John Penrose Portrait

John Penrose

Conservative - Weston-super-Mare

Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Nov 2018 - 26th Jul 2019
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
8th Feb 2014 - 17th Jul 2016
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
8th May 2015 - 17th Jul 2016
Committee of Selection
17th Jul 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2013 - 8th Feb 2014
Administration Committee
3rd Dec 2012 - 28th Oct 2013
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Regulatory Reform
29th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
19th Jan 2009 - 27th Jul 2009
Work and Pensions Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 29th Jun 2009


Scheduled Event
Friday 22nd October 2021
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Planning (Street Plans) Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Information Commissioner (Remuneration)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 359 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 2
Speeches
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Gas Prices and Energy Suppliers

The Secretary of State is absolutely right to focus on consumers and not to bail out energy firms that got …

Written Answers
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Subsidies: Disclosure of Information
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the quantitative calculations and …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 8th November 2016
TRIGGERING OF ARTICLE 50
That this House supports the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union according to the Government's …
Bills
Monday 13th September 2021
Planning (Street Plans) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about the creation and operation of street-level plans for local development; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Jill Lawrie
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Thursday 28th June 2018
REFERRAL OF BURMA TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
That this House expresses concern that Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Burmese military, has paid no real …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 10th June 2020
Local Electricity Bill 2019-21
A Bill to enable electricity generators to become local electricity suppliers; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, John Penrose has voted in 287 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
John Penrose voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All John Penrose 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(6 debate interactions)
Robert Buckland (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
Dan Carden (Labour)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(11 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all John Penrose's debates

Weston-super-Mare 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).

John Penrose has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by John Penrose

1st May 2018
John Penrose signed this EDM on Thursday 28th June 2018

REFERRAL OF BURMA TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Tabled by: Rushanara Ali (Labour - Bethnal Green and Bow)
That this House expresses concern that Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Burmese military, has paid no real price for the military offensive against the Rohingya which began in August 2017; notes that around 700,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee to Bangladesh, joining the more than 300,000 …
88 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Sep 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 19
Liberal Democrat: 7
Conservative: 6
Independent: 6
Plaid Cymru: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
The Independent Group for Change: 1
Green Party: 1
8th November 2016
John Penrose signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 8th November 2016

TRIGGERING OF ARTICLE 50

Tabled by: John Penrose (Conservative - Weston-super-Mare)
That this House supports the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union according to the Government's timetable.
40 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Dec 2016)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 35
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Independent: 1
View All John Penrose's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Penrose, 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.


John Penrose has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Penrose has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by John Penrose


A Bill to make provision about the creation and operation of street-level plans for local development; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 13th September 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 22nd October 2021
Order Paper number: 25
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

55 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
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reporting external meetings of (a) special advisers and (b) senior officials below Permanent Secretary level, on a similar basis to that which applies to Ministers and Permanent Secretaries.

The Government publishes a comprehensive set of transparency publications and we keep this under review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether calls to the Census support phone helpline are cut off by the helpline if not answered within a certain time.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department holds on the average waiting times for calls to the Census support phone helpline; and what proportion of the calls to that helpline have been dropped or terminated.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the current response time is for the Parliamentary Ombudsman to respond to correspondence and questions from hon. Members; what assessment he has made of recent trends in those response times; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current performance of the Ombudsman is replying to those inquiries.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its performance. The PHSO will therefore reply separately to this question by letter.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the National Audit Office report on Government procurement during the covid-19 pandemic, published 18 November 2020, whether all qualifying Government contracts will be published on Contracts Finder within the recommended 90 day time limit; and what estimate he has made of the length of time it will take to clear the backlog of those contracts waiting to be published.

Being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the NAO report which recognises that the government ‘needed to procure with extreme urgency’ and ‘secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers’.

All contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published as soon as possible in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Robust processes are in place for the award of government contracts. PPE offers were assessed using the same eight step process, including quality checks, price controls and other due diligence, no matter where the original referral came from. This eight step process has been published in the NAO’s report. For further details please see the statement on gov.uk.

