Kim Johnson Portrait

Kim Johnson

Labour - Liverpool, Riverside


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 16th June 2021
09:30
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 16th June 2021
14:30
Women and Equalities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Reform of the Gender Recognition Act
16 Jun 2021, 2:30 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
The Baroness Falkner of Margravine - Chair at Equality and Human Rights Commission
Melanie Field OBE - Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Wales at Equality and Human Rights Commission
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
Jo Churchill MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
15:30
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
14:30
Women and Equalities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Gender Sensitive Parliament
23 Jun 2021, 2:30 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Mike Freer MP - Government Whip at House of Commons
Thangham Debbonaire MP - Shadow Leader at House of Commons
Owen Thompson MP - SNP Chief Whip at Opposition Department
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 10th June 2021
Napier Barracks Asylum Accommodation

A very happy birthday to you today, Mr Speaker.

The Minister’s description of Napier barracks sounds like a propaganda film—yoga, …

Written Answers
Tuesday 15th June 2021
Asylum: Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to compensate people who had …
Early Day Motions
Monday 7th June 2021
Post-WWII forced deportation of Chinese seafarers
That this House notes that this is the 75th anniversary of the forced deportations of thousands of Chinese seafarers after …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
20 December 2019, received £752.92 from Liverpool City Council, Cunard Building, Water Street, Liverpool L3 1AH, for the role of …
EDM signed
Monday 14th June 2021
End the young parent penalty
That this House notes that there are 1.8 million single parents across the UK, with nearly half of all children …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kim Johnson has voted in 254 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Kim Johnson Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(8 debate interactions)
Nigel Evans (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(21 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(20 debate contributions)
Home Office
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kim Johnson's debates

Liverpool, Riverside Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with most Liverpool, Riverside signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

Matthew was taken to, ‘a place of safety’, and died 7 days later.
24 others died by the same means, dating back to the year 2000. An indicator that little was done to address the growing problems.
Something went terribly wrong with the NHS Mental Health Services provided to my son.

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

As students are unable to access facilities or continue with their eduction at their university setting in the following semester, we would like to request that the government considers refunding tuition payments for Semester 3.

The quality of online lectures is not equal to face-to-face lectures. Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life. The Government should require UK universities to partially refund tuition fees while online teaching is implemented.

Students across the UK have returned to University to be told our learning will be predominantly online for the foreseeable future. The Government should therefore lower our tuition fees and we should receive a partial refund for the effects this will have on our learning and university experience.

The University and College Union has repeatedly called on its members to strike. However, strikes are ineffective if students, not employees are the main source of revenue. For this to change, government needs to step in and require universities to reimburse tuition fees lost due to strike action.


Latest EDMs signed by Kim Johnson

10th June 2021
Kim Johnson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 14th June 2021

End the young parent penalty

Tabled by: Wendy Chamberlain (Liberal Democrat - North East Fife)
That this House notes that there are 1.8 million single parents across the UK, with nearly half of all children in single parent families living in poverty; further notes the particular impact of Covid-19 on single parents who are both the carer and income generator for their family; believes that …
28 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 9
Labour: 7
Scottish National Party: 6
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
7th June 2021
Kim Johnson signed this EDM on Monday 14th June 2021

Reform of the Mental Health Act

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House welcomes the announcement in the Queen’s Speech on the 11 May 2021 to introduce a Bill to reform the Mental Health Act in recognition of the vast improvements in understanding and treatment of mental health disorders since the Act’s original formulation in 1983; in particular commends the …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Liberal Democrat: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Conservative: 1
View All Kim Johnson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kim Johnson, 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.


Kim Johnson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Kim Johnson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Kim Johnson has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


85 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
4th May 2020
What plans the Government has to modify social distancing measures.

Thanks to our collective national resolve, the Social Distancing measures we introduced are continuing to save lives. These measures are kept under constant review, with a formal review point every three weeks.

As the Prime Minister said on Thursday 30 April, he will be setting out a comprehensive plan this week. We have set out five tests which we will need to be satisfied with, before that plan can be put into action.

Amanda Milling
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £500 million towards 2,200 new research and innovation initiatives, both in the UK and globally. These initiatives are diverse and include research into new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The University of Liverpool is part of a new national research project to study the effects of emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2. Supported by £2.5 million of funding from UKRI, the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium will study how mutations in the virus affect key outcomes. This includes factors such as how transmissible the virus is, the severity of COVID-19 caused, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments.

The Consortium will bring together leading virologists from 10 research institutions, including the University of Liverpool. The university will work alongside the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) consortium, which plays a world-leading role in virus genome sequencing, as well as Public Health England, to boost the UK's capacity to study newly identified virus variants and rapidly inform the Government’s policy.

The current overall UKRI portfolio of COVID-19-related grants, including awards supported by Innovate UK, involves vaccine projects that provide greater diversity of approaches than for the first generation of vaccines developed. More details can be found on the UKRI website.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to prepare for the UK potentially not associating to Horizon Europe.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

As part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) published on 24 December, the UK has agreed to associate to Horizon Europe which represents a valuable collaboration on science and research to tackle global challenges, and in fields that will benefit the British people. The Government is committed to establishing the UK as a science and research global superpower, and this deal fulfils our manifesto commitment to collaborate internationally in this regard. As a responsible government, we were also prepared for a scenario where we did not agree to participate in Horizon Europe and were ready to implement a suite of domestic alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration if required.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance to (a) supermarkets and (b) other large retailers on maintaining appropriate (i) social distancing and (ii) other safeguards under the local covid-19 Tier restrictions.

