Kieran Mullan Portrait

Kieran Mullan

Conservative - Crewe and Nantwich

2 APPG memberships (as of 6 Oct 2021)
'Left Behind' Neighbourhoods, Autism
1 Former APPG membership
State Pension Inequality for Women
Procedure Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 9th Mar 2020


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 210 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill

Reference has been made to messages going out from the House. It is important to make one thing clear to …

Written Answers
Monday 13th September 2021
Homelessness
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
25 December 2019, received £3,096.35 from Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (a healthcare improvement charity) of Dawson House, 5 Jewry St, …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kieran Mullan has voted in 299 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Kieran Mullan voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Kieran Mullan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Kieran Mullan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Kieran Mullan 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(11 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(10 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(18 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(15 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kieran Mullan's debates

Crewe and Nantwich 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.


Latest EDMs signed by Kieran Mullan

Kieran Mullan has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kieran Mullan, 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.


Kieran Mullan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Kieran Mullan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Kieran Mullan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Kieran Mullan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


111 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
4 Other Department Questions
8th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for City of Chester, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what assessment the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission has made of the adequacy of parliamentary scrutiny of the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission is directly accountable to the UK's parliaments, and scrutiny of its work is an essential part of giving assurance to parliamentarians and to the public about how it undertakes its duties.

It reports to the UK Parliament through the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, which has a statatory duty to review the Commission's financial estimates and plans, and oversees the appointments of Electoral Commissioners. Parliamentary select committees, most notably the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, also pay an important role in scrutinising the work of the Commission.

The Commission is also accountable to the Scottish Parliament through the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, and the Sennedd through the Llywydd's Committee.

Christian Matheson
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for City of Chester, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to ensure that the guidance and standards it produces are clear and accessible to voters, candidates, and others involved in the electoral process.

The Electoral Commission provides expert advice and guidance to help electoral administrators, political parties and campaigners, and candidates and agents to understand and comply with electoral law.

Its guidance is developed in consultation with the electoral community, and is informed by ongoing discussions with electoral administrators and parties and campaigners, including through the Political Parties Panels. The Commission also gethers feedback from stakeholders following elections, to inform its approach to future polls.

The Commission's guidance is published on its website, which has been subject to user-testing to ensure accessibility and recently redesigned to make finding information easier.

The Commission also provides information to voters to enable them to participate in the democratic process with confidence, including through public awareness campaigns. These are tested with members of the public and third-party organisations to ensure they work effectively for audiences before they are launched.

Christian Matheson
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for City of Chester, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to maintain public trust and confidence in the electoral system.

The interests of the public, and particularly their trust and confidence in the democratic process, are central to the work of the Commission.

It supports electoral administrators to deliver high quality electoral registration and administration services to voters, and by providing detailed guidance to ensure they can undertake their responsibilities. It also provides direct information to voters - such as on voter registration and on preventing voter fraud - to support them in participating with confidence in the democratic process.

It oversees the regulation of political finance and compliance with Parliament's rules. This includes; supporting parties and campaigners to understand and comply with the rules; and taking proportionate enforcement action where breeches occur; and providing voters with transparency over the money spent and recieved by campaigners and parties.

The Commission's research shows that there are high levels of public confidence that elections in the UK are well-run.

Christian Matheson
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to bring forward legislative proposals to end conversion therapy.

We have set out in the Queen’s Speech our intention to ban conversion therapy. This government is committed to ensuring people in this country are free to live their lives, judged on the basis of their character and talents alone. Ahead of bringing forward legislative action, we will launch a public consultation. We will also be putting new support in place for victims of conversion therapy.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what diplomatic steps the Government is taking to support the development of covid-19 vaccines (a) in the UK and (b) throughout the world.

The Government has worked at pace to find safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We have supported the development of COVID-19 vaccines in the UK through a number of investments, including:

  • £20 million to fund clinical trials of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Over £40 million for the development of Imperial College London’s vaccine.
  • £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
  • £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.

The Government has also funded the NHS Registry, developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to enable individuals to sign up to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This has made the UK well-suited to facilitate clinical trials that are essential to the development of any vaccine. As of 9 June 2021, over 502,000 people had signed up.

The UK has also joined COVAX, an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world. This includes contributing £548 million, as one of the largest donors, to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which has already helped over 72 low- and middle-income countries to receive vaccine doses.

In addition to this, the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to replace the non-domestic renewal heat incentive scheme; and when he will publish those plans.

From April to July 2020, the Department consulted on “Future support for low carbon heat”, setting out proposals for future schemes to follow the closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive. A government response to this consultation will be published later this year.

The Government is also planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take to reduce emissions from buildings.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential of geothermal energy to contribute to the UK's net zero target.

The most promising use of geothermal energy in the UK is for low temperature applications such as district heating schemes. We have been providing support to the deployment of district heat networks from geothermal through the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) and the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP).

The £270m Green Network Heat fund is still at an early stage of scheme development, and we will be issuing a consultation response in due course.

The Government has also funded the £31m UK Geoenergy Observatories which will provide a world class infrastructure for a wide range of geoenergy related research including geothermal.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to (a) enforce and (b) ensure businesses' compliance with the requirements of Regulation 28 of The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015.

If Companies House are made aware of a company whose trading disclosures do not comply with Companies Act requirements, they will contact the company concerned to clarify the position. If necessary, they will advise the company that it is committing an offence and request that it updates any non-compliant information.

The primary aim is to seek compliance. If the company refuses to comply, Companies House will consider taking prosecution action as a last resort.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress is being made on the development of a covid-19 vaccine.

The Government is leading efforts to find and manufacture a vaccine, working with industry and experts, both here in the UK and internationally to ensure we are in the best position possible to support the discovery, manufacture and mass-deployment of a successful vaccine should a candidate prove successful. A number of agreements to procure millions of doses of vaccines have been made, ensuring the greatest possible chance of securing access to a safe and effective vaccine. The UK has now secured access to 6 different candidates, across 4 different vaccines types, including University of Oxford’s vaccine being developed with AstraZeneca and agreements with BioNTech/Pfizer alliance, Valneva, Novavax, Janssen and GSK/Sanofi Pasteur.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has for the future of the Life Chances Fund.

The Life Chances Fund was established as a nine-year fund running from 2016 up until 2025; the government remains committed to delivering the Fund within this timeframe. It is expected to support over 48,000 people to achieve improved life outcomes across the country.

DCMS will continue to share insights and learnings from the Life Chances Fund across government, in order to support the commissioning of future programmes and services, based on evidence and data.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential overall cost effectiveness of social outcomes contracting to Government.

The Life Chances Fund (LCF) is a fund specifically designed to test the use of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), also known as social outcomes contracts. The evaluation supporting the LCF has been designed to provide an answer to the question of cost effectiveness. It seeks to determine the comparative cost benefits of using SIBs compared to other commissioning routes.

The evaluation findings are due in 2025, following the completion of LCF funding.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve digital infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas.

The government is committed to delivering lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK. ‘Project Gigabit’ is ambitious, challenging and central to how we build back better. Our plan - to stimulate investment, bust barriers and drive competition - is working. We are on track for one of the fastest rollouts in Europe and for 60% of all households to have access to gigabit speeds by the end of the year. It is a huge leap forward from 2019, when it was 9%.

We are backing Project Gigabit with £5 billion so hard to reach communities are not left out - starting to level up now, not waiting for the end of the commercial rollout, and building on the half a half a million rural homes and businesses already connected through our support.

As part of Project Gigabit we are funding up to £210 million worth of vouchers over the next three years to help with the costs of installing gigabit to people’s doorsteps and up to £110 million to connect up to 7,000 rural public buildings such as GP surgeries, libraries and schools. All premises not covered through these measures or expected to be addressed by commercial coverage will be in scope for new Project Gigabit contracts.

Premises which can’t access a decent broadband connection remain eligible for the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO). The broadband USO was launched in March 2020 and gives every eligible premises the legal right to request a decent, affordable broadband connection, providing download speeds of at least 10 Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps.

Furthermore, on 9 March last year, the government agreed a £1 billion deal with the Mobile Network Operators to deliver the Shared Rural Network. This will see the operators collectively increase 4G mobile phone coverage throughout the UK to 95% by the end of the programme, underpinned by legally binding coverage commitments. The programme will level up the country by improving mobile coverage for an extra 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads with areas around the UK starting to see improvements to 4G coverage long before the programme completes.

On 29 June we announced the next step of the Shared Rural Network so people who live and work in rural areas will be able to see how 4G coverage will increase through this world leading programme.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made on the rollout of gigabit broadband.

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Today, over two in five premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just one in ten in November 2019. By the end of the year, 60% will have access, and by 2025 the Government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage, working with industry to reach as close to 100% as possible.

To achieve this, the Government has enacted a number of policies to make it easier to deploy broadband networks in the UK. These include addressing the issue of unresponsive landlords holding up deployment through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act and launching the Street Manager service with the Department for Transport to make it easier for operators to access roads for digital infrastructure deployment.

