Jonathan Lord Portrait

Jonathan Lord

Conservative - Woking


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Environment Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 300 Conservative Aye votes vs 1 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 307 Noes - 185
Speeches
Thursday 27th May 2021
Obesity Strategy 2020

While I welcome many aspects of the Government’s obesity strategy, today I want to argue against the Government’s outlined proposals …

Written Answers
Monday 25th October 2021
Housing: Derelict Land
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to (a) …
Early Day Motions
Monday 30th October 2017
LIFTING THE BAN ON UK FLIGHTS TO SHARM EL SHEIKH
That this House welcomes the successful implementation of the UK-Egyptian joint action plan and substantial investment in upgrading security at …
Bills
Thursday 5th June 2014
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Monday 8th June 2020
Chester Zoo
That this House is concerned that Chester Zoo, and other zoos will not be able to reopen alongside ticketed gardens …
Supported Legislation
Monday 28th January 2019
Drone (Regulation) (No. 2) 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, Jonathan Lord has voted in 298 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Jonathan Lord voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Jonathan Lord voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 317
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Jonathan Lord voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
20 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Jonathan Lord voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 265 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 204
View All Jonathan Lord Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(2 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(2 debate interactions)
Dan Carden (Labour)
(1 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(2 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(1 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(1 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Jonathan Lord has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Jonathan Lord's debates

Woking 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).

Jonathan Lord has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Jonathan Lord

8th June 2020
Jonathan Lord signed this EDM on Monday 8th June 2020

Chester Zoo

Tabled by: Angela Eagle (Labour - Wallasey)
That this House is concerned that Chester Zoo, and other zoos will not be able to reopen alongside ticketed gardens and non-essential retail; is further concerned that no date for the reopening of zoos has been announced; recognises the enormous contribution Chester Zoo makes to the local economy, to educating …
30 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 20
Conservative: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
5th September 2019
Jonathan Lord signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 5th September 2019

KASHMIRI PEOPLE

Tabled by: Debbie Abrahams (Labour - Oldham East and Saddleworth)
That this House calls on the UK Government to use all diplomatic and economic measures at its disposal to influence the Indian and Pakistan governments to ensure that democracy is respected and that the Kashmiri people are at the heart of any constitutional reform of the region, including respecting both …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 8
Conservative: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
View All Jonathan Lord's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jonathan Lord, 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.


Jonathan Lord has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Jonathan Lord has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Jonathan Lord


This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 26th March 2015 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision in connection with applications for naturalisation as a British citizen made by members or former members of the armed forces.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 13th March 2014 and was enacted into law.


This Bill received Royal Assent on Tuesday 12th July 2011 and was enacted into law.


83 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
3 Other Department Questions
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to (a) encourage housebuilding on brownfield sites and (b) protect the green belt.

Our National Planning Policy Framework strongly encourages housebuilding by prioritising the regeneration of brownfield land wherever practicable. To support this, Government has significantly invested in unlocking brownfield sites: for instance, the £4.35 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund; the £4.95 billion Home Building Fund; the £400 million Brownfield Housing Fund; and the £75 million Brownfield Land Release Fund.

We have a manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the Green Belt. The Framework states that a local authority can propose to alter a Green Belt boundary only in exceptional circumstances and only if it can show that it has examined all other reasonable options for meeting its identified development needs. A local authority should therefore make as much use as possible of suitable brownfield land; optimise density of development; and discuss with neighbouring authorities whether they could take some of the development required. The Framework also makes clear that most types of new building are inappropriate in Green Belt, and should be refused planning permission unless justified by very special circumstances.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a taskforce to help improve access to housing-with-care for older people.

Offering vulnerable people a better choice of accommodation to suit their changing needs can help them live independently and feel more connected to their communities. This Government is committed to the provision of suitable homes for older people, including extra care housing, which contributes to levelling up across communities. Housing-with-care allows individuals to choose where they want to live, with whom, how they can best be supported, and what happens in their home. Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Our planning rules already mean councils must consider the needs of older people when planning for new homes. In 2019, we published guidance to help councils implement the National Planning Policy Framework policies.

We are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, where 10 per cent of delivery over the course of the programme will be used to increase the supply of much needed specialist or supported housing, including retirement housing. The Department of Health and Social Care are also continuing to subsidise new supply of specialist housing for older and disabled people through the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) Fund.

The Government's plan for health and social care, announced on Tuesday 7 September, also recognised the important role of housing, and supported housing in particular, in providing care and support to people in the community.

Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care are committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people. We are engaging closely with both the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models including proposals from the sector for a cross-Government taskforce.

We continue to work closely with the older people's housing sector and across Government to look at how we can further support its growth. I look forward to engaging with representatives in the sector further and value their insight.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential barriers to growth for housing-with-care for older people.

Offering vulnerable people a better choice of accommodation to suit their changing needs can help them live independently and feel more connected to their communities. This Government is committed to the provision of suitable homes for older people, including extra care housing, which contributes to levelling up across communities. Housing-with-care allows individuals to choose where they want to live, with whom, how they can best be supported, and what happens in their home. Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Our planning rules already mean councils must consider the needs of older people when planning for new homes. In 2019, we published guidance to help councils implement the National Planning Policy Framework policies.

We are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, where 10 per cent of delivery over the course of the programme will be used to increase the supply of much needed specialist or supported housing, including retirement housing. The Department of Health and Social Care are also continuing to subsidise new supply of specialist housing for older and disabled people through the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) Fund.

The Government's plan for health and social care, announced on Tuesday 7 September, also recognised the important role of housing, and supported housing in particular, in providing care and support to people in the community.

Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care are committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people. We are engaging closely with both the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue. This includes considering the merits of different engagement and delivery models including proposals from the sector for a cross-Government taskforce.

We continue to work closely with the older people's housing sector and across Government to look at how we can further support its growth. I look forward to engaging with representatives in the sector further and value their insight.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to improve the quality of civil service apprenticeships.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave to the Honourable Member for Meriden on 11 February 2021.

"The civil service will launch its new apprenticeship strategy next year. The first phase will have delivered 30,000 apprenticeships by next April, but going forward I want to focus not just on numbers, but on the quality of training on offer, so that Departments get much better at growing their own talent and plugging skills gaps. To that end, we recently published the curriculum and campus for Government skills, with the goal of setting the highest standard in vocational training for all civil servants, including apprentices."

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to improve online government services.

All public-facing online government services are required to comply with the Service Standard and Technology Code of Practice which ensure that they meet user needs, are accessible and secure.

We are introducing GOV.UK Accounts to meet changing user needs and expectations and make government services more personalised and data-driven. We have established a Data Standards Authority to make sure that data can be used, shared and understood across government, which is the foundation of joined-up and trusted public services.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of allowing virtual wedding ceremonies to take place in England during covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

On 4 January, the Prime Minister announced a National Lockdown for all of England, in accordance with growing evidence of virus prevalence. Under these new restrictions, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies should only take place in exceptional circumstances. Up to six people can attend (including the couple). Anyone working is not included in that limit.

We recognise the restrictions may be disappointing for those planning such events. By their nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are events that bring families and friends together, including from across the country and sometimes across the world, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. We do not wish to keep restrictions in place for any longer than we have to, and restrictions will be kept under review in line with the changing situation. For further information, please refer to the guidance for small weddings and civil partnerships https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships. There is different advice for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The government continues to regularly make available scientific evidence supporting its COVID-19 response, including at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister will set out the plan for reopening schools, and gradually reopening the economy and society, in a sustainable way in England.

For further information, please refer to the Coronavirus (COVID‑19) page on gov.uk, which will publish further information regarding the roadmap on 22 February, https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will adjust the current restrictions on wedding ceremonies to allow them to be held in England with up to five people, including the couple, witnesses and the officiant, providing that the venue's capacity allows for 2m social distancing.

