Liz McInnes Portrait

Liz McInnes

Labour - Former Member for Heywood and Middleton

Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
10th Oct 2016 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
18th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
13th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015


Division Voting information

Liz McInnes has voted in 840 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

20 Mar 2019 - Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 248) - View Vote Context
Liz McInnes voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Labour No votes vs 205 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 216 Noes - 317
19 Apr 2017 - Early Parliamentary General Election - View Vote Context
Liz McInnes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 174 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 522 Noes - 13
8 Feb 2017 - Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada - View Vote Context
Liz McInnes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 68 Labour No votes vs 85 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 409 Noes - 126
View All Liz McInnes Division Votes

All Debates

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

View all Liz McInnes's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Liz McInnes

5th February 2019
Liz McInnes signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th February 2019

Medicines

Tabled by: Jeremy Corbyn (Independent - Islington North)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 62), dated 14 January 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18 January, be annulled.
46 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 35
Scottish National Party: 6
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
25th February 2019
Liz McInnes signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th February 2019

National Health Service

Tabled by: Jeremy Corbyn (Independent - Islington North)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 248), dated 13 February 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 13 February 2019, be annulled.
69 signatures
(Most recent: 13 May 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 4
Green Party: 1
Crossbench: 1
View All Liz McInnes's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Liz McInnes, 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.


Liz McInnes has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Liz McInnes has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Liz McInnes has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Liz McInnes has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


331 Written Questions

(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
2 Other Department Questions
25th Apr 2019
When the Government plans to publish its response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation.

We have had an exceptional response rate to the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act, receiving over 100,000 responses. We are currently analysing all of these contributions and we intend to publish a response later this year.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
27th May 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if his Department will launch an investigation into the closure of the car dealer Carcraft.

On 30 April 2015, Daniel Smith and Joe McLean of Grant Thornton UK LLP were appointed as administrators to the companies trading as Carcraft.

When a company goes into administration the insolvency practitioners must, within six months of their appointment, report confidentially to the Insolvency Service about the conduct of the directors. Where there is serious public concern, the Insolvency Service will not wait for that report. In this case it has made early contact with the administrators to discuss the conduct of the directors and whether there are any matters giving rise to concern.

19th Mar 2015
To ask the Attorney General, for what reasons the Crown Prosecution Service made the decision that it would not be in the public interest to pursue a private prosecution on gender abortion charges against Dr Prabha Sivaraman and Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan.

In accordance with the two stage test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the CPS carefully considered the evidence submitted by the private prosecutor both on its own and in addition to the material already in its possession from the earlier decision. In both cases the CPS concluded that there was no realistic prospect of conviction for the charge selected by the private prosecutor.

In addition the CPS considered whether both sets evidence taken together might be sufficient to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for any abortion offence. It was concluded that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute an offence of using poison, instruments or any other means with intent to procure an abortion but that this was very finely balanced. It further concluded that the public interest considerations in not pursuing a prosecution outweighed those in favour for the same reasons as in 2013, most importantly the lack of professional guidance on how doctors should approach comparative risk assessments.

The full reasons for the decision are available on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) website: http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps_decision_to_stop_private_prosecutions_of_doctors_charged_with_abortion_offences/

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the size of the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse on the Shop Direct closure in Greater Manchester.

I have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues, including the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse (Jake Berry). Government is responding to the Shop Direct closures and has held a number of conversations with various parties to ensure proper processes are followed and employee rights are upheld. We will continue to engage with relevant parties as appropriate. My rt. hon Friend the Secretary of State has already met with the hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams) about Shop Direct and will be having a further meeting with her in due course.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the role of his Department was in drafting the Government's childhood obesity plan.

The Department of Health led on drawing up the action plan to tackle childhood obesity with input from across Government, including this Department.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing an inquiry into the events which led to the closure of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust.

This is a matter for the Charity Commission as independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales. The Commission has said that, on seeing the reported events, it immediately contacted the Presidents Club Charitable Trust and called for an urgent meeting. The Commission is also engaging with the Financial Times whose investigation uncovered the activities of the Presidents Club Charity Dinner, and has requested any further evidence to ensure it can look into these matters fully and robustly. The Commission has said that it will deal robustly with any misconduct or mismanagement it finds, will consider what further regulatory action may be required and will ensure that the charity is wound up in an orderly manner and that any remaining funds are distributed correctly. The Commission has also confirmed that it is in discussion with Equality and Human Rights Commission about these matters.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to have discussions with the Charity Commission as result of the closure of the Presidents Club charitable club; and if she will make a statement.

This is a matter for the Charity Commission as independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales. The Commission has said that, on seeing the reported events, it immediately contacted the Presidents Club Charitable Trust and called for an urgent meeting. The Commission is also engaging with the Financial Times whose investigation uncovered the activities of the Presidents Club Charity Dinner, and has requested any further evidence to ensure it can look into these matters fully and robustly. The Commission has said that it will deal robustly with any misconduct or mismanagement it finds, will consider what further regulatory action may be required and will ensure that the charity is wound up in an orderly manner and that any remaining funds are distributed correctly. The Commission has also confirmed that it is in discussion with Equality and Human Rights Commission about these matters.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what the role of her Department was in drafting the Government's childhood obesity plan.

The childhood obesity plan was developed and drafted by Department of Health with input from departments across Government, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. DCMS will continue to work with DH on the implementation of the actions within the plan.

19th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on students living away from home of the closure of the iPlayer loophole.

The Government consulted on adding on-demand programme services to the TV licence framework as part of its Green Paper published in July last year. Under the new proposals, all individuals will need to be covered by a TV licence if they stream or download television programmes through on-demand services provided by the BBC (notably the iPlayer). If an individual has a licence already, then they are automatically covered to watch BBC on-demand services under the new proposals.

19th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make representations to the BBC on ensuring the Your Paintings archive is maintained as on online resource.

As set out in the Government's White Paper, A BBC for the future​: a Broadcaster of Distinction, the government encourages the BBC to do more to open up its archive and ensure that it can be used by the public and as wide a range of institutions and organisations as possible​. How the BBC presents its online content is matter for the BBC.​ Your Paintings is now available on artuk.org.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what account his Department is taking of the substance of responses to Question 11 in the Government's consultation on the future of the BBC published in July 2015, which are set out in Annex 7 of its White Paper, A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction, published in May 2016, in formulating its policy on paying for access to BBC iPlayer services.

Responses to all questions in the BBC Charter Review public consultation were analysed and the results published in a Summary of Responses document in April. This document set out the strong support for the continued provision of the licence fee from consultation respondents, as well as significant support for reform or modernisation. On the basis of this, and wider consultation with stakeholders, the government has committed to modernise the licence fee to include BBC on-demand programmes.

3rd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Gallery pays its employees the London Living Wage.

Where possible the Government supports the London Living Wage. However, the Department's sponsored Museums and Galleries operate at arm's length from the Department, and as such they have responsibility for their own staffing and service arrangements, including wage levels.

3rd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the value for money of security provision at the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery.

The National Gallery operates at arm's length from the Department, and as such they have responsibility for their own staffing and service arrangements, including security services. As such the Department has not assessed provision of security at the Salisbury Wing.

3rd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what the value and duration is of the contract between the National Gallery and CIS Security for the provision of security at the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery.

The National Gallery operates at arm's length from the Department, and as such they have responsibility for their own staffing and service arrangements, including security services. As such the Department does not hold information on specific contracts.

20th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of students entering (a) English and (b) Welsh universities in 2014 on a three-year course failed to complete their courses in 2017.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on students studying at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). As part of the publication ‘Performance Indicators for Higher Education’, HESA estimate learning outcomes for UK domiciled full-time students starting first degree[1] courses.

The table below shows the projected outcomes for those commencing their studies in 2014/15 at UK HEIs, by country of institution.

Projected learning outcomes of UK domiciled full-time first degree entrants

UK Higher Education Institutions

Academic year 2014/15

Projected outcome (% of entrants)[2]

Country of institution

Degree

Neither award nor transfer

Other award

Transfer

Not known

England

80.7

10.3

3.7

5.1

0.2

Northern Ireland

84.3

10.9

2.1

2.6

0.1

Scotland

80.7

9.7

5

4.6

0.1

Wales

80.4

10.8

4.3

4.5

0.1

Total UK

80.8

10.3

3.8

5

0.2

Source: HESA UK Performance Indicators (Non-Continuation), Table T5

The table shows that even where a student does not complete their degree course, they may go on to achieve a different qualification or transfer to another higher education provider.

Further information on how projected outcomes are defined and calculated by HESA can be found in the UK Performance Indicators Non-Continuation Publication at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/performance-indicators/non-continuation-summary.

Figures for entrants in the 2015/16 academic year will be published by HESA in March 2018.

[1] Whilst the majority of full-time first degree courses are three year courses, this group will also include some individuals enrolled on four year courses (for example integrated masters degrees).

[2] Percentages are rounded to one decimal place so may not sum exactly to 100.

19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what trigger she plans to put in place in the universal credit system to replace that of working tax credits to entitle children to free school meals.

My department is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions, other government departments and other interested parties to establish criteria for determining entitlement to benefits-related free school meals as the roll-out of universal credit progresses.

No decision has been taken yet; our proposals on this matter will be announced in due course.

6th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students from disadvantaged backgrounds graduated from university in the last three years.

Information on the number of disadvantaged young people entering higher education, and non-continuation of young disadvantaged first degree students is published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England via the following link:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/analysis/HEinEngland/students/social/.

5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of fire safety standards in university halls of residence.

The Higher Education sector is taking this issue very seriously. The Department has had a very positive and comprehensive response from all of the 238 HEFCE-funded providers and designated Alternative Providers. All providers have been tested where necessary. Where issues have been identified providers have been quick to respond to protect the safety of students. Officials will continue to work with those in the Department for Communities and Local Government reviewing private student accommodation.

22nd Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to publish the outcome of the consultation on the school funding formula.

We received over 25,000 responses to the consultation, which we are analysing in detail. We are grateful to all those who expressed their views on school funding and the proposed formula as part of this process. We will publish the response to the consultation in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the value to the public purse of the sale of the student loans book.

The decision to start the sale process for part of the student loan book (set out in Written Statement HCWS458) is based on a robust and comprehensive assessment of the market which showed that it has a good prospect of achieving value for money.

As part of assessing value for money, the Government compares the value of keeping the student loan book and receiving uncertain and fluctuating repayments over time, and selling the rights to the remaining future repayments made on the student loan book and receiving a fixed sum of money for them now.

The sale process itself is also designed to achieve the best possible price for the taxpayer.

A further assessment will be made before the sale is completed (and before any further sales).

As required by the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, the Government will provide a report to Parliament on the sale arrangements within three months of sale completion. As required by the Act this report will make reference to value for money.

23rd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the numbers of teachers aged over 60 taking up new posts within schools in each of the last five years.

Information on the number of teachers taking up new posts is not available. The following table provides the number and percentage of full-time equivalent teachers aged 60 and over in each year between 2011 and 2015.

FTE Teachers aged 60 and over (thousands)

Percentage of all FTE Teachers aged 60 and over

2011

10.8

2.5

2012

11.0

2.5

2013

11.5

2.6

2014

10.9

2.4

2015

10.5

2.3

Source: School Workforce Census

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers over the age of 60 were employed in schools in 2015-16.

In November 2015, there were 10,500 equivalent teachers aged 60 and over employed in state funded schools in England. This represents 2.3 percent of all full-time equivalent teachers in England. These figures are derived from the November 2015 School Workforce Census.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of the proposed sale of the student loans book on those paying off such loans.

The position of all graduates, including all those whose loans are in scope of the proposed sale, would not change as a result of a sale. Graduates are protected by statute.

The proposed sale would not alter the mechanisms and terms of repayment, and sold loans would continue to be serviced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Student Loans Company (SLC) on the same basis as equivalent unsold loans. Investors would have no right to change any of the current loan arrangements or to contact people with student loans directly.

9th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions her Department has had with HM Treasury on whether the planned sale of the student loans book will affect the repayment formula for people paying off such loans.

The position of people who hold student loans, including those whose loans are within the scope of the planned sale, will not be affected in any way as a result of the planned sale. The sale would not and cannot alter the mechanisms and terms of repayment.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has for the distribution of funding from the soft drinks undertaking levy between schools across the UK for sporting activity.

Revenue from the soft drinks industry levy will be used to double the PE and sport premium for primary schools in England from £160million a year to £320million from September 2017. This will enable schools to make further improvements to the quality and breadth of PE and sport they offer, including introducing new activities and after school clubs, and hiring specialist coaches to work alongside teachers.

Schools currently receive an average of between £8,000 and £9,000 a year from the premium, depending on pupil numbers. We are currently reviewing how best to allocate the doubled funding for September 2017 onwards, and will announce further details in due course.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the effect of teachers leaving the UK to work abroad on the education system.

The quality of teachers trained in the UK means that there is considerable demand for them across the globe. Every year a number of teachers choose to leave the UK to work in schools overseas and many are likely to return.

Office for National Statistics figures, based on International Passenger Survey data, provide an estimate of the long-term migration of ‘teachers and research professionals’ since 2010 and break down the numbers leaving the UK between British and Non-British citizens. The data is available here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/business-transparency/freedom-of-information/what-can-i-request/published-ad-hoc-data/pop/september-2015/index.html

A 2015 report published by the National Foundation for Educational Research, using data from the Labour Force Surveys, suggests that of those joining the teaching profession 4% had been working outside of the UK compared to 1% leaving to work outside the UK. This suggests that the country is in fact gaining more teachers that we are losing to work overseas.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary schools have gone from an inadequate to a good Ofsted rating in four years since 2005; and what steps her Department takes to recognise the achievements of headteachers, teachers and governors.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, will write to the hon. Member regarding the number of primary schools that have gone from an inadequate to a good Ofsted rating in four years since 2005. A copy of his reply will be placed in the libraries of the House. Information regarding this can also be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/monthly-management-information-ofsteds-school-inspections-outcomes

The National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) recognises the achievements of head teachers, teachers and governors who raise standards in their own and other schools, by designating them as system leaders. Over a thousand head teachers have so far been designated as National Leaders of Education (NLEs) with the schools they lead designated as National Support Schools. Furthermore, over 6000 outstanding teachers, working within teaching school alliances, have been designated as Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs).

Whenever a school achieves an outstanding Ofsted grading the Secretary of State conveys her congratulations by writing to the school concerned. The department also encourages organisations and individuals to put forward teachers and governors for National Honours.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her Department's policy is towards the National Union of Teachers' eight steps to reduce excessive teacher workload.