The Government is also investing £5bn as part of Project Gigabit to ensure the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK receive coverage.The first Project Gigabit areas are set to reach some one million hard to reach homes and businesses, with Phase 1a covering up to 510,000 premises, announced in March 2021. Phase 1b is expected to be confirmed in the summer and reach up to 640,000 more hard to reach homes and businesses. These are areas with a high percentage of hard to reach premises and a relatively high proportion of premises without access to superfast speeds.

Project Gigabit was designed to be flexible as it runs alongside commercial rollout. As with other market data, we will review intervention areas to ensure we target truly left-behind places. The next Project Gigabit Delivery Plan update is expected shortly.

Concurrently, premises in rural areas may also be in line for funding through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, with up to £210m allocated to the scheme over the next four years to support hard to reach communities. Cheshire East has made good use of the scheme, seeing 338 voucher connections worth £772,487, with a further 308 vouchers to be connected, totalling £1.4 million.

Home and business owners can check the eligibility of their address and then look up suppliers in their area by going to https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/. The voucher scheme offers up to £1,500 for homes and £3,500 for businesses to help to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband to people’s doorsteps when used as part of a group scheme.

Additionally, 4,000 premises in Cheshire will also benefit from access to gigabit capable broadband as a result of a £4.5million investment under the Superfast Broadband programme that was agreed in December 2020.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the recovery of the tourism industry.

We recognise the severe impact of COVID-19 on tourism and have published the Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector recover back to pre-pandemic levels and build back better for the future. The plan aims to recover domestic tourism to pre pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023; both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict.

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) will deliver a £10 million consumer promotion with the National Lottery to support the domestic tourist industry. In addition, the Government and VisitBritain will develop a new domestic rail tourism product, similar to the Britrail Pass for international visitors, working with the Rail Delivery Group.

The Government has allocated at least £19 million to domestic and international marketing activity, with a £5.5 million domestic campaign already underway. The Government will work with VisitBritain to welcome back international visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of social outcomes contracts in supporting looked-after children.

A number of local authorities have used social impact bonds (SIBs) to try to secure improved outcomes for children and young people in the children’s social care system. A research report published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides an overview of seven projects and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/life-chances-fund-social-impact-bonds-in-childrens-social-care.

In addition, in 2018, as part of the government’s commitment to supporting care leavers to make the transition from being looked after to independence, the Department for Education funded three payment by results projects, to assess whether SIBs can help local authorities to improve education, employment and training outcomes for care leavers. Projects were established in three areas: Apollo (Sheffield), Aspire (South East London) and Reboot West (West of England) and started operating in October 2018. Ecorys UK were appointed in December 2018 to undertake an evaluation to assess the effectiveness, impact and value for money of the three projects. The evaluation is ongoing and is currently scheduled for completion in March 2022. The final report will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support the return of domestic overnight educational residential trips for schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department continues to work with representatives of the tour industry, devolved administrations, trade unions and other government departments on the issue of educational trips.

The guidance for full school opening enables schools to resume educational day visits, but continues to advise against overnight educational residential visits. This advice will remain under review and will be updated in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help increase tree planting.

We are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this parliament. We published our ambitious England Trees Action Plan on the 18 May, which sets out our plans to at least treble tree planting rates in England in support of this, using more than £500 million from the Nature for Climate Fund.

The Plan sets out a range of new incentives which will provide significant support for 2021/22 planting season and beyond. This includes the recently launched £15.9 million England Woodland Creation offer for landowners, land managers and public bodies to apply for support to create new woodland, using traditional methods of tree establishment as well as natural colonisation, agroforestry, and riparian plating. We’ve also extended our Urban Tree Challenge Fund, delivering trees in areas of low tree cover and social deprivation, and have launched a new £2.7 million Local Authority Treescape Fund, aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as riverbanks or hedgerows. We have also committed £25 million for our Woodland Creation Partnerships, which includes support for the development of the newly created Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest.

For the last planting season (2020/21) we kick-started tree planting efforts through a number of initiatives including, £12.1 million investment in expanding England's ten Community Forests; £1.4 million of planting along rivers through the Environment Agency; and support from the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a range of charity projects to protect and plant trees. These initiatives contributed to the planting of 13,410 hectares across the UK in 2020/21, of which 2180ha were planted in England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to create and improve protected landscapes.

Natural England, as the statutory advisor to the Government on landscapes, announced an ambitious programme to create and improve protected areas across England on 24 June 2021.

As part of this programme Natural England has started consideration of two new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Yorkshire Wolds and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge. Consideration of extending the Surrey Hills and Chilterns AONBs is also underway.

Natural England will also undertake an England-wide assessment to identify conservation and enhancement needs across England, including any remaining places suitable for National Park or AONB designation and those places where alternative forms of action will be more appropriate and are wanted by local communities.

On 24 June, the Secretary of State laid a Written Ministerial Statement on the Government's response to the Landscapes Review, setting out our support for the independent Landscapes Review's recommendations to improve nature recovery and public access, and bring the family of protected landscapes closer together.

The new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme will provide additional investment to allow farmers and other land managers to work in partnership with National Park Authorities and AONB teams to improve public access, and deliver bigger and better outcomes for the environment, for people and for places. Our future Local Nature Recovery scheme, part of the future agriculture policy, will also support nature's recovery in our protected landscapes and beyond.

These actions will help deliver on the Government's commitment to protect 30% of land in the UK by 2030 for nature.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help tackle livestock worrying.

New measures to crack down on livestock worrying are to be introduced in England and Wales through the Kept Animals Bill, introduced to Parliament on 8 June.

We will enhance enforcement mechanisms available to the police and expand the scope of livestock species and locations covered by the law. Improved powers will enable the police to respond to livestock worrying incidents more effectively – making it easier for them to collect evidence and, in the most serious cases, seize and detain dogs to reduce the risk of further incidents.

The scope of livestock species covered by the legislation will be extended to include animals such as llamas, emus, enclosed deer and donkeys. New locations will include roads and paths, as long as the livestock have not strayed onto a road.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to increase animal welfare standards.

The importance of a secure food supply chain founded upon high-welfare farming, to conserving and protecting wild animals, animal welfare has never been more important.

On 12 May, Defra published the Action Plan for Animal Welfare setting out the Government's plans on animal welfare for this Parliament and beyond. The document provides a high-level overview of more than 40 policy reforms we intend to tackle covering farm animals, pets, sporting animals and wild animals.

Now we have left the EU and our transition period has ended we have the opportunity to go further than ever in protecting our animals. In areas that were previously under the jurisdiction of EU law we can now more freely make our own reforms and fulfil our manifesto commitments on animal welfare.

To enact these plans the Government has an ambitious programme of legislation. We have taken our first steps with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill and the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. We intend to legislate further in an Animals Abroad Bill. Secondary legislation on many of the policy areas set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare will also be introduced in the coming months. Non-legislative work will be progressed in parallel. Where we have committed to gather further evidence ahead of introducing any changes we will work closely with stakeholders and the public on this.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect native species and wildlife in England.

Towards our ambition to protect our native species and address biodiversity loss in England, we will be amending the Environment Bill to require an additional target for species abundance for 2030, aiming to halt the decline in nature. The Bill also introduces a range of ambitious measures including, for example, mandatory biodiversity net gain in the planning system. Furthermore, we will publish a Green Paper later in 2021, setting out how our protections framework might better deliver this and our wider domestic ambitions.

We are also looking to the action needed on the ground and continuing to work with stakeholders to determine the specific actions that will be paid for by our new schemes that will reward environmental land management. We are launching at least 10 long-term Landscape Recovery projects between 2022 and 2024 to restore wilder landscapes through long-term land use change and support the establishment of a Nature Recovery Network. Additionally, the Nature Recovery Network Delivery Partnership is currently bringing together representatives from over 400 organisations to drive forward the restoration of protected sites and landscapes and help create or restore at least 500,000 hectares of new wildlife-rich habitat across England.

The £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund has also kick-started a pipeline of nature-based projects to restore nature, tackle climate change and connect people with the natural environment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect peatlands.

We are committed to protecting and restoring our vulnerable peatlands in England, helping us to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and protecting valuable habitats and the biodiversity therein.

We recently published our England Peat Action Plan which sets out further measures to restore, protect and manage England's peatlands. These measures include our commitment to publish a consultation this year on banning the sale of peat and peat containing products in the amateur sector by the end of this parliament. We are addressing the degradation of lowland peat and launched the new Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force in January 2021, which will develop recommendations to extend the useable life of our agricultural peat soils.

We are also ramping up current levels of peatland restoration through the Nature for Climate Fund, which will provide funding for the restoration of at least 35,000 hectares of peatland by 2025. We will set a target for peatland restoration as part of the forthcoming Net Zero Strategy which will be consistent with our obligations to meet Carbon Budget 6. The Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 came into force on 1 May 2021, banning the burning, without a licence, of specified vegetation on protected blanket bog habitats.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage greater international environmental conservation.

This Government is seizing the opportunities of our G7 and COP26 Presidencies to drive international action on the environment. We have negotiated a historic 2030 Nature Compact committing to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, agreed by Leaders at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, and G7 Climate and Environment Ministers' agreed an ambitious communique with over 120 commitments. The UK is also committed to playing a leading role in developing an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at CBD COP15 and to secure ambitious environmental commitments at UNFCCC COP26.