We are committed to transparency in public procurement. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. We regret that some details have not been uploaded in a timely fashion. All will be published as soon as possible and significant information is already available online.

The forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will strengthen our longstanding and essential policies that are fundamental to public procurement including transparency, ensuring value for money and fair treatment of suppliers. As part of this, we will propose legislating to reinforce that contracting authorities would need to publish basic disclosure information, including the basis of award decisions.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learned from how we responded to this unprecedented global pandemic and the government is fully committed to doing so. We will address the NAO report’s recommendations in due course. As I stated in my answer on 12 November, we are engaged in both internal and external audit to review how our procurements during this period have been conducted.


The service to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support has closed. Information for businesses seeking to offer coronavirus support is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the November 2020 NAO report on Government procurement during the covid-19 outbreak, if he will open the fast track approval process to all potential contracts and suppliers to ensure equal treatment for all.

Being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the NAO report which recognises that the government ‘needed to procure with extreme urgency’ and ‘secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers’.

All contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published as soon as possible in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Robust processes are in place for the award of government contracts. PPE offers were assessed using the same eight step process, including quality checks, price controls and other due diligence, no matter where the original referral came from. This eight step process has been published in the NAO’s report. For further details please see the statement on gov.uk.

We are committed to transparency in public procurement. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. We regret that some details have not been uploaded in a timely fashion. All will be published as soon as possible and significant information is already available online.

The forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will strengthen our longstanding and essential policies that are fundamental to public procurement including transparency, ensuring value for money and fair treatment of suppliers. As part of this, we will propose legislating to reinforce that contracting authorities would need to publish basic disclosure information, including the basis of award decisions.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learned from how we responded to this unprecedented global pandemic and the government is fully committed to doing so. We will address the NAO report’s recommendations in due course. As I stated in my answer on 12 November, we are engaged in both internal and external audit to review how our procurements during this period have been conducted.


The service to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support has closed. Information for businesses seeking to offer coronavirus support is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the NAO report into Government procurement during the covid-19 pandemic, if the Government will publish data for all future direct award contracts on how the risks of procuring suppliers without competition have been mitigated; and when the Government plans to publish that information for all existing direct award contracts.

Being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the NAO report which recognises that the government ‘needed to procure with extreme urgency’ and ‘secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers’.

All contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published as soon as possible in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Robust processes are in place for the award of government contracts. PPE offers were assessed using the same eight step process, including quality checks, price controls and other due diligence, no matter where the original referral came from. This eight step process has been published in the NAO’s report. For further details please see the statement on gov.uk.

We are committed to transparency in public procurement. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. We regret that some details have not been uploaded in a timely fashion. All will be published as soon as possible and significant information is already available online.

The forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will strengthen our longstanding and essential policies that are fundamental to public procurement including transparency, ensuring value for money and fair treatment of suppliers. As part of this, we will propose legislating to reinforce that contracting authorities would need to publish basic disclosure information, including the basis of award decisions.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learned from how we responded to this unprecedented global pandemic and the government is fully committed to doing so. We will address the NAO report’s recommendations in due course. As I stated in my answer on 12 November, we are engaged in both internal and external audit to review how our procurements during this period have been conducted.


The service to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support has closed. Information for businesses seeking to offer coronavirus support is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the quantitative calculations and evidence supporting the statement in the Subsidy Control Bill's Impact Assessment, section 290, that lowering transparency thresholds for publication from £500,000 to either £175,000 or £0 would have a net additional benefit of 0.00001 per cent a year.

The Bill’s Impact Assessment can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subsidy-control-bill-2021-bill-documents.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the total value of reported Government subsidies to businesses as at 14 September 2021.

According to the most recent available State Aid Scoreboard, the total reported subsidies between 2010 and 2019 in the United Kingdom was €80.1bn for non-agricultural subsidies. Data covering 2020 will be included in the next annual report of the State Aid Scoreboard.

Data for the period from 01 January 2021 is held on the UK’s publicly-accessible subsidy Transparency Database.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to (a) assess and (b) monitor the effectiveness of subsidies made by public authorities falling below the transparency thresholds proposed in the Subsidy Control Bill; and whether those subsidies will be required to be reported to his Department by public authorities.