The Secretary of State for Education has confirmed that reducing unnecessary workload for teachers is an absolute priority for this government. We are committed to taking action, and are exploring ways to do this with trade unions through the current programme of talks at the Department for Education. We welcome the National Union of Teachers’ contribution to the programme of talks, and their further contribution to the debate through the proposed eight-step action programme for tackling workload. We will consider carefully the proposals put forward by the NUT. These will be considered alongside the results of the recent ‘Workload Challenge’, a survey of teachers launched by the Secretary of State and the Deputy Prime Minister, which closed recently after receiving more than 40,000 responses. The results are being analysed and a programme of action will be published early next year. This government has taken steps to reduce bureaucracy and burdens on schools, but we know that there is more to be done, and we are committed to working with teachers to find solutions.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) primary and (b) junior schools in Heywood and Middleton constituency have class sizes in excess of 30 pupils.

According to the January 2014 school census, there were a total of seven schools with one or more infant (key stage 1) classes in excess of 30 pupils in Heywood and Middleton constituency. All of these classes had between 31 and 35 pupils.

There were a further eight schools with one or more junior (key stage 2) classes in excess of 30 pupils. All but one of these classes had between 31 and 35 pupils.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent online sales of illegal ivory.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit assists law enforcers in their investigations and helps prevent and detect wildlife crime, including cybercrime related to the illegal sale of ivory.

The issue of online sales was raised in response to our recent consultation on banning UK sales of ivory. We are considering this carefully, along with other issues, in developing the Government’s response to the consultation.

Several online retailers have voluntarily banned the sale of ivory online.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
11th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles to increase recycling rates.

As part of the Litter Strategy for England that was published in April this year, we have established a working group to look at different voluntary and economic incentives to improve the recycling and reuse of packaging, and to reduce the incidence of commonly littered items. As well as voluntary models, the scope of the working group includes consideration of regulatory options and measures to target particular types of item or product, including the full cost impacts and benefits of different types of deposit and reward and return schemes for drink containers including plastic bottles. This working group will be consulting widely in developing its evidence base and analysis.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the UK remaining in the EU on the farming industry.

Defra has not made any assessment of the UK remaining in the EU on the farming industry.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of a UK withdrawal from the EU on the UK farming industry.

Defra has not made any assessment of the potential effect of a UK withdrawal from the EU on the UK farming industry.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
25th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 22 October 2018, Official Report, column 46, if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) protocol and (b) underlying memoranda relating to Gibraltar.

The Protocol on Gibraltar will form part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The Agreement will be laid in the House under section 13(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 once negotiations are concluded. We expect to make the Memoranda available in due course once negotiations on the overall agreement between the United Kingdom, the Government of Gibraltar and Spain are complete.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what the cost to the public purse has been of private consultancy firms working for his Department on the process of the UK leaving the EU since his Department was established.

The Department for Exiting the European Union has used the services of a number of consulting firms to help with departmental set-up and planning. A small number of individuals are also on secondment from consultancy firms and external organisations. The Department will make further use of external support and recruitment as appropriate to ensure it has the right expertise available.

The total expenditure on professional services and consultancy in the financial year 2016-17 will be published in the annual report and accounts. Specific contracts awarded over £10,000 and items of expenditure over £25,000 will be reported in due course.

29th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether his Department has awarded any contracts to private companies to assist in the process of the UK leaving the EU.

The Department for Exiting the European Union has used the services of a number of consulting firms to help with departmental set-up and planning. A small number of individuals are currently on secondment from consultancy firms and external organisations. Going forward, the Department will make further use of external support and recruitment as appropriate to ensure it has the right expertise to deliver its objectives.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 1 December 2016 to the Question 55210 and 55211.

22nd Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the decision to move Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to the island of Bhasan Charan, which is at risk of severe flooding and cyclones.

We have made clear to the Government of Bangladesh that any relocation of refugees must be safe, dignified and meet international humanitarian principles and standards.

The UK fully supports the UN’s position that full and detailed technical and protection assessments should be conducted of Bhasan Char before any relocations of Rohingya are considered. We welcome the Government of Bangladesh’s commitment to ensure any relocations are voluntary and are conducted in coordination with UN agencies.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what further steps his Department is taking to stop the spread of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the World Health Organization declared the crisis a public health emergency of international concern.

The UK has been one of the major supporters of the response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since it began in August 2018. This has included providing significant funding and technical expertise. Two days before the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), on 15 July, DFID announced additional financial and technical support of up to £50 million – recognising the seriousness of the situation in DRC and the high risk of regional spread.

Following the PHEIC declaration, the UK has echoed the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in encouraging countries, companies and individuals to avoid measures that could undermine the response and further fuel insecurity, notably the closure of borders.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support his Department provides to Mali to tackle the increasing number of internally displaced persons.

The UK is deeply concerned by the increasing levels of violence in Mali. The number of displaced people across Mali has more than tripled in the past year. Through the Sahel Humanitarian Emergency Response Programme (SHERP), the UK is providing Mali with £11.1m of humanitarian aid this year, providing emergency food aid, emergency nutrition activities, and protection assistance to conflict-affected and displaced people across Mali.

8th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the potential risk of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo spreading to South Sudan.

The risk of spread to countries neighbouring eastern DRC remains high, including to South Sudan. This is why the UK is the leading donor to regional preparedness efforts in neighbouring countries, helping support a range of activities, including screening at border crossings and the vaccination of health workers. The recent confirmed Ebola case in Ariwara, DRC, 70km from South Sudan, has further encouraged the international community to step up preparedness activities, particularly in high-risk areas along the border, in the support of the Government of South Sudan.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support his Department provides to the Ugandan Government to help with refugees in that country.

The UK is the second largest bilateral donor responding to the refugee situation in Uganda, through UN agencies and international NGOs, and in coordination with the Government of Uganda. Between March 2015 and April 2019 UKAid provided extensive support that has enabled the delivery of a range of life-saving assistance and protection services. These include providing 1.2 million people with food assistance, 130,000 people with access to clean water, and 342,000 women and children with nutritional support. We have also led efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola into refugee settlements in Uganda.

The UK’s response in Uganda will continue to protect people in crisis and invest in long-term livelihood and self-reliance options. It will capitalise on the fact that Uganda’s refugee policy, which allows freedom of movement and the right to work, means that it is well placed to deliver commitments made at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit under the Grand Bargain and is a pilot country for implementing the 2018 Global Refugee Compact.

18th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of state development plans on indigenous populations in the lower Omo valley in Ethiopia.

We are aware of concerns raised about the impacts of development projects on the Omo people in southern Ethiopia. The UK makes regular assessments of the development context in Ethiopia. We are currently funding research which considers the impact of development on income inequality, conflict, and the environment in South Omo. The research is currently being finalised.

18th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the level of risk of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo spreading to other countries in Africa.

On 11 June, the first cross-border cases of Ebola since this outbreak began in August 2018 were confirmed in Uganda. Although these were quickly contained, the risk of further spread to countries neighbouring eastern DRC remains high. This is why the UK has been the leading donor to regional preparedness efforts, helping support a range of activities, including the construction of screening facilities at border crossings and the vaccination of health workers.

11th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian effect of the drought in Somalia; and what steps his Department is taking to support those at risk of starvation.

The drought in Somalia and subsequent widespread crop failure and decline in livestock productivity has resulted in a projected increase in people experiencing acute food insecurity, from 1.7 million to 2.2 million by August 2019. The UK is a leading donor to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia and my Department has recently allocated £8 million to support both emergency, life-saving interventions, and longer-term resilience actions focusing on sustainable water supply and the protection of livelihoods. This brings our total humanitarian spend in Somalia in 2019 to £40 million. We continue to actively monitor the situation and are considering what further support might be required.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the level of gender equality and (b) progress on meeting Sustainable Development Goal 5 in Bangladesh.

There has been progress on gender equality in Bangladesh in recent years but there are still significant challenges, including on gender-based violence, barriers to workforce participation and the prevalence of child-marriage.

The Department for International Development’s support to gender equality in Bangladesh includes working with men and boys to tackle social norms around violence, training that helps women to find decent employment, encouraging girls to stay in education, and raising awareness of family planning options. There is also a strong focus on SDG5 in our support to the Rohingya refugees and surrounding communities.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will make an assessment of the security situation for schools in Afghanistan.

In 2018, 513,962 children (187,082 girls and 326,880 boys) were unable to continue their education due to the closure of over 1,000 schools related to security reasons in Afghanistan. According to UNICEF this marks a fourfold increase to the previous year.

DFID has invested in the Education Cannot Wait Global Fund which supports the Education in Emergencies Working Group led by the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan. Its aim is to ensure every child in Afghanistan can learn without fear and in safety, and to enable them to reach their full potential.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the recent HIV outbreak among children in Pakistan.

We are closely tracking reports of an outbreak of just over 600 new cases of HIV, 75% of them among children, in a town called Ratto Dero in Sindh province. The UK government invests significantly in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GF), which works closely with the provincial government in Sindh.

There has been an intensive effort to test the population for HIV to establish the extent of the outbreak. Over 20,000 people have been tested to date. We are in close contact with the Global Fund and will work with them to ascertain whether any further assistance is needed, for example to make treatment available for those who need it and prevent onward transmission.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support his Department is providing to health workers working on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UK continues to take the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC extremely seriously, providing funding and technical assistance to the response. Our funding to the WHO goes to directly support the public health response. Health workers are provided with training, vaccination, and access to personal protection equipment to reduce the risk of infection. We are also supporting other efforts within the response that are essential to building community trust.

The UK strongly condemns attacks on health workers and facilities and will continue to support the DRC Government and UN system to work with affected communities to ensure the safety and security of all frontline responders. All those involved in fighting Ebola must be able to work in safety for the benefit of those being affected by this outbreak.

19th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in Sierra Leone on the temporary ban on female genital mutilation introduced by that Government; and if she will make representations to that Government to make the ban permanent.

The Government of Sierra Leone has placed a temporary ban on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) during the March 2018 elections. This was in place for the first round of voting and remains in place during the run off vote for the Presidency. The ban was put in place to prevent candidates paying for girls to undergo the practice as a method of influencing voters. The UK is in full support of this ban. In our messages to all presidential candidates we asked for the protection of the rights of women and girls. The UK Government has consistently lobbied the Government of Sierra Leone to fulfil their international obligation to legislate against the practice of FGM/C and to approve a National Strategy to support this. We will raise this issue as a priority with the new government and we stand ready to support implementation of the Strategy once approved. We will also work to build coalitions of support to end the practice and lobby government to take the necessary action.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance her Department is giving to improve routine measles vaccination programmes in Guinea.

The UK is supporting Guinea to strengthen its routine health and immunisation systems, through the UK’s investment in Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In 2016 Gavi immunised over 2 million children with measles vaccine in Guinea, and will support Guinea to introduce measles into its routine vaccination programmes in the future.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make a statement on the achievability of Sustainable Development Goal number four on inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

SDG4 represents an ambitious expansion of the education agenda from a focus on access to basic education to a focus on learning for all children.

Despite significant progress on access over the last 15 years, the challenge of implementing the SDG is significant. Over a quarter of a billion children remain out of school, particularly those in crises, and amongst socially excluded groups (including girls, refugees and children with disability). Furthermore the quality of education is a major concern.

As one of the largest bilateral donors to basic education the UK will continue to prioritise improvements to the quality and effectiveness of education. We will also work with the international community to ensure all boys and girls - especially those who are marginalised, displaced or in fragile states – have access to a decent education and are learning.

3rd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she had with the Foreign Secretary on the case of Andy Tsege prior to her recent visit to Ethiopia.

The Secretary of State for International Development regularly meets with the Foreign Secretary and was briefed by him on the case. The case was raised during the Secretary of State’s recent visit to Ethiopia.

2nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she raised the case of Andrew Tsege during her recent visit to Ethiopia.

Andargachew Tsege’s consular case was raised during the Secretary of State’s meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

29th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will make additional assistance available to Mozambique for famine relief and support in dealing with drought.

The UK has responded quickly to the El Nino related drought in Southern Africa, in fulfilment of our pledge to lead global humanitarian responses and leverage support from others. The UK has provided over £170 million in Southern Africa to meet urgent humanitarian needs, including in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Madagascar.

Combined with the wider economic crisis, El Nino threatens to undermine development gains and stability in Mozambique. In July 2016, Ministers approved the allocation of £25 million to provide assistance to around 250,000 people until the end of March 2017, when the next harvest is expected. UK funding is supporting a market-based approach for food and seed provision to secure better value for money. UK funding is also supporting the treatment of malnutrition and improved access to safe water and sanitation.

29th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will make additional assistance available to Madagascar for famine relief and support in dealing with drought.

The UK has responded quickly and generously to the El Nino related drought in southern Africa, in fulfilment of our pledge to lead global humanitarian responses and leverage support from others. DFID has provided £4.68million through UN agencies for the humanitarian response to the impact of El Nino in Madagascar and we continue to monitor the situation closely and will consider further support if the situation deteriorates.

Existing UK support includes funding for UNICEF and FAO emergency operations for nutrition, water and sanitation. It also includes agricultural and livestock assistance to vulnerable households to reduce their food insecurity and protect their livelihoods.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made a recent assessment of the effect of usage-based telematics products on levels of (a) road safety and (b) environmental sustainability.

The Department for Transport recognises the potential benefits of telematics and other in-vehicle technologies in promoting fuel-efficient driving behaviours, which could save motorists and businesses money and reduce vehicle emissions. In line with our commitment in Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, the Department has established a technology taskforce with the motoring and insurance industries to explore the role that new vehicle technologies has to play, and put in place appropriate interventions. The Department is also exploring the potential benefits of this technology in reducing the risk of young driver collisions through the Driver 2020 project.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has requested updated advice from the Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Visual Disorders on whether or not to allow glucose monitors that measure interstitial fluid rather than blood; and whether his Department has received advice on a minimum accuracy standard for such monitors.

The use of interstitial glucose monitoring systems in the context of driving falls within the remit of Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Diabetes Mellitus. The panel has recently considered the use of such technology.

Following the Panel’s review, this matter will be the subject of a targeted consultation with key stakeholders over the summer.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department have had with the Department of Health and Social Care on driving and new technology for blood glucose monitoring of drivers with diabetes.

Department for Transport officials have advised their counterparts in the Department of Health and Social care of plans to carry out a targeted consultation over the summer with key stakeholders on this issue.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in he will meet with the Minister for Loneliness to discuss the role of reliable and timely bus services in helping to alleviate social isolation.

As part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to deliver a national strategy on loneliness, a Ministerial group has been established, chaired by Tracey Crouch. As the lead Minister on the role of transport in tackling loneliness, I represent the Department on this group.

12th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce overcrowding on passenger rail services.

This Government is making the biggest investment in our railways since the Victorian era, enabling more trains and longer trains to operate on many of our busiest routes. Since 2010, more than 563 new carriages have been brought into service in England and Wales, and a further 5032 are planned to enter service by the end of 2020.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Network Rail paid to buy back land from rail freight owners in October 2014.

This was a commercial matter for Network Rail. The total cost to Network Rail of acquiring the lease interests of the Freight Operators under Project Mountfield was £220 million.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons Network Rail bought back rail lands in October 2014; and if he will make a statement.

