Kevin Brennan Portrait

Kevin Brennan

Labour - Cardiff West

First elected: 7th June 2001

Shadow Minister (Victims and Sentencing)

(since September 2023)

Culture, Media and Sport Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 15th Jan 2024
Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]
14th Jun 2023 - 19th Jun 2023
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill
25th Jan 2023 - 1st Feb 2023
Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 14th Dec 2022
Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill
9th Mar 2022 - 22nd Mar 2022
Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill
2nd Feb 2022 - 9th Feb 2022
Cultural Objects (Protection From Seizure) Bill
9th Nov 2021 - 17th Nov 2021
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts and Heritage)
3rd Jul 2017 - 10th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts and Heritage)
9th Oct 2016 - 3rd Jul 2017
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
18th Sep 2015 - 9th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Education)
8th Oct 2010 - 18th Sep 2015
Public Administration Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 17th Jan 2011
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Further Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for Children, Schools and Families)
9th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (also Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
9th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office) (Third Sector)
5th Oct 2008 - 9th Jun 2009
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)
29th Jun 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
5th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
10th May 2005 - 5th May 2006
Public Administration Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 19th Jan 2005


Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 18th April 2024
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Apr 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Friday 23rd February 2024
Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Someone chuckled when she said Newport County are as good as the top tier, …
Written Answers
Thursday 18th January 2024
Police: Pensions
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has received recent representations on the financial impact …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 12th May 2022
Ivors Week
That this House notes that 16 to 20 May 2022 is Ivors Week, and joins the Ivors Academy in celebrating …
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill 2023-24
A Bill to create an offence of unauthorised entry at football matches; and to provide for the offence to be …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Music Publishers Association Limited
Address of donor: 107 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8TZ
Nature and value …
EDM signed
Monday 4th September 2023
Honouring Laura Nuttall
That this House recognises the life of Laura Nuttall; commends her positivity and hope she showed since her diagnosis with …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 30th June 2021
Flexible Working Bill 2021-22
A Bill to give workers the right to flexible working from the first day of employment except in exceptional circumstances; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Kevin Brennan has voted in 681 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Kevin Brennan Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(74 debate interactions)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(38 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(78 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(44 debate contributions)
Home Office
(34 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kevin Brennan's debates

Cardiff West 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).

Kevin Brennan has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Kevin Brennan

25th May 2022
Kevin Brennan signed this EDM on Monday 4th September 2023

Artificial Intelligence in the entertainment industry

Tabled by: Claire Hanna (Social Democratic & Labour Party - Belfast South)
That this House supports Equity’s campaign, Stop AI Stealing the Show, which seeks to strengthen the rights of performers and other creative workers in response to the rapid development of artificial intelligence across the entertainment industry; acknowledges that whilst there are benefits to the use of artificial intelligence for those …
26 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 10
Scottish National Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
5th June 2023
Kevin Brennan signed this EDM on Monday 4th September 2023

Honouring Laura Nuttall

Tabled by: Siobhain McDonagh (Labour - Mitcham and Morden)
That this House recognises the life of Laura Nuttall; commends her positivity and hope she showed since her diagnosis with a glioblastoma in 2018; acknowledges that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the unmet need for brain tumours and accelerate the development of new treatment options and …
30 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Sep 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 11
Liberal Democrat: 6
Scottish National Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Kevin Brennan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kevin Brennan, 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.


Kevin Brennan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Kevin Brennan

Wednesday 18th May 2022

2 Bills introduced by Kevin Brennan


A Bill to create an offence of unauthorised entry at football matches; and to provide for the offence to be listed as an offence for which a football banning order can be imposed following conviction.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 23rd February 2024

A Bill to make provision about the rights and remuneration of musicians and other rights holders; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 3rd December 2021
(Read Debate)

221 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
8 Other Department Questions
29th Mar 2023
To ask the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recent discussions the Committee has had with the Electoral Commission on the security of postal votes.

The Speaker’s Committee has not had discussions with the Electoral Commission on the matter referred to.

The Commission has highlighted that voting by post is a safe and popular method of voting, with safeguards in place to protect against from fraud. Postal voters are required to provide their signature and date of birth when applying for a postal vote, and again when casting their vote. Returning Officers are responsible for checking these match.

The Commission also encourages campaigners to follow the voluntary Code of Conduct, which makes clear that political parties and campaigners should not assist in completing a ballot paper, or handle completed ballot papers.

The Elections Act also included additional measures intended to further strengthen protections around postal voting at future elections.

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect that freezing the TV licence fee has had on the BBC’s funding in arts and culture.

The Licence Fee Settlement, announced in January 2022, means the BBC will continue to receive around £3.8 billion in annual public funding. We believe this is a fair settlement for the BBC and for licence fee payers across the UK, that allows the BBC to continue to deliver its Mission and Public Purposes and keep doing what it does best while not placing immediate additional financial pressure on households.

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent, and it is up to the BBC to determine how to use its funding to deliver its Mission and Public Purposes. It should prioritise using its £3.8 billion annual licence fee income as necessary to deliver that remit.

Ofcom as the BBC’s regulator will ensure the BBC is robustly held to account in delivering its Mission and Public Purposes.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in the United States on that Government's proposals to increase the cost of visas for touring performers.

Whilst US immigration policy is ultimately a matter for the US authorities, the UK Government has engaged with the US authorities on this matter to make clear the concerns that the UK music industry has about the proposed increase in US visa costs.

We are continuing to engage our counterparts in the US on this matter at official and Ministerial level. Most recently, I raised this issue with the US Embassy on 16 March to make clear the concerns that the UK music industry has about the proposed increase in US visa costs. We will continue to engage the US authorities on this matter.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of making representations to US counterparts on their proposals to increase the costs of short- and long-term visas for touring performers.

My Department regularly engages across Government, and with the music sector, on issues concerning touring professionals. This engagement includes issues such as US visas.

US immigration policy is ultimately a matter for the US authorities, so any decision taken on their visa system will be for them alone. The UK Government cannot interfere in another country’s processes and must respect their systems, just as we expect them to respect the UK’s processes.

The Department for Business and Trade’s Export Support Service (ESS) can provide answers to UK businesses to practical questions about exporting or working abroad. The ESS can be reached by visiting the website: www.gov.uk/ask-export-support-team.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Cardiff West of 7 September 2022 on the report entitled Let the Music Move: A New Deal for Touring.

We apologise for the delay in responding to the hon. Member and will reply to the correspondence as soon as possible.

The Department has engaged with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music on its ‘Let the Music Move – A New Deal for Touring’ report (published in July 2022), including submitting written evidence to the APPG inquiry. The Government continues to engage with the music sector and in Parliament on the important issue of touring.

The Government recognises that the way creative workers work in the EU has changed. We are committed to supporting the sector to adapt to these new arrangements, and we have worked with the sector and directly with Member States to clarify what creative workers need to do.

The majority of EU Member States, including the biggest touring markets such as Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, have confirmed they offer visa and work permit free routes for UK performers and other creative professionals. We continue to support the UK's brilliant musicians to adapt to the new arrangements and make touring easier.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Feb 2021
What recent representations she has received on the effect of Government policies on pregnant women during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to Question 910500 on 13 January.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
13th Jan 2021
What recent representations she has received on the effect of Government policy on pregnant women during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government knows that the pandemic has been hard for pregnant women, their partners and their families. The NHS continues to work hard to support and care for women safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards, during this pandemic.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Attorney General, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service is the only position sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office which falls under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Andrew Cayley CMG QC is the current Chief Inspector. He was appointed in January 2021 following a fair and open assessment process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

As set out in the Candidate Pack published on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website, candidates invited to interview for the position were required to provide two references in advance of the interview.

In addition, as part of the recruitment process Andrew Cayley CMG QC was subject to a pre-appointment hearing with the Justice Select Committee on Thursday 14 January. The committee recommended his appointment and he took up post on 1 April 2021.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of their Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Cabinet Office is committed to ensuring that individuals who serve on the boards of our public bodies uphold the highest standards of conduct. Public appointments are made in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that Advisory Assessment Panels must satisfy themselves that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and can adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies.

On application, all candidates are asked to declare any relevant interests that they may have. These are discussed with candidates at interview. The department also provides the panel with other information such as open source material that they may wish to consider in reaching a judgement in a fair and open way. References may be taken up depending on the role.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of monitoring the socio-economic diversity of public appointees.

The government encourages talented people from all backgrounds and from across the UK to apply for public appointments. This is important as part of our levelling-up agenda and to secure the benefits that having a diverse range of experiences and skills brings to boards and will ensure that we get the best services that deliver for everyone.

The Cabinet Office is working on the introduction of a single online application portal for public appointments which will assist in data collection and allow us to expand our understanding of those taking up appointments through analysis across a range of measures, including by socio-economic background.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will introduce a target for the number of public appointments awarded to individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The government encourages talented people from all backgrounds and from across the UK to apply for public appointments. This is important as part of our levelling-up agenda and to secure the benefits that having a diverse range of experiences and skills brings to boards and will ensure that we get the best services that deliver for everyone.

The Cabinet Office is working on the introduction of a single online application portal for public appointments which will assist in data collection and allow us to expand our understanding of those taking up appointments through analysis across a range of measures, including by socio-economic background.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will introduce a target for the number of public appointments awarded to individuals with a declared disability.

The government encourages talented people from all backgrounds and from across the UK to apply for public appointments. This is important as part of our levelling-up agenda and to secure the benefits that having a diverse range of experiences and skills brings to boards and will ensure that we get the best services that deliver for everyone.

The Cabinet Office is working on the introduction of a single online application portal for public appointments which will assist in data collection and allow us to expand our understanding of those taking up appointments through analysis across a range of measures, including by socio-economic background.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the need for additional resources to help expedite investigations by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The Government is aware that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is currently experiencing a backlog of complaints due to the increased casework from the pandemic and the pressure this has put on the Health Service.

As an independent organisation, the Ombudsman receives its funding directly through the Parliamentary Vote. It is my understanding that the PHSO intends to write to the member to provide more information on its current pressures.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when UK-EU reciprocal touring arrangements will be discussed at the Trade and Cooperation Agreement Partnership Council.

At the first UK-EU Partnership Council on 9 June, the UK raised the issues faced by touring performers and noted work under way with Member States to try to resolve the barriers presented by visa and work permit requirements.The UK and EU have not yet agreed a date or agenda for the next Partnership Council. We continue to discuss these issues with all EU Member States to find solutions that work for our great creative industries.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64088 on United Kingdom Security Vetting, what his most recent estimate is of the average time taken to process a routine application in the (a) Counter Terrorist Check, (b) Security Check and (c) Developed Vetting categories.

Further details relating to the questions asked will not be disclosed in order to safeguard national security. This is in line with the practice of successive administrations.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64088 on United Kingdom Security Vetting, how many applications have been received in the (a) Counter Terrorist Check, (b) Security Check and (c) Developed Vetting categories in 2020; and how many of those applications in each of those categories are designated by United Kingdom Security Vetting as non-routine.

Further details relating to the questions asked will not be disclosed in order to safeguard national security. This is in line with the practice of successive administrations.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64088 on United Kingdom Security Vetting, if he will publish statistics of the (a) numbers of applications processed and (b) average processing times of those applications in the categories of (i) Counter Terrorist Check, (ii) Security Check and (iii) Developed Vetting for each month since January 2019.

Further details relating to the questions asked will not be disclosed in order to safeguard national security. This is in line with the practice of successive administrations.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his most recent estimate is of the average time taken to process applications to United Kingdom Security Vetting.

The average time to process a routine application across all vetting activity is 66 days gross as at 25 June 2020. This combines average times across CTC, SC and DV applications. Like many government services, vetting has been impacted by COVID-19. The Vetting Reform Programme is intended to improve performance.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to reduce the average time taken to process applications for security clearance to United Kingdom Security Vetting.

The average time to process a routine application across all vetting activity is 66 days gross as at 25 June 2020. This combines average times across CTC, SC and DV applications. Like many government services, vetting has been impacted by COVID-19. The Vetting Reform Programme is intended to improve performance.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish an updated list of Ministerial responsibilities.

Details of Ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers).


The List of Ministerial Responsibilities was last updated in October 2019.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the impact of private copy levy schemes on the creative sector in the European Union.

The Government has made no recent assessment of the impact of private copy levy schemes on the creative sector in the European Union.

The 3rd Trade Specialised Committee on Intellectual Property under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement discussed Private Copying Levies on 23 October 2023 and the Minutes were published on gov.uk here.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she plans to invite representatives from creative industries to the London AI Summit.

The UK believes that the dangers of frontier AI risks are increasingly urgent. This includes risks such as biosecurity and cybersecurity, including from the potential misuse of models by non-state actors. This will be the focus of the AI Safety Summit and the invitee list will reflect this theme. The Government is working on wider AI-related risks including those associated with the creative industries through the Creative Industries Sector Vision and via work with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to get the balance right in supporting Government’s ambitions on AI innovation without critically undermining value for rights holders.

The government set out its ambitions for the Summit in greater detail at the start of September, and we look forward to sharing more details in due course.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to the oral evidence of the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee on 4 July 2023, HC1602, what steps her Department is taking to implement the (a) reporting and (b) licensing of large training runs for artificial intelligence.

It is clear that the right guardrails must be in place to manage the risks AI poses. Our proportionate regulatory framework, underpinned by a set of principles and supported by tools like AI assurance techniques and technical standards, sets out a responsible approach to AI innovation. The Government also made it clear in our AI regulation white paper that our approach must be adaptable. As we now look to implement the new regulatory regime, we are considering how the framework will apply to the various actors in the AI development and deployment lifecycle, with a particular focus on foundation models.