The new subsidy transparency rules will make the UK a world leader in subsidy transparency and will provide subsidy data for improving subsidy design across the UK.

Any financial support below £315,000 over three years does not require a public authority to check the subsidy against the principles, because it is exempt as Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA). This financial support does not need to be reported to the Government or uploaded to the transparency database. The Government does not intend to assess and monitor the effectiveness of financial support which is exempt from the subsidy control rules.

The subsidy transparency rules have been designed to balance the administrative burden of recording subsidies with the benefits of subsidy transparency for those subsidies most likely to distort competition. This is why the MFA threshold is set at £315,000 over three years.

Regardless of the transparency rules, public authorities have a responsibility to ensure that any public money they provide is spent appropriately. Nonetheless, the assessment of financial support which is exempt from the rules would reduce the effectiveness of the dataset generated by the subsidy control database. Any subsidy data analysis should focus on those subsidies subject to the rules of the regime.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a breakdown of the main purposes of subsidies awarded by public bodies that were below the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) transparency threshold in each calendar year between 2015 and 2020.

Information on subsidies which were below the EU State aid transparency threshold was not required to be declared on the EU State Aid Transparency Public Search tool.

The information is also not held centrally by the Government and could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total (a) number and (b) value of subsidies awarded by public bodies that were below the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) transparency threshold was in each calendar year between 2015 and 2020.

Information on subsidies which were below the EU State aid transparency threshold was not required to be declared on the EU State Aid Transparency Public Search tool.

The information is also not held centrally by the Government and could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to reply to the letters of 16 July 2020 and 17 August 2020 and telephone call of 10 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on Weston Choral Society, raised on behalf of his constituent Howard Sayer.

A response to the 16 July letter was sent to the Hon Member on 13 August.

6th Sep 2021
What plans his Department has to help secondary school pupils choose tertiary education courses informed by the (a) salaries and (b) employment rates of people completing those courses.

The National Careers Service website provides robust national labour market information (LMI), including average earnings and typical work hours, for individual occupations. In the Skills for Jobs white paper we set out the ambition that the National Careers Service website will be updated to become a single source of government-assured careers information for young people and adults. The revamped website will include improved and updated labour market information. We will bring together all the learning and careers routes available to people, along with improved content on work experience, the job market, and applying for roles.

We published updated statutory guidance for schools and colleges in July 2021. This includes a reminder to schools of their obligation to inform students when courses they are considering lead to poor career outcomes.

We are working closely with our partners to develop the best approach to making localised LMI available to schools and colleges. The Careers & Enterprise Company is working with local partners, including Skills Advisory Panels, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and Mayoral Combined Authorities to develop a greater understanding of local skills needs and disseminate LMI to schools and colleges. This includes promoting the use of the National Careers Service website and encouraging Careers Leaders to interpret labour market data for their students.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 11 January 2021 and 8 February 2021 on behalf of his constituent, Michael Saunders, on funding for a university course.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letters dated 11 January and 8 February 2021, from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to reply to the correspondence of 10 December 2020 and of 15 January 2021 from the right hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent about covid-19 in special schools with medically vulnerable children.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letters dated 10 December, reference JP56880 and 15 January, reference JP5688010, from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to reply to the letters of 9 November and 8 December 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent Chris Hildrew, headteacher of Churchill Academy & Sixth Form, on the effect of covid-19 on schools.

I can confirm that a response has been sent ref JP56663, to the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress is being made on the roll-out of the National Retraining Scheme; how many people (a) that scheme has been rolled out to and (b) have taken up that scheme; and which locations that scheme has been rolled out to.

We have taken a user centred, test and learn approach to developing the National Retraining Scheme, starting small and developing products iteratively. Through this approach we have introduced the first part of the scheme, Get Help to Retrain, alongside developing other areas such as online training and in-work technical training.

Get Help to Retrain helps users to understand their current skills, explore alternative occupations that they could do and find and sign up to the training they need to access opportunities for a broad range of good jobs.

