John Spellar Portrait

John Spellar

Labour - Warley

Defence Sub-Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Defence Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Sub-Committee
8th Sep 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Defence Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
8th Oct 2010 - 18th Sep 2015
Administration Committee
22nd Nov 2010 - 1st Jul 2013
Committee of Selection
21st Jun 2010 - 13th Oct 2010
Comptroller (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Finance and Services Committee
9th Feb 2009 - 6th May 2010
Conventions (Joint Committee)
17th May 2006 - 31st Oct 2006
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
13th Jun 2003 - 10th May 2005
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th May 2002 - 13th Jun 2003
Minister of State (Department of Transport, Local Government and Regions) (Transport)
8th Jun 2001 - 29th May 2002
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jul 1999 - 8th Jun 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th May 1997 - 28th Jul 1999
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)
1st Jun 1995 - 1st Jun 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
1st Jun 1994 - 1st Jun 1995
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jun 1992 - 1st Jun 1994
Energy
21st Jan 1983 - 9th Jun 1983


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
13:30
Defence Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Defending Global Britain in a Competitive Age
23 Jun 2021, 1:30 p.m.
At 2.00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP - Secretary of State at Ministry of Defence
Air Marshal Richard Knighton CB - Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff at Ministry of Defence
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Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 29th June 2021
14:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 6th July 2021
14:00
Defence Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Defending Global Britain in a Competitive Age
6 Jul 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Lt Gen (Retd) Ben Hodges - Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at Center for European Policy Analysis, and Former Commanding General (2014-2017) at United States Army Europe (Wiesbaden, Germany)
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Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 17th June 2021
Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Australia

Australia, like Canada, is one of our oldest and closest allies, and many of us have family and friends there, …

Written Answers
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
Biometric Residence Permits
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of Biometric Residence Permits are despatched to applicants …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 19th May 2021
Hometown Heroes
That this House congratulates the 14 Hometown Heroes who were nominated by the public and selected by the Birmingham 2022 …
Bills
Monday 21st June 2021
British Goods (Public Sector Purchasing Duty) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to place a duty on public bodies to have a presumption in favour of purchasing goods of British …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Henry Jackson Society
Address of donor: Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
Amount of donation, or …
EDM signed
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
GKN Automotive alternative plan
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 5th December 2017
Service Animals (Offences) 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, John Spellar has voted in 252 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
John Spellar voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
John Spellar voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 7 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
View All John Spellar 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(37 debate interactions)
Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(15 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(48 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(46 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all John Spellar's debates

Warley Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Warley signature proportion
Petition Open
271
of 42,508 signatures (0.64%)
Petition Open
1,301
of 386,656 signatures (0.34%)
Petition Open
371
of 149,428 signatures (0.25%)
Petitions with most Warley signatures
Petition Open
1,301
of 386,656 signatures (0.34%)
Petition Open
506
of 354,577 signatures (0.14%)
Petition Open
371
of 149,428 signatures (0.25%)
Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.

Being the first to close and still no clue as to when we can open, this seasonal industry is losing its summer profits that allows them to get through the first quarter of next year.

Even if we are allowed to open in December, 1 months profit won't be enough to keep us open in 2021. We need help

The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.


Latest EDMs signed by John Spellar

22nd June 2021
John Spellar 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 …
50 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 48
Independent: 2
7th June 2021
John Spellar signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 9th June 2021

Fees for London Licensed Taxi Trade at Heathrow Airport

Tabled by: John McDonnell (Labour - Hayes and Harlington)
That this House recognises the serious concerns of the London Licensed Taxi Trade regarding Heathrow Airport Ltd.’s plans to increase the fee payable when a driver enters the Heathrow Taxi Feeder Park in order to service the airports taxi ranks from 1 July 2021; supports the trade in its call …
5 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All John Spellar's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Spellar, 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 Spellar has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Spellar has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by John Spellar


Parallel Parliament Note:

The proposals laid down in this bill were enacted through changes to the National Policy Planning Framework. See here for more information.

A Bill to require specified planning controls in relation to developments likely to be affected by existing noise sources; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 10th January 2018
(Read Debate)

A Bill to place a duty on public bodies to have a presumption in favour of purchasing goods of British origin in purchasing decisions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 10th December 2021

284 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
5 Other Department Questions
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how much IPSA spent on rent for its premises in the Strand in London in 2020-21.

IPSA incurred costs in 2019 - 20 of £524K on rent, rates and service charges. The equivalent figure for 2020 - 21 will be published after the end of the financial year in IPSA's 2020 - 21 annual report and accounts.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how many IPSA staff are normally based at their office in the Strand.

IPSA staff are currently working remotely, in accordance with government Covid-19 guidelines. During 2019 - 20 there was an average of 83 full-time equivalent staff working for IPSA, based in 85 Strand.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reason the Commons authorities are buying German rather than British wash basin taps.

The Public Contract Regulations 2015 are UK law and in general they prohibit contracting authorities from specifying the country of manufacture or origin when purchasing goods. This has not changed now that the Brexit transition period has ended.


The wash basin taps in question were supplied through British companies including Dart Valley Systems. This particular supplier has a Swiss parent company (Franke) which operates globally.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the salary will be for members of the Independent Experts Panel.

Members of the Independent Expert Panel will be paid, monthly in arrears, a fee of £350 (excluding VAT) for each half-day spent by the Panel member in the provision of their services.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when is it proposed to reintroduce cash payment at outlets in the House of Commons.

The reintroduction of cash payments in catering outlets will be reviewed by the Catering Service Management team in accordance with any changes to industry guidance provided by the Government. The current guidance encourages contactless payments, where possible, which the House is adopting as part of its measures to manage the risk of COVID transmission on the Parliamentary Estate.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many serving civil servants are also employed by or on behalf of another employer.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service. The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions .

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason Question 164350 tabled by the Rt Hon Member for Warley on 8 March 2021 has not received an answer; and when he plans to answer that Question.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the question raised by the Rt Hon. Member. I refer him to the answer given to PQ164350 on 25 March 2021.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Cabinet Secretary was consulted on the financing of the recent refurbishment of No. 10 Downing St.

The Downing Street complex is a working building, as well as containing two Ministerial residences. As has been the case under successive administrations, refurbishments and maintenance are made periodically.

Works to the Downing Street estate are overseen by the Cabinet Office. It is not the practice of successive administrations to comment on which officials have been consulted or advised on matters.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to remove websites from search engines that appear to be from Government departments but are companies charging a fee.

Further to the answer to PQ59372 on 22 June 2020, Government Departments have a number of processes in place to ensure users seeking information from Government Departments, including on search engines, are not diverted to fee-charging and misleading websites.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The end of the Transition Period provides an historic opportunity to overhaul our outdated public procurement regime. Cabinet Office undertook an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement during 2019 to identify where improvements could be made and the recently published Green Paper Transforming Government Procurement shapes those findings into concrete proposals.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the organisation of the Census.

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

Please note that the UK Statistics Authority is responsible for delivering the Census in England and Wales. The National Records for Scotland and the Scottish Government are responsible for the Scottish Census, and NISRA cover the Census in Northern Ireland.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to allow weddings and civil partnership ceremonies to recommence.

The Government understands the huge significance of weddings. We recognise that because weddings have not been able to take place in recent months this has caused difficulty and distress for many people. As set out in the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, published in May, the Government has been examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups better to facilitate small weddings. We have worked closely with faith leaders and local government on how best to achieve this. The Prime Minister announced on 23 June that wedding and civil partnership ceremonies will be able to take place in England from 4 July. People should avoid having a large ceremony, and should invite no more than thirty family and friends. Venues should ensure they are COVID-19 secure.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to prevent individuals seeking information from Government Departments being diverted to fee-charging websites.

Government Departments have processes in place to ensure users seeking information from Government Departments are not diverted to fee-charging or misleading websites.

We work to ensure that government information and services are correctly listed and rank highly in search engine results so that they are easy for people to find and identify as government information and services.

We also challenge sites that pay for prominent positioning in search returns, by reporting them to the relevant search provider.

If fee-charging websites are operating outside of legal boundaries, we will pursue site owners through trading standards bodies or legal challenge.

GOV.UK is the government's website and online brand. We take steps to ensure people can rely on it as a trusted source for information.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingency Committee was disbanded.

The body referred to in the Hon. Members' questions was one of a number of sub-Committees of the National Security Council. Since July 2019, the National Security Council itself now consider matters relating to national security, foreign policy, defence, international relations and development, resilience, energy and resource security. This includes oversight of the National Security Risk Assessment. This administrative measure simply reflected a wider consolidation of Cabinet Committee sub-Committees.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the main supply chain constraints are on the expansion of covid-19 vaccine production in the UK.

The Government has been monitoring the requirements across the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain from supplier through to patient for some time. There are clear supply chain plans in place for both the supply and onward deployment of all vaccine candidates. This includes materials, manufacturing, transport, storage and distribution. The Vaccines Taskforce has conducted supply chain risk assessments and is working with the vaccine suppliers to understand the optimal logistics and timings.

We have successfully met our target of offering a first vaccine dose to every person within priority groups 1-9, three days before our 15 April target. Our target is to offer a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults aged 18 and over by 19 July, two weeks earlier than planned.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 3795 on Electric Vehicles: Vans, what steps his Department is taking to maximise the manufacture of electric vans in the UK.

The Government is continuing its longstanding programme of support to ensure that the UK automotive sector remains at the forefront of technological developments. The Government and Industry have jointly committed almost £1.5 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Faraday Battery Challenge to support the research, development, and manufacture of zero and low-emission technologies.

The Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers a comprehensive package of support to enable the take up of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) including vans. This will see nearly £1.5bn of support invested over the period 2015-2021. Demand for ultra-low emission vans is increasing, with an increase of more than 70% in 2020 (5,863 new plug in van grant (PIVG) eligible vans registered), compared to 2019 (3,389).

In that time, ultra-low emission vans have risen from 1.0% to 2.1% of the new van market in the UK. Uptake has been boosted by 11 new models eligible for PIVG coming to market in 2020, including nine vans in the most popular large van segment.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the fairness of the level of charges by insolvency firms on (a) business and (b) the public purse.

Insolvency legislation provides that the remuneration and expenses of insolvency officeholders are subject to the approval of creditors, and to the overall control of the court. Creditors have the power to challenge remuneration by application to court.

Statutory objectives introduced in 2015 require insolvency regulators to ensure that Insolvency Practitioners provide high quality services, at a cost to the recipient which is fair and reasonable. A response to the Government’s call for evidence on insolvency regulation, which sought views on the impact and effectiveness of the objectives, will be published later in the year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with industry on ensuring maximum production of electric vans in the UK.

The Government regularly engages with manufacturers and manufacturing trade associations on opportunities to support the growth and competitiveness of manufacturing sectors in the UK.

The Government consulted last year on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans. We sought views on the phase out date, the definition of what should be phased out, barriers to achieving the proposals, the impact of the ambitions on different sectors of industry and society, and what measures were required by government and others to achieve the earlier phase out date.

As part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s ten point plan published in November 2020, we announced that we would phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. On 10 March, the Government published the full written outcome of the consultation including stakeholder views and the Government’s response. These ambitions will be supported by an accompanying package of £2.8 billion, with up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure and £582 million for plug in vehicle grants.

Between 2030 and 2035, any new cars and vans sold that emit from the tailpipe must have significant zero emission capability. This will be defined through consultation in the coming months.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies are registered in (a) Sandwell and (b) the West Midlands.

Please find below the number of companies and Limited Liability Partnerships for (a) Sandwell and (b) West Midlands as at Friday 14 May 2021:

Sandwell: 18,691 active companies registered;

West Midlands: 377,299 active companies registered.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the UK's CO2 emissions were in (a) in total and (b) per capita in (i) 1990 and (ii) 2019.

Over the last three decades, the UK has achieved record clean growth and has met its world-leading climate change commitments. The UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions were 809 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1990 and decreased by 44% to 455Mt by 2019. Specifically for CO2, the figures were 608Mt in 1990 and 365Mt in 2019 – a 40% fall.

At the same time, the UK’s population grew by 16% between 1990 and 2019. This implies an approximate fall of over 50% in territorial greenhouse gas emissions per person, from 14.1tCO2e to 6.8tCO2e per person. Carbon dioxide emissions per capita fell from 10.6Mt per person to 5.5Mt.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the UK CO2 emissions were in (a) in total and (b) per capita in (i) 1990 and (ii) 2019.

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

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 April 2021 to Question 180920 on Unite: Annual Reports, for what reason it was not feasible for the Certification Officer to publish the annual return for Unite between 18 December 2020 and early March 2021.

It was not feasible for the Certification Officer to publish the annual return for Unite between 18 December 2020 and early March 2021 due to staff absence. Throughout this period, copies of the annual return were made available for public inspection on application to her office.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies are registered in (a) Sandwell and (b) the West Midlands.

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

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2021, what reasons the Certification Officer has provided for the length of time taken between receiving the 2019 annual return for Unite on 18 December 2020 and publishing that return in March 2021.

The Certification Officer published the Unite annual return as soon as it was feasible to do so. There is no statutory requirement for the Certification Officer to publish annual returns within a particular period.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason did the Certification Office not publish page 36 of the Unite 2019 return regarding compensation for key management personnel as referenced in Note 4 on page 14 of the notes to the consolidated accounts.

Page 36 of the notes to the consolidated accounts for year ending 31 December 2019 was not provided to the Certification Officer by Unite. There is no statutory requirement for Unite to supply the Certification Officer with a complete set of notes to the consolidated accounts.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2021 to Question 160530, on what date the 2019 return for Unite was received by the Certification Office.

The Certification Officer received the 2019 annual return for Unite on 18 December 2020. This annual return has now been published on GOV.UK by the Certification Officer.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on Asian wedding businesses of the limit on the number of guests permitted weddings until 21 June 2021.

BEIS officials and I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce established to represent all parts of the Weddings sector [in England], including Asian wedding businesses, to hear their feedback about the impact of the restrictions on them and the business support available. On 22 February, the Prime Minister published the Government’s ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’. The roadmap is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously, starting with education. Across the four steps, the roadmap sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions, including those on the wedding sector.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, which we keep under regular review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the economy of limiting the number of guests at weddings until 21 June 2021.

BEIS officials and I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce established to represent all parts of the Weddings sector [in England], to understand the impact of the pandemic on jobs and businesses. On 22 February, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister published the Government’s ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’. The roadmap is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously, starting with education. Across the four steps, the roadmap sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions, including those on the wedding sector.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, which we keep under regular review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 25 February 2020 to Question 156255 on Certification Officer, whether the Labour Market Director in his Department made an assessment of the effect of non-publication of the 2019 accounts of Unite the Union on the Certification Office website on compliance with section 32 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.

Section 32 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 places an obligation on trade unions to submit an annual return to the Certification Officer, and requires the Certification Officer to keep that annual return available for public inspection. Unite the Union have provided the Certification Officer with an annual return. This annual return will be published on the Certification Officer website in due course. A copy of that return is available to members of the public on application to the Certification Officer.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Certification Office.

The Certification Officer is the independent statutory office holder responsible for regulating trade unions and employers’ associations.

The Certification Officer lays a report before Parliament annually. The most recent report was laid in July 2020. The Certification Officer also publishes an annual operational plan, the most recent of which was published in June 2020. These documents provide insight to the effectiveness of the operations of the Certification Officer. Furthermore, the Labour Market Director within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reviews the Certification Officer’s performance annually.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of skilled heat pump installers in the UK.

Industry figures suggest that there are currently (February 2021) over 1,000 Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS) registered companies that install air, water, or ground-source heat pumps in the UK. We expect this number to increase considerably over the forthcoming years in response to growing market demand.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of (a) the number of firms in the UK that produce heat pumps and (b) the output of those companies in number of units produced in 2019.

In December 2020, the Department published analysis of the heat pump manufacturing supply chain (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heat-pump-manufacturing-supply-chain-research-project). This research indicates that there are currently five companies manufacturing heat pumps in the UK. In 2019, these manufacturers produced over 10,000 heat pump units for the domestic market and there are a growing number of exports into Europe. The majority of these units are air source heat pumps, predominantly manufactured by Mitsubishi, and a smaller proportion are ground source heat pumps, predominantly manufactured by Kensa. The research also shows that there are significant opportunities for the UK supply chain to grow, as we increase deployment of heat pumps over the next decade.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many doses of covid-19 vaccine were produced for the UK on 13 January 2021.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and vaccine supplies are part of our critical national infrastructure. Vaccines are a precious resource in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons, it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies and exact detail about future deliveries.