The UK also played a leading role in developing the Leaders' Pledge for Nature which I am pleased to report that 89 world leaders have now signed. Furthermore, 80 countries now support an international target to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030 through membership of the UK-led Global Ocean Alliance or the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which the UK co-chairs with Costa Rica and France.

We are leading by example. We have committed to spend at least £3bn of International Climate Finance on nature over the next five years and launched the £500m Blue Planet Fund. Domestically, we are introducing a world-leading legally-binding target for species abundance by 2030 in the Environment Bill, aiming to halt the decline of nature.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to create new woodlands.

We are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this parliament. We published our ambitious England Trees Action Plan on the 18th May which sets out our plans to at least treble tree planting rates in England as a key contribution to that 30,000ha UK commitment – this represents an unprecedented increase in woodland creation in England, supported by £500 million from the Nature for Climate Fund.

The England Trees Action Plan sets out a framework for a range of new incentive which will be launched through the course of this year, providing significant support for 2021/22 planting season. This includes launching a new £15.9 million England Woodland Creation Offer where Landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply for support to create new woodland to boost more traditional methods of tree establishment as well as natural colonisation, agroforestry, and riparian plating. We’ve also extended our Urban Tree Challenge Fund, delivering trees in areas of low tree cover and social deprivation, and have launched a new £2.7 million Local Authority Treescape Fund, aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as riverbanks or hedgerows.

As well as opening new and improved national grants, we are also supporting a number of Woodland Creation Partnerships, bringing local stakeholders together to help deliver sustainably designed woodland which can improve connectivity of priority habitats and provide enhanced natural capital value. This includes delivering a new programme of planting through England’s Community Forests, called Trees for Climate, which will deliver 6,000 hectares of new woodland by 2025. Three newly created Community Forests will join England’s existing ten Community Forests to deliver the Trees for Climate programme from 2021-22 onwards.

For the last planting season (2020/21) we kick-started tree planting efforts through a number of initiatives including, £12.1 million investment in expanding England's ten Community Forests; £1.4 million of planting along rivers through the Environment Agency; Support from the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a range of charity projects to protect and plant trees.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support farmers.

The Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan sets out how we will maintain the same level of investment for farmers in England, which is £2.4 billion a year across this parliament. We will reinvest money saved by reducing Direct Payments into improved and new environment schemes and schemes which will help farmers get their businesses ready for the transition. These will include grants to invest in productivity measures, support to new entrants, supporting farmer-led innovation and improving farm resilience.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the use of plastics.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste. We are making great strides to tackle plastic pollution across the country. In December 2018 we published the Resources and Waste Strategy, which sets out how we want to achieve this and move towards a circular economy and keep resources in the system for as long as possible. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. The single-use carrier bag charge, which has led to a 95% reduction in the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarkets, has been increased to 10p and extended to all retailers to encourage customers to bring their own bags to carry shopping and reduce the volumes of single-use plastic being used. At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced the tax on plastic packaging of £200 per tonne for plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content, effective from April 2022.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and take forward a number of the proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy. The Bill will include powers to create Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes; introduce Deposit Return Schemes (DRS); establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and give us the power to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Our consultations on an EPR scheme for packaging and a DRS for drinks containers closed on 4 June and our consultation on our proposals for consistency in the recycling system in England is open for responses until July. More details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/environment/waste-and-recycling

The Government has put together a package of over £100 million for research and innovation to tackle the issues that arise from plastic waste. £38 million was set aside through the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund, the last funding competition of which opened in June 2020. The Resource Action Fund included £10 million specifically to pioneer innovative approaches to boosting recycling and reducing litter. The Government has also announced £60 million of funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, alongside a £150 million investment from industry, towards the development of smart, sustainable plastic packaging (SSPP), which will aim to make the UK a world leader in sustainable packaging for consumer products. Two SSPP funding opportunities have been open for bids in 2021: the SSPP Demonstrator Round 2 and the SSPP business-led research and development competition.

Science estimates that the annual plastic flow into the ocean will triple between 2016 and 2040. Due to the scale of the marine litter challenge the UK believes it is time to negotiate a new global agreement on marine litter and microplastics at the United Nations Environment Assembly. A new global agreement would build upon the important work we are doing to tackle marine litter both domestically and internationally and support our commitments to eliminate plastic entering the ocean.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce emissions caused by agriculture sector.

The Prime Minister has been clear that tackling climate change is a priority for this Government. Since 1990, emissions from agriculture have reduced by 13%. Today, agriculture accounts for around 10% of the UK's total GHG emissions. Achieving the net zero target is key for the Government, and we are developing a range of measures to address it through the Agriculture Act, our future farming policy, the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our response to Henry Dimbleby's Independent Review of the food system and national food strategy review. All of these are aimed at enabling farmers to optimise sustainable food production, reduce emissions from agriculture and allow consumer choices to drive those changes.

We are also introducing three schemes that reward environmental benefits: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. Together, these schemes are intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and our commitment to Net Zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy. Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering public goods, including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

The Clean Growth Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan both set out a range of specific commitments to further reduce emissions from agriculture, including through environmental land management, strengthening biosecurity and control of endemic diseases in livestock, and encouraging use of low emissions fertilisers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the fishing industry.

The Government is committed to supporting the fishing industry and ensuring a prosperous and sustainable seafood sector. Now that we have left the EU we will use our Fisheries Act to deliver bespoke fisheries management for the benefit of the whole of the UK.

Earlier this year we delivered a funding package of up to £23 million, which was used to deliver temporary support schemes to seafood businesses affected by COVID-19 and new trading conditions. This was used to deliver the Seafood Disruption Support Scheme, which paid seafood businesses a proportion of export losses experienced in January, and the Seafood Response Fund, which paid three months of average fixed costs to fishing and shellfish aquaculture businesses.

£32.7 million has been made available to support the seafood sector this financial year, which meets the Government’s manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector. Part of this funding will be used to deliver funding schemes in each of the four administrations of the UK. In England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and will initially focus on helping businesses adapt to new conditions and opportunities arising from leaving the EU, as well as supporting the on-going recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Government has gone even further than its manifesto commitment with the Prime Minister’s announcement that an additional £100 million will be made available across the UK for transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities. It will be used to invest in: modernising and expanding infrastructure; the science and data needed to ensure a sustainable sector; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills and expertise required for a thriving and prosperous industry. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect the oceans.

The UK is a global leader on marine protection. Leading the Global Ocean Alliance and as Ocean Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the UK is championing a target under the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 30% of the global ocean as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures by 2030 ('the 30by30 target'). Under UK leadership, 80 countries have now committed to support the adoption of this target at CBD COP15.

Domestically, we have built a comprehensive network of MPAs and are focusing on making sure they are protected properly. 98 MPAs in inshore waters already have management measures in place to protect sensitive features from bottom towed fishing gears and the Marine Management Organisation has embarked on a three-year programme of work to manage impacts from fishing activity in all English offshore MPAs. The Government has also launched plans to increase protections for England's waters through a pilot scheme to designate marine sites in England as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). HPMAs will take a 'whole site approach', conserving all species and habitats within their boundary to maximize protection of marine habitats and species. The Government recognises that the strict protections implied by HPMAs will cause some concerns with other sea users and intends to liaise closely with them throughout the process, including the fishing industry.

The UK also supports the conclusion of negotiations on an ambitious new implementing Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction ('BBNJ Agreement') as soon as possible. Areas beyond national jurisdiction cover more than 60% of the global ocean, and so this Agreement includes provisions that allow for the establishment of MPAs in these areas, a key mechanism to deliver the '30by30' target.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to increase tree planting.

We are committed to increasing tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this parliament. We published our ambitious England Trees Action Plan on 18 May which sets out our plans to at least treble tree planting rates in England as a key contribution to that 30,000ha UK commitment – this represents an unprecedented increase in woodland creation in England, supported by £500 million from the Nature for Climate Fund.

The England Trees Action Plan sets out a framework for a range of new incentive which will be launched through the course of this year, providing significant support for 2021/22 planting season. This includes launching a new £15.9 million England Woodland Creation Offer where landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply for support to create new woodland to boost more traditional methods of tree establishment as well as natural colonisation, agroforestry, and riparian plating. We’ve also extended our Urban Tree Challenge Fund, delivering trees in areas of low tree cover and social deprivation, and have launched a new £2.7 million Local Authority Treescape Fund, aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as riverbanks or hedgerows.

For the last planting season (2020/21) we kick-started tree planting efforts through a number of initiatives including, £12.1 million investment in expanding England's ten Community Forests; £1.4 million of planting along rivers through the Environment Agency; Support from the £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a range of charity projects to protect and plant trees.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made towards a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

The Government has completed four rounds of negotiations since the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations were launched last June. The fifth round of negotiations began on the 8th June.

Overall, negotiations have been positive, pragmatic and productive. The Government has made good progress and is now negotiating on all areas of the FTA.

The UK and New Zealand both remain eager to make further progress, with a view to working towards an agreement in the coming months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on securing a free trade agreement with Australia.

