Kemi Badenoch debates with Cabinet Office

There have been 6 exchanges between Kemi Badenoch and Cabinet Office

Wed 22nd July 2020 Oral Answers to Questions 26 interactions (714 words)
Wed 17th June 2020 Oral Answers to Questions 29 interactions (734 words)
Wed 6th May 2020 Oral Answers to Questions 36 interactions (1,389 words)
Wed 17th October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions 3 interactions (71 words)
Mon 16th April 2018 Syria 3 interactions (37 words)
Mon 5th March 2018 UK/EU Future Economic Partnership 3 interactions (38 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 22nd July 2020

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
Felicity Buchan Portrait Felicity Buchan (Kensington) (Con) - Hansard

What steps the Equality Hub is taking to better understand the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on black and minority ethnic people. [905155]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

We are concerned that covid-19 is disproportionately impacting ethnic minority communities, which is why the Government have put in place measures to reduce the spread of the virus, especially for people who may be at higher risk. In addition to a raft of specific targeted interventions, I am working with the Race Disparity Unit and the Department of Health and Social Care to act on the findings of the Public Health England review into disparities in risks and outcomes of covid-19. That work will enable us to take appropriate, evidence-based action to address the highlighted disparities.

Stephen Morgan Portrait Stephen Morgan - Hansard

In the light of the latest evidence from the TUC on racism and risk in the workplace, what steps will the Minister take to tackle the entrenched discrimination faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic people at work?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

The Government are doing all they can to address racial disparities across all sectors. The hon. Gentleman may be aware of the commission that the Prime Minister has set up, with the commissioners announced last week, which will look at continued disparities across the board, including in the workplace.

Felicity Buchan Portrait Felicity Buchan - Hansard

My constituency of Kensington has a substantial BAME population. Can my hon. Friend reassure me that her follow-up work on the PHE report will take into account how comorbidities and occupations affect the outcomes of coronavirus?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

My hon. Friend is completely right. It is important to remember that the PHE review findings did not take into account comorbidities or other factors such as occupations. I agree with her that it is imperative for us to understand the key drivers of these disparities, the relationships between the risk factors and what we can do to close the gap in the evidence that the review highlighted.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con) - Hansard

The recommendations in the Marmot review and the Marmot review 10 years on would be a good place to start when addressing health inequalities impacting BAME communities. Is 10 years enough time to consider the recommendations of the original review, and how long will it be before we see the recommendations of either implemented?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I had a meeting with Professor Marmot just last month, and we discussed the recommendations of his review. If my right hon. Friend has seen the report, she will know that many of the recommendations are at a very high level. For instance, the first recommendation says that we should give every child the best start in life. I am sure that that was something she took forward when she was a Minister. This Government believe that it is important, and it is reflected in all our policies across education and communities.

Nadia Whittome Portrait Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East) (Lab) - Hansard

What steps the Government are taking to tackle discrimination against transgender people. [905150]

Break in Debate

Naz Shah Portrait Naz Shah (Bradford West) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on steps that the Race Disparity Unit is taking to help tackle racial injustices in society. [905158]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Parliament Live - Hansard

The Government are committed to tackling racial disparities and levelling up the country, which is why the Race Disparity Unit continues to work across Departments and their agencies to identify and address adverse variances in outcomes across education, healthcare, criminal justice and the economy. It is also why the Prime Minister announced the new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the terms of reference and membership of which were announced last week.

Naz Shah Portrait Naz Shah [V] - Parliament Live - Hansard

The Baroness McGregor-Smith review in 2017 found that the economy could be boosted by £24 billion if BAME disparities were eradicated. I am sure the Minister would agree that that boost would be really helpful to the economy right now. Will she tell me explicitly what the Government and her Department are doing directly to tackle structural racism in the workplace?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Parliament Live - Hansard

The hon. Lady references Baroness McGregor-Smith’s review, which was an industry-led review with recommendations that were mostly for the private sector to consider. Following that review, we ran a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting and received more than 300 detailed responses, which we are currently analysing. This is one of the things that the commission will look into: it will look at a broad range of issues and some of the findings will help to address the issues that the hon. Lady has just raised.

Ben Bradley Portrait Ben Bradley (Mansfield) (Con) - Hansard

What steps the Government are taking to help ensure equity of opportunity for people from low-income families. [905159]

Break in Debate

Marsha De Cordova Portrait Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab) [V] - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 Jul 2020, 12:02 a.m.