The Government has invested over £300 million in scaling up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, which includes investments in Wockhardt where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is filled and finished. We continue to plan to meet our target of vaccinating all four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by the middle of February.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the daily vaccine manufacturing capacity is in the UK.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and vaccine supplies are part of our critical national infrastructure. Vaccines are a precious resource in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons, it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies and exact detail about future deliveries.

The Government has invested over £300 million in scaling up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, which includes investments in Wockhardt where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is filled and finished. We continue to plan to meet our target of vaccinating all four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by the middle of February.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what is the current daily vaccine vial filling capacity in the UK; and what was the output in the week beginning 11 January.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and vaccine supplies are part of our critical national infrastructure. Vaccines are a precious resource in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons, it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies and exact detail about future deliveries.

The Government has invested over £300 million in scaling up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, which includes investments in Wockhardt where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is filled and finished. We continue to plan to meet our target of vaccinating all four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by the middle of February.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many vaccine vial filling plants are operating in the UK; and are the plants operating at (a) weekends and (b) on continuous shift patterns.

The Government has invested over £300 million in scaling up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, which includes investments in Wockhardt where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is filled and finished.

Questions regarding operational matters are for the companies themselves and we continue to plan to meet our target of vaccinating all four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination, by the middle of February.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many doses of covid vaccine are awaiting testing; and what is the current time taken between a batch of vaccine arriving at the testing facility and being forwarded to the vial filling plant.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and vaccine supplies are part of our critical national infrastructure. Vaccines are a precious resource in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons, it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies and exact detail about future deliveries.

The Government has invested over £300 million in scaling up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, which includes investments in Wockhardt where the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is filled and finished. We continue to plan to meet our target of vaccinating all four priority groups, as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, by the middle of February.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the existing weekly capacity for vaccine production is in the UK.

The UK has a strong manufacturing basis in vaccines and life sciences, with a range of sites around the country.

Through the Vaccine Taskforce, the Government has entered commercial arrangements with a number of these sites to manufacture and fill-finish COVID-19 vaccines. The Government has also invested over £230 million in expanding the UK’s vaccine manufacturing base, through several investments, such as the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre and Cell and Gene Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department is making with industry on developing the production of hydrogen by electrolysis.

My Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s recent Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution set out that the Government, working with industry, is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity in the UK by 2030. In support of this we have also announced a £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund for capital co-investment in new low carbon hydrogen production, to bring forward a combination of CCUS-enabled ‘blue’ hydrogen and electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen projects. Both production methods – and other innovative techniques – will be needed to deliver hydrogen demand expected by 2050. Further details on hydrogen business models and a revenue mechanism to stimulate private sector investment in both green and blue hydrogen will be brought forward in 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the UK's role is in the production consortium on green hydrogen.

We welcome the formation of groups such as the UK Green Hydrogen Catapult, which sees a number of partners coming together to support development of green hydrogen.

In the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and subsequent Energy White Paper, we have set out an ambitious package to grow the UK hydrogen economy. This includes £240m out to 2025 for capital co-investment in new low carbon hydrogen production, intended to support a combination of commercial-scale CCUS-enabled ‘blue’ hydrogen and smaller scale electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen projects. Both these production methods – and other innovative techniques – will be needed to deliver UK hydrogen demand expected by 2050. Working with industry, we are aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

We are already supporting a range of innovative hydrogen projects across the value chain, including the ITM Power Gigafactory being built in Sheffield. When complete this will be the largest electrolyser manufacturing facility in the world and would be able to support the scaling up of electrolytic ‘green’ hydrogen.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for security and stability of the National Grid of the need to issue System Warnings on 4 and 5 November 2020.

National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) is responsible for ensuring security of supply on a day-to-day basis and possesses a range of tools to keep the system in balance. As a result of tight margins on the electricity system - driven by weather conditions, availability of generators and demand levels - NGESO issued Electricity Margin Notices (EMNs) on 3 and 4 November 2020 to ask for more generation to be brought onto the system to provide a larger cushion of surplus capacity. EMNs are part of NGESO’s standard procedure for balancing supply and demand, and both notices were cancelled after sufficient generation became available. The system worked as designed.

The forecast electricity margin for this winter is healthy, at 4.8GW or 8.3% additional generation. We remain confident that NGESO is well-equipped to ensure electricity security in a wide range of circumstances this winter, all of which meet the Government’s Reliability Standard.

In future we expect GB’s energy mix to continue to diversify, including greater levels of offshore wind, storage, Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and nuclear, as well as more interconnection to Europe and wider access to the electricity market. NGESO has plans in place to transform the operation of the electricity system so that it is ready for zero-carbon operation in 2025.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that remote digital workers are being paid the National Minimum Wage.

Anyone who is deemed to be a “worker” is entitled to be paid at least the relevant National Minimum or Living Wage rate. This applies to all workers, including remote digital workers, who work, or ordinarily work, in the UK.

We are clear that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum or Living Wage should receive it and we will take action where employers have been found to be in breach of the law.

This Government continues to invest heavily in minimum wage compliance and enforcement, more than doubling the budget to £27.5 million for 2020/21, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16.

Any worker who feels that they have been underpaid can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) helpline for confidential, impartial and free advice on 0300 123 1100 or at www.acas.org.uk. HM Revenue and Customs, which is responsible for enforcing minimum wage legislation, will consider every complaint it receives.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that UK steel is at the heart of the Government’s post-covid-19 outbreak rebuild and recovery strategy.

In his speech of 30 June, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear that as we recover from COVID-19, we must build back better, greener, and faster, ensuring that our economy is cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient. This applies to all sectors of the economy, including those which are currently seen as difficult to decarbonise, such as steel.

The Government is supporting the steel sector throughout this difficult period, as well as providing the £250 million Clean Steel Fund, which will help UK steel producers to reduce emissions in line with our target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is complemented by the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation fund to help energy intensive industries, such as steel, transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources.

The Department publishes a pipeline, identifying future steel requirements for all public infrastructure and construction projects annually. An update of this pipeline will be published shortly. We have also introduced steel-specific procurement guidance that requires Government Departments and public bodies to consider social and environmental factors when procuring steel.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what discussions the Government has had with representatives of the meat industry on safety in that sector; for what reasons there is a heightened risk to workers in the meat industry of covid-19; and what steps the Government is taking to protect workers in that sector.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has convened a cross-Government taskforce, and all partners are working collaboratively in that group.

The Health and Safety Executive, who are also a member of the Taskforce, are responsible for the health and safety of workers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to her Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 57083, if he will place in the Library the selection criteria for the decision on where to locate the vaccines manufacture and Innovation centre.

As per the Hon. Member’s request, I will be placing a copy of the document on the selection criteria for the Vaccines Manufacture and Innovation Centre (VMIC) in the Libraries of the House.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59368, how much has been spent on funding the purchase of British made (a) electric bicycles and (b) scooters.

We do not hold records of how much has been spent on funding the purchase of British made electric bicycles and scooters.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the production of (a) electric bicycles and (b) scooters.

Through Made Smarter, the UK’s national industrial digitalisation programme, the Government is investing up to £167 million to help manufacturers to adopt and innovate in industrial digital technologies that will increase productivity and competitiveness across the sector. We have also invested £350 million in seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres across the UK, which are supporting manufacturers to bring new technologies to market, and we will be investing an additional £600 million by the end of 2023.

As part of the Future of Transport Grand Challenge we are working with the Department for Transport to help ensure firms, like e-bike and scooter manufacturers, have access to the right supply of talented labour and the right business support, including access to finance.

The Department for Transport is also working to create a flexible regulatory framework for micro mobility vehicles. Through funding to support the uptake of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, we are helping to create domestic demand, which is essential to growing the UK’s e-bike manufacturing base.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June to Question 53292 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what weight was given to consideration of the potential effect on the (a) prosperity agenda and (b) regional balance in the selection criteria for the decision on where to locate the Vaccines Manufacture and Innovation Centre.

The selection criteria for the location of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is listed on the competition brief and the selection was made on that basis. This includes the ability to work with centres of excellence across the country and to help deliver on the goals of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage the manufacture of e-bikes in the UK.

We want the UK to be the best place to start and grow a business and to be a world leader in the way people, goods, and services move. As part of our planning for the future UK economy, we will be policies that will move us towards a stronger, fairer, greener economy that builds on UK strengths, such as science and entrepreneurship.

We have invested £350 million in the seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres across the UK, which are supporting manufacturers to bring new technologies to market, and we will be investing an additional £600 million by the end of 2023.

As part of the Future of Transport Grand Challenge, we are working with the Department for Transport to ensure firms, including e-bike manufacturers, have access to the right supply of talented labour and the right business support, including access to finance. The Department for Transport is also working to create a flexible regulatory framework for micromobility vehicles and, through funding to support the uptake of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, is helping us to create domestic demand, which is essential to growing the UK e-bike manufacturing base.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department's Business Recovery Roundtables will include trades union representation.

Starting the week commencing 8th June, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will chair the first meetings of new business-led ‘recovery roundtables’.

The Department is engaging with a diversity of stakeholders to ensure we elicit the broadest possible range of views on the UK’s economic recovery and continues to engage extensively with Trade unions on its response to Covid-19. I continue to hold weekly meetings with the Trade Unions where they are able to feed into the recovery roundtable process and a dedicated meeting to discuss economic recovery is being organised. Stakeholders can also send written contributions by 17th of June, a process which is open to everyone including the Trade Unions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons Oxford is the location for the new vaccine production facility; and whether other areas of the country were considered for the location of that facility.

The competition for the Vaccines Manufacture and Innovation Centre (VMIC) took place in 2018 as part of Wave 1 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Medicines Manufacturing portfolio. This was an open competition call, with no limit on the number of bids. The selection criteria were defined in the competition brief and the selection was made on that basis. Two sites were shortlisted, the site in Oxfordshire and a site in the North East of England.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the level of electricity exported from renewable sources in the UK to Europe via the interconnector.

We do not hold that information as it is not possible to identify the original generation source for electricity exported via interconnectors connecting to other European countries. However, in terms of electricity generated in the UK in 2019, 37.4 per cent came from renewable sources, which was the highest level achieved to date. Total electricity exports from the UK in 2019 were 3.4 TWh.

Source: Section 5 – UK electricity generation, trade and consumption, October to December 2019

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions the Government has had with Rolls Royce on (a) worker safety, (b) job protections, (c) financial assistance from the Government and (d) manufacturing of personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government regularly speaks with Rolls-Royce and has worked closely with the company in response to COVID-19. The company has set out the steps it has taken, consistent with the Government’s guidance, on worker safety; job protections utilising the Job Retention Scheme; developing and donating Personal Protective Equipment; and manufacturing ventilators.

We have discussed with Rolls-Royce the various Government business support schemes available to the company and its suppliers. Rolls-Royce has also been part of the Department’s regular engagements with the wider aerospace sector about business support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support the manufacturing sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy and the Government is engaging with industry to ensure that we can support our manufacturing sectors during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many businesses across the aerospace, chemical, automotive, steel, aluminium, pharmaceutical, packaging, and other sectors are playing a direct role in combatting COVID-19. These businesses are producing the materials and equipment necessary, as well as enabling the services that we need to fight the spread of the virus and keep the country running.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to help with business continuity and to give manufacturers and their suppliers the support they. These measures include:

  • £330 billion worth of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to help small and medium-sized businesses to access vital financial support.
  • Our new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to allow more firms to benefit from Government-backed support.
  • The Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses, which complements the CBILS and CLBILS schemes.
  • Deferring VAT payments for firms to the next quarter, until the end of June, which represents a £30 billion injection into the economy.
  • Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a Government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. This is backdated to 1 March 2020 and available for at least three months.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department was consulted by Royal Mail prior to its suspension of letter deliveries on Saturdays during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Universal Service Obligation is set out in the Postal Services Act 2011. Ministers have no role in temporary changes to the service level.

Under section 33 of the Postal Services Act 2011, it is for Royal Mail and Ofcom to manage temporary changes to the service level, such as in an emergency.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the paper industry on increasing the use of UK-sourced recycled paper.

The Department regularly meets with representatives of the UK paper industry to discuss issues such as the volume of UK-sourced recycled paper being exported overseas. In 2018, packaging and other recovered papers amounted to nearly 8 million tonnes, of which over 3 million tonnes was consumed by UK mills and nearly 5 million tonnes of material exported for use in other countries.[1]

Our primary aim is to process more waste domestically, including recycled paper. In the Resources and Waste Strategy for England, we committed to exploring options to ensure fair competition for all reprocessors, which will help stimulate private investment in the UK’s reprocessing and recycling infrastructure.

[1] As highlighted by the Confederation of Paper Industries’ report on the economic value of the UK paper-based industries.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 11 June 2019, Official Report, column 523, when the Faraday Battery Challenge plans to report on battery degradation.

The Government’s £274 million Faraday Battery Challenge aims to extend battery pack life to be equivalent to the life of a car by 2035. Industry and academic partners are working on research and development projects to explore factors affecting degradation; they regularly publish scientific papers on their findings.

An £11 million “Extending Battery Life” project, funded by the Faraday Institution, has published more than 15 scientific papers on understanding battery degradation mechanisms and is moving into solving them. Their Multi-Scale Modelling project is also looking at battery degradation and modelling tools to improve battery design. In addition to these large projects, two of the three Faraday industry sprints also relate to battery degradation and will deliver within 6 to 14 months.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with phone companies on increasing cooperation between (a) phone companies and (b) public authorities to counter mobile phone fraud.

Law enforcement partners have stepped up their efforts to tackle this type of crime, arresting over a hundred criminals involved in some of the most despicable types of fraud and taking down thousands of phone numbers as well as fake websites and email addresses.

The DCMS and Home Office are working closely with telecommunications providers, regulators and consumer groups to protect the public from crimes such as mobile phone fraud. As part of this work, we are developing a voluntary charter of the actions telecoms companies will take to prevent fraud.

The Government is also exploring a range of measures aimed at tackling the criminal abuse of mobile telecommunications across a range of different crime types including fraud.

  • We are encouraging the public to forward suspicious text messages to 7726 (which is free of charge) and continue to encourage anyone who has been targeted by a scam to report it to Action Fraud.

  • We have supported the National Trading Standards Scams Team to roll out call blocking devices to vulnerable people, to protect some of the most vulnerable in society from nuisance calls and scams.

  • The Government has banned cold calls from personal injury firms and pensions providers unless the consumer has explicitly agreed to be contacted. It has introduced director liability for nuisance calls.

  • The Government will take further action through our Fraud Action Plan, an ambitious approach grounded in prevention, education, effective enforcement and regulatory reforms.

  • The Government has launched a dedicated web page on protecting individuals and businesses from COVID-19 related fraud, with easy-to-follow tips and a list of places you can get help and advice if you think you are being scammed.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Mar 2021
What steps he is taking to support the reopening of sport, hospitality and leisure venues during the covid-19 outbreak.

In the last twelve months, billions in funding has been provided to support the hospitality and arts, entertainment and recreation sectors through a combination of grants, loans, and business rate relief. The Culture Recovery Fund and Sports Recovery packages have provided close to £2.5 billion in sector specific support.

The Events Research programme, starting in April, comprises a series of scientific pilots conducted across a range of settings to explore how reopening can be facilitated safely.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to include financial promotions in the Online Safety Bill.

The new online safety legislation will focus on ensuring that people are protected from harmful content and behaviour online, with a particular emphasis on protecting children.

The legislation will not focus on harmful financial promotions, as this issue will be most effectively tackled by other mechanisms.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to reply to the letter of 5 October 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley, co-signed with Lord Mann, on behalf of the all-party Parliamentary jazz appreciation group.

A response was sent out on 14 December.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to seek EU agreement to add musicians to the list of Independent Professionals allowed to supply services in the EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals. We acknowledge that there will be some additional processes for those in creative industries working across the EU now that the transition period has come to an end. However, our agreement with the EU contains Transparency and Procedural Facilitation measures that will help ensure visa processes are as prompt and smooth as possible.

During our negotiations with the EU, the UK proposed measures, reflecting the views of the music industry itself, that would have allowed musicians to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. Specifically, we proposed to capture the work done by musicians, artists and entertainers, and their accompanying staff through the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors.

In practice this would have delivered an outcome that is closer to the UK’s approach to incoming musicians, artists and entertainers from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, who can come to perform in the UK without requiring a visa. Unfortunately, these proposals were repeatedly rejected by the EU.

The EU did not propose and wouldn’t accept a tailored deal for musicians, artists and their support staff to tour across the EU and UK.