This is supported by the £100 million Foundation Model Taskforce led by Ian Hogarth, as well as a new central risk function and international leadership on AI safety through the AI summit.

Our proposed central functions, including risk analysis, horizon scanning, and monitoring and evaluation, will keep the wider landscape under constant review to inform policy. They will capture emerging risks, including risks arising from increasingly powerful foundation models. The Foundation Model Taskforce will meanwhile advance vital safety research, laying the groundwork for the safe adoption of AI across the UK economy, ensuring we are at the forefront of this pivotal technology.

The UK will host the first major global summit on AI safety this autumn. The Summit will bring together key countries, as well as leading technology companies and researchers, to drive targeted, rapid international action to guarantee safety and security at the frontier of this technology.

As the Prime Minister told the Liaison Committee, the Government continues to analyse a range of safety features and guard rails that we could put in place. These could include new measures for the reporting and licensing of large training runs. But it is vital that the effectiveness of any proposals are rigorously evaluated before they are implemented. This is why we welcome the wide range of stakeholders that provided insights to our consultation on the AI regulation white paper. We are currently considering all evidence sent to the consultation and we will provide an update through the Government's response later in the year.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she hold discussions with her international counterparts on the use of unlicensed data to train artificial intelligence models at the global summit on Artificial Intelligence.

The UK will host the first major global Summit on AI safety this autumn.

The Summit will bring together key countries, as well as leading technology companies and researchers, to drive targeted, rapid international action to guarantee safety and security at the frontier of this technology.

The Summit will seek to agree on the safety measures needed to evaluate and monitor the most significant risks emerging from the newest developments in AI technologies.

Decisions are ongoing regarding the agenda for the Summit and we look forward to updating the House further as our preparations continue.

With regards specifically to data and AI, as a government, we want to make the UK a world leader in research and AI innovation, whilst ensuring that the UK copyright framework continues to promote and reward investment in creativity. To enable that, the government is supporting the growth of the creative industries through a number of IP-related initiatives, including the IPO’s Counter Infringement Strategy, to ensure IP rights are protected online.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what recent estimate she has made of when the Intellectual Property Office will publish its code of conduct on copyright and artificial intelligence.

The working group on copyright and AI has asked the Intellectual Property Office for more time to prepare a draft code of practice. A progress update will be published on GOV.UK shortly.

15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many meetings he has held with representatives of the creative industries in relation to the Government’s decision to expand the text and data mining exception.

The Government conducted a full public consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property 29 October 2021-7 January 2022, which included options on text and data mining. Creative industry views were well represented in the responses, but little quantitative evidence of impact was received. Creative industry representatives attended two of the six roundtable meetings which were held with different sectors as part of the consultation exercise. Other attendees included representatives of civil society, researchers and the tech sector.

The former minister for Science, Research and Innovation also discussed the exception with representatives of the Alliance for Intellectual Property at a meeting on 6 July.

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many meetings he held with the creative industries before deciding to expand the text and data mining exception.

The Government conducted a full public consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property 29 October 2021-7 January 2022, which included options on text and data mining. Creative industry views were well represented in the responses, but little quantitative evidence of impact was received. Creative industry representatives attended two of the six roundtable meetings which were held with different sectors as part of the consultation exercise. Other attendees included representatives of civil society, researchers and the tech sector

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential financial impact on the UK music industry of his decision to expand the text and data mining exception.

The Government asked specific questions about impact in the consultation on AI and IP, but received very limited quantitative evidence. An impact assessment will be published alongside the legislation when laid. The proposed exception will be targeted to limit negative impacts, and the government welcomes further evidence from rights holders on how to best achieve this

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that advisory assessment panels must satisfy themselves that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies.

In accordance with the Governance Code, BEIS requires that candidates declare relevant interests at the point of application and these are discussed at interview. Where appropriate, BEIS has on occasion sought references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.We also provide the panel with other information, for example open source material, that they may wish to consider in reaching a judgement in a fair and open way.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

In the period 1 April 2020 to 6 July 2021, 21,594 items of written correspondence from Hon. Members were received by Ministers in the Department. This figure includes 4,415 items that fell outside the Department’s remit and were successfully transferred to the correct department for a response. Of the remaining items, 16,158 were replied to by Ministers and 529 were replied to by officials (and the remainder are still open cases).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings the chief executive officer of the Intellectual Property Office has had with representatives of the recorded music industry in 2021.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Intellectual Property Office has met with representatives of the recorded music industry two times in 2021 so far.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, what recent progress he has made on submitting the UK’s post-2020 Nationally Determined Contributions by the deadline of 31 December 2020.

Under the Paris Agreement, all Parties have committed to communicating or updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020 and every five years after that. We are considering the UK's NDC and will set this out by the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that business sectors which have been unable to access Government-backed finance in the past are able to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme and other Government-backed loan schemes.

The Government has responded to helpful feedback to ensure that companies feel the full benefits of available support.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is open to eligible businesses operating in most sectors. Unlike Enterprise Finance Guarantee, road haulage, fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses can access facilities up to the maximum of £5m available. Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and lender-levied fee payment paid by government.

The Government has:

  • Extended the scheme so that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, are now eligible if the lender believes they need finance to see them through these unprecedented times.
  • Removed the requirement that the relevant applicant not be a business, employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or a trade union in order to be eligible for CBILS.
  • Announced the launch of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support all larger viable businesses with an annual turnover of £45 million and above.
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses in the (a) creative and (b) music sectors have received support under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme to date.

As of 21 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to over 16,600 businesses. At this time we cannot provide a breakdown of funding by sector, as we have given lenders a temporary dispensation from uploading their data to the British Business Bank’s system in order to let them focus on issuing new loans. This is a pragmatic step that reflects the urgency of getting loans issued. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has had recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues on consulting with technology and music industry stakeholders on the design and implementation of a code of conduct for the use of artificial intelligence in the music industry.

The Government recognises the enormous potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver better public services, high quality jobs and opportunities, and enable future high growth industries. As set out in the recent AI white paper, our goal is to ensure that the UK becomes an AI superpower.

However, it is important that while we harness the benefits of AI, we also manage the risks. This includes particular risks to creative sectors and rights holders, notably the music industry.

As set out in the Government response to the Pro-innovation Regulation of Digital Technologies Review, we are working with users and rights holders to develop a code of practice on text and data mining, a process used in the development and training of AI models. To inform the code of practice, the Government is convening a group of AI firms and rights holders, in the music industry and other parts of the creative sector, to identify barriers faced by users of data mining techniques when accessing copyright materials, and to develop licensing solutions for these.

The Chancellor hosted a Creative Industries conference on 3 May alongside the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology; and the Secretary of State for Education, to discuss with 80 industry representatives the key challenges and opportunities facing the Creative Industries, including the impact of the use of AI in the music industry. We will continue to engage and work closely with industry on the design and implementation of future reforms.

26th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the financial viability of recording studios.

In August 2021, DCMS commissioned the consultancy firm, Sound Diplomacy, to assess the state of the music studio market in England.

Evidence found challenges, but showed the market is responding to changes, such as technological innovation, and is maintaining or growing sources of income.

As a result, the report found the music studio market was not in need of specific government intervention.

Since then, the Government announced a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme to help support businesses, like recording studios, to tackle rising energy costs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with Ofcom on the upcoming 11.1 percent price increase of wholesale broadband in April 2023.

The regulation of wholesale prices in the fixed telecoms market is a matter for Ofcom, the independent regulator. Through our Statement of Strategic Priorities we have instructed Ofcom to regulate in a way that encourages both competition and investment in telecoms infrastructure. Following this guidance, Ofcom developed its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review (WFTMR) which allows Openreach prices to increase in line with inflation.

Thanks to this approach, there is now a thriving market of over 80 providers investing £35bn rolling out gigabit broadband all over the UK. Today, nearly 73% of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her planned timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals to implement the recommendations of the Fan-led Review of Football Governance.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022.

The Government recognises the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper in due course, setting out our detailed response to the Fan Led Review of Football Governance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she will publish a White Paper on the implementation of the Fan-led Review of Football Governance.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022.

The Government recognises the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper in due course, setting out our detailed response to the Fan Led Review of Football Governance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answers of 14 July 2022 to Question 33716 and 33717 on Social Media: Public Service Broadcasting and Question 33718 on Internet: Public Service Broadcasting, whether exemptions for recognised news publisher content in regulations requiring social media companies to remove specific content will extend to the non-news content of public service broadcasters.

Where a public service broadcaster qualifies as a ‘Recognised News Publisher’ as per clause 50 of the Bill, all their content will be exempt from online safety regulation, including any non-news content that they publish. This includes all content from the British Broadcasting Corporation and Sianel Pedwar Cymru among others.

13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional funding for local authorities to help them manage the impact of rising energy prices on the operating costs of swimming pools in public leisure centres.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities, including swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy, and which play an important role within communities.

We also recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and the government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses.

The ongoing responsibility of providing access to public leisure facilities lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in leisure facilities. Sport, and local authorities, are devolved matters, therefore investment decisions concerning them in Wales are the responsibility of the relevant administration.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing capital funding to support the transition of swimming pools in public leisure centres to renewable energy sources.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities, including swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. We are committed to supporting these facilities to transition to renewable energy sources.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. The scheme supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, as set out in the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy in October 2021. For example last year, during Phase 3a, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council was awarded £1,728,500 to decarbonise the swimming pool at Todmorden Sports Centre.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund are open to public sector bodies in England and areas of reserved public services across the UK. Sport, and Local Government, are devolved matters, therefore investment decisions concerning them in Wales are the responsibility of the relevant administration.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of provisions in the Online Safety Bill in relation to (a) exemptions for journalistic content and (b) content of democratic importance on protections for all Public Service Broadcasters.

The Online Safety Bill will ensure content from all public service broadcasters is protected on social media platforms.

The Bill exempts recognised news publishers’ content from tech platforms’ new online safety duties. This means tech companies will be under no legal obligation to apply their new safety duties to that content. The criteria under which an organisation qualifies as a recognised news publisher are set in the Bill. They include the BBC, S4C and other public service broadcasters who publish news-related material.

The largest and riskiest services, Category 1 service providers, will also need to set and enforce policies to ensure that the importance of journalistic content is taken into account when making moderation decisions. This will cover journalistic content published by public service broadcasters.

Parliament has just approved amendments to the Online Safety Bill tabled by the government to further strengthen the protections for recognised news publisher content. Category 1 service providers will be required to notify news publishers and offer them a right of appeal before removing or moderating their content or taking any action against their accounts. This will ensure content from news publishers, including UK public service broadcasters, are not arbitrarily removed at the height of the news cycle. These protections would not apply to news publisher content where this content would give rise to civil or criminal liability for the service, or where it amounts to a relevant offence as defined by the Bill.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of ensuring that regulations requiring social media companies to remove specific content are not applicable to Public Service Broadcasting output.

The Online Safety Bill will ensure content from all public service broadcasters is protected on social media platforms.

The Bill exempts recognised news publishers’ content from tech platforms’ new online safety duties. This means tech companies will be under no legal obligation to apply their new safety duties to that content. The criteria under which an organisation qualifies as a recognised news publisher are set in the Bill. They include the BBC, S4C and other public service broadcasters who publish news-related material.

The largest and riskiest services, Category 1 service providers, will also need to set and enforce policies to ensure that the importance of journalistic content is taken into account when making moderation decisions. This will cover journalistic content published by public service broadcasters.

Parliament has just approved amendments to the Online Safety Bill tabled by the government to further strengthen the protections for recognised news publisher content. Category 1 service providers will be required to notify news publishers and offer them a right of appeal before removing or moderating their content or taking any action against their accounts. This will ensure content from news publishers, including UK public service broadcasters, are not arbitrarily removed at the height of the news cycle. These protections would not apply to news publisher content where this content would give rise to civil or criminal liability for the service, or where it amounts to a relevant offence as defined by the Bill.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of ensuring that all public service broadcaster output that conforms with Ofcom regulations remains visible on social media platforms.

The Online Safety Bill will ensure content from all public service broadcasters is protected on social media platforms.

The Bill exempts recognised news publishers’ content from tech platforms’ new online safety duties. This means tech companies will be under no legal obligation to apply their new safety duties to that content. The criteria under which an organisation qualifies as a recognised news publisher are set in the Bill. They include the BBC, S4C and other public service broadcasters who publish news-related material.

The largest and riskiest services, Category 1 service providers, will also need to set and enforce policies to ensure that the importance of journalistic content is taken into account when making moderation decisions. This will cover journalistic content published by public service broadcasters.

Parliament has just approved amendments to the Online Safety Bill tabled by the government to further strengthen the protections for recognised news publisher content. Category 1 service providers will be required to notify news publishers and offer them a right of appeal before removing or moderating their content or taking any action against their accounts. This will ensure content from news publishers, including UK public service broadcasters, are not arbitrarily removed at the height of the news cycle. These protections would not apply to news publisher content where this content would give rise to civil or criminal liability for the service, or where it amounts to a relevant offence as defined by the Bill.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) economic and (b) cultural impact of songwriters and composers in the UK.

The music industry is vital to the economy and culture of the UK. In 2019, the music, performing and visual arts sector contributed an estimated £10.5bn in GVA to the UK economy. PRS for Music, the organisation that pays royalties to over 160,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers, saw overall revenues in 2021 reach £777.1m, a 22.4% increase on 2020.