Our Safer Working guidance was updated on 26 November to reflect the new tiers.

Our shops and branches guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has a timetable for (a) bringing forward legislative proposals in support of the real living wage and (b) allocating resources to provide pay rises for key workers.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced during his Spending Review increases to the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) to come into force from 1 April 2021. These increases mean that a full-time worker earning the NLW will be over £345 better off over the year, and allow the Government to make progress towards its long-term ambition for the NLW to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024. The Government remains committed to supporting low paid workers, including key workers, and so is continuing with an increase to the NLW this year.

In July, the Government delivered a significant real-terms pay increase to 900,000 public sector workers across 9 workforces. For 2021/22, we will target resources where they will have the most benefit. The NHS Pay Review Body and Doctor and Dentist’s Review Body will make their recommendations as usual next year. We will also protect the lowest paid, with 2.1 million public sector workers earning less than £24,000 receiving a minimum £250 increase.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring teacher supply agencies to sign up to the flexible furlough scheme in order for supply teachers to have access to financial support during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer's discretion as it is dependent on a range of factors that the employer is best placed to determine, for example, the amount of work available for the employee.

Employers can flexibly furlough their employees, including supply staff employed via employment agencies, for the hours the employee would usually have worked in that period, whilst also being able to work outside of the hours they are furloughed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#flexible-furlough-agreements. Employees can work for any amount of time and any work pattern, but they cannot do any work for their employer during hours that employers record them as being on furlough.

The Department published additional guidance for schools on how they can support temporary staff and suppliers during the period of restricted pupil attendance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making free school meals vouchers to be exchangeable at community food unions and food pantries to allow greater quantities and quality of food to be available to families in financial difficulties.

Schools are free to decide the best approach for supporting their free school meal pupils while they are learning at home. They can provide lunch parcels, locally arranged vouchers, or they can use the national voucher scheme which re-opened on Monday 18 January 2021.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of the provision of emergency funding to the early years and nursery sector to cover (a) the maintenance of the funding calculation based on pre-covid 2019-20 place numbers and (b) other additional costs incurred due to covid-19 to ensure the viability of the sector post-outbreak.

We recognise childcare attendance has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, we saw attendance rise over the autumn term from 482,000 on 10 September 2020 to 759,000 on 17 December 2020. On 17 December, the government therefore announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis of attendance. Under these arrangements, local authorities should ensure that providers are not penalised for short-term absences of children, for example sickness, arriving late or leaving early, or a family emergency through withdrawing funding, but use their discretion where absence is recurring or for extended periods taking into account the reason for the absence and the impact on the provider.

While early years settings remain open for all children, we know that attendance was lower in the first week of January 2021 than it was before Christmas. We are looking at the attendance data and will continue to keep the funding position under review.

On 17 December, the government announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis of attendance, as measured by the January 2021 census. The Early Years census count will go ahead this week as expected and the census guidance is unchanged. To support local authorities we have issued some technical advice on how that guidance can be applied this year.

In summary, where a child is reasonably expected to attend Early Years provision, and that provision is made available to them by the provider, their expected hours should be recorded in the Early Years Census. This means that children should be counted who, were it not for the impact of coronavirus on either their own personal circumstances or on the operation of their early years setting, would be attending early years provision. This includes children who have previously attended the provision and children who were expected to start attending the provision in January 2021.

Where the provider is temporarily closed due to circumstances such as staff infections or isolation periods, they should return their expected levels of provision for census week. Where the provider chooses not to offer the entitlements – i.e. to close, or only offer a limited provision to children of key workers - then then they should not make a return for a child who is not being offered a place.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.

The private nursery sector could not claim for specific costs incurred due to increased premises costs needed to keep schools open during school holidays, or over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements as a result of confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases in the same way as primary and secondary schools.

The Covid Workforce Fund aims to support schools and colleges to remain open, even when they face significant workforce pressures caused by COVID-19.

The early years sector has benefitted from the continuation of early years entitlement funding during the during the summer and autumn terms in 2020, and as private nurseries typically rely on private income for a significant proportion of their income, they are able to also access support to furlough their staff via the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS). As long as the staff meet the other criteria for the scheme, private nurseries are able to also access support to furlough their staff via the CJRS if they have experienced a drop in either their income from parents or government. Eligible nurseries can also benefit from a business rates holiday and can access the business loans as set out by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the sustainability of nursery and childminder provision of funding places on current occupancy; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reverting to funding on the basis of pre-pandemic occupancy rates to support that sector.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have provided unprecedented support to the early years sector by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements, making grants and loans available, ensuring early years providers can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for their non-government funded income and ensuring that childminders can access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

While we recognise that childcare attendance has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, we saw attendance rise over the autumn term from 482,000 on 10 September 2020 to 792,000 on 10 December 2020. On 17 December 2020, the government therefore announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis on attendance. Under these arrangements, local authorities should ensure that providers are not penalised for short-term absences of children (for example, sickness, arriving late or leaving early, or a family emergency) through withdrawing funding, but use their discretion where absence is recurring or for extended periods, taking into account the reason for the absence and the impact on the provider.

The national lockdown announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 4 January 2021 means that the number of children attending childcare will drop, although early years settings remain open for all.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The next release is due on Tuesday 19 January 2021. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to provide (a) medical grade PPE, (b) frequent testing and (c) priority vaccination to teaching assistants and SEND support staff who work with vulnerable children who find it difficult to maintain social distancing.