Last week, the Government published details of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and announced its chair, who has previously said:

“Much of the supposed evidence of institutional racism is flimsy.”

Yet we know that black workers with degrees earn on average 23% less than their white counterparts. The need for action is urgent. Inaction is costing members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities both their livelihoods and their lives. What assurances can the Minister give the House today that her Government are serious about finally ending institutional racism?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Parliament Live - Hansard

It is important to clarify that Dr Sewell who chairs the commission has not denied that structural racism exists. However, he understands that disparities have a variety of causes, such as class and geography, which the commission will be examining in closer detail, and it is the findings of this commission that will address the issues that the hon. Lady rightly says are urgent and need addressing.

Claire Coutinho Portrait Claire Coutinho (East Surrey) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard

May I welcome the race disparity commission, and as someone who has worked alongside many brilliant organisations to root out entrenched disadvantage, can my hon. Friend assure me that the work being done will build the evidence base so that the policy is based on outcomes, not outrage? [905193]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Parliament Live - Hansard

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. The national conversation on race has been distorted by some seeking to exploit racial tensions without any recognition of the progress that we have made as a multi-ethnic democracy and society. Guided by the evidence, this commission will improve and inform the conversation. It will use data to look at complex and interdependent factors in the round to better understand why disparities exist and what action can be taken to reduce them. The commission will be producing evidence-based recommendations.

Vicky Foxcroft Portrait Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab) [V] - Parliament Live - Hansard

The new report of the Federation of Small Businesses, “Unlocking Opportunity”, identifies a number of barriers faced by ethnic minority-led businesses, which contribute more than £25 billion to the UK economy. Will the Minister raise the report’s key recommendations with colleagues at the Treasury—in particular, the setting up of a dedicated scheme to help EMBs access external finance, helping them to flourish and our local economies to thrive? [905191]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Parliament Live - Hansard

Yes, as a Treasury Minister, I will be considering the findings of that report, so I thank the hon. Lady for raising that matter.

Harriett Baldwin Portrait Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard

Gender pay gap reporting has been suspended because of the coronavirus crisis. As the economic downturn is likely to disproportionately affect women, does the Secretary of State agree that it is important that gender pay gap reporting starts again immediately? [905194]

Break in Debate

Jim Shannon Portrait Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) - Parliament Live - Hansard

It is always a pleasure to ask a question of the Minister. There are strong links between alcohol and domestic violence. Covid-19 shone a spotlight on the high levels of domestic violence in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is a real risk that the ongoing economic crisis will lead to a surge in high-risk alcohol consumption. In that context, what steps is she able to take to prevent alcohol-related domestic violence? [905204]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Parliament Live - Hansard

We are absolutely clear that alcohol is no excuse for domestic abuse or any other kind of abusive behaviour. We are acutely aware of the need to put victims at the heart of our approach to tackling domestic abuse at this time. We are working closely with domestic abuse charities, the domestic abuse commissioner and the police to understand the needs of victims of this type of abuse and how we can best support them.

Oral Answers to Questions

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 17th June 2020

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
Dr Kieran Mullan Portrait Dr Kieran Mullan (Crewe and Nantwich) (Con) - Hansard

What steps she is taking in response to the findings in Public Health England’s report entitled “COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes”, published in June 2020. [903363]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:35 a.m.

We are taking the findings of PHE’s report, “COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes”, which was published on 2 June, very seriously. The next steps are to fill the gaps in the report, which necessarily had some limitations. The Race Disparity Unit and the Department for Health and Social Care are working with me to do this. This vital work will help us to take appropriate, evidence-based action to address the disparities highlighted.

Ruth Cadbury Portrait Ruth Cadbury - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:36 a.m.

Given the delays between publishing the report and publishing the recommendations, and the likely delay now in implementing those recommendations, how do the Government propose to rebuild trust and confidence in their actions with black and minority ethnic groups and individuals?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:36 a.m.

I believe the hon. Lady is conflating two different reports. There was no delay in publishing the first report, which did not have recommendations. The second report was published by PHE only yesterday, and many of the recommendations are already in train. I refer her to the written ministerial statement that I laid yesterday, which should hopefully provide additional clarity on that.

Dr Kieran Mullan Portrait Dr Mullan - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:36 a.m.