Going forward, we will continue our close dialogue with the creative and cultural sectors to ensure that they have the support they need to thrive.The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other creative professionals, and has engaged extensively with the creative industries and arts sector since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure they are aware of the new requirements.

Oliver Dowden
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with Nokia on production capacity in the UK for the roll-out of 5G.

DCMS, as the lead department for digital infrastructure, has regular discussions with Ericsson about many aspects of 5G roll out.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with Ericsson on production capacity in the UK for the roll-out of 5G.

DCMS, as the lead department for digital infrastructure, has regular discussions with Ericsson about many aspects of 5G roll out.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the casino industry on its proposal to withdraw the sale of alcohol from casino venues to avoid the closure of those venues under the tier system of covid-19 restrictions.

Officials from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are in regular contact with the Betting and Gaming Council and individual casino operators to discuss the impact of coronavirus restrictions on their businesses. Discussions are ongoing and have included consideration of potential measures to reduce risk, such as the withdrawal of alcohol sales, that may help local leaders and government in their assessment of venues that can safely remain open.

The Chancellor announced on 9 October that the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) would be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions. Under the scheme, the Government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries. Grants under the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme, also increased to up to £3,000 per month for businesses required to close in local lockdowns.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the financial effect of the tier system of covid-19 restrictions on the horse racing industry.

Horse Racing behind closed doors continues to operate throughout the UK in line with government guidance and British Horseracing Authority (BHA) protocols.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has indicated that 1,565 Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) are closed as part of the Tier 3 restrictions affecting the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Warrington. The BGC have estimated a loss of nearly £2.7million per month to the horse racing industry in media rights (payable to broadcast races) and levy income, based on the current amounts generated in levy and media payments.

The government will continue to work with the sector to understand the issues faced by organisations facing the most challenging circumstances

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the collection of data on UK individuals and others by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data.

The Information Commissioner's Office is aware of the reports regarding Zhenhua Data Technology and is making enquiries with the company. Organisations must comply with our legal system and regulatory frameworks. The GDPR and UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) impose strict obligations on organisations to ensure that UK citizens’ data is processed safely and securely. Organisations which fail to comply may be investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office and where appropriate subject to enforcement action, including fines. If relevant the ICO may contact international partners through their cooperation mechanism.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals and advice on the conduct of parades and services on Remembrance Sunday.

DCMS is only responsible for organising and delivering the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on 8 November.

We have taken advice from Public Health England on the appropriate controls and mitigations to ensure safe social distancing and we will continually review the situation seeking advice from health experts and making necessary changes where and when required.


Those organising local Remembrance Sunday events across the UK should follow the guidance on outdoor events prepared and issued by the Events Industry Forum, with input from DCMS and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. This guidance can be found here. The Local Government Association has also issued guidance for local authorities about outdoor events here.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the progress of the roll-out of full fibre digital infrastructure in Warley constituency in the last 12 months.

Good progress has been made in the Warley constituency over the past 12 months; as of September 2020, full fibre coverage stands at 31%, which is up from 0.5% in September 2019. This is above the UK figure of 16%.

Additionally, as of September 2020 86% of premises in Warley have access to gigabit-capable connectivity. In the same month last year, that figure stood at just 0.5%. UK gigabit-capable coverage stands at 26%.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on sales of National Lottery tickets.

Camelot releases sales information under a timetable and format agreed with its regulator, the Gambling Commission. Data on sales is published on the Camelot website three months in arrears. This can be found at: http://www.camelotgroup.co.uk/about-us/reporting

The March 2020 sales data was published alongside Camelot's 2019/20 year-end sales announcement on 2nd June, in which they announced record yearly sales for the National Lottery.

National Lottery ticket sales during March totalled £687.1 million. Sales were down £36.4 million versus the equivalent period last year. Retail sales in particular were impacted towards the end of March and into April as a result of the lockdown measures. However, after a sharp initial fall in sales in the early stages of the lockdown they are now recovering to close to normal levels.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral Answer of 4 June 2020, Official Report, column 992 on Covid-19: Sporting Sector, what the timetable is for the re-opening of the betting and gaming industry as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

This week the Prime Minister will outline next steps for a number of sectors, which are expected to take effect from 15 June, subject to the latest scientific and medical advice. Further announcements about remaining sectors of the economy will follow in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many vets graduated in the 2019-20 academic year; and how many veterinary students commenced courses in the 2020-21 academic year.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students enrolled in higher education (HE) in the UK. Latest statistics refer to the 2019/20 academic year.

Data on students obtaining qualifications at UK HE providers are available by subject of study and level of qualification obtained in the 2019/20 academic year in Table 50 of HESA’s ‘Higher Education Student Data’ pages, available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-50.

In the 2019/20 academic year, there were 2,290 full-person-equivalent[1] undergraduate and postgraduate qualifiers in veterinary sciences at UK HE providers.

Data covering students entering courses in the 2020/21 academic year will be published by HESA in January 2022. The latest available statistics on students entering courses by subject studied can be found in Table 52: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-52.

In the 2019/20 academic year, there were 2,990 full-person-equivalent1 undergraduate and postgraduate entrants to veterinary sciences at UK HE providers.

[1] Counts are on the basis of full-person-equivalents. Where a student is studying more than one subject, they are apportioned between the subjects that make up their course. Refers to “05 Veterinary sciences” under the Common Aggregation Hierarchy of subjects: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/hecos/cah-about.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley dated 17 November regarding Mr Asghar.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letter dated 17 November 2020, from the right hon. Member for Warley.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the correspondence of 16 June 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley on his constituent Angela Turner.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letter dated 16 June, from the right hon. Member for Warley.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the reduction in the number of apprentice places in the construction industry.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and in supporting employers in all sectors to access the skilled workforce that they need to recover and grow following the COVID-19 outbreak.

We recognise that employers, at the moment, face increased challenges with hiring new apprentices and so we will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-treasury. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year.

Employers are at the heart of our reforms to apprenticeships, designing high-quality standards that deliver the skills that they need, and allowing them to spend the levy on the apprenticeships training that matters for them. Employers in the construction sector have developed 86 standards which are approved for delivery. These include Groundworker at level 2 and Building Services Design Technician at level 3. A further 12 are in development.

The construction industry will be key in supporting the country’s economic recovery and my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, recently announced a £5 billion Capital Investment Plan to accelerate infrastructure projects aimed at stimulating the sector and help to recruit and retain staff including apprentices.

We are working with construction sector to encourage the take up of apprenticeships to ensure businesses can restart and recover as quickly as possible.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to introduce flexibility in the use of Apprenticeship Levy funds to help mitigate the effects of the covid-19 outbreak on current and potential construction apprentices.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our apprenticeship reforms, supporting employers of all sizes to make a long-term, sustainable investment in training. We recognise that employers at the moment face increased challenges with hiring new apprentices so we have announced a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-treasury. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year.

In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have introduced a range of flexibilities so that apprentices and employers can continue with their apprenticeships. These include encouraging remote learning, as well as allowing furloughed apprentices to continue their apprenticeships and undertake end point assessments.

Employers are at the heart of our reforms to apprenticeships, designing high-quality standards that deliver the skills that they need, and allowing them to spend the levy on the apprenticeships training that matters for them. Employers in the construction sector have developed 86 standards which are approved for delivery. These include Groundworker at level 2 and Building Services Design Technician at level 3. A further 12 are in development.

We are working with the construction sector to encourage the take up of apprenticeships to ensure businesses can restart and recover as quickly as possible.

We remain committed to looking at how to improve the working of the apprenticeship levy, to support large and small employers in meeting the long-term skills needs of the economy.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the number of apprentice places in the construction industry.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and in supporting employers in all sectors, to access the skilled workforce that they need to recover and grow, following COVID-19 outbreak. We will ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year and will provide further details in due course.

The construction industry will be key in supporting the country’s economic recovery and the Prime Minister recently announced a £5 billion Capital Investment Plan to accelerate infrastructure projects. We are working with the sector to encourage take up of new apprentices and continue to work with employers including Persimmons Homes and Balfour Beatty through our Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network to promote best practice in recruiting and supporting apprentices from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups including Black Asian Minority Ethnic and women.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure greater diversity and improve gender and BAME equality amongst construction apprentices.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and in supporting employers in all sectors, to access the skilled workforce that they need to recover and grow, following COVID-19 outbreak. We will ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year and will provide further details in due course.

The construction industry will be key in supporting the country’s economic recovery and the Prime Minister recently announced a £5 billion Capital Investment Plan to accelerate infrastructure projects. We are working with the sector to encourage take up of new apprentices and continue to work with employers including Persimmons Homes and Balfour Beatty through our Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network to promote best practice in recruiting and supporting apprentices from diverse backgrounds and under-represented groups including Black Asian Minority Ethnic and women.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to reply to the letter of 1 May 2020 from the right hon. Member for Warley on funding to apprenticeship training providers.

I can confirm that the letter, dated 1 May 2020, from the right hon. Member for Warley has been responded to. A response was sent via email to the right hon. Member on 23 June 2020.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2021 to Question 157953, how many people were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of puppy smuggling last year.

Defra does not hold data on the number of individuals charged with and convicted of puppy smuggling related offences. Local authorities are the enforcement and prosecution body for puppy smuggling related offences. In 2020, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) was notified of two prosecutions by local authorities under the following legislation: The Welfare of Animals (Transport)(England) Order 2006, The Animal Health Act 1981, The Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974 and The Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011. However, local authorities are not required to notify Defra or APHA of prosecutions related to puppy smuggling and so this figure may not represent the total number of cases. We suspect the low number of prosecutions reported for 2020 was a result of courts being closed and cases delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will introduce measures to restrict the age at which puppies can be imported to at least 14 weeks.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importations of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to these animals and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk.

As per our pet travel and commercial importation requirements, the minimum age a cat, dog or ferret can be vaccinated against rabies is 12 weeks old, followed by a 21 day wait when travelling from an EU Member State or another 'listed' third country. This means that the minimum age a cat, dog or ferret can enter GB from an EU Member State or another listed third country is 15 weeks old.

At present, there has been no substantive change to the pet travel requirements for pets entering Great Britain (GB) from the EU.

Now the Transition Period has ended, we have the opportunity to manage our own pet travel and commercial importation rules. We are actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders and the Government is considering options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling. These options will take into consideration the results from our latest disease risk assessments for GB and recommendations of stakeholders such as the British Veterinary Association and Dogs Trust, and recent parliamentary work from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department's policy is on gene editing.

Defra’s view is that gene-edited organisms should not be regulated as genetically modified organisms if the end product could have been produced naturally, or by traditional breeding methods. Such gene-edited organisms would not contain DNA from other species. Defra is currently consulting on a proposal to amend the definition of a genetically modified organism as it applies in England.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking (a) separately and (b) with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to help maintain fish stocks in that region.

The UK is taking action on a number of international fisheries issues alongside our international counterparts including from the Asia-Pacific region. These include, but are not limited to, playing a leading role in the global fight to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, and engaging proactively in the work of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, to which many Asia-Pacific countries are also party, to ensure more sustainable management of high seas fisheries and maintain stocks in those waters. We are also participating actively in UN fora such as the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Committee on Fisheries, and advocating for the elimination of incentives and harmful subsidies for fisheries that are detrimental to the conservation of marine biodiversity in the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization, and in the context of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the welfare standards for the production of chicken in (a) Poland, (b) the Netherlands and (c) the UK.

As members of the European Union, Poland and the Netherlands will need to comply with the European regulations concerning animal welfare standards, including Council Directive 2007/43/EC which lays down minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production. As we leave the EU, we are committed to maintaining our position as one of the world leaders in animal welfare and want to improve and build upon that record, working in partnership with farmers to support healthier, higher welfare animals.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the value was of imported chicken to the UK in 2019; and what the top five countries were for imported chicken to this country in that year.

According to the latest HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics, UK imports of chicken in 2019 were worth £1.1 billion.

The top five countries importing chicken into the UK in 2019 were as follows:

  1. Netherlands £470 million
  2. Poland £250 million
  3. Germany £80 million
  4. Irish Republic £80 million
  5. Belgium £50 million
Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of level of risk of a hose-pipe ban in summer 2020; and what his policy is on new reservoir provision.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Government has a range of policies in place to mitigate the impacts of drought:

  • The Environment Agency, which has responsibility for managing water resources and protecting the environment, chairs the National Drought Group (NDG). The NDG consists of representatives from regulators such as Public Health England (PHE), the agricultural sector and water companies. This group ensures that all sectors work together and take action to manage any impacts of dry weather and drought.

  • Water companies have the legal duty to supply adequate quantities of wholesome water. To fulfil their duties, water companies maintain statutory drought plans, which set out the short-term actions they will take should a drought develop. Water companies’ drought plans are published on their websites.

The Government is committed to a ‘twin track approach’ of managing water demand, including leakage reduction, and increasing supply, including the development of reservoirs.

Water companies have the statutory duty to develop and maintain efficient and economical systems of water service provision which will provide security of supply for customers. Statutory water resources management plans show how companies will meet this duty and manage water supply and demand for at least the next 25 years.

The National Framework for water resources brings together industry, regulators and Government to improve water company planning of water supplies. This includes investigating and developing new supplies such as reservoirs, supported by a £469 million fund for the development of strategic supplies.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps is his Department is taking with its international counterparts to prevent over-fishing in the world's oceans by distant water fishing fleets.

The UK is taking firm action on this issue alongside our international counterparts across a wide range of fronts. These include, but are not limited to, playing a leading role in the global fight to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and engaging proactively in the work of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to ensure more sustainable management of high seas fisheries. We are also advocating for the elimination of incentives and subsidies for fisheries that are detrimental to the conservation of marine biodiversity in the current negotiations at the World Trade Organisation and in the context of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's Food is GREAT campaign, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that (a) Government departments and (b) other public bodies prioritise British produce in their purchases.

Defra is having conversations across Government with regard to food procurement policy, and how we can highlight the importance of buying domestic food. We will build on this engagement and review how the public sector, including hospitals, schools and prisons, can benefit from sourcing British produce. At the end of the Transition Period, there will be further scope to prioritise British produce in the public sector.

The UK's growing reputation for quality food and drink, with high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability is an excellent platform to increase demand for our products still further. Defra's Food is GREAT campaign leverages this growing reputation and helps businesses to succeed in overseas markets by ensuring global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink, whilst encouraging our food and drink companies to export more.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the English Tree Strategy consultation, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials from the Department of Transport on trees along railway lines.

Defra has been working closely with other departments, including the Department for Transport (DfT), to develop the England Tree Strategy consultation.

The consultation will consider the role that all trees and woodland can play in delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan. In this way it echoes and aligns with DfT’s work to establish a clear position with Network Rail on the role of rail infrastructure in supporting the delivery of the 25 Year Environment Plan. Network Rail is responsible for 20,000km of track and around 6.3 million trees with the potential to support biodiversity around the country. DfT has therefore asked Network Rail to achieve no net loss in biodiversity on its existing lineside estate by 2024 and to achieve biodiversity net gain on each route by 2040.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to enable the early resumption of angling.

Every citizen must stay alert to protect the NHS and save lives. From Wednesday 13 May, angling can resume in England, as long as participants are with their household or on their own and follow social distancing guidance.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the prevalence pet microchip databases on dog owners.

Under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all microchip databases are required to meet strict requirements, including having their records linked to each other to enable anyone searching for a microchip entry to know to which database it is registered. Any database found not to be complying with the 2015 Regulation faces a fine of up to £2,500 and having their ability to operate as a microchip database removed. There are currently thirteen compliant databases.

The 2015 Regulations are currently subject to a Post Implementation Review. As part of the review we will look at what effect the prevalence of microchip databases is having on dog owners.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the enforcement of the Pet Travel Scheme in 2019.

The Government takes the welfare of animals seriously, and that is why we have committed to cracking down on the abhorrent trade of puppy smuggling. We are currently considering the most effective approach to achieve this.

All pet animals entering Great Britain on approved routes under the EU Pet Travel Scheme undergo documentary and identity checks. The checks are performed by ferry, train or airline carriers or agents acting on their behalf. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) undertakes random checks of the pet animals travelling to ensure the carriers are performing checks to the required standard. The APHA also carries out quality assurance checks to ensure that the standard of performance of the carrier and approved checker is maintained.

The APHA continues to work collaboratively with Border Force and other operational partners at ports, airports and inland, sharing intelligence to enforce the Pet Travel Scheme, disrupt illegal imports and seize non-compliant animals. The numbers of dogs quarantined after being illegally landed in Great Britain between 2016 and 2018 stands at 1,344. This includes those that were imported under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, as well as those imported commercially under the Balai Directive.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding was allocated from (a) the UK Government public purse and (b) other countries to the World Health Organisation in 2019.