The cultural impact of music is also invaluable. According to UK Music’s 2021 ‘This is Music’ Report, the UK public listens to an estimated 60 billion hours of music a year. Songwriters and composers form the bedrock on which the overall success of the music sector is built. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, songwriters and composers continued to have significant impact; UK Music’s 2021 ‘This is Music’ Report states that over 5 million songs and compositions were registered with PRS for Music, nearly one third more than in 2019. The Government wants to ensure this success continues.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel has submitted its conclusions to her Department as of 26 January 2022.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established in November 2020 in order to provide independent expertise and advice for the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting.

The current membership and terms of reference of the Panel are available from GOV.UK.

Since its establishment, the Panel has met six times, on the following dates: (i) 19 November 2020; (ii) 14 January 2021; (iii) 24 March 2021; (iv) 18 May 2021; (v) 21 July 2021; and (vi) 24 November 2021. It is not expected to meet further.

A number of potential conclusions were discussed at each meeting and reviewed at the Panel’s sixth and final meeting on 24 November 2021.

The only external organisation invited to attend a meeting of the Panel was Ofcom, on 21 July 2021. In addition, Panel members were given the opportunity to attend an informal session with Ofcom on 2 March 2021.

In accordance with the Panel’s published terms of reference, the government does not intend to publish the minutes or conclusions of the Panel. The Government will set out the conclusions of its strategic review of public service broadcasting in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the external organisations invited to attend meetings of the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel since its establishment.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established in November 2020 in order to provide independent expertise and advice for the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting.

The current membership and terms of reference of the Panel are available from GOV.UK.

Since its establishment, the Panel has met six times, on the following dates: (i) 19 November 2020; (ii) 14 January 2021; (iii) 24 March 2021; (iv) 18 May 2021; (v) 21 July 2021; and (vi) 24 November 2021. It is not expected to meet further.

A number of potential conclusions were discussed at each meeting and reviewed at the Panel’s sixth and final meeting on 24 November 2021.

The only external organisation invited to attend a meeting of the Panel was Ofcom, on 21 July 2021. In addition, Panel members were given the opportunity to attend an informal session with Ofcom on 2 March 2021.

In accordance with the Panel’s published terms of reference, the government does not intend to publish the minutes or conclusions of the Panel. The Government will set out the conclusions of its strategic review of public service broadcasting in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the minutes of each of the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel’s meetings up to 26 January 2022.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established in November 2020 in order to provide independent expertise and advice for the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting.

The current membership and terms of reference of the Panel are available from GOV.UK.

Since its establishment, the Panel has met six times, on the following dates: (i) 19 November 2020; (ii) 14 January 2021; (iii) 24 March 2021; (iv) 18 May 2021; (v) 21 July 2021; and (vi) 24 November 2021. It is not expected to meet further.

A number of potential conclusions were discussed at each meeting and reviewed at the Panel’s sixth and final meeting on 24 November 2021.

The only external organisation invited to attend a meeting of the Panel was Ofcom, on 21 July 2021. In addition, Panel members were given the opportunity to attend an informal session with Ofcom on 2 March 2021.

In accordance with the Panel’s published terms of reference, the government does not intend to publish the minutes or conclusions of the Panel. The Government will set out the conclusions of its strategic review of public service broadcasting in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the dates on which the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel has met since its establishment.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established in November 2020 in order to provide independent expertise and advice for the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting.

The current membership and terms of reference of the Panel are available from GOV.UK.

Since its establishment, the Panel has met six times, on the following dates: (i) 19 November 2020; (ii) 14 January 2021; (iii) 24 March 2021; (iv) 18 May 2021; (v) 21 July 2021; and (vi) 24 November 2021. It is not expected to meet further.

A number of potential conclusions were discussed at each meeting and reviewed at the Panel’s sixth and final meeting on 24 November 2021.

The only external organisation invited to attend a meeting of the Panel was Ofcom, on 21 July 2021. In addition, Panel members were given the opportunity to attend an informal session with Ofcom on 2 March 2021.

In accordance with the Panel’s published terms of reference, the government does not intend to publish the minutes or conclusions of the Panel. The Government will set out the conclusions of its strategic review of public service broadcasting in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to publish the current membership of the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established in November 2020 in order to provide independent expertise and advice for the government’s strategic review of public service broadcasting.

The current membership and terms of reference of the Panel are available from GOV.UK.

Since its establishment, the Panel has met six times, on the following dates: (i) 19 November 2020; (ii) 14 January 2021; (iii) 24 March 2021; (iv) 18 May 2021; (v) 21 July 2021; and (vi) 24 November 2021. It is not expected to meet further.

A number of potential conclusions were discussed at each meeting and reviewed at the Panel’s sixth and final meeting on 24 November 2021.

The only external organisation invited to attend a meeting of the Panel was Ofcom, on 21 July 2021. In addition, Panel members were given the opportunity to attend an informal session with Ofcom on 2 March 2021.

In accordance with the Panel’s published terms of reference, the government does not intend to publish the minutes or conclusions of the Panel. The Government will set out the conclusions of its strategic review of public service broadcasting in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the proposals for changes to Gambling Commission fees published by the independent review of the regulation of BetIndex Limited in June 2021.

The Government’s Gambling Act Review is taking a close look at how the Gambling Commission licence fees are set and we are considering all the evidence carefully, including the conclusions of the independent review of the regulation BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index, which we published in September. We will publish a White Paper outlining our conclusions and proposals for reform in the coming months.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a statutory timeframe for the review of the Gambling Commission’s licence fees.

The Government’s Gambling Act Review is taking a close look at how the Gambling Commission licence fees are set and we are considering all the evidence carefully, including the conclusions of the independent review of the regulation BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index, which we published in September. We will publish a White Paper outlining our conclusions and proposals for reform in the coming months.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support his Department will make available to live events that are cancelled or postponed after 19 July 2021 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the important contribution that live events make to the UK’s culture and economy, and the significant challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented. We have engaged closely with the sectors affected and listened to their concerns throughout the pandemic.

As the Secretary of State made clear at the DCMS Select Committee in May, the government is aware of the wider concerns around securing cancellation insurance for live events. The government continues to assess options to provide further support to the sector within the public health context.

This Government has provided significant financial support throughout the pandemic including extending the £1.57 billion package of support for the Culture Recovery Fund with £300 million of additional funding for 21/22. We would encourage businesses in the events sector to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package. Information on the Government’s support for businesses and employees can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of a Government-backed covid-19 cancellation insurance scheme for live events after 19 July 2021.

The Government recognises the important contribution that live events make to the UK’s culture and economy, and the significant challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented. We have engaged closely with the sectors affected and listened to their concerns throughout the pandemic.

As the Secretary of State made clear at the DCMS Select Committee in May, the government is aware of the wider concerns around securing cancellation insurance for live events. The government continues to assess options to provide further support to the sector within the public health context.

This Government has provided significant financial support throughout the pandemic including extending the £1.57 billion package of support for the Culture Recovery Fund with £300 million of additional funding for 21/22. We would encourage businesses in the events sector to review the initiatives in the Government’s support package. Information on the Government’s support for businesses and employees can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

13,870 items of written correspondence from hon. Members have been received since 1 April 2020. Of these, 11,926 have been responded to and all responses were sent by Ministers. 817 items are waiting for a response and 1,127 were closed without a response (either because no response was required or because they were transferred to another department).

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what meetings he has had with representatives of the recorded music industry in 2021.

In 2021 the Secretary of State has attended meetings with the following representatives of the recorded music industry including:

  • Rob Stringer, Chairman of the Sony Music Group;

  • A roundtable chaired by Sir Bernard Jenkin which included a number of music stakeholders, including Deborah Annetts (Chair of the Incorporated Society of Musicians), Mark Pemberton (Director of the Association of British Orchestras) and Dame Sarah Connolly;

  • Sir Elton John and David Furnish;

  • Lucian Grainge, Universal Music

  • A roundtable that included representatives from the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), Association of Independent Music (AIM), Music Managers Forum (MMF), Musicians Union (MU), UK Music, British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Music Producers Guild;

  • Rebecca Ferguson.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has plans to meet artists and songwriters following their open letter to the Prime Minister on 19 April 2021 on changing the law in respect of online streaming of recorded music.

The Government recognises that it is important that artists are fairly remunerated for their work. We are aware of the concerns that have been raised recently with regards to musicians’ incomes, including the open letter to the Prime Minister from artists and songwriters.

We welcome the DCMS Select Committee inquiry looking at the economics of music streaming. This is an important debate for the music sector. Once the Select Committee publishes its recommendations from the inquiry, the Government will review and respond in due course. We will be happy to consider any meeting requests from interested stakeholders as appropriate.

We continue to encourage dialogue between music creators, record labels, and streaming services as they seek to resolve the challenges in this area.

Robust evidence is vital. This is why the Government has funded a 12-month industry-led research project investigating the flow of money from streaming to creators which is due to report this summer.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent representations he has received on changing the law to ensure greater earnings for artists and composers when recorded music is streamed online.

The Government recognises that it is important that artists are fairly remunerated for their work. We welcome the DCMS Select Committee inquiry looking at the economics of music streaming. This is an important debate for the music sector. Once the Select Committee publishes its recommendations from the inquiry, the Government will review and respond in due course.

We have received a number of representations relating to the issue of artist remuneration in music streaming, including an open letter from artists and composers.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential (a) economic and (b) cultural merits of introducing a Government-backed insurance underwriting scheme for live music events.

We are aware of the concerns which have been raised about the challenge of securing indemnity for live events.

Understandably, the bar for considering Government intervention is set extremely high. Given the high costs involved in setting up a scheme we need to make sure it is the most effective use of funds at a time when we are looking at how best to support the sector.

The evidence of market failure must clearly demonstrate that such a scheme is the only barrier to staging events. At the moment, progress with the vaccine rollout and beating the virus is crucial in achieving the next stages for large events as set out in the roadmap. As such, HM Treasury does not believe that now is the right time for an insurance intervention.

We are working closely with the sector to determine the appropriate and most effective response within the public health context.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish a strategy to re-open the live events sector as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ announced by the Prime Minister on the 22 February provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England, including for live events.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of the country. The Government aims to allow spectators to attend some large events, including live music events, from Step 3 (17 May at the earliest), subject to a cap on attendance and local authority approval.

Events where social distancing is unlikely to be possible, for example music festivals where audiences are standing rather than seated, will not be permitted to go ahead until step 4, subject to the findings from the Events Research Programme. This Programme will explore how large events can return with reduced social distancing requirements.

Whilst dates remain conditional, we know that the sector has been calling for “no earlier than” dates and the roadmap provides these at 5 week intervals between each step. This is to allow the government and health experts time to assess the impact of the previous step and provide a week’s notice before changes occur.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent stakeholder representations he has received on establishing a UK Creators Council as a roundtable to improve dialogue between the Government and representatives of the creative workforce.

We have not received any recent representations from stakeholders regarding the proposal of a UK Creator’s Council.

Industry and Government engage regularly with a wide range of leading experts in the creative industries through the Creative Industries Council (CIC), a forum for Government and Industry to convene and share information, discuss concerns and opportunities and muster action. The CIC is formed of a broad range of representative bodies across the sub-sectors of the creative industries.

As outlined in our previous response to the DCMS Select Committee response where this proposal was raised, we would need clear and robust evidence from the sector as to the purpose of a Creator’s Council and why it would be different from the existing CIC.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on negotiating a mutual 90-day work permit exemption with European Union countries for performers.

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

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

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

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

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

Oliver Dowden
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the comments of the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for his Department on Twitter on 10 January 2020, if the Government will publish details of (a) the more ambitious agreement with the EU on the temporary movement of business travellers covering musicians and others and (b) all UK proposals on movement of business travellers that were rejected during negotiations on the UK's Future Relationship with the EU.

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

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

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

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

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

Oliver Dowden
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he intends to publish his response to his Department's consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion, which closed in April 2020.

The consultation closed in April this year after receiving over 150,000 responses.

The government has been listening carefully to those that have responded before setting out our next steps.

The government intends to publish its response to the consultation shortly.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of domestic sports men and women being tested for the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs during the covid-19 outbreak.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) releases its testing figures on a quarterly basis. UKAD’s latest quarterly report covering July to September 2020 shows 1,406 tests were conducted. This represents an increase from the 126 tests conducted in the period before, covering April to June 2020. The drop in testing during this period was due to UKAD’s decision in March 2020 to significantly reduce its testing programme due to the pause in competitive sport caused by Covid-19.

UKAD has been working closely with medical experts to ensure new testing processes comply with the highest standards of safety and sport-specific considerations in light of Covid-19. UKAD has developed a protocol for its Doping Control Personnel to follow to ensure the safety of its testers and those being tested. This procedure is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s guidance for resuming testing, and is fully outlined on UKAD’s website.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received on direct funding by his Department of the British Athletics Commission.

The issue of direct funding of the British Athletes Commission by DCMS has been raised with the department through correspondence. It was also one of the recommendations made by Baroness Grey-Thompson in her Duty of Care report (2017), commissioned by DCMS. Changing the source of funding for the BAC was not taken forward at the time, as the priority focus was to improve the resourcing of the organisation so that it could provide more effective support to athletes.

In light of this, UK Sport announced in May 2018 that it was increasing its investment in the British Athletes Commission to £1 million over the rest of the Tokyo 2020 cycle, which allowed the British Athletes Commission to increase its capacity threefold. In the current Tokyo cycle to date, the British Athletes Commission has received £1.19m from UK Sport.