I begin by paying tribute to the very many BAME staff I have worked alongside in the NHS, including in recent months. They are an absolutely vital part of the NHS team. That is why it is really important that we get this review right. It is crucial that we get the necessary expert advice to help us to do that. What steps is the Minister taking to get that expertise to support the work she is undertaking?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:36 a.m.

I agree with my hon. Friend. We are determined to proceed with this in an evidence-led way, and we will be engaging with experts in the field. On Friday, the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St Edmunds (Jo Churchill), and I held a virtual roundtable on these issues with a number of public health consultants and leading academics in this field, including Professor Michael Marmot. I am very grateful for their input. We intend to continue in this spirit by engaging with other experts such as the Office for National Statistics.

Marsha De Cordova Portrait Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab) [V] - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, 11:38 a.m.

Professor Fenton’s report, finally published yesterday, highlights yet more evidence that socioeconomic inequalities, racism and discrimination are root causes of BAME communities being disproportionately harmed by covid-19, and that these injustices were already known and have already cost lives. The Government’s denial and delay further compound despair at their lack of care and concern. The seven practical recommendations that the Government should have acted on much sooner include risk-assessing our black and minority ethnic workers on the frontline. Black lives matter is more than just a slogan. So what immediate and decisive action will the Minister take now to develop and deliver culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I refer again to the ministerial statement that was laid yesterday, which covers this. The Government did not delay publishing any report, and the recommendations that were published, on which most of the actions are already in train, can be seen on the gov.uk website.

Laura Farris Portrait Laura Farris (Newbury) (Con) - Hansard

What steps she is taking to ensure that women in the workplace are not disproportionately affected during the covid-19 outbreak. [903361]

Break in Debate

Owen Thompson Portrait Owen Thompson (Midlothian) (SNP) - Hansard

What recent assessment she has made of the implications of the Black Lives Matter movement for the priorities of the Government Equalities Office. [903364]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

No one should face discrimination. Individual Departments and their Ministers must take account of the equality impact of their policies, and I can assure the House that my ministerial colleagues take this very seriously. Across the whole of Government, we have already taken significant steps to tackle the sorts of concerns raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, including continuing to act on the Lammy report, working to improve trust between citizens and police forces and ensuring that record numbers of ethnic minority people continue to go to university.

Owen Thompson Portrait Owen Thompson - Hansard

Over the past two weeks, we have heard members of the Government, including the Prime Minister, repeat that black lives matter, yet their policies fail to reflect that. The Unity Project’s report presented the Home Office with evidence that the “no recourse to public funds” policy discriminates against black British children and leaves them growing up in poverty. What steps can the Minister take to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and black people in particular, against further discrimination to ensure that the UK Government’s words are matched by their actions?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. The issue of no recourse to public funds has been raised multiple times, and the Government are doing many things to tackle situations in which people who may not necessarily have been able to access public funds are able to do so. For example, the Government are ensuring that anyone who needs NHS treatment is not being charged, and programmes such as the coronavirus job retention scheme are available to people who have no recourse to public funds.

Anne McLaughlin Portrait Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East) (SNP) - Hansard

I wonder whether the Minister agrees that some racism is down to unconscious bias, and helping people to recognise and address their own bias could make a real difference. If she agrees, will she welcome the creation of the all-party parliamentary group on unconscious bias? It will conduct several investigations, starting with racial bias, so will she commit to working alongside us and to consider any recommendations with an open mind?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

Yes, I think that that is something that I can definitely agree to.

Christian Wakeford Portrait Christian Wakeford (Bury South) (Con) - Hansard

What steps she is taking to end conversion therapy. [903365]

Break in Debate

Kate Griffiths Portrait Kate Griffiths (Burton) (Con) - Hansard

What steps she is taking to help ensure that BAME key workers are protected during the covid-19 outbreak. [903369]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

All NHS organisations continue to make appropriate arrangements to support their ethnic minority staff, and NHS human resources directors are considering a range of mitigating actions, including redeploying staff to alternative roles, stringent testing procedures, equity of personal protective equipment provision and training, and improved occupational health support. For those in other key roles, Government have issued safer workplace guidance, which emphasises the need for employers to carry out risk assessments, to engage with their representatives and to take account of equality impacts.