During national lockdown restrictions, special schools and special post-16 settings should continue to welcome and encourage pupils to attend full-time (or as per their usual timetable) where parents and carers wishes for their child to be able to attend (or for post-16s, where the young person wishes to attend). This is because we know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education. The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history.

It is important that staff in these schools continue to be supported. The rapid asymptomatic testing programme will include testing staff, vulnerable pupils and students, and children of key workers, including those within special schools and special post-16 settings. Further announcements on the roll out of testing to staff in primary schools will follow in due course, to help support the reopening of education settings.

As outlined in the department’s published guidance, additional use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 related purposes is only needed in a small number of cases, such as if a pupil or student becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained, or when undertaking aerosol generating procedures. If a pupil or student already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, the same PPE should continue to be used. Public Health England have advised that the current guidance on the system of controls, including the use of PPE and face coverings, should continue to be followed.

The PPE portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 PPE. These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are independent experts advising the government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The DfE will input into this cross-governmental exercise.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of use of reusable menstrual products; and whether his Department has set any waste reduction objectives for menstrual products.

We have not carried out an assessment of the trends in the level of use of reusable menstrual products.

We have recently commissioned work into the environmental impacts of disposable versus reusable absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). The primary focus will be on nappies, but it will also include a broad assessment of other AHPs such as menstrual products. This will help inform future policy interventions on waste prevention. At this time, we have no plans to set specific waste reduction objectives in this area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on a trade agreement with Ghana.

We are working to secure continuity in our trade arrangements with Ghana after the end of the Transition Period, or as soon as possible thereafter, and continue to engage the Government of Ghana to replicate the effects of our existing Agreement. However, if a deal cannot be reached, Ghana will be eligible for the General Framework of the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences from 1st January 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on existing (a) road, (b) rail and (c) ports infrastructure.

There have been no Ministerial discussions at this point in time with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on this subject. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and any potential future infrastructure investment/decisions.

My Department recognizes that appropriate links will be vital to ensure the success of the UK’s newly established Freeports. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and future infrastructure investment/decisions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on infrastructure projects affecting Isle of Man Steam Packet services between Liverpool and the Isle of Man; and if he will make a statement.

There have been no Ministerial discussions at this point in time with representatives of the Isle of Man Government on this subject. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and any potential future infrastructure investment/decisions.

My Department recognizes that appropriate links will be vital to ensure the success of the UK’s newly established Freeports. My Department will consider the implications of the Freeport business cases for our transport networks and future infrastructure investment/decisions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Liverpool City Region Freeport on the employment conditions of seafarers working on Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry services between Liverpool and the Isle of Man.

Employment conditions for seafarers are subject to international and domestic law and the provision of freeports does not change those obligations.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to extend (a) provisional licences and (b) theory test certificates in response to the discontinuation of driving lessons during the covid-19 outbreak.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving a licence is using the online service, which is available as normal. There are no plans to extend provisional driving licences. The law requires drivers who hold a provisional photocard licence to renew it every ten years.

A maximum duration of two years is permitted between passing a theory test and a subsequent practical test. This is provided for in law and is in place for road safety reasons.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that travel companies and airlines comply with legislation and refund passengers whose flights or holiday packages have been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Department has been clear that airlines and travel agents should not deny consumers their legal right to a refund if it is requested, and this should be done in a timely manner. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is routinely reviewing the refund policies and practices of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The CAA has utilised its review to influence airlines to change their processes and practices in order to improve performance in providing refunds. The CAA’s actions have led to an improved quality of service and performance from most airlines. The CAA continues to work with carriers to drive down waiting times, while recognising the challenges businesses are facing.

Furthermore, the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) launched its Covid-19 Taskforce in April to identify, monitor and respond to competition and consumer problems arising from coronavirus and the measures taken to contain it. Where there is evidence that businesses have breached competition or consumer protection law, the CMA will take enforcement action if warranted.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the levels of child poverty in (a) England, and (b) Liverpool, Riverside constituency in the latest period for which figures are available.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Liverpool is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.


The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty in Liverpool, Riverside was 25%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Liverpool, Riverside and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020.

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England, and (b) Liverpool, Riverside constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on whether the provision of first infant formula milk to formula fed babies at (a) baby and (b) food banks across the UK complies with relevant regulatory requirements.

Foodbanks are independent, charitable organisations and the Department for Work and Pensions does not have any role in their operation. Decisions about which donations to accept and make available to food bank users are therefore a matter for food bank providers.


Healthy Start vouchers support pregnant women or households with children under four, who are on a low income, with the cost of milk (including infant formula), fruit and vegetables helping to boost children’s long-term health. We are increasing the weekly value of these vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 in April.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential benefits of bringing the pensions of UK citizens residing in primarily Commonwealth countries into line with UK citizens resident in the (a) EEA or (b) Switzerland.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide to those who meet the qualifying conditions. Entitlement to the UK State Pension is based on a person’s National Insurance record without regard to nationality. The annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients where there is a legal requirement to do so. For example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for up-rating. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what further steps officials in his Department plan to take with officials in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to increase housing-with-care provision for older people.

Housing-with-care has a vital role in enabling older people to live independently, with the necessary care and support available if required. Both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Both Departments are working closely together to improve the diversity of housing options available to older people, including housing-with-care and are engaging with the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to improve housing-based social care provision for older people.