My department will continue to work closely with the British Athletes Commission and UK Sport to keep the issue under review.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps he has taken to improve the safeguarding of children and young people participating in sport.

We are completely committed to doing all we can to ensure children and young people can participate in sport in safe and secure environments. DCMS works closely with Sport England and the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit to review and strengthen safeguarding provision wherever necessary.

All organisations in receipt of public funding from Sport England and UK Sport have been required to meet the standards set out in the Code for Sports Governance since April 2017. The Code contains specific obligations around safeguarding, including a requirement for national governing bodies to adhere to the Standards for Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport, which are issued by the Child Protection in Sport Unit. We have also taken steps to promote best practice in non-funded sports. The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts was launched in March 2018 which sets consistent standards and provides parents with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about where to send their children for instruction.

We welcome the Ministry of Justice’s commitment to change the law around ‘positions of trust’ in the Sexual Offences Act 2003. We will continue working closely with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that sports coaches are included as part of these legislative changes.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that Government proposals to reform planning regulations retain protections for grassroots music venues.

We recognise the value of grassroots music venues and understand that this sector is facing significant challenges due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During this period we are committed to finding the best ways to protect them so that they can continue to exist as a vital part of the music ecosystem, feeding this country’s love of a broad range of culture.

DCMS officials have been in regular dialogue with their Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government counterparts and will continue to work together closely. Changes to planning processes to support the high street revival, announced by the Prime Minister on 30 June 2020, will also recognise the value of retaining cultural buildings such as grassroots music venues and theatres rather than encouraging their change of use.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will establish (a) an emergency rescue fund and (b) a cultural investment participation scheme to support (i) theatres and (ii) other cultural venues affected by covid-19 restrictions until those organisations are able to operate at full capacity.

We recognise that these are incredibly challenging times for theatres, and cultural venues more broadly, and the Government will continue to support these organisations through the unprecedented financial measures we have announced. DCMS has also worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England, made possible by Government funding.

Alongside this, DCMS continues to engage with the sector extensively in order to best understand the challenges faced. We are working closely with the Arts Council to consider the additional support that may be needed to support the long-term recovery of the sector.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a temporary modification to the Theatre Production Tax Relief to ease the tax burden on theatres.

The Secretary of State, Ministers and officials continue to consult the creative and cultural sectors extensively to ensure they fully understand the potential impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector. DCMS is regularly engaging with HMT to establish the impact Covid-19 has had on the cultural sector and to ensure the needs of the cultural sector are factored into the developing economic response. DCMS is committed to ensuring that its unique and world class sectors are supported throughout this time and is exploring all potential options to facilitate this.

Theatres across the country have benefited through the unprecedented financial support announced by the government, including the job retention scheme, a years' business rates holiday and the various loan schemes available. DCMS has been working closely with Arts Council England (ACE) to monitor and respond to the challenges being faced by the arts and cultural sectors. On 24 March, Arts Council England announced a £160m emergency response package, made possible by Government funding, to ensure the immediate resilience of this vital sector, and to ensure that, where possible, it can respond creatively to the needs of communities at this extremely challenging time.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for freelancers in the creative industries sector.

I, as well as my colleagues at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), continue to engage with a range of departments, including HM Treasury, to understand how we can fully support the Creative Industries, and those who work in them, during this time.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which has so far seen 2.3 million claims worth £6.8 billion, has been extended to provide more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus in the coming months. The scheme has improved flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part-time in July, and a new taper requiring employers to contribute modestly to furloughed salaries from August. The scheme will help many eligible freelance workers, including those in the Creative Industries, receive up to £2,500 per month in grants.

The Government is also determined to do all it can to help sectors such as the Creative Industries in their recovery. This is why I am chairing the Taskforce responsible for the recreation and leisure sectors, called the Cultural Renewal taskforce.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October 2020 at the 80 per cent level for (a) theatres and (b) other cultural venues with no income from ticket sales.

As confirmed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29 May, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of October 2020. The level of Government grant will be slowly tapered from August 2020 to reflect that some people will be returning to work.

DCMS continues to engage with the sector extensively in order to best understand the challenges faced. DCMS is also regularly engaging with other departments, including HMT, to ensure the needs of the cultural sector are factored into the developing economic response.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the income of self-employed visual artists.

In order to support the sustainability of the Arts sector, including arts companies and arts venues, DCMS has worked closely with Arts Council England (ACE) to provide a tailored package of financial support. In March, ACE announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the financial measures already announced by the Government and to ensure immediate resilience of this vital sector.

This includes £20 million of financial support for individuals, including visual artists, so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. The Arts Council have received 10,293 applications from individuals for this fund and will be publishing the details of how they have awarded this funding at the beginning of June, once all the decisions have been made and applicants notified.

The Secretary of State, myself and officials continue to consult the Art sector extensively to ensure we fully understand the financial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector.

On the basis of that engagement, DCMS and ACE are continuing to work closely to consider the additional measures that are needed to ensure the long-term recovery and growth of the cultural sector, including self-employed artists.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he take steps to establish a fund to help support the survival of theatres and other cultural assets during the covid-19 outbreak.

My department is in constant contact with the cultural sector representatives to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and we are working to develop support for the sector in response to COVID-19. Significant support has already been delivered at speed by DCMS arm’s-length bodies. Arts Council England having launched a £160m Emergency Funding Package, the National Lottery Heritage Fund launching a £50m Heritage Emergency Fund, and Historic England launching a £2m Emergency Fund. All of these are delivering support across the cultural sector


The Government continues to monitor the impact of these funds and the other measures announced by the government for the cultural sector.

DCMS is engaging daily with HMT and other government departments to ensure the needs of the cultural sector are factored into the developing economic response, and to support those working in the sector during this period.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support professional recording studios (a) during and b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced measures to support businesses and organisations that have been impacted by the pandemic.

This includes the Government stepping in to help pay people’s wages – a scheme which is one of the most generous of any in the world – paying grants to support as many jobs as necessary. Any employer in the country who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the cost of paying people’s wages. Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month, with this limit set well above the median income. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open for at least three months. The Government will consider extending the scheme for longer if necessary.

We are also deferring the next three months of VAT, a direct injection of £33 billion of cash to employers which means no business will pay any VAT in March, April or May; and they will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for twelve months, an extension from the initial announcement of six months. We have already introduced and announced an extension to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which is for small and medium-sized businesses. On Tuesday, the Chancellor expanded the amount that can be borrowed from £1.2 million to £5 million.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help companies in the creative industries facing cashflow problems due to large number of refund requests for cancelled entertainment due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware of the issues created by refund requests for cancelled events due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has put in place a number of financial measures to support businesses and organisations that have been impacted by the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for twelve months, an extension from the initial announcement of six months. We have already introduced and announced an extension to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which is for small and medium-sized businesses. On Tuesday, the Chancellor expanded the amount that can be borrowed from £1.2 million to £5 million.

We are also deferring the next three months of VAT, a direct injection of £33 billion of cash to employers which means no business will pay any VAT in March, April or May; and they will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the level of lost revenue to the cultural sector between March and June 2020 due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Covid-19 presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors, including the cultural sector. The Chancellor has been very clear that the pandemic will have a significant impact on our economy, even with the unprecedented measures the Government has already announced and implemented, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £20bn of direct fiscal support for businesses in England through tax relief and cash grants, and the Coronavirus job retention scheme.

During the response to this outbreak, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Digital and Culture have led a number of calls with representatives of the creative and cultural sectors, amongst other DCMS sectors, to understand the challenges that they are facing. There are plans for ongoing, regular contact with members and representatives of the cultural sector.

Officials are also continuing to engage with sector organisations regularly in order to best understand the impact of Covid-19 on their activities and how the Government can further support the cultural sector.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of live events cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what estimate he has made of the economic cost of cancelling those events.

No such estimate has been made. However, we know that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors including music and the wider live events sector. That is why the Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including: a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses and a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. We continue to work closely with our partners across music and the live events sector to understand the impact of Covid-19 on their activities and provide the necessary support.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on increasing the take-up of Pension Credit by pensioners who are eligible for that benefit ahead of the withdrawal of free TV licences for people over 75.

Policy responsibility for take-up of Pension Credit is a matter solely for the Department for Work and Pensions.

However, the Government is committed to ensuring that older people receive the support they are entitled to and the DWP targets activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or report a change in their circumstances.

The DWP uses a wide range of channels to communicate information about benefits to potential customers; including information on https://gov.uk/, in leaflets and by telephone. DWP staff in Pension Centres and Jobcentres including visiting officers are able to provide help and advice about entitlement to benefits, as are staff in Local Authorities who administer Housing Benefit.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to safeguard Public Service Broadcasting prominence in the digital age by the end of the 2019-21 Parliamentary session.

In July 2019, Ofcom published its report and recommendations on how the prominence regime may need to change to ensure that Public Service Broadcasting programming remains easy to find regardless of how viewers are watching and accessing content. The report included recommendations for new legislation.

The Government is giving careful consideration to Ofcom’s recommendations, and will set out next steps in due course.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent representations his Department has received on establishing a UK town of culture competition.

The Department has received a number of representations, from across the country on the subject of establishing a UK Town of Culture.

These have reaffirmed the role that arts, culture and heritage can play in making towns attractive places to live, work and visit. The department is continuing to explore opportunities to support towns, and is engaging with towns in order to better understand their needs.

We already support towns in many ways including working closely with MHCLG to support the delivery of the Towns Fund and the delivery of the £95million High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme with Historic England. In addition, the £250m Cultural Investment Fund announced in October will benefit many towns through culture-led regeneration.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on the creation of a musicians passport to help enable freedom of movement for touring musicians after the UK leaves the EU.

DCMS has engaged extensively with union bodies, orchestras, individual musical practitioners and cultural organisations. We understand the importance of being able to tour. We recognise that this depends on musicians and crew being able to move quickly and easily between countries, taking necessary equipment with them.

The Home Office has been closely involved in our conversations. They are well informed of the needs of the cultural sector as they look to develop the UK’s future points based immigration system and as we seek to negotiate our future relationship with the EU.

Recognising the depth of the UK-EU relationship, the Government has proposed that we seek to agree reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU. These will support businesses to provide services and to move their talented people. This is reflected in the Political Declaration on our future relationship. The details will be discussed in the next phase of negotiations.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the provision of computers in public libraries to enable access to public services.

Local authorities in England have a statutory duty under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. They are responsible for determining the delivery of a modern and efficient library service that meets the requirements of their communities, including the provision of access to computers with internet access. No assessment has been made by DCMS; however public libraries are continuing to provide opportunities for people to get online and to access public services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the potential effect on BBC revenues of decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee.

The potential effect on BBC revenues of decriminalising licence fee evasion was considered as part of David Perry QC’s TV Licence Fee Enforcement Review in 2015.

The government believes that it is right to look again at whether the criminal sanction remains appropriate for TV licence fee evasion, given ongoing concerns about whether the criminal sanction is unfair and disproportionate.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will add the Six Nations rugby union championship to the category A list of events not permitted to be broadcast solely on paid television services.

Events on Group B of the list, including the Six Nations, can have live coverage on subscription television provided that secondary coverage is offered to the eligible free-to-air broadcasters.

The Government is clear that the existing list works well with the inclusion of the Paralympic Games and women’s equivalents of men’s events currently on the list, on which the Government is consulting, and strikes the right balance between retaining free-to-air sports events for the public, and allowing rights holders to negotiate agreements in the best interests of their sport. The Government therefore has no intention of undertaking a review of the list, or of moving the Six Nations from the category B list to the category A list.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to announce the appointment of the Chair of S4C.

The appointment of the Chair of S4C is an ongoing priority for DCMS. An announcement regarding the preferred candidate will be made in due course prior to the candidate appearing before a Pre-Appointment hearing held by the Welsh Affairs and DCMS Select Committees. An interim Chair is currently in place.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

References are not routinely requested for public appointments which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, as they may not always be the most appropriate, fair or open way of making an assessment of candidates.

However, the Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must be satisfied that all candidates can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life, adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies and do not have any conflicts of interest which are not manageable within the context of the role.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

Between 1 April 2020 and 2 July 2021 the Department for Education recorded 22,150 items of written correspondence from MPs and 101 items from Members of the House of Lords. Of these cases all but one was responded to or will be responded to by Ministers.

As per the Cabinet Office’s guidance for handling correspondence from MPs and Members of the House of Lords, where appropriate Executive Agency or Non-Departmental Public Body Chief Executives may correspond directly. The above data does not include these cases.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from youth arts companies on bringing into line with the covid-19 regulations for boarding schools out-of-school arts activities that are run as residential courses.

The Department has been in close communication with various stakeholders, including some with connections to youth arts, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak with respect to residential trips. We will continue this communication over the coming months.

The guidance for full opening of schools and the guidance for holiday and after school clubs, and other out-of-school settings, set out the Department’s current position in relation to educational visits. They can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

At present, schools and out-of-school settings can undertake COVID-19 secure day visits within the UK but are advised against the resumption of domestic and overseas residential educational visits. This is because, unlike boarding schools, residential settings have a transient population with different groups rotating in and out of the centre on a weekly basis. This constant change of population serves to increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This decision has not been taken lightly and is taken in the context of the Government announcing new national restrictions to address rising cases of COVID-19 in England. This position will be reviewed again before the end of November 2020.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with Welsh Ministers on imposing a cap on the number of English-domiciled students studying in Wales.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I have regular meetings with Welsh ministers, and ministers from all the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. Meetings have included discussions on the development of student number controls policy.