Kate Griffiths Portrait Kate Griffiths [V] - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, midnight

In my constituency of Burton and Uttoxeter, we have sadly lost a number of dedicated frontline workers from the black, Asian and minority ethnic community. My constituents are understandably worried, and I have raised concerns previously in the House about how we can protect those in at-risk groups who work on the frontline. Public Health England’s recent stakeholder engagement work contains a number of recommendations. Can the Minister give an outline of Government’s progress on them?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard
17 Jun 2020, midnight

Many stakeholder recommendations are already in progress, as my hon. Friend states, and as part of existing Government work, we are collecting better data on ethnicity—that was one of the recommendations. We agree that that is imperative and we are working to overcome technical barriers. NHS employers have published some excellent frameworks and occupational risk assessment tools, which can be used now; the race disparity unit is working on communication with covid teams across Departments; and I have said that further research to fill the gaps in PHE’s review is one of my immediate priorities.

Emma Hardy Portrait Emma Hardy (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) (Lab) - Hansard

What recent assessment the Government have made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people. [903370]

Break in Debate

Mike Wood Portrait Mike Wood (Dudley South) (Con) - Hansard

Nobody’s chances in life should be limited by the colour of their skin or their ethnic background. What progress is the Prime Minister’s race disparity commission, and when might we start to see results? [903401]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

My hon. Friend is absolutely right and touches on why the Government have set up the commission: to understand why disparities exist, what works and what does not, and to present recommendations for action across Government and other public bodies. It should report by the end of the year.

Marsha De Cordova Portrait Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab) [V] - Hansard

The Government ran a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting that closed back in January 2019. Nearly 18 months on, the Government have failed to publish a response to the consultation and have said twice in replies to written questions on the issue that something will be published “in due course”. That is not good enough. Mandatory pay gap reporting will be one small but significant step towards addressing pay equality, so when will the Government finally publish their response to the consultation and take urgent action to introduce mandatory pay gap reporting?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

Pay gaps are caused by a range of factors. The hon. Lady is right that we ran a consultation on this issue in late 2018; I will write to her to provide her with an update.

Cherilyn Mackrory Portrait Cherilyn Mackrory (Truro and Falmouth) (Con) - Hansard

Will my right hon. Friend join me in celebrating the good news that the so-called “rough sex gone wrong” defence will now be outlawed? [903402]

Oral Answers to Questions

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 6th May 2020

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
Patrick Grady Portrait Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) (SNP) - Hansard

What recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits for social equality of introducing a universal basic income. [902289]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

A universal basic income is not the best way to deliver social equality because it is not targeted at those who need it most. In response to the covid-19 outbreak, the Government set out a substantial package of targeted measures to provide support to people affected by the coronavirus, which can be delivered quickly and effectively through existing systems.

Patrick Grady Portrait Patrick Grady [V] - Hansard

The issue is, though, that people are still falling through the cracks. Does the Minister not accept that, from an equalities perspective, the best way to stop that is to take a universal approach? That is why the First Minister of Scotland has said that, increasingly, a universal basic income is an idea whose time has come. Instead of rejecting it out of hand, will the Government not consult with devolved Administrations, the relevant all-party parliamentary group and other interested expert organisations to see how a guaranteed minimum income could be made to work?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I am afraid that we disagree on this issue. While we are happy to continue the debate, the fact is that flat-rate payments make no allowance for additional help to cope with variable essential living costs, and fail to target those who need support, such as disabled people and lone parents. This universal way of providing support is not going to work well within our existing welfare system.

Anne McLaughlin Portrait Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East) (SNP) [V] - Hansard

I am interested in this outright dismissal of a universal basic income, and in how, where and when this decision was reached. Given that those who will benefit the most from a UBI, contrary to what the Minister said, are the very people her Department is supposed to be fighting for, did she lose the argument or did she fail in her duty to advise her colleagues on what a difference a universal basic income could make to social equality?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I am not sure why the hon. Lady has chosen to take that stance. The fact is that many, many respected people think that a universal basic income is not what is right for this country. It lacks the flexibility to respond to changes in income—unlike universal credit—it is less redistributive, and it is certainly not something that we are considering at the moment.