The UK is the third biggest donor to the WHO, giving £120 million per annum on average. We do not routinely keep data on funding allocated by other countries. The World Health Organization holds this information.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272116, if he will place a copy in the Library of the inception report which formed the basis of the independent review of Palestinian Authority textbooks.

The UK commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to produce an inception report. I can confirm that we will place a copy of this inception report in the Library and I will write to the Right Honourable member once this has been done.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support his Department is providing to countries in the Middle East and North Africa to (a) counter plagues of locusts and to (b) support populations affected by them.

DFID provides approximately £17 million per annum in core funding to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a strategic objective of which is to “increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises” such as locusts. In 2018, UK core funding to the FAO supported the Desert Locust Information System, which provides an early warning information system for countries including in the Middle East and North Africa.

DFID also funds a range of programmes that work to improve the monitoring of and response to pests more generally. These include the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI) Plantwise and Action on Invasives programmes, the development and testing of biopesticides by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, and new work under development with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen pest and disease surveillance, forecasting and the coordination and capacity of plant health organisations.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many cases have been taken against the UK under investor-state dispute settlement provisions and what the outcome was of those cases.

The United Kingdom has never had an investor-state dispute settlement case against her that proceeded to arbitration.

The United Kingdom has more than 90 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) in force with countries across the world. HM Government has made clear that our investment policy will continue to protect the United Kingdom’s right to regulate in the public interest.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the UK's policy is on the future of the World Trade Organisation.

The UK believes a strong, rules based, multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core, is in the best interests of all nations. The UK is working to strengthen and reform the WTO, so it can continue to deliver?a?free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent framework for trade between countries. This will play an important role?in resolving the economic effects of the global pandemic.

We are engaging closely with the WTO Secretariat and the wider Membership to achieve an early resumption of the WTO’s regular work. Our priorities are making progress on updating the WTO rulebook, in particular in the areas of digital, services and the environment, and to improve transparency.

We continue to support a fully-functioning dispute settlement system with an appeal function and remain committed to finding a permanent resolution to the impasse of the Appellate Body.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment has he made of the proportionality of the level of fines issued to people driving in low traffic neighbourhoods.

The Department has not made any such assessment. ‘Low-traffic neighbourhoods’ have been around for many years but have only recently become known by this name. It describes a collection of measures designed to remove rat-running traffic from streets. The key feature is generally a road closure, which prevents through motor traffic from accessing the road but permits cycling and walking. Access is maintained for residents and their visitors and for essential services.

Closures may be implemented using existing standard traffic management measures such as signed access restrictions to through motor traffic. These are enforceable in the same way and with the same penalties as when used on any other part of the road network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking on untaxed vehicles without a statutory off road notification which are parked on private land.

The DVLA operates a comprehensive package of measures to tackle vehicle excise duty evasion. These range from reminder letters, penalties and court prosecutions through to the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, wheelclamping and the removal of unlicensed vehicles.

It is an offence to keep an unlicensed and/or uninsured vehicle. During the initial stages of the pandemic, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) took a pragmatic approach to enforcement action. This ensured that those impacted by the pandemic were not further disadvantaged and that a vehicle that might have been needed in an emergency was not immobilised or removed. However, the onus remains with the registered keeper of a vehicle to ensure that their legal obligations are fulfilled and that vehicles are licensed on time and covered by an appropriate insurance policy.

Unlicensed vehicles kept in certain off-road areas can be subject to enforcement action. These locations include, but are not limited to, public house car parks, private and municipal car parks, retail car parks, housing association roads, unadopted/privately maintained roads and common land. However, enforcement action cannot be taken against unlicensed vehicles being kept on land associated with a dwelling, for example a driveway.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on enforcement action against (a) untaxed and (b) uninsured vehicles.

The DVLA operates a comprehensive package of measures to tackle vehicle excise duty evasion. These range from reminder letters, penalties and court prosecutions through to the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, wheelclamping and the removal of unlicensed vehicles.

It is an offence to keep an unlicensed and/or uninsured vehicle. During the initial stages of the pandemic, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) took a pragmatic approach to enforcement action. This ensured that those impacted by the pandemic were not further disadvantaged and that a vehicle that might have been needed in an emergency was not immobilised or removed. However, the onus remains with the registered keeper of a vehicle to ensure that their legal obligations are fulfilled and that vehicles are licensed on time and covered by an appropriate insurance policy.

Unlicensed vehicles kept in certain off-road areas can be subject to enforcement action. These locations include, but are not limited to, public house car parks, private and municipal car parks, retail car parks, housing association roads, unadopted/privately maintained roads and common land. However, enforcement action cannot be taken against unlicensed vehicles being kept on land associated with a dwelling, for example a driveway.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to integrate artificial intelligence into traffic light systems.

The operation of traffic signal systems and the employment of new technologies is a matter for individual highway authorities and the traffic equipment supplier community. However, the Department is working with the Cabinet Office GovTech Challenge programme to fund public / private consortia to undertake trials of the use of artificial intelligence in the management of congestion, and these trials are developing various forms of artificial intelligence to enhance existing urban traffic control services.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of access to toilets for taxi, bus, van delivery, lorry and other professional drivers.

The government recognises the hard work and commitment from transport workers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and expects them to have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst carrying out their important work, which supports the economy.

All motorway service stations in England are open to Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers and critical workers, providing takeaway food only, toilet facilities and fuel. Operators of Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) have also been given an exemption, along with other transport hubs, to have their seating within the concourse still available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, because they offer a safe place for HGV drivers and other critical workers to stop and rest.

In addition, the Department for Transport has published a joint letter with the Health and Safety Executive on gov.uk, reminding businesses of their legal obligation to provide toilet and handwashing facilities to drivers visiting their premises to deliver or collect goods as part of their work. The joint letter with the Health and Safety Executive is available to download and print, via the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/887867/dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of changes to (a) volumes and (b) patterns of (i) intercity and (ii) commuter rail travel as the UK emerges from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department continues to actively work to understand the impact of coronavirus on rail demand, including close working with industry. As part of this we are ensuring that we use a range of rail demand scenarios based on a series of factors that could drive rail demand over the short and long term to influence decisions. These scenarios consider the impact of Coronavirus on levels of passenger demand, including on commuting and long-distance travel.

Given the considerable uncertainty that the pandemic has caused, these scenarios cannot be used as forecasts. However, they do reflect some of the possible impacts of the pandemic on future rail demand.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) (i) age profile and (ii) adequacy of the supply of skilled workers and (b) potential merits of policies to maintain a skilled workforce in the rail industry.

My Department is aware of analysis from the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) indicating that a significant proportion of the rail industry workforce is aged over 50. Some of this analysis was included as part of the Williams Rail Review evidence collation and published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-rail-sector-in-numbers.

We are considering this and other issues affecting the supply of skilled workers over the next decade, and will set out details in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the reasons for (a) congestion and (b) delays at Felixstowe docks.

The last quarter of 2020 saw an unprecedented global demand surge for container freight, with shipping lines and ports worldwide handling volumes in excess of usual peak capacities and duration.

This is not an issue unique to Felixstowe, or UK ports, but is being experienced at many locations internationally.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial and other support his Department is providing for the roll-out of hydrogen powered buses; and how many of those buses have been (a) ordered and (b) delivered.

The Government has supported the use of a range of low carbon bus technologies, including hydrogen buses and supporting infrastructure, through funds including the Low Emission and Ultra-Low Emission Bus Schemes.

As set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Spending Review 2020 the Government will invest £120 million in 2021-22 to start the delivery of the 4,000 zero emission buses announced by the Prime Minister in February. The Department is considering all funding mechanisms, and the role that all technologies can play, in delivering these ZEBs and the infrastructure needed to support them. Further details on how funding will be distributed will be announced in due course.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to support Taiwan's membership of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The UK believes that the people of Taiwan have a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern. We therefore support Taiwanese participation in International Organisations, where there is precedent for their involvement and where there is no pre-requisite of nationhood for participation. This includes meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's policy is on the use of (a) food and (b) animal feed crops for the production of renewable diesel.

The Government recognises that some crop derived biofuels can lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to indirect land use change factors, and concerns regarding the potential for increases in food prices as land and crops are diverted to fuel rather than food production.

Given these concerns the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), a certificate trading scheme which promotes a market for sustainable renewable fuels, limits the contribution crop based biofuels can make towards a suppliers obligation (both bioethanol and biodiesel). This sliding cap on crop based biofuels decreases from 4% in 2020 to 2% in 2032. The RTFO provides additional support for low carbon fuels that do not compete with food and save significant greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. Biofuels made from wastes and residues receive twice number of tradeable certificates than would be rewarded for the supply of biofuels made from crops.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason the DVLA notified local authorities on 30 March 2020 that all enforcement action undertaken on vehicles under devolved powers was to stop; and when he plans to reintroduce that action.

During the height of the pandemic, The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency adopted a pragmatic approach to vehicle excise duty enforcement, including the pausing of local authority devolved powers. This approach ensured that those impacted by the pandemic were not further disadvantaged and that a vehicle that may have been needed in an emergency was not immobilised or removed.

DVLA enforcement activity has now recommenced. The onus remains with the registered keeper of a vehicle to ensure that their legal obligations are fulfilled and that vehicles are licensed on time.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September to Question 77508 on Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties, how many paper driving licence applications were waiting to be processed on 7 September 2020.

The number of paper driving licence applications waiting to be processed fluctuates on a daily basis as licences are issued and new applications received. On 7 September, there were 109,940 paper driving licence applications sent directly to the DVLA, awaiting processing.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of road closures introduced under emergency provisions during the covid-19 outbreak on local congestion; and how much funding has been provided to local authorities for those closures.

In May, the Government announced £2 billion of new funding for cycling and walking. £225 million is being made available to local authorities in 2020-21 via the Emergency Active Travel Fund to invest in new cycling and walking infrastructure, including road closures where appropriate.

Local authorities are free to make their own decisions about the streets under their care, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. They are responsible for ensuring that their actions are within the law and are accountable to local people for their decisions and their performance. Local councillors are responsible for ensuring that local decisions about street infrastructure take account of the needs and opinions of local people.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with trade unions representing workers in the aviation sector on the effect of changing quarantine regulations on employment in that sector.

Government recognises that international travel corridors provide a vital lifeline for UK travel operators and for those whose jobs rely on the travel industry, as well as of the impacts from removing a country or territory from the exemption for self-isolation requirement for arrivals due to the continued risk from Covid-19.

The Department for Transport is leading engagement across the transport sector to implement and communicate any changes for self-isolation requirement to operators and passengers. Unions remain part of the Department’s regular engagement on all matters currently impacting the sector.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his Answer of 21 July 2020 to Question 72801 on Official Cars: Production, how many Ford Mondeo hybrid cars there are in the Government Car Service fleet.

There are 21 Ford Mondeo hybrid cars in the Government Car Service (GCS) fleet. These are due for replacement with Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV’s) within the next 18 months.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of potential trends in the level of future rail passenger numbers on (a) suburban commuter and (b) intercity routes.

Passenger journeys fell sharply in March, and remained at 5% of last year’s levels for most of April and May. They have since recovered to about 30% of last year’s journey levels for most of August.

Our priority remains the safety of staff and passengers. We work with rail operators to ensure passengers have the confidence to return to the railway, and continue to take all necessary measures to make rail travel safe.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on which days in (a) July and (b) August 2020 he was physically present in his office in Great Minster House.

Based on my diary for the period, I was present in Great Minster House on the 1st, 15th and 21st July. I was also present at the Houses of Parliament on 2nd, 6th, 14th and 20th July.

I was in self-isolation following my return from Spain from 29th July to 12th August.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimates his Department has made of changes in the level of local air pollution as a result of traffic jams caused by road closures put in place in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

During lockdown, short term behaviour changes saw nitrogen dioxide pollution at the roadside almost halved as a result of reduced emissions from traffic, with much smaller reductions observed for particulate matters in urban areas.

As we recover from Covid 19, we remain committed to our ambitious aims to make long term improvements to air quality and support zero emission forms of travel.

In the current climate, the Government has strongly encouraged local authorities to prioritise support for walking and cycling with measures that include pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling and widened pavements. The Department for Transport has issued guidance for local authorities on reallocating road space in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure that these new measures are implemented in a way that meets local needs.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he last held meetings with representatives of trade unions representing transport workers.

The Secretary of State met representatives from RMT on 26th June. Junior Ministers from the Department are in regular contact with representatives from the trade unions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he had the (a) Home Secretary and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government prior to his announcement on changes to the statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards on 21 July 2020.

The Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards were subject to extensive engagement, consultation and agreement across government.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the backlog is for applications for (a) new and (b) renewal of vehicle licences; and what steps he is taking to tackle that backlog.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence or to pay vehicle excise duty is to use the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services. These have continued to work well throughout the pandemic and there is no backlog for applications made online. The DVLA has processed more than 36 million online driver and vehicle transactions since March, including issuing nearly two million driving licences.

The number of paper driving licence applications waiting to be processed fluctuates on a daily basis as licences are issued and new applications received. There are no backlogs of vehicle licence applications.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the backlog is for applications for (a) new and (b) renewal of driving licences; and what steps he is taking to tackle that backlog.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence or to pay vehicle excise duty is to use the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services. These have continued to work well throughout the pandemic and there is no backlog for applications made online. The DVLA has processed more than 36 million online driver and vehicle transactions since March, including issuing nearly two million driving licences.

The number of paper driving licence applications waiting to be processed fluctuates on a daily basis as licences are issued and new applications received. There are no backlogs of vehicle licence applications.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that emergency powers granted to local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak are not being used to avoid local consultation and opposition on matters relating to transport.

It is for local authorities to ensure that any changes they propose to make to road layouts are delivered in line with relevant consultation and noticing requirements.

The changes made in the emergency legislation which came into force on 22 May did not change the existing requirements for noticing for Traffic Regulation Orders. Local authorities are still required to give 7 days’ notice of proposed temporary changes, to allow time for local residents or businesses to send in any comments or objections.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, where the Government's fleet vehicles are produced; and whether they are made using UK steel.

Information on all Government fleets is not held centrally and this response is for the Government Car Service fleet which operates as a division of the Department for Transport. The attached table indicates the material that the car bodies are manufactured from, also indicating if UK steel has been used.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2020 to Question 64070 on Jet Zero Council, whether he plans to publish the membership of the Jet Zero Council before the summer recess.

It is our intention to publish draft membership and terms of reference of the Jet Zero Council before summer recess.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the airline industry on increases in air fares to Pakistan following the restrictions placed on Pakistan International Airlines.

Air fares are a matter for individual airlines to determine; we have had no discussions with the airline industry about air fares to Pakistan. We are monitoring the situation following the suspension of Pakistan International Airlines’ services, on safety grounds, which must remain a priority. We wish to ensure on-going air connectivity between the UK and Pakistan.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59367 on the Jet Zero Council, whether the Council membership will include trades union representatives of the workers in that industry.

As I noted on 23 June, we are engaging with stakeholders regarding membership of the Jet Zero Council. We will of course want to engage with a range of key stakeholders as part of this work, including trade union representatives.

Full details and the Council’s Terms of Reference will be announced shortly.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to facilitate maritime crew changes during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK has not placed restrictions on the transit and transfer of seafarers. I have previously written to UN organisations asking for an international solution to this issue, confirming the UK’s position on crew changes, and also urged other countries to allow crew changes to take place. The UK has also exempted seafarers from the quarantine requirements

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the projected costs for the Thames Gateway Bridge were; and what recent estimate he has made of the cost of the new Thames Tunnel.

As you may be aware, transport in London is devolved. Proposals for river crossings or tunnels in London are the responsibility of the Mayor.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2020 to Question 53999 on Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties, what the value has been of savings to (a) the public purse and (b) businesses from the abolition of the paper vehicle licence in each year since 2014.

In the first full financial year 2015-16 the actual saving to the public purse from the abolition of the paper vehicle licence was £8.9 million. In the financial year 2016-17 the actual saving was £8.5 million. This saving was anticipated to be a recurring annual figure.

There was an estimated administrative cost saving of around £7.5m each year for vehicle business activities.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who the members of the Jet Zero Council will be.

The Government is working on the details of the Jet Zero Council and will look to engage with stakeholders shortly to agree the Council membership, drawing as broadly as possible across airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers, fuel suppliers, and environmental groups.

Further details and the Council’s Terms of Reference will be announced in due course.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many requests for vehicle data were made to the DVLA in the last year for which figures are available; and how many companies (a) had access and (b) were denied access to that data.