This decision was made by Network Rail, and I have sought clarification from the company as to the reasons. I am informed that the purchase was made to increase competition and efficiency across the freight industry, opening up the market to operators.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much money accrued to the public purse at the time of rail privatisation from land sold by British Rail to private freight companies.

British Rail did not sell land directly to private freight companies but transferred land to the different freight entities within its own operations in advance of the sale of the freight business. It would no longer be possible at this point to extrapolate the land value from the company value.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what land Network Rail is considering selling which can be utilised for rail freight .

No decision has been taken about which sites owned by Network Rail should be sold. Network Rail is reviewing the complete freight land holdings and the options for the portfolio for the future to identify those sites which are surplus. This will include an assessment of which sites are required, or are likely to be required in the future, for freight use.

A robust process of identifying options for the sale of rail freight sites is on-going but at a very early stage, and a full consultation process will be undertaken before any final decision is taken about the sale of freight sites owned by Network Rail.

8th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of freight capacity in freight sites owned by Network Rail.

The capacity of a freight site is determined by a number of factors including the parameters of the site, the loading capabilities within the site and the capacity of the rail network connecting to the site. The department has not made any assessment of the capacity in freight sites owned by Network Rail. Network Rail does not hold all the information required to make such an assessment as this is partly held by those freight operators who manage the sites.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when meetings have taken place between the Rail North board and his Department in the last six months; and what the subject of those meetings was.

On 21st December 2015, a meeting took place between Rail North Ltd Directors and the Department at which the two Project Directors presented the outcome of the Northern and TransPennine Express franchise competitions.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what rail routes are planned to be designated driver controlled operation in the Northern Franchise.

This is an operational matter for the new franchisee to discuss with its staff and their trade union representatives after they have taken over the franchise on 1st April.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether meetings of Rail North will be held in public.

Whether Rail North holds its meetings in public is a matter for that organisation.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what involvement Rail North will have in designating which routes are driver controlled operation in the Northern Franchise.

Rail North will not have a role in designating which routes are driver controlled operation in the Northern Franchise.

19th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons the reduction in car tax for people in receipt of personal independence payments is awarded from the date of application to DVLA rather than the date of award of such payments; and if he will make a statement.

Individuals who receive the standard rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment are entitled to a 50% reduction in the rate of vehicle excise duty applicable to their vehicle, following a qualifying application being received by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. This application can only be made after a statement of entitlement to the qualifying benefit has been issued by the Department of Work and Pensions.

14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many recipients of disability benefits, including universal credit, with the limited capability for work element receive their payments into a Post Office account.

The information requested is not available

25th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of recent changes in welfare provision on the number of children living in poverty in the Borough of Rochdale.

National statistics on the number of children in relative low income are set out in the annual "Households Below Average Income" publication. The number and proportion of children in relative low income is not available at local authority or constituency level in this publication because the survey sample sizes are too small to support the production of robust estimates at this geography.

Latest 3-year estimates for the North West of the proportion and number of children in low income are available in Table 4.16ts and Table 4.17ts in the file “4_children_timeseries_risk” from this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/599136/hbai-2015-2016-supporting-ods-files.zip

Impact Assessments of policies in the Welfare Reform and Work Act of 2016 were published in 2015. Evidence shows work is the best route out of poverty; nearly three-quarters of children from workless families moved out of poverty when their parents entered into full-time work. Children in workless households are five time more likely to be in poverty than those in households where all adults were working. Welfare reforms are designed to incentivise parents to make the choice to move into and progress in work.

This Government is committed to action that tackles the root causes of poverty and disadvantage with policies that incentivise employment as the best route out of poverty. In Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, we set out a framework for a continued focus on improving children’s long-term outcomes. This includes nine national indicators to track progress in tackling the disadvantages that affect families and children. Four of these measures are set out in primary legislation which places a duty on the Government report annually to Parliament on the parental worklessness and educational attainment indicators. Data on the non-statutory indicators will also be published each year.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness among universal credit claimants that in addition to making an online application they must also arrange an appointment with the jobcentre and failure to do so invalidates their universal credit claim.

During the online claiming process claimants are advised by the service of any follow up action necessary including any appointment booking requirement. They will then receive a follow up email within three hours if the required action has not been taken. If they log in to their online account there will be a prominent reminder.

We will soon be implementing the option of a text message reminder if the claimant has informed us that this is their preferred method of contact. We are also currently reviewing our online orientation process to make sure that all requirements are as clear as possible for claimants.

19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to enable people with no access to the internet to make a claim for universal credit.

Claims for Universal Credit can be made over the phone and we have recently announced that the UC helpline will be a Freephone number.

All jobcentres across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available, including 6000 additional computers installed to support the introduction of Universal Credit. This provides access to digital channels in every Jobcentre for claimants to use when they do not have access at home. Face to face support is also available in the Jobcentre for claimants to make and manage a Universal Credit claim.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to include proposals related to musculoskeletal conditions in the planned Green Paper on disability employment.

The Green Paper will explore a range of ways to improve the prospects and transform the lives of disabled people and people with musculoskeletal conditions and other long term health conditions so that their health needs and employment aspirations are met in the best possible way.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
14th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government's planned Green Paper on disability employment will include proposals related to people with musculoskeletal conditions.

The Green Paper will be published later this year, and we welcome feedback.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Government plans to publish its green paper on disability employment.

We will publish a Green Paper later this year.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department plans to take to collect data on the number of people with arthritis who qualify for personal independence payments on the basis of their need to use aids and appliances.

The department routinely collects management information on the descriptors awarded to each claimant when they have a PIP assessment.

In the PIP assessment, individuals are assessed on their ability to complete a number of key every day activities (for example, relating to the ability to dress and undress). Within each activity there are a number of descriptors, each representing a varying level of ability to carry out the activity. A descriptor may indicate the need to use an aid or appliance.

Data on the claimant’s primary disabling condition is recorded for those individuals who have a PIP assessment. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which their decision is based, but only the primary condition is recorded.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of people who qualify for personal independence payments on the basis of their need of use of aids and appliances have arthritis.

For claimants with Arthritis who were awarded the Daily Living component of Personal Independence Payment between April 2013 and October 2015, 52% gained all of their points from Aids and Appliances.

The source of the data is the PIP computer system. This is unpublished data and, as such, it does not meet the quality standard required for official statistics publication. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.

Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the Darlington Filestores site will not be included in the re-tendered contract between his Department and Capita Filestores; and what his plans are for the files held at that facility.

The decision for a single storage solution has been driven by the Department’s Business Strategy;

· To increase digitalisation and move to digital by default which will reduce physical storage requirements.

· To reduce DWP estates requirements.

· To reduce costs and provide greater value for money for the taxpayer.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will publish all legal advice provided to his Department on the Document Management and document storage procurement process between Filestores; and if he will make a statement.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions act as the Department’s managing agent for the Document Management and document storage procurement process between filestores.

Where there is a retender of a single supplier contract under which the incumbent supplier is employing staff to provide services, whether under the contract which is being replaced or when exiting the future contract which is currently being procured, it is part of CCS’s standard approach to seek legal advice from the Government Legal Department to consider the terms of the contracts underlying the transfer.

We will not publish the legal advice received as part of this procurement. Any advice that CCS receives from Government Legal Department is subject to legal privilege and is not disclosable, even in a court of law.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, under what conditions married women can claim universal credit in their own right.

Under Universal Credit couples in the same household must make a joint claim. Payment is normally once a month into a bank account nominated by the couple, which could be a joint or an individual account. Where there is financial abuse that is affecting the rest of the family, or other more fundamental problems such as domestic violence, we have the ability to split the payment between partners, allowing each claimant to receive a separate payment.

5th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Diabetes Specialist Nurses have (a) sufficient time to take part in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses, (b) basic introductory training in the latest diabetes technology and (c) online access to all training and CPD courses.

It is in the best interests of employers to encourage and support the learning and development of their employees. Any agreements, such as protected study time, would need to be negotiated between the employer and its employees.

Individual health professionals, including diabetes specialist nurses, have responsibility to own and manage their own learning to ensure they meet the continuing professional development (CPD) standards to remain registered with the regulatory body.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) require 35 hours of CPD relevant to scope of practice as a nurse or midwife in the three year period since registration was last renewed, or joining the register. The NMC does not prescribe any particular type of CPD, it is up to registered nurses to decide what activity is most useful for their development as a professional. A range of free online training resources for National Health Service staff are available at the e-Learning for Healthcare website at the following link:

https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding Chair of NHS Improvement, working closely with Sir David Behan, Chair of Health Education England, to oversee the delivery of a workforce implementation plan. This will include proposals to grow the workforce, consideration of additional staff and skills required, building a supportive working culture in the NHS and how to ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff. This will include consideration of the workforce aspects of clinical priorities, including diabetes.

5th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the results of NHS England’s Diabetes Digital Coach Wave 1 Test Bed in the West of England Academic Health Science Network will be published; and what steps are being taken to replicate the successes of that project throughout the health service.

Independent evaluations were undertaken for all Wave 1 Test beds, including for the Diabetes Digital Coach Test Bed. The successes and lessons learned from the test beds were disseminated locally by the Test Bed’s project teams and NHS England have published key reports on findings around undertaking evaluations and information governance.

These findings have been incorporated in the design of Wave 2 of the Test Beds programme which is funding a further seven sites, including three sites focussed on the self-management of type 2 diabetes.

The Evaluation Learning from Wave 1 document is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-england-test-beds-programme-evaluation-learning-from-wave-1/

The Information Governance Learning Handbook is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-england-test-beds-programme-information-governance-learning-from-wave-1/

More information on Wave 2 Test Beds can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/test-beds/

5th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSN) were employed in each Health Education England (HEE) region and (b) how many DSN training places were funded by HEE in each year since 2009-10; and what steps he is taking to employ more DSNs in the NHS.

Information on the number of diabetes coaches and diabetes specialist nurses who are employed in each Health Education England (HEE) region is not held centrally.

Information on the number of training places funded by HEE for diabetes coaches and diabetes specialist nurses is not held centrally.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to continue to support local health systems to address inequality of access to multidisciplinary foot care teams and specialist nursing support for people who have diabetes.

NHS England has made £80 million transformation funding available to clinical commissioning groups and sustainability transformation partnerships during 2017/18 and 2018/19 to deliver a programme focused on reducing variation and improving outcomes for people with diabetes.

£9.8 million has been made available to put in place 30 new or expanded diabetes inpatient specialist nurse teams, reducing the lengths of hospital stays for people with diabetes through reducing medication errors and advising on effective treatment.

5th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many diabetes coaches were employed in each Health Education England (HEE) region and (b) how many diabetes coaches training places were funded by HEE in each year since 2009-10; and what steps he is taking to employ more diabetes coaches in the NHS.

Information on the number of diabetes coaches and diabetes specialist nurses who are employed in each Health Education England (HEE) region is not held centrally.

Information on the number of training places funded by HEE for diabetes coaches and diabetes specialist nurses is not held centrally.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to continue to support local health systems to address inequality of access to multidisciplinary foot care teams and specialist nursing support for people who have diabetes.

NHS England has made £80 million transformation funding available to clinical commissioning groups and sustainability transformation partnerships during 2017/18 and 2018/19 to deliver a programme focused on reducing variation and improving outcomes for people with diabetes.

£9.8 million has been made available to put in place 30 new or expanded diabetes inpatient specialist nurse teams, reducing the lengths of hospital stays for people with diabetes through reducing medication errors and advising on effective treatment.

5th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Government is taking to ensure that Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSNs) have sufficient time to support patients with more complex needs and (b) what estimate he has made of the proportion of DSNs’ time taken up supporting such patients.

The information requested is not centrally held.

Transformation funding for inpatient diabetes specialist nurse teams will serve to increase capacity and time available to support patients with more complex needs.

15th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the whether the cervical screening programme IT system is fit for purpose.

Following the recent cervical screening incident, announced on 15 November 2018, NHS England has set up a multi-agency clinical panel to manage the incident. Capita has put in place daily audits to ensure all women’s files are accounted for and are looking at how automated processes can be used to reduce errors. Additionally, the checks within the Capita call and recall service have been upgraded at every stage of the process and Capita has appointed an independent audit team to carry out a detailed review into operation systems and processes in Primary Care Support England.

8th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) costs recovered from foreign nationals who have received NHS treatment and (b) cost to the public purse of health tourism in each of the last three years.

It is not possible to provide an estimate of the cost recovered of treating foreign nationals who have received National Health Service treatment as patient nationality is not reported by NHS provider trusts.

The Department does not hold information on the cost to the public purse of health tourism.

However income identified from chargeable overseas visitors, including European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA nationals for NHS services for the subsequent years can be found in the table below which is also published in the NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts annual accounts.

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Income from Chargeable Overseas Patients (£'000)

46,797

69,246

81,402

Income from other European Union states for treatment of their citizens (£'000)

50,045

58,572

86,066


Source: 2015-16 and 2016-17 NHS trust and foundation trust annual accounts

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of UK residents that have travelled abroad for medical treatment in the most recent year for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold information on the number of United Kingdom residents who have travelled abroad for medical treatment. The Department does hold information on UK insured persons who have travelled to the European Economic Area (EEA) to receive medical treatment.

There are two routes through which a UK insured person can receive medical treatment in the EEA:

- S2 – the S2 route may entitle a person to UK funded treatment in another EEA country or Switzerland. For healthcare to be funded under the S2 route, a person would need to apply for funding before treatment and there are certain qualifying criteria that need to be met.

- EU Cross-Border Healthcare Directive – the Directive grants a right to purchase healthcare services across the EEA for all EEA-insured residents and to apply for reimbursement from their home system. A person using this route will have to pay the costs of treatment upfront and then claim eligible costs from the National Health Service on returning home. For some treatments, residents in England will need to get prior authorisation from NHS England before receiving treatment. Switzerland is not a signatory and the Directive does not apply there nor for its residents.

The following tables outline the number of S2s issued in 2016, and the number of reimbursements under the Directive.

S2

In 2016, a total of 1,347 UK-insured individuals received planned medical treatment via the S2 route, in the countries listed as follows.

Member State

Number of S2 issued in 2016

Belgium

40

Bulgaria

4

Czech Republic

63

Denmark

1

Germany

97

Estonia

1

Ireland

38

Greece

14

Spain

148

France

131

Croatia

3

Italy

54

Cyprus

0

Latvia

0

Lithuania

31

Luxembourg

2

Hungary

57

Malta

1

Netherlands

13

Austria

23

Poland

502

Portugal

5

Romania

7

Slovenia

0

Slovak Republic

71

Finland

4

Sweden

27

Iceland

0

Liechtenstein

0

Norway

2

Switzerland

8

Total

1,347

Cross-Border Healthcare Directive

In 2016, a total of 1,113 UK-insured individuals received medical treatment via the Directive route, in the countries listed as follows.

Member State

Number of reimbursements in 2016

Austria

9

Belgium

17

Bulgaria

21

Croatia

1

Cyprus

16

Czech Republic

37

Denmark

2

Estonia

5

Finland

1

France

84

Germany

55

Greece

32

Hungary

26

Iceland

0

Ireland

72

Italy

15

Latvia

30

Liechtenstein

0

Lithuania

150

Luxembourg

0

Malta

2

Netherlands

11

Norway

0

Poland

408

Portugal

14

Romania

11

Slovakia

27

Slovenia

4

Spain

62

Sweden

1

Total

1,113

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have visited the UK for medical treatment in the most recent year for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold information on the number of people who have visited the United Kingdom for medical treatment. However, we do hold information on the number of insured people from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who receive planned medical treatment in the UK.

There are two routes through which an EEA/Swiss-insured person can receive medical treatment in the EEA:

- S2 – the S2 route may entitle a person to UK funded treatment in EEA country or Switzerland. For healthcare to be funded under the S2 route, a person would need to apply for funding before treatment and there are certain qualifying criteria that need to be met.

- EU Cross-Border Healthcare Directive – the Directive grants a right to purchase healthcare services across the EEA for all EEA-insured residents and to apply for reimbursement from their home system. A person using this route will have to pay the costs of treatment upfront and then claim eligible costs from the National Health Service on returning home. For some treatments residents in England will need to get prior authorisation from NHS England before receiving treatment. Switzerland is not a signatory and the Directive does not apply there nor for its residents.

The following table outlines the number of S2s issued in 2016. We do not hold information on the number of reimbursements under the Directive as it is held by other Member States.

In 2016, a total of 1,126 individuals from the EEA/Switzerland received planned medical treatment via the S2 route, issued by the countries listed as follows:

Member State

Number of S2s

Belgium

5

Bulgaria

5

Czech Republic

0

Denmark

11

Germany

7

Estonia

5

Ireland

946

Greece

36

Spain

7

France

5

Croatia

1

Italy

33

Cyprus

22

Latvia

3

Lithuania

0

Luxembourg

2

Hungary

0

Malta

0

Netherlands

12

Austria

9

Poland

4

Portugal

2

Romania

1

Slovenia

3

Slovak Republic

2

Finland

2

Sweden

3

Iceland

0

Liechtenstein

0

Norway

0

Switzerland

0

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Exiting the European Union on reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU after the UK leaves the EU.

The Department of Health and Social Care has frequent discussions and regular meetings with the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure that The Department of Health and Social Care’s EU exit priorities are considered as part of the Government’s overall approach on reciprocal healthcare arrangements and a range of cross-cutting issues.

The Department of Health and Social Care worked closely with the Department for Exiting the European Union to inform the United Kingdom’s paper ‘Safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU: summary proposals’, published in June 2017. The Department of Health and Social Care officials, alongside colleagues from the Department for Exiting the European Union, participate in negotiations with the EU.

The Department of Health and Social Care will continue to liaise with the Department for Exiting the European Union on all matters regarding reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to fully fund the proposed pay award for Agenda For Change NHS Staff for all affected organisations; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor was explicit that additional funding, above that already factored into the 2015 Spending Round, was tied to extensive reforms to the Agenda for Change contract for staff employed in National Health Service organisations to help improve recruitment, retention, increase capacity and improve productivity.

The proposed Agenda for Change pay framework, which includes contract reform and pay awards over three years, is currently out to consultation with the NHS trades unions and the outcome will be known in early June.

We are considering the impact of the agreement on non-NHS organisations that may be affected by the proposed deal, however no decisions have been made.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of geographic variations in the level of access to prevention education on diabetes potentially becoming a disease of deprivation.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was developed to prevent or delay onset of type 2 diabetes in adults in England already identified to be at high risk of type 2 diabetes and was launched in April 2016. Analysis of the first year of the programme showed significantly higher attendance rates in the most deprived quintile compared to the least deprived quintile, 72 per 100,000 population versus 60 per 100,000 population. This suggests that the programme is reaching those who are most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the level of (a) access to and (b) uptake of diabetes prevention (i) methods and (ii) programmes in each clinical commissioning group area; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is not centrally held.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) commenced roll out in June 2016 and to the end of March 2018, 182,846 have been referred to the NHS DPP and 78,326 have commenced programmes, ahead of profile.

NHS Digital would be able to provide a partial response to the information requested pending receipt of the end of year extract for primary care National Diabetes Audit data, which will include NHS DPP audit data. Final report publication will be scheduled for early 2019 dependent on the quality of data received.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the uptake of new diagnostic devices of the lack of mandatory requirement for clinical commissioning groups to provide funding for such devices following approval by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

The Department has made no assessment. Diagnostics guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) makes evidence-based, authoritative recommendations for the National Health Service on the clinical and cost effective use of new diagnostic technologies. There is no statutory funding requirement for technologies recommended by NICE in its diagnostics guidance. However, NHS organisations are expected to take NICE’s guidance into account in making funding decisions for individual diagnostic technologies.

14th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans are in place to encourage the uptake of diagnostics in diabetes.

The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme supports patients identified at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes through a behaviour change programme. Over the course of 9 – 12 months, group sessions help patients achieve a healthy weight, improve nutrition and increase their levels of physical activity.

As part of the programme, NHS England has provided implementation funding to local health economies (sustainability and transformation partnerships, and their partner clinical commissioning groups and local authorities) to support the identification, coding, and onward referral of those individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment he has made of the advice of the Department of Transport’s Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Visual Disorders on driving and diabetes on the uptake of glucose monitors for the management of diabetes.

NHS England has confirmed that no impact assessment has been made of the Department of Transport’s Medical Advisory Panel on Driving and Visual Disorders on driving and diabetes on the uptake of glucose monitors for the management of diabetes.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and measures of deprivation across the country.

The National Diabetes Audit records the Index of Multiple Deprivation status of diabetes patients (and other patient characteristics) and presents this data annually. This is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-diabetes-audit/national-diabetes-audit-report-1-care-processes-and-treatment-targets-2016-17

In 2016/17, type 2 diabetes was 60% more common among people in the most deprived quintile compared with those in the least deprived quintile; 24% of people with type 2 diabetes were from the most deprived quintile compared to 15% from the least deprived quintile in England.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support NICE to update their guidelines on the delivery of structured education for people with (a) type 1 and (b) type 2 diabetes to make use of new digital models of delivery.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is responsible for developing and updating its guidance as necessary in consultation with stakeholders. The Department contributes to the development of NICE guidance through the consultation process. NICE has guidance on individual approaches to behaviour change which is being updated to consider the use of technology such as apps, text messaging and the internet to drive improvements in behaviours such as physical activity, diet and weight. This will have particular relevance for guidelines around digital delivery of structured education for people living with type 2 diabetes.

For type 1 diabetes NHS England intends to launch a new website in July 2018 on NHS.UK, which will focus on empowering people to self-manage their condition. Individuals visiting the site will be able to access remote personalised digital education content from Diabetes UK and an on-line education programme developed by Bournemouth Diabetes Centre.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans there are to increase the number of diabetes apps available on the NHS Digital’s Apps Library.

NHS Digital has confirmed that the apps library has two apps dedicated to diabetes and a further eight apps helping with healthy living including healthy eating plans and fitness. In addition, there are three apps helping with general practitioner appointment management and repeat prescription booking. NHS Digital has a further four apps that are nearing the completion of their assessment that it hopes to add to the library in the coming weeks. Diabetes is one of the top five conditions that NHS Digital is prioritising for the library, aligned with the NHS Five Year Forward View. NHS Digital is currently in the process of building a mechanism to enable healthcare professionals to be able to select their own priority health themes and have suitable apps assessed.

11th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is provided to (a) GPs and (b) other healthcare professionals to enable them to better utilise apps within the current NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to improve patient care.

The evidence base for digital and remote delivery of diabetes prevention programmes is still limited. In order to address this the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has initiated pilots to implement digitally enabled programmes to support individuals with behaviour change and to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Five digital products have been chosen and are available in eight pilot areas across the country.

The providers are working closely with participating general practitioners to identify and refer people to these programmes, which will be robustly evaluated to understand the effectiveness of these interventions and how they can be implemented alongside traditional approaches. NHS England aims to offer these services to around 5,000 individuals during 2018/19.

19th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will retain the NHS Bursary for postgraduate pre-registration nursing students.

On 6 February 2018, the Department for Education laid amendments to their student support regulations to allow pre-registration postgraduate nursing students to access student loans from August 2018.

Subject to parliamentary approval these students will have access to the standard student support system rather than receive a National Health Service bursary.

This is in line with changes made in August 2017 for other healthcare students, including undergraduate nurses.

Allowing these students to access the loans system will enable them to access up to 25% more financial support while they study than under the bursary system.

In addition to the grants available from the student loans company the Government has made available additional funding to support students whilst attending the clinical placement element of their courses: child dependents allowance, travel and dual accommodation and an exceptional hardship fund.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the value of the data collected by the NHS Friends and Family Test.

NHS England is responsible for the NHS Friends and Family Test. There is currently a project underway within NHS England’s Insight and Feedback team, which oversees the Friends and Family Test, to look at what is working best and what can be improved in relation to the test. NHS England expects to update the current guidance by April 2019.

1st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the annual cost to the NHS is of administrating the Staff Friends and Family Test.

NHS England are responsible for the Staff Friends and Family Test (FFT) and are unable to provide a breakdown of the annual cost of administering this test. The Staff FFT is administered from the same budget and by the same staff who work on the patient-facing FFT. The Staff FFT accounts for the smaller element of these costs.

In terms of the non-central costs of the FFT process, this is in the hands of local providers and they are responsible for promoting the FFT tool and its outcomes, but the costs are normally minimal. NHS England does not collect this information.

During peak activity around the FFT rollout to services in 2014/15, the budget was a little over £5 million. The central spend allocation has been reducing annually to reflect the reduction in work as the FFT becomes “business as usual” across NHS services. In the current year it stands at about £1 million.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the replacement with loans of the nurse training bursary on the number of applications from mature students in the last 12 months.

The Government published a consultation response and Equality Analysis on the 21 July 2016. These documents provide the assessment of the potential effect of the replacement of National Health Service bursaries by student loans for all the protected characteristics of the Public Sector Equality Duty (Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010).

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application data showed that the number of English-domiciled students aged 21 and above applying for nursing and midwifery courses1 in 2017 was 24,160; applicant numbers were 28% lower than in 2016.

UCAS’s end-of-cycle data showed the number of acceptances of students aged 21 and above to nursing and midwifery in England in 2017 was 13,025; this is similar to acceptance numbers in 2014 and 2015.

A number of provisions have been made to support all pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students. These include child dependents allowance, travel and dual accommodation support and an exceptional hardship fund in certain circumstances.

Developing new work based routes into nursing is a priority for the Department. That is why we have developed the new nursing associate role and Nursing Degree Apprenticeship which will open up routes into the registered nursing profession for thousands of people from all backgrounds and allow employers to grow their own workforce. There are currently 2,000 Nursing Associates in training on 35 Health Education England Pilots, due to complete and become qualified in 2019.

Note:

1It should be noted that the information provided is for nursing and midwifery as UCAS’s published data does not separate out the two courses.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department provides to dental practices on the promotion of private tooth-whitening procedures in their surgeries.

Only treatments that are clinically necessary are provided on the National Health Service so tooth whitening can only usually be provided privately. No specific guidance is therefore issued by the Department or NHS England on tooth whitening.

As with any other dental cosmetic procedure practices are able to advertise and offer this service to patients privately. Dentists are required to make clear to patients what treatments are being provided on the NHS and privately and the costs, risks and benefits associated with each.

Dentists’ clinical practice is regulated by the General Dental Council. This includes cosmetic procedures such as tooth whitening as well as treatments that are clinically necessary.

7th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to provide additional funding to the NHS to finance the lifting of the NHS pay cap.

The detail of 2018/19 pay remits for specific pay review bodies will be discussed and set out in due course. Any changes will need to be justified by evidence on recruitment and retention, or by productivity gains. The Department will continue to look at efficiency and value for money in our budgets.

18th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many contracts are currently held by NHS Shared Business Services in NHS Trusts in (a) England and (b) the North West region of England.

The number of contracts currently held by NHS Shared Business Services in National Health Service trusts in England is 110, and in the North West region of England is 37.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to ensure future supplies of the Tazocin brand of the antibiotic piperacillin-tazobactam.

The Department is in direct contact with all suppliers of piperacillin-tazobactam about future supplies coming into the United Kingdom, including Pfizer who market the brand Tazocin. Pfizer currently have supplies available and have confirmed that they are able to bring larger volumes of Tazocin to the UK market from October onwards. Several other suppliers of generic piperacillin-tazobactam injection have also confirmed supplies are available and there is no clinical preference between any given manufacturer’s version of the medicine.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will estimate the potential cost to the NHS of longer (a) treatment times and (b) hospital stays as a result of prescribing less powerful antibiotics as a result of the international shortage of the antibiotic piperacillin-tazobactam.

No such estimate has been made. In response to the shortage of piperacillin-tazobactam, the Department has been working with national antimicrobial leads through Public Health England and the Department’s Expert Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Prescribing Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections who published guidance on appropriate alternative treatment options to ensure that any impact on patient care has been minimised. This guidance provided recommendations on the different broad spectrum antibiotics, or a combination of narrower spectrum antibiotics that can be used to treat the range of infections for which piperacillin-tazobactam is licensed.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the (a) median and (b) average length in years is of clinical service contracts awarded to private providers in England.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that this information is not held centrally.

Clinical commissioning groups and NHS England are responsible for awarding and holding contracts with providers for the services that they have a responsibility to commission.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many clinical services contracts awarded to private providers in England are of a duration of longer than five years.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that this information is not held centrally.

Clinical commissioning groups and NHS England are responsible for awarding and holding contracts with providers for the services that they have a responsibility to commission.

30th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will review NHS payroll service contracts held by Shared Business Services.

NHS Shared Business Services Ltd (SBS) is a joint venture company owned by the Department and Sopra Steria. It contracts with National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts and other NHS bodies to provide a range of services including finance and accounting services, procurement and human resources and payroll services. SBS wins contracts from NHS bodies by demonstrating value for money in its service offerings to them and we have no plans to review the payroll services carried out by the Company.

30th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of comments by the vice-chancellors of Worcester University and of West of England University that no new money has been made available to fund the promised 10,000 new training places for nurses after the abolition of nurse bursaries; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to reforming nursing, midwifery and allied health pre-registration education and increasing the number of places available for students so that two in three nursing applicants are no longer turned down for a place; at the same time ensuring these students have more cash available to them while they study. As a result, we expect these reforms to enable universities to create up to 10,000 additional nursing and other health professional training places by 2020.

Health Education England is confident that the National Health Service will have the required number of students it needs starting courses this year and will continue to work with the education sector to deliver these reforms successfully for the longer term.

It should also be noted that students will continue to apply for courses up to September and through clearing.

Arrangements confirming the future clinical placement model will be published in due course.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what funding his Department has provided to operational delivery networks for the creation of outreach services in hepatitis C since 2015.

4,298 people commenced treatment for hepatitis C in the first six months of the current financial year 2016/17.

The table below breaks down this information for each operational delivery network (ODN).

Hepatitis C Operational Delivery Network

Treatment Run rate Actual (Months 1-6)

Barts

226

Birmingham

376

Bristol and Severn Hepatitis C ODN

122

Cheshire and Merseyside

194

Eastern Hepatitis Network

273

Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire

328

Humberside and North Yorkshire

169

Kent Network via Kings

61

Lancashire and South Cumbria

113

Leicester

118

North Central London Viral Hepatitis Network

319

North East and Cumbria

183

Nottingham

174

South Thames Hepatitis Network

419

South Yorkshire

174

Surrey Hepatitis Services

71

Sussex Hepatology Network

78

SW Peninsula Hepatitis C ODN

119

Thames Valley Hepatitis C ODN

163

Wessex Hepatitis C ODN

147

West London

227

West Yorkshire

244

Grand Total

4,298

Pathways of care for hepatitis C need to take account of local service needs, existing and planned infrastructure and facilities. NHS England supports ODNs in their work to determine appropriate local pathways, but does not impose national care pathways. ODNs have been incentivised and funded to develop local care pathways that are responsive to local needs.

NHS England invested in a CQUIN (contractual payment for quality) scheme in ODNs first year of operation in 2015/16 and have since expanded the funding which provides incentive based funding for providers to achieve treatment rates by working with local partners to find the best ways to identify and prioritise patients for treatment, which may include supporting outreach service development, something NHS England is supportive of where locally determined. The CQUIN scheme for Hepatitis C ODN lead providers equates to £100,000 per ODN + 0.8% of the overall contracted spend on specialised care for all services at the lead hospital, and is published on the NHS England website.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if the NHS will develop a common care pathway for the treatment of different types of hepatitis C and HIV.

4,298 people commenced treatment for hepatitis C in the first six months of the current financial year 2016/17.

The table below breaks down this information for each operational delivery network (ODN).

Hepatitis C Operational Delivery Network

Treatment Run rate Actual (Months 1-6)

Barts

226

Birmingham

376

Bristol and Severn Hepatitis C ODN

122

Cheshire and Merseyside

194

Eastern Hepatitis Network

273

Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire

328

Humberside and North Yorkshire

169

Kent Network via Kings

61

Lancashire and South Cumbria

113

Leicester

118

North Central London Viral Hepatitis Network

319

North East and Cumbria

183

Nottingham

174

South Thames Hepatitis Network

419

South Yorkshire

174

Surrey Hepatitis Services

71

Sussex Hepatology Network

78

SW Peninsula Hepatitis C ODN

119

Thames Valley Hepatitis C ODN

163

Wessex Hepatitis C ODN

147

West London

227

West Yorkshire

244

Grand Total

4,298

Pathways of care for hepatitis C need to take account of local service needs, existing and planned infrastructure and facilities. NHS England supports ODNs in their work to determine appropriate local pathways, but does not impose national care pathways. ODNs have been incentivised and funded to develop local care pathways that are responsive to local needs.

NHS England invested in a CQUIN (contractual payment for quality) scheme in ODNs first year of operation in 2015/16 and have since expanded the funding which provides incentive based funding for providers to achieve treatment rates by working with local partners to find the best ways to identify and prioritise patients for treatment, which may include supporting outreach service development, something NHS England is supportive of where locally determined. The CQUIN scheme for Hepatitis C ODN lead providers equates to £100,000 per ODN + 0.8% of the overall contracted spend on specialised care for all services at the lead hospital, and is published on the NHS England website.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people commenced treatment for hepatitis C in the first six months of financial year 2016-17 in each operational delivery network area.

4,298 people commenced treatment for hepatitis C in the first six months of the current financial year 2016/17.

The table below breaks down this information for each operational delivery network (ODN).

Hepatitis C Operational Delivery Network

Treatment Run rate Actual (Months 1-6)

Barts

226

Birmingham

376

Bristol and Severn Hepatitis C ODN

122

Cheshire and Merseyside

194

Eastern Hepatitis Network

273

Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire

328

Humberside and North Yorkshire

169

Kent Network via Kings

61

Lancashire and South Cumbria

113

Leicester

118

North Central London Viral Hepatitis Network

319

North East and Cumbria

183

Nottingham

174

South Thames Hepatitis Network

419

South Yorkshire

174

Surrey Hepatitis Services

71

Sussex Hepatology Network

78

SW Peninsula Hepatitis C ODN

119

Thames Valley Hepatitis C ODN

163

Wessex Hepatitis C ODN

147

West London

227

West Yorkshire

244

Grand Total

4,298

Pathways of care for hepatitis C need to take account of local service needs, existing and planned infrastructure and facilities. NHS England supports ODNs in their work to determine appropriate local pathways, but does not impose national care pathways. ODNs have been incentivised and funded to develop local care pathways that are responsive to local needs.

NHS England invested in a CQUIN (contractual payment for quality) scheme in ODNs first year of operation in 2015/16 and have since expanded the funding which provides incentive based funding for providers to achieve treatment rates by working with local partners to find the best ways to identify and prioritise patients for treatment, which may include supporting outreach service development, something NHS England is supportive of where locally determined. The CQUIN scheme for Hepatitis C ODN lead providers equates to £100,000 per ODN + 0.8% of the overall contracted spend on specialised care for all services at the lead hospital, and is published on the NHS England website.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which sustainability and transformation plans have identified (a) hepatitis C or (b) HIV as a priority.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plans are intended to be strategic proposals for how areas will deliver the Five Year Forward View, and the financial; health and wellbeing; and care and quality challenges in their locality. They are, therefore, high level plans and are not designed to address the delivery of individual services.

1st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on access to care of any requirement for two forms of identification to be provided before NHS treatment is given to a patient.

We welcome trusts piloting schemes whereby they ask National Health Service patients for two forms of identification to demonstrate an individual’s residency status. This is good practice and helps establish in a non-discriminatory way who may be eligible for free NHS care and who may not. We will monitor the impact that identification checks have, including the effect on costs identified and recovered from people not eligible for free NHS care.

20th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what timetable has been set by his Department for eliminating hepatitis C based on current testing and treatment rates.

Testing and diagnosis of individuals infected with hepatitis C and their subsequent engagement in care and treatment are important aspects of controlling hepatitis C, along with prevention activities and a comprehensive surveillance system. These actions will contribute to the World Health Organization Europe Action Plan for viral hepatitis which is looking for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat in the European Region by 2030.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have published guidance on testing for hepatitis C to target at-risk populations. Data from Public Health England’s surveillance of blood born virus (BBV) testing in England and opt-out BBV testing programme in prisons suggest testing rates have remained stable in primary care and improved in pathfinder prisons. However, only around one half of people who inject drugs sampled in United Kingdom surveys were aware of their hepatitis C infection status, and this figure has remained relatively stable at this level over the last five years.

Public Health England supports the Government’s efforts by publishing hepatitis C metrics which are available in the report Hepatitis C in the UK 2016 report: Working towards its elimination as a major public health threat. A copy of the report is attached.

23rd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the potential savings to the public purse resulting from reduced NHS spending arising from predicted reductions in road casualties for 2017.

The Department is unable to provide a detailed estimate of savings from the predicted reductions in road casualties in 2017.

The National Health Service has identified £22 billion of potential high level savings across the system over this parliament period to 2020-21, including savings related to hospital expenditure.

13th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that work status is routinely recorded in health records.

This matter is under consideration as part of work on the forthcoming Green Paper on work and health.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the annual cost of care is for a person with (a) decompensated cirrhosis of the liver and (b) hepatocellular carcinoma.

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is shown in the table below and is from reference costs, which are the average unit cost to National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts of providing defined services in a given financial year. Reference costs are published annually, with most recently available data being for 2014-15.

Reference costs for acute care are collected by healthcare resource group (HRG), which are standard groupings of clinically similar treatments that consume similar levels of healthcare resource. HRGs are organised by chapters and sub-chapters, representing different body systems, and HRG sub-chapters GC and PG describe hepatobiliary and pancreatic system disorders for adults and children respectively. The average costs in the following table will therefore include the costs to NHS hospitals of treating decompensated cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as the costs of other related disorders.

These costs do not include high cost drugs, or treatment in outpatient or other settings outside of hospital. They reflect the costs of a single episode of care under one consultant for a patient admitted to hospital for either elective or non-elective treatment. Patients admitted to hospital may have multiple episodes of care and each one of these episodes will be recorded separately.

Total cost to NHS hospitals of treating hepatobiliary and pancreatic system disorders, 2014-15

Average cost per Finished Consultant Episode (£)

Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders1

1,984

Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders2

1,751

Paediatric, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders3

2,344

Source: Reference costs, Department of Health

Notes:

1. The following HRGs are included in the table:

GC12C Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Multiple Interventions

GC12D Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 5+

GC12E Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 2-4

GC12F Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 0-1

GC12G Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 6+

GC12H Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 3-5

GC12J Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 1-2

GC12K Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 0

2. GC17A Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Multiple Interventions, with CC Score 9+

GC17B Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Multiple Interventions, with CC Score 4-8

GC17C Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Multiple Interventions, with CC Score 0-3

GC17D Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 9+

GC17E Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 4-8

GC17F Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with Single Intervention, with CC Score 0-3

GC17G Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 8+

GC17H Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 5-7

GC17J Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 2-4

GC17K Non-Malignant, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, without Interventions, with CC Score 0-1

3. PG71A Paediatric, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with CC Score 2+

PG71B Paediatric, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with CC Score 1

PG71C Paediatric, Hepatobiliary or Pancreatic Disorders, with CC Score 0

4. These HRGs are common groupings of the ICD-10 codes used to count the number of finished admission episodes with a primary or secondary diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma or decompensated cirrhosis. They also include other ICD-10 codes

5. For each HRG or other currency in the reference cost collection, NHS hospital trusts submit a unit cost and amount of activity undertaken.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he expects Public Health England to publish the National Liver Strategy Framework.

Public Health England (PHE) has a wide range of work to tackle liver disease. This includes monitoring deaths from liver disease and its risk factors, publishing Local Authority Liver Disease Profiles and updating the Atlas of Variation on Liver Disease. The Atlas of Variation will inform the development of the PHE Liver Disease Framework, therefore publication is likely to take place after the update is completed this winter.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with the devolved administrations on the UK's commitment to eliminating viral hepatitis as a serious public health threat, made at the 69th World Health Assembly in May 2016.

The United Kingdom has a comprehensive surveillance system in place combining laboratory diagnoses data, risk/behaviour data, outcome data, statistical modelling and service evaluation to monitor the cascade of care, detect outbreaks, and generate burden estimates. The UK has a national programme of screening of blood donors and blood transfusions for blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B and C, to ensure safe supplies – 100% of blood donors are screened with quality assured methods. There is national guidance and legislation around infection control in healthcare settings including a policy for healthcare workers to prevent nosocomial transmission of blood-borne viruses. Prevention efforts in minimising harm in people who inject drugs is focused on access to opiate substitution therapies and needle syringe exchange programmes, and disinfection tablets in prisons.

Currently the UK has a selective immunisation policy for hepatitis B with a neonatal programme for those infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers, and vaccination of other high risk groups.

Public Health England has had discussions about Hepatitis C metrics for the report “Hepatitis C in the UK 2016 report - Working towards its elimination as a major public health threat” which the DAs contributed to. The report is available at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541317/Hepatitis_C_in_the_UK_2016_report.pdf

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, published in April 2016, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the elimination of viral hepatitis as a serious public health threat by 2030.

The United Kingdom has a comprehensive surveillance system in place combining laboratory diagnoses data, risk/behaviour data, outcome data, statistical modelling and service evaluation to monitor the cascade of care, detect outbreaks, and generate burden estimates. The UK has a national programme of screening of blood donors and blood transfusions for blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis B and C, to ensure safe supplies – 100% of blood donors are screened with quality assured methods. There is national guidance and legislation around infection control in healthcare settings including a policy for healthcare workers to prevent nosocomial transmission of blood-borne viruses. Prevention efforts in minimising harm in people who inject drugs is focused on access to opiate substitution therapies and needle syringe exchange programmes, and disinfection tablets in prisons.

Currently the UK has a selective immunisation policy for hepatitis B with a neonatal programme for those infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers, and vaccination of other high risk groups.

Public Health England has had discussions about Hepatitis C metrics for the report “Hepatitis C in the UK 2016 report - Working towards its elimination as a major public health threat” which the DAs contributed to. The report is available at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541317/Hepatitis_C_in_the_UK_2016_report.pdf

6th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons restrictions on advertising and promotional deals on unhealthy foods were not included in the Government's childhood obesity plan.

In developing the plan we have been very open about the fact we considered a number of different policies and have focused on the ones that are likely to have the biggest impact on childhood obesity.

The policies in the plan are informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, other government departments, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

Evidence shows that current restrictions on the advertising of less healthy food and drink in the United Kingdom are amongst the toughest in the world.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the eight key actions recommended in the Public Health England report entitled Sugar Reduction, the evidence for action, published in October 2015, for what reasons all of those actions were not included in the Government's childhood obesity plan.

We launched Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action on 18 August. Our plan focuses on actions that are likely to have the biggest impact on childhood obesity. The policies in the plan are informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, other Government Departments, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

We are confident that the measures we have announced will make a real difference to obesity rates. Though we are clear in our goals and firm in the action we will take, the launch of this plan represents the start of a conversation, rather than the final word.

22nd Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the number of hospitals which do not have a multi-disciplinary diabetes foot care team as advised in NICE guidance.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published clinical guidance and quality standards on the treatment of diabetes and its complications. The NICE Diabetes Quality Standard is clear that people with diabetes who are at risk of foot ulceration should receive regular reviews by a foot protection team in accordance with its clinical guidance. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) places a duty on NHS England to have regard to the NICE Quality Standards. Clinical commissioning groups should also have regard to them in planning and delivering services, as part of a general duty to secure a continuous improvement in quality.

Our mandate to NHS England for next year includes an objective for NHS England “to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives”.

There has been an increase in the provision of access to a Multidisciplinary Diabetes Foot care Teams and an indicator measuring performance is included within the National Diabetes Audit to enable progress to be tracked. The focus to date has been on improving access to assessment and treatment by a specialist team. In terms of the proportion of hospitals with a Multidisciplinary Diabetes Foot Care Team, this was 60% in 2011, 72% in 2013, and the figure for 2015 will be published soon as part of the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit 2015 report.

22nd Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress has been made in reducing the national diabetes-related amputation rate since his 2013 commitment to halving that rate.

The NHS Five Year Forward View committed to introducing the first national diabetes prevention programme to be delivered nationwide. As a result, NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have been working together on Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which this year will offer at least 10,000 places on an evidence based behaviour change intervention shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Preventing diabetes from developing in those at risk will be key to combatting the rise of this condition and its complications, including those resulting in amputation, in the coming years.

We have made achieving a measurable reduction in variation in the management and care of people with diabetes by 2020 a mandate objective for NHS England and improving foot care for people with diabetes is an important part of achieving this. NHS England will support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and providers in identifying the steps they need to take to improve outcomes for patients with diabetes, including foot care services for inpatients.

Improvements in outcomes for patients with diabetes will be monitored as part of the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework. Also, the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit, the first of which was published in March, provides data on all diabetes foot care services. This will enable all foot care services to measure their performance against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence clinical guidelines and peer units, and to monitor adverse outcomes for people who develop diabetic foot disease.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will review provision of the FRANK drug advice service to support reducing risks to young people.

FRANK provides impartial, reliable and confidential information and advice about drug use. Public Health England (PHE) updates FRANK to reflect new and emerging patterns of drug use and is currently considering how best to enhance the service to remain in line with young people’s media habits and strengthen situational advice to reduce risks to young people.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug and alcohol education prevention and treatment services to young people and parents. PHE supports local authorities in this work by providing a range of supportive guidance and materials, as well as bespoke data, value for money tools, topical briefings, and advice on good practice.

PHE is supporting a range of prevention and information programmes for young people and parents, including jointly funding Mentor UK’s Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service which is a web-based platform for sharing information and resources aimed at schools and practitioners working in drug and alcohol prevention.

PHE also provides Rise Above, an online social marketing programme that aims to reduce the uptake of risky behaviours, including drug taking, by young people aged 11-16. It aims to give them the skills required to make better decisions in ‘risky’ situations to delay and prevent them from engaging in exploratory behaviours.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps the Government takes to provide drug harm reduction information for young people and parents.

FRANK provides impartial, reliable and confidential information and advice about drug use. Public Health England (PHE) updates FRANK to reflect new and emerging patterns of drug use and is currently considering how best to enhance the service to remain in line with young people’s media habits and strengthen situational advice to reduce risks to young people.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug and alcohol education prevention and treatment services to young people and parents. PHE supports local authorities in this work by providing a range of supportive guidance and materials, as well as bespoke data, value for money tools, topical briefings, and advice on good practice.

PHE is supporting a range of prevention and information programmes for young people and parents, including jointly funding Mentor UK’s Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service which is a web-based platform for sharing information and resources aimed at schools and practitioners working in drug and alcohol prevention.

PHE also provides Rise Above, an online social marketing programme that aims to reduce the uptake of risky behaviours, including drug taking, by young people aged 11-16. It aims to give them the skills required to make better decisions in ‘risky’ situations to delay and prevent them from engaging in exploratory behaviours.

11th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the concluding evaluation of the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Payment-by-Results pilot programme will be published.

Publication by the University of Manchester of the final report on the evaluation of the drug and alcohol recovery payment by results pilots programme is expected this summer following completion of an independent peer review process.

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the National Living Wage on the provision of adult social care.

The new National Living Wage (NLW) will ensure that care workers are better paid for the vital work they do. The Government engaged with the social care sector, including care providers and the costs of the NLW were considered as part of the Spending Review. The overall costs to local authorities of providing social care were also considered.


We recognise that demand for social care is growing and that councils will need to increase the price they pay for care to cover costs such as the NLW.


The Spending Review settlement provides £3.5 billion of new support for social care by 2019/20. Councils will be able to introduce a new Social Care Precept, which will allow an increase of 2% above the existing threshold to be added to council tax, raising up to £2 billion that has to be spent exclusively on adult social care. By 2019/20 an extra £1.5 billion will have been made available to be included in the Better Care Fund. Taken together, the Social Care Precept and the Better Care Fund will mean local government has access to funding to increase social care spending in real terms by the end of the Parliament.


17th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has considered referring the junior doctors' contract dispute to ACAS.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State is not ruling out conciliation – however, we believe it is still possible to have meaningful talks. We have already sought independent views on contract reform – having asked the independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists Remuneration (DDRB) for recommendations which formed the basis of our offer, an offer which the British Medical Association have so far refused to talk about. Both the BMA and the Government gave evidence to the DDRB. We continue to urge the BMA to come back round the table, and there are no preconditions to any talks, though of course the Government reserves the right to make changes to contracts if no progress is made on the issues preventing a truly 7 day NHS. That was promised in the manifesto and endorsed by the British people at the last election.

The DDRB made 23 recommendations and proposed that these should be the basis for national level negotiations between the BMA and NHS Employers, which the Government accepted. The DDRB’s report was published in July this year.

The BMA has refused to accept these independent recommendations as the basis for negotiations. The Government continues to urge the BMA to return to talks and to work in partnership with NHS Employers to agree a new contract that works for junior doctors and patients.


17th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when Public Health England and NHS England's improvement framework for hepatitis C will be published.

A publication date for the hepatitis C framework has not yet been confirmed. While NHS England is progressing the hepatitis C framework, Public Health England continues working with NHS England and Operational Development Networks to establish a process of monitoring of treatment access and uptake.

14th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he has made an estimate of the annual cost to the public purse of all medicines costing over £20 issued by the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

The number of dispensed prescription items valued greater than £20.00, with the net ingredient cost (NIC), compared with the total for all dispensed prescription items, is provided for the last complete calendar year.

Prescription items written in the United Kingdom and dispensed, in the community, in England - 2014

Items (000’s)

NIC (£000’s)

Items with NIC greater than £20.00

104,576.4

5,295,382.8

All items

1,064,573.8

8,852,574.9

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis, provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre

Note: NIC per item is an average; it is not an exact measure of the cost of the medicine. The quantity of the medicine prescribed can vary for each prescription item.

13th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to review responsibilities within pay bands in the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

The March 2013 national Agenda for Change collective agreement sets out the respective responsibilities between staff and employers on workforce re-profiling and can be found on the NHS Employers website at:

http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/pay-and-reward/pay/agenda-for-change-pay/agenda-for-change-amendments-2013

There are no plans to review how job responsibilities will be evaluated.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the programme of work for liver disease being developed by Public Health England will include a hepatitis C improvement framework.

NHS England and Public Health England continue to work on a framework for hepatitis C improvement. This hepatitis C improvement framework will set high level aims for the public health system towards elimination of hepatitis C related liver disease as a significant public health concern, with specific, measurable, time bound objectives that feed into this overarching ambition.

The hepatitis C improvement framework will be referred to in the Public Health England liver disease framework. The latter framework will be published in autumn 2015.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on what basis his Department decided the national waiting time criteria for referral to (a) specialist services for HIV treatment and (b) hepatitis C treatment; and what the reason is for the difference in duration between the two sets of criteria.

Timing for access to care or treatments for all NHS England service specifications or policies is based on an assessment of the evidence for clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and affordability.

23rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he expects that Public Health England's programme of work on liver disease will be published.

The Public Health England’s liver disease framework will be published in the autumn 2015.

3rd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ensure that NICE follows guidelines on consultation with diabetes professional bodies and representative groups before adopting the proposed substantive changes to the original draft guideline on Type 2 diabetes for final publication.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) follows the processes and methods set out in its guidelines manual when developing and updating its clinical guidelines. The draft guideline for type 2 diabetes was publicly consulted on between 7 January and 4 March 2015. In exceptional circumstances, NICE may consider the need for a further 4-week stakeholder consultation, if either information or data that would significantly alter the guideline were omitted from the first draft, or evidence was misinterpreted in the first draft and the amended interpretation significantly alters the draft recommendations. However as no new systematic reviews, modelling or analyses have informed the proposed changes, NICE has decided a second consultation is not required. NICE expects to publish its final guidance in August 2015.

NICE’s guidelines manual is available at:

www.nice.org.uk/article/PMG20/chapter/1%20Introduction%20and%20overview

12th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many private prescriptions for (a) benzodiazepines, (b) z drugs and (c) antidepressants were issued in 2013; and whether such private prescriptions are included in the analysis by the NHS of prescription costs.

Information is held by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) on the numbers of original private prescriptions for controlled drugs that are listed in Schedules 2 or 3 to the Misuse of Drug Regulations 2001 (as amended) (“the 2001 Regulations”) and dispensed in the community in England by NHS community pharmacies. These pharmacies submit regular returns to the NHSBSA for monitoring purposes only with no cost information collected.

No benzodiazepine drugs are listed in Schedule 2 to the 2001 Regulations. The benzodiazepines, flunitrazepam, midazolam and temazepam are listed in Schedule 3 to the 2001 Regulations. In 2013, the NHSBSA recorded 3,021 private prescriptions for these drugs, as defined within the British National Formulary Section 4.1.1 Hypnotics, Section 4.8.2 Drugs used in status epilepticus and Section 15.1.4 Sedative and analgesic peri-operative drugs. Other benzodiazepine drugs are listed in Schedule 4 to the 2001 Regulations. No “Z” drugs or antidepressants are listed in Schedules 2 or 3 to the 2001 Regulations.

27th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will publish the declarations of interest submitted by members of the expert group with responsibilty for updating the UK guidelines on clinical management of drugs mususe and dependence.

The expert group updating the United Kingdom guidelines for the clinical management of drug misuse and dependence consists of a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including practising clinicians, pharmacists, service users, carers, psychologists, commissioners and academics. Each is required to complete a declaration of interests and keep this updated.

Public Health England, which provides the secretariat for the group, has reviewed these declarations and on the basis of the information provided believes that no expert group members have a financial interest in the prescribing of specific medicines for the treatment of dependence.

Clinicians’ declarations will be published alongside the updated clinical guidelines by early 2016.

27th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to reduce addiction to prescribed benzodiazepines and z drugs.

Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and others are working together to deliver a wide-ranging programme of work to reduce addiction to medicines. This includes completed work such as publishing a guide to commissioning services to respond to addiction to medicines, factsheets for general practitioners (GPs) (Royal College of General Practitioners) and delivering face-to-face training for GPs and other healthcare workers. Looking ahead, PHE is supporting a number of pilots of improved local commissioning.

There is now better awareness of these issues among GPs and clearer prescribing guidelines.

27th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will make an assessment of the implications for its policies of the survey of treatment services provided by local authorities for involuntary tranquilliser addicts conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction.

The Department has taken into account the All Party Parliamentary Group on Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction’s survey in its deliberations in this policy area.

27th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he plans to take to ensure that patients prescribed benzodiazepines and z drugs are provided with recent Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority advice on those drugs' addiction potential and the time taken to withdraw safely from taking such drugs.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not recently issued any new advice on the addiction potential or the safe withdrawal from benzodiazepines or “z drugs”.

Benzodiazepines and “z drugs” (zaleplon, zolpidem and zopiclone) are recognised to be associated with an addiction potential particularly when taken for longer than the recommended 2-4 weeks. Over the years action has been taken by the MHRA, the Department of Health and professional bodies to provide extensive warnings about the risks of dependence, limit prescribing and issue advice about gradual withdrawal.

The risk of dependence on a benzodiazepine (or zaleplon, zolpidem and zopiclone) can increase with higher doses and longer duration of use; therefore, the time it takes to completely stop the medicine varies and withdrawal programmes may sometimes need to be individually tailored.

Patients receive a patient information leaflet in their pack of benzodiazepine (or zaleplon, zolpidem and zopiclone). The leaflet includes information and advice about their medicine, which will support the vital discussions they have with their doctor and pharmacist about their treatment or stopping treatment.

Benzodiazepines and “z drugs” are considered acceptably safe and effective when used in accordance with the approved indications and for the recommended duration of use.

An online learning module for healthcare professionals on benzodiazepines was published on the MHRA’s website in March 2013. The module’s section on dependence and withdrawal gives general guidance on the principles of benzodiazepine withdrawal. The online learning module reflects the product information for these medicines.

5th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average waiting time to see a GP is in Heywood and Middleton constituency.

The requested data is not collected centrally.

30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in The Gambia in relation to (a) freedom of expression and (b) freedom of association.

The British Government has a strong relationship with The Gambia and is encouraged by positive progress on the human rights situation since President Barrow took office in 2017. We welcome the commitment of the President and the Government of The Gambia to embrace change by drafting a new Gambian Constitution that has a human rights based approach to development with freedom of expression, freedom of association and media freedom at the heart of it. As the former Foreign Secretary acknowledged at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event on 2 May 2019, The Gambia has made huge strides in improving media freedoms having climbed 30 places in the World Press Freedom Index over the last year.

When our Ambassador for Human Rights visited The Gambia in October, she held constructive meetings across the Government of The Gambia and with civil society on human rights issues. We now look forward to The Gambia’s upcoming Human Rights Universal Periodic Review on 5 November and urge the Government of the Gambia to implement recommendations appropriately in fulfilment of their human rights obligations.

The UK will continue to support The Gambia taking specific action to resolve the challenges still to be addressed so that the human rights of all its citizens are respected and protected.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help promote media freedom in The Gambia.

The British Government has a strong relationship with The Gambia and is encouraged by positive progress on the human rights situation since President Barrow took office in 2017. We welcome the commitment of the President and the Government of The Gambia to embrace change by drafting a new Gambian Constitution that has a human rights based approach to development with freedom of expression, freedom of association and media freedom at the heart of it. As the former Foreign Secretary acknowledged at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event on 2 May 2019, The Gambia has made huge strides in improving media freedoms having climbed 30 places in the World Press Freedom Index over the last year.

When our Ambassador for Human Rights visited The Gambia in October, she held constructive meetings across the Government of The Gambia and with civil society on human rights issues. We now look forward to The Gambia’s upcoming Human Rights Universal Periodic Review on 5 November and urge the Government of the Gambia to implement recommendations appropriately in fulfilment of their human rights obligations.

The UK will continue to support The Gambia taking specific action to resolve the challenges still to be addressed so that the human rights of all its citizens are respected and protected.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the humanitarian crisis in the anglophone region of Cameroon is a priority for his Department.

​The British Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. We continue to raise these concerns at the highest levels, including with the Government of Cameroon, at the UN and with international partners. The British Government is providing lifesaving assistance to thousands of people in the Anglophone regions through a £2.5m contribution to the UN's humanitarian response plan. We urge all sides to engage in credible dialogue to tackle root causes of the crisis. Supporting security, stability and good governance in Africa is a foreign policy priority.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the presence of al-Shabaab in Somalia; and what support his Department is providing to the Somali Government to counter the threat of al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab represents a serious threat to security and stability in Somalia. The UK provides support to countering that threat through the provision of stipends and training to the African Union Mission in Somalia, which has been successful in driving al-Shabaab out of key urban centres. The UK also has an extensive programme of support to Somalia's security sector reform, which is helping Somalia take responsibility for its own national security, and ensuring it is threatened less by al-Shabaab. The UK also plays a leading role in upholding and strengthening the UN's Somalia sanctions regime that takes measures against those who seek to prevent a peaceful political process and threaten regional stability.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of media freedom in Tanzania since the arrest of investigative journalist Erick Kabendera.

On 5 August, I said publically that we were concerned at Mr Kabendera's continued detention and that the charges kept changing – a tactic commonly used to stop journalists from doing their job. On 9 August, our High Commission and the Embassy of the United States in Dar Es Salaam issued a joint statement expressing concern about Mr Kabendera's detention and the steady erosion of due process in Tanzania. The British Government believes that media freedom is vital to functioning societies and that journalists must be able to investigate and report as they see fit. The Government of Tanzania is well aware of our stance given that the Foreign Minister Kabudi attended the Media Freedom Conference in London last month.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the (a) involvement of civil society in the talks between the US and the Taliban in Afghanistan and (b) rights of women in any agreement that might be reached in those talks.

Talks between the US Government and the Taliban are a positive step towards an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. Resolution of the conflict will require negotiations between Afghans, including the National Unity Government and the Taliban. We continue to make clear the importance of the involvement of civil society and of women and minorities in the process to shape Afghanistan's future.

Afghanistan is a focus country in the UK's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and a priority country in our efforts to promote women's meaningful inclusion in peace processes. We encourage the Afghanistan Government to bring women into discussions on peace and to ensure the participation of Afghan women in all levels of decision-making, from the local level to the negotiation table. The UK funds programmes in support of this, including a pilot on local approaches to peace, with an emphasis on women, across four districts and two provinces. We also support the "Open Jirga" television programme which provides a platform for women's representation in politics, including on the critical issue of peace.

16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will make the eradication of torture in detention settings a priority for the Government's engagement with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are aware of the report undertaken by Freedom from Torture. We remain concerned at the human rights situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which includes sexual and gender based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extrajudicial killings, inhumane and degrading treatment and restrictions to democratic space. We continue to call upon the government of the DRC to exercise restraint and proportionality in any security response, and to investigate and hold to account those accused of committing acts of violence, including members of the security forces.

The UK continues to work to improve the human rights situation in the DRC, including by helping to educate human rights defenders and by promoting conflict resolution. The UK also helps fund the United Nation Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), which tracks human rights abuses and violations in DRC. We have also financed projects in support of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), gender inequality, improving democratic participation and through DFID programmes we are supporting security reforms. We continue to raise human rights and rule of law in our regular discussions with the DRC government. When I met the President during my visit to DRC in May I encouraged him to fulfil his inauguration commitment to improve the lives of the Congolese people and address the human rights situation.

16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of the use of torture against political activists by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are aware of the report undertaken by Freedom from Torture. We remain concerned at the human rights situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which includes sexual and gender based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extrajudicial killings, inhumane and degrading treatment and restrictions to democratic space. We continue to call upon the government of the DRC to exercise restraint and proportionality in any security response, and to investigate and hold to account those accused of committing acts of violence, including members of the security forces.

The UK continues to work to improve the human rights situation in the DRC, including by helping to educate human rights defenders and by promoting conflict resolution. The UK also helps fund the United Nation Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), which tracks human rights abuses and violations in DRC. We have also financed projects in support of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), gender inequality, improving democratic participation and through DFID programmes we are supporting security reforms. We continue to raise human rights and rule of law in our regular discussions with the DRC government. When I met the President during my visit to DRC in May I encouraged him to fulfil his inauguration commitment to improve the lives of the Congolese people and address the human rights situation.

16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the evidence of torture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo submitted to his Department by the Freedom From Torture charity.

We are aware of the report undertaken by Freedom from Torture. We remain concerned at the human rights situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which includes sexual and gender based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extrajudicial killings, inhumane and degrading treatment and restrictions to democratic space. We continue to call upon the government of the DRC to exercise restraint and proportionality in any security response, and to investigate and hold to account those accused of committing acts of violence, including members of the security forces.

The UK continues to work to improve the human rights situation in the DRC, including by helping to educate human rights defenders and by promoting conflict resolution. The UK also helps fund the United Nation Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), which tracks human rights abuses and violations in DRC. We have also financed projects in support of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), gender inequality, improving democratic participation and through DFID programmes we are supporting security reforms. We continue to raise human rights and rule of law in our regular discussions with the DRC government. When I met the President during my visit to DRC in May I encouraged him to fulfil his inauguration commitment to improve the lives of the Congolese people and address the human rights situation.

15th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Sudanese counterpart on the reports of the killing of peaceful protesters in Sudan in June.

​We are aware of the BBC Africa Eye investigation which alleges that senior Sudanese military rulers ordered the killing of protestors on 3 June. In his statement of 3 June, the Foreign Secretary condemned the attack on protestors by Sudanese security forces and said that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) bore full responsibility for these events. The UK has been clear, at both ministerial and official levels, that there must be justice and accountability for atrocities committed both by the former regime and more recently. On 23 June, the UK Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan delivered this message directly to the Sudanese authorities. The UK has also made public statements in multilateral fora such as the EU Foreign Affairs Council (17 June) and the UN Human Rights Council (9 July). We note the agreement between the TMC and Forces of Freedom and Change to conduct a transparent and independent investigation into the violence committed against peaceful protestors on 3 June.

15th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the findings of the BBC Africa Eye investigation that the killing of protesters in Sudan on 3 June was ordered by that country’s senior military rulers.

​We are aware of the BBC Africa Eye investigation which alleges that senior Sudanese military rulers ordered the killing of protestors on 3 June. In his statement of 3 June, the Foreign Secretary condemned the attack on protestors by Sudanese security forces and said that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) bore full responsibility for these events. The UK has been clear, at both ministerial and official levels, that there must be justice and accountability for atrocities committed both by the former regime and more recently. On 23 June, the UK Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan delivered this message directly to the Sudanese authorities. The UK has also made public statements in multilateral fora such as the EU Foreign Affairs Council (17 June) and the UN Human Rights Council (9 July). We note the agreement between the TMC and Forces of Freedom and Change to conduct a transparent and independent investigation into the violence committed against peaceful protestors on 3 June.

15th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Mali.

I am deeply concerned by the security situation in Mali, particularly central Mali, which has experienced a recent increase in violence. As I have previously stated, it is essential that the perpetrators are brought to justice, that the cycle of violence is ended, and that impunity is tackled.

As part of the Government's new strategic approach to Africa, we are increasing our engagement with and support to the Sahel region. Along with increasing our presence in Mali and Mauritania, we will be opening new embassies in Niger and Chad, and have created a new cross-Government Joint Sahel Department that combines our defence, development, and diplomatic expertise so that we embody a truly comprehensive approach to supporting the region to tackle its complex challenges.

The Defence Secretary visited Mali this month and announced that UK Armed Forces will deploy to Mali in 2020 in support of the UN Peacekeeping Operation; United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), to which the UK is the sixth largest funder. The existing commitment of three UK Chinooks and accompanying personnel has been extended for six months.

15th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Kashmir.

​I refer the Honourable Member to the answers of 11 June 2019 (PQ 259251) and 17 June (PQ 263167).

8th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of (a) diplomatic relations between Somalia and Guinea, and (b) the effect of those relations are having on Somaliland.

​The UK is aware of the reported tensions between Somalia and Guinea. The two countries are responsible for their bilateral relationship. We are not aware of those relations having an effect on Somaliland. UK policy remains that it is for Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia to decide on a sustainable solution regarding their future. We continue to support and encourage plans for a peaceful dialogue between the two.

8th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the power-sharing agreement between military leaders and the opposition alliance in Sudan on the long-term stability of that country.

The agreement in principle between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change, which sets out the plan for the transition to civilian led government in Sudan, is a historic opportunity for the people of Sudan to secure freedom from repression, instability and economic hardship. The UK commends the role of the African Union (AU) and Ethiopia in their efforts to support the mediation that has helped to deliver this agreement. We look forward to it being formally signed. On 5 July the Foreign Secretary welcomed the agreement. This was reiterated by the UK at the UN Human Rights Council on 9 July.

There is a challenging path ahead. Sudan has faced decades of autocratic rule and peaceful protesters have been killed whilst demonstrating for change. Sudan needs to see swift implementation of the agreement, broad-based reform and economic adjustment, and will require sustained international support.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the strength of Sudan’s rapid support forces.

The UK does not routinely engage with Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF). There are not officially published figures of the number of personnel within the RSF, although there have been publically reported graduation ceremonies for over 9,000 RSF members between May 2017 and April 2019. In a public address in Khartoum on 22 June, Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo (known as Hemetti), Commander of the RSF and Deputy Chair of the Transitional Military Council, stated that there are 30,000 Sudanese soldiers are in Yemen. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information nor can we assess how much of this deployment is RSF. In light of this statement and given recent recruitment it is likely that the total numbers of RSF are above 30,000.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the restrictions on the independent media in Burundi.

​We are very concerned by restrictions on the media in Burundi. Freedom of the media is essential in any functioning democracy; people must be allowed to debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to be informed by a strong and robust media. We condemn the decision made by the Government of Burundi to revoke the BBC's operating license, suspend the Voice of America, and the recent decisions to restrict the reporting activities of local media. These decisions are particularly concerning in light of the 2020 elections for which a free and independent media is vital.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of (a) China’s influence in sub-Saharan Africa and (b) the extent of Chinese investment in ports in sub-Saharan Africa.

China is Sub-Saharan Africa's largest trading partner and a significant source of investment and development finance. Decisions about the extent of Chinese invements in ports are for the respective countries to decide. The UK want to work with China and our African partners to ensure all investments are economically viable and sustainable for the debtor.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many international trade unions affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists have been invited to (a) speak, and (b) attend the Global Media Freedom Conference being held by his Department in July 2019.

​The Global Conference to Defend Media Freedom conference aims to bring together governments, multilateral organisations, media and civil society from across the globe onto one platform to discuss ways to defend and promote media freedom. At least 15 organisations affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), as well as members of the IFJ itself, have been invited to attend the Global Conference to Defend Media Freedom. The speakers at the conference will reflect the diversity of interest in media freedom and ensure a balanced exchange of views on how to proceed.

18th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to encourage the Transitional Military Council in Sudan to resume negotiations with protesters in that country.

On 3 June, the Foreign Secretary condemned the attack on protestors by Sudanese security forces, and held the Transitional Military Council (TMC) fully responsible. We also expressed serious concern over TMC's announcement that it would cease negotiations and called for an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led government. Our Embassy in Khartoum has called on the TMC to take the steps needed to improve the situation in Sudan, including the release of all political detainees.

The TMC now need to take appropriate steps to provide confidence for protestors and create the conditions necessary for the resumption of dialogue, which includes an investigation into the 3 June attack and Freedom of Media and blockages to the internet ceasing, and free media being allowed. We have said that the TMC must re-engage in the political process with the protestors and opposition to ensure an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led authority, as demanded by the Sudanese people, in a swift, orderly and peaceful manner. The UK will continue to engage with all sides to support a settlement that works for all Sudanese people.

18th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of ethnic tension in Mali.

I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Mali, and particularly the recent and continuing violence between communities in the central Mopti region, which has included attacks on children and civilians. I have and will continue to call for perpetrators to be brought to justice and for the cycle of violence to end. It is essential that the Government of Mali puts in place and implements a comprehensive strategy to address the insecurity and the lack of dialogue between communities in conflict. The UK is increasing support to help address the complex challenges faced by Mali, including developing programmes to address the long-term drivers of instability and conflict in the region.

13th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the UN to prioritise the protection of (a) people with disabilities and (b) older people in conflict zones.

The British Government has been a leader in developing policies and practical action to promote the Protection of Civilians within the UN system. The Government is updating its Protection of Civilians Strategy to ensure that it is fit for purpose in the context of modern conflict, and comprehensive in addressing the situation of children and other particularly vulnerable people such as people with disabilities and older people in conflict zones. As part of that commitment the Government is working with the Polish Government to introduce a new UN Security Council Resolution specifically addressing the needs of the disabled in armed conflict within the broader protection of civilians resolutions that have already been agreed. The Government expects that Resolution to be passed before the end of June 2019.

11th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Sudan; and what diplomatic steps the Government is taking to encourage the country’s military leaders to end the violence against protesters.

​As we made clear alongside Troika partners (US and Norway) on 4 June, we condemn the violent attacks by Sudanese security forces against peaceful protestors in Sudan last week, which left many civilians dead or injured. The Foreign Secretary reiterated this in his statement on 6 June, which also called for the full restoration of the internet and freedom of the media. The UK has called for the human rights of all Sudanese people to be respected and for the resumption of the political process with the protestors and the opposition, and an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led government, as demanded by the Sudanese people, in a swift, orderly and peaceful manner. On 6 June, I summoned the Sudanese Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to express the grave concerns of the United Kingdom at the use of violence against civilians by the Sudanese authorities.

11th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Kashmir.

​I refer the Honourable Member to the answer of 11 June 2019 (PQ 259251).

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the presence of the Islamic State for West Africa Province in the north-east of Nigeria.

​We are deeply concerned by the increase in Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) activity in North Eastern Nigeria. Together with international partners, we are committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours in tackling threats to regional stability by ISWA and Boko Haram. Humanitarian operations have been placed under pressure and some suspended, cutting off urgently needed support for up to 120,000 people. We are working with international partners to support contingency planning to protect aid workers, providing strategic military advice and training, and continue to review options for additional UK assistance.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to the Nigerian Government to help tackle the farmer-herder conflict in the middle belt of that country.

​We are concerned about growing levels of intercommunal violence between farming and herder communities in Nigeria, and regularly raise these concerns with the Nigerian Government at the highest levels. The Foreign Secretary met with Nigerian faith leaders, both Muslim and Christian during his recent visit to Nigeria, to discuss how the UK can support their work to promote interfaith relationships and long-term peace. Our High Commission in Abuja is engaging closely with international partners, the Nigerian Government, faith and community leaders, state governments and the National Economic Council to develop measures which address the underlying causes of the conflict, including the recently-announced bi-partisan National Livestock Transformation Plan.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the Gedeo-Guji dispute in Ethiopia and what support his Department is providing to the Ethiopian Government.

The Government is concerned about the violence and resultant displacement of people in a number of regions of Ethiopia. We are further concerned by the conditions of recent returns, including from Gedeo to Guji zones. Conflict and displacement present a real risk to the welcome reforms that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed continues to institute.

I raised our concerns and offered assistance in my visits of October 2018 and March 2019. Our Ambassador and senior officials have raised concerns with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Peace. DFID is currently supporting humanitarian agencies to respond to the needs of IDPs and host communities affected by this crisis, including through support to Ethiopia's humanitarian pooled fund.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of media freedom in Sudan, following Al-Jazeera being banned from the country.

​The UK is deeply concerned at restrictions of the media and reports of international journalist restrictions following reports of Al-Jazeera being closed down on 31 May. Freedom of the press is vital to Sudan's future. The Foreign Secretary's priority international campaign this year is working to ensure that media freedom remains in the international spotlight as a human rights issue.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of media freedom in Nigeria, following the announcement of new conditions for covering government proceedings.

​The restrictions announced by the National Assembly on the reporting of its proceedings have now been withdrawn. We believe that the rights of individuals and independent media to express opinions and peacefully challenge authority are essential to a free and open society. We will continue to engage the Nigerian authorities on how best to promote and protect these rights as part of our ongoing dialogue.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the death of Zakir Musa, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Kashmir.