Ms Diane Abbott Portrait Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington) (Lab) - Hansard

What steps the Government are taking to tackle the disproportionate number of BAME deaths from covid-19. [902293]

Lilian Greenwood Portrait Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Lab) - Hansard

What steps her Department has taken to tackle the disproportionate effect of the covid-19 outbreak on BAME communities. [902306]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

We are very concerned by reports of a disproportionate impact of covid-19 on ethnic minorities. It is important that we understand what is underpinning these disparities and that we have robust and accurate data to do so, in order to take effective action.

Ms Diane Abbott Portrait Ms Abbott [V] - Hansard

The Minister will be aware that of the 17 doctors who have died from covid-19, 16 are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. So will she be speaking to her ministerial colleagues in the Department of Health about the NHS surcharge for migrants? It cannot be right that NHS migrant workers, who are frequently BAME, pay twice for the NHS, first in taxation and then through the surcharge—and, increasingly, with their lives.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

This is an issue that I personally have taken a keen interest in. It is one of the reasons we have commissioned Public Health England to review exactly what the impact is on ethnic minorities. Specifically on fees for migrants, migrants who are ordinarily resident in the UK already receive their NHS care for free. Many more are exempt from charges, including temporary migrants who pay the immigration health surcharge, and asylum seekers. However, it is important to note that we remain committed to fighting this virus, and that is why we changed our regulations in January to ensure that no overseas visitor or anyone living here would be charged for diagnosis of or treatment for covid.

Lilian Greenwood Portrait Lilian Greenwood [V] - Hansard
6 May 2020, 12:06 a.m.

Dr Amir Burney of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe and Dr Kashif Chauhan of the Nottinghamshire Doctors Families Association have both written to me raising concerns about the safety of BAME medical staff. They tell me that their members are scared. NHS trusts have reported problems in moving at-risk BAME NHS staff away from the frontline of the crisis, despite calls from Public England to do so. What discussions has the Minister had with the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that the risk to BAME staff is properly assessed and their health and safety is properly protected?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

The Public Health England review is going to look into this specific issue, but I must stress that we are working round the clock to protect everyone—absolutely everyone—on the frontline during this pandemic for as long as is required. NHS England has sent a letter to those running NHS care organisations recommending that employers should risk-assess staff as a precautionary measure to see if they are at greater risk and, if so, put other measures in place to protect them. That is something that will be going on around the country.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker - Hansard

We go across to the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con) [V] - Hansard

We heard on Monday from the Health Secretary, and my hon. Friend the Minister has reiterated it, about the importance of robust data. Is my hon. Friend confident that the right data is being collected at sufficient pace? Specifically, what input is the Government Equalities Office having into the work of Public Health England, and is she confident that we will find out not only why and how BAME communities are affected, but what needs to be done to protect them?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

The Government Equalities Office is refocusing the equality hub. The race disparity unit, the GEO and the disability unit want to spend more time on research and data so that we can help to inform Government Departments on their activity. We want to become more evidence-led. The Public Health England review is going to fit in with this overall strategy. It will be analysing how different factors, including ethnicity, gender and age, can impact on people’s health outcomes from covid-19. We are confident that this review will be able to analyse available data on health outcomes for NHS staff as well. We expect it to be published at the end of May.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker - Hansard

May I welcome to her new position the shadow Secretary of State, Marsha de Cordova?

Marsha De Cordova Portrait Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab) - Hansard

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The British Medical Association found that black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors have been pushed to the frontline of this covid-19 crisis and that almost two thirds of them have felt pressured to work without vital personal protective equipment. This comes amid reports that 72% of all NHS workers’ deaths were of those from a BAME background. Finally, last week, Public Health England asked all NHS trusts to risk-assess their BAME staff and, where necessary, remove them from the frontline. What steps is the Minister’s Department taking to monitor the impact of this new measure and ensure that no more workers are risking their lives to save lives?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

This is something that we are keeping a close eye on. We are seeing a disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities, as I mentioned before, but NHS England is the right body to make the decisions on how each and every care organisation should look after its staff. We are not calling for ethnic minority medical staff to be taken off the frontline, as that would disproportionately impact ethnic minority communities, but we are doing everything that we can to ensure that they are protected. With regard to PPE, this is something, as I said earlier, that we have been working round the clock to deliver. We have had more than 1 billion items of PPE delivered to health organisations across the country, and we will continue to ensure that our frontline staff are very well protected.