In 2019, the Driver and Vehicle Agency received 25,569,164 requests for vehicle keeper data. Electronic requests were made by 942 organisations, which include local authorities, private parking companies, insurance companies and finance companies. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of those who request data making a paper application. 25 companies were denied access to vehicle data.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) airports and (b) their associated industries in the (i) East and (ii) West Midlands.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19, and has been engaging regularly with airports throughout all regions of the UK, including the East and West Midlands, to understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on their operational and financial positions. This engagement is ongoing.

It is of vital importance that key sectors such as aviation are protected, and this means not just airports, but also the wider supply chain, including ground handlers and associated industries, who keep the sector running. We are working closely with the sector to support it to ensure there is sufficient capacity to protect global travel routes, continue repatriation, freight and maintain vital connectivity.

Businesses across the aviation industry, including airports, ground handlers and companies in their supply chains, are able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 202 to Question 48265 on Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reintroducing paper licence discs.

The abolition of the paper vehicle tax disc has delivered significant savings for the taxpayer and businesses since its removal in 2014.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the police and other enforcement authorities use data from the DVLA’s vehicle register to confirm that vehicle excise duty has been paid. Over £6 billion is collected annually. The Government has no plans to reinstate the paper vehicle tax disc.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of vehicles that were untaxed in each of the last ten years.

The Department for Transport carries out a survey, which since 2011 has taken place every two years, which estimates the rate of vehicle excise duty evasion among vehicles seen on UK roads. The attached table shows the estimated number and proportion of untaxed vehicles in each survey since 2010.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on long term rail passenger demand of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) suburban (b) inter-city rail, (c) light rail and (d) underground systems.

This crisis will have a long-lasting impact on our society – but it is too early to predict what that may mean in practice. There are a number of factors that will determine the demand for these modes of transport, including when lockdown restrictions are lifted, the nature of social distancing guidelines put in place going forward, and how people’s attitudes towards travel may have changed.

In the short term, we are working to ensure essential services are still running, and goods and passengers can get where they are needed most

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of vehicles evading road tax and the consequent loss of revenue for the last year for which figures are available.

The most recent roadside survey, published in November 2019, estimated that 1.6% of vehicles in UK traffic were unlicensed. This represents a very high compliance rate of 98.4% and is a statistically significant reduction in unlicensed vehicles since 2017. The maximum level of potential revenue loss was estimated to be £94 million over the course of one year. However, enforcement activities against unlicensed vehicles accounted for around £90 million in fines and penalties being reported by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency during 2018/19.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that new electric buses funded from the public purse will be built in the UK.

On 10 February, the Prime Minister announced £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London. This included a commitment to at least 4,000 new zero emission buses to make greener travel the convenient option, driving forward the UK’s progress on its net zero ambitions. Further details about how that will be achieved are being developed alongside the national bus strategy, which we expect to publish later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Departments policy is on the maximum desirable length of roadworks on motorways.

When designing its road works, Highways England uses the guidance provided in the Department for Transport published Traffic Signs Manual: Chapter 8. This recommends that road works are limited to a maximum of 6km (around 3 and ¾ miles), although the adoption of longer lengths of road works is permissible providing they do not create unacceptable impacts. Where longer lengths of road works are adopted, site specific risk assessments are required to identify the safe maximum length. Limiting all road works to a maximum length would increase both costs and duration of some works due to the activities undertaken.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff at Highways England received a salary of more than £100,000 in the last financial year.

Highways England employed 61 staff on a base salary of £100,000 or more in 2018-19 . I have committed in the House to addressing this issue.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect on levels of employment among older people of employers requiring non-job specific qualifications.

The vast majority, almost 90% of 50-64 year olds do possess qualifications, It is important that employers look at the experience that people have learnt over their careers, and the true value that they are able to bring to that company.

The Government is working to ensure that all employers understand the value of a workforce of all ages, engaging with them to reap the many benefits of recruiting and employing older workers and the values of a multigenerational workforce via Andy Briggs, the Business Champion for Older Workers, influencing employers both strategically and in terms of practical advice.

Where beneficial, older workers can get help from Jobcentre Plus to convert their current qualifications into more modern certifications if appropriate. Jobcentre Plus is also working alongside DWP’s National Employers Service Team to develop links with employers and challenge perceptions of older claimants

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to upskill, including through the lifetime skills guarantee.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Child Maintenance Service plans to restart action against people who are avoiding payments.

Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout the pandemic period. We know the vast majority of parents take their responsibilities extremely seriously and will do whatever is needed to ensure their children are supported.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we have started to update cases with notified changes. Where payments have been missed the Service is taking action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

No one will get away with giving false information. Those found to be abusing the system can be subjected 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)
6th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when the contract for running the Commons Remote Voting system was awarded to Civica Election Services; and whether the contract was subject to open competition.

The Commons Remote Voting system is being developed and implemented entirely by existing Parliamentary Digital Service resource. No contract has been awarded for this work. A contract was awarded on 22 April to Civica Election Services to run an online ballot for the Chairs of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Committee on Standards. An open competition was not required as the expected final value is below the £10,000 threshold at which the Parliamentary Procurement Rules require multiple quotes to be sought.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what value of personal protective equipment the NHS has purchased in 2021 to date; and how much of that equipment was manufactured in the UK.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 166312 on Syringes, what proportion of the syringes procured were produced in the UK.

None of the combined needles and syringes associated with COVID-19 vaccine administration procured by Public Health England were produced in the United Kingdom.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer named day Question 154739 tabled on 15 February 2021 by the hon. Member for Warley.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there are (a) adequate and (b) secure supplies of syringes to the NHS.

The number of needles and syringes procured by Public Health England (PHE) for use with COVID-19 vaccine was consistent with administering two doses of vaccine to the United Kingdom population with an allowance for wastage. Subsequently there has been a further increase with additional vaccine availability. PHE is now procuring additional 250 million syringes associated with possible future COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is on the takeover of General Practice surgeries by overseas companies.

General practitioner practices in England are commissioned by clinical commissioning groups, through delegated responsibility from NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide primary medical services under either a General Medical Services contract, a Personal Medical Services agreement or an Alternative Provider Medical Services contract. Legislation sets out which individuals and companies are eligible to hold these contracts.

Eligibility varies slightly between contract type but there is no distinction in the eligibility criteria between companies registered in the United Kingdom and those registered overseas.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department was consulted before the takeover of Operose by Centene corporation.

The ownership of organisations independent of the National Health Service is not a matter for the Department.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what restrictions he will put on support to the care sector to ensure it does not benefit (a) companies located in tax havens and (b) people who have loaded companies with excessive debt or extracted excessive dividends.

Funding provided for adult social care to support the pandemic response has conditions attached to ensure they are used for their intended purpose, including reporting on use. If the Department finds evidence of grants being misused, we will recover the funding in accordance with those conditions.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason a volunteer covid-19 vaccinator is required to have two A-levels.

There is no specific requirement for a volunteer COVID-19 vaccinator to have two A-levels. Prospective volunteer COVID-19 vaccinators will have a competency assessment to ensure they can safely administer vaccines to patients under the clinical supervision of an experienced health care professional, and they will undergo relevant clinical training and supervision, put together by NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many doses of influenza vaccine his Department purchased in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

The Department has procured over eight million additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine this season, so that we can increase uptake in existing groups and extend the programme to all those over 50 years and household contacts of those who are on the National Health Service Shielding Patient list.

In 2019, the Department centrally procured 400,000 flu vaccines, in addition to those ordered locally by general practitioners and pharmacies, to provide security to vaccine supply chains.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to issue guidance on vaping in public places.

There are no current plans to issue further guidance on vaping in public places.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many nurses are on the temporary register created by the Nursing and Midwifery Council; and how many of those nurses have been employed to date.

As of 4 January 2021, there are 11,983 nurses on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s COVID-19 emergency register. Data on the numbers of those on the temporary register who are employed is not collected centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department has undertaken to enable the early detection of superspreaders of covid-19.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have partnered to fund a comprehensive programme of research on COVID-19 to understand, prevent, treat and manage COVID-19. As part of this, there is no specific research commissioned on early detection of super spreaders of COVID-19.

The NIHR and UKRI are, however, funding relevant work looking at the transmission and epidemiology of the disease such as the Virus Watch study which is looking at household transmission; and the TraCK study looking at transmission between children, and between children and adults.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason what (a) Birmingham and (b) Sandwell are excluded from the first wave of covid-19 vaccinations.

Initially there was a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer and it was important that hospital hubs were fully prepared with the appropriate plans in place to administer that vaccine. The first phase of delivery went to 50 hospital hubs across the United Kingdom, which is just one part of the range of vaccination services which will cover the entire country.

Due in part to the recent authorisation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, this capacity has now increased. Alongside University Hospitals Birmingham, 29 other hospital hubs in the region are administering vaccinations, as well as 148 local vaccination services across the Midlands, including 20 in Birmingham and Solihull. Millennium Point in Birmingham also began administering vaccines on 11 January 2021 meaning a greater proportion of the at-risk population in the Midlands will have access to the vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) advice and (b) evidence informed his decision to propose a 10 pm curfew on hospitality venues.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies highlighted that alcohol consumption may increase risk of non-compliance with social distancing and that gatherings in hospitality are higher risk of transmission. This was highlighted also in Public Health England’s Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) surveillance report which stated 13% of positive COVID-19 cases reported eating out in the time before symptom onset, when there is a high risk of transmission. The report is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923668/Weekly_COVID19_Surveillance_Report_week_40.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's updated estimate is of the number of daily new covid-19 cases during the peak week in March 2020.

The following table shows the estimated number of new COVID-19 infections each day between 20 March and 26 March 2020, which is considered to be the peak of the epidemic in England.

Estimated number of COVID-19 cases between 20 March and 26 March 2020 in England, shown in thousands

Date

Upper Confidence Interval

Median

Lower Confidence Interval

20 March 2020

292

219

180

21 March 2020

361

272

223

22 March 2020

443

335

275

23 March 2020

542

412

338

24 March 2020

399

305

252

25 March 2020

205

153

124

26 March 2020

233

176

144

Notes:

  1. Source: Latest Report on Nowcasting and Forecasting – 12 October 2020, available to view at the following link:

https://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/tackling-covid-19/nowcasting-and-forecasting-of-covid-19/

  1. Note that modelled estimates of daily incidence are liable to change as data accrue.
Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which university and college laboratories in the West Midlands have been commissioned by NHS Test and Trace to process covid-19 samples.

In the West Midlands, the University of Birmingham has joined the effort in increasing capacity to over 500,000 tests a day.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to ensure adequate refrigeration capacity for a vaccination programme to tackle covid-19.

National preparations for storage of COVID-19 vaccines at the required temperatures are being made by Public Health England to support a national COVID-19 vaccination programme. This includes both the central storage of vaccines and distribution capability across the United Kingdom to the National Health Service.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to ensure that appropriate freezer and refrigeration capacity is in place to maintain the required cold-chain for COVID-19 vaccination deployment across England. NHS England and NHS Improvement are using the latest available COVID-19 vaccination characteristic and supply information to model the required capacity and working with suppliers to secure additional freezer and fridge as needed. NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken early steps, and are continuing to work to secure these resources, recognising the likely global competing demand for items.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases of acute respiratory infections which resulted in at least one positive test for covid-19 there were in the most recent week for which figures are available; and what proportion of those cases occurred in (a) care homes, (b) the workplace, (c) education settings and (d) pubs and food outlets.

Public Health England publishes the number of acute respiratory infections reported each week in the national COVID-19 surveillance reports.

729 new incidents of acute respiratory infection were reported in week 37 (Week commencing 7 August 2020).

Of these, 313 incidents were from care homes where 228 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; 110 incidents were from workplace settings where 92 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; 193 incidents were from educational settings where 110 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; 34 incidents were from food outlet/restaurant settings where 25 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; four incidents were from prisons where three had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; 18 incidents were from hospitals where 13 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; and 57 incidents were from other settings where 39 had at least one linked case that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The most recent weekly COVID-19 surveillance report can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which hospital laboratories in the West Midlands have been commissioned by NHS Test and Trace to process covid-19 samples.

Processing of COVID-19 samples has taken place in laboratories belonging to the following National Health Service trusts in the West Midlands:

- Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust;

- Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust;

- Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust;

- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust;

- The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust;

- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust;

- University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust;

- Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust;

- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust; and

- Wye Valley NHS Trust.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of supplies of reagents for covid-19 testing; and what steps he is taking to secure supplies of those reagents.

Thanks to our world-leading scientists and clinicians, we have now been able to fast-track a new biological reagent to help the United Kingdom and countries across the globe carry out even more tests and develop ever more accurate ways of diagnosing the virus.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the correspondence of 17 June 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley on his constituent Sally Taylor.

The Department replied to the Rt hon. Member’s letter on 23 September 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what laboratory capacity in universities and colleges he has secured for covid-19 testing.

We do not publish data on individual laboratory capacities. We have six Lighthouse Laboratories operating with a range of partners across the United Kingdom at Milton Keynes, Alderley Park, Glasgow, Cambridge, Newport and Charnwood. We have additional Lighthouse Laboratories in Newcastle, Brant’s Bridge and Plymouth opening over the coming months.

In addition to the growing Lighthouse Laboratory network, there are partnership agreements with the public, private and academic sectors. This includes Antrim Laboratory in Northern Ireland, and partner laboratories at Birmingham University, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, Kings Health Partners and a partnership between Health Services Laboratories and University College London.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much laboratory testing capacity in industry he has secured for covid-19 testing.

Testing capacity is published on GOV.UK but is not broken down by sector. On 4 November 2020, testing capacity was 521,016.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has budgeted for the 2020-21 flu vaccination campaign; how many doses have been ordered; and from (a) which companies and (b) where the vaccines will be produced.

Public Health England’s media spend for the 2020 - 2021 influenza vaccination campaign budget is £4.15 million. The Department has agreed to procure 7.65 million additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to date and continues to work with suppliers to increase the size of this additional stock. This is in addition to the stock that general practitioners and pharmacists have ordered directly from manufacturers for the adult programme.

The contracts for the additional vaccine are with Aventis Pharma Limited (T/A Sanofi), Mylan UK Healthcare Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline UK Ltd and Seqirus UK Ltd.

Production of the vaccine will include a number of processes. Some aspects include processing in the United Kingdom and some overseas.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is his Department taking to prevent the NHS being overcharged for off-patent drugs.

The costs of branded medicines, whether they have patents on them or not, are controlled by the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and the statutory scheme for branded medicines.

For unbranded generic medicines the Department relies on competition to keep prices down. This has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe and allows prices to react to the market. In an international market this ensures that when demand is high and supply is low, prices in the United Kingdom can increase to help secure the availability of medicines for UK patients. Concerns about potential drug pricing abuses are a matter for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Where it has concern about the price of a generic medicines, the Department asks the CMA to investigate that price. The CMA has several ongoing investigations into excessive prices of generic medicines.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to incentivise companies to use their manufacturing facilities to produce personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with 8 manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks. Details of this work can be found at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons there is a shortage of contraceptive drugs; what steps his Department is taking to tackle that shortage; and what lessons his Department has learnt to prevent a shortage of contraceptive drugs in the future.

We are aware of manufacturing problems affecting supply of a limited number of contraceptive preparations. Most contraceptive medicines and products remain available, including alternatives to those experiencing supply issues.

We have been working closely with affected suppliers of contraceptive medicines to maintain overall supply to patients and have provided regular updates about the supply issues and management advice to the National Health Service.

We understand the importance of maintaining access to contraceptives medicines to people in this country and are working with all relevant stakeholders to resolve the supply issues as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor the supply situation closely and to work with all suppliers to put contingency measures in place to ensure a continued supply of these products.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential threat to regional stability posed by the time being taken to reach agreement on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

We welcome the resumption of talks between the Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to work towards a peaceful resolution. We continue to urge all parties involved to come to an agreement and to avoid taking any unilateral action. The whole region has a shared interest in the peaceful utilization of its natural resources.

We note the recent talks held on the 4-5 April hosted by African Union (AU) Chairperson President Tshisekedi did not reach a conclusion and urge all parties to redouble efforts to reach an agreement, via the AU-led process.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when his Department plans to respond to the letters of 3 February 2021 and 13 August 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley on the report into the content of Palestinian Authority school textbooks.

A response was sent on 15 April 2021.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with new US Administration on advancing trade union rights in international fora and agreements.