Officials in the department also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, we will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system.

Student number controls for institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter, and it is right and fair that this policy should apply consistently wherever they are studying in the UK.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that women in receipt of reduced support under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme due to periods of maternity leave in the previous three tax years are not denied entitlement to 30 hours free child care as a result of falling below the income threshold for that entitlement.

Individuals who are in receipt of maternity benefits remain eligible for the 30 hours free childcare entitlement.

Those who are currently receiving statutory maternity pay and are intending to return to work, should apply for a 30 hours place in the usual way.

If an individual’s return to work date is delayed, or their hours affected solely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they will remain eligible for 30 hours if their loss of income is directly due to the outbreak. For example, if they have been furloughed or are accessing the self-employment income support scheme.

The government’s guidance about Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-get-tax-free-childcare-and-30-hours-free-childcare-during-coronavirus-covid-19.


23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils were entered for art and design GCSE in (a) England and (b) each Local Education Authority area in each year since 2010.

​The number of pupils entered for art and design GCSE in England and each Local Education Authority area in each year since 2010 can be found in the excel spreadsheet attached.

The number of pupils entered for art and design GCSEs in England1 has fluctuated across the last 10 years, but the current year’s figure of 155,731 pupils entered is the highest number of pupils entered since 2015, and the second highest of the last 10 years. In 2019, there has been a 10.6% increase in number of pupils entered for art and design GCSEs compared to 2018, and a 5.7% increase compared to 2010.​

Any trends observed in the attached figures should be treated with caution and considered against changes in methodology over the ten year period, changes in cohort and more recently, changes in entry behaviour from schools following the introduction of 9-1 reformed GCSEs across all GCSE subjects, including art and design.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many art and design teachers there were in (a) England and (b) each Local Education Authority in each year since 2010.

The information requested for (a) is shown in the table below.

Number (headcount) of teachers in state funded secondary schools in England teaching art and design – November 2010 to 2018

Year

Headcount of teachers of art and design

2010

13,200

2011

13,913

2012

12,810

2013

12,654

2014

12,376

2015

11,976

2016

11,957

2017

11,772

2018

11,874

Information on subjects taught by teachers in state funded secondary schools in England is collected from around 85% of state funded secondary schools through the School Workforce Census. This is then grossed up to provide national estimates.

The published information shows the proportion of teaching hours spent teaching art and design has remained broadly stable between 2010 and 2018. National level estimates show that in 2010, 4.1% of all teaching hours were spent teaching art and design. In 2018, this was 3.8%. All editions of the publication can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-workforce.

Information for individual local authorities is not held centrally.

17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential cost to UK musicians of placing Pernambuco wood on Appendix 1 of the CITES protected list.

We are working closely with representatives from the music sector, including the Musicians' Union, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and the Association of British Orchestras, to understand the potential impact of the proposal submitted to the 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to CITES to include Pernambuco wood in Appendix I.

While the proposal outlines the threats this species faces, we recognise too that this proposal could create significant burdens for industry and UK CITES Authorities. We will continue to engage with the sector and other Parties to ensure that any additional burdens are proportionate to the conservation benefits of the measures agreed.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Defra always takes appropriate steps to ensure the suitability of candidates for regulated public appointments in line with the Governance Code. Candidate references are sought on a case-by-case basis as one of a range of assessments.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will introduce regulations for the compulsory microchipping of cats by 31 March 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport on 29 October 2020, PQ UIN 107106.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Department is committed to ensuring that all appointments under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, are conducted in accordance with Governance Code on Public Appointments.


As part of the recruitment process, references are taken up for all final candidates.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of her Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of her Department.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to the answer I gave on 28 May 2021 to Question UIN: 6456.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
28th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what funding she has allocated to the Music Export Growth Scheme for (a) the remainder of the financial year 2020-21 and (b) future financial years.

My department has allocated £100,000 of new funding to the Music Export Growth Scheme for the financial year 2020-21. We are now starting to plan for 2021-22, including any export support for the UK music sector.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the level of noise exposure for passengers travelling on the London Underground.

The Department does not hold this information as transport in London is devolved and is the responsibility of the Mayor of London and Transport for London.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Applicants for public appointments are asked to provide details of two referees. The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies. In line with the Governance Code, candidates are asked to declare relevant interests and these are discussed at interview.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of legalising the use of electric unicycles.

In the UK, powered transporters, also known as micromobility devices, are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act, and this includes electric unicycles.

As part of the Governments Future of Transport regulatory review the Department is running trials of rental e-scooters which will decide whether micromobility devices should be allowed on the road and, if so, what rules should apply to them. We have put in place a national monitoring and evaluation programme and data continues to be collected from the e-scooter trials. An interim report summarizing findings from the data collected so far will be published in autumn 2021, with a final report due in spring 2022.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he will take to ensure that airlines repay customer fares promptly where flights are cancelled in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenges businesses and consumers are experiencing regarding refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. Airlines are working hard to answer the high call volumes and to process the very large number of applications for refunds.

We appreciate the frustration consumers may be experiencing. We are clear that refunds must be paid when asked for by the consumer. The Department for Transport is in regular conversation with UK airlines and wider membership bodies. The department is working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people who were in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance for children have had their applications to transfer to Personal Independence Payments on turning 16 refused since April 2022.

The number of people who were in receipt of Child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that had their application to transfer to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) refused on turning 16, from April 2013 to October 2022, can be found on Stat-Xplore.  In particular, the requested data can be found by applying the following filters to the ‘Child DLA to PIP reassessments’ dataset:

  • Select the following dataset ‘Child DLA to PIP reassessment outcomes by month’; and
  • Filter for all ‘Disallowed’ outcomes in ‘PIP reassessment Outcomes’.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here. An account is not required to use Stat- Xplore; the ‘Guest Login’ feature gives instant access to the main functions.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of applications for Personal Independence Payments were initially denied and subsequently granted following a successful appeal in each month since April 2022.

Number and proportion of PIP initial decisions that are initially disallowed and are successful following an appeal

Date of initial PIP decision

Number of PIP initial decisions, initially disallowed that are successful following an appeal

Proportion of initial decisions, that were initially disallowed that were successful following an appeal

Apr-22

1,180

2.0%

May-22

850

1.5%

Jun-22

630

1.1%

Jul-22

560

0.8%

Aug-22

410

0.6%

Sep-22

220

0.3%

These figures include appeal decisions at tribunal hearing up to 31st December 2022, the latest date for which published data is available. Note that more appeals could be made and completed after December 2022, so numbers could go up as it can take some time for an appeal to be lodged and then cleared after the initial decision.


Please note:

  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 and percentages to 1 decimal place.
  • Data for England and Wales (excluding Scotland) has been provided in line with the latest published figures on PIP.
  • These figures include initial decisions following assessment for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from 1st April 2022 – 30th September 2022, the latest data for which published data is available.
  • “Successful following an appeal” includes claims that had an appeal lapsed or overturned at tribunal.
  • The proportion figure uses the total PIP initial decisions for the relevant month as the denominator.
  • Prior to tribunal, appeal claimants must have requested a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) from DWP. Some of those disallowed following assessment will have their decision changed at this stage and take the dispute no further. In some cases, a claimant who has their Disallowed decision changed at MR will continue to appeal for a higher PIP award, and these cases could be included in the figures reported.
  • A lapsed appeal is where DWP changed the decision in the customer’s favour after an appeal was lodged, but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many requests for reviews of existing awards of Personal Independence Payments her Department has received since 1 August 2021.

The latest available data on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) reviews initiated by the claimant, Change of Circumstances, can be found on Stat-Xplore.

The relevant data set is ‘PIP Award Review Registrations’, which can be filtered using the Intervention Indicator for Change of Circumstances.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Candidates that reach interview stage for public appointments are asked to provide referees which are followed up by the Department.

In line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments, candidates are also asked to declare relevant interests which are discussed at interview stage.

The Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for Board members of Public Bodies.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in her Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the Health and Safety Executive holds employers to account on the protection of pregnant workers.

Employers are required to carry out risk assessments for all pregnant workers and protect them from harm. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has guidance on managing the risks for pregnant workers. Protecting new and expectant mothers at work - HSE

Employers have a legal duty, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations sec 16(4) to act in accordance with the results of their risk assessment for pregnant workers. Where employers are not doing so, workers can contact the HSE to raise their concerns which will be followed up.

HSE has specific guidance for employers to protect vulnerable workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the health and safety responsibilities for pregnant workers. Protect vulnerable workers - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk)

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take to ensure that employers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the protection of pregnant workers.

Employers are required to carry out risk assessments for all pregnant workers and protect them from harm. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has guidance on managing the risks for pregnant workers. Protecting new and expectant mothers at work - HSE

Employers have a legal duty, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations sec 16(4) to act in accordance with the results of their risk assessment for pregnant workers. Where employers are not doing so, workers can contact the HSE to raise their concerns which will be followed up.

HSE has specific guidance for employers to protect vulnerable workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the health and safety responsibilities for pregnant workers. Protect vulnerable workers - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk)

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how her Department has promoted Pension Credit since June 2019.

The Government wants to ensure that older people receive the support and help available to them. It is important to highlight that there are already 1.6 million people claiming some £5.4 billion in Pension Credit but some people may be missing out.

We want to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. That is why we are currently considering options for raising awareness of Pension Credit, including working with our stakeholders, to help dispel some of the misconceptions that people might have about Pension Credit eligibility. For example, we want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit.

Of course DWP continues to use a wide range of channels including information on www.gov.uk, in leaflets and by telephone to communicate information about benefits including Pension Credit to potential claimants. We target activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or Attendance Allowance or report a change in their circumstances which may mean that they could be eligible for Pension Credit. In addition, the Pension Credit calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator enables potential claimants to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive

We know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted stakeholders working in the community. The Pension Credit toolkit contains resources for anyone working with pensioners and includes guides to Pension Credit. It also contains publicity material and guidance designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit and help organisations support someone applying for Pension Credit as well as ideas for encouraging take-up. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit


Information on how much has been spent on raising awareness of the availability of pension credit since June 2019 is not available.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money from the public purse has been spent on raising awareness of the availability of pension credit since June 2019.

The Government wants to ensure that older people receive the support and help available to them. It is important to highlight that there are already 1.6 million people claiming some £5.4 billion in Pension Credit but some people may be missing out.

We want to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. That is why we are currently considering options for raising awareness of Pension Credit, including working with our stakeholders, to help dispel some of the misconceptions that people might have about Pension Credit eligibility. For example, we want to make it clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit.

Of course DWP continues to use a wide range of channels including information on www.gov.uk, in leaflets and by telephone to communicate information about benefits including Pension Credit to potential claimants. We target activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or Attendance Allowance or report a change in their circumstances which may mean that they could be eligible for Pension Credit. In addition, the Pension Credit calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator enables potential claimants to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive

We know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted stakeholders working in the community. The Pension Credit toolkit contains resources for anyone working with pensioners and includes guides to Pension Credit. It also contains publicity material and guidance designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit and help organisations support someone applying for Pension Credit as well as ideas for encouraging take-up. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit


Information on how much has been spent on raising awareness of the availability of pension credit since June 2019 is not available.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many computers are available for public use in Jobcentres in (a) each region of England and (b) the UK.

The information requested is detailed below and is from internal DWP data which is correct at the time of this response.

a) English regions

Region

Number of devices

Southern England

1380

London & Home Counties

1128

Central

1214

Northern England

2096

b) UK

Region (total)

Number of devices

England

5818

Scotland

784

Wales

480

  • The project that led on delivering our new PCs instructed offices to place the number of devices they have for replacement. However, some offices ordered a reduced number of devices based on capacity in the office and the need of customers at that time.
  • We closed a number of offices between 2017 and 2019. In the past twelve months, we have closed a further 9 sites and completed 7 co-locations and where those offices were co-located, DWP devices were not installed because PCs for public use were provided by the Local Authority or Third Party.

We also have improved access to our Wi-Fi services in all jobcentres, allowing customers to use their own personal devices to access internet services.

We also constantly review the number of PC’s available for customers and have capacity to increase the number of devices quickly, if the need arises.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Department asks all candidates for public appointments to provide at least two referees, one of whom should be from the candidate’s main or most recent organisation. Referees are approached for shortlisted candidates.

Candidates are also asked to declare when they apply and again if interviewed, if they have any potential conflicts of interest, or any issues in their history which if they were appointed, may bring the appointment into disrepute, particularly in the context of meeting the Principles of Public Life. The Principles form part of the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, which candidates are informed they will need to adhere to. Checks are also carried out on open-source material for shortlisted candidates and information is provided to the assessment panel.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the need for additional resources to help ensure that NHS bodies provide timely responses to requests for information to assist investigations by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

We have made no such assessment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

Between 1 April 2020 and 31 June 2021, the Department received 44,456 items of written correspondence from hon. Members, of which 37,527 have received a reply.

The information requested on the number of responses from Minister and officials is not collected centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when the next meeting of the EU-UK Partnership Council will take place.

As provided for in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the next meeting of the UK-EU Partnership Council will take place before the end of the year.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Nigerian counterpart on tackling financial crime in Nigeria.

Tackling financial crime in Nigeria is the responsibility of the Nigerian Government. It is a priority for Nigeria, and the UK is committed to helping them. In February we refreshed these commitments at a National Security Advisor led dialogue in London on our joint Security and Defence Partnership. The National Crime Agency is helping to strengthen the capacity of anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria to investigate and prosecute corruption cases including illicit financial flows. In July, the #ProtectWhatsYours campaign was launched in Nigeria, supported by UK funding. The campaign aims to highlight the direct harms and costs of illicit finance and financial crime to the people of Nigeria and to encourage increased reporting on those involved in these crimes.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Saudi Arabian counterpart on support for Yemeni refugees in Saudi Arabia.