On 4 January, the Prime Minister announced a National Lockdown for all of England, in accordance with growing evidence of virus prevalence. Under these new restrictions, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies should only take place in exceptional circumstances. Up to six people can attend (including the couple). Anyone working is not included in that limit.

We recognise the restrictions may be disappointing for those planning such events. By their nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are events that bring families and friends together, including from across the country and sometimes across the world, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. We do not wish to keep restrictions in place for any longer than we have to, and restrictions will be kept under review in line with the changing situation. For further information, please refer to the guidance for small weddings and civil partnerships https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships. There is different advice for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The government continues to regularly make available scientific evidence supporting its COVID-19 response, including at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister will set out the plan for reopening schools, and gradually reopening the economy and society, in a sustainable way in England.

For further information, please refer to the Coronavirus (COVID‑19) page on gov.uk, which will publish further information regarding the roadmap on 22 February, https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to promote and protect the Union.

I refer the Hon. member to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s answer to the question asked by Robin Millar on 16 July 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure that sub-postmasters wrongly convicted as a result of faults in the Horizon IT system receive (a) justice and (b) compensation.

The Government understands the serious impact that issues arising from faults with the Horizon IT system, and the Post Office’s management of these issues, have had on affected postmasters’ lives and livelihoods. This is why it is vital that postmasters affected by Horizon get the compensation and justice they deserve.

We welcome the decisions taken by the Court of Appeal and Crown Courts to overturn convictions - 47 to date. We are keen to see that all postmasters whose convictions are overturned are fairly compensated as quickly as possible and we are working with Post Office towards this goal. Post Office will be engaging with the postmasters in the first instance to understand what redress they are seeking.

It is the courts’ responsibility to decide whether convictions are overturned. The Criminal Cases Review Commission is continuing to consider applications made by postmasters to have their convictions quashed. Government will continue to closely monitor the Post Office’s work on addressing the issues identified by Justice Fraser.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage the commercialisation of university research in the UK.

University-business collaboration and the effective commercialisation of university research is critical to achieving the Government’s ambition to spend 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027. The Government has introduced a range of incentives and investments to support universities, charities and businesses to work together, such as:

  • The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund funds collaborative research with business;
  • £900m UK Research Partnership Investment Fund has generated over £2bn in private co-investment to create research centres and facilities in universities across the UK in collaboration with business and charities;
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), which help businesses to innovate and grow by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate;
  • Mechanisms to broker new connections, include Konfer (an online platform to connect universities and businesses) and the Knowledge Transfer Networks (bringing together businesses, academics, government agencies and research organisations); and
  • Stimulating access to finance through Innovate UK and the British Business Bank.

As well as supporting universities in England through:

  • Higher Education Innovation Funding has increased to £250m p.a. by 2020 - underpinning universities’ capacity to work with business and others;
  • The £100m Connecting Capability Fund is helping universities to collaborate and pool Intellectual Property and resource so it is easier for investors and business to access; and
  • The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which benchmarks university performance in working with business and research commercialisation - encouraging universities to increase external engagement with business.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps her Department has taken to help businesses create higher skilled jobs in (a) Surrey and (b) the UK

The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, which covers Surrey, received £219 million through the local growth fund to drive regional development. Since 2018, the LEP has invested over half a million pounds to support the enhancement and refurbishment of Further Education colleges in Surrey. This investment is increasing the number of available apprenticeships in the sectors important to Surrey, providing local businesses with a workforce equipped with the right skills, whatever the specialism.

The Government understands that regions across the UK have different skills needs, so we will build on local strengths to deliver opportunities for people wherever they live. One way we will achieve this in Surrey is through the Enterprise M3 Skills Advisory Panel which bring together local employers and skills providers to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs and work together to understand and address key local challenges.

Furthermore, business support for Surrey's small enterprises is available through the LEP's Growth Hub. The Growth Hub provides a free, impartial, ‘single point of contact’ to help businesses in the area identify and access the right support for them at the right time no matter their size or sector.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to support charities during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government made a £750 million package of support available, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This ensured that charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, could continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak. To date, over 15,000 charities have received funding. This includes household names such as St John Ambulance, NSPCC, Age UK, Barnardo’s and the British Red Cross as well as over 8,000 small organisations.

On top of this, the Government continues to make an unprecedented multi-billion-pound package of support available across the economy to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. Charities continue to access these schemes, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, grants for organisations that have been required to close, including retail and leisure facilities, deferral of VAT bills to the end of June, and government backed loan schemes.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help the return of fans at live sports events during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is keen to see the safe return of spectators to live sports events. A programme of pilot events is being carried out to allow venues and operators to test their covid-secure arrangements in line with the Government's guidance on the return of fans to elite sports events. The latest list of events was announced on 26 August 2020 and includes football, horse racing and rugby union.

The events have been selected to test a range of different event styles across the country’s major men’s and women’s spectator sports. A number of successful pilots have already been completed, including snooker at the Crucible, cricket at Edgbaston and the Oval, and football at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Subject to public health conditions, the pilots will build up throughout September with a view to a full reopening for fans under covid-secure conditions from 1 October.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that superfast broadband is available throughout the UK.

The government has invested significant amounts in digital infrastructure over the last decade, with the BDUK Superfast programme investing over £1.8 billion of public money to ensure over 96% of UK premises have access to superfast broadband. In addition to this, nearly £900 million has been allocated to stimulate the market to start building gigabit-capable infrastructure and full fibre connectivity.

For those premises that are still struggling with slow speeds, there are a number of options available to them. DCMS runs a voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents. ‘Top-up’ schemes run by Local Authorities, who provide their own funding on top of DCMS’s, are also operating across the UK.

The government also introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) on 20 March 2020. The USO gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. The government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps.

Furthermore the government has pledged a further £5 billion to invest in the hardest to reach areas of the UK. Supplier engagement has taken place over the summer, and their feedback will be used to refine and finalise the delivery vehicle of the programme which will launch the first wave of procurements in early 2021.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of removing funding for most BTEC qualifications on students.

Employers are facing a skills shortage that we must act to address. It is vital in a fast moving and high-tech economy that technical education closes the gap between what people study and the needs of employers. This is why we are introducing over 20 T Levels, developed with 250 leading employers, and reviewing the wider post-16 qualifications system at level 3 and below.

The department’s plans for reform of level 3 qualifications were published on 14 July 2021. We will continue to fund high quality qualifications that can be taken alongside or as alternatives to T Levels and A levels where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that T Levels and A levels cannot provide. This may include some Pearson BTECs, provided they meet the new quality criteria for funding approval.

The impact assessment published alongside the consultation response recognised that some students may find it more difficult to achieve level 3 qualifications in future. However, the assessment stated that the changes will generally be positive as students will have access to higher quality qualifications in the future, including new T Levels. This will put students in a stronger position to progress onto further study or skilled employment. The assessment acknowledged that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to take qualifications that could have their funding approval removed. These students should gain the most from these changes because they are the most likely to be taking qualifications that do not deliver the skills employers need. We are committed to ensuring that T Levels are accessible to all young people and have introduced flexibilities for students with special educational needs and disabilities. The T Level Transition Programme will support young people who are not yet ready to progress to a T Level but have the potential to succeed on it after some further preparation.

All qualifications will need to meet new quality criteria to be approved for funding in future. Technical qualifications will need to be approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) in order to be considered for funding approval. For academic qualifications, the department will set criteria to ensure all qualifications approved for funding are necessary alongside A levels. Ofqual will provide advice about quality to both the Institute and the department. This will ensure that all qualifications are high quality and provide the skills needed to support progression either into skilled employment or further study.