The Australian Minister for Trade, Dan Tehan, visited the UK on 22nd – 23rd April to meet my Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and me face-to-face, for the first time since his appointment in December. Over the course of two days of intensive discussions, the UK and Australia reached consensus on most elements of a comprehensive free trade agreement, including ambitious provisions on services, innovation and mobility. Australia is set to liberalise tariffs on UK goods, from sparkling wine, to cars, to pottery.

Both countries are confident that the remaining issues will be resolved, and are now working to agree the outstanding elements with the aim of reaching agreement in principle later this month.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of a free trade agreement with Australia on Crewe and Nantwich constituency.

The Department’s economic analysis, published on 17 June 2020, seeks to identify the potential scale of the long-term additional benefit to the UK from having a deal with Australia. This analysis suggested the North West could be one of the regions expected to benefit most from a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Clothing is one of the North West’s top goods exports to Australia, and this increased from 2019 to 2020. Liberalisation of tariffs on clothing (currently up to 5%) and reducing other non-tariff barriers to trade should further benefit this industry.

Likewise, another of the North West’s top exports to Australia, automotives, could also benefit from the removal of tariffs (currently up to 5% on road vehicles) and other non-tariff barriers to trade.

Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made towards a free trade agreement with the US.

The Government has had five rounds of negotiations so far. Almost all chapter areas are now in the advanced stages of talks, and a significant proportion of legal text has been agreed across multiple chapters.

The US is currently reviewing the progress made in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), so far, following the appointment of the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai. The Government has been engaging constructively on the way the FTA can align with both countries’ commitments to Building Back Better.

An ambitious UK-US FTA can support transatlantic collaboration rebuilding from Covid-19, promoting sustainable and clean growth and women’s economic empowerment, while setting global standards in digital trade and protecting intellectual property.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to promote professional business services in free trade agreements.

The UK is a world leader in professional and business services. In 2019, the UK exported £63 billion of professional and business services (PBS), with a trade surplus of £34 billion.

To support the success of this important and diverse sector, the Department for International Trade is seeking ambitious commitments in its free trade agreements (FTAs) on cross-border trade in services, investment, mobility, and digital trade, which will reduce trade barriers, and provide certainty and transparency for UK professional and business service suppliers.

The Government is also using FTAs to foster regulatory dialogue and collaboration across all PBS sectors. This can help reduce administration and costs for UK professionals and firms seeking to supply services overseas.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the uptake of cycling and walking.

On 28 July 2020 the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking, with the ambition that half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked by 2030. This includes a £2 billion package of funding for active travel over 5 years, the largest ever boost for cycling and walking.

The first £250 million of the £2 billion was allocated in 2020/21, with much of this going to local authorities enabling them quickly to deliver safe walking and cycling routes in their area. The Department’s latest Road Traffic Estimates for Great Britain suggest that the amount of cycling was 46% higher in 2020 than in 2019, with around 5 billion miles cycled. This is the highest level of cycling on the public highway since the 1960s.

The Government is providing over a quarter of a billion pounds for walking and cycling this financial year, and will be making a further announcement shortly on all it is doing to support this important agenda.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to implement the policies set out in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

The Government is committed to delivering passenger benefits as quickly as possible, including the introduction of new flexible season tickets, auditing accessibility of stations, a 30-year strategy for the rail industry, and replacing franchising.

This is the biggest change to the railways in three decades and transformation on this scale will not happen overnight. Government is setting up a Rail Transformation Programme within the Department for Transport and working with the rail sector to ensure a common understanding of our vision for the railway, working collectively with the sector to design how this major project will be delivered. The Government will make further announcements on next steps in relation to implementation in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the uptake of electric vehicles.

The Government had already committed £1.5 billion to support the early market and remove barriers to zero emission vehicle (ZEV) ownership. We are now going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emission at the tailpipe. Alongside these new phase out dates we have pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and motorists to make the switch. To underpin our ambitious phase out dates, this year we will publish a delivery plan, an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy and Green Paper on Co2 emission from transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to promote the use of E10 fuel in vehicles.

On 25th February, we published the Government response to the consultation paper “Introducing E10 petrol”. The Government response confirmed our intention to introduce E10 petrol in September. In advance of the introduction, we launched a public information campaign on 7th June. The campaign will make drivers aware of the changes we are making and how E10 will play a part in helping reduce carbon emissions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve the condition of England’s roads.

In addition to investing £1.7 billion in 21/22 into local roads plus an unprecedented £27 billion into the strategic road network through to 2025, the Department is working towards the creation of a common data standard for the monitoring of road condition. This will aim to drive innovation and flexibility in monitoring local roads and enable authorities to target defects in their networks more quickly. Further information, including a Departmental position paper, will be published shortly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve cross-UK transport links.

Sir Peter Hendy is carrying out the independent Union Connectivity Review, which will report later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve transport connections in the north of England.

Since 2010, over £29 billion has been invested in transport infrastructure in the North to unlock the economic potential of the Northern Powerhouse.

In addition, we are committing over £22bn to fund HS2 Phases One, 2a and 2b Western Leg to deliver North-South connectivity, of great benefit to the Hon. Member’s constituency, and £75m for developing Northern Powerhouse Rail in 2021/22. This comes on top of the billions we expect to spend on improving the Transpennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York, and the £12bn invested in roads in the North over the last 5 years.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve transport connections in rural areas.

The Government recognises the importance of transport for rural areas and is committed to improving access to services that provide vital connectivity. To improve current bus services, or restore lost services where needed, the Government has paid an extra £30 million to local authorities in 2020/21, local authorities have been able to use this to retain or restore services affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Additionally, in March 2021 we awarded funding to 17 pilot projects through the £20m Rural Mobility Fund scheme to trial innovative, demand-responsive solutions to transport challenges that rural and suburban areas often face. Demand responsive transport has the potential to transform the local transport offer in areas where demand is more dispersed, and the distances involved make it more challenging to maintain or provide services which meet residents’ diverse needs.

The Government wants to ensure that the needs of rural transport users are given equal consideration to those in urban areas. We are committed to improving the connectivity of isolated rural communities and those with infrequent and unreliable services.

In 2019, we published the ‘Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy’, setting out our approach to maximising the benefits and managing the risks of new technology in urban areas. We now want to explore the challenges and opportunities for rural areas. Transport innovation has the potential to revolutionise travel within our towns, villages and more remote areas; making it easier for people to access jobs, education or healthcare. It could also provide a boost to rural communities, where people without cars often miss out on opportunities. We are determined to seize these benefits as we begin to explore how future transport solutions and interventions can tackle rural mobility issues, improve connectivity and accessibility, increase low carbon travel options and deliver more integrated transport services.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to support the realisation of the Crewe Hub vision.

Crewe is a vital railway asset and a strategically important location on the rail network, but as the existing infrastructure is complex, the solution has to be right for the arrival of HS2. In March 2018, the Secretary of State confirmed the Government’s support for the Crewe Hub vision, and announced that plans for HS2 Phase 2a will include 400m platforms at Crewe station to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services. In addition, a more efficient design is proposed for the platform on the Manchester independent lines and a change to the design of the southern connection to the HS2 lines.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to include the connection to the high speed line north of Crewe in plans for HS2 Phase 2b.

Crewe is already a hub on the existing rail network and following a consultation in 2016, the Government confirmed its vision for a ‘Crewe Hub’, with up to 5 to 7 HS2 trains stopping per hour.​ Fully realising the Crewe Hub vision will require a junction north of Crewe back to the HS2 Phase 2b mainline and the design is being developed as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail Strategic Outline Business Case.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Crewe station will be ready for the arrival of Phase 2a of HS2.

Crewe is a vital railway asset and a strategically important location on the rail network, but as the existing infrastructure is complex, the solution has to be right for the arrival of HS2. In March 2018, the Secretary of State confirmed the Government’s support for the Crewe Hub vision, and announced that plans for HS2 Phase 2a will include 400m platforms at Crewe station to allow for the splitting and joining of HS2 services. In addition, a more efficient design is proposed for the platform on the Manchester independent lines and a change to the design of the southern connection to the HS2 lines.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of responses (a) HS2 Ltd received to its consultation on HS2 Phase 2a and (b) received for other HS2 public consultations.

There were 499 responses received to the consultation on Phase 2a that closed on 26 February, 2021. For three recent consultations on HS2, there were 326 (Phase 2b Western Leg Design Refinement Consultation 2 2020), 1,307 (Phase 2b Design Refinement Consultation 2019) and 27 responses (Phase 2a Additional Provision 2 Environmental Statement and Supplementary Environmental Statement 2019). This information is made available online once the consultation responses are published.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made in establishing the Restart, Recovery and Engagement unit; and what plans he has for the (a) work objectives of that unit and (b) engagement of that unit with the aviation industry.

In response to Covid-19, the Department for Transport established its Aviation Restart, Recovery, and Engagement Unit at the beginning of the pandemic. The objectives of the unit are to support the restart of the sector, enable its safe recovery post Covid-19, and the Unit has engaged with industry throughout this process.

As part of the Aviation Restart, Recovery, and Engagement Unit, the Department established the Expert Steering Group to engage and consult with the sector regularly. This Group has supported work done to date including the development of the aviation sector health measures guidance and implementation of the International Travel Corridors. In addition, Ministers and officials continue to meet with Airlines, Airports, Ground Handling companies and industry bodies frequently throughout the crisis.