Housing-with-care has a vital role in enabling older people to live independently, with the necessary care and support available if required. Both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Both Departments are working closely together to improve the diversity of housing options available to older people, including housing-with-care and are engaging with the sector and a range of other stakeholders on this issue.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy that people living with ME/CFS can be included in Priority Group 6 for COVID-19 vaccinations in the context of that condition being classified as a neurological disease by NHS England.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has not identified any robust data to indicate that, as a group, persons with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19. Therefore this group is not included as part of the prioritisation for phase one of the programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish an implementation plan in response to Professor Sir Mike Richard's Independent review of adult screening programmes.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England (PHE) are considering the findings of Professor Sir Mike Richards’ report, together with recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office and any outstanding recommendations form the Independent Breast Screening Review, as part of a wider screening improvement programme.

Following the Government’s announcement that PHE will be replaced by the new National Institute for Health Protection, the publication of an implementation plan was paused to ensure that the resulting organisational changes and transfer of functions were reflected in the implementation plan. The Department remains committed to the improvement of screening programmes and will publish in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of women taking up their screening invitation within six months in (a) April 2020, (b) May 2020, (c) June 2020, (d) July 2020, (e) August 2020, (f) September 2020, (g) October 2020, (h) November 2020, (i) December 2020 and (j) January 2021.

The proportion of women taking up their screening invitation from April 2020 to January 2021 is not available in the format requested.

The latest data on national performance for uptake in breast screening is up to 31 March 2020 for Quarter 4.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include people with mild to moderate learning difficulties in the covid-19 vaccination priority list.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation of a COVID-19 vaccine at a population level.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors which includes people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and/or have underlying health conditions.

Adults with severe or profound learning difficulties are considered to be ‘at risk’ and adults with Down’s Syndrome are included as priorities the first phase. Prioritisation decisions for next phase delivery are subject to of the surveillance and monitoring data and information from phase one, as well as further input from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the (a) letter of 22 December 2020 from the Chief Dental Officer to Dental Colleagues and (b) recent increases in covid-19 infection rates, if he will review the viability of the increase to the minimum requirement of activity of 45 per cent of contracted units of dental activity.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a 45% dental activity target. This target is based upon clinical advice and modelling from the office of the Chief Dental Officer and has taken into consideration robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance and social distancing requirements. Furthermore, data on the percentages of activity dental practices have achieved to date supports the view that the target can be safely attainable.

National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate and the reinstatement of shielding during the national lockdown. There are currently no plans to review or change the unit of dental activity targets for January to March 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reinstating paid placements for trainee doctors, nurses and, midwives during the second wave of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is not planning any further paid placements for healthcare students during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are working with Health Education England and healthcare providers to make sure students do placements as planned and critically, gain the knowledge and skills they need to learn for their qualification.

Eligible medical, nursing and midwifery students will continue to receive payments from the Student Loans Company. Eligible nursing and midwifery students can also access the Learning Support Fund from the NHS Business Services Authority, which includes a non-repayable grant of at least £5,000 for travel and dual accommodation expenses and parental support. Eligible medical students in England can access the NHS Business Services Authority’s funding in the final year of their degree.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Alzheimer's Society report entitled Worst hit: dementia during coronavirus, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing at least one informal carer per care home resident to be designated a key worker and given access to (a) training, (b) covid-19 testing and vaccinations and (c) personal protective equipment.

We are providing rapid (lateral flow) testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) to all care homes in time for the Christmas period, to enable residents to receive regular visits from loved ones. Visitors will still be expected to follow infection prevention and control procedures and minimise contact as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission. New guidance setting out these visiting opportunities was published on 1 December on GOV.UK.

We are also sending out free PPE to all Care Quality Commission-registered care homes that are also registered on the PPE portal for use by visitors.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) steps he (i) is taking and (ii) plans to take and (b) financial support he (i) is providing and (ii) plans to provide to unpaid carers caring for relatives who are (A) vulnerable, (B) older, (C) disabled and (D) living with a mental or physical illness during (1) the November 2020 and (2) future covid-19 lockdowns.

During the pandemic the Government’s focus has been on supporting unpaid carers to continue to care. We have:

- produced guidance specifically for carers and young carers,

- provided funding to Carers UK’s support phoneline;

- produced a leaflet to help carers self-identify when someone is discharged from hospital;

- ensured carers can continue to provide essential care and are exempt from rules preventing mixing with other households where they are providing care; worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement on guidance and a letter (template) enabling unpaid carers to identify themselves and their needs, so these can be more easily met;

- introduced two important temporary measures to help unpaid carers financially to be able to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets COVID-19 or if either have to isolate because of it;

- and made clear that providing ‘emotional support’ rather than just more traditional forms of care to a person in need of care and support also counts towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.

We have also continued to iterate the regulations on lockdown to ensure that the care and support needs of people and their carers can be met. The regulations for the lockdown that commenced on 5 November allow for someone to come into the home of the person who needs care to provide that care for the purpose of giving the main carer respite. The person receiving care can also go to someone else’s home to receive respite care. These legislative provisions will enable some carers to arrange and access respite and support during this period.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is the Government's policy to provide an equivalent level of support for people shielding during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown as was provided to those people during the covid-19 lockdown announced in March 2020.

During the national November restrictions, the Government has provided advice to those identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. This includes staying at home as much as possible, including not attending a workplace, shops or pharmacies. Alongside this advice, the Government has launched a support package that will run to 2 December, providing over £30 million of funding to local authorities. This includes access to supermarket delivery slots and free medicines delivery. Those unable to work from home may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay and the Government has also extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until March 2021.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people can also continue to access support from local charities, organisations and NHS Volunteer Responders if needed. As well as helping with shopping and medicines delivery, NHS Volunteer Responders can help with a regular, friendly phone call and transport to and from medical appointments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 May 2021 to Question 517 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, what recent assessment he has made of the potential (a) risks and (b) merits of the UN’s designation of the status of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory; and whether he has plans to review the UK's position that the status of Western Sahara is undetermined.