Alongside our reforms to level 3 qualifications, the department wants to improve study at level 2 and below, which has been neglected for too long. Improving level 2 and below is key to making sure that every student has a clear progression route – whether that is to high quality level 3 qualifications, apprenticeships, traineeships, or directly into skilled employment at level 2. The department is considering feedback to the call for evidence, which ran from 10 November 2020 to 14 February 2021, and there will be consultation on reform proposals later this year.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote lifelong learning and skills development.

The government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund in England.

Since 1 April, the government is supporting adults who do not hold A level equivalent or higher qualifications, to access over 400 funded level 3 courses, with Free Courses for Jobs. This offer is a long-term commitment, backed by £95 million from the National Skills Fund in year one.

Complementing this support for adults, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks to give people the opportunity to build up sector specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. The department is expanding the Skills Bootcamp programme across the country during the 2021/22 financial year, with £43 million from the National Skills Fund. There will be digital Skills Bootcamps available in each English region and a wide coverage of technical Skills Bootcamps. We are also delivering Skills Bootcamps in retrofit construction skills to support the green industrial revolution.

From 2025, the department will introduce a Lifelong Loan Entitlement equivalent to 4 years of post-18 education. People will be supported to study throughout their life, with the opportunity to train, retrain and upskill as needed in response to changing skills needs and employment patterns. It will help transform post-18 study, delivering greater parity between further and higher education.

The department is continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (£1.34 billion in 2021/22). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills required for work, apprenticeships, or further learning.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to protect freedom of speech on university campuses.

This government believes that freedom of speech and academic freedom are fundamental pillars of our higher education system and that protecting these principles should be a priority for universities. That is why the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill was introduced on 12 May. The bill will strengthen existing freedom of speech duties and directly address gaps within the existing law. This includes the fact that there is no clear way of enforcing the current law when a higher education provider breaches it, as well as applying the duties directly to students' unions. The changes will introduce clear consequences for breaches of the new duties and ensure that these principles are upheld.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the 2021 summer schools programme.

The Government made £200 million available this summer so that secondary schools could deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools were able to fund provision based on the needs of their students, delivering a blend of academic activities and enrichment activities, including mental wellbeing support. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country, where £220 million was made available to local authorities.

Over 2,800 secondary schools signed up to the participate in the summer schools programme. This is 74% of all eligible mainstream secondary schools and it means that over 500,000 pupils will have been invited to take part. This will help recover lost education and to give pupils the confidence they need to start the academic year. Schools will claim their funding for summer school places in October on the basis of pupil attendance.

As part of the Government’s commitment to developing a longer-term education recovery plan, understanding the effectiveness and success of the 2021 summer schools programme is a key priority for the Department. We have designed a research study to help us to better understand the perceived impact of summer schools on children’s wellbeing, transition to secondary school, and academic recovery. An independent research agency will carry out the analysis and reporting of this important research for the Department, and the evaluation will be published on gov.uk.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage employers to take on more apprentices.

In the 2021-22 financial year, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England will remain around £2.5 billion - double that spent in 2010-11 financial year, supporting employers of all sizes to offer apprenticeships.

We are supporting employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities by offering a higher incentive payment of £3,000 for every new apprentice hired between 1 April and 30 September 2021 as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. We have seen over 71,000 incentive payments claimed by employers so far (as of 8 June).

We continue to improve apprenticeships by making them more flexible and making it easier for employers to make full use of their levy funds. We are developing and encouraging innovative apprenticeships training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training and accelerated apprenticeships. These models support apprentices to be effective in their role and accelerate their progression and completion. We will also shortly launch a £7 million fund to help employers set up and expand flexi-job apprenticeship schemes, enabling people to work across multiple projects with different employers and benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

Levy-paying employers can already transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to support apprenticeships in their supply chains or to meet local skills needs. In August 2021, we will make the transfer of levy funds to small and medium-sized enterprises easier by launching an online matching service, whereby levy payers will be able to pledge funds for transfer and create more apprenticeship opportunities in their supply chain, sector or region.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help improve the development of language skills in early education.

Since 2018, we have committed more than £60 million to programmes to improve early language and literacy. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are spending up to £9 million of the National Tutoring Programme fund during the 2020/21 academic year on the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI), a robustly evidenced programme proven to improve oral language skills.

The recent Spending Review has confirmed that the department will fund further expansion of an evidence-based reception year early language programme (such as NELI) during the 2021/22 academic year.

Furthermore, over 3,000 early adopter schools are implementing the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from September 2020, ahead of statutory roll out in September 2021. One of the main aims of the revised framework is to improve early years outcomes for all children, particularly disadvantaged children in the critical areas that build the foundation for later success, such as language development.

As part of the reforms, we have revised the educational programmes to strengthen teaching practice in communication and language, providing a deeper focus on building vocabulary to address the word gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.

Further information on the early adopter EYFS framework can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896810/EYFS_Early_Adopter_Framework.pdf.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor and (b) enforce schools’ compliance with the requirements on political impartiality in the provisions of the Education Act 1996.

The law is clear that schools must remain politically impartial. School leaders and staff have a responsibility to ensure that they act appropriately, particularly in the political views they express. When political issues are discussed, schools must offer pupils a balanced presentation of opposing views and should not present materials in a politically biased or one-sided way.

As Ministers have made clear, political impartiality in our education system is an incredibly important principle to uphold. The Government is committed to ensuring children and young people receive a balanced education. The Department is committed to enforcing this and it, and Ofsted, will not hesitate to act where necessary to help schools meet their legal duties.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

I refer my hon. Friend, the Member for Woking, to the answer that my hon. Friend, the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families gave on 28 January 2020 to Question 5550.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend eligibility for the Teachers’ Pay Grant to sixth form colleges.

Sixth form colleges have a different legal status and relationship to government when compared with schools. They are independent of government and the department plays no role in setting teacher pay and conditions. Therefore, sixth form colleges are not eligible for the teachers' pay grant or the early-career payments for school teachers. We continue to work closely with the further education sector to consider how best to support its needs.

We have announced a 16-19 funding increase of £400 million for 2020-21. This includes a 4.7% increase in the 16-19 base rate of funding and £20 million of new funding for the further education workforce.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend eligibility for Early Career Payments to teachers in sixth form colleges.

Sixth form colleges have a different legal status and relationship to government when compared with schools. They are independent of government and the department plays no role in setting teacher pay and conditions. Therefore, sixth form colleges are not eligible for the teachers' pay grant or the early-career payments for school teachers. We continue to work closely with the further education sector to consider how best to support its needs.

We have announced a 16-19 funding increase of £400 million for 2020-21. This includes a 4.7% increase in the 16-19 base rate of funding and £20 million of new funding for the further education workforce.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce pollution in the marine environment.

The UK Government is committed to leading efforts to protect the marine environment from all stressors.

The UK Marine Strategy Part 3 published in December 2015, sets out a comprehensive list of actions the UK Government is taking to reduce contaminant concentrations in the marine environment to acceptable levels. In 2021 we intend to publish an update to the document, outlining the programmes of measures that will continue to move us towards Good Environmental Status in our seas. Existing measures include various pollution reduction requirements for emissions and discharges from industry, and measures for coastal waters that are set out in the River Basin Management Plans.

The UK Government is also tackling pollution from solid waste at its source. The Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, sets out our plans to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, working towards our 25 Year Environment Plan target to reduce all types of marine plastic pollution.

Given the trans-boundary nature of the marine environment, we work closely with other countries to tackle pollution, such as with those who share our seas through the OSPAR Convention. The UK also contributes to and implements the obligations of several global initiatives, including the London Protocol and the London Convention, to protect the marine environment from mercury, persistent organic pollutants, hazardous wastes, hazardous chemicals, pesticides and marine litter. In 2018, the UK launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance alongside Vanuatu, now a community of 34 member states who have pledged action on reducing plastic pollution in the ocean. As per the Government’s manifesto commitment, the UK will establish a £500 million Blue Planet Fund that will help eligible countries protect their marine resources from key human-generated threats, including pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle waste crime.