The Government has now also launched the Global Travel Taskforce, which is considering:

  • How a domestic testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented to boost safe travel to and from the UK and allow UK residents to travel with confidence;
  • What steps we can take to facilitate global business and tourist travel, including through bilateral agreements and multilateral forums by exploring with key international partners issues such as global common standards, testing models, “bubbles”, measures around enforcement, exemptions and other border management measures;
  • What steps we can take to increase consumer confidence, ensure existing measures are being properly adhered to and restart international travel safely.

The Global Travel Taskforce is also engaging with the sector on these points.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for construction work on High Speed Two Phase 2a (West Midlands - Crewe) to commence.

The Phase 2a Bill is currently in the House of Lords with petition hearings restarting before the Lords Select Committee next week. Parliamentary time allowing, we hope it will receive Royal Assent before the end of the year. Royal Assent of the Bill will allow construction of Phase 2a to begin. We expect the construction of Phase 2a to align with the timing of Phase One.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of High Speed Two construction sites are in operation as at 13 July 2020.

229 sites out of a possible 244 sites are open, meaning that 94% of sites that could be open are open. All Construction sites for Main Works Civils on the Phase One route are open. A small number of enabling works construction sites remain closed/paused, primarily due to work requiring access to residents’ homes.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 on the timeframe for the construction of High Speed Two.

High Speed Two Ltd continue to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 on construction. 94% of sites are open on Phase One and work is continuing in line with Public Health England Guidelines. As part of our twice-yearly reports to Parliament on the status of the project, we will consider the impacts of COVID-19 once the pandemic’s wider effect on the economy becomes clearer.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure carers have access to breaks from their caring responsibilities.

The Care Act 2014 introduced rights for carers, which means they now have legal rights to an assessment of, and support for, their needs where eligible.

We are working with local authorities, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure, the safe resumption of day services and other forms of respite care. We have also provided funding through the £1.4 billion Infection Control Fund which has been used to support the reopening of day and respite services and worked with Social Care Institute of Excellence to publish guidance on safe re-opening.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the recommendation of the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s report of 28 May 2021 entitled New Deal for Surgery, if the Government will maintain its £1 billion annual financial support for the Elective Recovery Fund in England for at least a further five years.

The next Spending Review will set out the Government’s plans for health and social care spending in future years.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the 14-day right to return and refund contained within the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 applies to privately-purchased covid-19 tests.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 does not disapply any existing consumer protection rights.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve women’s health outcomes.

The Government has announced the first women’s health strategy for England to improve the health and wellbeing of women. To ensure the strategy reflects what women identify as priorities, the Government launched a call for evidence on 8 March until 13 June. The evidence gathered through the call for evidence will inform the priorities, content and actions for the strategy. We will respond to the call for evidence after the summer and we aim to publish the strategy later this year.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reform mental health treatment.

We are committed to our ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan to expand and transform mental health services in England. We are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year in mental health services by 2023-24, so that two million more people will be able to access mental health support. We are introducing new models of care which will give 370,000 adults with serious mental illness greater choice and control over their care and treatment, supporting them to live well in their communities.

We have published the Mental Health Recovery Action Plan, with a one-off targeted investment of £500 million, part of which will be used to accelerate key commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan. The Government published its white paper on Reforming the Mental Health Act on 13 January, to give people greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve. Legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that more people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can access dietetic support.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) quality standard on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) sets out that those with IBD, and their family members and carers if appropriate, should have access to multi-disciplinary teams, including dietitians. Clinicians are advised to take NICE quality standards into account when planning patient care. The quality standard is available at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs81

The number of allied health professionals working in a dietetics care setting in National Health Service trusts and clinical commissioning groups has increased by 5.3% between February 2020 and February 2021.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on procuring saliva tests to detect covid-19.

We are working with a number of United Kingdom suppliers to increase production capability for lateral flow devices (LFDs). We expect to increase the proportion of UK-produced self-test LFDs by the summer, while saliva tests remain at a trial stage.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on increasing the proportion of lateral flow covid-19 tests being used that are UK-made.

We are working with a number of United Kingdom suppliers to increase production capability for lateral flow devices (LFDs). We expect to increase the proportion of UK-produced self-test LFDs by the summer, while saliva tests remain at a trial stage.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) help tackle obesity and (b) encourage people to live healthier lives.

We published ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ in July 2020. The strategy demonstrates an overarching campaign to reduce obesity, takes forward actions from previous chapters of the childhood obesity plan and sets out measures to get the nation fit and healthy, protect against COVID-19 and protect the National Health Service.

In July 2020, Public Health England launched the Better Health Campaign which promotes evidence-based tools and advice to help people look after their mental and physical health. The campaign shows adults the simple steps they can take to eat more healthily, increase their physical activity, care for their mental wellbeing and quit smoking. Change4Life and Start4Life programmes support families to eat well and move more with resources to motivate and encourage behaviour change including simple healthy eating messages, recipes and more.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on increasing the proportion of lateral flow tests being used that are UK-made.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on procuring saliva tests to detect covid-19.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle eating disorders; and what plans his Department has to implement service improvements.

We remain committed to providing treatment based on an evidence-based model and to delivering the waiting time standard of 95% of children with an eating disorder to receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and within four weeks for routine cases. Since 2016, extra funding is being provided for children and young people's community eating disorder services every year, to continue to enhance the development of more than 70 new or improved community eating disorder teams covering the whole of the country


In addition, under the NHS Long Term Plan, by 2023/24, we will invest almost £1 billion extra per year in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness, such as eating disorders. A four-week waiting standard for adult community mental health services, including eating disorder services, is being piloted and considered as part of the clinically led review of National Health Service access standards. Further information on the definition of a potential standard will be shared in 2021/22


We have also announced that in 2021/22 the NHS will receive around an additional £500 million, which will support people with a variety of mental health conditions, including eating disorders. As part of this £79 million of this extra funding will be used to significantly expand children’s mental health services, including allowing 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and £58 million will be invested to bring forward the expansion of integrated primary and secondary care for adults with severe mental illness, including eating disorders.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to increase the affordability of incontinence items.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for the commissioning of continence services.

Individuals who have bladder or bowel continence problems should seek help from their general practitioner and a referral to specialist bladder and bowel continence services for assessment and treatment. These specialist services aim to help patients regain continence, improve quality of life and to reduce reliance on products. Incontinence appliances such as catheters and stoma items are provided by prescription, although absorbent incontinence products are not. For those people who require incontinence products, eligibility and numbers of products which are provided free of charge are decisions for individual trusts.

Individuals who apply for Personal Independent Payments (PIPs) or Attendance Allowance should list bladder and bowel continence problems as this will be taken into consideration when allocating payments to help with the cost of products.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether latex-free flu vaccines are available; how many have been distributed to (a) GP surgeries and (b) pharmacies in winter 2020; and whether latex-free covid-19 vaccines will be available.

Information contained in the patient information leaflets for flu vaccines suggests none of the vaccines for the 2020/21 flu vaccination programme include latex as an ingredient in the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, which began to be deployed on 8 December has no latex within the vaccine product. Its packaging is also free of latex. The vaccine comes in a clear vial (type I glass) with a synthetic rubber (bromobutyl) stopper and a flip-off plastic cap with aluminium seal. Information about the product specifications of future vaccines, should others be deployed, will be available on the Medicines Healthcare products and Regulatory Authority website.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 110283, whether egg-free influenza vaccines are being made available to GP practices.

General practitioners (GPs) are responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults, with deliveries phased through the season. The Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine, including stocks of egg-free cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine, to ensure more flu vaccines are available this winter. GPs who have exhausted their own supply are now able to order more flu vaccines from this central stock and is already being delivered across the country.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to categorise unpaid carers as a priority group when the covid-19 vaccine is rolled out.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise Government on which vaccine(s) the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The committee, in their interim advice, have advised that the vaccine first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors in the initial phase. The prioritisation could change substantially if the first available vaccines were not considered suitable for, or effective in, older adults.

The JCVI and the JCVI sub-committee are currently reviewing evidence on clinical risk factors associated with serious disease and mortality from COVID-19. Following a review of the evidence, the Committee will develop advice on risk groups for any future COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS patients do not experience significant delays in getting treatment during the covid-19 lockdown.

Throughout the pandemic, patients have been encouraged to come forward for the treatment that they require. National Health Service providers are working hard to continue the recovery of services alongside preparations for winter and dealing with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by making full use of available capacity both in the NHS and in contracted independent hospitals.

To support the NHS, the Prime Minister announced £3 billion of extra funding, ensuring the retention of Nightingale hospital surge capacity and continued access to independent hospitals capacity to help meet patient demand. Should a patient’s planned care be disrupted by COVID-19, trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have been asked to ensure that they provide clear communication to patients about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who require an egg-free flu vaccine are able to access one.

It is the responsibility of general practitioners and community pharmacists to order the seasonal flu vaccine for the adult programme directly from suppliers.