We started testing the digital service in the Liverpool City Region in July 2019, and have since improved the service and rolled out to eligible users in five further areas: West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, North East, Leeds, and Heart of the South West. To date, over 2,700 users have accessed Get Help to Retrain.

Due to the current circumstances, including the COVID-19 outbreak, we are reviewing what the implications could be in terms of the development and roll out of Get Help to Retrain. We are developing our approach for the National Retraining Scheme in the context of the new National Skills Fund and other reforms to adult skills funding and provision and we will provide a further update in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to reply to the letters of 4 May 2020, 19 May 2020 and 10 of June 2020 and telephone calls of 1 August 2020 and 7 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on pet theft, raised on behalf of his constituent Gail Kalinowski.

The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith replied to the letter of 4 May from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Gail Kalinowski, by email on 2 July. Defra reference MC2020/12686/ES.

I replied to the letter of 16 March from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Mary V Mead, by email on 24 November. Defra reference MC2020/24831/GW

The Secretary of State replied to the letter of 8 August from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Geoffrey Pudney, by email on 6 October. Defra reference MC2020/20475/MK.

I have arranged for copies of the replies to be sent to the hon. Member and have also asked Defra officials to investigate the cause of the replies not being received by the hon. Member when originally sent.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to reply to the letters of 16 March 2020, 2 May 2020 and 10 June 2020 and telephone calls of 13 August 2020 and 7 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on the removal of payments to farmers in advance of the Environmental Land Management scheme being introduced, raised on behalf of his constituent Mrs Mary V Mead.

The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith replied to the letter of 4 May from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Gail Kalinowski, by email on 2 July. Defra reference MC2020/12686/ES.

I replied to the letter of 16 March from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Mary V Mead, by email on 24 November. Defra reference MC2020/24831/GW

The Secretary of State replied to the letter of 8 August from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Geoffrey Pudney, by email on 6 October. Defra reference MC2020/20475/MK.

I have arranged for copies of the replies to be sent to the hon. Member and have also asked Defra officials to investigate the cause of the replies not being received by the hon. Member when originally sent.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to reply to the letters of 8 August 2020 and 28 October 2020 and telephone calls of 1 December 2020 and 10 December 2020 on the illegal killing of hen harriers and other birds of prey, raised on behalf of his constituent Geoffrey Pudney.

The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith replied to the letter of 4 May from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Gail Kalinowski, by email on 2 July. Defra reference MC2020/12686/ES.

I replied to the letter of 16 March from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Mary V Mead, by email on 24 November. Defra reference MC2020/24831/GW

The Secretary of State replied to the letter of 8 August from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of his constituent, Geoffrey Pudney, by email on 6 October. Defra reference MC2020/20475/MK.

I have arranged for copies of the replies to be sent to the hon. Member and have also asked Defra officials to investigate the cause of the replies not being received by the hon. Member when originally sent.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether the number of commissioned service contracts in place under the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail be the same as the number of rail franchises operated under the previous system.

It will be for Great British Railways to determine the number of Passenger Service Contracts let. The geographic and financial size of Passenger Service Contracts will reflect local markets and needs. Great British Railways will need to take account of the full range of operational, commercial and economic factors in making these decisions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 21 January and 6 May 2021 on behalf of constituent, Paul Walton, on the impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry.

A response to these letters was sent on 7 June.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative assessment he has made of the (a) cost, (b) efficacy and (b) value of the (i) Operator of Last Resort and (ii) private sector operators.

The Operator of Last Resort (OLR) function exists to discharge the Secretary of State’s Duties under Section 30 of the Railways Act 1993. In deciding whether to transfer an operator to the OLR, the Secretary of State has regard to the Statement of policy on the exercise of the Secretary of State's power under section 26(1) of the Railways Act 1993.