Waste crime blights both local communities and the environment and we are committed to tackling it. We have given the Environment Agency an extra £60 million to tackle waste crime since 2014.

Our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) sets out our approach to preventing, detecting and deterring waste crime. The Environment Bill takes forward a number of these measures, including powers to introduce the mandatory electronic tracking of waste and enhanced enforcement powers for regulators and local authorities. The RWS is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/765914/resources-waste-strategy-dec-2018.pdf

In January 2020, the Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) was launched - a taskforce dedicated to tackling serious and organised criminality in the waste sector, including large-scale illegal dumping and false labelling of waste. It brings together the EA, the National Crime Agency, the police, HMRC, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in a UK-wide effort to share intelligence and resources. To tackle the growing trend in criminal waste networks, the new unit will conduct site inspections, make arrests and prosecutions and, upon conviction, push for heavy fines and custodial sentences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress he has made on implementing the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan.

In June the Government published its second 25 Year Environment Plan Progress Report. This second report describes where progress has been made towards achieving the long-term vision of the plan. It also highlights the challenges that still remain in improving the environment within a generation and which we are committed to addressing.

In the last 12 months we have taken significant steps forward in delivering our environmental commitments outlined in our 25 Year Environment Plan. We became the first major economy to legislate for net zero and underlining our commitment to achieving this target, we launched a consultation on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible, including hybrids for the first time. We have also taken action to conserve our marine environment, including by designating the third tranche of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones in May 2019. We are also investing £640 million in a new Nature for Climate Fund to support woodland creation and peatland restoration. Action under each of the goal areas of the 25 Year Environment Plan is set out in the report.

A major step in implementing our environmental ambition has been bringing forward the first Environment Bill for more than 20 years to help leave the environment in a better state than that in which we found it. The Bill, alongside our strengthened Agriculture and Fisheries Bills, sets a new legal foundation for government action to improve the environment. It will place the environment at the heart of Government policy making and ensure that this Government – and future Governments – are held to account if they fail to uphold their environmental duties, including meeting net-zero by 2050, and wider long-term legally binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency established under the Bill.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to protect (a) trees and (b) woodlands in (i) Surrey and (ii) the UK.

Measures to protect our trees and woodlands apply nationally and are not county dependent.

We committed in our 25 Year Environment Plan to increase protection of our existing trees and forests.

As part of this, we have already strengthened the protection of ancient woodlands through the National Planning Policy Framework and the accompanying Planning Policy Guidance and we are introducing a new duty on local authorities to consult local communities when they wish to remove street trees.

The Environment Bill is also providing additional powers to the Forestry Commission, to increase the deterrent for illegal felling, protect our woodlands and ensure that illegally felled land is restocked.

In the Spring, Defra will be consulting on its forthcoming England Tree Strategy, setting out the Government’s vision for English forestry.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to protect biodiversity in (a) Surrey and (b) the UK.

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

The Government has strong protections in place for biodiversity on land and at sea. In England, over 1.09 million hectares of land is designated and strictly protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). There are 62 SSSIs in Surrey such as Chobham Common, one of the largest heathlands in the Thames Basin area.

We are expanding our protected areas at sea. An ambitious third tranche of 41 Marine Conservation Zones were designated in May 2019.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation 2017 apply across England. These laws make it an offence to intentionally kill, injure or capture listed species, as well as damage or destroy breeding sites.

This Government is also investing in improving habitats and recovering species. We are spending £2.9 billion on agri-environment schemes in England through our 7 year Rural Development Programme. We are additionally investing in woodland expansion and peatland restoration, to help mitigate climate change and halt biodiversity loss.

Our statutory nature conservation advisers, Natural England, work with a range of conservation organisations and landowners on species recovery projects, for example through the Back from the Brink programme. This is funded primarily by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and aims to put over 100 species on the road to recovery by 2020. In Surrey, at Farnham Heath, this work includes re-introduction and recovery of the rare Field Cricket – a specialist of heathland habitats which are a particular feature of Surrey’s biodiversity.

This Government is determined to continue to work to protect and enhance biodiversity. We are developing a new Environmental Land Management scheme, which will reward farmers and land managers for delivering environment outcomes such as protection of habitats which will support our biodiversity goals. We will be introducing the first Environment Bill in over 20 years. This will seek to mandate biodiversity net gain in development and will include ambitious legislative measures to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age including nature recovery.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to include older people and ageing populations within the work of her Department.

My Department recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers and face multiple exclusions in developing countries across the globe.

Ageing is an important part of DFID's efforts to ensure inclusion and our approach to leaving no one behind. For example, DFID’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent progress her Department has made on negotiating a free trade agreement with India.

British trade with India has averaged around £20 billion over recent years. The Indian market is huge, and the scope for growth is great. My Rt hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced an Enhanced Trade Partnership with India in May, which addresses some immediate market access barriers and sets out our intent to negotiate a free trade agreement. My Department has since launched a public consultation, which closes on 31st August, to give businesses the opportunity to share their experiences of trading with India. A deal would make it easier for British businesses to succeed in India’s dynamic market, driving growth and supporting jobs across the United Kingdom.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent progress she has made with her G7 counterparts on advocating for free and fair trade throughout the world.

In May, G7 Trade Ministers united in their commitment to free and fair trade; to a global trading system with open markets; and to ensuring the multilateral trading system is reformed, responding to the needs of the British people and others around the world.

Ministers committed to protect individuals from forced labour in global supply chains, and to work together in tackling market distorting practices that threaten the integrity of the rules-based trading system.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent progress her Department has made in resolving trade disputes between the UK and the US on large civil aircraft.

The UK has struck an historic deal with the US on the Airbus-Boeing disputes, which comes six months after the UK made the first move to de-escalate the conflict by suspending retaliatory tariffs.

The arrangement will maintain for five years the suspension of harmful retaliatory tariffs, which hit producers of iconic UK goods such as cashmere, machinery, and single-malt Scotch whisky, and it establishes a framework for continued cooperation.

The UK and US will now work together to put the arrangement into practice and strengthen their collaborative and constructive relationship in the large civil aircraft sector.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps her Department has taken to support British farmers and food producers to increase their global sales.

The Department for International Trade is working with farming and food organisations to deliver tailored export support to our agriculture, food and drink producers. Our ‘Open Doors’ campaign offers a wide range of support for businesses who want to start exporting or expand into new markets, including exporting masterclasses and a flagship agriculture mentoring programme. The DIT Export Academy also provides a variety of educational programmes supporting businesses to grow internationally and increase their sales.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent progress she has made for the UK to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

On Monday 1st February, the Government submitted its notification of intent to begin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) accession process. This is the first step towards accession before formal negotiations start later in the year.

We will publish our negotiation objectives, scoping analysis, and consultation response in advance of the start of formal negotiations, expected in Spring 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve bus services in England.

On 15 March we launched England’s long-term National Bus Strategy, setting out a bold vision for bus services across the country. Backed by £3 billion of transformational funding over the current Parliament, the Strategy will make buses more frequent, more reliable, easier to understand and use, better co-ordinated and cheaper.

Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs), which we expect local authorities to produce by the end of October, will need to set out ambitious visions for travel by bus, meeting the goals and expectations in the strategy. BSIPs will influence the share of the £3 billion funding that each authority receives.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with Highways England on noise pollution caused by the concrete road surface between junctions 10 and 11 of the M25.

Highways England is aware that noise is an important issue for residents living next to the M25 motorway between junctions 10 and 11 and is actively looking for ways to improve the situation.