Public Health England have provided guidance for healthcare practitioners: Inactivated influenza vaccine 2020 to 2021, which is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/inactivated-influenza-vaccine-information-for-healthcare-practitioners

This provides advice on when the egg-free cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine should be offered.

If an individual has concerns about egg allergies, they should speak to a health professional.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) improve rates of early diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1 and (b) raise public awareness of that condition.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a national specialised service to address the healthcare needs of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients with rare complications that cause major health problems, called complex-NF1. There are two centres responsible for the diagnosis and long-term care of patients with complex NF1, which are based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

These centres also provide education with the National Health Service to raise and maintain awareness of NF1 and are expected to form a relationship with local health and social care providers to help optimise any care for complex NF1 patients provided locally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on abolishing hospital car parking charges for disabled people.

The Government is committed to ending unfair hospital car parking charges by making parking free for those in greatest need, including disabled people, with rollout having commenced in some trusts from April and in others on a rolling basis throughout the course of this year, subject to the constraints imposed by the pandemic.

These new requirements are being mandated through the NHS Standard Contract, to make car parking more consistent across England. The 2020/21 contract asked the National Health Service in England to do all it can to implement them from April 2020 and requires it to do so from January 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the human rights of people in Bahrain.

Bahrain is a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office human rights priority country. The UK provides technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain, helping to underpin human rights and other reforms in the Kingdom. Any training provided by or on behalf of the UK government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations and is kept under regular review. We regularly raise human rights issues and individual cases with senior members of the Government of Bahrain, and continue to raise specific cases with senior interlocutors, as well as with the independent human rights oversight bodies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to enhance UK soft power overseas.

The Integrated Review highlighted the UK's status as a soft power superpower and the importance of soft power in building positive perceptions of the UK, creating strong people-to-people links and familiarity with our values.

The FCDO is continuing to fund projects and programmes that support UK soft power, including the British Council, BBC World Service and our Chevening, Marshall and Commonwealth scholarships.

Our international leadership and determination to work as a force for good in the world is an important part of our soft power, as we are seeing through our hosting of the G7 and COP26, and our support for a globally accessible Covid-19 vaccine.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Myanmar.

The UK is clear in its condemnation of the coup and the appalling violence by the military, which has left over 900 people dead. We are deeply concerned at the worsening political, Covid and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. The military continues to imprison opposition figures, journalists and foreign nationals and they have maintained their brutal crackdown on dissent. The UK is calling for a peaceful and inclusive resolution to the crisis. We continue to call publicly for a return to democracy and the release of all those in arbitrary detention, including democratically elected politicians, journalists, civil society and foreign nationals. We are using all levers available to us to achieve this end, this includes sanctions and working to prevent the flow of arms to Myanmar.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in the Crimea.

Seven years on from Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, we continue to make clear to Moscow that Crimea is, and will remain part of Ukraine. Russia must withdraw forces and end illegitimate control.

Under UK leadership, G7 Foreign Ministers issued statements on 18 March, to mark the seventh anniversary of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, and on 12 April, calling for de-escalation following Russia's build-up of military forces in Crimea and near the Ukrainian border. The Foreign Secretary has raised these matters directly with his counterparts, including on 17 June with Russian FM Lavrov.

We remain deeply concerned about ongoing human rights abuses experienced by minorities in Crimea, including Crimean Tatars. We have contributed nearly £700,000 this financial year to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, which monitors and documents human rights abuses in Crimea. We will continue to call for international monitoring missions to have access to Crimea, currently denied by Russia.

We welcome and support Ukraine's proposal to establish an International Crimean Platform. We are exploring what role we can play.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of Hong Kong's National Security Law on the freedoms and rights of people in that country.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the situation in Hong Kong and the erosion of rights and freedoms and the high degree of autonomy enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It is crystal clear that the powers under the National Security Law are being used as a tool to curtail freedoms and punish dissent, rather than keep public order.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure tackling poverty and inequality is a focus of his Department.

Poverty reduction is the central purpose of the UK's development assistance, which is set out in law through the International Development Act 2002. The UK is committed to the global fight against poverty and to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Integrated Review renews our commitment to the UK as a force for good in the world. We outline that we will maintain a liberal approach to economic development, creating greater opportunities for all.

To achieve the FCDO's goal of reaching the poorest our development assistance is prioritising getting more girls into school, providing urgent humanitarian support to those who need it most, supporting sustainable and inclusive social protection and tackling global threats like climate change, COVID recovery and other international health priorities. In alignment with the UK Equality Act (2010) and the Gender Equality Act (2014), the FCDO will continue to champion equality to create a fairer, safer and more prosperous world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that girls receive 12 years of quality education throughout the world.

Standing up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is a priority for the UK Government. Between 2015 and 2020, the UK supported over 15 million children in gaining a decent education, of which 8 million were girls. 2021 is a year of UK leadership on the world stage. We have used our Presidency of the G7 to press for coordinated action on girls' education. In May, we secured G7 support for two, new ambitious global targets of getting 40 million more girls in school, and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 by 2026. We also agreed a declaration that prioritised girls' education in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlined the collective action that the G7 will take in helping achieve these global targets.

On 28-29 July, along with Kenya, the UK will host the Global Education Summit to raise vital funds for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). At the G7 Leaders' Summit, the Prime Minister secured a landmark commitment from the G7 to provide at least $2.7 billion to the Global Partnership for Education. This includes £430 million from the UK, which is an uplift of 15% from our current position as top bilateral donor, and our largest ever pledge to the GPE.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to promote international co-operation on tackling climate change.

We are taking four key goals to governments across the world in order to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. For our mitigation goal, countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets. For our adaptation goal, we are helping countries to adapt to protect communities and natural habitats. To increase climate finance, we are urging developed countries to deliver on their promise to raise at least $100 billion in climate finance per year, and we have committed to doubling our International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion over the next 5 years. Collaboration is our fourth goal, for which reaching agreement in the negotiations is our formal responsibility as the Presidency of COP26. Doing so will help deliver on our other three goals and demonstrate that the world is moving to a resilient, net zero economy.

In April, the UK hosted the first Ministerial meeting of the Forest, Agricultural Commodity and Trade Dialogue, under which 24 countries endorsed a joint statement of principles to work together to secure sustainable agricultural commodity production and protection of forests. The UK is also working to accelerate a transition to more sustainable land use practices through the COP26 Sustainable Agriculture Campaign, supporting action to align agricultural policies and support with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement targets.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support political opposition in Belarus.

The Government has increased financial support to civil society organisations and independent media to support the environment for inclusive political dialogue in Belarus.

The UK's support for opposition groups in Belarus is focused on supporting the democratic rights of the people of Belarus, including through an inclusive national dialogue to end the current crisis. The Foreign Secretary discussed the political situation in Belarus with the opposition leader in exile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, on 2 June. Mrs Tikhanovskaya has praised the UK's actions on Belarus to date and discussed what further measures the UK might take. The Foreign Secretary looked forward to meeting Mrs Tikhanovskaya in the UK as soon as it was possible for her to visit.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of China's National Security Law on the people of Hong Kong.

We have seen three clear breaches of the Joint Declaration in the last year, and therefore now consider China to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration. As the Foreign Secretary wrote in the foreword of the most recent Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong covering the period of July - December 2020, the National Security Law has been used to drastically curtail the space for the expression of alternative political views and deter freedom of expression and legitimate political debate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Ethiopia.

We remain concerned by the political situation in Ethiopia due to the impact of the continued fighting in the Tigray region and ethnic and political tensions and violence elsewhere in Ethiopia. I have a long-standing concern about the deterioration of political freedoms in Ethiopia, and I raised the delay to elections with President Sahle-Work during the 17 May Sudan Conference in Paris. On 14 April, the British Ambassador met, alongside Ambassadors and representatives from other Embassies in Addis Ababa, the Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General and pressed concerns about the narrow political and civic space and arrests of candidates. This builds on discussions the Foreign Secretary had with Prime Minister Abiy during his visit to Ethiopia on 22 January this year, which also included the situation in Tigray.

I joined a meeting of development ministers from key donor nations, including USAid Administrator Samantha Power, on 9 June to further discuss the situation in Tigray. We agreed that the humanitarian situation is of grave concern, and that enhanced support is needed. The UK will allocate a further £16.7 million to respond to the crisis, bringing our total spend on Tigray to £47.7 million since November 2020. Whilst we scale-up our response, it is clear that the humanitarian crisis will not end whilst the conflict continues. We must see an end to fighting and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support the financial services sector following the end of the transition period.

The Chancellor set out the Government’s strategy on financial services to the House in November, a vision of a sector that is more open; more technologically advanced; and a world-leader in the use of green finance, serving the communities and citizens of this country.

Since then we have passed a Financial Services Act to begin the necessary reforms to our framework, and agreed text with the EU for a regulatory cooperation forum paving the way for a more stable relationship.

In addition, we have set out our response to Ron Kalifa’s review of UK Fintech to ensure we continue to build on our existing strengths as a world leader in financial technology. We’ve also set out how we will take forward each of the recommendations in Lord Hill’s recent Listings Review that were addressed to the Treasury, and shared our plans to consult on reforms to the wider capital markets regime this summer, with the aim of supporting competitiveness, whilst ensuring the UK maintains high regulatory standards.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to encourage employers to take on more apprentices.