We engage candidly and regularly with the Saudi authorities on a range of issues, including the efforts to end the war in Yemen and the status of migrants and refugees in Saudi Arabia.

The UK is playing a leading role in supporting UN led efforts to sustain, extend and expand the UN brokered truce in Yemen which came into effect on 2 April. Peace is the only sustainable solution to the humanitarian crisis.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to her oral statement of 28 February 2022 on Sanctions, what estimate she has made of the proportion of Russian trade denominated in sterling.

New legislation was laid in parliament on financial measures. These measures will prevent Russian banks from clearing payments in sterling and will apply to Russia's largest bank - Sberbank. With around 75 percent of Russian trade denominated in dollars, euros or sterling, our coordinated action will damage Russia's ability to trade with the world. On average, the UK financial system clears around £0.4 billion of sterling payments to and from Russian banks daily - equating to £146 billion per annum. Stopping access to sterling will mean Russian banks cannot use UK financial markets, invest in the UK, and pay for trade in Sterling.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies.

The Governance Code requires that candidates are asked to declare relevant interests and these are discussed at interview. The FCDO may also provide the panel with other information, for example, open source material that they may wish to consider in reaching a judgement in a fair and open way.

Whilst the FCDO will usually seek references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, it is noted that references may not always be an appropriate, fair or open way of reaching such an assessment due to the limitations on what might be provided and the lack of transparency as to their contents.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

2nd Mar 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the prospects for an end to the conflict in Yemen.

The UK fully supports the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to resolve the Yemen conflict. I spoke to Martin Griffiths on Monday. He is seeking to secure a ceasefire and the resumption of a comprehensive political process. This comes as the Houthi offensive on Marib threatens these efforts and to displace thousands of civilians.

We are using all our diplomatic and humanitarian expertise to move the peace process forward alongside the UN, the US and our international partners.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will arrange a direct flight from Fuerteventura in the Canary islands to the UK for British nationals and residents wishing to return to the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

Helping British nationals who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. Additionally we have brought home over 31,000 people on 146 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 27 countries and territories.

Special charter flights will only operate for priority countries where commercial flights are not possible. At the current time, there remain commercial options to return to the UK from Spain. Our Embassy in Madrid have been working closely with the Government of Spain, airlines and other travel providers to keep vital routes open and help bring back British travellers to the UK.

Our consular team continues to work around the clock to provide support, advice and information to British nationals in Fuerteventura. Our travel advice and social media pages are also regularly updated to ensure that those wishing to return are aware of further developments: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of British nationals and residents who have been unable to return to the UK from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Helping British nationals who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. Additionally we have brought home over 31,000 people on 146 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 27 countries and territories.

Our Embassy and Consulates in Spain have helped 200,000 British nationals return home and continue to provide advice and support to those who remain and who have contacted us. In the case of Fuerteventura, we currently have five consular customers and, additionally, 80 British nationals have registered their desire to return to the UK with the local authorities.

Our consular team continues to work around the clock to provide support, advice and information to British nationals in Spain. Our travel advice and social media pages are also regularly updated to ensure that those wishing to return are aware of further developments. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's announcement entitled Government sets out plan to make UK a global cryptoasset technology hub, published on 4 April 2022, what recent progress his Department has made on working with the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token.

The government can confirm that discussions with the Royal Mint on the creation of a non-fungible token are ongoing.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, (b) the Gambling Commission and (c) the Financial Conduct Authority on the regulation of crypto-based products and services.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), continues to monitor ongoing development in cryptoasset markets, and is taking forward a range of regulatory measures to mitigate market integrity risks, protect consumers and support innovation in the cryptoasset market.

Since January 2020, cryptoasset firms operating in the UK have been subject to the Money Laundering Regulations. To protect consumers, on 18 January 2022, the government set out its intention to legislate later this year to bring certain cryptoassets into financial promotion regulation. This would ensure that relevant cryptoasset promotions are held to the same high standards for fairness, clarity and accuracy that exist in the financial services industry. Additionally, on the 20 July, the government introduced the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which includes a measure allowing HM Treasury to bring stablecoins, where used as a means of payment, within the UK regulatory perimeter.

The government has committed to consult later this year on the broader regulation of cryptoassets.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

All regulated public appointments are made in line with the process and principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments and regulated by an independent Commissioner.

Due diligence inquiries are carried out, and references requested where appropriate during the recruitment process. Some of Treasury’s Public appointment roles are also subject to scrutiny by the Treasury Committee.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing business rates for live music venues.

At Autumn Budget 2021, the Government announced a new temporary relief worth almost £1.7 billion for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in England to support local high streets as they adapt and recover. Eligible properties, which will be confirmed in guidance shortly, will receive up to 50 per cent off their rates bill, subject to a £110,000 cash cap per business. This builds on over £16 billion of support already provided to these high street sectors during the pandemic.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the 5 per cent rate of VAT on ticket sales for a further three years.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As announced at Spring Budget 2021, the Government has extended the temporary reduced 5 per cent rate of VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors. This relief ended on 30 September 2021. On 1 October 2021, a new reduced rate of 12.5 per cent was introduced to help ease affected businesses back to the standard rate. This new rate will end on 31 March 2022.

This relief has previously been costed at over £7 billion, but the latest forecast means it may now cost over £8 billion. Whilst all taxes are kept under review, there are no plans to extend this relief. The Government has been clear that this relief is a temporary measure designed to support the sectors that have been severely affected by COVID-19. It is appropriate that as restrictions are lifted and demand for goods and services in these sectors increases, the temporary tax reliefs are first reduced and then removed to rebuild and strengthen the public finances.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether small and medium sized enterprises trading in the music industry are eligible to apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund.

Small and medium-sized enterprises that were trading with the EU prior to 1 January are eligible for the SME Brexit Support Fund if they were only trading with the EU and therefore need to adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits to businesses of the SME Brexit Support Fund.

The £20 million SME Brexit fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. It allows smaller businesses to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. Small and medium-sized enterprises can also use this money to seek professional advice in these areas.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many items of written correspondence from Members of Parliament Treasury Ministers have (a) received and (b) replied to since April 1 2020.

Members of Parliament have written to HM Treasury 36,791 times between 1 April 2020 and 24 March 2021. This represents a sharp increase on 2019, whereby Members of Parliament wrote to HM Treasury 7,386 times.

Of the 36,791 pieces of written correspondence, 26,709 have been responded to and 6,584 have been transferred to other Government departments to answer. The remaining pieces of correspondence are ongoing or required no response.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
19th Feb 2021
VAT
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on maintaining the temporary VAT rate of 5 per cent beyond 31 March 2021.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and is due to run until 31 March 2021.

This policy will cost over £2 billion and is a temporary measure. The Government keeps all taxes under review, and all stakeholder views are carefully considered. Any future decisions on tax policy will be made at Budget.

The Government has announced a significant support package to help businesses from a range of sectors through the winter months, which includes an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, and an extension of the application window for the Government-backed loan schemes.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond 30 April 2021.

The Government has provided a comprehensive economic response that is one of the most generous globally, including very substantial steps to protect jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has helped to pay the wages of people in 9.9 million jobs across the country, providing £46.4bn worth of support as of 13 December. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has received claims from 2.7 million self-employed workers, amounting to £13.7bn as of 13 December.

The Government will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and support jobs at Budget 2021.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on extending business rates relief into the 2021-22 financial year.

The Government has invited representations from stakeholders on various aspects of the business rates system through the fundamental review of business rates.

This year, due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth over £10 billion. The Government has also frozen the business rates multiplier for all businesses for 2021-22. Business rates are devolved in Wales, and so any reliefs are a matter for the Welsh Government.

The Budget will set out the next phase of the Government’s plans to tackle the virus, protect jobs and support business.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on extending the self-assessment tax deadline for people who have been ineligible for financial support during the covid-19 outbreak.

In recent weeks the Government has received representations on extending the Self-Assessment deadline date. These have come from professional bodies representing tax agents. They have focused on the general Self-Assessment population and tax agents rather than those ineligible for financial support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware that many taxpayers may struggle to meet their Self-Assessment obligations this year due to the impacts of COVID-19. While taxpayers were encouraged to file their tax return by 31 January 2021 if possible, anyone who could not file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February 2021.

Taxpayers’ other Self-Assessment obligations are unchanged, including the obligation to pay their bill by 31 January 2021.

Anyone having difficulty paying their tax bill, whether they have received financial support from the Government or not, can use HMRC’s Time to Pay (TTP) service once they have filed their return.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received on the potential merits of waiving the January 2021 self-assessment tax bill for those who have been ineligible for financial support during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware that many taxpayers, including those who may have been ineligible for financial support during the COVID-19 outbreak, may have difficulty in meeting the Self-Assessment payment deadline this year due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The Government has no plans to waive tax bills for taxpayers. However, HMRC are committed to helping all taxpayers pay their tax liabilities. Anyone having difficulty paying their tax bill by 31 January 2021, whether they have received financial support from the Government or not, can use HMRC’s automated self-serve Time to Pay (TTP) online service once they have filed their return.

For liabilities up to £30,000, taxpayers can set up an instalment arrangement online without having to contact HMRC beforehand. TTP is still available for taxpayers with liabilities exceeding £30,000, but they must contact HMRC to make the necessary arrangements.

20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his Answer of 19 May to Question 45967, if he will estimate the start and leaving dates for a proportion of employments referred to in his answer in order to calculate complete and full figures of people who were due to start a job after 28 February 2020 and who are not covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

It has not been possible to provide an answer based on complete data in the time available. HMRC are continuing to explore the data and analysis it is possible to provide on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and on its delivery.
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what equality impact assessment his Department has undertaken in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme rules in respect of women and new mothers.

HM Treasury takes care to pay due regard to the equality impacts of its policy decisions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with all legal requirements and the Government’s commitment to promoting equality. There are internal procedural requirements and support in place for ensuring that such considerations inform decisions taken by ministers.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what equality impact assessments his Department has undertaken of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

HM Treasury takes care to pay due regard to the equality impacts of its policy decisions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with all legal requirements and the Government’s commitment to promoting equality. There are internal procedural requirements and support in place for ensuring that such considerations inform decisions taken by ministers.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will amend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme rules to enable women that took maternity leave in the relevant years to exempt periods of maternity leave from the average income calculation for that scheme.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has been designed to deliver support as quickly and effectively as possible to millions of individuals. The Government understands the challenges faced by those with periods of maternity leave and the existing averaging calculation does account for periods of reduced profits. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to make sure the correct funding reaches those who need it most, keeping all policies under review, while ensuring that any potential changes do not risk the wider delivery of Government schemes.
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential differential effect on the performance of female-led businesses of not discounting periods of maternity leave in the calculation of financial support under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has been designed to deliver support as quickly and effectively as possible to millions of individuals. The Government understands the challenges faced by those with periods of maternity leave and the existing averaging calculation does account for periods of reduced profits. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to make sure the correct funding reaches those who need it most, keeping all policies under review, while ensuring that any potential changes do not risk the wider delivery of Government schemes.
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on self-employed women in the creative industries of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme not discounting periods of maternity leave when calculating financial support.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has been designed to deliver support as quickly and effectively as possible to millions of individuals. The Government understands the challenges faced by those with periods of maternity leave and the existing averaging calculation does account for periods of reduced profits. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to make sure the correct funding reaches those who need it most, keeping all policies under review, while ensuring that any potential changes do not risk the wider delivery of Government schemes.
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional financial support he plans to make available for self-employed workers in the creative industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.

Help for self-employed workers in sectors like the creative industry has been provided through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). SEISS provides grants to those who are self-employed, or members of partnerships, worth 80% of their trading profits/partnership trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The value of the grant is based on a 3-year average of trading/partnership trading profits, from the tax years 2016-17 to 2018-19. SEISS is available to those who generate majority of their income from self -employment and who earn less than £50k. Some 95% of people who are mainly self-employed could benefit from SEISS. The scheme went live on 13 May.

In addition, to support those on low incomes at this time, the Government has announced a package of temporary welfare measures, including:

  • A £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element.
  • An increase in the Local Housing Allowance rates for UC and Housing Benefit claimants.
  • A relaxation of UC minimum income floor for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • A 3-month mortgage holiday for homeowners

Details of the range of support for individuals affected by COVID-19 is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to calculate levels of covid-19 related grants to the self-employed on the basis of turnover rather than profits.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months, and capped at £7,500 in total. This scheme is intended to support individuals who rely primarily on their trading profits from self-employment and who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The self-employed are a very diverse population. They have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times. The SEISS is based on trading profits, as providing support on the basis of an individual’s past turnover would be unfair. For example, an individual could have had a high turnover, but have made a loss. A turnover-based system would provide more support to such an individual than to an individual with a lower turnover who made a profit.

More information about how income and trading profits are calculated can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/how-hmrc-works-out-total-income-and-trading-profits-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on the finances of self-employed people working in the creative industries of calculating levels of covid-19 related grants on the basis of profits rather than turnover.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months, and capped at £7,500 in total. This scheme is intended to support individuals who rely primarily on their trading profits from self-employment and who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

The self-employed are a very diverse population. They have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times. The SEISS is based on trading profits, as providing support on the basis of an individual’s past turnover would be unfair. For example, an individual could have had a high turnover, but have made a loss. A turnover-based system would provide more support to such an individual than to an individual with a lower turnover who made a profit.