Work to repair failed joints in the concrete carriageways was completed in November 2019 and this should help to reduce the noise level.

There are currently no plans to resurface the carriageways on this section of the M25, but there is a trial to test materials and techniques which could help to reduce noise and improve the performance of concrete surfaces which is currently being carried out on the M1. The trial includes measurement of the noise reduction achieved and the rate of deterioration of the different treatments and is anticipated to continue until 2022. The results of this trial will help Highways England to decide how to manage concrete surfaces on its roads in the future, including this section of the M25.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will ask Highways England to replace the poor quality road surface between junctions 10 and 11 of the M25.

Highways England is aware that noise is an important issue for residents living next to the M25 motorway between junctions 10 and 11 and is actively looking for ways to improve the situation.

Work to repair failed joints in the concrete carriageways was completed in November 2019 and this should help to reduce the noise level.

There are currently no plans to resurface the carriageways on this section of the M25, but there is a trial to test materials and techniques which could help to reduce noise and improve the performance of concrete surfaces which is currently being carried out on the M1. The trial includes measurement of the noise reduction achieved and the rate of deterioration of the different treatments and is anticipated to continue until 2022. The results of this trial will help Highways England to decide how to manage concrete surfaces on its roads in the future, including this section of the M25.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve the performance of rail services operating from Woking to London.

South Western Railways’ (SWR) Franchise Agreement contains provisions that incentivises SWR to improve its own performance and to work jointly with Network Rail. Challenging targets for performance have been set and where performance falls below expected levels, SWR is required to invest additional sums of money into initiatives to address the causes of the poor performance. This has been the case in the first two years of the Franchise, where targets were not met. Officials and I continue to monitor closely SWR’s performance and are currently in the process of finalising a Remedial Agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to require South Western Railway to compensate passengers for the heavily disrupted service from Woking Station into London during the recent RMT strike.

Passengers are entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme for delays of 15 minutes or more against the published timetable on SWR. The Department are considering all options available to ensure passengers are compensated for this disruption

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of people who have found employment through the Plan for Jobs skills and employment programmes.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be monitoring and evaluating the Plan for Jobs programmes throughout their implementation.

Since April 2020, almost 1.6m people have moved from unemployment to employment from the Universal Credit Intensive Work Search group as shown in the table below.

Movements into employment are available for out-of-work Universal Credit claimants in the Intensive Work Search (Searching for Work) group.

Universal Credit Into Work Rate, May 2018 to May 2021

Into Work Rate (Percentages)

Into Work Volume (‘000s)

May-18

9.6

19

Jun-18

9.3

20

Jul-18

9.1

22

Aug-18

9.8

27

Sep-18

10.6

32

Oct-18

11.1

36

Nov-18

11.5

40

Dec-18

7.4

29

Jan-19

9.4

41

Feb-19

9.0

45

Mar-19

10.5

55

Apr-19

9.8

53

May-19

10.0

55

Jun-19

8.9

52

Jul-19

9.3

54

Aug-19

9.6

57

Sep-19

10.4

65

Oct-19

10.4

64

Nov-19

10.0

64

Dec-19

7.4

46

Jan-20

8.1

53

Feb-20

8.5

60

Mar-20

8.1

58

Apr-20

6.3

62

May-20

6.3

84

Jun-20

6.7

96

Jul-20

7.7

115

Aug-20

7.5

112

Sep-20

9.0

136

Oct-20

9.0

134

Nov-20

8.1

121

Dec-20

6.0

88

Jan-21

6.0

91

Feb-21

6.3

97

Mar-21

8.4

130

Apr-21

9.9

148

May-21

10.3

148

Note: The base population for the Into Work measure is UC claimants in the Intensive Work Search (Searching for Work) conditionality group who are not in work or who have a valid fit note in the relevant month. The Into Work rate is the proportion of these claimants who move into work the following month. These rates are calculated from DWP Management Information and are subject to revision. Figures shown here are from data as of August 2021. The Into Work volumes do not align to caseloads in the DWP Universal Credit Official Statistics due to differences in definitions and population filters. Claimants included in the Into Work rate may or may not remain in the Intensive Work Search group or on Universal Credit depending on their level of earnings and other circumstances. Claimants are identified as being in work if they have earnings in HMRC's Real Time Information data, or if they are required to report self-employed earnings. Claimants can be part of the Into Work rate in more than one month if they move in and out of periods of work.

For the latest available information on starts on Kickstart jobs, I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ36791 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-07-20/36791).

Employment outcomes are available for Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) in England and Wales and JETS Scotland, and provided in the table below. It should be noted that JETS provides support for up to six months and many people who have started on the scheme will not yet have had time to achieve an employment outcome.

JETS Starts and Employment Outcomes

Programme Starts (To End June 2021)

Employment Outcomes (To End June 2021)

JETS England and Wales (launched 5 October 2020)

132,885

24,535

JETS Scotland (launched 25 January 2021)

5,995

655

Note: JETS data are taken from the Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) system. An employment outcome is defined as when an individual achieves £1,000 cumulative earnings within eight months of starting on the programme as identified via HMRC earnings information.

The number of people who have started on Job Finding Support (JFS) and Sector Based Work Academies (SWAPs) provision is provided in the tables below. Employment outcomes for these programmes is not currently available.

SWAPs Starts

1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021

64,500

1 April 2021 - 29 August 2021

30,070

Total since April 2020

94,570

Notes: A SWAP start is defined as the first day of the placement, which is usually the first day of pre-employment training. A start is only recorded where a claimant attended their placement. SWAPs starts data are collected by Jobcentre staff and reflect the number of SWAP starts by claimants in receipt of Universal Credit (UC), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support (IS).

JFS Starts

Month

Starts to JFS

Jan-21

1,440

Feb-21

3,465

Mar-21

4,530

Apr-21

2,585

May-21

4,490

Jun-21

4,940

Jul-21

5,740

Aug-21

4,265

Total

31,455

Notes: JFS Starts are taken from the Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) system. Starts occur where an initial meeting has taken place and participant has acknowledged receipt of appropriate documents such as the Job Finding Action Plan (JFAP).

Through our Youth Offer we currently have over 115 Youth Hubs physically open to support young people across Great Britain get into work and the ambition is to have 150 open by the end of the year.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what lessons he has learned from the covid-19 vaccine deployment that can be applied to the routine childhood immunisation programme.

The Department is reflecting on the lessons learned from the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and exploring how they can be applied to all immunisation programmes, including the routine childhood immunisation programme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle misinformation on covid-19 vaccines to ensure all communities have access to accurate information.

The Department is working closely with Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide authoritative information to the public to make an informed choice about getting vaccinated. We are also working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to help social media platforms identify and take action against incorrect claims about the virus in line with their terms and conditions. This includes anti-vaccination narratives that could endanger public health.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to protect care home residents during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Adult Social Care Winter Plan sets out the actions the Government are taking to support the sector. We are providing free personal protective equipment (PPE) to care homes via the PPE portal until June 2021. In addition, we have provided over £1.4 billion in specific funding for adult social care, £4.6 billion for local authorities to address pressures on public services, infection prevention and control guidance and increased staff testing to identify new cases and protect the workforce as well as residents.

We have placed residents and staff in care homes for older adults in the highest priority group of the vaccination programme, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the provision of non-covid-19 healthcare treatment.

In addition to the £63 billion of additional funding already provided to the National Health Service in 2020-21 and a further commitment of £20.3 billion in 2021-22 to help manage ongoing COVID-19 pressures alongside non-COVID-19 activity levels, we are providing an additional £3 billion next year, on top of the long-term settlement, to support recovery from COVID-19.