If an operator is transferred into the OLR, that operator is managed under contract by the Department for Transport in much the same way as private sector operators are. These contracts deal with issues of cost, efficacy and value on an operator by operator basis.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2021 to Question 10306 and with reference to the response to part A of that Question, if she will publish the statistical information requested in response to a Parliamentary Question or via a Ministerial Statement; with reference to the response to part B of Question 10306, what costs are involved in publishing the statistical information held by her Department and not yet in the public domain as referenced in response to part A; and if she will respond to part D of Question 10306.

The number of claimants whose award has ended and were waiting for their new claim to be processed is not in the public domain.

New statistical information cannot be released via a Ministerial Statement. Under the Code of Practice for Statistics, statistics must be published so that they are equally available to all, not given to some people before others.

The statistics cannot be provided in response to a parliamentary question because the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. For PQs, there is a requirement to produce information to the same quality standard as Official Statistics. To assess the completeness of recording and quality assure the figures requested to this standard would take in excess of the time permitted to respond to a PQ and therefore incurs disproportionate cost.

In response to part (d) of question 10306, we always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible and are treating as a priority advance claims, where a person’s previous fixed term award has ended. We are working with Assessment Providers to arrange assessment appointments as soon as possible. Where a person is found to still be eligible for PIP their award is backdated to the point they claimed, so no one loses out financially.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, further to the reply of 14 May 2021 to the letter from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on behalf of North Somerset Citizens' Advice Bureau, (a) for what reason his Department was unable to provide figures of the number of claimants whose award has ended and were waiting for their new claim to be processed, (b) when he will provide them, (c) what estimate he has made of the number of claimants in this position; and (d) what steps he is taking to resolve the issue.

We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible and are treating as a priority advance claims, where a person’s previous fixed term award has ended. Where a person is found to still be eligible for Personal Independence Payment their award is backdated to the point they claimed or when their previous award ended, so no one loses out financially.

In relation to part (a) of your question, the information requested in respect of the numbers of claimants whose award has ended and were waiting for their new claim to be processed is not in the public domain; new statistical information is not released via Ministerial Correspondence.

In relation to parts (b) and (c) the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 22 March and 28 May 2021 on NHS pensions on behalf of constituent Ms Stacey.

I replied to the hon. Member on 23 August 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letters of 19 March 2021 and 6 May 2021 from the hon Member for Weston-super-Mare, on behalf of a constituent Charles Athcley on DIY abortions.

We replied to the hon. Member on 2 August 2021.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 11 February and 6 May 2021 on behalf of constituent, David McFarlane, on the covid-19 vaccination programme.

We replied to the hon. Member on 9 June 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 7 March and 5 May 2021 on pay for NHS staff on behalf of his constituent John Weeks.

We replied to the hon. Member on 17 June 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 1 April and 5 May 2021 on covid tests for migrants on behalf of his constituent Michael Joyce.

We replied to the hon. Member on 8 June 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Weston-super- Mare of 10 February and 15 March 2021 on behalf of constituent Stephen Watters on the impact of covid-19 on people affected by dementia.

We replied to the hon. Member on 21 April 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 8 December 2020 and 15 January 2021 on behalf of constituent, Ian Flather, on the effect of covid-19 on disabled people.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 16 December 2020 and 15 January 2021 on behalf of constituent, Jean Chamberlain, on private medical patients.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 6 November 2020 and 15 January 2021 on behalf of constituent, Timothy Hawes, on revision of the social care system.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2021 to Question 140762, whether retired dentists who cannot re-register are unable to take a patient's medical history, draw up the covid-19 vaccine from vial to syringe and undertake other basic tasks; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the speed of the vaccination programme of retired dentists being able to undertake those tasks.

Giving immunisations is usually a registered activity undertaken by registered healthcare professionals. However, due to the unprecedented scale of the vaccination programme, some tasks can be delegated to suitably trained, unregistered staff working under a National Protocol. An unregistered, retired dentist can apply to be an unregistered vaccinator and be appropriately trained and recertified as being competent to draw up and vaccinate within the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of NHS reusable rehabilitation equipment that was supplied to patients for home use and then never returned in each of the last five years.

No estimate has been made of these costs, on the grounds that the costs of buying this equipment are below the costs of collecting equipment and making it safe for re-use. Rehabilitation and support equipment supplied to patients requires decontamination and stress testing before being used again by another patient. This is to maintain an appropriate level of infection control and to ensure that equipment for frail patients is safe to use.

Given the relatively low cost of this equipment, the expense of setting up a system to collect, assess, clean and recycle equipment would be greater than the cost of purchasing new equipment. Trusts are able to set their own policies on the reuse and recycling of equipment and NHS England and NHS Improvement support initiatives to increase reuse and recycling.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to update the General Dental Council's legal powers to allow temporary re-registration of retired dentists to administer covid-19 vaccines in line with the General Medical Council.

Retired dentists do not need to be registered with the General Dental Council to be able to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

In October 2020 changes were made to the Human Medicines Regulations to expand the workforce capable of legally administering the flu and potential COVID-19 vaccines. The changes enable more healthcare professionals to participate in giving vaccinations and include the possibility that individuals who are not registered healthcare professionals will also be able to vaccinate with appropriate training and supervision.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 23 September and 20 November 2020 on behalf of his constituent, James Sleigh on dementia research.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 12 October and 12 November 2020 on behalf of constituent Ms Andrea Miller.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letters of 16 March 2020, 30 April  2020 and 12 June 2020 and telephone calls of 13 August 2020 and 7 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on covid-19 and the science of indoor air quality, raised on behalf of his constituent Philip Louden.

The Department replied to the hon. Member’s query on 20 April 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will plans reply to the letters of 15 July 2020 and 13 August 2020 and telephone call of 7 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on dentists, raised on behalf of his constituent John Pays.

We replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 10 August 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) number, (b) ethnicity and (c) religious beliefs of the victims of recent massacres in Tigray; and what assessment he has made of the part that elements of the Ethiopian regime played in those massacres.

We are shocked and saddened by further reports from Tigray of massacres of civilians, sexual violence, and attacks on humanitarian facilities and places of worship. An ongoing lack of access to the Tigray region for human rights organisations means that it remains difficult to confirm these reports. We will continue to work with partners to seek further information and to raise the need for humanitarian access.

We have made clear with Ethiopian Ministers the need to protect civilians and adhere to international law and international human rights law. We continue to call for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses and violations, and that the perpetrators of those incidents that are proven are held to account, whoever they may be. We will continue to make this point in upcoming conversations with the Government of Ethiopia.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for which (a) Nigerian Government officials and (b) civil society groups the UK Government will work with as a result of the declaration of July 2018 by the Nigerian House of Representatives that the killing of Christian farmers in Nigeria amounts to genocide.

We are aware of the statement made by the Nigerian House of Representatives in July 2018 on killings in Plateau State.

The UK Government condemns all incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all.

The UK Government's assessment remains that religion is not the principal driver of most incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria. The underlying drivers of conflict are complex, and include competition over land, water and resources, as well as rapid population growth. We hosted a joint conference on 'Fostering Social Cohesion in Nigeria' in February. Attendees included representatives from civil society, faith and political leaders, representatives from the Nigerian Government and UK parliamentarians. The discussion focused on the complex causes of conflict and explored solutions: a full report from the conference has been published: https://www.wiltonpark.org.uk/event/wp1752/

It is UK Government policy not to unilaterally determine whether genocide has occurred, in line with the Genocide Convention. This is a matter for competent courts and tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, after consideration of all the evidence, rather than governments or non-judicial bodies.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of applying sanctions to those responsible for committing or allowing incidences of persecution and human rights abuses against Christians in Nigeria.

In North East Nigeria, terrorist groups including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa have targeted both Christian and Muslim communities. Despite appalling attacks on Christians, the majority of those killed have been Muslim. Additionally, in many states across Nigeria incidents of intercommunal violence have affected Christian and Muslim communities. While religion is a factor in some incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria, the root causes are more complex and frequently relate to competition over resources and criminality.

We continue to call on the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to protect all communities affected by violence in Nigeria and carry out full investigations to bring perpetrators to justice.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime gives the Government a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses, including those who target individuals on the grounds of their religion or belief. It is longstanding practice not to speculate on future sanctions designations as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment has he made of the (a) extent of and (b) trends in the level of incidences of persecution and human rights abuses against Christians in Nigeria.

We are concerned by increasing insecurity in Nigeria. While communities of different religions live together peacefully across much of Nigeria, incidents of intercommunal violence occur across many states in the country. These continue to negatively impact on the human rights of communities of all faiths, including Christians. Religious identity is a factor in many incidents of intercommunal violence but the root causes are more complex and frequently relate to competition over resources and criminality.

In North East Nigeria, attacks by terrorist groups including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa over the past decade have had a devastating effect on communities of all faiths. These groups attack indiscriminately those who do not subscribe to their extremist views, abusing both international human rights and international humanitarian law including the rights to life, freedom of religion or belief, freedom from slavery and right for children not to be used in armed conflict. Although 2014 saw the greatest number of attacks on civilians, terrorist attacks continue to occur on a regular basis in the North East. While Christians have been targeted by the terrorist groups, the majority of people killed have been Muslim. We condemn all terrorist attacks and are providing a comprehensive package of security, humanitarian and stabilisation support to Nigeria to help tackle the terrorist threat.

In January, the Prime Minister discussed insecurity in Nigeria and UK support with President Buhari. Most recently, I raised concerns over intercommunal violence in Nigeria with President Buhari's Chief of Staff in June. We encourage the Government of Nigeria to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of conflict, and for those responsible for human rights violations or abuses to be held to account. We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting civilians, including all ethnic and religious groups, and human rights for all Nigerians.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential identities of the perpetrators of incidences of persecution and human rights abuses against Christians in Nigeria.

In North East Nigeria, attacks by terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, have had devastating effects on communities of all faiths, including Christians. These groups seek to undermine the right to freedom of religion by attacking indiscriminately those who do not subscribe to their extremist views. I have made clear to Parliament that the UK Government condemns all attacks made by these groups.

In many states in Nigeria, incidents of intercommunal violence have occurred between communities of different faiths and ethnicities. Reprisal attacks by affected communities have also occurred. Religious identity is a factor in this, but the drivers of intercommunal conflict are complex and include competition over natural resources and criminality. We are working with the Nigerian Government to respond to the challenge of resource competition. We have provided technical support to the Nigerian Government for the development of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. The plan aims to promote cattle-rearing in one place, rather than the traditional nomadic practice, to limit competition over land and resources leading to violence.

It is vital that those responsible for attacks in Nigeria are held to account. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the letters of 11 April 2020, 22 May 2020 and 23 June 2020 and telephone calls of 13 August 2020 and 7 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare on the self employed grant, raised on behalf of his constituent Sarah Aston-Davies.

A response was sent to the Member on 5 July 2020 and a further copy has been sent by email.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the letters of 29 July 2020 and 24 August 2020 and telephone call of 7 November 2020 on the Small Breweries' Relief scheme, raised on behalf of his constituent Mr Dave Turner.

A response was sent to the Member on 15 September 2020 and a further copy has been sent by email.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions the online verification service for the EU Settlement Scheme has been out of service since it was launched; and for how long it was out of service on each of those occasions.

The online’ View and Prove your immigration status’ service has been operational since the EU Settlement Scheme was launched. Between October 2019 and March 2021 the service has seen over 3.9m profile views by individuals, and over 330,000 views by organisations checking immigration status.

Our digital services are designed to be highly resilient, and undergo rigorous testing and quality assurance. Service outages are rare, and where they do occur, teams work to resolve these as quickly as possible. Data on service outages is not routinely collated or published.

Our dedicated Resolution Centre is able to assist users who may experience technical issues, and where necessary, enable individuals’ immigration status to be verified through alternative means.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare of 16 December 2020 and 8 February 2021 on behalf of a constituent, Mrs Frances Littlewood on shared parenting.

The Hon. Member’s letters were transferred to us on 22 February from the Department for Education. I can confirm that a response has been sent to the Hon. Member today, 16 March 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)