More information about how income and trading profits are calculated can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/how-hmrc-works-out-total-income-and-trading-profits-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his response to the question asked by the hon Member for Cardiff West in the urgent question from the Rt hon Member for Oxford East on 12 May 2020, what the evidential basis is for the calculation that there are 120,000 people who were due to start a job after 28 February 2020 and who are not covered by the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme.

The figures provided on 12 May were initial estimates based on PAYE RTI submissions to 8 April. PAYE schemes have until 19 April following the end of the tax year to submit details of payments. Equivalent figures based on complete data are not yet available. The data submitted by employers omits start and leaving dates for a proportion of employments, and to provide complete and full figures it would be necessary to estimate these dates. This has not been possible in the time available to answer this question.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who draw dividends in lieu of a salary from a Limited Company in the UK.

HMRC administrative data does not cover the sources of dividend income. It is therefore not possible to determine accurately the number of individuals who have taken dividend income in lieu of a salary from Limited Companies.

HMRC publish statistics on the number of taxpayers receiving dividend income and the amounts received for tax years from 2010-11 to 2017-18. These statistics do not distinguish between dividends paid as salary, and dividends received as returns from investments. These statistics are published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/investment-income-2010-to-2011.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the support offered by the Enterprise Investment Scheme to the independent film industry.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme is intended to incentivise investment in early-stage, entrepreneurial businesses seeking growth finance. The EIS is designed to apply equally across all qualifying businesses to prevent market distortions.

As such, there has been no assessment on the application of the EIS to specific industries or sectors. In 2018/19, 3,900 companies from a range of industries used EIS to raise over £1.9 billion of capital.

The Government recognises the valuable contribution of the film industry to the UK economy, which is why it also provides industry-specific support via the film tax relief. In 2018-19 alone, the film sector benefitted from over £595m worth of support, and 245 completed films had claimed film tax relief.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the adequacy of the support offered by the Enterprise Investment Scheme to the independent film industry.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme is intended to incentivise investment in early-stage, entrepreneurial businesses seeking growth finance. The EIS is designed to apply equally across all qualifying businesses to prevent market distortions.

As such, there has been no assessment on the application of the EIS to specific industries or sectors. In 2018/19, 3,900 companies from a range of industries used EIS to raise over £1.9 billion of capital.

The Government recognises the valuable contribution of the film industry to the UK economy, which is why it also provides industry-specific support via the film tax relief. In 2018-19 alone, the film sector benefitted from over £595m worth of support, and 245 completed films had claimed film tax relief.

12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has received recent representations on the financial impact of the police pension scheme 2015 on retired police officers.

Retired police officers have written recently to ask when they will receive information about the remedy, to resolve a discrimination case, that came into force from October 2023. This information is not held centrally.

The police pension scheme is locally administered by each of the separate police forces in England and Wales. The Home Office does not have any role in the administration of police pensions.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of (a) system upgrades and (b) maintenance on the time taken to produce biometric residence permits.

The Home Office releases weekly upgrades, including maintenance, to the Atlas caseworking system. Such releases are completed without the Atlas caseworking system, or services like BRP production, being down at all and so there is no impact upon caseworking or BRP production.

Where a maintenance release requires the system to be taken down temporarily, it is done so in quiet periods and for a very short time period, so that caseworking operations are not adversely affected.

24th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential impact of (a) system upgrades and (b) maintenance on the time taken to process leave to remain applications.

The Home Office releases weekly upgrades, including maintenance, to the Atlas caseworking system. Such releases are completed without the Atlas caseworking system, or services like BRP production, being down at all and so there is no impact upon caseworking or BRP production.

Where a maintenance release requires the system to be taken down temporarily, it is done so in quiet periods and for a very short time period, so that caseworking operations are not adversely affected.

23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to increase the speed of processing Leave to Remain applications.

The Home Office publishes a range of data including some on processing times. Please see link: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The resources available are deployed to decide applications as quickly as possible.

18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of Biometric Residence Permits issued in January 2023 have been subsequently reissued to correct errors in visa conditions.

The information is not available publicly and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to prioritise visa applications for the relatives of UK citizens and residents affected by the recent earthquake in Syria.

The UK government continue to support British nationals with relatives impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Where family members do not have a current UK visa, they can apply online via one of our standard visa routes, which remain available, and biometrics can be submitted at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

UKVI will aim to process any compassionate cases as quickly as possible in line with current guidance.

Should individual circumstances require a quicker decision, customers should flag this with visa application centre staff when submitting their biometrics and UKVI will consider this as part of their wider application.

If customers have an existing visa application and have been impacted by the earthquake, then they should please contact the UKVI Contact Centre, details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she is taking steps to prioritise visa applications for the relatives of UK citizens and residents affected by the recent earthquake in Turkey.

The UK government continue to support British nationals with relatives impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Where family members do not have a current UK visa, they can apply online via one of our standard visa routes, which remain available, and biometrics can be submitted at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

UKVI will aim to process any compassionate cases as quickly as possible in line with current guidance.

Should individual circumstances require a quicker decision, customers should flag this with visa application centre staff when submitting their biometrics and UKVI will consider this as part of their wider application.

If customers have an existing visa application and have been impacted by the earthquake, then they should please contact the UKVI Contact Centre, details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk.

2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent meetings she has had with (a) the Chief Constable for South Wales Police and (b) the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

The Home Secretary regularly meets with senior colleagues across the policing sector and will continue to do so as part of her role.

Details of ministerial meetings are published on the Cabinet Office website on a quarterly basis, and can be found here: Home Office: ministerial gifts, hospitality, travel and meetings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on expediting the visa applications of Iranian residents sponsored by UK citizens or residents.

UKVI aims to process all visa applications in line with our customer service standards. Details of customer service standards for each visa route, along with the latest wait times, can be found at Visa decision waiting times: applications outside the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Priority visa services are available in many overseas locations. However, we are currently unable to offer a priority service to customers in Iran due to courier delivery times.

UKVI understands that the impact of delays to customers is significant; resources are focused on reducing the current processing times and UKVI will continue to prioritise urgent compelling or compassionate cases across all visa routes.

12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of applications to the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme have been granted.

We are continuing the process to grant Indefinite Leave to Remain to all eligible individuals who arrived during the evacuation: officials have already registered over 13,000 (and counting) applications for resettlement from Afghans in the UK, with biometric residence permits being issued accordingly. In the meantime, applicants remain eligible to work and access services under their continuing leave.

At 12 August 2022, we have granted Indefinite Leave to Remain to 11,303 individuals across the ARAP and ACRS, since they opened in April 2021 and Jan 2022, respectively. We are unable, at this time, to provide a breakdown of whether a grant of leave was made under the ARAP or the ACRS Pathway 1. Work is underway to assure information relating to all the individuals relocated under the ARAP and ACRS on case working systems. Once this work concludes, statistics on both schemes - including the number of people resettled under each - will be included in future editions of the Immigration Statistics.

More information on the number of grants of Indefinite Leave to Remain issued to Afghans resettling under the ARAP or ACRS can be viewed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-resettlement-programme-operational-data/afghan-resettlement-programme-operational-data.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications for leave to remain expired because applicants had not responded to decisions sent by email relating to fee waiver requests in the latest period for which data is available.

Applicants wishing to apply for an entry clearance fee waiver must do so by submitting an online application form. Once assessed, a decision on the fee waiver application is sent by email to the email address specified on the application form by either the applicant or their representative.

Applications for Leave to Remain fee waivers are mandated to be completed online, to receive a decision by email. However, in exceptional circumstances leave to remain fee waiver applications can be submitted on a paper form, in which case we will offer the applicant the choice of a paper or electronic decision.

Child Citizenship fee waiver applications can also be submitted on paper or online. These decisions may be despatched by email or post accordingly.

It is the applicant’s (or their representative’s) responsibility to monitor their email inbox and ‘spam’ folder in anticipation of our decision email.

Information on the number of applicants whose leave to remain expired following the issue of a fee waiver decision of which the applicant was not aware, is not captured. To recover this information would require a manual examination of each individual case and would thus incur disproportionate cost.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how decisions on fee waiver applications are communicated to applicants.

Applicants wishing to apply for an entry clearance fee waiver must do so by submitting an online application form. Once assessed, a decision on the fee waiver application is sent by email to the email address specified on the application form by either the applicant or their representative.

Applications for Leave to Remain fee waivers are mandated to be completed online, to receive a decision by email. However, in exceptional circumstances leave to remain fee waiver applications can be submitted on a paper form, in which case we will offer the applicant the choice of a paper or electronic decision.

Child Citizenship fee waiver applications can also be submitted on paper or online. These decisions may be despatched by email or post accordingly.

It is the applicant’s (or their representative’s) responsibility to monitor their email inbox and ‘spam’ folder in anticipation of our decision email.

Information on the number of applicants whose leave to remain expired following the issue of a fee waiver decision of which the applicant was not aware, is not captured. To recover this information would require a manual examination of each individual case and would thus incur disproportionate cost.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to introduce service standards for the processing of asylum applications.

The Home Office does not currently have a target time for processing applications for asylum, but are committed to ensuring asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay. We have already made progress in prioritising claims with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children. Additionally, we are prioritising older claims and those where an individual has already received a decision, but a reconsideration is required.

Asylum Operations are working to reintroduce a service standard for the processing of asylum applications. It is our intention to reintroduce a service standard aligning with the recommendation from the recent Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s (ICIBI) published report - An inspection of asylum casework (November 2021).

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of European Union identity cards seized by Border Force since 2010 were in the possession of people (a) under the age of 18 and (b) on organised visits from educational institutions.

Border Force does not hold this data in an easily accessible format.

For the financial year beginning from 01/04/2021 to 31/03/2022, there were 1235 forged/counterfeit documents, and 153 imposters encountered at the UK Border.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of asylum applications received by her Department since 1 January 2022 have been classified as straightforward as defined in her Department's customer service standards.

Since October 2018 we have not classified asylum applications in this way.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of applications to her Department in each customer group were processed within the time stipulated by the customer service standard since 1 January 2022.

The Home Office has been prioritising visa applications in response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the invasion of Ukraine.

Information on how UKVI is performing against service standards can be found in the migration transparency data published on the GOV.UK webpage Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to improve the time taken to process passport applications for (a) immigrants and (b) refugees not related to schemes for Ukrainian refugees.

British passports are issued to British nationals only.

Should any person become a British citizen through naturalisation or registration, they should apply for a British passport in the usual way. All applicants in the UK using the standard service are currently advised to allow up to ten weeks to get their passport.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to improve the time taken to process passport applications for (a) immigrants, and (b) refugees not related to schemes for Ukrainian refugees.

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

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of Ukrainian refugees residing in the UK.

The Home Office now routinely publishes data on Ukrainians arriving in the United Kingdom under our two new schemes.

Between 11 and 18 April, the number of those arriving under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme more than doubled from 3,200 to 6,600.

15,000 more Ukranians have arrived under the Family Scheme; meaning that as of 18 April, 21,600 visa holders had arrived in the UK.

We continue to work at pace to ensure more people can arrive more quickly.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Department is committed to ensuring that all appointments under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, are conducted in accordance with Governance Code on Public Appointments.

As part of the recruitment process, references are taken up for all appointed candidates.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in her Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

Data about intake and performance in answering MP Correspondence and Customer Complaints about Home Office operations are published quarterly with latest Quarter available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

During the period April 2020 to March 2021 we received 42,692 letters or emails from MPs about operational matters.

In the same time period we closed 36,961 written queries, of which 34,050 required a response – of these 1,903 responses were signed by a Minister or Director General.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consideration will be given to applications submitted by vulnerable individuals to the EU Settlement Scheme beyond 30 June 2021.

There are no plans to extend the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has invested nearly £8 million in marketing campaigns to encourage EU citizens and their family members to apply to the scheme. We recently launched a new wave of UK advertising to ensure EU citizens and their family members are aware of the deadline and know they need to apply. We are also working closely with employers, local authorities and charities to raise awareness.

We have continued to receive and process thousands of applications a day to the scheme throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 5.4 million applications received, and over 5.1 million applications concluded by 30 April 2021.

We are committed to making sure everybody eligible for the scheme can apply, including those who are vulnerable or need extra support. There is significant help available for applicants from a network of 72 organisations across the UK grant funded by the Home Office with £22 million to help vulnerable people apply to the EUSS, including after the 30 June deadline.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, we have made clear where a person eligible for status under the scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. Non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for submitting a late application was published on 1 April 2021, and includes where there are compelling practical or compassionate reasons why a person may have been unaware of the requirement to apply to the scheme by the deadline or may have failed to do so, including where someone else would have been responsible for making an application on behalf of a vulnerable person.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.

There are no plans to extend the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has invested nearly £8 million in marketing campaigns to encourage EU citizens and their family members to apply to the scheme. We recently launched a new wave of UK advertising to ensure EU citizens and their family members are aware of the deadline and know they need to apply. We are also working closely with employers, local authorities and charities to raise awareness.

We have continued to receive and process thousands of applications a day to the scheme throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 5.4 million applications received, and over 5.1 million applications concluded by 30 April 2021.