The Spending Review allocated £1 billion to help tackle the elective backlog and support hospitals to cut long waits for treatment by carrying up to one million extra checks, scans and additional operations or procedures. We have also provided funding for enhanced Infection Prevention and Control measures, including £450 million to expand and upgrade accident and emergency departments to reduce overcrowding and improve infection control so we can continue to treat all patients safely.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to bring forward legislative proposals to reform mental health laws.

On 13 January 2021 we published our white paper on reform of the Mental Health Act 1983. We have launched a 14-week consultation inviting views from the public, professionals, service users and carers and will also engage with those from protected groups to ensure we get this once in a generation opportunity right. The consultation ends 21 April 2021. This will inform the development of a Mental Health Bill.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve diagnosis rates for liver disease.

From April 2020 a new National Health Service CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework) will be introduced to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis in alcohol dependent individuals. The CQUIN will incentivise acute and mental health providers to ensure that appropriate tests (transient elastography, enhanced liver fibrosis or STLT blood tests) are carried out on in-patients who have a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

The delivery of the national CQUIN to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis against a standard set of criteria will support tackling regional variation.

Specialised commissioning is also supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019/20, Public Health England (PHE) awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support their ambitions to increase access to alcohol treatment. This includes supporting nine areas to purchase fibroscan machines to increase early detection and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

PHE is also supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes new NHS Health Check guidance to encourage referral for liver investigation.

Additionally, the rollout of optimal Alcohol Care Teams across England in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions will improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish a national strategy for liver disease.

From April 2020 a new National Health Service CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework) will be introduced to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis in alcohol dependent individuals. The CQUIN will incentivise acute and mental health providers to ensure that appropriate tests (transient elastography, enhanced liver fibrosis or STLT blood tests) are carried out on in-patients who have a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

The delivery of the national CQUIN to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis against a standard set of criteria will support tackling regional variation.

Specialised commissioning is also supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019/20, Public Health England (PHE) awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support their ambitions to increase access to alcohol treatment. This includes supporting nine areas to purchase fibroscan machines to increase early detection and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

PHE is also supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes new NHS Health Check guidance to encourage referral for liver investigation.

Additionally, the rollout of optimal Alcohol Care Teams across England in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions will improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the diagnosis process for liver disease.

From April 2020 a new National Health Service CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework) will be introduced to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis in alcohol dependent individuals. The CQUIN will incentivise acute and mental health providers to ensure that appropriate tests (transient elastography, enhanced liver fibrosis or STLT blood tests) are carried out on in-patients who have a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

The delivery of the national CQUIN to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis against a standard set of criteria will support tackling regional variation.

Specialised commissioning is also supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019/20, Public Health England (PHE) awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support their ambitions to increase access to alcohol treatment. This includes supporting nine areas to purchase fibroscan machines to increase early detection and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

PHE is also supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes new NHS Health Check guidance to encourage referral for liver investigation.

Additionally, the rollout of optimal Alcohol Care Teams across England in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions will improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase the use of local liver mobile screening units.

From April 2020 a new National Health Service CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework) will be introduced to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis in alcohol dependent individuals. The CQUIN will incentivise acute and mental health providers to ensure that appropriate tests (transient elastography, enhanced liver fibrosis or STLT blood tests) are carried out on in-patients who have a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

The delivery of the national CQUIN to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis against a standard set of criteria will support tackling regional variation.

Specialised commissioning is also supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019/20, Public Health England (PHE) awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support their ambitions to increase access to alcohol treatment. This includes supporting nine areas to purchase fibroscan machines to increase early detection and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

PHE is also supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes new NHS Health Check guidance to encourage referral for liver investigation.

Additionally, the rollout of optimal Alcohol Care Teams across England in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions will improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle regional variation in the early diagnosis of liver disease.

From April 2020 a new National Health Service CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation framework) will be introduced to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis in alcohol dependent individuals. The CQUIN will incentivise acute and mental health providers to ensure that appropriate tests (transient elastography, enhanced liver fibrosis or STLT blood tests) are carried out on in-patients who have a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

The delivery of the national CQUIN to support early identification of cirrhosis and enhanced fibrosis against a standard set of criteria will support tackling regional variation.

Specialised commissioning is also supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019/20, Public Health England (PHE) awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support their ambitions to increase access to alcohol treatment. This includes supporting nine areas to purchase fibroscan machines to increase early detection and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

PHE is also supporting work to increase opportunities for the earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease in people drinking at or above high-risk levels. This includes new NHS Health Check guidance to encourage referral for liver investigation.

Additionally, the rollout of optimal Alcohol Care Teams across England in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions will improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve NHS facilities in England.

In September 2019 the Government announced the Health Infrastructure Plan. As part of this, the Government is committed to building 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years.

Alongside the £3.9 billion extra capital funding announced at the 2017 Spring and Autumn Budgets, the Government has announced additional central funding totalling more than £5 billion since August 2019 to improve and modernise National Health Service facilities.

As part of these commitments, patients in Surrey will benefit from the following investments:

- Funding for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust’s new hospital scheme, providing adult emergency and women and children’s services;

- Almost £40 million sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) funding, including Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust’s £28 million scheme to provide integrated hubs to provide better treatment to patients more quickly out of hospital;

- A share of the £200 million investment in diagnostic machines across England to replace MRI/CT scanners more than 10 years old; and

- A share of £6.7 million provided for the last two winters across Surrey Heartlands STP, Sussex and East Surrey STP and Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve NHS facilities in Surrey.

In September 2019 the Government announced the Health Infrastructure Plan. As part of this, the Government is committed to building 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years.

Alongside the £3.9 billion extra capital funding announced at the 2017 Spring and Autumn Budgets, the Government has announced additional central funding totalling more than £5 billion since August 2019 to improve and modernise National Health Service facilities.

As part of these commitments, patients in Surrey will benefit from the following investments:

- Funding for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust’s new hospital scheme, providing adult emergency and women and children’s services;

- Almost £40 million sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) funding, including Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust’s £28 million scheme to provide integrated hubs to provide better treatment to patients more quickly out of hospital;

- A share of the £200 million investment in diagnostic machines across England to replace MRI/CT scanners more than 10 years old; and

- A share of £6.7 million provided for the last two winters across Surrey Heartlands STP, Sussex and East Surrey STP and Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of NHS nurses in (a) Surrey and (b) England.

The Government has committed to ensure 50,000 more nurses in the National Health Service in England by 2025. No individual target has been set for specific areas of the country.

We have already taken steps to deliver this commitment through our new financial support package. Eligible pre-registration nursing, midwifery and many allied health students enrolled on courses at English universities from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 per academic year which they will not need to pay back.

Additional payments of up to £3,0001 will be available for some students in regions or specialisms struggling to recruit and to help students cover childcare costs. Up to a further £1,000 may be available for some students studying in certain regions or geographical areas in England. The Department is undertaking further work to develop this incentive payment.

This new grant will mean students have access to more money than under both previous systems and will encourage more people to apply, accept places and complete their courses.

Note:

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/paramedic-students-will-get-5000-support-payment-each-year

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to GPs in Surrey.

We recognise general practice is under pressure nationally and we have committed to growing the workforce by 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals, to create a further 50 million appointments in general practice a year by 2024/25.

Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) has advised that through Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, there are a number of initiatives to improve access to general practice services. Significant investment is planned over a five-year period to support the recruitment of new roles working across groups of general practices within Primary Care Networks. Growing the workforce will mean larger teams of staff providing a wide range of care options for patients and will free up more time for doctors to focus on those with more complex needs.

The ICS has further advised Surrey Heartlands has commissioned local federations to provide additional access to appointments to general practice services from 8am to 8pm. These appointments are provided either face to face or through digital consultations. Patients are able to access general practice appointments across hubs in Surrey Heartlands 365 days a year, including Bank Holidays. During the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 December 2019, Surrey Heartlands offered an additional 90,082 appointments, on top of those offered during general practitioner practice core hours.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve access to GPs in England.