Mr Mark Harper Portrait Mr Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) (Con) - Hansard

What assessment she has made of the effect of school closures in response to the covid-19 outbreak on the life chances of children from working-class backgrounds. [902296]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

We are doing everything we can to ensure that no child, whatever their background, falls behind due to coronavirus. We have already committed more than £100 million to boost remote learning, and we are funding access to IT devices and software focused on the most disadvantaged. It is worth remembering that schools continue to receive pupil premium funding worth around £2.4 billion annually, and that should help to support disadvantaged children during this period.

Mr Mark Harper Portrait Mr Harper [V] - Hansard

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer, but there is anecdotal evidence that school closures bear down more heavily on those from already disadvantaged backgrounds. As the Government are able to reopen schools, can we look at any measure that is necessary to enable children from more challenged backgrounds to catch up, including, if necessary, weekend and summer schools? Even if it is not possible to have schools opened fully during those periods, can we look at what we can do to help?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

May I reassure my right hon. Friend that this is something that we are looking very closely at? We are working with partner organisations, exploring targeted support options for disadvantaged people while schools remain closed and in the summer break, and considering how best to support pupils to rapidly catch up when schools reopen. He should know that we have already taken prompt wide-ranging action to help schools and parents support all young people, publishing a list of online education resources for parents, launching a new online academy, and working with the BBC to create a package of TV and online materials to support learning at home.

Layla Moran Portrait Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) (LD) - Hansard

If the Government will convene a cross-party taskforce to (a) oversee the BAME covid-19 review announced on 17 April 2020 and (b) monitor the implementation of actions arising from that review. [902301]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

As someone who is affected by this issue of ethnic minorities and the disproportionate impact they suffer from covid, I am glad to see that it is being taken seriously across the House. I am confident that both Parliament and the Health and Social Care Committee will have the opportunity to scrutinise the Government and hold them to account on this in due course, and this is where cross-party work will be most effective.

Layla Moran Portrait Layla Moran [V] - Hansard

I and the Liberal Democrats welcome the review that Public Health England is undertaking. I thank the Minister for her response to my question. I hope it means that she will come to the House to make a statement when we finally have the outcome of that review, but there are some things that we can do right now to better understand the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on the BAME community. One of those would be to ask a question on ethnicity on the NHS coronavirus symptom checker, which would surely give us the data that the review needs. Will she commit to speaking to the Department of Health and Social Care on adding that question to the survey?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

I thank the hon. Lady for her letter on this issue in April; the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is aware of it, and I am sure she will receive a response from him in due course. It is important to remember that Public Health England is conducting an independent and expert-led review, and we trust Public Health England to collect the information appropriately, as it sees fit.

Mr Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) - Hansard

What recent assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on women. [902302]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

Women are affected by the covid-19 lockdown in different ways. Women shoulder greater caring responsibilities and are balancing work with childcare. Some women need immediate access to reproductive and maternity services. They are often financially vulnerable, and financial vulnerability will be exacerbated by the lockdown. Every Government Department is playing its part in considering how the virus and the lockdown are affecting all vulnerable groups of people.

Mr Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone [V] - Hansard

I thank the excellent Minister for that response. Does she agree that opening nurseries and schools for younger children, at least, would be of great benefit, particularly to women?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

As a mother with three young children aged six, three and seven months, I assure the House that no one is looking forward to nurseries and primary schools opening more than me. Access to childcare is crucial to supporting mothers, particularly single mothers with young children, to return to work when it is possible, and we are working closely with the sector, but schools and other providers will remain closed, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, until the scientific advice indicates that it is the right time to reopen.

Chi Onwurah Portrait Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) (Lab) - Hansard

What recent assessment she has made of the disproportionate effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) BAME and (b) working-class communities. [902307]

Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch) - Hansard

Understanding the impacts on different groups and the factors underpinning them is extremely complex. It is important that we have the right information on which to base our action, which is why, as I mentioned earlier, we have asked Public Health England to review covid-19 outcomes among different groups and to explore the reasons for disparities. It is also why the Government have taken numerous steps to protect those who would be most disadvantaged by this disease.