As the Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, [and as referenced in previous answers] the UK's position remains unchanged.

We note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of food and nutrition insecurity situation in West Africa.

According to Integrated Phase Classification Food Security data, there are over 22.2 million people in West Africa and the Sahel who are experiencing a crisis level of food insecurity or worse. This includes 1.3 million people living at an emergency level of food insecurity, the majority of whom are in North East Nigeria. In November 2020, the UK's Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, visited North East Nigeria where there is a risk of famine in some areas. In April 2021, I visited Nigeria and discussed the situation in the North East with humanitarian agencies and international organisations and partners. The UK Government is providing a substantial package of assistance to the North East, worth £400 million over five years (2017-2022), including food assistance for up to 1.5 million people

This year, the Sahel is facing the greatest number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in a decade. Recent food insecurity projections for the Sahel G5 countries, that is Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, are that between January and May 2021 some 6 million people will be in severe food insecurity. This is likely to increase to 8.7 million between June and August this year. We are spending up to £163 million between 2019-21 to respond to food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs across the Sahel.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to support communities facing acute food insecurity in West Africa.

In September 2020, the Foreign Secretary launched a Call to Action to Prevent Famine. The UK Government has since pledged £180 million to tackle food insecurity and famine risk, providing aid to more than seven million vulnerable people in some of the world's most dangerous places, including in West Africa. As the Integrated Review makes clear, the UK will continue to prioritise humanitarian preparedness and response, especially food security and famine prevention.

The UK Government is providing a substantial package of assistance to North East Nigeria, worth £400 million over five years (2017-2022), including food assistance for up to 1.5 million people. In the Sahel, we are spending up to £163 million between 2019-21 to respond to food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs. This support targets the G5 Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. It includes support to over 640,000 people with food assistance through our support to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to the World Food Programme.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 155452 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the United Nation's designation of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory.

e note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara. As the Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, the UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/israel-and-morocco-uk-responds-to-announcement-of-normalisation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) hold discussions with the Moroccan Ambassador and (b) instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities the arrest of the Saharawi activists (i) Khaled Boufraya, (ii) Salek Baber and (iii) Babuizid Muhammed Saaed Labhi; and determine where they are being held.

We are aware of reports concerning Sultana Khaya, as well as the arrests of Khaled Boufraya, Salek Baber and Babuizid Muhammed Saaed Labhi. We are monitoring these cases. Support for human rights and human rights defenders is a UK priority around the world, and we continue to raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will ask the UN Secretary General (a) how many allegations of human rights abuses have been made to the Moroccan National Human Rights Council in Western Sahara, (b) whether those allegations have been investigated and (c) what the results of those investigations are.

Support for human rights is a priority around the world. We continue to stress the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps and to encourage the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law. UN Security Council Resolution 2548 welcomes the steps and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco's interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Further information about the work of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council is available at www.cndh.org.ma/an/about-cndh/about-us.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 144869, on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, and the Answer of 29 January 2021 to Question 141623, on Western Sahara: Sovereignty, what the status of Morocco is in Western Sahara.

As stated in response to Question 144869, the UN position on the status of Western Sahara is set out on its website at www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara.

The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to Answer of 26 January to Question 139168 on Western Sahara: Politics and Government, is Morocco listed by the UN as the Administering Power of Western Sahara.

The UN's position on the status of Western Sahara is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to Answer of 26 January to Question 139167 on Western Sahara: Trade Agreements, were the Saharawi people in (a) occupied Western Sahara and (b) the refugee camps consulted on the UK-Morocco association agreement being applied to products from the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara.

In line with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2016, and following the 2018 EU consultation with a wide spectrum of Western Saharan representatives, stakeholders, civil society and other organisations, the EU Agreement grants preferences to products originating in Western Sahara and subject to control by the customs authorities of Morocco. The UK-Morocco Association Agreement replicates the effects of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement, both the trade related aspects and the broad scope of the political and cooperation provisions. The UK continues to regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Saharawi people in (a) occupied Western Sahara and (b) refugee camps were asked whether they agreed with the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara being included in the UK-Morocco Association Agreement.

Western Sahara is not within the territorial scope of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement, as is clear from the territorial application article of the Agreement. The UK-Morocco Association Agreement applies in the same way as the EU-Morocco agreements. The UK is clear that the application of parts of the UK-Morocco Association Agreement to certain products originating in Western Sahara, in line with European Court of Justice's ruling on that issue, is without prejudice to our position on the status of Western Sahara, which we regard as undetermined.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will seek clarification from the United Nations on which Government has Administering Power of Western Sahara.

The UK takes note of the UN's definition of Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory. We regard the status of Western Sahara as undetermined and we fully support the UN's efforts to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the healthcare system in Gaza during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza and the impact of COVID-19 on an already fragile healthcare system. Recognising the severity of the situation, we were one of the first donors to provide funding to support the health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza.

In addition, we are providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians to help alleviate the humanitarian situation. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the OPTs which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the detention of Palestinian man, Maher al-Akhras.