We are encouraging employers of all sizes to hire new apprentices through our employer hiring incentives. Employers who hire a new apprentice of any age until 30th September will receive £3,000 per apprentice. These payments build on the scheme originally launched as part of the Plan for Jobs: between 1st August 2020 and 4th May 2021, nearly 53,000 payments have been claimed by employers.

We are also continuing to improve the apprenticeships system for employers by: introducing more flexible training options, such as the front-loading of training and accelerated apprenticeships; making the transfer of unspent Levy funds to SMEs easier through the introduction of a new pledge function and employer matching service in August 2021; and supporting apprenticeships in industries with flexible working patterns, including through the launch of a £7m fund in July 2021 to help qualifying employers set up and expand the flexi-job apprenticeship scheme. These improvements will help put employers more firmly in the driving seat, enabling them to utilise apprenticeships in ways that suit their business needs and encouraging them to take on more apprentices.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with his G7 counterparts on prioritising environmental issues in the global economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

The Chancellor met his G7 Finance Minister counterparts for the first in-person Finance Track meeting in two years on 4-5 June 2021. Climate and environmental issues have been at the heart of the Chancellor’s discussions with his G7 counterparts, paving the way to a truly green global economic recovery.

As a result result, G7 Finance Ministers have commited to a multi-year effort to meet our net zero commitments and environmental objectives in a way that is positive for jobs, growth, competitiveness and fairness; and to properly embed climate change and biodiversity loss considerations into economic and financial decision-making.

As part of this joint effort, the Chancellor secured G7 commitment to move towards mandatory climate disclosures just six months after the UK was the first country to commit to do so. This will help to ensure the global financial system plays its part in the transition to net zero.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress he has made with his G7 counterparts on establishing a global minimum corporation tax rate.

OECD proposals to update the international tax framework have been under negotiation for a number of years and the UK has an established record of being at the forefront of these talks.

The package being developed by the OECD includes two pillars; a change in the allocation of taxing rights over business profit, and a global minimum tax. That is something the UK strongly supports; the UK’s consistent position has been that it matters where tax is paid as well as the rate at which it is paid.

On 5 June the G7 finance ministers, meeting in London as part of the UK’s G7 Presidency, confirmed their commitment to a solution containing both pillars. The Government is delighted the G7 has come together to back the proposals developed by the OECD to reform the international tax framework.

Reaching final agreement on a two-pillar solution with the G20 and 139 members of the OECD Inclusive Framework would be a major multilateral achievement that introduces stability into the international tax landscape.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure multinational companies pay tax in the countries they operate in.

OECD proposals to update the international tax framework have been under negotiation for a number of years and the UK has an established record of being at the forefront of these talks.

The package being developed by the OECD includes two pillars; a change in the allocation of taxing rights over business profit, and a global minimum tax. That is something the UK strongly supports; the UK’s consistent position has been that it matters where tax is paid as well as the rate at which it is paid.

On 5 June the G7 finance ministers, meeting in London as part of the UK’s G7 Presidency, confirmed their commitment to a solution containing both pillars. The Government is delighted the G7 has come together to back the proposals developed by the OECD to reform the international tax framework.

Reaching final agreement on a two-pillar solution with the G20 and 139 members of the OECD Inclusive Framework would be a major multilateral achievement that introduces stability into the international tax landscape.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to encourage home ownership.

The Government is committed to helping people own their own home and has introduced a range of measures to help first time buyers, including those announced at Budget 2021.

The mortgage guarantee scheme announced at Budget 2021 and launched on 19 April 2021 is increasing the availability of mortgages for credit-worthy households who only have a 5 percent deposit, helping them realise their dream of homeownership. The scheme follows on from the successful 2013 Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, and as of 8 June there are 192 mortgage products available for buyers with a 5% deposit, compared to only 5 in February 2021.

At Budget 2015, the Government announced the Help to Buy: ISA to support people saving up for their first home. Savers who opened an account before December 2019 are eligible to claim for a government bonus of up to £3000 towards the purchase of their first home. Since it launched in 2015, 508,492 bonuses have been paid through the scheme supporting 386,728 property completions across the UK.

Similarly, the Lifetime ISA (LISA) allows those under 40 to save either towards buying a home or for the long term. Like the Help to Buy: ISA, the Government provides a 25% bonus month on month, meaning that people who save the maximum will receive a £1,000 bonus each year. First-time buyers saving into a LISA can use their tax-free savings, including the government bonus, to buy a home up to the value of £450,000 anywhere in the UK, at any point after the account has been open for 12 months.

The nil rate band for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has been temporarily increased to £500,000 and will reduce to £250,000 from 1 July 2021. However, from 1 July 2021, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 in value will get an additional relief, meaning they will pay no Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 and then only pay Stamp Duty at a rate of 5% on the remaining amount.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to incentivise businesses to invest in new equipment or infrastructure.

Stimulating business investment will be key for our economic recovery.

Under the super-deduction we announced at Budget 2021, for every pound a company invests in qualifying plant and machinery, their taxes are cut by up to 25p.

We have also just launched the new UK Infrastructure Bank, which will partner with the private sector and local government, supporting more than £40bn of infrastructure investment overall.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the business rates holiday granted for nurseries beyond March 2021.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties, and nurseries, due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth over £10 billion. In the 2020 Spending Review, the Government committed further support to businesses by freezing the business rates multiplier for 2021-22.

The Government recognises the important contribution that nurseries and childminders are making to the national response to COVID-19. In the Spending Review we announced that we’re providing £44 million next year to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers. This is on top of the additional £66m increase confirmed in Spending Round 2019.

In order to ensure that any decisions best meet the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19, the government will outline plans for 2021-22 reliefs in early 2021.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle fraud and economic crime.

The recently published Economic Crime Plan Statement of Progress sets out a Forward Delivery Plan with commitments on tackling fraud and economic crime for 2021-22. This includes the development of a Fraud Action Plan, the relaunching of the Joint Fraud Taskforce and the piloting of dedicated fraud investigation teams.

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

We have also been working closely alongside the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) who launched their Suspicious Email Reporting Service last year. This has already led to extremely positive results. It has already seen high levels of success and, as of the end of February, the total number of reports received stand at more than 5,000,000 with the removal of more than 36,000 scams and 71,000 URLs.

We are encouraging the public to forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and to forward suspicious text messages to 7726 (which is free of charge). Any reports of fraud, including coronavirus related, should be made to Action Fraud. This information is being used by law enforcement partners, alongside crime reports to identify, disrupt and stop fraudsters.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking with the Secretary of State for Justice to support victims of domestic abuse.

This government is committed to tackling domestic abuse, which is why we recently passed the landmark Domestic Abuse Act, to support and protect all victims of domestic abuse. Alongside this, this year we will publish a domestic abuse strategy that will go beyond the implementation of the Act to help transform our response to domestic abuse; to prevent offending, protect victims and ensure they have the support they need.

We know that victims of domestic abuse may feel particularly vulnerable at this time, which is why last year the Government launched our #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost support available. The campaign has reached over 30 million UK adults and has been seen by over 130 million followers on social media.

In January, we also launched the ‘Ask for ANI’ Codeword scheme to enable domestic abuse victims to seek victim focussed support, including engagement with specialist victim support services and the police as necessary. Over 5,000 pharmacies across the nation are now participating in the scheme, and the scheme has been used by over 60 victims and survivors.

We have provided unprecedented new funding to victim support services to ensure that they have the capacity to provide support to victims and adapt their operational capacity in light of the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic. To that end we have awarded £27 million in additional funds to support domestic abuse services last financial year alone, comprising £25 million from the government’s £76 million in emergency funding for the most vulnerable in society, and an extra £2 million from the Home Office in April 2021 to bolster the capacity of domestic abuse organisations affected by the pandemic.

In November 2020 the Ministry of Justice announced a further £11 million towards a range of services offering practical and emotional help – allowing domestic abuse and specialist rape organisations to recruit more staff, adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic and keep helplines open for longer.

In 2021-22, the Ministry of Justice will provide just under £151m for victim and witness support services. This includes an extra £51m to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims, building on the emergency funding from this financial year to help domestic abuse and sexual violence services meet Covid-driven demand. Of this funding, £27 million will go to creating more than 700 new posts for Independent Sexual Violence and Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers helping us to meet demand for support from victims.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle violence against women and girls.

This government is committed to tackling domestic abuse, which is why we recently passed the landmark Domestic Abuse Act, to support and protect all victims of domestic abuse. Alongside this, this year we will publish a domestic abuse strategy that will go beyond the implementation of the Act to help transform our response to domestic abuse; to prevent offending, protect victims and ensure they have the support they need.

We know that victims of domestic abuse may feel particularly vulnerable at this time, which is why last year the Government launched our #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost support available. The campaign has reached over 30 million UK adults and has been seen by over 130 million followers on social media.

In January, we also launched the ‘Ask for ANI’ Codeword scheme to enable domestic abuse victims to seek victim focussed support, including engagement with specialist victim support services and the police as necessary. Over 5,000 pharmacies across the nation are now participating in the scheme, and the scheme has been used by over 60 victims and survivors.