The UK Government supports the promotion of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) fundamental principles and rights at work in Free Trade Agreements, which includes freedom of association, and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. We continue to be active members of the ILO, and maintain our own high levels of employment rights. To date, the UK Government has not raised the issue of Trade Union rights in international fora with the new US Administration.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international partners on the imposition of new sanctions on Belarussian officials.

The UK has been at the forefront of international efforts to impose sanctions in response to the human rights violations and fraudulent election in Belarus. With Canada, we imposed sanctions against Lukashenko and his inner circle on 29 September.

The UK welcomed the announcement by the EU and the US on 2 October of further sanctions on Belarus. EU sanctions will continue to apply to the UK during the Transition Period and we will carry over the EU Belarus sanctions regime as an autonomous UK sanctions regime at the end of the Transition Period. We encourage our global partners to join the UK, Canada and US in sanctioning the leadership responsible for the ongoing crisis in Belarus.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has made to support (a) effective refrigeration capacity and (b) refrigerated transport to enable other countries to operate effective vaccine programmes against covid-19.

The UK is committed to supporting rapid and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. A multilateral response is needed to deliver effective vaccines at the speed and global scale needed to end the pandemic. FCDO is working with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, and the World Health Organisation to ensure that countries have support to plan and prepare for vaccine introduction, including potential refrigeration needs for supply chains. These will be dependent on the characteristics of any successful COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The UK is leading international efforts to mobilise funding to support vaccine procurement and delivery for low and middle-income countries, including through a commitment of £48 million to the Gavi-managed COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC).

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the return to the UK of people with leave to remain in the UK.

Our objective remains to bring home British travellers who want to return to the UK, as soon as possible. From the outset, our priority for the charter flight programme has been getting British travellers home. But after we launched the charter flight programme, it became clear that there were people with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) who normally reside in the UK and wanted to get back, particularly in India and Pakistan. Where possible, we are working to help vulnerable UK residents with ILR provided that they have lived in the UK within the last year. This is beyond the scope of our standard consular assistance, where such assistance is usually just for British nationals, but these are exceptional times.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reason the House procured mouse mats made in Italy for distribution to Members; and whether UK manufacturers were invited to tender for that contract.

The Digital Service requested the procurement of 2000 cyber-security mouse mats in late February/early March. These were posted to Members along with an information booklet on working safely from home. Efforts have been made to make the procurement of such merchandise more sustainable and ‘locally’ produced wherever possible. Over the course of the cyber security campaigns, the majority of our budget has gone towards UK-based procurement.

The cyber-security mouse mats were procured under Lot 2 Promotional category of the Print Framework FWK1120. A mini tender took place within the Promotional category for this job and was awarded to the supplier which best met the customer’s requirements. All our awarded promotional suppliers under this Lot are UK based but they can subcontract under the terms and conditions using verified and trusted sub-contractors. Their subcontractors are not limited to being just UK based and the materials and items can be imported substrates or manufactured abroad at its entirety. Our Promotional suppliers use and have a mix of both UK and overseas subcontractors. Under the terms of the UK Procurement Regulations 2015, it is of course unlawful to discriminate positively in favour of UK suppliers.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help the Overseas Territories maintain access to education during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is firmly committed to supporting the Overseas Territories (OTs) in dealing with Covid-19. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development are leading a cross Whitehall effort, working closely with the Governments of the permanently inhabited Overseas Territories, and the Minister for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development is in regular contact with the political leaders and Governors of the Territories to ensure support meets the individual needs of each OT.

Education is, constitutionally, the responsibility of the locally elected Territory Governments, but the UK Government is committed to supporting the Territories to handle the impact of the pandemic, including maintaining access to education.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the Government of Montserrat on maintaining access to education during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is firmly committed to supporting Montserrat and all of the Overseas Territories (OTs) in dealing with Covid-19. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development are leading a cross Whitehall effort, working closely with the Governments of the permanently inhabited Overseas Territories, and the Minister for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development is in regular contact with the political leaders and Governors of the Territories to ensure support meets the individual needs of each OT.

Education is, constitutionally, the responsibility of the locally elected Territory Governments, but the UK Government is committed to supporting the Territories to handle the impact of the pandemic, including maintaining access to education. On Montserrat, all schools have been closed until 9th June and DFID has assisted the Government of Montserrat to ensure children from vulnerable backgrounds, particularly those undertaking examinations, are able to access remote learning services

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to Question 47178 on Caribbean: Coronavirus, when the next flight is scheduled to repatriate people from Jamaica to the UK as a result of the covid-19 pandemic; and whether people with leave to remain in the UK will be able to board that flight.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March - with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers. Prior to 7 May the British High Commission in Kingston assisted over 4000 British travellers and their dependants to return home on commercial flights. A special Government charter flight returned over 200 people to the UK on 7 May.

We are aware that there are still British travellers remaining overseas in the Caribbean region, including Jamaica. Our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible. We are therefore operating a further special charter flight from Jamaica to the UK, departing Kingston on 3 June and a final flight on 8 June. Details of how to book are available on our Travel Advice for Jamaica. We are seeking to help vulnerable people with ILR wherever possible, provided that they have lived in the UK within the last year.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to monitor abuse of trade union rights during the worldwide economic downturn.

The UK is aware of and concerned by reports of measures taken by some countries in response to the Coronavirus outbreak that may unduly restrict human rights or have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable or marginalised groups. All States must ensure they respect their human rights obligations in responding to Coronavirus. Through our international engagement, we have made clear that any actions taken which may restrict certain human rights, for example freedom of assembly or association, must be lawful, non-discriminatory, targeted, time-limited, and subject to regular review to ensure they remain strictly necessary as a response to Coronavirus. The UK Government remains committed to standing up for human rights and supports all efforts by the UN to minimise long-term damage to global economies, societies, politics and freedoms.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people (a) applied for and (b) were given a seat on the special flight from Kingston, Jamaica to London on 7 May 2020 organised in response to the covid-19 pandemic; what estimate he has made of the number of people still seeking to return to the UK from that country; and what steps are being taken to facilitate the return of people to the UK from that country.

Over 200 people travelled on the special flight out of Jamaica on 8 May. It is difficult to be precise on the number of people who register for flights because there have been instances of multiple registrations by the same individual, people not reporting their return to the UK via other means, and long term residents registering for flights even though they were not eligible. Limited indirect commercial flights are currently the only options available in Jamaica for travel to the UK. The Government remains focused on supporting the remaining British travellers in Jamaica. We continue to look at ways to assist British travellers who wish to return to the UK, so that we can support them to get home as quickly and safely as possible. Prior to 7 May, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assisted over 4,000 people who were short term visitors to Jamaica to return home to the UK on commercial flights.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people are registered with his Department as awaiting repatriation from the West Indies as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March - with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers. Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff have worked round the clock to bring back more than 300 people from Jamaica and Guyana on charter flights on 8 May. We have supported over 11,000 people to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means, and Post's priority remains to continue providing advice and assistance to British nationals in-country.

We are aware that there are British travellers remaining overseas in the Caribbean region and our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible. British travellers wishing to return to the UK have been actively encouraged to register with their nearest High Commission or Embassy as well as to check travel advice for updates regularly. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. It is difficult to be precise about the numbers because there have been instances of multiple registrations by the same individual, people not reporting their return to the UK via other means, and British Nationals resident overseas registering for flights even though many were not eligible.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when his Department last made representations to the Indian Government on the case of Jagtar Singh Johal.

We regularly make representations on Mr Johal's case to the Government of India. On 29 April, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State for South Asia, raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. On 30 April, the Minister also wrote to the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs regarding Mr Johal's case.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many charter flights have been arranged by his Department to deal with repatriation to the UK to date; how many passengers have been carried; and which companies have provided the aircraft and crew for those flights.

As of 30 April, we have brought back more than 21,000 people on 102 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 21 different countries and territories. We have worked with the following airlines to provide these flights: British Airways, Biman, Cathay Pacific, EgyptAir, LATAM, PAL, Qatar Airways, Titan, TUI, Virgin Atlantic, Viva, Vueling.

We are aware that there are tens of thousands of British nationals remaining overseas and our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible. We will continue to work to bring British nationals back to the UK where commercial options do not exist, focusing on the most vulnerable. We are still working through future plans, identifying where needs are greatest, and where charter flights will have the greatest impact on vulnerable British nationals overseas.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reason his Department has not used RAF Voyager aircraft to repatriate British nationals during the covid-19 outbreak.

At the start of April, an RAF Voyager, returning from the Falklands as part of the South Atlantic Airbridge, repatriated a number of British nationals who had been stranded in Senegal. They were picked up whilst the aircraft was refuelled in West Africa.

The Royal Air Force remain on standby to support where necessary. The Ministry of Defence has already returned 131 British nationals on 11 flights from seven countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Kenya and Afghanistan; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is thankful for this support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of using (a) RAF Voyager aircraft and (b) civil-registered aircraft from the non-core Voyager fleet to repatriate British nationals during the covid-19 outbreak.

At the start of April, an RAF Voyager, returning from the Falklands as part of the South Atlantic Airbridge, repatriated a number of British nationals who had been stranded in Senegal. They were picked up whilst the aircraft was refuelled in West Africa.

The Royal Air Force remain on standby to support where necessary. The Ministry of Defence has already returned 131 British nationals on 11 flights from seven countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Kenya and Afghanistan; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is thankful for this support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department requested military assistance for the civil authorities to increase capacity for flights repatriating British nationals during the covid-19 outbreak.

At the start of April, an RAF Voyager, returning from the Falklands as part of the South Atlantic Airbridge, repatriated a number of British nationals who had been stranded in Senegal. They were picked up whilst the aircraft was refuelled in West Africa.

The Royal Air Force remain on standby to support where necessary. The Ministry of Defence has already returned 131 British nationals on 11 flights from seven countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ukraine, Kenya and Afghanistan; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is thankful for this support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people are registered with his Department for flights to the UK from India; and how many of those people are in Punjab.

Before our repatriation programme, around 20,000 people in India told us they wished to return to the UK. To date we have returned over 10,000 people to the UK from India on FCO chartered flights. This includes, as of 29 April, over 2,750 passengers who have returned home from Punjab. An additional 13 flights are due to run between 2 May and 11 May, servicing those locations with the highest numbers of British nationals remaining in India. The UK Government has arranged a fifth round of special charter flights from 5 May to 11 May. We anticipate that all eligible British travellers on our waiting list in Punjab who can and wish to return to the UK will be repatriated by the end of our repatriation programme.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people are registered with his Department for flights to the UK from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a priority for the UK Government. We have been working closely with the Government of Bangladesh and airlines to ensure British Nationals (BN) can return home from Bangladesh. The UK Government delivered an initial set of four special charter flights from Bangladesh to the UK to bring home British travellers and their direct dependents. These flights ran from Dhaka to London, with the first landing in the UK on 21 April and the last on Sunday 26 April. Domestic transfers were also arranged between Sylhet and Dhaka. Following high demand, the UK Government organised a second round of five direct charter flights from 29 April to 7 May, from Dhaka to London. Four of these flights will be accompanied by a domestic transfer flight from Sylhet to Dhaka. As of 4 May over 1,200 British Nationals have returned from Bangladesh. Our High Commission in Dhaka is providing consular assistance to those who need it, including the most vulnerable. We are advising BN who are unable to depart Bangladesh to follow the advice of local authorities, find accommodation that is suitable for their needs, and keep in regular contact with family and friends at home. For further updates, the British High Commissioner has been regularly providing information on social media (@UKinBangladesh and @RCDicksonUK) about what we are doing to help BN. They should also subscribe to the UK's travel advice updates for Bangladesh to receive the latest information on flights.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Taiwanese authorities on lessons learned from their handling of the covid-19 pandemic.

Through our office in Taipei, the British Government has been in regular contact with the Taiwanese health authorities around all aspects of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. We will continue to learn from and share good practice with Taiwan, as we aim to do with all those who have been affected by this pandemic. In line with our longstanding policy, we believe Taiwan has a meaningful role to play in combatting global threats like COVID-19.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people are registered with his Department for flights back to the UK from Pakistan.

Pakistan is a priority for the UK Government. We have been working closely with the Government of Pakistan and airlines to ensure British Nationals can return home from Pakistan. The UK Government has announced two rounds of special charter flights from Pakistan to bring home British travellers and their direct dependents, operated by Qatar Airways. The first round of flights were between 21 and 27 April, including seven from Islamabad and three from Lahore, to London Heathrow and Manchester. Following high demand for these flights, there will be a second round of nine direct charter flights from 30 April, including one from Karachi.

We cannot provide an accurate figure for those currently registered for HMG charter flights because many passengers have registered more than once, have already returned by commercial flights or no longer want to return to the UK.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 23 April 2021 to Question 180919 on Bitcoin: electricity, what his planned timescale is for providing a common definition for environmentally sustainable economy activities for (a) Bitcoin and (b) other crypto-currencies.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Bank of England, considers the impact of cryptoassets and assesses what, if any, regulation is required in response. The Government stands ready to respond to emerging risks or changes in the market and will continue to monitor developments in cryptoassets.

In November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the UK will implement a green taxonomy – a common framework for determining which activities can be defined as environmentally sustainable – which will improve understanding of the impact of firms’ activities and investments on the environment and support our transition to a sustainable economy. More details on the green taxonomy will be announced in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the environmental impact of the electricity demand of bitcoin mining will be on the COP26 agenda.

The Government’s private finance objective for the upcoming COP26 climate change forum is to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account. The recovery from COVID-19 will determine the mitigation and adaptation pathways for decades to come.

The finance campaign will provide the conditions for a future that is genuinely greener, more resilient and more sustainable than the past. Action on finance underpins all the other COP campaigns: adaptation and resilience, energy transition, nature and zero-emission vehicles. Without the right levels of finance, the rest is not possible.

The Government has already taken action to ensure the UK is the world-leading centre for green finance including through announcing an intention to make disclosures aligned with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) fully mandatory across the economy by 2025, making the UK the first country to do so.

Additionally, the Government has committed to the implementation of a green taxonomy. This will allow us to accelerate our work towards a greener financial sector, by providing a common definition for environmentally sustainable economy activities.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Bank of England, considers the impact of cryptoassets and assesses what, if any, regulation is required in response. The Government stands ready to respond to emerging risks or changes in the market and will continue to monitor developments in cryptoassets.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what environmental impact assessment his Department has made of the electricity demand of Bitcoin mining.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given on 14 April.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of TIR procedures for vehicles crossing the UK from Ireland to travel onward to the EU since the end of the transition period.

HMRC have not carried out any assessments of effectiveness of TIR procedures for vehicles crossing the UK.

The UK is a member of both the Common Transit Convention (CTC) and Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) conventions. Depending on preferences and suitability, a trader can choose to use the TIR or CTC process to move goods across borders using transit.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to prevent companies funnelling profits into low tax subsidiaries in the Netherlands.

The UK has led international efforts to tackle avoidance by multinationals, including through the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) Project which looks at aggressive tax planning strategies that exploit tax rules to artificially shift profits to low tax jurisdictions where there is little or no economic activity.

This international collaboration has led to the introduction of hybrid mismatch rules that prevent multinationals exploiting differences in the tax systems of different countries, a requirement for UK headed large businesses to provide HMRC with a country-by-country report, detailing their global profits, tax and assets to ensure they are paying the correct tax on all their UK activity, and a Corporate Interest Restriction that protects against companies using intra-group loans to shift profits overseas.

Alongside these multilateral efforts are UK domestic rules that have complemented these changes.

In April 2015, the UK Government introduced the Diverted Profits Tax (‘DPT’). DPT was designed to counter contrived arrangements used by multinational corporations to shift their profits offshore and avoid paying tax in the UK on their economic activities here.

In January 2019 HMRC launched a new Profit Diversion Compliance Facility (‘PDCF’) to encourage businesses to stop diverting profits and pay what is due. About two-thirds of the large businesses targeted so far have decided to use the facility to bring their tax affairs up to date quickly and efficiently, enabling HMRC to focus even more resources on investigating businesses which continue to divert profits.

Multinationals can often have complicated tax affairs and HMRC are determined to ensure that their profits are correctly attributed, and they are paying all the tax they owe.

Additional information about HMRC’s work to tackle profit diversion by multinational companies is available on GOV.UK along with the most recent Transfer Pricing and Diverted Profits Tax statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transfer-pricing-and-diverted-profits-tax-statistics-2019-to-2020/tackling-profit-diversion-by-multi-national-companies

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transfer-pricing-and-diverted-profits-tax-statistics-2019-to-2020

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish the report by Dame Elizabeth Gloster on London Capital and Finance.