Officials from the British Embassy in Tel Aviv raised this case with the Israeli Ministry of Justice on 28 October and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 3 November. We understand the Israeli High court officially ended Mr Al-Akhras' administrative detention on November 26, and he has now been released. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to maintain the aid budget at 0.7 per cent of national income during the covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the severe impact that the pandemic has had on our economy, which has fallen eleven per cent this year, we are taking the tough decision to spend 0.5 per cent of our national income next year on official development assistance, rather than the usual 0.7 per cent.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities reports of increased harassment by the authorities of Saharawi civilian prisoners in Kenitra prison coinciding with the exchange of fire in Guerguerat.

We are closely monitoring the situation in Western Sahara. We continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation, return to the ceasefire agreement, and re-engage with the UN-led political process. Support for human rights is a priority around the world, and we raise human rights issues with the Moroccan Government accordingly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether, if he will extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme registration date beyond 31 October 2020 to cover those workers taken on as covid-19 tier restrictions were relaxed but were subsequently let go without furlough payments from 30 December 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has moved the cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when possible, bringing millions of people into the scope of the scheme who were previously ineligible. For claim periods under the extension from 1 May 2021, as announced at Budget, the Government has extended the eligibility window so that it will run from 20 March 2020 until 2 March 2021. Based on early estimates, this means that about 2.4 million more jobs are eligible for the scheme.

However, for all eligibility decisions under the CJRS, the Government balances the need to support as many people as possible with the need to protect the scheme from fraud. The 30 October 2020 cut-off date is necessary for claims relating to the period from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021, because having a cut-off date on the day before an announcement of an extension to the CJRS allows as many people as possible to be included, while balancing the risk of fraud that exists as soon as the forward plan becomes public.

The CJRS is only one part of the substantial package of support that the Government has introduced for businesses and individuals.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to provide specific financial support for language schools which have not been included in the list of eligible business for covid-19 support to date.

The Government understands the many areas of difficulty for businesses caused by the COVID-19 disruption and has introduced a number of measures to support businesses through this challenging period.

The Government is making sure that people and businesses have access to the support they need as quickly as possible. The Government has supported businesses through the COVID-19 crisis through an unprecedented support package, including grants for smaller businesses, government-backed loans, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs.

An additional £500 million has been made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), announced by the Chancellor on 5 January. This builds on the £1.1 billion already allocated following the second lockdown in November 2020.

This further grant funding is designed to support businesses that are severely impacted by the new Covid-19 restrictions. Local authorities have discretion to use this funding to support businesses in the way they see fit, and to determine which businesses are.

I encourage English Language Schools to make full use of the extensive support available.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on women of not including reusable menstrual underwear in the new zero rate of VAT for sanitary protection products.

A zero rate of VAT has applied to women’s sanitary products since 1 January 2021. This applies to those products which were previously subject to the reduced rate of 5 per cent, for example, tampons and pads, and to reusable menstrual products, such as keepers.

The relief specifically excludes articles of clothing, such as “period pants”. Such exclusions are designed to ensure that the relief is properly targeted, since difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue. Under existing rules “period pants” may already qualify for the zero rate, if they have been specifically designed to be worn by a child, meet the sizing criteria, and are held out for sale specifically for use by girls under the age of 14 years old.

Details are provided in VAT Notice 714: zero-rating young children's clothing and footwear: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear#items-suitable-only-for-young-children.

The new zero rate will ensure that every woman that needs sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will now, for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason the zero-rate of value-added tax for period products is not applied to reusable menstrual underwear that has been specifically designed for period management.

A zero rate of VAT has applied to women’s sanitary products since 1 January 2021. This applies to those products which were previously subject to the reduced rate of 5 per cent, for example, tampons and pads, and to reusable menstrual products, such as keepers.

The relief specifically excludes articles of clothing, such as “period pants”. Such exclusions are designed to ensure that the relief is properly targeted, since difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue. Under existing rules “period pants” may already qualify for the zero rate, if they have been specifically designed to be worn by a child, meet the sizing criteria, and are held out for sale specifically for use by girls under the age of 14 years old.

Details are provided in VAT Notice 714: zero-rating young children's clothing and footwear: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear/vat-notice-714-zero-rating-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear#items-suitable-only-for-young-children.

The new zero rate will ensure that every woman that needs sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will now, for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will include language schools in the eligible retail and leisure categories for business rates relief to allow those schools to access support from future Government grant schemes.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

Eligibility for the current business grant schemes is not tied to eligibility for business rates relief provided to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Businesses that are legally required to close due to Covid restrictions are eligible for cash grants from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) of up to £3,000 per month. In addition, these businesses will benefit from one-off grants of up to £9,000 as announced on 5 January.

Businesses which are not eligible for these grants for closed businesses may be able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). We recently increased the funding available under this scheme to £1.6 billion across England. It is up to each local authority to determine eligibility for this scheme based on their assessment of local economic need; however, we encourage local authorities to support businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but which are ineligible for the other grant schemes.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of reintroducing the (a) £10,000 through the Small Business Grant Fund and (b) targeted Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund of up to £25,000 to assist businesses forced to close during the January 2021 lockdown.

The additional support announced on 5 January is worth £4.6 billion and comes on top of the £1.1 billion already provided to local authorities through the Additional Restrictions Grant, as well as the existing Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) which is worth over £1 billion per month under current restrictions. Businesses could receive up to £18,000 over the next three months to the end of March if they are required to close due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

In addition to the grant schemes, we have made available a wider package of support which includes an extension of the furlough scheme until April; an extension of the COVID-19 loan schemes until March; a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure business properties; mortgage holidays; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT cuts and deferrals.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of a German -style scheme where Government pays a certain percentage of revenue lost, for a business effected by covid-19 restrictions.