Chi Onwurah Portrait Chi Onwurah [V] - Hansard

We do have some other information: according to Office for National Statistics figures, the coronavirus mortality rate in the most deprived areas, such as Elswick in Newcastle, is more than twice that in the least deprived areas—no doubt that is a consequence of health inequalities, which have risen sharply in the past 10 years—and those on lower incomes are more likely to be in frontline occupations. Now we have learned that the infection rate in the north-east is the highest in the country. What is the Minister doing to address the disproportionate impact of the virus on BAME and working-class communities?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch - Hansard

The hon. Lady is right. We are increasingly worried about the number of deaths in deprived areas of the country. As she said, the rate of deaths in the most deprived areas was more than two times higher than in other places, but it is important to note that the underlying factors are extremely complex—these things may be related, but we do not have definitive evidence about the relationship between covid-19 and deaths in deprived areas. We are taking many steps to look after people from disadvantaged backgrounds and from working-class communities. We have protected people’s incomes and jobs, supported businesses and looked at universal credit and statutory sick pay. We are doing every single thing we can to make sure that individuals and communities are protected, on the whole, from any adverse impact of the lockdown.

Simon Baynes Portrait Simon Baynes (Clwyd South) (Con) - Hansard

What steps the Government have taken to help protect people living with abusive partners during the covid-19 lockdown. [902291]

Oral Answers to Questions

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Wednesday 17th October 2018

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Oct 2018, 12:23 p.m.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East met the Israeli ambassador on 11 October. He made clear the UK’s deep concerns about Israel’s planned demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar. Its demolition would be a major blow to the prospect of a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital, and I once again call on the Israeli Government not to go ahead with its plan to demolish the village, including its school, and displace its residents.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Mrs Kemi Badenoch (Saffron Walden) (Con) - Hansard

Q14. My constituent Elliot Peters died earlier this year from hyperammonemia aged just 14. His parents, Holly and Andy Storey, are understandably devastated. Elliot’s condition was not diagnosed early enough; by the time he was placed on dialysis it was too late. Will the Prime Minister meet me and Elliot’s parents to discuss raising awareness of the condition and adding hyperammonemia testing to A&E departments when a patient presents symptoms? [907118]

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Oct 2018, 12:24 p.m.

This is an extremely tragic case, and I offer my sincere condolences to Elliot’s family and friends. I understand that the condition is associated with an inherited metabolic condition. Some of these conditions are very rare and staff are not always on the lookout for symptoms of such rare conditions, but we are committed to ensuring that the NHS always seeks to learn when things go wrong, to ensure that such tragic events can be prevented for future parents. I am sure that a Minister from the Department of Health and Social Care will be happy to meet my hon. Friend and Elliot’s parents to discuss this.

Syria

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 16th April 2018

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Hansard
16 Apr 2018, 6:22 p.m.

I thank the hon. Lady for her comments, and she is right. It is important that across the House we deal with such issues with the solemnity they require. As she says, at the end of the day this is about the impact on children and men and women in Syria. We will continue to work with Syrian refugees in the region and we want to ensure, of course, that when it is possible for them to return they are able to build a stronger and more stable and secure Syria.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Mrs Kemi Badenoch (Saffron Walden) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
16 Apr 2018, 6:22 p.m.

Does the Prime Minister believe that when urgent targeted action is required, waiting for a parliamentary vote could not just put our armed forces in harm’s way but give those stockpiling chemical weapons time to conceal them?

The Prime Minister - Hansard
16 Apr 2018, 6:23 p.m.

My hon. Friend is right that in deciding whether to take such action, it is imperative that we consider the operational security of our armed forces as well as timeliness to ensure that we have the impact we wish to have.

UK/EU Future Economic Partnership

Kemi Badenoch Excerpts
Monday 5th March 2018

(2 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Hansard
5 Mar 2018, 3:09 p.m.

It is very important that the British people voted for us to leave the European Union. If the right hon. Gentleman is saying that we should stay in the single market and in the customs union, he is suggesting that the trade policy for the United Kingdom will be determined by the European Union without our having a say in it. That would mean that the European Union would determine our external tariffs and the basis on which we traded with countries around the rest of the world. If he really thinks that the European Union, in those circumstances, would put the interests of the United Kingdom first, I have to tell him that I do not think it would. It is better for us to have our own independent policy.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Mrs Kemi Badenoch (Saffron Walden) (Con) - Hansard
5 Mar 2018, 3:09 p.m.

Will my right hon. Friend clarify that, contrary to the comments made by the Leader of the Opposition, the establishment of an independent arbitration mechanism will mean that the ECJ will not have jurisdiction over our future relationship?

The Prime Minister - Hansard
5 Mar 2018, 3:09 p.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right.