As set out in a Written Ministerial Statement on 24 November the Treasury is working with the FCA so that the government can lay before Parliament (and publish online) Dame Elizabeth’s report and the FCA’s response before the December recess. This remains the government’s intention.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his Department's policy is on the right of customers to pay in cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable long term.

The Government remains closely engaged with the financial regulators, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor and assess risks around cash relating to COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely during COVID-19, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. However, it remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to respond to the Financial Conduct Authority's report, General insurance pricing practices: Final report, published in September 2020.

Consumers should be able to get a fair deal when purchasing insurance. The FCA has set out proposals to deliver this in its report on General Insurance Pricing Practices. We are engaging with the regulator and the sector on next steps and will be interested in the outcome of the FCA’s consultation due in early 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the letter of 3 April 2020 from the right hon. Member for Warley regarding Ms Foley.

The letter the Rt Hon. Member for Warley refers to was passed to HM Revenue and Customs and a response was issued on 4 May 2020. HMRC have confirmed that a further copy of that reply was sent to the Rt Hon. Member on 8 July 2020.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of distanced working during the covid-19 lockdown on the proposals for the closure of local branches of his Department's offices.

HMRC remain committed to their locations strategy of moving to regional centres and specialist sites. Timescales for some existing office closures are currently under review due to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction of some regional centres. As is always the case, if there are ways in which HMRC can improve how they deliver their vital public services then they will seek to implement those improvements. This includes reviewing how HMRC have been able to respond to COVID-19 and determining whether and how they might be able to sustain any changes to ways of working that are proven to lead to better outcomes for both HMRC and taxpayers.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the value was of (a) tear gas, (b) rubber bullets and (c) riot shields exported to the US in each of the last five years.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are responsible for the collection and publication of data on UK imports and exports of goods to and from the UK. HMRC release this information monthly, as a National Statistic: the Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics.

The trade data collected does not enable HMRC to distinguish exports of tear gas from other spring, air or gas guns and pistols or truncheons. The trade data collected also does not enable HMRC to distinguish exports of rubber bullets from other ammunition and projectiles or riot shields from other plastic articles.

However, there is aggregated trade data available for the goods and periods requested on the uktradeinfo website, under ‘Build your own data tables’. The site also contains a ‘Help’ function with information on how to extract trade data.

Trade data relating to all spring, air and gas guns and pistols and truncheons exported to the US can be found using commodity code 9304000000. Trade data relating to the value of all ammunition and projectiles can be searched for using commodity code 9306909000. Trade data relating to riot shields and other plastic articles can be found using commodity code 3926909790.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 13 February 2020 to Question 13414 on Debts: China, whether his Department has made a revised assessment of that risk level since the answer was given.

Recent data suggests that Chinese debt increased further in the first quarter of 2020, as the Covid-19 shock is pushing public and private borrowing even higher.

Several institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, raised concerns prior to the Covid-19 outbreak on the risks high levels of Chinese debt could pose to global financial stability. The Covid-19 shock is likely to exacerbate these risks.

In its interim Financial Stability Report published on 7 May 2020, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee found that major UK banks should remain resilient to the Covid-19 shock to both UK and global economies, including China. HMT will continue to work alongside both the Bank of England and global institutions in monitoring the risks posed by Chinese indebtedness.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the (a) UK and (b) world economy of the decision of the German Constitutional Court on funding for the European Central Bank bailout package.

HM Treasury regularly monitors global economic developments, including those in the euro area, and their impact on the UK as part of the normal process of policy development. It is not for the UK Government to comment on euro area monetary policy issues.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the German Finance Ministry on the decision of the German Constitutional Court on funding for the European Central Bank bailout package.

HM Treasury Ministers and Officials regularly speak with their counterparts in Germany. We have been in regular touch regarding our respective countries' response to COVID-19 and will continue to work closely in the weeks to come. It is not for the UK Government to comment on euro area monetary policy issues.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of trends in the level of debt in China on the world financial system.

As highlighted by several institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, there are material risks associated with indebtedness in China.

The Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England, which is responsible for monitoring risks to financial stability in the UK, reflected the risk of a severe recession in China, which would encompass factors such as its debt levels, in its 2019 stress tests of UK banks. The FPC concluded that the UK banking system would be resilient to this risk.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of Biometric Residence Permits are despatched to applicants within seven days of them receiving their decision letter.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advise applicants they can expect delivery of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 working days of receiving their decision notification.

BRPs are produced on behalf of UKVI by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). DVLA have a service level agreement to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. For the financial year 2020/21 they achieved 69.3% (630,173) within 24 hours and 97.9% (259,977) within 48 hours. 2.1% (19,250) took longer than 48 hours.

The production of BRPs outside the 48 hour target was the result of a production failure at DVLA over a three working day period between 22 – 26 October 2020. The average processing time of the 19,250 affected was three working days. This will have enabled our secure delivery provider, FedEx, to attempt to deliver all BRPs within 10 working days of the decision notification being issued.

FedEx took over the BRP delivery contract from DX in February 2020, after a bedding in period formal reporting started in July 2020. Between 1 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 FedEx attempted to deliver 99.2% of BRPs within 48 hours of collection from DVLA, against a target to attempt delivery within 48 hours of collection for 99% of BRP packages.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter dated 1 April 2021 from the hon. Member for Warley regarding Mr Moghadam.

A response was sent to the Rt Hon Member on 10 June 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter dated 23 March 2021 from the hon. Member for Warley regarding Ms Clovia Donegal.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), MP Account Management Team responded on 8 June 2021

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle crash-for-cash car insurance fraud.

The Government is aware criminals are committing these crimes, without any regard to the safety of fellow road users. We are clear this is unacceptable, and it is a priority to ensure these fraudsters have no space to operate.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) works tirelessly to bring ‘Crash for Cash’ criminals to justice. Since the unit was established, investigations conducted by IFED have led to the convictions of hundreds of insurance fraudsters.

We, law enforcement and private sector partners continue to provide advice to the public on how to avoid these crimes and what to do they have fallen victim.

The Government has agreed to work with the private sector to develop a new action plan to tackle fraud, including insurance fraud, to close vulnerabilities in the system and to strengthen the law enforcement response.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to provide a substantive response to the letter of 14 December 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley on Mr Gamaralalage.

The UK Visas and Immigration, MP Account Management team responded on 2 March 2021

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 27 January 2021 on Mr Ahmed Jubran.

I apologise for the delay. UK Visas and Immigration, MP Account Management team responded on 19 March 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 3 December 2020 on Mr Abdul Rahi.

UK Visas and Immigration, MP Account Management team responded on 1 March 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on prioritising frontline police officers and firefighters for covid-19 vaccination.

The Home Office is in regular contact with the Department for Health and Social Care on vaccination prioritisation issues. Decisions are guided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The first phase of prioritisation is split across nine sequential groups, including those considered clinically vulnerable and those over the age of 50. Police and Fire and Rescue personnel falling into these categories will be offered the vaccine as part of the roll out. In addition, PCSOs, Special Constables and Volunteers will also be captured within the phase 1 prioritisation as will any personnel involved in direct patient care, such as driving ambulances.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon Member for Warley dated 21 December 2020 regarding Mr Almarasha.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the Rt Hon. Member’s correspondence. A response was provided by the Home Office on 12 February.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Prime Minister's vehicle is manufactured in the UK.

It is in the public domain that the Metropolitan Police Service provides a Jaguar for Prime Ministerial travel; this is an iconic British brand and Jaguar Land Rover’s headquarters are in the UK.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter of 19 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Warley regarding Mr Karimian.

The Minister for Immigration and the Courts responded on 28 January 2021

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 13 October 2020 regarding Mr Ebad Amiri.

The Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts responded on 26 November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 12 November 2020 on the operation of Sarah's Law.

A response was provided by the Minister for Safeguarding on 18 December 2020.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Minister of State for Immigration plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 5 November 2020 on Mr Ellis.

The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration responded on 16 December 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers are waiting to be interviewed.

The Home Office does not publish information on how many asylum seekers are waiting to be interviewed as this does not form part of routinely published data.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2020/list-of-tables

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for a Security Industry Authority licence have been outstanding for more than (a) one month and (b)(i) three and (ii) six months.

As at 8 December 2020, the SIA had 8,034 applications awaiting a decision. Of these, 4,021 had been outstanding for 29 days or less and 2,039 outstanding for between 30 days and 3 months. 946 had been outstanding for 3 months and 1 day to 6 months. The remaining 1,028 had been outstanding for over 6 months and 1 day.

The SIA receives an average of 140,000 individual licence applications per year. The reasons applications are held open over 25 days are mainly due to action required by third parties or information from the applicant, for example, awaiting medical consents and/or reports, overseas criminality certificate exceptions (requiring sworn oaths and acceptable character references) or the results from criminality disclosure agencies and/or overseas embassies in the case of overseas checks.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her timeframe is for signing off on the pay settlement for staff of the Independent Office for Police Conduct

The pay remit process is set out in the Civil Service pay remit guidance 2020/21 published 18 May 2020. Under this guidance Pay Awards for Arms Length Bodies (ALBs), such as the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), must be approved by the relevant Minister, and then the Home Secretary. There is no laid down timeframe for this approval process.

The IOPC pay award proposals are currently under consideration by the relevant Minister and will be with the Home Secretary shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 8 September 2020 on Mrs Abukshim.

A reply was sent on 4 December 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 8 October 2020 on Mr Musa.

A reply was sent on 4 December 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter of 15 October 2020 from the right hon. Member for Warley regarding Mrs Zankanah.

A reply has been sent on 4 December 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to implement the reforms to the Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure rules.

The Government expects to implement the changes to the disclosure rules before the end of the year, following Parliament’s approval of the legislation and the necessary operational changes within the Disclosure and Barring Service.

We remain committed to implement these changes to balance the rights of the individual to move on with their lives and move away from their past offending whilst continuing to continuing to support effective protection for children and vulnerable adults.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when UKVI plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 10 August 2020 regarding Mrs Isik.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the Rt Hon. Member’s correspondence.

A response was sent on 14 October.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what is her policy on the payment of ransoms both for (a) individuals and (b) in response to cyberattacks.

The Government does not advise paying ransoms to criminals. The payment of a ransom to criminals is likely to encourage further criminal activity and does not guarantee a successful outcome.

The legal decision of whether or not to pay the ransom is ultimately a matter for the individuals or organisations concerned. We encourage victims of ransom demands to contact the authorities for support. An offence may arise from a possibility of money laundering or terrorist financing taking place as a result of a ransom payment.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she had with the Secretary of State for Transport before that Department's announcement on changes to regulations on criminal record checks for taxi drivers.

The new standards address a number of concerns raised in investigations into child sexual exploitation and abuse, including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, about safeguarding in taxis and private hire vehicles. The Home Secretary has made clear that such failures must never be repeated.

The Department for Transport has worked with Home Office ministers and officials to develop the changes.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she had with the Secretary of State for Transport prior to the announcement on changes to the statutory taxi and private hire vehicle standards on 21 July 2020.

The new standards address a number of concerns raised in investigations into child sexual exploitation and abuse, including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, about safeguarding in taxis and private hire vehicles. The Home Secretary has made clear that such failures must never be repeated.

The Department for Transport has worked with Home Office ministers and officials to develop the changes.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the backlog is for the registration of births.

Birth registrations in England and Wales are being completed where they can be safely delivered in line with public health and local authority guidelines.

There are currently around 97,400 unregistered births; this includes those within the normal 42 days period for registering a birth.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the level of illegal use of (a) fentanyl and (b) other opioids in the UK.

59687: Information relating to the number of illicit opiate users in England is provided in these data tables, published by Public Health England:?https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opiate-and-crack-cocaine-use-prevalence-estimates-for-local-populations. Equivalent data for the other countries of the UK is not available.

No estimate has been made by the Home Office of illegal use of fentanyl in the UK.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of Action Fraud.

We are clear that the law enforcement response to fraud must improve. As the National Lead Force for fraud, the City of London Police (CoLP) are responsible for the performance of the Action Fraud service.

This includes ensuring that reports are dealt with in a timely and effective manner. We are working closely with law enforcement to ensure the recommendations set out in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) report, as well as the independent review led by Sir Craig Mackey into the standards, culture and management of Action Fraud, are implemented effectively in order to improve the response to fraud at the local, regional and national levels, including the support provided to victims of fraud

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to undertake a review of the immigration health surcharge for people with leave to remain who are in employment.

It is a migrant’s immigration status that determines whether or not they pay the immigration health surcharge, not their tax contributions or their profession.

As set out in our election manifesto, the Surcharge will be further increased to ensure affected migrants broadly cover the cost of NHS services provided to them. Detailed plans for implementing this will be set out shortly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether musicians and artistic performers from the EU will be subject to the Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting visa) temporary worker route from 1 January 2021.

Currently, visiting artists, entertainers and musicians can perform at events, take part in competitions and auditions, make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities for up to 6 months without the need for formal sponsorship or a work visa. They can also receive payment for appearance at permit free festivals for up to 6 months, or for up to one month for a specific engagement, under the Visitor route.

Artists wishing to come to the UK for longer-term work will need to do so under the points-based system. There will continue to be special arrangements for creative workers, which in future will encompass both EEA and non-EEA citizens.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what Fleet Solid Support ship capacity is sailing with the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group.

RFA Fort Victoria has been allocated to the Carrier Strike Group as the Fleet Solid Support ship.

She will provide vital support to CSG21 by acting as a stores ship and a fleet tanker. RFA Fort Victoria is fitted with four central replenishment rigs, so she can replenish two warships simultaneously with fuel and stores and has another refuelling rig at her rear. She also has a large flight-deck, hangar and maintenance facilities for helicopters.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Enhanced Pallet Load System trucks the British Army has; and where those vehicles were manufactured.

The British Army's UK fleet consists of 559 Enhanced Pallet Load System (EPLS) vehicles, all originally manufactured in Austria with the majority acquired between 2008 and 2013.

In November 2018 work began to upgrade 382 of the EPLS 15-tonne Support Vehicle platforms. The conversions took place in Manchester, with all upgraded vehicles now in service.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to issue the invitation to tender for the Fleet Solid Support Ships; and what steps he will take to ensure the use of British steel in those ships.

The Contract Notice and Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is planned for issue in spring 2021 and consideration of the responses received will determine the exact date for issue of the Invitation To Negotiate.

It is too early to say what the steel requirement for the Fleet Solid Support ships might be. Responsibility for sourcing steel for the ships will rest with the prime contractor, who will make their steel requirements known to the UK steel industry in line with Cabinet Office guidelines.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with Boeing on the E-7 Wedgetail programme.

In common with other projects of this size and complexity, officials are in regular contact with their opposite numbers in Boeing on a range of subjects relating to the E-7 programme.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many companies are contracted to deliver in-service support of (a) complex warships, (b) submarines and (c) naval base services as part of the Maritime Support Delivery Framework; and how many companies are planned to deliver the Future Maritime Support Programme.

Most onshore support services at HM Naval Bases, which support HM ships and submarines, are managed under the Maritime Support Delivery Framework contracts. These two contracts cover a wide range of services and are managed on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by our Prime Contractors, Babcock and BAE Systems.

Babcock is contracted to support the Naval Bases at Devonport and Clyde, while BAE Systems supports the Naval Base at Portsmouth. Both Babcock and BAE Systems sub-contract these services further, but the Ministry of Defence does not hold information on these sub-contracts centrally.

The provision of services under the Future Maritime Support Programme is currently under commercial tender and negotiation. As a result, at this stage, the number of providers is unknown.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what risk assessment has been made for in-service support of (a) complex warships, (b) submarines and (c) naval base services with relation to the future life extension requirements of the Vanguard; what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of ageing critical infrastructure and complexities around logistics and transport on (i) cost and (ii) equipment in-service dates.

The Future Maritime Support Programme employs a full suite of professional project and programme management planning and risk tools. The provision of services under this programme is currently under commercial tender and negotiation and I am therefore withholding the requested information as its disclosure at this time would be prejudicial to the commercial interests of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and for the purpose of safeguarding National Security more widely.

I am, however, able to confirm that the MOD is currently delivering a significant programme of recapitalisation updates for HM Naval Base Clyde nuclear infrastructure assets, to the value of some £1.6 billion. This programme is scheduled to complete by 2032 and will deliver around £0.425 billion of investment in nuclear assets on the Clyde by the end of this financial year.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what risk assessment has been undertaken as part of the planning and consultation process on the move from a single source supplier at HMND Clyde to multiple contractors; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of that move on the delivery of integrated operations in support of CASD.