HM Treasury regularly monitors global economic developments, including the policy response of other economies, and their impact on the UK as part of the normal process of policy development. It is not for the UK Government to comment on other countries policies.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he will implement the Directors Income Support Scheme proposal from FSB, Forgotten Ltd and ACCA UK, which would provide a taxable grant calculated at 80 per cent of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total, to be paid into the company and form part of its taxable profits and mirror the existing framework offered by the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government has recognised that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The Government always welcomes constructive proposals from stakeholders to improve the design of its COVID-19 business support schemes, including the suggestion for a Directors Income Support Scheme (DISS). This proposal aims to provide a new system to provide support for company directors, based on reported profits. The Government is currently scrutinising the proposal.

In addition, company owner managers could be eligible for existing support schemes including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the income taken by company owner managers via PAYE, Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays and other business support grants. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will open the Self Employed Income Support scheme to people in self-employment who were not eligible in the initial March 2020 launch of that scheme and now have two years' trading but are still not eligible for the latest round of support.

In designing and delivering the SEISS, the Government prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible as quickly as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse. The Government recognises that the rules needed to ensure that the SEISS works for the vast majority may mean that some people are not eligible for the grant. However, as the NAO acknowledges, the SEISS has been successful in supporting millions of people and protecting from large scale job losses.

The Government has taken a flexible and responsive approach and will continue to consider the matter carefully and work closely with stakeholders to explore how it can best support different groups.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of the package of support available to self-employed individuals, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the time limit for the repayment of the stamp duty surcharge on second properties where the property sale has been delayed due to (a) cladding and (b) EWS1 issues.

Homeowners who pay the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases of additional property can receive a refund of the higher rate if they sell their old main residence within three years of the purchase. For most people, three years is enough time to sell a property.

However, the Government recognises that there will sometimes be exceptional circumstances not in the control of the buyer or seller which mean that a previous main residence cannot be sold within three years. If someone purchased a new main residence on or after 1 January 2017, they may be eligible to apply for a refund if they were prevented from selling their previous main residence before the expiry of the three-year time limit owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. The previous main residence must be sold before HMRC will consider whether the circumstances are exceptional.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance he plans to issue to banks for companies wanting to apply for an extension to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which need a higher level of finance than they required in March 2020.

The Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to ensure that the smallest businesses could access loans of up to £50,000 in a matter of just days. As of 15 November, the scheme had supported nearly 1.4 million businesses with facilities totaling over £42 billion.

On 2 November, the Government adjusted the BBLS rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. the lower of £50,000 or 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan to this maximum. Businesses will be able to make use of this option once. We understand that some businesses did not anticipate the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long. This change will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended. Those businesses that require finance of over £50,000 should discuss alternative options with their lenders, including the possibility of refinancing into a loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government has also announced the extension of the application deadline for all Covid-19 business loan schemes, including BBLS to 31 January 2021. This extension ensures that businesses have more time to make loan applications, supporting them through the pandemic.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial assistance to (a) freelancers, (b) small company directors, and (c) people who mix self-employment with employment who have been ineligible for financial support since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Question 110191 on 05 November.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to compensate people who had no access to asylum support payments during the recent Aspen card transition; and what steps she is taking to ensure people do not temporarily lose access to asylum support payments in the future.

A significant majority of service users have received their new Aspen card and they have successfully activated and started using the card.

Those who have experienced issues have been supported via the provision of emergency cash payments until their issue has been resolved. Due to this, there has always been some form of access to asylum support payments for the user population (even without an ASPEN card).

The provision of emergency cash payment has been in place for some time and will continue to be in place where emergency access to asylum support is required.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a landlord conducting right-to-rent checks after 30 June 2021 will be obliged to refuse to rent a property to an EU citizen in the event that they are unable to demonstrate proof of their status and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 1 July right to rent checks will change and EEA citizens will be required to demonstrate eligibility through evidence of their immigration status, rather than their nationality, now free movement has ended.

We will be updating our guidance and communicating with landlords in the coming weeks to set out the support available and ensure they are clear on the steps they should take at the end of the grace period.

Where an EEA citizen, who was resident here before the end of the transition period, has reasonable grounds for missing the EUSS application deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to reduce the number of immigration enforcement visits made in error to British citizens.

Immigration Compliance Teams conduct immigration enforcement visits to residential and business premises. Extensive checks are undertaken on all individuals before any action is undertaken.

These checks include searches of all internal Home Office databases and where necessary external checks, such as birth or financial checks. In the immediate aftermath of Windrush, additional processes were put in place to carefully check the status of Commonwealth nationals to minimise the risk of tasking visits involving British nationals or those with the right to remain the United Kingdom.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish a breakdown of immigration enforcement visit statistics for the last 12 months by (a) location, (b) nationality, (c) ethnicity and (d) resultant arrests.

To maintain the highest standard of accuracy, the Home Office prefer to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

We do not routinely publish data regarding breakdowns of immigration enforcement visits statistics by location, nationality, ethnicity and resultant arrests as to do so could only be done at disproportionate cost. All data published by the Home Office is considered in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Our published data is available at the following links:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/summary-of-latest-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish data on immigration enforcement visits on a regular basis by (a) location, (b) nationality and (c) ethnicity.

To maintain the highest standard of accuracy, the Home Office prefer to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

We do not routinely publish data regarding breakdowns of immigration enforcement visits statistics by location, nationality, ethnicity and resultant arrests as to do so could only be done at disproportionate cost. All data published by the Home Office is considered in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Our published data is available at the following links:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/summary-of-latest-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will suspend the charter flights deporting up to 50 citizens to Jamaica planned for 2nd December until the Equality and Human Rights Commission report, Public Sector Equality Duty assessment of hostile environment policies, published 25 November, has been (a) considered and (b) addressed.