We have provided unprecedented new funding to victim support services to ensure that they have the capacity to provide support to victims and adapt their operational capacity in light of the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic. To that end we have awarded £27 million in additional funds to support domestic abuse services last financial year alone, comprising £25 million from the government’s £76 million in emergency funding for the most vulnerable in society, and an extra £2 million from the Home Office in April 2021 to bolster the capacity of domestic abuse organisations affected by the pandemic.

In November 2020 the Ministry of Justice announced a further £11 million towards a range of services offering practical and emotional help – allowing domestic abuse and specialist rape organisations to recruit more staff, adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic and keep helplines open for longer.

In 2021-22, the Ministry of Justice will provide just under £151m for victim and witness support services. This includes an extra £51m to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims, building on the emergency funding from this financial year to help domestic abuse and sexual violence services meet Covid-driven demand. Of this funding, £27 million will go to creating more than 700 new posts for Independent Sexual Violence and Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers helping us to meet demand for support from victims.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to remove foreign national offenders from the UK.

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

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

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

Our New Plan for Immigration will make it easier to deport foreign criminals with no right to be in the UK and keep our citizens safe.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) returned from the UK in each quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly release’. The latest data, published on 27th May 2021, can be found in tables Ret_02 and Ret_02q of the returns summary tables. The latest data relate to the calendar year 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle knife crime.

The Government is determined to crack down on the scourge of violence devastating our communities, and tackling violent crime, including knife crime, is a priority.

Violent crime can have devastating and long-lasting impacts on victims, families and communities. This is why the Home Office has invested over £136.5 million over three years (19/20 – 21/22) to support the police to take targeted action in the 18 areas in England and Wales most affected by serious violence; £105.5m, over three years, in Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) to tackle the root causes of violence; £200m over ten years in the Youth Endowment Fund for early intervention and prevention; and this year we announced an additional investment of up to £23 million for new early intervention programmes that will help stop young people from being drawn into violence.

Across England and Wales, we are recruiting 20,000 additional police officers and increasing the amount of funding available to the policing system for 2021/22 by up to £636 million, totalling £15.8 billion. 8,771 additional police officers have been recruited as part of the Police Uplift Programme at 31 March this year, all working to keep our communities safe.

We also continue to strengthen the law on knife crime and serious violence. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 introduced Knife Crime Prevention Orders (KCPO). These preventative orders enable the courts to place positive intervention requirements as well as other measures including prohibition to carry a knife on individuals to help the police steer those most at risk away from serious violence and to set them on a more positive path.

In March the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced. The bill includes a duty on public sector bodies to take a joined-up approach to addressing serious violence; the requirement for local agencies to review the circumstances when an adult homicide takes place involving an offensive weapon; and Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which give the police the power to stop and search known knife and offensive weapons carriers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of regularly testing members of the Armed Forces for covid-19 to support them returning to their families between deployments.

We take the wellbeing of our personnel and their families extremely seriously, and have put in place enhanced COVID-19 secure measures in our establishments to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. In addition, we are looking at what further testing could be implemented following the UK Government's recent announcement to roll out asymptomatic testing for key workers and those unable to work from home.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of social outcomes contracts in supporting people who are homeless.

MHCLG has supported and delivered three social outcome contracts for people who are homeless and assessed the effectiveness of these.

The first was the London Homelessness Social Impact Bond (SIB) (2012-15) which encouraged innovative approaches to support entrenched to 830 rough sleepers in London. The impact evaluation of the programme compared results for the intervention group with those of a well-matched comparison group. One of the key findings was that the programme had significantly reduced rough sleeping over a two-year period. After two years, the mean number of rough sleeping contacts was 9.2 for the intervention group, compared to 13.9 for the comparison group. It is estimated that this resulted in around 3,900 rough sleeping episodes being avoided over two years as a result of the intervention. The evaluation also found that the individuals supported by the intervention were significantly more likely than the comparison group to completely desist from sleeping rough, enter long-term accommodation and, among non-UK nationals, have a confirmed reconnection.

The second was the 3-year Fair Chance Fund (Jan 2015 - Dec 2017) SIB which supported 1,910 homeless young people (18-24 years old) to improve accommodation, education, and employment outcomes.

From October 2017 to March 2021, the department also funded a £11.2 million rough sleeping SIB, targeting the most entrenched rough sleepers with multiple complex needs. Our data shows that around 1,700 deeply entrenched rough sleepers have been supported through this programme. MHCLG has worked with local authorities to produce reports to illustrate learning and key lessons.

MHCLG have assessed the learning from these programmes which has developed our understanding of interventions and support services that work for the most vulnerable people who sleep rough. This will continue to be considered in future delivery programmes, and any SIB programmes which the department undertakes.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made in establishing freeports in England.

The Government is actively working with the eight successful Freeport locations announced at Budget to support delivery of the policy. Subject to confirming their governance arrangements and business case approval, the first are planned to open for business in late 2021.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support the re-opening of high-streets as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

In March we announced a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund (WBF) to support a safe and successful reopening of our high streets and seaside resorts, giving people the reassurance that they can shop and socialise in a COVID-secure way as restrictions ease.

The WBF expands on the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) announced in May 2020, doubling local authority funding allocations and significantly increasing the scope of eligible activity to give people safer options to reunite with friends and family.

This funding builds on the comprehensive £385 billion package of support to help businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 including Business Grants and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is in addition to longer-term, structural funding to support our high streets and town centres such as the £3.6 billion Towns Fund and £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to create a fairer private rented sector.

As the recent Queen’s Speech set out, the Government has committed to bringing in a Better Deal for Renters to deliver a fairer and more effective rental market that works for both tenants and landlords


We will bring forward proposals to reform tenancy law to abolish Section 21 evictions and improve security for tenants in the private rented sector, as well as strengthening repossession grounds for landlords when they have valid grounds. Proposals for a new ‘lifetime’ deposit model will also be outlined, to ease the burden on tenants when moving from one tenancy to the next. We are also committed to raising standards in privately rented accommodation, and driving out rogue landlords, including by ensuring all tenants have a right to redress, and ensuring well targeted, effective enforcement that drives out criminal landlords


A White Paper detailing this reform package will be brought forward in the Autumn, informed by engagement with stakeholders across the sector to ensure our reforms deliver change that works for all.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to protect green spaces.

The National Planning Policy Framework acknowledges the importance of green and open space and makes clear that where new development is proposed an appropriate amount of public space should be provided. It is also set out that existing open space should not be built on unless there is evidence to demonstrate that it is no longer required, or it will be replaced by equivalent or better provision at a suitable location.

The Framework also sets out how both local and neighbourhood plans allow communities to identify and protect green areas which they consider to be of particular importance, by formally designating these as Local Green Space.

In addition, the National Model Design Code, which we have recently consulted on, sets out proposals for how nature and green spaces should be woven into the fabric of our villages, towns and cities, providing benefits in terms of health and wellbeing, biodiversity, climate and flood mitigation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reform the sentencing system.

This government is serious about fighting crime, protecting the public and creating a criminal justice system that people have confidence in. Delivering on our manifesto promises, we are committed to introducing tougher sentencing for the worst offenders and to preventing automatic early release for serious crimes. But we must also give offenders a fair start on the road to rehabilitation, and we are introducing tougher, more effective community sentences which address the causes of offending.

On the 9th March the government introduced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSC Bill). This legislation will bring forward the new, smarter approach to sentencing set out in the Sentencing White Paper published in September 2020.

The PCSC Bill includes measures to ensure that serious sexual and violent offenders spend as much of their sentence behind bars as possible in order to reflect the severity of their crimes. It will end automatic halfway release from prison for an additional cohort of serious sexual and violent offenders, and make a Whole Life Order the starting point for the premeditated murder of a child. It will also double the maximum penalty for assaulting an emergency worker.

However, protecting the public is not just about better use of custody. The PCSC Bill will make community sentences more effective by extending the use of electronic monitoring, enabling the piloting of a problem-solving approach for certain community orders, and simplifying the Out of Court disposal framework.

Work is also underway on the non-legislative reforms set out in the Sentencing White Paper, which aim to tackle the underlying cause of criminal behaviour and improve the rehabilitation of offenders in the community.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how the changes proposed in the White Paper, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, published September 2020, will effect those convicted of sexual offenses against children.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the worst offenders are kept behind bars to protect the public, and that the safety of our children is paramount when sentencing sex offenders.

We have already legislated to end automatic halfway release for offenders who have committed a specified sexual offence, including child sexual offences, for which the maximum penalty is life and who receive a sentence of 7 years or more. Such offenders now have to serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison before being released to serve the final part of their sentence on licence and under supervision in the community.

We are going further in the sentencing White Paper, A Smarter Approach to Sentencing, to ensure that serious offenders spend more time in prison, to properly reflect the gravity of their crimes. We are proposing to legislate to extend the requirement to serve two-thirds of the sentence to other sexual offenders who receive sentences of between 4 and 7 years. Also under our proposals, offenders who commit serious sexual assaults against children and receive a Sentence for Offenders of Particular Concern (SOPC), will be required to serve two-thirds of their sentence, instead of the current half, before they can come before the Parole Board for consideration for release.

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