We are committed to making sure everybody eligible for the scheme can apply, including those who are vulnerable or need extra support. There is significant help available for applicants from a network of 72 organisations across the UK grant funded by the Home Office with £22 million to help vulnerable people apply to the EUSS, including after the 30 June deadline.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, we have made clear where a person eligible for status under the scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. Non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for submitting a late application was published on 1 April 2021, and includes where there are compelling practical or compassionate reasons why a person may have been unaware of the requirement to apply to the scheme by the deadline or may have failed to do so, including where someone else would have been responsible for making an application on behalf of a vulnerable person.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Office of National Statistics to estimate the number of eligible EU nationals who have not yet submitted an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Published EUSS figures refer specifically to applications made to the EU Settlement Scheme and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK.

The published figures include non-EEA family members, Irish nationals, and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics published a further explaining note discussing the strengths and limitations of UK Population Estimates

Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

ONS are currently transforming their population and migration statistics to put administrative data at the core of what they do. The latest information on their work programme and longer term plans to transform migration and population statistics was published on 16th April 2021.

Population and migration statistics system transformation – overview - Office for National Statistics

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of EU citizens who have been have been refused entry to the UK since 1 January 2021.

Immigration statistics including Passengers initially refused entry to the United Kingdom for the year ending September 2020 can be found on the .Gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

The next Immigration statistical release is due on the 24th February and future data relating to 2021 and beyond will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU citizens were refused entry to the UK in each month of 2020.

Immigration statistics including Passengers initially refused entry to the United Kingdom for the year ending September 2020 can be found on the .Gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets

The next Immigration statistical release is due on the 24th February and future data relating to 2021 and beyond will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions are being made for families of three or more to register their biometrics where (a) the closest UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centres are no longer able to accommodate them due restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) travelling a longer distance to an alternative centre is not viable.

Following initial closures as a result of global Covid-19 restrictions, UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) service points in the UK began to reopen from the 1 June in locations where it is safe to do so and in accordance with public health guidance in each country.

The additional measures UKVCAS have put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of customers and staff mean we are not currently able to offer the same number of locations or volume of appointments across all service points as they did before COVID-19. UKVI have been working closely with Sopra Steria Limited, who run the UKVCAS network on our behalf to tackle the significant demand for appointments in order to accelerate the application process.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on UKVI services, we have also introduced a biometric reuse process which allows UKVI to reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to assess visa and citizenship applications which means eligible customers won’t have to visit a UKVCAS service point to enrol new biometrics. Provided all family members qualify, they will be eligible for biometric reuse and eligible customers are being contacted directly.

If anyone needs to attend a physical UKVCAS appointment but is unable to travel because of coronavirus or related restrictions, they should contact UKVI through the Coronavirus Immigration Hotline (CIH) which can be reached via email or on the phone, on 0800 678 1767. Further details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the (a) average and (b) longest length of time taken from a visa application being issued to the receipt of a Biometric Residence Permit card under the priority service.

For visa applicants, their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will usually be available for collection either from their local Post Office or Alternative Collection Location (ACL) according to their chosen method and location of collection which they indicated during the application process. Applicants are advised to allow 10 days on arrival in the UK before attending their designated Post Office or ACL to collect their BRP. Both locations will usually hold the BRP for up to 60 days before returning to the Home Office if uncollected. Figures are not kept in relation to the length of time it takes a visa holder to collect their BRP.

Figures are not held in a way which enable us to differentiate between BRPs that were produced and issued under standard or priority services. The production of the BRP does not form part of the service level for the consideration of standard, priority or super priority applications. This is made clear at point of application. The service level for these services only relates to the length of time in which a decision will be made on an application. It is made clear that applicants should allow 10 working days for the BRP to be delivered once notification of the decision to grant leave has been sent.

Once a decision to grant leave is approved and received by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA), which produce the BRP on behalf of the Home Office, they have an SLA to personalise 90% of BRPs within one working day of receipt and the remaining 10% within two working days of receipt. They have never failed to meet this service standard.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of Biometric Residence Permit cards applied for under the priority service are issued within her Department's target time.

For visa applicants, their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will usually be available for collection either from their local Post Office or Alternative Collection Location (ACL) according to their chosen method and location of collection which they indicated during the application process. Applicants are advised to allow 10 days on arrival in the UK before attending their designated Post Office or ACL to collect their BRP. Both locations will usually hold the BRP for up to 60 days before returning to the Home Office if uncollected. Figures are not kept in relation to the length of time it takes a visa holder to collect their BRP.

Figures are not held in a way which enable us to differentiate between BRPs that were produced and issued under standard or priority services. The production of the BRP does not form part of the service level for the consideration of standard, priority or super priority applications. This is made clear at point of application. The service level for these services only relates to the length of time in which a decision will be made on an application. It is made clear that applicants should allow 10 working days for the BRP to be delivered once notification of the decision to grant leave has been sent.

Once a decision to grant leave is approved and received by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA), which produce the BRP on behalf of the Home Office, they have an SLA to personalise 90% of BRPs within one working day of receipt and the remaining 10% within two working days of receipt. They have never failed to meet this service standard.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her oral contribution of 24 February 2020 Official Report column 35, whether it is her policy that touring (a) musicians and (b) performers from EU countries will require Tier 5 visas from January 2021.

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

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

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Department has a robust recruitment process in place for appointments that are regulated by the Commissioner which is in line with the process and principles set out in the 2016 Governance Code on Public Appointments. It is Departmental policy to take up references for candidates shortlisted for interview and this is set out clearly in the candidate information pack for each recruitment campaign.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to hon. and right hon. Members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the (a) Welsh and (b) Scottish devolved administrations on the (i) establishment and (ii) operation of the New Homes Ombudsman scheme.

Ministers and officials have regular engagement with the devolved administrations on a range of issues.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what checks his Department undertakes into the backgrounds of sponsors in the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

The most up to date information on sponsor checks can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-sponsor-guidance#eligibility .

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not routinely seek references for Public Appointments.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies.

The Governance Code requires that candidates are asked to declare relevant interests and these are discussed at interview. The department may also provide the panel with other information, for example, open source material that they may wish to consider in reaching a judgement in a fair and open way.

References may not always be an appropriate, fair or open way of reaching such an assessment due to the limitations on what might be provided and the lack of transparency as to their contents.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to enable faith venues that are approved for the registration of marriages to hold small wedding ceremonies with only the couple, celebrant and witnesses in attendance.

We want to allow people to hold small weddings as soon as we can, but this must be done safely. Working with other departments, we will consider how small wedding ceremonies could take place safely in due course. We are working in partnership with faith leaders, through our Places of Worship Taskforce, to develop guidance that will enable the phased and safe reopening of places of worship.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of conditional cautions in relation to hate crime.

National guidance issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions for Adult Conditional Cautions states that they are not considered suitable for offences involving hate crime. However, there are rare cases when, because of the nature of the crime or the circumstances of the offender, exceptionally a Conditional Caution could be considered. Any such case considered suitable by the police for a Conditional Caution must be referred to a prosecutor and cannot be issued without the expressed authorisation of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to implement the framework for out-of-court disposals introduced in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

The Government is committed to delivering a strengthened and consistent Out of Court Disposals framework in England and Wales through the reformed two-tier cautions framework set out in the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022. We are continuing to work towards implementing it effectively.

Our draft Code of Practice, covering the use, administration, and scrutiny of the revised framework of the Diversionary and Community Cautions, was put to public consultation from 2 August to 13 October 2023. We are analysing the responses received to inform any necessary revisions to the draft Code of Practice and we will publish a Government response to the consultation in due course. We will confirm the implementation timeline for the revised framework once this process is complete.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his oral statement of 16 October 2023 on Prison Capacity, Official Report column 61, when he plans to report to the House on the curtailing of the licence period for offenders held on Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice, advised in his statement to this House on 16 October that he would be looking at options to curtail the licence period to restore greater proportionality to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences in line with recommendation 8 of the report by the Justice Select Committee report. He will revert to Parliament on this as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his oral statement of 16 October 2023 on Prison Capacity, Official Report column 59, what assessment he has made of the potential impact on victims of less serious offenders being moved out of prison onto licence earlier than their automatic release date.

Protecting the public is our number one priority – and so it is right that we take the tough and decisive action so we can keep putting the most serious offenders behind bars and for longer, as the public would rightly expect.

We understand that information is deeply important for victims which is why those who have been victims of crime can get information and updates about developments relating to their case where they are eligible for the Victim Contact Scheme (VCS).

There is a duty to inform victims signed up to the VCS before an offender is moved out of prison onto licence and to seek their views on whether they would like to see particular licence conditions included, such as an exclusion zone or non-contact conditions. That duty will apply equally under this scheme and offenders will not be moved onto licence on ECSL unless and until that victim contact has been completed.

Offenders will also have a supervision plan put together by probation, including strict licence conditions, to ensure that they can be safely managed in the community. As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice, set out in his speech to parliament, this scheme will simply bring forward that removal onto licence by no more than 18 days. And if they fail to comply or behave in a way that puts the public at risk, they can be immediately brought back to prison for the remainder of their sentence.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his oral statement of 16 October 2023 on Prison Capacity, Official Report column 59, what criteria his Department will use to decide which less serious offenders will be moved out of prison on licence up to 18 days before their automatic release date.

Only lower-level offenders serving a Standard Determinate Sentence and due for automatic release on licence at the half-way point will be considered for removal onto licence under these arrangements. More serious and higher risk offenders whose release is a matter for the Parole Board to assess will not be in scope.

Those serving a sentence for any kind of sexual offence, terror offence or any violent offence with a sentence of more than four years will also automatically be ruled out. Offenders eligible for End of Custody Supervised Licence will be subject to strict licence conditions, as identified by probation in their release management plan.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers in his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to use alternative buildings to create more court capacity to enable social distancing during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working hard to ensure that justice can continue to be done under these challenging circumstances. HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) officials are looking at how we make the best possible use of the existing estate, as well as creating more capacity. This means considering whether any recently closed courts which are still owned by HMCTS are suitable for reopening, and identifying alternative spaces to further extend provision.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State with for Health and Social Care and (b) the Secretary of State for the Home Department on safeguarding autistic people who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is committed to meeting the needs of all vulnerable people who come into contact with the criminal justice system, including those with autism. We understand the importance of working closely with partners across government to support this cohort.

In October year, Robert Buckland MP, Secretary of State for Justice, had a bilateral meeting with Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (DHSC). Autism and learning difficulties within the criminal justice system was an agenda item at this meeting.

DHSC and the Department for Education are leading a refresh of the cross-government Autism Strategy, for which the MoJ is one of five signatories. My department is contributing to the refresh, including work to improve data capture on autism, and to increase – through training and awareness – the ability of staff in the criminal justice system to better understand and support individuals with autism.

We are also working to promote Autism Accreditation across the prison estate and probation, and to share best practice from the three prisons and one probation area that have achieved the prestigious award. Autism Accreditation is a quality-assurance scheme run by the National Autistic Society, which demonstrates that a certain level of support is in place for autistic people.

The MoJ is also working with officials across government, including the Home Office, as part of the Cabinet Office-led National Strategy for Disabled People. This represents an opportunity to develop cross-government wide policies to support people with disabilities, including autism.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been imprisoned for failing to pay fines in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in (a) Wales and (b) England in each year since 2015.

The number of people admitted to prison for failing to pay fines in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in England and Wales in each year between 2015 and 2018 can be viewed in the attached table.

We have not produced the numbers each year in terms of the England and Wales split due to the small numbers involved which could result in the identification of an individual. However, between 2015 and 2018, one person was admitted to a prison in Wales for non-payment of the fine associated with using a TV without a licence – the remainder were admitted to prisons in England.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to hold elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

I refer the Hon Member to the Oral Statement I made on this subject earlier today.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Northern Ireland Office's regulated public appointment processes comply with the Governance Code on Public Appointments and are governed by the principle of appointment on merit following a selection process that is open, impartial and assesses each candidate against the same criteria for the role in question. The department does not ask for references. However, in line with the Governance Code, candidates are asked to declare relevant interests and these are discussed at interview.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department.

The Government recognises the great importance of the effective and timely handling of correspondence.

The Cabinet Office is currently compiling data on the timeliness of responses to Hon. and Rt Hon. members from Government Departments and Agencies. This data will be released, and made available to Members, in due course.

25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether his Department seeks references for candidates appointed to public positions which fall under the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland is an independent body sponsored by the Scotland Office. All public appointments to the Boundary Commission for Scotland are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments sets out that the Advisory Assessment Panel must satisfy itself that all candidates for appointment can meet the Seven Principles of Public Life and adhere to the Code of Conduct for board members of public bodies. All appointments to the Boundary Commission for Scotland are made using this code and this may include seeking references where appropriate.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (OSSS) has received 122 items of correspondence from honourable Members since 1 April 2020.

In that period, OSSS Ministers answered 104 items, OSSS officials answered five items and one item was transferred to another UK Government department. Six items of correspondence are yet to be answered.

A further six items did not require a response or were answered by way of discussion.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential impact of increases in mortgage interest rates on rental costs in Wales.

The Secretary of State for Wales and I engage with colleagues across government on a range of issues.

We recognise this is a concerning time for renters and those with mortgages. Whilst mortgage interest rates are a commercial decision for lenders, we expect lenders to treat all borrowers fairly. Buy-to-let borrowers facing financial difficulties should contact their lender to discuss the options available to them.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many items of written correspondence from hon. Members sent to Ministers of his Department have been (a) received and (b) replied to since 1 April 2020; and how many of those responses were responded to by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of his Department.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has received 90 items of correspondence from honourable Members since 1 April 2020; 69 of these items were responded to by Minister David TC Davies and myself, and 19 were answered by other Government Departments. Two items of correspondence are yet to be answered.

Simon Hart
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)