I refer my honourable member to the statement I gave in the House, on 30th November 2020 available from this link https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-11-30/debates/D3928F57-B16F-4BB0-9A50-642E1C47E6C7/ScheduledMassDeportationJamaica

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jun 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on high street businesses of proposals for a new permitted development right to allow more premises to change to residential use.

Our new permitted development rights will boost our high streets and town centres, put vacant buildings back to use, and help to build the homes this country needs. They will create jobs, deliver more housing, and create an easier and more flexible environment for businesses to set up and flourish. Previous permitted development right changes have already delivered over 72,000 new homes over the last 5 years to March 2020. And a survey last year showed three quarters of small and mid-sized property builders expect to make use of the changes to Permitted Development Rights to deliver more housing units.

Robert Jenrick
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a local authority assessing the eligibility of an EU citizen for homelessness assistance after 30 June 2021 will be obliged to refuse assistance if that EU citizen is unable to demonstrate any proof of status and has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

EEA citizens who have missed the 30 June 2021 deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and who do not have a different form of UK immigration status will be considered a person subject to immigration control and will not be eligible for an allocation of social housing or homelessness assistance. They will need to resolve their immigration status. The Home Office’s Immigration Rules for the EUSS provide scope for late applications to the EUSS to be accepted where there are reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline, which may include those who are homeless or rough sleeping.

Guidance on eligibility for homelessness assistance can be found in Chapter 7 of the statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance. This is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/homelessness-code-of-guidance-for-local-authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the deadline for applications to the Building Safety Fund beyond 30 June 2021 to ensure all buildings with flammable cladding are considered.

The Government extended the full tender deadline for Building Safety Fund from 30 March 2021 to 30 June 2021; and the deadline to start works on site from 30 June 2021 to 30 September 2021. These deadlines were set based on information available at the time about registrants and their readiness to be able to deliver projects. The announcement on 10 February of an additional £3.5 billion of funding provides assurance for residents that all eligible applications to the Building Safety Fund will be able to proceed

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to take steps to increase the funding allocations made to eligible applicants under the Building Safety Fund.

The Building Safety Fund will cover all works directly related to the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems. The additional £3.5 billion announced on 10 February provides assurance for leaseholders that all eligible applications to the Building Safety Fund will be able to proceed and that Government will fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres and over in England


Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide an update on the application status of the 53 buildings in Liverpool that have submitted applications to the Building Safety Fund.

The Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund. Application progress is communicated to registrants who we expect will ensure that their residents are kept fully informed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the press release of 10 February 2021, Government to bring an end to unsafe cladding with multi-billion pound intervention, whether buildings with flammable cladding of six or seven storeys but lower than 18m will be eligible for that funding.

We will be publishing more details on how the additional funding for the removal of unsafe cladding announced on 10 February will work alongside existing funds.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to include the replacement of wooden balconies in the eligibility criteria for the Building Safety Fund.

The Government is focussing public funding on cladding systems because unsafe cladding acts as an accelerant to fire spread and poses an exceptional fire risk at certain heights. Works which are not directly related to the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding will not be covered by the Building Safety Fund. Balconies are therefore not included unless they are integral to the cladding. Funding for the removal of unsafe cladding will remove the biggest obstacle to remediation proceeding. Our guidance is clear that building safety is the responsibility of building owners and we have given expert advice on a range of safety issues to provide clarity.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that managing agents and building owners have sufficient time to implement an effective stage 1 schedule for Building Safety Fund support.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 115485 answered on 24 November.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to make decisions on the applications to the Building Safety Fund.

The Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund. We published registration statistics on 30 September, which can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics and will be publishing and update.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to ensure that leaseholders do not bear the costs of remedial works when their managing agent or building owner is unsuccessful in their application for Building Safety Fund.

The Government is clear that it is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they did not cause.

It must be recognised that it is the responsibility of building owners – not Government or the tax-payer – to ensure their buildings are safe for leaseholders and other residents. Building owners should consider all routes to meet costs, protecting leaseholders where they can – for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work.

The department is working on proposals to protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs caused by historic building safety defects, on which we will be providing an update.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Dec 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of funding for Law Centres.

Charities in the advice sector play a crucial role in helping people resolve their legal problems across England and Wales, which has been vital throughout Covid-19.

That is why MoJ has provided £5.4m in funding for not-for-profit providers of specialist legal advice. £3m of this was distributed to Law Centres.

We continue to work closely with our stakeholders, including the Law Centres Network, to ensure the advice sector can continue to provide support to the communities they serve.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Sep 2020
What discussions he has had with groups supporting victims of domestic violence in Northern Ireland during the covid-19 outbreak.

Sadly during this pandemic, there has been a rise in domestic abuse incidents. I’m pleased to see there has been a focus across the whole of the UK to support victims of domestic violence.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice and Department of Health have taken a range of steps, including introducing the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill. An action plan for the domestic and sexual abuse strategy has also been published and the domestic violence and abuse campaign ‘see the signs’ has been relaunched.

I was pleased to see that on 3 July, the NI Justice Minister and NI Health Minister published a plan for year five of the seven year domestic and sexual abuse strategy and a progress report for 2019/20, taking forward commitments that had been made by the Executive in 2016.

Although this is a devolved area, the UK Government has made available £2 million to support domestic abuse charities to use technology to provide support in a more covert way to help victims trapped with their abuser.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)