We recognise general practice is under pressure nationally and that is why we have committed to growing the workforce by 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals. This is in addition to the 20,000 primary care professionals NHS England will provide funding towards through Primary Care Networks.

Growing the workforce will mean larger teams of staff providing a wide range of care options for patients and will free up more time for doctors to focus on those with more complex needs. This, alongside additional support and increasing the use of technology in general practice will create an extra 50 million appointments a year by 2024/25 and improve patient access to primary care services.

Evening and weekend general practice appointments are routinely available across the country to enable patients to find appointments at a time convenient to them. NHS England, working with stakeholders, is undertaking a national review of access to general practice services. The review’s main objective is to improve patient access both in hours and at evenings and weekends and reduce unwarranted variation in experience.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to support peace between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Following the ceasefire announcement, the Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 25 and 26 May for talks with senior leaders. The Foreign Secretary met former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UK's firm commitment to the two-state solution. We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Foreign Secretary and Ministers have also engaged regional partners, including with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. The Foreign Secretary made it clear that the UK would continue to work with the parties, and other actors, to encourage a durable ceasefire and to urge them to address the drivers of conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps the UK Government has taken to help improve relations between Egypt and (a) Sudan and (b) Ethiopia in response to the recent tensions between those nations.

The UK continues to urge all parties involved in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute - Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan - to come to an agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. We support the African Union's (AU) efforts to promote an agreement that ensures water resources are managed in a sustainable way for all parties.

We continue to engage all three Governments, alongside the US and EU as observers to the AU-led process, including through the UK Special Envoy for the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. The Minister for Africa raised the issue with the Ethiopian Ambassador on 24 February. I discussed the matter with the Egyptian Ambassador on 22 April 2021. We are also urging for a peaceful solution to the current border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress has been made on the international review of the content of Palestinian Authority school textbooks.

We understand the EU are now moving towards the final reporting stage of the study. To ensure that the final report is thorough, the study has been extended to include a sample of textbooks the Palestinian Authority introduced for school year 2020-21. We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the review and we continue to encourage them to finalise the report as soon as possible.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran’s regional activities.

We have been clear about our concerns over Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) continued destabilising activity throughout the region, which includes political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups, including Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The IRGC is sanctioned in its entirety by the UK.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court.

The UK has always been, and remains, a strong supporter of an effective International Criminal Court (ICC). We believe that positive reform is required for the ICC to fulfil its mandate as intended under the Rome Statute and we are working with the Court and other States Parties to achieve this


The UK welcomed the establishment of the Independent Expert Review as part of an inclusive State Party driven process for identifying and implementing measures to strengthen the Court and improve its performance. The Independent Experts published their final report in September 2020; it is essential that States Parties engage with the recommendations in the report and take forward the work to ensure the necessary changes are implemented to strengthen the Court. We look forward to continuing to work with States Parties, the Court and civil society to make sure this happens


The election of two highly qualified UK nationals, Judge Joanna Korner QC and Karim Khan QC to the roles of Judge and Prosecutor to the ICC respectively, will further serve reform of the Court.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure Iran complies with international law.

The United Kingdom engages consistently, both in bilateral and multilateral settings, to encourage Iran to act in accordance with international rules and norms. We have made clear our long-standing concerns over Iran's nuclear programme, its missile proliferation activity and its support for proxy groups and militias across the region. Such support is in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions and in many cases against the wishes of the people and the governments of the states in which the proxies operate. We will continue to hold Iran to account for its actions, including by working with European partners to sanction Iranian entities that contravene international rules and norms; there are over 200 EU sanctions listings in place against Iran. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is an important pillar of the wider global non-proliferation architecture and in all our security interests. The UK has consistently called on Iran to return immediately to compliance with its commitments and to now engage in good faith with the dispute resolution mechanism under the deal. We have also taken action at the UN, bilaterally and alongside our European partners to press Iran to fully uphold its obligations under international human rights law, in particular the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. We continue to call on Iran to respect international norms in relation to British dual nationals held in detention in Iran, and to release those held immediately.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve diplomatic relations with Egypt.

​The UK-Egypt relationship is important and wide ranging, including security, foreign policy, trade and investment, economic reform, education, healthcare, and cultural cooperation. We work closely with the Egyptian authorities to counter shared threats from terrorism, to promote the safety and security of around 500,000 British citizens who visit Egypt each year, and to support longer-term reform.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister welcomed President Sisi and seven of his Cabinet Ministers to London for the UK-Africa Investment Summit. During his visit, President Sisi delivered the key-note speech at the Summit, held talks with the Prime Minister and was received by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. The visit also included a Joint Statement on Economic Cooperation and deals worth over £3 billion.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress has been made on preparations to host the UN climate change summit in Glasgow in late 2020.

​The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be a major international moment in 2020. Its successful delivery is a top priority across HMG and is being led by a central Cabinet Office COP 26 Unit. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be working in partnership with a number of other government departments such as the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deliver a successful summit.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent diplomatic steps he has taken to help ensure a secure and stable Government in Lebanon.

I spoke with former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri on 9 December 2019 about the situation and with new Lebanese Foreign Minister Dr. Nassif Hitti on 28 January. Members of the International Support Group for Lebanon – including the UK – met in December 2019. The group reiterated its support to Lebanon and was unified in calling for the swift formation of a Government capable of meeting the aspirations expressed by Lebanese and capable of delivering the urgently required economic reform; it also reiterated that the right for peaceful protest must continue to be respected. The UK's Defence Senior Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa visited Lebanon on 12 December 2019 and met with senior Lebanese authorities, including President Aoun, to discuss the current situation.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to remove foreign national offenders.

The Government is clear foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence is considered for deportation at the earliest opportunity and since January 2019 we have removed 7,985.

For non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, deportation will be pursued where it is conducive to the public good including where a person receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, commits an offence that caused serious harm or is a persistent offender. European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens, and their family members, who are protected by the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020 are considered for deportation on public policy and public security grounds where it concerns conduct (including any criminal convictions relating to it) committed on or before 31 December 2020.

Our New Plan for Immigration and provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill will make it easier to deport foreign criminals with no right to be in the UK and keep our citizens safe. Further information can be found in New Plan for Immigration: policy statement (accessible) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle people smuggling.

The Government stands resolute in its commitment to tackle Organised Immigration Crime (OIC). We continue to pursue the Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) who facilitate illegal travel to the UK and who exploit vulnerable migrants, knowingly putting people in life-threatening situations.

In March 2021, the Government published the New Plan for Immigration containing provisions to establish legislation to deter illegal entry into the UK, thereby breaking the business model of criminal people smuggling networks and protecting the lives of those they endanger. In July 2021, the Government introduced this legislation through the Nationality and Borders Bill.

We continue to take action against the highly dangerous and illegal entry methods facilitated by these gangss. Police patrols on French beaches and enhanced intelligence sharing between our security and law enforcement agencies has helped to prevent around 8,000 people from making the Channel crossing to the UK so far this year

The Government has taken steps to tackle organised crime on social media platforms, reducing the space in which gangss operate. In March 2021, I met with the National Crime Agency and senior representatives from social media companies to discuss how they can more effectively tackle oraganised crime online and a planned approach is being finalised.

Reinforcing this commitment, in June 2021 the Home Secretary wrote to CEOs of key social media companies urging them to do substantially more to proactively identify and remove posts promoting organised crime , particularly illegal Channel crossings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to tackle fraud and economic crime.

This Government is committed to protecting people from all types of fraud and pursuing those who perpetuate these crimes wherever possible. It is for this reason that as part of the 2020 Spending Review, the Government committed a further £63m to the Home Office to tackle economic crime, including fraud. In May, we published a Statement of Progress on the Economic Crime Plan which committed to developing a comprehensive Fraud Action Plan. This will outline how we plan to further strengthen how we combat fraud and will be published after the 2021 Spending Review.

As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised more investigators in the City of London Police to fulfil their role as a world class fraud specialist force. We have also channelled additional officer resource into the Regional Organised Crime Unit network to work on a host of serious and organised crime threats including fraud.

We have also been working closely alongside the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) who launched their Suspicious Email Reporting Service last year. This system has proved an instant success with the public, with over 6.5 million reports received and the removal of over 50,500 scams and 97,500 websites taken down since its inception in April 2020.

We also continue to encourage anyone who has been a targeted by fraud to report it. Action Fraud is the central police reporting point for all victims of fraud and can be contacted by phone on 0300 123 2040 or through their website: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud. This information is being used by law enforcement partners, alongside crime reports to identify, disrupt and stop fraudsters.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to stop young people becoming involved in crime and violence.

It is vitally important that we prevent young people from being drawn into violent crime. The Government understands the importance of tackling this issue from all angles – whether that is providing support to prevent young people from getting involved in crime, or providing the police with the tools they need to bring knife offenders to justice.

Since 2018, we have invested £105.5m into multi-agency Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in 18 areas most affected by serious violence. The VRUs bring together local partners to deliver an effective, joined up approach to tackling violent crime and its drivers – and they have reached over 100,000 young people in their first year.

We are investing up to £23m this year in new early intervention programmes that will help stop young people from being drawn into violence, and our Creating Opportunities Forum will provide meaningful employment-related opportunities and raise the aspirations of young people at risk of being drawn into serious violence and knife crime.

In addition, our £200m 10 year Youth Endowment Fund is testing what works to divert young people away from serious violence.

This year, we have provided an extra £30m this year for the police forces with the highest rates of serious violence in England and Wales. This funding is supporting the police to deter and disrupt knife crime in areas that need it most.

However, we know there is still more to do. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill includes a duty on public sector bodies to take a joined-up approach to addressing serious violence; the requirement for local agencies to review the circumstances when an adult homicide takes place involving an offensive weapon; and Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which give the police the authority to stop and search known knife and weapons carriers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress her Department has made on improving fire safety in buildings.

The Government is making significant progress in improving fire safety. The Fire Safety Bill, which clarifies that external walls and flat entrance doors are within scope of the Fire Safety Order, has progressed through the majority of its stages in Parliament.

The Government has also published a fire safety consultation. We will soon publish a formal response and look to introduce Regulations as soon as practicable.

Alongside this the Government has progressed work on the Building Safety Bill, which recently completed its pre-legislative scrutiny. The Government will introduce this Bill before Parliament shortly.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to incentivise the removal of dangerous materials from high-rise buildings.

The Government has made £1.6 billion of funding available for the removal of unsafe cladding systems. We have also put in place additional project management support with construction expertise to help support individual projects and oversee remediation, so there is no excuse for delay. Where building owners are failing to make acceptable progress on remediation, those responsible should expect enforcement action to be taken by local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services. The Government established a Joint Inspection Team to support local authorities in taking enforcement action.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support housebuilding on brownfield land.

I’m delighted that the Prime Minister recently announced that seven Mayoral Combined Authorities are each receiving a share of the £400 million Brownfield Housing Fund. This will help unlock 26,000 homes by bringing under-utilised brownfield land back into use and contribute to the levelling-up our country.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the financial sustainability of district councils.

Councils across the country are supporting communities, protecting the most vulnerable and helping the NHS in our efforts to combat Covid-19. In order to meet additional cost pressures, the Secretary of State announced further measures as part of a comprehensive package on 2 July. The package included an additional £500 million of support for councils for the coming weeks and months of recovery. This is in addition to the £3.2 billion already announced, taking the total unringfenced funding given to councils to help with the additional costs of coronavirus to over £3.7 billion. In total the Government has provided £5 billion in cashflow measures and almost £28 billion in additional funding for local communities, to ensure they can meet the unique pressures that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed upon them.

The Secretary of State has also announced measures to address lost income, including:

  • A co-payment scheme to cover irrecoverable Sales, Fees and Charges income in 20/21 with the Government covering 75 per cent of losses beyond 5 per cent of planned income
  • Phased repayment of Collection Fund deficits over the next 3 years
  • A commitment to determine what support is needed to help councils meet the pressures of irrecoverable tax income at the Spending Review

These measures amount to a comprehensive package of support. We will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on local government.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support district councils respond to the covid-19 outbreak.

My Department has been working closely with district councils and sector representing organisations throughout the response to this crisis to understand the challenges they face. We also recognise the excellent work already being done up and down the country by all councils to support their communities during the crisis.

On 16 July 2020, my Department confirmed allocations for individual councils from the £500 million of additional support for coronavirus related spending pressures. The funding has been distributed between district and county councils to reflect the pressures they have reported. This is in addition to the £3.2 billion announced in April, taking the total given to councils to help their communities through the crisis to over £3.7 billion in unringfenced funding, an unprecedented level of additional financial support in recent times.

We have a number of established engagement channels in place to help ensure effective communication, feedback and information sharing and to provide support and latest guidance for councils;

  • MHCLG ministers and officials regularly attend District Council Network (DCN) Covid-19 teleconferences
  • MHCLG COVID-19 webinar is a regularly held teleconference, chaired by the Secretary of State and myself. All council leaders and chief executives are invited.
  • Since 18 March, district council chief executives have received a daily bulletin from MHCLG. The MHCLG Coronavirus Bulletin contains information on the most recent central government announcements, guidance, letters and communication materials related to coronavirus.
Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the role of professional freeholders in managing building (a) safety, (b) fire and (c) structural risk.

The government has consistently made clear that building safety is the responsibility of the building owner.

In October 2018, the government announced an independent working group of housing experts, chaired by Lord Best, to advise government on the regulation of property agents. The working group presented its final report to government on 18 July 2019. We are considering the recommendations in the report carefully.

In line with usual practice, the government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to modernise prisons.

Providing safe, decent, and secure prisons is a key priority for the Government. We are taking a number of steps to modernise our prisons, including building new prison places and increasing our investment in refurbishment and maintenance to upgrade the existing estate.

As announced at the spending review, we have committed over £4 billion capital funding to make significant progress in delivering 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales by the mid-2020s, and £315m to improve the prison estate. These 18,000 prison places include 10,000 places being made available through the construction of four new prisons; the expansion of a further four prisons; refurbishment of the existing prison estate and the completion of our ongoing prison builds at Glen Parva and HMP Five Wells.

Digital technologies will also contribute to the Government’s modernisation of prisons. Access to modern, robust technology is a vital part of current prison design. During the pandemic, HMPPS delivered unprecedented digital innovation through the rollout of secure video call technology into every single prison in the male, female and youth estate, with 124,000 calls made as of 22nd February 2021. We are committed to expanding the use of digital technology in the existing estate and future prisons, including in-cell technology for prisoners.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reduce crime in prisons.

Reducing crime in prisons is a key priority for the Ministry of Justice. In August 2019 we committed to spend £100m on prison security, and we are delivering on this commitment. This includes X-ray body scanners which have been installed in 40 prisons across England and Wales. These detect drugs and contraband that fuel crime in prisons and their use has already prevented over 2,300 illegal items from entering our prisons. This investment will also strengthen staff resilience to corruption and target organised criminals who seek to exploit prisons as a lucrative market.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service also works closely with law enforcement agencies so that crimes committed in prison are dealt with effectively. In May 2019, a Crime in Prisons Referral Agreement was published jointly with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Crown Prosecution Service to help achieve an improved and consistent performance in the investigation and prosecution of offences in a custodial setting.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)