The Future Maritime Support Programme employs a full suite of professional project and programme management planning and risk tools. The provision of services under this programme is currently under commercial tender and negotiation and I am therefore withholding the requested information as its disclosure at this time would be prejudicial to the commercial interests of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and for the purpose of safeguarding National Security more widely.

I am, however, able to confirm that the MOD is currently delivering a significant programme of recapitalisation updates for HM Naval Base Clyde nuclear infrastructure assets, to the value of some £1.6 billion. This programme is scheduled to complete by 2032 and will deliver around £0.425 billion of investment in nuclear assets on the Clyde by the end of this financial year.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the health and safety record over the course of the Maritime Support Delivery Framework.

The Ministry of Defence takes the health and safety practices of its industrial partners extremely seriously and we expect suppliers to comply with all applicable regulatory and legal requirements.

The health and safety performance of contractors working on the Maritime Support Delivery Framework Contract is routinely monitored as part of contractual governance provisions. The contractors are also independently regulated by the Health and Safety Executive and, for the nuclear sites at HMNB Clyde and HMNB Devonport, the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what measures have been included in the Future Maritime Support programme contract to mitigate the future life extension requirements of the Vanguard and ageing critical infrastructure and complexities around logistics and transport for the in-service support of (a) complex warships, (b) submarines and (c) naval base services.

The Future Maritime Support Programme employs a full suite of professional project and programme management planning and risk tools. The provision of services under this programme is currently under commercial tender and negotiation and I am therefore withholding the requested information as its disclosure at this time would be prejudicial to the commercial interests of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and for the purpose of safeguarding National Security more widely.

I am, however, able to confirm that the MOD is currently delivering a significant programme of recapitalisation updates for HM Naval Base Clyde nuclear infrastructure assets, to the value of some £1.6 billion. This programme is scheduled to complete by 2032 and will deliver around £0.425 billion of investment in nuclear assets on the Clyde by the end of this financial year.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many regular, full-time serving members of the Army there were on the most recent date for which figures are available.

As at 1 April 2020 the strength of the Regular Army was 79,620 personnel.

Notes/Caveats:

These figures were provided by Defence Statistics (Army)

Figures are for Untrained and Trained Regular strengths and therefore exclude Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) and Gurkhas but include those individuals who have transferred out of the Gurkhas to the Regular Army.

Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes;

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Army Reserve personnel, excluding members of University Officer Training Corps, have served for a period of over one year.

As at 1 April 2020, there were 25,580 Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) Army personnel who had continuous Army Reserve service of one year or more.

Notes/Caveats:

  • Figures provided by Defence Statistics (Army).
  • FR20 personnel includes volunteer reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserves and those Volunteer Reserves serving on Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) and Additional Duties Commitment (ADC). Sponsored Reserves who provide a more cost effective solution than volunteer reserve are also included in the Army Reserve FR20.
  • The above figure is the number of FR20 personnel who were recorded on Strength both on 1 April 2020 and 1 April 2019. This captures the number of personnel who have a year or more continuous service in Army Reserve, but will not include those who may have accumulated more than one year of service in other areas of the Armed Forces prior to joining the Army Reserves.
  • Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes.
James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library his Department's report on the Tide-force vessels contract.

Careful consideration has been given as to whether the MARS (Tide Class) Tanker Lessons Learnt report can be made public at this time. It has been concluded that it cannot as its disclosure would be prejudicial to the formulation of Government policy and commercial interests.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many regular, full-time serving members of the Army there were on the latest date for which figures are available.

There were 78,620 Regular Army personnel on strength as at 1 January 2020

Notes/Caveats:

These figures were provided by Defence Statistics (Army)

Figures are for Untrained and Trained Regular strengths and therefore exclude Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) and Gurkhas but include those individuals who have transferred out of the Gurkhas to the Regular Army.

Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes;

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Army Reserve personnel, excluding members of University Officer Training Corps, have served for a period of over one year.

As at 1 January 2020, there were 25,610 Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) Army personnel who had continuous Army Reserve service of one year or more.

Notes/Caveats:

  1. Figures provided by Defence Statistics (Army).
  2. FR20 personnel includes volunteer reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserves and those Volunteer Reserves serving on Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) and Additional Duties Commitment (ADC). Sponsored Reserves who provide a more cost effective solution than volunteer reserve are also included in the Army Reserve FR20.
  3. The above figure is the number of FR20 personnel who were recorded on Strength both on 1 January 2020 and 1 January 2019 . This captures the number of personnel who have a year or more continuous service in Army Reserve, but will not include those who may have accumulated more than one year of service in other areas of the Armed Forces prior to joining the Army Reserves.
  4. Figures have been rounded to 10 for presentational purposes.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has received a request from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the use of the RAF Voyager fleet to repatriate British nationals during the covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the Government’s COVID-19 response effort, the Ministry of Defence has so far provided places on 11 pre-scheduled flights on Military Aircraft to repatriate British Nationals at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s request, which has included the use of Voyager Aircraft where appropriate.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has offered the use of funded flying hours from the RAF Voyager fleet to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to repatriate UK nationals during the covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the Government’s COVID-19 response effort, the Ministry of Defence has so far provided places on 11 pre-scheduled flights on Military Aircraft to repatriate British Nationals at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s request, which has included the use of Voyager Aircraft where appropriate.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has offered the use of (a) the RAF Voyager fleet and (b) civil-registered aircraft from the non-core Voyager fleet to the Department of Health and Social Care for the long-distance transport of personal protective equipment to the UK during the covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the Government's COVID-19 response, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has provided military aircraft to transport personal protective equipment on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. The MOD deploys the most appropriate aircraft for each task in line with Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) principles. In this case, A400M and C-17 aircraft have been used but Voyager aircraft have not.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's policy is on the burning of moors in his Department's ownership.

Ministry of Defence infrastructure and estate policy is set out in JSP850. This policy states that Integrated Rural Management Plans (IRMPs), integrating military requirements with the natural and historic environment, must be in place for all protected landscapes.

Example IRMP objectives include instructions prohibiting the burning of sensitive areas and directions to conduct heather management through cutting and controlled burning.

Heather burning forms part of the Natural England management requirements where appropriate. The Department also adheres to this policy.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking in response to the coroner's report of 30 December 2019 that linked the deaths of two Army recruits on military exercises to sickle cell anaemia.

The Army takes the safety of applicants and Serving personnel extremely seriously. Following the deaths of two Commonwealth applicants, a version of the NHS Family Origins Questionnaire is now used at assessment centres to screen all candidates. This enables a medical assessment identifying those at risk of Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) with a follow on blood test as necessary. Those who are found to be SCT negative can participate as normal in the Role Fitness Test (Entry) including a 2km run at the assessment centre. Candidates who have passed all other parts of the assessment but who have been identified as SCT positive are offered a tailored pre conditioning course to mitigate against Exertional Collapse Associated to Sickle Cell Trait (ECAST). This process has been developed based on an Evidence-Based Medicine approach drawing on available research and NHS best practice, tempered by best available experience of UK Subject Matter Experts and US Armed Forces. The inquests into the two tragic deaths are yet to take place, but a full response to the Coroner's Prevention of Future Deaths Report is being prepared, which will include direction on identifying and supporting serving military personnel who are as yet undiagnosed as SCT positive.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178793 on the Prudential Framework, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the prudential framework for dealing with investments made by Thurrock Council.

Local authorities are responsible for their own commercial investment strategies and are accountable to their electorate. Nevertheless, in making investments, authorities must ensure they comply with the Prudential Framework, including the four statutory codes.

Recent changes to the operation of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) are designed to stop local authorities from accessing PWLB borrowing if they are planning on undertaking investments primarily for yield. Government is also working closely with CIPFA on its revised statutory Prudential Code. Further, Government is currently reviewing all elements of the Prudential Framework to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178793 on the Prudential Framework, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the prudential framework for dealing with the investments by Thurrock Council.

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

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities in England that have invested in funds of (a) Greensill Capital and (b) Archegos Capital Management.

Under the Prudential Framework, which governs how councils borrow and invest, local authorities are free to determine their own capital strategies and have wide freedoms to invest provided they do so within the bounds of the Framework. This is on the basis that authorities are best placed to make local capital decisions and to ensure their own prudent financial management. It also ensures that councils remain accountable for their decisions


The Government has responsibility for the Prudential Framework to ensure it remains fit for purpose in driving sound investment decisions and constraining risk. However, the Government does not play any role in local decision making. Commensurate to its stewardship role, the Government does collect aggregate data on local authority investments, but does not collect data on investments in individual funds.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, apart from Case Studies A, B and C in the Liverpool City Council: Best Value inspection report published on 24 March 2021, (a) how many other case studies were undertaken and (b) were they reported to his Department.

I am not aware of any additional case studies that were produced during the independent Best Value Inspection of Liverpool City Council.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that emergency powers granted to local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak are not being used to avoid local consultation and opposition on planning decisions.

The Government has made clear that local planning authorities should continue to prioritise decision-making during these challenging times to ensure that the planning system continues to function, especially when this will support the local economy.

Local planning authorities are still required to undertake a formal period of public consultation of no less than 21 days, prior to deciding a planning application. Until the consultation period has closed the local planning authority may not determine the application.

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure, Listed Buildings and Environmental Impact Assessment) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 has introduced temporary regulations to supplement the existing statutory publicity arrangements. Local planning authorities (and applicants of EIA development under the Town and Country Planning Act) now have the flexibility to take other reasonable steps to publicise applications if they cannot discharge the specific requirements for site notices, neighbour notifications or newspaper publicity.

The Government has also introduced legislation to allow council committee meetings to be held virtually for a temporary period. The Planning Advisory Service has produced guidance for local planning authorities on how to adapt their planning services in response to Covid-19, including information on planning committees.

These measures will ensure sufficient public participation in the planning process is maintained.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to secure the reopening of public lavatories.

We strongly encourage public toilets to be open wherever possible. We’ve published guidance to help operators ensure facilities are safe where they are open including increasing cleaning of touch points

The Government has published guidance on safer public spaces. It includes advice, information and examples of the potential interventions that can be used in public places to facilitate social distancing in areas of higher footfall such as in parks (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safer-public-places-urban-centres-and-green-spacescovid-19). Owners and operators are advised to implement cleaning protocols to limit coronavirus transmission in public places. It is advised that touch points (e.g. handrails and gates) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an unringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package recognises the additional costs and pressures on finances councils are facing as a result of the current crisis. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making sure councils, including upper and lower tier authorities, have the resources they need to support their communities through this challenging time. Local authorities are best placed to understand how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures and spending needs in their local area, this funding will not be ringfenced. The funding can be used across all local services facing pressures.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the regulations under the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019.

On 3 November 2019 we announced we were contracting with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop the Code of Practice as a British Standard. Work with BSI commenced in December 2019, and they are now convening a group of key stakeholders, representing consumers and the industry, to write the Code.

We have previously committed to developing the final Code this year, and prior to this a full public consultation will take place to give the parking industry, the public and other interested parties the opportunity to have a say. Now, our priority is to work with local authorities and the parking industry to respond to Covid-19.

13th Jan 2020
What discussions he has had with local authority leaders on future funding of children’s social care.

I have regular engagement with local authority leaders in my role as Local Government Minister on a wide range of issues, including children’s social care.

Next year’s Settlement provides councils with £1 billion of additional funding for social care, recognising their vital role in supporting the most vulnerable.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many fines have been issued for offences under covid-19 legislation; and how many of those fines have been paid.

National statistics on detailed offence level fines at court, including those relating to COVID-19 for the calendar year of 2020 are due for publication in May 2021.

The NPCC publishes statistics on the number of Coronavirus Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by police. The latest can be found here: https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/update-on-coronavirus-fpns-issued-by-police-march-2021

Neither court nor NPCC data contains information about whether a fine has been paid.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions there have been under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, and how many convictions secured.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions and convictions for offences under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, in England and Wales, up to December 2019, available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938554/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2019.xlsx

In the data tool linked above, use the ‘Offence code’ filter to select the following offence code:

  • 111/26 - Various summary offences contrary to regulations under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015. (And the Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015).

Number of prosecutions will populate Row 31; number of convictions will populate Row 32.

Please note that this offence code includes offences under both Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 and Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015. In order to identify defendants dealt with in England, specifically, use the ‘Police Force Area’ filter to select all options excluding those in Wales (i.e. Gwent, North Wales, South Wales and Dyfed-Powys).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2021
What recent estimate he has made of the number of cases scheduled to commence in 2022.

We have not made any forecast listings for the Judiciary. We expect almost 100% of Magistrate Courts cases are to be heard this year and over half of Crown Court custody cases to be heard in 6 months.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many fines were (a) imposed by the courts and (b) paid in 2019.

Data on the number of fines issued at all courts (on a principal offence basis) is published in the Outcomes by Offence data tool available here. It shows that a total of 926,993 fines were issued by all courts in 2019: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938568/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2019.xlsx

Data on the value of fines issued in 2019, the amount paid relating to the fines issued in 2019 and the amount paid that relates to fines issued in prior years, can be viewed in this table:

Value of impositions made in the period Jan to Dec 2019

Collections received in 2019 relating to impositions made in the period Jan to Dec 2019

Collections received in 2019 relating to impositions made prior to December 2018

£000

£000

£000

Compensation

29,224

8,236

19,046

Victim Surcharge

45,216

19,316

14,030

Crown Prosecution Costs

29,281

11,362

17,364

Prosecutor Costs

95,663

34,010

41,536

Fines

327,004

102,503

136,345

Total

526,388

175,427

228,321

Notes:

  1. This data has been published in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 HMCTS Trust Statements.
  2. The data excludes fines that are subsequently written off following a judicial cancellation
  3. The whole data set has been included because a fine is only one element of an overall imposition that is made against a defendant. An imposition will usually consist of a number of elements including compensation, victim surcharge, costs and a fine. The total imposition is then enforced as a whole and there is a very strict legal hierarchy that is applied to any receipts that are received, such that any compensation that is owed by the defendant is paid first, then victim surcharge, then costs and finally the fine.

The data provided is all for the 2019 calendar year.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of re-opening recently closed Courts in order to help tackle the backlog in cases arising from the covid-19 outbreak.

On 19 July, HM Courts & Tribunals Service announced ten Nightingale court locations to provide additional capacity for the courts and tribunals estate on a temporary basis. We assessed the merits of using unsold former court buildings as Nightingale courts and are using the former Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court and former Telford County Court buildings for this purpose.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This includes details on the use of Nightingale courts and our plans to open additional locations. We will continue to consider former court buildings as we work to increase our capacity.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the Government's timescale is for allowing tribunals to sit as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Tribunals have continued to sit during the covid-19 lockdown restrictions by making use of online and remote technology to hear cases and ensure continued access to justice for users. Face to face hearings are now starting to resume where it is safe to do so in line with comprehensive and ongoing risk assessments.

Having responded effectively to the immediate crisis, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is now fully focused on recovering its operations to increase courts and tribunals capacity to deal both with normal workloads across jurisdictions and outstanding cases. HMCTS has recently published a progress update on its recovery plans.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896779/HMCTS368_recovery_-_COVID-19-_Overview_of_HMCTS_response_A4L_v3.pdf

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Sep 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on increasing support for the hydrogen-powered bus sector in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland has proven expertise with hydrogen-electric power in the bus sector and we have seen the introduction of the world’s first hydrogen-electric double-decker bus by Wrightbus this year.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland visited Wrightbus in August and recently discussed the opportunities for Northern Ireland with the Transport Secretary. I and my officials are engaging with DfT and BEIS on the UK bus and hydrogen strategies and aim to capitalise on our joint ambitions for these areas. It was good to see Wrightbus recently securing orders for hydrogen-electric buses through its H2Bus consortium and we look forward to forthcoming announcements on the UK’s Hydrogen and National Bus Strategies.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the costs of Operation Kenova have been to date.

Operation Kenova is the independent investigation into a range of activities surrounding an alleged agent codenamed Stakeknife, led by former chief constable Jon Boutcher. Since it was established in 2016, Operation Kenova has taken on three further investigations at the request of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

As this is an independent investigation, funding is the responsibility of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, with reference to his oral contribution of 12 November 2020, when the Government plans to issue new procurement guidelines for Government departments and public bodies.

Procurement guidelines are a matter for the Cabinet Office.

The UK’s exit from the EU offers us a huge opportunity to reform public procurement so that it better meets the needs of the country. Following extensive engagement, the Government has developed a package of proposals to reform the UK's procurement regulations. Our aim is to create simpler, less bureaucratic processes for our businesses, and better commercial outcomes for our public bodies; all while continuing to comply with our international obligations. We plan to publish our proposals soon and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons