completed tests from a number of care homes, whether there has been a problem with the courier system for the collection of covid-19 tests from care homes; how many incidences of a failure to collect completed tests there have been in England; what steps he is taking to investigate the failure to collect completed tests from care homes; and what steps he is taking to ensure new tests are carried out at those homes.

In the rare case where logistical issues have been identified, we have a dedicated team who are able to further investigate and respond.

Between 30 July and 5 August 2020, 43.3% of test results for satellite testing, which includes care home testing, were received within 48 hours of the test being taken. Care homes predominantly use satellite test kits as they need greater control and flexibility over when tests are collected. For example, tests may be conducted over multiple days with a collection scheduled a few days later.

Due to this, a lower proportion of test results will be available within 24 hours of the test being taken. We are encouraging more care homes to conduct testing over the weekend (Friday to Sunday) where possible to do so, to make better use of available lab capacity which should support faster turn-around times.

Turnaround times for tests conducted under Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 are published weekly on GOV.uk as part of the Weekly NHS Test and Trace Bulletin.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether cleaning staff working in hospitals and other healthcare settings are eligible for the death in service benefit announced on 27 April 2020.

The Government is in the process of setting up a life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff in England who contract COVID-19 during the course of their work.

The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of COVID-19 and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have recently contracted COVID-19. The scheme is also available to staff whose duties require them to be present in a frontline National Health Service or social care setting where COVID-19 is present including cleaning staff.

The scheme covers all frontline staff who are employed by a statutory NHS organisation, or who work for organisations that support the delivery of NHS services or who work on an NHS contract.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ensure that people who have recently been in contact with women at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre who have become infected with covid-19 will be tested for that disease.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that COVID-19 testing is only routinely being carried out on symptomatic patients arriving at hospital.

This is in line with NHS England and NHS Improvement national policy to utilise tests and laboratory capacity for urgent hospitalised patients. The Government has confirmed a major national effort to boost testing capacity. With a focus on ensuring the highest priority cases are tested first, officials are working to rapidly increase the number of tests that can be conducted by Public Health England and the National Health Service in laboratories, with the expected surge in capacity ready within four weeks.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to identify individuals in detention with underlying health conditions; and if he will take steps to ensure that all people in detention are screened to determine whether they have a relevant condition that makes them vulnerable during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have released patient data to the Heads of Healthcare across the secure and detained estate and to centre directors. This will mean that this patient cohort can be identified and protectively isolated and managed across establishments in the event of a confirmed positive case and any potential unconfirmed cases.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will make it its policy to introduce specific targets for climate finance that support gender equality and women and organisations at the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Since 2011, UK International Climate Finance (ICF) has directly supported 88 million people to cope with the effects of climate change. We have committed to doubling our ICF to £11.6bn between 2021 - 2026 and through this will continue to empower and support women and girls. Through the UK COP Presidency, we are championing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Action Plan which seeks to increase the gender-responsiveness of climate finance.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to offer small business a payment holiday or longer term repayment scheme for VAT contributions during the covid-19 outbreak.

HMRC already offer help to businesses struggling to meet their VAT payments with arrangements such as Time to Pay. HMRC also have a dedicated helpline for those who cannot pay because of the coronavirus.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has pledged a range of measures to help business through the crisis, including grants, loans and relief from business rates worth more than £300 billion. The Chancellor will continue to review and make further announcements as events unfold.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle the fear of reporting to the police faced by victims of domestic abuse with insecure immigration status, including through the establishment of a firewall.

The Home Office are currently undertaking a review into data sharing arrangements concerning migrant victims and witnesses of crime with insecure immigration status, acting upon the recommendation within HMICFRS’s super-complaint report ‘Safe to Share?’. The review will consider initiatives that seek to encourage the reporting of crime by migrant victims and witnesses with insecure immigration status, including the further consideration of a mechanism for establishing a firewall between police and immigration enforcement services. The outcome of the review is to establish safe reporting mechanisms for victims and witnesses of crime. The review is being developed in close consultation with migrant victims representative organisations to inform and shape review conclusions. As set out in legislation, the review will be published by no later than 29 December 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish an update on her Department's review into data-sharing practices between the police and immigration enforcement and measures to establish a firewall.

The Home Office are currently undertaking a review into data sharing arrangements concerning migrant victims and witnesses of crime with insecure immigration status, acting upon the recommendation within HMICFRS’s super-complaint report ‘Safe to Share?’. The review will consider initiatives that seek to encourage the reporting of crime by migrant victims and witnesses with insecure immigration status, including the further consideration of a mechanism for establishing a firewall between police and immigration enforcement services. The outcome of the review is to establish safe reporting mechanisms for victims and witnesses of crime. The review is being developed in close consultation with migrant victims representative organisations to inform and shape review conclusions. As set out in legislation, the review will be published by no later than 29 December 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to set up a redress scheme to ensure that all eligible survivors of trafficking and slavery who were denied subsistence payments are able to receive the back-dated payments.

We are aware that between 1 April 2015 – 30 November 2019, individuals who were in receipt of financial support payments during their time in the (then) Victim Care Contract (VCC) could have seen their support payments reduced as a result of them receiving alternative sources of income. This was in a way that was not in line with published policy or with the wording of the VCC. When uncovered, this practice was ceased in November 2019.

As back-payments may be appropriate in some cases, we are currently working on a process to establish individual eligibility and considering back-payment mechanisms.

We continue to work diligently to finalise these considerations, to provide the most effective remedy to those who could have been affected by incorrect financial support reductions. We will provide further details as our work progresses.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will publish the outcomes framework it is working towards in assessing the (a) quality and (b) outcome of current domestic abuse training from her work with the College of Policing; and when she expects to be able to report on that work.

The Domestic Abuse Matters programme, commissioned by the College of Policing and developed in collaboration with SafeLives has so far been delivered to 25 forces as of January this year, with a further six forces in discussion. The College keeps training content under continuous review.

A recent evaluation (link below) of the training found that the Domestic Abuse Matters programme is effective in increasing the levels of recording and the number of arrests for coercive and controlling behaviour.

Policing a new domestic abuse crime: effects of force-wide training on arrests for coercive control: Policing and Society: Vol 0, No 0 (tandfonline.com)

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will take steps to tackle serious exploitation and abuse of migrant domestic workers by restoring the visa that was in place between 1998 to 2012 under which migrant domestic workers were workers in their own right and therefore able to (a) renew their visa and (b) change employer without restrictions.

The Government does not intend to reinstate the visa category for Domestic Workers in a Private Household, which closed to new arrivals in April 2012.

The Overseas Domestic Worker (ODW) visa provides for domestic workers in a private household to accompany their employer, where their employer is visiting the UK. The ODW visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months and ODWs are expected to leave the UK at the end of their stay, in line with the purpose of the route.

ODWs are permitted to change employer at any time, for any reason, during the validity of their visa. A dedicated process exists for victims of modern slavery who entered the UK as a domestic worker. In addition to support provided by the Single Competent Authority, via the National Referral Mechanism, migrant domestic worker victims of modern slavery can apply for permission to stay for up to two additional years.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people killed in a domestic homicide were over 50 years of age in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

Information on domestic homicides is held in the Home Office Homicide Index. The latest available data shows that in 2019/20, there were 54 victims of domestic homicide where the victim was aged over 50, accounting for 47% of all domestic homicides. The figures for 2018/19 were 46 victims and 34%.

This information is correct as at 15 December 2020; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the thematic review led by Her Majesty's inspectorate into policing responses to violence against women and girls was first commissioned; and if she place the terms of reference for the review in the Library.

Following the Home Secretary’s letter of 14 March to Sir Tom Winsor (Letter from the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP to Sir Thomas Winsor (justiceinspectorates.gov.uk) and subsequent discussions with HMICFRS, we formally commissioned this inspection on 26 March.

We have asked the Inspectorate to begin work immediately with the Department to define and agree the detailed terms of reference and an appropriate timeframe for its completion. We have asked to be kept updated on progress.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she takes to assess the (a) potential effectiveness and (b) effectiveness of projects that receive Prevent strategy funding.

The Home Office funds dedicated Prevent posts and locally commissioned projects in local authorities where the risk of radicalisation is most acute, to reduce the threat from terrorism.

Evaluating the effectiveness of projects that receive Prevent funding and learning what is working is an integral part of the Prevent programme. Regular assessments are conducted by the Home Office, and we commission independent evaluation of a selection of projects that receive funding each year. In addition, local authorities commission and undertake their own evaluation of the projects that they fund.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that victims of modern slavery with EU/EEA nationality living in the UK before December 31 2020 are able to apply for settled status in the event that they do not meet the deadline to apply as a result of their experience of exploitation; and if she will make a statement.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the Government has made clear, where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by EEA citizens and their family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Examples of such reasonable grounds will include victims of modern slavery and other people in abusive or controlling situations or relationships who were prevented from applying. Non-exhaustive guidance will be published on what constitutes such reasonable grounds, to underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, in light of the circumstances of each case.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to transpose into domestic law EU Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims; and if she will make a statement.

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

While the EU Exit transition period ended on 31 December 2020, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and relevant policy guidance is unaffected. The UK is still bound by international obligations in relation to preventing and combatting human trafficking and modern slavery – most notably the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT) and Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), neither of which have been impacted by our exit from the EU.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has consulted public health directors on the potential effect on public health of the cessation of people's refugee status in areas where those people are due to receive eviction letters from asylum accommodation.

Failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights are eligible to receive accommodation and other support provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a legal or practical obstacle to their departure. The Home Office Voluntary Returns Scheme pays for the flight to the home country and provides reintegration assistance.

Only failed asylum seekers who are able to take steps to leave the UK, but choose not to, are therefore issued with notices that their support will be discontinued.

The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance.

These decisions currently remain paused pending consideration of the impact of the current coronavirus restrictions.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

Before taking any decision to resume negative cessations we will continue to work with and share our approach with Public Health authorities and will work within public health guidelines and legal advice.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many instances there have been of an Independent Child Trafficking Guardian acting as a litigation friend for a child in each of the last five years.

The Home Office does not hold this data.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what safeguards are in place to ensure that people who have been refused asylum will not become homeless after 21 days of receiving their cessation letter.

Failed asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights are eligible to receive accommodation and other support provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a legal or practical obstacle to their departure. The Home Office Voluntary Returns Scheme pays for the flight to the home country and provides reintegration assistance.

Only failed asylum seekers who are able to take steps to leave the UK, but choose not to, are therefore issued with notices that their support will be discontinued.

The process of issuing discontinuation notices is kept under regular review, taking consideration of public health guidance.

These decisions currently remain paused pending consideration of the impact of the current coronavirus restrictions.

We have been working closely with National and Local health Colleagues throughout the pandemic to inform our approach and will continue to do so.

Before taking any decision to resume negative cessations we will continue to work with and share our approach with Public Health authorities and will work within public health guidelines and legal advice.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a requirement for statutory agencies to refer women who disclose (a) historical and (b) ongoing sexual exploitation to specialist sexual exploitation services.

The Government is committed to tackling all forms of sexual violence and exploitation, ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives and that those responsible are prosecuted.

We are committed to ensuring that victims of these crimes have access to high-quality support services to help them cope with and, as far as possible, recover from the effects of crime. The right to access these services is set out in the recently revised Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.

The recently revised Victims’ Code, which comes into force on 1 April 2021, will ensure that victims benefit from a clearer set of rights and that these rights are recognised at every stage of the justice system. The revised Victims’ Code provides a solid foundation on which we can progress the Victims’ Law. The Ministry of Justice aims to consult on the full details of the Victims’ Law later this year.

Potential victims of sexual exploitation have access to specialist support and advocacy services to assist them in rebuilding their lives and reintegrating into local communities. The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the process by which the UK identifies and supports potential victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation by connecting them with appropriate support, which may be delivered through the specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC), local authorities and asylum services.

The introduction of the new MSVCC, which went live on the 4 January 2021, has brought about a number of new services and greater prescription to existing services to better meet the needs of each victim, including those with specialist or complex needs. The MSVCC will continue to provide accommodation, financial support payments, translation and interpretation, transport and access to an outreach support worker for those who are identified as a potential victim and receive a positive Reasonable Grounds decision from the Single Competent Authority.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that girls who are experiencing sexual exploitation continue to receive support when responsibility for their safety and wellbeing transitions from children to adult safeguarding services.

Sexual exploitation is a devastating crime. The Government understands and recognises that exploitation does not end just because a child reaches 18 years of age. The statutory safeguarding guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, is clear that agencies should work together to plan and prepare for this transition. The Home Office is working closely with colleagues across government, including with the Department of Health and Social Care, to ensure children transitioning from child to adult services continue to receive support, where this is needed.

Provision of support for victims of all forms of sexual violence and abuse is a priority for the Government. We have significantly increased funding for support services across the country, which victims and survivors can access throughout their lifetime to help them cope with the devastating impact of sexual abuse and exploitation. For example, in 2020 the Ministry of Justice increased the funding available to rape support centres across England and Wales by 50%, from £8 million to £12 million per annum, to provide much needed support to victims of sexual violence and abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support her Department provides to specialist services for women who experience racism and who have survived sexual exploitation.

All forms of sexual violence are terrible crimes and the Government continues to fund support to victims.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we allocated £76m to support victims of modern slavery, domestic abuse and sexual violence. This included a £25m package to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, £10m of which was ringfenced for organisations supporting victims of sexual violence. The Ministry of Justice have also recently announced that £10.1m will be provided to rape and domestic abuse support centres and Police and Crime Commissioners to fund services in local areas. The Home Office is also providing £200,000 in 2020/21 to specialist sexual violence support services through its National Sexual Violence Support Fund.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice has awarded £12 million to 91 rape support centres across England and Wales to provide independent, specialist support to female and male victims of sexual violence, including victims of child sexual abuse. This is an increase of £4 million from 2019/20, and a total investment of £32m over three years from April 2019 to March 2022.

An additional £4m per annum until 2022 is also being invested in recruiting more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) to help victims feel informed and supported at every stage of their recovery journey.

We understand that individuals can be the victims of multiple and different abusive behaviours because of the way different characteristics, including immigration status, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position and sexuality intersect and overlap, particularly in relation to accessing services and support. We will be publishing a new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in the spring which will ensure we can better support victims. To inform the new strategy, we launched a Call for Evidence on 10 December, inviting responses from the public, organisations that provide support to victims and survivors, frontline professionals, and academics. We are actively seeking input from minority groups and intend to hold focus groups to ensure we hear the perspectives of people with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, refugee violence against women and girls experts, deaf and disabled violence against women and girls experts, and others.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure there is adequate access to safe accommodation for adults fleeing sexual exploitation.

Sexual exploitation can be a form of modern slavery. The Government remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of victims of modern slavery and supports adult victims through the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC).

The MSVCC is available for adult victims in England and Wales. Support for victims of modern slavery is devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The MSVCC provides support to adults who have been referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), have received a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, and have consented to support.

The MSVCC ensures the safeguarding and protection of victims as well as providing tailored support according to each victim’s recovery needs, including accommodation, financial support and specialist support workers.

Emergency accommodation is available before a Reasonable Grounds decision for any potential victim who has consented to enter the NRM and is destitute with no access to safe accommodation. In this situation, an immediate referral can be made by a First Responder Organisation to The Salvation Army.

Individuals supported through the MSVCC receive a needs-based assessment which considers whether they have a need for MSVCC accommodation. Accommodation is available where a need is identified, and due regard is given to the circumstances of each potential or confirmed victim.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have been referred to the Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship service broken since October 2018; and what information her Department holds on the (a) looked after children status, (b) age, (c) gender and (d) nationality of those children.

The Home Office has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice for trafficked children, in one third of local authorities across England and Wales. ICTGs provide one-to-one support for children who have no one with parental responsibility for them in the UK via an ICTG Direct Worker (DW). They also provide an expert ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinator (RPC), first introduced in October 2018, for children where there is someone with parental responsibility for them in the UK.

Data tables published in October 2020 as part of the Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – Regional Practice Co-ordinators: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-analysis-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians show ICTG referral data between October 2018 and December 2019:

(a) The Home Office does hold data about the LAC status of children within the ICTG service. However, this data is not currently published and so, on this basis, we cannot provide any details on how many children receiving ICTG support are LAC.

(b) The split of gender in this timeframe is 378 males (243 DW and 135 RPC) and 134 females (77 DW and 57 RPC), these do not include some values that have been suppressed in order to protect the confidentiality of children in the ICTG service.

(c) The split by age group in this timeframe is:

  • 49 aged 0-13 (37 DW and 12 RPC);
  • 44 age 14 (28 DW and 16 RPC);
  • 90 age 15 (57 DW and 33 RPC);
  • 155 age 16 (107 DW and 48 RPC);
  • 148 age 17 (83 DW and 65 RPC); and
  • 18 age 18 (18 RPC).

These also do not include values that have been supressed in order to protect the confidentiality of children in the ICTG service.

(d) The total RPC caseload in this timeframe was 193 children. Out of this, 174 children were UK nationals. Due to the small numbers involved, data on other nationalities within the RPC caseload has not been provided in order to protect confidentiality.

For the DW role the following data is recorded for the timeframe: 320 children in total on the DW caseload. 56 Vietnamese nationals, 40 Sudanese nationals, 38 UK nationals, 30 Albanian nationals, 23 Gambian nationals, 22 Afghan nationals, 19 Romanian nationals, 17 Ghanaian nationals, 13 Eritrean nationals, 10 Iraqi nationals and 6 Iranian nationals. As with the RPC role, other nationalities cannot be included due to small numbers and the confidentiality required.

The Home Office publishes statistics on NRM referrals on a quarterly basis, reports from Q2 2019 – Q3 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Reports from 2018 and 2017 can be found here respectively:

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/282-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-end-of-year-summary-2018/file and; https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/159-modern-slavery-and-human-trafficking-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-annual-report-2017/file.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications of the covid-19 outbreak for the implementation of the Prevent strategy.

The Prevent programme has continued to be delivered effectively throughout Covid-19. Prevent referrals are continuing to be assessed and managed by Local Authorities and Police, and individuals are continuing to be supported through the Channel early intervention programme. Engagement and training are being delivered to Prevent practitioners and Prevent Duty statutory partners to ensure they remain well-equipped to identify and support those vulnerable to radicalisation.

The increased use of the internet as a result of Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the need to remain vigilant of terrorists and their supporters seeking to exploit the situation. We are working closely with tech companies, international partners and civil society organisations to ensure preventing terrorist use of their platforms continues to be a priority and that tech companies are effectively responding quickly to any emerging threats.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has undertaken due diligence checks on projects that receive Prevent strategy funding.

For projects that receive Prevent strategy funding, due diligence checks are undertaken by the relevant Local Authority before entering into any agreement with a Project Provider. The due diligence requirement is set out in the terms and conditions agreement between the Home Office and the relevant Local Authority which has been awarded funds for Prevent delivery.

The terms and conditions require the relevant Local Authority to “ensure that it carries out a thorough and proportionate documented due diligence process to understand an organisations’ financial status, viability and capability; technical skills and capacity; operational and commercial processes and procedures; background and history”.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of children referred into the national referral mechanism have not received an independent child trafficking guardian direct worker or regional practice coordinator in all quarters for the period of Quarter 1 2017 to Quarter 3 2020 by local authority area.

The Home Office has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice for trafficked children, in one-third of local authorities across England and Wales. ICTGs provide one-to-one support for children who have no one with parental responsibility for them in the UK via an ICTG Direct Worker. They also provide an expert ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinator (RPC), first introduced in October 2018, for children where there is someone with parental responsibility for them in the UK.

A staggered approach has been adopted in the delivery of ICTGs, together with built-in evaluations to ensure the delivery of the correct ICTG model. Data tables published in October 2020 as part of the Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – Regional Practice Co-ordinators: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-analysis-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians show how ICTG referrals have increased since 2017, split by local authority area. This data covers the period from Q1 2017 – Q4 2019. The Home Office does not hold data on children not referred to the ICTG service by local authority area.

The Home Office publishes statistics on NRM referrals on a quarterly basis, reports from Q2 2019 – Q3 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Reports from 2018 and 2017 can be found here respectively:

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/282-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-end-of-year-summary-2018/file and; https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/159-modern-slavery-and-human-trafficking-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-annual-report-2017/file.

The NRM and ICTG data is held separately; it is not one linked dataset.

The Home Office does not hold data on Looked After Children that do not receive support from the ICTG service. On this basis, we cannot provide any details on how many and what proportion of Looked After Children have been not been allocated an Independent Child Trafficking Guardian Direct Worker.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will work with specialist organisations to create a national framework for adult survivors of sexual exploitation, led by her Department and including a statutory definition of adult sexual exploitation.

The Government is committed to tackling modern slavery including sexual exploitation. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. Section 3 of the Act defines the meaning of exploitation in the context of modern slavery and sexual exploitation is included within this definition.

In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 201 , https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act-final-report to identify what can be improved in the implementation of the Act and whether specific areas of the legislation need to be strengthened. The Review found that the meaning of exploitation should not be amended as it is sufficiently flexible to meet a range of circumstances, including new and emerging forms of modern slavery.

The Government also published statutory guidance under Section 49 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950690/January_2021_-_Modern_Slavery_Statutory_Guidance__E_W__Non-Statutory_Guidance__S_NI__v2.pdf of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in March 2020, providing a clear framework of support for some of the most vulnerable people in society. The guidance clarifies the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff and local stakeholders and sets out the support victims are entitled to and how this is accessed.

The Government is very aware that victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation often have needs arising from their exploitation. That is why, the UK Government provides specialist support and advocacy services for victims of modern slavery regardless of their immigration status to assist them in rebuilding their lives and reintegrating into local communities.

The NRM is the process by which the UK identifies and supports potential victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation by connecting them with appropriate support, which may be delivered through the specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC), local authorities and asylum services. The introduction of the new MSVCC, which went live on the 4 January 2021, has brought about a number of new services and greater prescription to existing services to better meet the needs of each victim, including those with specialist or complex needs. The MSVCC will continue to provide accommodation, financial support payments, translation and interpretation, transport and access to an outreach support worker for those who are identified as a potential victim and receive a positive Reasonable Grounds decision from the Single Competent Authority.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of existing statutory responsibilities to support adult survivors of sexual exploitation; and whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to develop that framework.

The Government is committed to tackling modern slavery including sexual exploitation. The Modern Slavery Act 2015, gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle modern slavery, including maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. Section 3 of the Act defines the meaning of exploitation in the context of modern slavery and sexual exploitation is included within this definition.

In July 2018, the Government commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 201 , https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act-final-report to identify what can be improved in the implementation of the Act and whether specific areas of the legislation need to be strengthened. The Review found that the meaning of exploitation should not be amended as it is sufficiently flexible to meet a range of circumstances, including new and emerging forms of modern slavery.

The Government also published statutory guidance under Section 49 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950690/January_2021_-_Modern_Slavery_Statutory_Guidance__E_W__Non-Statutory_Guidance__S_NI__v2.pdf of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in March 2020, providing a clear framework of support for some of the most vulnerable people in society. The guidance clarifies the roles and responsibilities of frontline staff and local stakeholders and sets out the support victims are entitled to and how this is accessed.

The Government is very aware that victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation often have needs arising from their exploitation. That is why, the UK Government provides specialist support and advocacy services for victims of modern slavery regardless of their immigration status to assist them in rebuilding their lives and reintegrating into local communities.

The NRM is the process by which the UK identifies and supports potential victims of modern slavery including sexual exploitation by connecting them with appropriate support, which may be delivered through the specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC), local authorities and asylum services. The introduction of the new MSVCC, which went live on the 4 January 2021, has brought about a number of new services and greater prescription to existing services to better meet the needs of each victim, including those with specialist or complex needs. The MSVCC will continue to provide accommodation, financial support payments, translation and interpretation, transport and access to an outreach support worker for those who are identified as a potential victim and receive a positive Reasonable Grounds decision from the Single Competent Authority.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of Looked After Children have been not been allocated an Independent Child Trafficking Guardian Direct Worker by (a) age, (b) gender and (c) nationality since October 2018.

The Home Office has rolled out Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice for trafficked children, in one-third of local authorities across England and Wales. ICTGs provide one-to-one support for children who have no one with parental responsibility for them in the UK via an ICTG Direct Worker. They also provide an expert ICTG Regional Practice Co-ordinator (RPC), first introduced in October 2018, for children where there is someone with parental responsibility for them in the UK.

A staggered approach has been adopted in the delivery of ICTGs, together with built-in evaluations to ensure the delivery of the correct ICTG model. Data tables published in October 2020 as part of the Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians – Regional Practice Co-ordinators: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-analysis-of-independent-child-trafficking-guardians show how ICTG referrals have increased since 2017, split by local authority area. This data covers the period from Q1 2017 – Q4 2019. The Home Office does not hold data on children not referred to the ICTG service by local authority area.

The Home Office publishes statistics on NRM referrals on a quarterly basis, reports from Q2 2019 – Q3 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Reports from 2018 and 2017 can be found here respectively:

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/282-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-end-of-year-summary-2018/file and; https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/159-modern-slavery-and-human-trafficking-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-annual-report-2017/file.

The NRM and ICTG data is held separately; it is not one linked dataset.

The Home Office does not hold data on Looked After Children that do not receive support from the ICTG service. On this basis, we cannot provide any details on how many and what proportion of Looked After Children have been not been allocated an Independent Child Trafficking Guardian Direct Worker.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accessibility of the EU Settlement Scheme for victims of (a) modern slavery and (b) human trafficking.

The Settlement Scheme is an accessible scheme which handles vulnerable customers with sensitivity and flexibility, according to their needs.

We have adopted a mixed model approach, using a range of responses to accommodate the often diverse and complex needs that particularly vulnerable people might present, including victims of modern slavery and trafficking.

A user group of external Grant Funded Organisations (GFOs) which represent the needs of vulnerable individuals has been established to work with the Home Office to assess and understand relevant risks and issues and to ensure the right support arrangements are in place for vulnerable applicants.

38 of those GFOs specialise in helping victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and can provide a bespoke support service to those individuals eligible to apply to EUSS.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the total number is of women known to the police to have been subjected to domestic abuse or coercive control who have died in sudden or unexplained circumstances; and for how many and what proportion of that number the cause of death was classed as (a) homicide, (b) suicide, (c) accidental, (d) natural causes and (e) open verdicts.

The Home Office does not hold the information in the categories requested. However, according to the Office of National Statistics, in the period April 2018-March 2019, in 99 cases of Female Homicide the suspect was either a son, daughter, family member or former or current partner.

Some of this information is included in Domestic Homicide Reviews; government is currently reviewing how to collate such information.

The statistics can be found on this link https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/homicideinenglandandwales/yearendingmarch2019/relateddata

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what safeguards are in place to ensure that people who have been refused asylum will not become homeless 21 days after receiving their cessation letter.

The Home Office took the decision to pause cessations of asylum support on 27 March 2020, so that asylum seekers whose cases were resolved and who would no longer normally be eligible for asylum support would be able to remain in their accommodation and follow the public health guidance in place at that time.

Some “negative cessations” (where the person has been refused asylum and exhausted their appeal rights) resumed from September but were paused again in November following the imposition of stronger lockdown measures. These decisions currently remain paused pending consideration of the impact of the current coronavirus restrictions.

Failed asylum seekers have no basis of stay in the UK and are encouraged and supported to return to their countries of origin where appropriate. The Home Office will pay for the cost of their return home and provides generous reintegration assistance. Where there is a legitimate reason why a person who has been refused asylum cannot return to their country of origin, they can apply for further support from the Home Office under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Before taking any decision to resume negative cessations we will continue to work with and share our approach with Public Health authorities and will work within public health guidelines and legal advice.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether all Prevent projects commissioned by local authorities are pre-approved by her Department.

The Home Office funds dedicated Prevent posts and projects in local authorities where the risk of radicalisation is most acute, to reduce the threat from terrorism.

Local authorities who receive Prevent priority Home Office funding are invited to develop and submit bids for locally commissioned projects. These bids must explain how these projects effectively mitigate the threat in that area. Bids are assessed by the Home Office and moderated by a cross-government panel before funding is approved.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the definition of a civil society organisations in relation to the Prevent strategy includes private companies.

The Home Office funds dedicated Prevent posts and locally commissioned projects in local authorities where the risk of radicalisation is most acute, to reduce the threat from terrorism.

The term Civil Society is an umbrella term for third sector organisations. Prevent projects can be delivered by national and local charities, community groups and organisations and private companies. Local authorities submit bids based on each organisations capability and capacity to deliver a project that will mitigate the threat in their local areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have used the Assisted Voluntary Return service since it re-opened in July 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on returns in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Data on the number of ‘Voluntary returns’ including ‘Assisted returns’ from the UK are published in Table Ret_01 of the Returns summary tables. More detailed breakdowns of the data are available in the Returns detailed datasets.

'Assisted returns' relate to those where people liable to removal from the UK, who wish to leave voluntarily, make an application to the Assisted Voluntary Returns Service.

The published statistics relate to the number of returns from the UK, and may not include all those who have used the voluntary return service (such as those who are awaiting a return, or who did not qualify for the service).

The latest data on returns relates to the year ending June 2020. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on returns.

Figures on the number of people returned in the year ending September 2020 will be published on 25 February 2021.

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

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department changed the immigration rules concerning the Overseas Domestic Worker visa in April 2012; and which (a) people and (b) groups made representations to her Department to call for those changes.

This refers to decisions taken by a previous Government, following public consultation.

Details of this consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-affecting-employment-related-settlement-tier-5-and-overseas-domestic-workers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure victims of modern slavery with EU or EEA nationality, living in the UK before December 31 2020, can apply for settled status in the event they do not meet the deadline to apply as a result of their experience of exploitation.

In line with the citizens’ rights agreements, the Government has made clear that, where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by those resident here by 31 December 2020, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. We intend to publish guidance early in 2021 on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, but examples will include the victims of abusive situations or controlling relationships who were prevented from applying.

There is a range of direct and indirect support available for vulnerable EU citizens. This includes a telephone helpline available where citizens and their carer’s and helpers can discuss any aspect of the application with a trained caseworker at any point during the process. For those who need assistance with IT, the Home Office has put in place an Assisted Digital solution which provides support over the phone, at one of around 300 local centres across the UK or at home with a trained tutor. We have also provided a paper application form for those whose specific individual needs require it.

We have also provided up to £9 million of grant funding in the last financial year to 57 voluntary and community sector organisations across the UK. A further £8 million of grant funding has also been committed this financial year to continue this Home Office funded support. These organisations are being funded and supported by the Home Office to deliver practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens in applying to the scheme. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens/list-of-organisations

In addition, potential victims of modern slavery who are referred into the National Referral Mechanism, will be directly signposted to the EUSS support services which are available.

The Government is committed to eradicating human trafficking and the scourge of modern slavery. The UK currently gives effect to obligations on modern slavery under The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT), Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive (2011/36), through the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and policy guidance. At the end of the EU Exit transition period in December 2020, the UK will no longer be bound by EU law. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and relevant policy guidance will be unaffected. The UK will remain bound by international obligations in relation to preventing and combatting human trafficking and modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accessibility of the EU Settlement Scheme to victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

In line with the citizens’ rights agreements, the Government has made clear that, where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by those resident here by 31 December 2020, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. We intend to publish guidance early in 2021 on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, but examples will include the victims of abusive situations or controlling relationships who were prevented from applying.

There is a range of direct and indirect support available for vulnerable EU citizens. This includes a telephone helpline available where citizens and their carer’s and helpers can discuss any aspect of the application with a trained caseworker at any point during the process. For those who need assistance with IT, the Home Office has put in place an Assisted Digital solution which provides support over the phone, at one of around 300 local centres across the UK or at home with a trained tutor. We have also provided a paper application form for those whose specific individual needs require it.

We have also provided up to £9 million of grant funding in the last financial year to 57 voluntary and community sector organisations across the UK. A further £8 million of grant funding has also been committed this financial year to continue this Home Office funded support. These organisations are being funded and supported by the Home Office to deliver practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens in applying to the scheme. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens/list-of-organisations

In addition, potential victims of modern slavery who are referred into the National Referral Mechanism, will be directly signposted to the EUSS support services which are available.

The Government is committed to eradicating human trafficking and the scourge of modern slavery. The UK currently gives effect to obligations on modern slavery under The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT), Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive (2011/36), through the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and policy guidance. At the end of the EU Exit transition period in December 2020, the UK will no longer be bound by EU law. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and relevant policy guidance will be unaffected. The UK will remain bound by international obligations in relation to preventing and combatting human trafficking and modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to incorporate EU Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims into domestic law.

In line with the citizens’ rights agreements, the Government has made clear that, where a person has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme by those resident here by 31 December 2020, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. We intend to publish guidance early in 2021 on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, but examples will include the victims of abusive situations or controlling relationships who were prevented from applying.

There is a range of direct and indirect support available for vulnerable EU citizens. This includes a telephone helpline available where citizens and their carer’s and helpers can discuss any aspect of the application with a trained caseworker at any point during the process. For those who need assistance with IT, the Home Office has put in place an Assisted Digital solution which provides support over the phone, at one of around 300 local centres across the UK or at home with a trained tutor. We have also provided a paper application form for those whose specific individual needs require it.

We have also provided up to £9 million of grant funding in the last financial year to 57 voluntary and community sector organisations across the UK. A further £8 million of grant funding has also been committed this financial year to continue this Home Office funded support. These organisations are being funded and supported by the Home Office to deliver practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens in applying to the scheme. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens/list-of-organisations

In addition, potential victims of modern slavery who are referred into the National Referral Mechanism, will be directly signposted to the EUSS support services which are available.

The Government is committed to eradicating human trafficking and the scourge of modern slavery. The UK currently gives effect to obligations on modern slavery under The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (ECAT), Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive (2011/36), through the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and policy guidance. At the end of the EU Exit transition period in December 2020, the UK will no longer be bound by EU law. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and relevant policy guidance will be unaffected. The UK will remain bound by international obligations in relation to preventing and combatting human trafficking and modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants for a change of conditions to no recourse to public funds in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017 identified themselves as victims of domestic abuse.

There has been a phased approach to the national roll out of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardian (ICTG) service, with evaluations informing the development of the programme.

This approach will ensure the most appropriate model is rolled out for child victims with the support provided reflecting the changing profile of victims, for example recognising the needs of those who are exploited through ‘county lines’.

The next phase will target the geographical areas with the highest level need that are not already covered by the programme. We are currently in the process of preparing for and running a competed grants process for these additional sites.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department on 28 June 2016, Official Report, WH47, for what reason the Independent Child Trafficking Guardians has not yet been rolled out throughout England and Wales.

There has been a phased approach to the national roll out of the Independent Child Trafficking Guardian (ICTG) service, with evaluations informing the development of the programme.

This approach will ensure the most appropriate model is rolled out for child victims with the support provided reflecting the changing profile of victims, for example recognising the needs of those who are exploited through ‘county lines’.

The next phase will target the geographical areas with the highest level need that are not already covered by the programme. We are currently in the process of preparing for and running a competed grants process for these additional sites.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Government is planning to expand Independent Child Trafficking Guardians to the local authorities that currently have none.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that Government's £1.5m Support for Migrant Victims pilot scheme will be led by specialist BME sector organisations with experience and expertise of working with migrant victims with no recourse to public funds.

We are currently developing the competition strategy with the aim to open the bidding process for the £1.5 million Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) Scheme as soon as possible. By running an open competitive process, we will be encouraging all suitable organisations with experience and expertise of working with and supporting migrant survivors of domestic abuse to engage and apply, as well as engaging with the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a specific strategy on violence against migrant women.

Protecting women and girls from violence remains a key priority of this Government. In March 2019 we published a refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy to update and reinforce our commitment to tackling VAWG.

We are committed to the fight against VAWG and we welcome the views of people across civil society on how best to address these crimes.

We have met regularly with organisations that support BME victims and survivors to discuss both the VAWG Strategy and the Domestic Abuse Bill.

We have prioritised those at risk of domestic abuse throughout the coronavirus pandemic national health emergency, including BME victims.

When allocating some of our emergency funding packages to support the most vulnerable in society at this time, we have specifically encouraged bids from organisations who support minority groups, including BME victims of domestic abuse. We have, for example, allocated £51,714 to Southall Black Sisters, which supports female BME victims of domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG, to enable them to develop an online chat application and a national online referral form to manage the greater number of contacts which they have received as a result of the pandemic.

As part of the Domestic Abuse Bill, we have published draft statutory guidance setting out how individuals can be the victims of multiple and different abusive behaviours because of the way different characteristics, including immigration status, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position and sexuality intersect and overlap, particularly in relation to accessing services and support if they are not adequately designed to meet their needs. The guidance also sets out how those from BME backgrounds may experience additional barriers to receiving help or reporting abuse.

In addition, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s role description states that they must adopt a specific focus on the needs of victims and survivors of domestic abuse from minority or marginalised groups with particular needs, such as victims who are BAME. A thematic lead within the Commissioner’s office will be identified for each of these groups.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to (a) consult specialist BME organisations as part of her Department's violence against women and girls strategy refresh and (b) ensure that strategy contains a section on the needs of abused (i) BME and (ii) migrant women when seeking protection.

Protecting women and girls from violence remains a key priority of this Government. In March 2019 we published a refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy to update and reinforce our commitment to tackling VAWG.

We are committed to the fight against VAWG and we welcome the views of people across civil society on how best to address these crimes.

We have met regularly with organisations that support BME victims and survivors to discuss both the VAWG Strategy and the Domestic Abuse Bill.

We have prioritised those at risk of domestic abuse throughout the coronavirus pandemic national health emergency, including BME victims.

When allocating some of our emergency funding packages to support the most vulnerable in society at this time, we have specifically encouraged bids from organisations who support minority groups, including BME victims of domestic abuse. We have, for example, allocated £51,714 to Southall Black Sisters, which supports female BME victims of domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG, to enable them to develop an online chat application and a national online referral form to manage the greater number of contacts which they have received as a result of the pandemic.

As part of the Domestic Abuse Bill, we have published draft statutory guidance setting out how individuals can be the victims of multiple and different abusive behaviours because of the way different characteristics, including immigration status, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position and sexuality intersect and overlap, particularly in relation to accessing services and support if they are not adequately designed to meet their needs. The guidance also sets out how those from BME backgrounds may experience additional barriers to receiving help or reporting abuse.

In addition, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s role description states that they must adopt a specific focus on the needs of victims and survivors of domestic abuse from minority or marginalised groups with particular needs, such as victims who are BAME. A thematic lead within the Commissioner’s office will be identified for each of these groups.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's announcement entitled, Migrant victims of domestic abuse: review factsheet and the £1.5 million pilot to support migrant victims with no recourse to public funds, what plans her Department has in the event that demand exceeds the budget in that period.

This Government is committed to doing what it can to support all migrant victims of domestic abuse as victims, first and foremost. We have listened to concerns raised by charities working with migrant victims and we want to improve the support such victims receive to help them recover from domestic abuse. From the evidence available, it was not clear how many migrant victims need help, who is most in need of support or how well existing arrangements may address their needs. The findings from the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) Scheme, in which we are investing £1.5 million, will be used to inform future spending reviews and decisions about support for migrant victims of domestic abuse in the long-term.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Home Office’s You Are Not Alone campaign, what plans her Department has for a long-term public health campaign to challenge public attitudes to domestic abuse.

We are continuing our work to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can both to protect and support them and their children and pursue their abuser.

We know that victims of domestic abuse may feel particularly vulnerable at this time. We have published information for victims on gov.uk: www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

The Government launched the #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost support available to victims of domestic abuse during lockdown, which has been translated into 16 languages and received around 250m impressions on social media.

The Home Office also regularly posts content on its social media channels related to domestic abuse support, including signposting people to the gov.uk page and the DA Helpline as well as informing people about the forms domestic abuse can take.

We intend to continue with the current campaign over the Summer, and are keeping options under review for future campaigns related to domestic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure that the Everyone In initiative provides temporary accommodation to (a) women survivors of domestic abuse and (b) women survivors with no recourse to public funds.

On 24 June the Housing Secretary announced that the Government is?providing local authorities with?a further?£105 million?to enable them?to?best?support the c15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has been clear that the offer for each person supported under this approach would need to be made on an individual basis, considering that person’s specific circumstances, support needs and the law. This could include women who have experienced rough sleeping due to domestic abuse.

The rules as to eligibility relating to immigration status, including for those with no recourse to public funds, have not changed.?Local authorities must use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give to each person on an individual basis, considering that person’s specific circumstances and support needs.??Local authorities already regularly make such judgements on accommodating individuals who might otherwise be ineligible, during extreme weather for example, where there is a risk to life.

The Government recognises that some migrant victims of domestic abuse are not eligible for existing sources of support, such as the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC). That is why we have committed £1.5 million to the Support for Migrant Victims scheme to support migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC and gather the evidence that is needed to make sustainable decisions for this group over the long-term. This is in addition to over £1.5 million provided so far in Tampon Tax funding, since 2017 and up to 31 March 2021, to fund organisations supporting migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC. We continue to work with our partners across Government to develop the particulars of the scheme, which is due to be launched in the autumn.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government’s draft Statutory Guidance in relation to the Domestic Abuse Bill published 1 July 2020, what steps her Department is taking to help migrant survivors of domestic abuse to regularise their status and provide support in the event that those survivors are not eligible to apply under the Domestic Violence Rule.

The Government’s position is clear that all victims of domestic abuse should be treated as victims first and foremost. The Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC) is available to those who have come to the UK on specified partner visas with the reasonable expectation of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The DDVC is not available to individuals who enter the UK on other visas, such as visit, student or work visas, or who are here illegally. This is because in order to obtain such visas they have confirmed they are financially independent, and therefore require no recourse to public funds, and their stay will be for a defined time. They do not have a legitimate expectation of securing ILR.

As we made clear in parliamentary debates on the Domestic Abuse Bill, this Government is committed to ensuring all victims have adequate support which meets their immediate needs. That is why we have allocated £1.5m towards the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) scheme, due to be launched later this year, to support migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not have access to public funds to access safe accommodation. This is in addition to over £1.5 million in Tampon Tax funding provided so far, since 2017 and up to 31 March 2021, to support organisations specialising in providing specialist support to migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC.

The pilot project will not only support more individuals to find safe accommodation but will help gather the data that is needed to develop sustainable solutions for all migrant victims of domestic abuse over the long-term.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions her department has (a) taken steps to (i) regularise the status and (ii) provide support to migrant survivors of domestic abuse who are not eligible to apply under the Domestic Violence Rule; and (b) required a migrant survivor of domestic abuse to leave the UK in each of the last five years.

The data requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would require a manual check of individual records which would significantly exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will publish all correspondence between her Department and the contract provider for the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract on the inclusion within that contract of support services for victims of domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds.

All adults referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and who are in receipt of a positive reasonable grounds decision are eligible to receive support through the Victim Care Contract (VCC) to assist with recovery from their modern slavery experience(s).

Support through the VCC is provided to meet the needs of an individual as linked to their modern slavery experience(s) and will not be provided to an individual who is not a potential or confirmed victim of modern slavery.

This support is available to all potential victims of modern slavery, irrespective of their immigration status and including individuals with no recourse to public funds.

Decisions about VCC support provision will take into account the individual’s eligibility to access other support services outside of the VCC.

The type of support received through the VCC is tailored, at each stage, according to the potential victim or confirmed victim’s needs. Support provision may include any combination of subsistence payments, support worker contact and assistance, and accommodation provision.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015: statutory guidance for England and Wales, outlines the different forms that modern slavery can take and its links with other forms of exploitation. However, this is not an exhaustive list - Modern Slavery is an umbrella term, to reflect the evolving nature of this heinous crime and we fully recognise that the guidance can apply to victims of modern slavery who are also victims of domestic abuse.

Support provided through the VCC to meet an individual’s needs related to modern slavery will always take into account wider circumstances or vulnerabilities faced. For example, in the context of a victim of modern slavery also being a victim of domestic abuse, support workers may signpost that individual to local domestic abuse services to receive specialist support or guidance.

The statutory guidance can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896033/July_2020_-_Statutory_Guidance_under_the_Modern_Slavery_Act_2015_v1.01.pdf

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) made reference to forced marriage in the last full reporting year; of those how many people were (a) accepted into the NRM and (b) had their application declined.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual high-level statistics on the number of referrals made to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for adults and children which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics. The Home Office does not currently produce data on references to forced marriage within cases referred to the NRM.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to oral contributions from the Minister for Safeguarding and the hon. Member for the Cities of London and Westminster at the Public Bill Committee for the Domestic Abuse Bill on 4 June 2020, if the she will publish the (a) guidance, (b) referral forms and (c) any other associated documents that show the inclusion of victims of domestic abuse who have not been trafficked in to the National Referral Mechanism; and if she will set out details of what the support package is through the NRM for victims of domestic abuse.

All adults referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and who are in receipt of a positive reasonable grounds decision are eligible to receive support through the Victim Care Contract (VCC) to assist with recovery from their modern slavery experience(s).

Support through the VCC is provided to meet the needs of an individual as linked to their modern slavery experience(s) and will not be provided to an individual who is not a potential or confirmed victim of modern slavery.

This support is available to all potential victims of modern slavery, irrespective of their immigration status and including individuals with no recourse to public funds.

Decisions about VCC support provision will take into account the individual’s eligibility to access other support services outside of the VCC.

The type of support received through the VCC is tailored, at each stage, according to the potential victim or confirmed victim’s needs. Support provision may include any combination of subsistence payments, support worker contact and assistance, and accommodation provision.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015: statutory guidance for England and Wales, outlines the different forms that modern slavery can take and its links with other forms of exploitation. However, this is not an exhaustive list - Modern Slavery is an umbrella term, to reflect the evolving nature of this heinous crime and we fully recognise that the guidance can apply to victims of modern slavery who are also victims of domestic abuse.

Support provided through the VCC to meet an individual’s needs related to modern slavery will always take into account wider circumstances or vulnerabilities faced. For example, in the context of a victim of modern slavery also being a victim of domestic abuse, support workers may signpost that individual to local domestic abuse services to receive specialist support or guidance.

The statutory guidance can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896033/July_2020_-_Statutory_Guidance_under_the_Modern_Slavery_Act_2015_v1.01.pdf

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) risk assessment and (b) planning her Department has conducted on the potential increased risk to victims of (i) domestic abuse and (ii) sexual violence as covid-19 lockdown measures are lifted.

We are working closely with specialist charities, the Domestic Abuse and Victims’ Commissioners and the police to understand the potential impacts on victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence as lockdown measures are lifted.

It remains a priority to ensure that victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence are able to access appropriate help or support both during and following the lockdown period. That is why the Government announced £76 million of funding for organisations supporting survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence, as well as vulnerable children and their families and victims of modern slavery.

Police forces continue to deal proactively with domestic abuse incidents and will aim to build on innovative approaches established over this period to further protect victims of abuse and to target perpetrators, as well as responding to any more general changes in crime and offending as lockdown measures are lifted.

The Prime Minister’s Hidden Harms Summit in May, further underlined the Government’s commitment to planning to ensure that vulnerable victims are not forgotten during the lockdown period or in the subsequent period.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to question 34992, on Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Coronavirus, how many new detainees that centre has accepted since the start of covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate are of the utmost importance. We are following all Public Health England guidance and have robust contingency plans in place.

The Home Office publishes data on people in immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of entries into immigration detention by place of initial detention are published in table DET_D01 of the immigration detention detailed datasets. Figures covering the first quarter of 2020 were released on 21st May 2020. In this dataset, figures for Yarl’s Wood include the individuals entering the Yarls Wood immigration removal centre, and clandestine arrivals entering the adjacent Midlands Intake Unit (a short-term holding facility) who are processed before being dispersed through appropriate routes. Those being held for processing spend very short periods of time at the Yarl’s Wood short-term holding facility and may only be held for a maximum of seven days.

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

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in IRCs

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to protect migrant domestic workers who entered the UK on the Overseas Domestic Worker visa; and what support her Department is providing to those migrant domestic workers who have not taken part in a Government-provided information sessions on their rights during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to the safeguarding of migrant domestic workers entering the UK, which is why all domestic workers are provided with information explaining their rights and how to access help should they need it. Further help and information is also available online at www.gov.uk/domestic-workers-in-a-private-household-visa/your-employment-rights.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak and these provisions are being reviewed regularly. We will review the existing arrangements prior to 31 May and will publish information on Gov.uk prior to this date. www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support Overseas Domestic Worker visa holders in the UK whose six months visas are due to expire and who are unable to travel due to covid-19 lockdown measures.

The Government is committed to the safeguarding of migrant domestic workers entering the UK, which is why all domestic workers are provided with information explaining their rights and how to access help should they need it. Further help and information is also available online at www.gov.uk/domestic-workers-in-a-private-household-visa/your-employment-rights.

The Home Office has put in place a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak and these provisions are being reviewed regularly. We will review the existing arrangements prior to 31 May and will publish information on Gov.uk prior to this date. www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the remit of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority is for inspecting private households to prevent exploitation of migrant domestic workers.

The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has powers under section 114B of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 for specially trained officers, known as labour abuse prevention officers, to investigate serious labour market offences, including modern slavery offences in England and Wales.

Where it is suspected that there is evidence of a labour exploitation offence, the GLAA can apply to the courts for a warrant to enter and search the premises. This includes private households where a domestic worker may be employed or where other evidence, including records of the exploitation, may be held.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's announcement of support for the domestic abuse sector from Fujitsu on 11 April 2020, (a) which organisations have received support and (b) how much support each such organisation has received since 11 April 2020.

Fujitsu offered to provide IT expertise to smaller domestic abuse charities that might need assistance with new ways of working at the current time. This is an offer of assistance directly from the company to charitable organisations and there is no cost to the public purse. As such details of organisations which may have sought or received such support is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the announcement on 11 April 2020 of funding from Fujitsu for domestic abuse charities, what the cost to the public purse of that funding is; and what the commissioning process was.

Fujitsu offered to provide IT expertise to smaller domestic abuse charities that might need assistance with new ways of working at the current time. This is an offer of assistance directly from the company to charitable organisations and there is no cost to the public purse. As such details of organisations which may have sought or received such support is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the oral contribution of 28 April 2020 of the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Official Report, column 299, whether the £1.5 million pilot fund to cover the cost of safe accommodation for migrant victims of domestic abuse is an extension of an existing pilot fund.

Further details on the pilot fund will be set out in the report of the review to be published before Report stage – the date for which has yet to be announced.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of victims of domestic abuse will be able to (a) access accommodation as a result of the £1.5 million pilot fund to cover the cost of safe accommodation for migrant victims of domestic abuse; and for how long each of those victims will be able to stay at that accommodation.

Further details on the pilot fund will be set out in the report of the review to be published before Report stage – the date for which has yet to be announced.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill, what evidence her Department is seeking to gather through the £1.5 million pilot fund to cover the cost of safe accommodation for migrant victims of domestic abuse.

Further details on the pilot fund will be set out in the report of the review to be published before Report stage – the date for which has yet to be announced.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's strategy entitled Ending Violence against Women and Girls 2016-2020, when she plans to publish a new version of that strategy.

Protecting women and girls from violence remains a key priority of this Government. In March 2019 we published a refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy and Male Victims’ Position Statement to update and reinforce our commitment to tackling VAWG and our manifesto committed to continuing this fight.

We are taking steps to renew the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and will outline our plans soon.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the charity sector on community support provision for children affected by domestic abuse.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, reintroduced on 3 March, will help to better protect and support victims of domestic abuse and their children across the country. There has been frequent engagement with representatives of the charity sector in respect of protections for children in the context of this legislation.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape to help us better understand the existing routes by which these services are commissioned and funded. The Government will then work with the Commissioner to understand the needs identified and develop options on how best to address them.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to (a) prevent cross-infection and (b) tackle transmission of covid-19 in (i) Yarl's Wood and (ii) other immigration removal centres.

We take the welfare of the detainees in our care very seriously. In line with Public Health England guidance, measures such as protective isolation are considered on a case by case basis to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable groups in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including shielding, single occupancy rooms and the cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing. In light of this, detainees have been provided with additional mobile phone credit to ensure they are able to contact friends and families while social visits have been stopped.

Detainees arriving at an Immigration Removal Centre are medically assessed by a nurse within two hours of their arrival and are offered an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours. Detainees also have access to medical assistance whilst they are in an IRC.

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in IRCs. On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has been included in contingency planning for vulnerable groups during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and her office, as well as the domestic abuse sector, the police and local authorities on contingency planning and to understand the needs of victims of domestic abuse during self-isolation and social distancing, and how these can best be supported.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to help ensure that deaf and disabled victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence can access refuge services and helplines during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that victims of domestic abuse may feel particularly vulnerable at this time, especially deaf and disabled victims.

Existing sources of advice and support will continue to be available to victims. In addition to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which also has an online chat function, the Home Office provides specific funding to specialist support services including through Victim Support to support disabled victims, and to Sign Health, who support deaf victims.

We are continuing to work closely with the domestic abuse sector to understand the needs of victims, during self-isolation and social distancing, and how these can best be supported.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding has been allocated to frontline organisations providing emergency support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence during the covid-19 outbreak.

£76 million of funding was announced to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

As part of this funding the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government announced on 5 June that it had allocated £8.15m of its £10m fund to 147 providers of safe accommodation services, and that the remainder of the fund was to be reopened. On 26 June the Ministry of Justice announced it had allocated £22m of its £25m fund to 548 local and regional domestic abuse and sexual violence charities. On 22 May the Home Office launched an additional £2m fund for non-local domestic abuse charities. Nearly £800,000 has now been allocated to 13 charities. The remainder of the fund was reopened for applications and closed on 20th July. Bids are currently being assessed.

In April the Home Secretary announced £2 million in funding to bolster domestic abuse helplines and online services. £1.2 million of this has been allocated to the following providers Galop, Hestia, Hourglass, Operation Encompass, Refuge, Respect, South West Grid for Learning, Surviving Economic Abuse, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Women’s Aid, Karma Nirvana, Sign Health and the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre has accepted new detainees since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps that centre is taking to ensure that new detainees are not exposed to that disease.

The Government remains committed to removing those who violate our immigration rules and foreign national offenders. Detention plays a key role in securing our borders and maintaining effective immigration control. On that basis, Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre will continue to accept new detainees.

All detainees received into Yarl’s Wood receive a nurse triage within two hours and are offered a doctor’s appointment within 24 hours.

In line with Public Health England guidance, measures such as protective isolation are considered on a case by case basis to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading to vulnerable groups in the immigration detention estate. Further measures including single occupancy rooms and cessation of social visits have been introduced in line with the Government direction on social distancing.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance during the covid-19 outbreak has been issued to statutory agencies including the (a) police and (b) NHS on support for (i) victims of domestic abuse and (ii) perpetrators of such abuse who are concerned about their behaviour.

The Government has posted updated guidance on domestic abuse on gov.uk to ensure that anyone seeking relevant sources of assistance can find it https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse

Existing sources of advice and support continue to be available to victims. The National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, is staffed by experts and available 24 hours a day as well as having an online chat function. A range of other specialist support services including a perpetrator helpline run by Respect, are also available, and contact details are provided on gov.uk.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) national broadcasts and (b) online communications the Government has planned to help safeguard people at risk of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that victims of domestic abuse may feel particularly vulnerable at this time. We have published information for victims on gov.uk: www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

The Government also launched the #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost support available to victims of domestic abuse during lockdown. The campaign was launched by the Home Secretary at a nationally televised No.10 press briefing on 11th April.

The campaign channels are predominantly online to reach victims in their homes. The campaign has included activity to reach diverse audiences via advertising and editorial opportunities on specialist radio, print and TV outlets including their online and social channels, and social media support from relevant influencers, celebrities and community organisations. The campaign materials have been translated into 16 priority languages and shared with partners. including via social media.

The Home Office also regularly posts content on its social media channels related to domestic abuse support, including signposting people to the gov.uk page and the DA helpline as well as informing people about the forms domestic abuse can take.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to increase the capacity of (a) national domestic abuse helplines and (b) online access to specialist domestic abuse support during the covid-19 outbreak.

£76 million of funding was announced to support survivors of?domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery?as well as ensure that vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.

As part of this funding the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government announced on 5 June that it had allocated £8.15m of its £10m fund to 147 providers of safe accommodation services, and that the remainder of the fund was to be reopened. On 26 June the Ministry of Justice announced it had allocated £22m of its £25m fund to 548 local and regional domestic abuse and sexual violence charities. On 22 May the Home Office launched an additional £2m fund for non-local domestic abuse charities. Nearly £800,000 has now been allocated to 13 charities. The remainder of the fund was reopened for applications and closed on 20th July. Bids are currently being assessed.

In April the Home Secretary announced £2 million in funding to bolster domestic abuse helplines and online services. £1.2 million of this has been allocated to the following providers Galop, Hestia, Hourglass, Operation Encompass, Refuge, Respect, South West Grid for Learning, Surviving Economic Abuse, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Women’s Aid, Karma Nirvana, Sign Health and the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help victims of domestic abuse with No Recourse to Public Funds access domestic abuse services during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to ensuring victims of domestic abuse are treated first and foremost as victims.

Non-British victims residing in the UK are able to apply for support from local authorities regardless of their immigration status.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policy on immigration detention of the 17 March 2020 report by Professor Richard Coker on the risk of infection from covid-19 to (a) vulnerable women asylum seekers and (b) other detainees.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

The safety and health of people in the detention and asylum estates is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service, including the interim advice on preventing and controlling outbreaks of Covid-19 in prisons and other prescribed places of detention, which was first published on 16 March.

In addition, all immigration removal centres have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. All receptions into detention receive an assessment within two hours by a nurse and can see a doctor within 24 hours.

Anybody who is destitute and has an outstanding asylum claim or appeal against a refusal to grant asylum can apply for support and accommodation, including those who are being released from detention. The Home Office is working closely with colleagues in Public Health England as well as with accommodation providers to ensure we have appropriate arrangements in place for anybody leaving detention who is receiving asylum support and/or living in asylum accommodation and who is required to self-isolate and providing them with advice and guidance via our AIRE Provider, Migrant Help.

Additionally the Secretary of State may provide accommodation and support for a foreign national offender who is subject to a residency condition and are either considered to pose a high risk or harm to the public or be suffering from a serious physical or mental health problem.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to provide people being released from (a) Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre and (b) other immigration removal centres with (i) accommodation and (ii) support so that they can self-isolate; and what steps she is taking to ensure that access to accommodation is not a barrier to their release.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

The safety and health of people in the detention and asylum estates is of the utmost importance. The Home Office has robust contingency plans in place and continues to follow national guidance issued by Public Health England (PHE), Health Protection Scotland and the National Health Service, including the interim advice on preventing and controlling outbreaks of Covid-19 in prisons and other prescribed places of detention, which was first published on 16 March.

In addition, all immigration removal centres have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. All receptions into detention receive an assessment within two hours by a nurse and can see a doctor within 24 hours.

Anybody who is destitute and has an outstanding asylum claim or appeal against a refusal to grant asylum can apply for support and accommodation, including those who are being released from detention. The Home Office is working closely with colleagues in Public Health England as well as with accommodation providers to ensure we have appropriate arrangements in place for anybody leaving detention who is receiving asylum support and/or living in asylum accommodation and who is required to self-isolate and providing them with advice and guidance via our AIRE Provider, Migrant Help.

Additionally the Secretary of State may provide accommodation and support for a foreign national offender who is subject to a residency condition and are either considered to pose a high risk or harm to the public or be suffering from a serious physical or mental health problem.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) capacity and (b) sustainability of specialist domestic abuse services in responding to covid-19; and whether emergency funding will be made available for those services.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what the stresses. It is an abhorrent crime and perpetrators will be prosecuted.

The Government acknowledges that recent measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the order to stay at home, can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. We are working closely with the sector to monitor and assess the impacts of the current situation.

The Chancellor has announced a funding package of some £750m to support charities including those providing domestic abuse services. The Home Office has announced an additional £2 million in funding to support technological capability such as specialist helplines and websites.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will close (a) Yarl's Wood and (b) other detention centres as a result of covid-19.

No. There are currently no plans for the temporary closure of any of our immigration removal centres. The health of those in immigration removal centres is of the utmost importance but we remain committed to removing foreign national offenders or those who violate our immigration rules. Detention plays a key role in securing our borders and maintaining effective immigration control.

Decisions to detain an individual are based on all of the information known at the time. As circumstances change, temporary release may then become the most appropriate option.

As of 23 June, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding the Government has allocated for the training of frontline public sector workers to provide trauma-informed support in the last three years.

The Home Office can confirm that there has been nil funding/budget or expenditure for the training of frontline public sector workers to provide trauma-informed support in the last three years.

Border Force has a Trauma Risk Management course that the HR Business Partners deliver to staff internally, as this is in house training there is no budget assigned for delivery.

As all training is internally delivered by staff members there are no costings or budgets assigned outside of salaried roles of staff members. Border Force currently have 239 staff members trained in this type of content and these are replenished by 40 staff members per year. Immigration Enforcement have 70 staff members trained. Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are deemed as frontline public sector workers.

Within Border Force during the last 12 months there were 107 incidents where this type of training was used.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding the Government has provided to support the prevention of adolescent to parent violence in the last five years.

The Government is committed to tackling all forms of domestic abuse. On 3 March 2020 we re-introduced the landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill to protect and support victims. The Bill has just finished Committee stage. Our statutory definition of domestic abuse recognises that abuse can also involve wider family members, including parental abuse by an adolescent or grown child or between older siblings.

In 2018/19 we provided just under £11,000 to support the prevention of adolescent to parent violence. In addition, we provided £220,000 funding for the development of training for social workers on domestic abuse.

In 2015 the Government published an information guide on adolescent to parent violence and abuse, which provides materials and advice to support professionals in their response, including social workers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the statutory duties in the Domestic Abuse Bill will include the provision of (a) frontline services in the community, (b) Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors and other specialist support services and (c) accommodation-based services for children and young people.

The Domestic Abuse Bill, as introduced on 3 March, includes a new statutory duty on tier one local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation. Paragraph 207 of the Explanatory Notes which accompany the Bill provides examples of the support that may be provided, including specialist support for victims with protected characteristics and/or complex needs.

In the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), also published on 3 March, we indicated that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape. The Government will then work with the Commissioner to understand the needs identified and develop options on how best to address them.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on the use of restraints when transporting women from Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre to be deported.

It may be necessary to restrain an individual in detention in order to reduce the risk of escape, prevent harm to the public, detainees or staff, or to prevent damage to property. In addition, an individual may be restrained to prevent them from self-harming or obstructing their removal.

Published guidance, and the training received by detainee custody officers makes it clear that physical force, and the use of waist restraint belts or handcuffs, should only be used after a thorough assessment of risk, and in consideration of each individual’s personal circumstances. Restraints should be removed at the earliest opportunity.

The Home Office reviews all reports resulting from a use of force to ensure that techniques are used proportionately, that they are justified, and are used for the minimum period required.

There are contractual obligations for IRC suppliers to ensure detainees report on time to the escorting contractor to ensure compliance with scheduled removal directions. Although the Home Office can impose financial and operational remedies if obligations as part of the contract are not met, this would be based on a thorough investigation and consideration of any mitigating factors. In these circumstances, detainee welfare would take precedence over imposing any such penalties.

Robust statutory oversight is provided by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards, ensuring that detainees are treated with proper standards of care and decency in detention and during the removal process. Reports by HMIP and IMBs are published on their respective websites.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on the use of fines for contractors that do not meet the timescale for getting detainees to report for deportation; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of such fines on the deportation of women from Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

It may be necessary to restrain an individual in detention in order to reduce the risk of escape, prevent harm to the public, detainees or staff, or to prevent damage to property. In addition, an individual may be restrained to prevent them from self-harming or obstructing their removal.

Published guidance, and the training received by detainee custody officers makes it clear that physical force, and the use of waist restraint belts or handcuffs, should only be used after a thorough assessment of risk, and in consideration of each individual’s personal circumstances. Restraints should be removed at the earliest opportunity.

The Home Office reviews all reports resulting from a use of force to ensure that techniques are used proportionately, that they are justified, and are used for the minimum period required.

There are contractual obligations for IRC suppliers to ensure detainees report on time to the escorting contractor to ensure compliance with scheduled removal directions. Although the Home Office can impose financial and operational remedies if obligations as part of the contract are not met, this would be based on a thorough investigation and consideration of any mitigating factors. In these circumstances, detainee welfare would take precedence over imposing any such penalties.

Robust statutory oversight is provided by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards, ensuring that detainees are treated with proper standards of care and decency in detention and during the removal process. Reports by HMIP and IMBs are published on their respective websites.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions military personnel have been found to have engaged in the sexual exploitation of women and men in the last five years; and what disciplinary action resulted.

Defence recognises the devastating and long-term impact that Sexual Exploitation and Abuse has on those who are victims of it, and that it is an abuse of trust and power which causes immeasurable harm to those who are affected. We have existing policies on the values, standards, and behaviours expected of all service personnel and any allegation of sexual offending, wherever it occurs, must be referred to the Service Police. We have adopted the NATO policy for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse on peace-keeping operations and we are building on that to develop a policy to be applied overseas and in the United Kingdom. Anyone found to fall short of the Services' high standards or to have committed an offence will be dealt with robustly, which can include imprisonment and dismissal from Service.

At present, the sexual exploitation of any person is not recorded as an offence in its own right, however, any criminal activity or undesirable behaviour is recorded by the specific type of offence or prohibited behaviour which took place and we publish details of those offences on a yearly basis: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sexual-offences-in-the-service-justice-system

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the current code of conduct is with respect to serving military personnel engaging in the sexual exploitation of prostituted women and men in the UK and abroad.

Defence recognises the devastating and long-term impact that Sexual Exploitation and Abuse has on those who are victims of it, and that it is an abuse of trust and power which causes immeasurable harm to those who are affected. We have existing policies on the values, standards, and behaviours expected of all service personnel and any allegation of sexual offending, wherever it occurs, must be referred to the Service Police. We have adopted the NATO policy for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse on peace-keeping operations and we are building on that to develop a policy to be applied overseas and in the United Kingdom. Anyone found to fall short of the Services' high standards or to have committed an offence will be dealt with robustly, which can include imprisonment and dismissal from Service.

At present, the sexual exploitation of any person is not recorded as an offence in its own right, however, any criminal activity or undesirable behaviour is recorded by the specific type of offence or prohibited behaviour which took place and we publish details of those offences on a yearly basis: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sexual-offences-in-the-service-justice-system

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to bring into force all the provisions under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to better meet the needs of homeless female prison leavers.

This Government is committed to ending rough sleeping this Parliament and fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act.

We are working across government and with the Ministry of Justice to address the barriers offenders face in securing suitable accommodation and are aware of the specific complex needs of women prison leavers.

To reflect this we have updated the Homelessness Code of Guidance to ensure local authorities are equipped to identify the specific support needs of women leaving prison.

The Ministry of Justice has committed over £20 million to supporting prison leavers at risk of homelessness into temporary accommodation and will support individuals into long-term settled accommodation. My department secured funding at the 2020 Spending Review to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness into private rented sector tenancies. The Ministry of Justice has also opened Approved Premises for women.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Supported housing: national statement of expectations, published on 20 October 2020, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that exempt accommodation providers housing victims of domestic abuse and their children meet the required standards.

The National Statement of Expectations (NSE) is an important step in improving oversight of supported housing. The publication of the NSE sent a strong signal that the Government expects high standards to be met in housing across the supported exempt sector.

We are continuing to work with local government and the sector to improve standards for all residents in supported exempt accommodation. My officials will continue to work with Women’s Aid, and domestic abuse providers on this important issue.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if the Government will take steps to ensure that the regulations and guidance underpinning the statutory duty in the Domestic Abuse Bill will require local authorities to fund support in safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse that meets quality standards.

Government will make clear in statutory guidance underpinning the duty, that all support provided under the duty must be provided to victims of domestic abuse and their children, who reside in relevant accommodation which should meet the MHCLG Quality Standards, Women’s Aid National Quality Standards and / or Imkaan’s Accredited Quality Standards.

The regulations will also make clear that accommodation such as generic Bed and Breakfast accommodation is not considered relevant safe accommodation for the purposes of this duty, as it does not provide a safe place to stay for victims of domestic abuse.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) risk assessment, (b) safeguarding and (c) support delivered by exempt accommodation providers which are housing victims of domestic abuse and their children.

We are aware of concerns about the quality of accommodation and levels of support provided in a small minority of supported exempt accommodation and are working to address this issue as a priority.

In October 2020, we published the National Statement of Expectation on accommodation standards and best practice in the sector. We also announced £3.1 million of funding to run pilots in five local authorities, to drive up the quality of accommodation, undertake enforcement action, and test interventions to improve the provision of support and safeguarding. This will inform future policy on supported exempt accommodation. My officials continue to work with local authorities and domestic abuse organisations on this issue.

MHCLG published priorities for Domestic Abuse in 2016 [updated in 2018] to support local authorities to ensure victims receive the quality of support they need when they need it.

Through the new duty in the Domestic Abuse Bill, Government will also make clear to local authorities in statutory guidance the need for all support provided in relevant safe accommodation, to meet the MHCLG Quality Standards, Women’s Aid National Quality Standards and / or Imkaan’s Accredited Quality Standards.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many extra beds have been made available since 23 March 2020 specifically to victims of domestic abuse.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund was allocated to 147 successful charity bids.  Grant recipients recently reported that, up to and including 30 September, they had created an additional 1046 bedspaces with a further 343 forecast to open through the winter.

In April 2020, my Department also released £16.6 million to 75 local authority-led projects across England for the delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation in 2020/21, helping up to 43,000 survivors.

Alongside these funds, MHCLG also put in place a system to enable local authorities who need additional accommodation to meet demand during the pandemic to book rooms for domestic abuse victims through Crown Commercial Services.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the new bed spaces provided by the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund are in move-on accommodation.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Emergency Support Fund aimed to ensure safe accommodation charities, including refuges, could continue to provide support to victims and their children during the pandemic. Charities could apply for funds to create additional temporary provision to meet short-term increases in demand as a result of the pandemic.

We have extended the period for which applicants can spend their grant funding and deliver their outcome by, and this may result in some changes to initial applications. We are therefore unable to provide a breakdown of beds, in the manner requested, at this time.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the new bed spaces provided by the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund are in short-term emergency accommodation.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Emergency Support Fund aimed to ensure safe accommodation charities, including refuges, could continue to provide support to victims and their children during the pandemic. Charities could apply for funds to create additional emergency provision to meet short-term increases in demand as a result of the pandemic.

We have extended the period for which applicants can spend their grant funding and deliver their outcome by, and this may result in some changes to initial applications. We are therefore unable to provide a breakdown of beds, in the manner requested, at this time.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans are in place for occupants of the 1500 new beds provided by the domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund of £10 million after 31 October 2020, when that funding has been spent.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Emergency Support Fund aimed to ensure safe accommodation charities, including refuges, could continue to provide support to victims and their children during the pandemic. Charities could apply for funds to create additional temporary provision to meet short-term increases in demand as a result of the pandemic.

Charities can now request to extend the spending period beyond the original 31 October deadline. Plans for occupants of additional beds beyond the emergency funding period will vary depending on the local arrangements put in place by bidders. Charities will be working with local partners to either extend the duration of bedspaces or to ensure occupants can safely move on.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the new bed spaces provided by the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund are provided by services or organisations whose sole purpose is to support victims of domestic abuse and their children.

To be eligible for funding through the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Emergency Support Fund, applicants needed to be charities providing domestic abuse safe accommodation services in England, as stated in the Fund Prospectus, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890420/MHCLG_COVID-19_Emergency_Support_Fund_-_updated_prospectus.pdf.

Of the total 147 successful applications, there were 101 applications from organisations whose sole purpose is to support victims of domestic abuse and related forms of abuse.

We have extended the period for which applicants can spend their grant funding and deliver their outcome by, and this may result in some changes to initial applications. We are therefore unable to provide a breakdown of beds, in the manner requested, at this time.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many new beds are being provided by each organisation that was successful in bidding for funding from £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund.

In total the successful recipients of the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Emergency Support Fund proposed opening 1546 additional bedpsaces to meet increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have extended the period for which applicants can spend their grant funding and deliver their outcome by, and this may result in some changes to initial applications. We are therefore unable to provide a breakdown of beds, in the manner requested, at this time.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what quality standards were used in the commissioning of new domestic abuse bed spaces under the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Emergency Support Fund was open for safe accommodation charities, including refuges, to apply for funding to maintain their existing level of service or create additional temporary beds to meet the anticipated demand resulting from the pandemic.

To be eligible for funding, applicants had to commit to meet the standards set out within the MHCLG Quality Standards, which can be found in Annex B in the Fund Prospectus in the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890420/MHCLG_COVID-19_Emergency_Support_Fund_-_updated_prospectus.pdf

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the new bed spaces provided under the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund are provided by Community Interest Companies.

Of the successful recipients of the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Emergency Support Fund, there was one organisation that was a Community Interest Company.

We have extended the period for which applicants can spend their grant funding and deliver their outcome by, and this may result in some changes to initial applications. We are therefore unable to provide a breakdown of beds, in the manner requested, at this time.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the new bed spaces provided under the £10 million domestic abuse safe accommodation covid-19 emergency support fund are planned to exist for six months or less.

The MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Emergency Support Fund aimed to ensure safe accommodation charities, including refuges, could continue to provide support to victims and their children during the pandemic. Charities could apply for funds to create additional temporary provision to meet short-term increases in demand as a result of the pandemic.

The timescales for additional beds created by this fund will vary depending on local circumstances and arrangements put in place by bidders. Charities can now request to extend the spending period beyond the original 31 October deadline.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department’s press release of 23 June 2020 entitled £105 million to keep rough sleepers safe and off the streets during coronavirus pandemic, what estimate his Department has made of the number of homeless people provided with temporary accommodation through the Everyone In initiative who were (a) women and (b) women with no recourse to public funds.

On 24 June we announced that we are providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support the almost 15,000 vulnerable people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment will help to ensure that as few of these people as possible return to the streets.

On 3 June we published the management information that supports the announcements from Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey regarding the amount of people accommodated. This management information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally; however, we do not currently hold a breakdown of the gender of all those who have been assisted.

We are continuing to work with local authorities to further understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society. Local authorities hold the most up to date information regarding the number of people they are currently assisting.

The Government is aware of concerns about those with no recourse to public funds experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 million of targeted funding previously announced to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.7 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities to reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

The Government recognises that these are unprecedented times, and expects local authorities to support people who are sleeping rough, and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to ensure that councils that have received emergency funding for emergency accommodation for victims of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak will be able to continue to access that fund after the lockdown.

A total of £3.2 billion of additional funding has been recently announced for local government to help them respond to COVID-19 pressures across the services they deliver. This includes increasing support for services helping the most vulnerable, such as victims of domestic abuse.

On 2 May, the Government also announced an unprecedented £76?million package of support to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic.

A change to the rules will also mean that those fleeing domestic abuse and facing homelessness as a result will be automatically considered as priority by their council for housing – ensuring more survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home.

To understand how the funding is meeting the local needs and pressures across the country, vital data is being provided by local authorities. This data is enabling us to monitor the use of the funds and will inform our wider conversations within Government.

We will continue to work with councils to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the letter issued to local authority leaders on of 27 April 2020 on the use of emergency funds to house victims of domestic violence, what plans his Department has to assess local authority compliance with that letter; and whether he plans to issue further guidance in relation to the ability to use that funding to house victims with no recourse to public funds.

I recently wrote to local authorities asking them to work closely with their local domestic abuse safe accommodation providers to ensure that victims of domestic abuse and their families can be provided with safe emergency accommodation and appropriate support to avoid further pressures on frontline homelessness services.

To understand how the funding is meeting local needs and pressures across the country, vital data is being provided by local authorities. This data is enabling us to monitor the use of the funds and will inform our wider conversations within Government.

In 2018, Government published statutory guidance designed to help local authorities ensure that victims of domestic abuse in a refuge or other form of temporary accommodation have appropriate priority under their social housing allocation schemes.

On 2 May, the Government announced an unprecedented £76?million package of support to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic.

A change to the rules will also mean that those fleeing domestic abuse and facing homelessness as a result will be automatically considered as priority by their council for housing – ensuring more survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home.

The Government is aware of concerns about those with no recourse to public funds during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities to reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide compensation for rental income lost due to the closure of a refuge service as a result of covid-19.

The Government will do everything it can to support refuge providers to keep these vital services open, up and running.

Officials from my Department are in discussion with domestic abuse service providers to understand and respond to the challenges facing them as they make their contingency plans to keep refuges and other types of safe accommodation support services open and available to victims of domestic abuse and their children.

We have provided reassurance to refuge providers on key worker status for domestic abuse support workers working in refuges.

My officials will continue to work closely with and support refuge service providers.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Government plans to consult on a statutory duty on public bodies to commission specialist community based (a) domestic abuse and (b) sexual violence provision as set out by the Lord Chancellor in a letter to Police and Crime Commissioners dated March 2021.

The Government is committed to using the Victims’ Bill consultation to explore the need for legislation relating to provision of community-based victim support services.

The March letter to Police and Crime Commissioners said that to do this we would consult on “the provision of community-based domestic abuse services”, including considering a “duty”. This commitment was made during the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill and was extended to cover consultation on sexual violence services within the End-to End Rape Review Action Plan. We will launch the consultation in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an estimate of the funding required to meet the needs of (a) adult and (b) child victims of domestic abuse annually in England and Wales.

For 2020/21, the Ministry of Justice allocated £69m of ‘core’ funding to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to commission and provide victim support services for all victims of crime. It is for PCCs to assess local demand and allocate this funding accordingly.

A further £32 million was granted in emergency funding to over 540 charities to help domestic abuse and sexual violence community based services meet demand.

The Home Office also provided funding for both national and community-based domestic violence victim support services and funding to tackle and better manage perpetrators of domestic violence.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much funding the Government has allocated for the provision of community-based domestic abuse services for (a) adult victims, (b) child victims and (c) perpetrators of domestic abuse in 2020-21.

For 2020/21, the Ministry of Justice allocated £69m of ‘core’ funding to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to commission and provide victim support services for all victims of crime. It is for PCCs to assess local demand and allocate this funding accordingly.

A further £32 million was granted in emergency funding to over 540 charities to help domestic abuse and sexual violence community based services meet demand.

The Home Office also provided funding for both national and community-based domestic violence victim support services and funding to tackle and better manage perpetrators of domestic violence.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, in the last full reporting year what the average sentence was for people convicted of a contact child sex offence.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on proceedings and outcomes for child sexual offences in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool’, available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938554/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2019.xlsx.

A full list of child sexual offences can be found in the table attached to the response to PQ 266750 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2019-06-19/266750).

All of the offences listed in the table are contact child sexual offences, apart from the following:

  • 8602 - Taking, permitting to be taken or making, distributing or publishing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children
  • 8610 - Possess an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child
  • 8615 - Possess prohibited images of children.

The average custodial sentence length for offenders convicted of contact child sexual offences in 2019 was 5 years and 2 months (61.5 months).

Court statistics on proceedings and outcomes for 2020 will be published in May 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps family courts take to ensure that children’s wishes are central to decisions made on their lives.

Section 1 of the Children Act 1989 requires that the child’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration in all decisions made about them. In their consideration, the court must have regard to the factors set out at 1(3) of the Children Act 1989, referred to as the ‘welfare checklist’. These include the ascertainable wishes and feeling of the child, commensurate with their age and level of understanding, and any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering.

In addition, for every public law case, the child is appointed a CAFCASS Guardian who specifically represent the interests and wishes of the child involved. In complex private law cases, CAFCASS undertakes direct work with the child when directed to do so by the court, for cases that continue after the first hearing. This includes speaking with children to ascertain their wishes and feelings to produce a Section 7 welfare report into the child’s welfare needs.

The Domestic Abuse Bill rightly recognises children as victims of domestic abuse and it is important that their voices are heard in family court proceedings.

In response to the Ministry of Justice’s Harm Panel report, the Government committed to exploring how to enhance the voice of the child in private law proceedings to ensure children’s wishes and views are central to proceedings concerning them. This will be done through a series of private law reform pilots, including the Integrated Domestic Abuse Court, and we intend to launch these pilots later this year.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what training court and children’s guardians are required to undertake on identifying, understanding and responding to domestic abuse.

Children’s guardians provided by Cafcass are all qualified social workers with at least three years’ post-qualifying experience. All Cafcass practitioners receive training in assessing domestic abuse and have access to learning packages and programmes developed in collaboration with organisations with specialist knowledge of domestic abuse, including a learning package on coercive and controlling behaviours.

Cafcass has a domestic abuse practice pathway which brings together the range of tools practitioners use for identifying domestic abuse, assessing its impact, and making recommendations to the court about programmes to address perpetrator behaviour. Cafcass has recently reviewed the pathway, working alongside partners including organisations that work with parents with lived experience of the family courts, and will roll out updated training for all its staff in the next year. This training will take account of recommendations from Cafcass’s Learning and Improvement Board, which draws on the findings of the MoJ Expert Panel on Harm in the Family Courts.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions for the offence of sexual assault by penetration under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 have been made in cases where the victim had experienced county lines exploitation in each year since 2015.

The Government recognises the devastating impact of county lines activity on children and vulnerable people which can include both sexual and criminal exploitation. Prosecutions data involving offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 held centrally by the MoJ does not include such detailed information about the victim to indicate whether they had been a victim of county lines exploitation previously. This information may be held on court record, however to identify it would require access to detailed court records and transcripts, which would incur disproportionate cost.

However, the Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, up to December 2019, for the following offences: ‘Sexual assault on a female – penetration’, ‘Sexual assault on a male – penetration’, Sexual assault of a male child under 13 - penetration’, ‘Sexual assault of a female child under 13 – penetration’ and ‘Causing sexual activity without consent – penetration’. These are available in the Outcomes by Offence data tool:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888664/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2019.xlsx

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions for offences for exploitation of children under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 there have been in each year since that Act came into force.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, up to December 2019, for offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. These are available in the ‘Outcomes by Offence’ data tool, here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888664/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2019.xlsx

Data held centrally by MoJ does not identify the age of the victim unless this is specified by the relevant legislation. Therefore, centrally held information cannot separately identify the number of modern slavery prosecutions that involved child victims. The information may be held on court record; however, identification of the victim’s age would require access to court records and transcripts, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the £5 million allocated through Police and Crime Commissioners to support sexual violence services during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to ensuring victims and witnesses receive the support they need, and that sexual violence services are funded to provide this at this challenging time.

You will be pleased to hear that to ensure the adequacy of funding for sexual violence services at this time, there is in fact £10 million funding available for sexual violence support services during the COVID-19 outbreak, with £5 million allocated by PCCs and £5 million through the national Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund. This figure was established through close consultation with PCCs and sexual violence support service providers.

We have already committed an extra £4 million to Police and Crime Commissioners for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs), this year, as well as a 50% increase to the national Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund, to ensure that victims of sexual violence always have access to the services they need.

We have also made almost £600k of additional funding available to enable the expansion and national roll out of digital and helpline services, to ensure that all victims have access to services during this challenging time.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the planned timescale is for the £5 million funding to be allocated through Police and Crime Commissioners to support sexual violence services during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to ensuring victims and witnesses receive the support they need during this challenging time.

You will be pleased to hear that there is in fact £10 million funding available for sexual violence support services during the COVID-19 outbreak, with £5 million allocated by PCCs and £5 million through the national Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund.

The processes for allocating this funding are currently taking place and final allocation will be made through both PCCs and the national Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Fund this month.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the representations made by the Barnardo’s charity on strengthening the provisions relating to children in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The enhanced Domestic Abuse Bill, as re-introduced on 3 March, includes a new statutory duty on tier one local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse, and their children, within safe accommodation. This new measure augmented those already in the Bill addressing the impact of domestic abuse on children. As provided for in clause 66(2)(b), the statutory guidance which will accompany the Bill will recognise the effect of domestic abuse on children. The guidance will outline the range of impacts domestic abuse can have on children, as well as appropriate support and referral mechanisms. The Bill will also establish in law, the independent Domestic Abuse Commissioner who will be required to consider the impact of domestic abuse on children, and the services available to them.

In the Government’s further response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (CP 214), also published on 3 March, we indicated that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has agreed to undertake an in-depth exploration of the current community-based support landscape. The Government will then work with the Commissioner to understand the needs identified and develop options on how best to address them.

I can confirm that the Justice Secretary is in regular contact with his Cabinet colleagues on support for children affected by domestic abuse, including the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, as well as with leading charitable organisations working in this sector.

In addition, we know that there are specific concerns for victims of domestic abuse and their children during the COVD-19 outbreak. We are working with other Government Departments to ensure that sufficient support is in place for these victims

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance he has provided to people who have orders in place through the family courts that stipulate limited contact with children during the covid-19 outbreak where contact cannot be granted due to self-isolation; whether court orders in such circumstances would be classed as a breach; and whether contact arrangements can be changed due to the need to self-isolate in family groups.

The Government has published on gov.uk updated guidance on staying at home and away from others, which everyone must follow. This makes clear that children can if necessary move between parents living in different households, subject to the Government’s guidance on what to do if self-isolating or shielding and protecting people who are defined as vulnerable.

Compliance with court orders is ordinarily a matter for the courts. In general, a parent who is required by a Child Arrangements Order to facilitate contact between their child and the other parent should continue to do so where this is practicable and consistent with the Government’s revised guidance. Where either parent is reasonably self-isolating or genuinely protecting someone vulnerable (provided that this is in line with Government advice in either case) then remote technology offers temporary alternative means by which to facilitate contact via telephone, the internet or social media which should be used.

Any person named in a Child Arrangements Order may apply to the court to vary the terms of that order, but this should not be necessary if a parent is following the Government’s guidance. If an alleged breach of a Child Arrangements Order or other application is later brought to court then this will be for judicial consideration. The Government encourages parents to adopt a pragmatic approach. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has published helpful advice for families on effective co-parenting and child arrangements which is available at https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/covid-19-guidance-for-children-and-families/

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Government's response to covid-19, what his policy is on the potential postponement of tribunals for cases appealing decisions by the (a) the Department of Work and Pensions and (b) Home Office; and what steps he is taking to reduce the risk of vulnerable claimants involved in those cases from contracting covid-19 through attending tribunals.

MOJ and HMCTS are working closely with the Tribunals judiciary during the present COVID-19 outbreak. HMCTS has set out its priorities for managing the response to the coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to protect survivors of domestic abuse from further trauma in the family courts.

Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime and we are determined to better protect and support the victims of abuse and their children, and bring perpetrators to justice.

In May 2019, we announced a public call for evidence led by a panel of experts to help us better understand victims’ experiences of the system, and make sure the family court is never used to coerce or re-traumatise those who have been abused.

The panel are in the process of drafting their report and recommendations for next steps, which will be published in the Spring.

The Domestic Abuse Bill, reintroduced on March 3rd, also includes a provision to prohibit perpetrators of abuse from cross-examining their victims in person in the family courts in England and Wales and the Government has agreed to widen the range of evidence which will trigger the automatic ban, in line with the legal aid regime.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Government guidance on the Gov.UK website entitled, Ask for a Crown Court sentence to be reviewed, will be updated to include coercive control.

The Government keeps the GOV.UK website under constant review. Following the expansion of the Unduly Lenient Scheme in November, the attorney general office is currently updating the guidance available online relating to these measures to ensure it provides the public with the most useful information about the scheme.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to raise awareness of the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme among victims of domestic violence.

The Government publishes information on the Unduly Lenient Scheme online on the GOV.UK website, but we are also exploring how to increase awareness of this scheme to victims of crime.

The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code) sets out a minimum standard of service and information that must be provided to victims of crime by the criminal justice system. We are currently consulting on a revised Code, which for the first time includes information for victims about the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many women have travelled to England to receive abortion care since the establishment of a legal framework for abortion in Northern Ireland on 31 March 2020.

The health and safety of women and girls remains paramount in accessing abortion services across the UK. I note there is some local provision of services, with over 719 abortions having been provided in Northern Ireland.

Where access is sought in other circumstances and cannot yet be provided locally in Northern Ireland, we are continuing to engage closely with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who are contracted to provide access to the Government-funded services in England. During Covid-19, even where travel options have been limited, some abortion services have remained available in England for women resident in Northern Ireland to access.

The statistics for 2020 will be published later this year by the Department of Health and Social Care as per usual practice.

We firmly believe that full commissioning of services by the Department of Health would remain the most appropriate way to progress the matter and we are working to further engage and offer support to achieve this at the earliest opportunity.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, including considering further legislative action at Westminster.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on equality for women across the UK of the lack of (a) funding or (b) commissioning for abortion services in Northern Ireland.

I am pleased that since the Regulations we made came into effect from 31 March 2020, some abortion service provision has commenced on the ground in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health clinics across most Health and Social Care Trusts. According to figures released by the Department of Health in October, over 719 abortions have been provided in Northern Ireland. The collection of notification forms, and relevant data, in Northern Ireland is a matter for the Northern Ireland Department of Health.

Informing Choices Northern Ireland has been acting as the Central Access Point in order to provide a local pathway to this abortion care. Women and girls resident in Northern Ireland also continue to have access to safe, fully-funded abortion services in England through the Government-funded scheme and remain able to contact the Central Booking Scheme for support and advice on options available in this regard.

The health and safety of women and girls remains paramount in accessing abortion services right across the UK. We firmly believe that full commissioning of services by the Department of Health would remain the most appropriate way to progress the matter and we are working to further engage and offer support to achieve this at the earliest opportunity.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, including considering further legislative action at Westminster.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure abortion services in Northern Ireland are compliant with the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Regulations have been in place to make provision for accessing abortions in Northern Ireland since 31 March 2020, consistent with section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019.

I note that some service provision commenced on the ground in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health services from last April. Over 719 women and girls have been able to access services locally since this time.

We remain disappointed that the Northern Ireland Executive and Department of Health have not acted to ensure they deliver on these rights following the earlier change to the law. However, we firmly believe that full commissioning of services by the Department of Health would remain the most appropriate way to progress the matter and we are working to further engage and offer support to achieve this.

In the meantime, we are continuing to fund access to services in England for women and girls where access is not available locally in Northern Ireland.

We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, including considering further legislative action at Westminster.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)