We are aware of reports that last month Indian security forces killed Zakir Musa, the Chief of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) group, during a counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir’s Pulwama district and that a number of protests followed. We continue to monitor the security situation in Kashmir and we keep our travel advice under review. We are concerned by levels of firing and shelling between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kashmir and urge both sides to exercise restraint and improve channels of communication. We welcome the exchanges between Prime Minister Khan and Prime Minister Modi following Prime Minister Modi’s re-election, and we encourage India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and find lasting, diplomatic solutions to maintain regional stability.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian crisis in the Anglophone region of Cameroon.

The UK remains deeply concerned at the worsening humanitarian situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon and reports of human rights violations and abuses committed by both security forces and armed separatists. Violence is driving people from their homes and impacting on the lives of ordinary civilians, particularly women and children. The UN assesses that over 530,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict and has recorded over 35,000 refugees in Nigeria. The UK is providing lifesaving assistance to thousands of people following a £2.5m contribution in December 2018 to the UN emergency appeal to address the crisis.

The UK welcomes the visit to Cameroon by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Cameroon's reported openness to working with the UN to address the severe humanitarian and human rights situation in the Anglophone regions. It is imperative that urgent action is now taken by the Government of Cameroon, with the support of regional partners and the wider international community, to prevent further escalation of the crisis. This includes the establishment of a credible political dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis. The UK stands ready to support.

The British Government regularly raises concerns about Cameroon at the highest levels including at the UN Security Council on 13 May and when I met with Cameroon's High Commissioner to the UK on 30 April. The UK continues to call for unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations, an end to violence on all sides and investigations into all reports of human rights violations and abuses.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of the findings of the UN human rights high commissioner that there is a window of opportunity to arrest the crises that have led to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in Cameroon.

​The UK remains deeply concerned at the worsening humanitarian situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon and reports of human rights violations and abuses committed by both security forces and armed separatists. Violence is driving people from their homes and impacting on the lives of ordinary civilians, particularly women and children. The UN assesses that over 530,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict and has recorded over 35,000 refugees in Nigeria. The UK is providing lifesaving assistance to thousands of people following a £2.5m contribution in December 2018 to the UN emergency appeal to address the crisis.

The UK welcomes the visit to Cameroon by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Cameroon's reported openness to working with the UN to address the severe humanitarian and human rights situation in the Anglophone regions. It is imperative that urgent action is now taken by the Government of Cameroon, with the support of regional partners and the wider international community, to prevent further escalation of the crisis. This includes the establishment of a credible political dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis. The UK stands ready to support.

The British Government regularly raises concerns about Cameroon at the highest levels including at the UN Security Council on 13 May and when I met with Cameroon's High Commissioner to the UK on 30 April. The UK continues to call for unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations, an end to violence on all sides and investigations into all reports of human rights violations and abuses.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the increased Taliban presence in Afghanistan; and whether the security situation in Afghanistan remains a priority for his Department.

The British Government continues to closely monitor the security situation in Afghanistan. Our analysis is that the Taliban cannot win this conflict. The British Government believes a political peace settlement, between the Afghan government and the Taliban, is the only way to achieve lasting stability and security in Afghanistan. We welcome the progress made towards starting a credible peace process by the US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad. We continue to urge the Taliban to take advantage of the current opportunity for peace, and to begin a genuine dialogue with the elected government of Afghanistan.

Her Majesty's Government, along with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and other partners, also remains committed to supporting The Afghan Government and the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. This is vital to protect the Afghan population from the conflict and from terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Daesh Khorasan Province. It is also an essential effort to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe-haven for international terrorism.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the recent use of live ammunition by Sudanese security forces against protesters in Khartoum.

The UK is extremely concerned by the use of live ammunition by Sudanese security forces against protestors in Khartoum on 13 and 15 May, and by reports of injuries and fatalities. We call for those responsible to be held to account. Since protests began in December 2018, the UK has consistently raised our concerns at the use of violence in response to peaceful protests. As part of the Troika (US, UK and Norway) we made a statement on 21 May calling for a swift, orderly and peaceful civilian-led transfer of power that respects the will of the Sudanese people.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of changes in the level of hate crimes against Muslims in India.

India has a strong democratic framework and constitutionally enshrined protections for freedom of religious belief, but faces some challenges enforcing these due to its size and social and economic development. The situation for religious minorities in India varies, depending on location, socio-economic background and proportion of religious minorities.

We maintain a continuous assessment of the human rights situation across India. We engage with India on the full range of human rights matters, both bilaterally and through the European Union. We work with Union and State Governments, and with Non-Governmental Organisations, to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. The British High Commission in New Delhi, and our Deputy High Commissions across India, also run projects promoting minority rights and regularly meet religious representatives, as well as official figures such as the Chair of the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Minorities. Recent project work included ‘Empowering Muslim youth’ which reached 150 youths, 20 teachers and over 100 educational institutions.

20th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of India’s adherence to Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

India has a strong democratic framework and constitutionally enshrined protections for freedom of religious belief, but faces some challenges enforcing these due to its size and social and economic development. The situation for religious minorities in India varies, depending on location, socio-economic background and proportion of religious minorities.

We maintain a continuous assessment of the human rights situation across India. We engage with India on the full range of human rights matters, both bilaterally and through the European Union. We work with Union and State Governments, and with Non-Governmental Organisations, to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. The British High Commission in New Delhi, and our Deputy High Commissions across India, also run projects promoting minority rights and regularly meet religious representatives, as well as official figures such as the Chair of the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Minorities. Recent project work included ‘Empowering Muslim youth’ which reached 150 youths, 20 teachers and over 100 educational institutions.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to encourage the Sri Lankan Government to find a peaceful and lawful solution to the current constitutional crisis in that country.

Following the swearing in of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by President Sirisena on 16 December I made a statement welcoming progress made towards the peaceful resolution of the political impasse in Sri Lanka since October. This outcome is a welcome indication of the resilience of Sri Lanka's judicial and democratic institutions, and of effective checks and balances between state powers. The UK will continue to stand by Sri Lanka as a close partner and friend, supporting Sri Lanka as it works to deliver sustainable and accountable reform to reinvigorate the economy, improve governance, and safeguard human rights across the country.

Prior to this, I made statements on 26 and 29 October, and on 9 November, setting out our concerns at political developments in Sri Lanka and calling for due political and legal process to be upheld. Our High Commissioner to Sri Lanka met regularly with all political parties, and expressed our concern at the behaviour of some MPs in disrupting Parliamentary proceedings.

10th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Human Rights Council meeting in October 2015, whether it remains the Government's policy that Sri Lanka establishes a hybrid accountability mechanism with the involvement of international judges and prosecutors in order to deal with outstanding allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

​We continue to encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to implement in full its commitments under UN Human Rights Council Resolutions 34/1 and 30/1 these Resolutions recognised the importance of a credible accountability process for those most responsible for violations and abuses, and called for the participation in this process of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorised prosecutors and investigators.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has held discussions with the Government of India on (a) the recent killing of five nomadic people in Maharashtra state which was filmed and shared on social media and (b) other so-called WhatsApp Lynchings.

Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's India Network and central teams in London monitor closely reports of human rights abuses, raising issues where appropriate with the Government of India. We are in regular contact with minority representatives in India as well as human rights activists and NGOs. While we are aware of this particular issue, it is not one that we have yet raised with the Government of India.

13th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to fulfil its role as a penholder on Darfur in the UN Security Council.

We welcome the Security Council's unanimous adoption of UK-drafted Resolution 2429 on 13 July which extended the UN/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)'s mandate for a further year. As pen-holder for UNAMID in the Security Council, the UK engaged in extensive negotiations to secure an appropriate mandate for UNAMID in light of the evolving context in Darfur, including leading a visit to Darfur in May to get a first-hand perspective of the situation on the ground. The UK is committed to ensuring that the Mission is adequately resourced to fulfil its mandate and fully supports Resolution 2429 strong focus on ensuring a sustainable transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and preventing a relapse into conflict.

21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had on reports of an attack by the Rapid Support Forces on areas controlled by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North at the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue in Khartoum; and what assessment he has made of the potential implications of that attack for the declaration of unilateral ceasefire by the Government of Sudan.

Reports of fighting between the Government of Sudan and forces belonging to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (Malik Agar faction) emerged after the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue on 24 April. We have discussed the reported clashes with the Sudanese authorities on a number of occasions.

We raised our concerns with the Government of Sudan on 9 May. We reiterated the UK's and the international community's expectation that unilateral cessations of hostilities must be observed by both sides. While presenting his credentials to the President of Sudan on 14 May, our Ambassador addressed the issue of conflict and repeated the importance of observing the unilateral ceasefires, so that negotiations may resume in an environment that is conducive to peace. The UK Defence Attaché raised the issue with the Sudanese Armed Forces on the same date.

We will continue to monitor developments closely and raise our concerns about the violence and its impact with the Sudanese authorities.

21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on recent attacks by the Government of Sudan in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of reports of fighting in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur between Government of Sudan troops and armed groups. Information is difficult to verify due to Government restrictions on access to the region. We are urging the Government of Sudan to ensure unfettered access for UNAMID, UN agencies and NGOs in order to corroborate reports and make an assessment of the scale and nature of fighting and its impact on civilians.

We will continue to monitor developments closely and raise our concerns about the violence and its impact with the Sudanese authorities. The British Ambassador raised our concerns with the President of Sudan during the formal presentation of his credentials on 14 May. Our Ambassador reiterated the importance of the unilateral cessations of hostilities, and urged all sides to abide by their pledges so that negotiations may resume in an environment that is conducive to peace.

21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the number of detainees who are imprisoned without charge in Darfur.

​The Government of Sudan does not release statistics on the number of detainees from each state held in its prisons. We continue to urge the Government of Sudan to guarantee the constitutional and human rights of its citizens, including the right to freedom of expression, to political participation, and to due process in the judicial system.

21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the planned closure of the Kalma refugee camp in Darfur; and if he will make a statement.

We are not aware of any official plans by the Government of Sudan to close the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur.

When UK officials raised recent media reports with him on 9 May, the Governor of South Darfur, Adam El-Faki stated that while the Government of Sudan wanted to find a sustainable solution for Darfur's IDP population, some of whom has been living in camps for over ten years, it had no current plans to close the camp.

16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) Ghana and (b) the US Administration on the Ghana - US Military Cooperation Agreement.

The Ghana - US Military Cooperation Agreement is a bilateral matter for the US and Ghana. We have not discussed the agreement in detail with the US Administration nor the Government of Ghana.

19th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the first round of elections held in Sierra Leone on 7 March 2018 were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.

​The UK closely followed preparations for the first round of elections held in Sierra Leone on 7 March 2018 and called for all parties to deliver free, fair, inclusive and peaceful elections. We fully supported the EU Election Observation Mission, which deployed 28 long term observers and a further 40 short term observers. We share the conclusions drawn by international and domestic observation missions that the result reflects a robust and credible process.

22nd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which (a) public and (b) private bodies are responsible for the (i) assessment and (ii) issuing of licenses for oil exploitation in the Falklands Islands.

Oil exploration in the Falkland Islands is governed by the Falkland Islands Offshore Minerals Ordinance of 1994. Subject to this Ordinance, and with the consent of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the British Government appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands may, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, grant to any person a licence for the purposes of exploration or production in the controlled waters, or in the sea-bed or subsoil thereof, of the Falkland Islands.

18th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that civil society groups in South Sudan are included in the second round of the High Level Revitalisation Forum taking place in February 2018.

The British Government has repeatedly called for the inclusion of a broad range of actors in the High Level Revitalisation Forum (RVF), including civil society groups. We welcomed the involvement of representatives from South Sudanese civil society in the first round of the RVF in December, and encourage their continued inclusion as the process progresses.

Through our diplomatic engagement, we will continue to make this point at the highest levels, both directly to Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and to all parties to the conflict.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he raised human rights issues with the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, at his recent meeting.

Sudan remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Priority Country and improving human rights is a key objective in our engagement with the Government of Sudan. During his meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ghandour on 12 December, the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns on human rights, as well as highlighting the political and economic reforms the Government of Sudan needs to undertake. In a separate meeting, I also highlighted the need for Sudan to make improvements on human rights and expressed the UK's desire to maintain dialogue on human rights issues with the Government of Sudan.​

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies on Sudan of the as a result of the meeting of the UK-Sudan Trade and Investment Forum, held in London on 12 December 2017.

The policies of the British Government on Sudan have not changed as a result of the UK-Sudan Trade and Investment Forum. As part of our phased increase in direct engagement with the Government of Sudan, we continue to consider opportunities to promote trade with Sudan. Trade can help open up closed off political and economic systems, and thereby help to improve the human rights situation. Sudan remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Priority Country and improving human rights is a key objective in our engagement with Sudan. The UK-Sudan Trade and Investment Forum was a private event, organised and funded by Developing Markets Associates, in cooperation with the Sudanese Embassy in London.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made in finding the British-trained Barrister Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem, following his disappearance in Bangladesh In 2016.

I am aware of the case of Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem. It is alleged that Mr Quasem was abducted from his home in Bangladesh in August 2016, and that he remains missing. As Mr Quasem is not a British National we have not raised his specific case with the Bangladesh authorities. Ministers regularly raise our concerns about enforced disappearances and attacks on political freedoms with the Government of Bangladesh.

I did so just recently with the High Commissioner for Bangladesh and Foreign Secretary Haque on 2 November

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate has made of the number of British citizens living in Zimbabwe.

We estimate there are approximately 20,000 British citizens living in Zimbabwe, many of whom are long-term residents.

We ask all British nationals to regularly check travel advice.

1st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made in securing the release of Andy Tsege.

We continue to offer consular support to Mr Tsege and his family. We previously secured Mr Tsege’s transfer from solitary confinement to a federal prison and access to a lawyer. Officials have visited Mr Tsege 18 times, most recently on 12 October, when they were able to check on his welfare, discuss his legal access and pass on messages from his family.

In addition, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary raised Mr Tsege’s case with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in May. The Minister for Africa met with Mr Tsege's family on 24 October, and also raised the case during his visit to Ethiopia in August. Our Ambassador takes every opportunity to raise Mr Tsege’s case at the highest levels with the Ethiopian Government.

1st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to the women of Boda, Central African Republic, and their mission for an end to violence between Christians and Muslims in that region.

We remain deeply concerned by the violence in the Central African Republic. The fact that the unrest has spread to locations and communities, such as Boda, which were previously relatively untouched is particularly troubling. In our position as a member of the UN Security Council we are committed to ensuring that the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) has the tools to provide effective protection for civilians, specifically the most vulnerable, such as women and children.

1st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether observer status will be provided for countries which have expressed an interest in joining the Commonwealth during the Commonwealth Summit in London in April 2018.

The only category of Commonwealth membership is that of full membership, which is only open to sovereign states. Any decision to create a new membership status would need to be agreed by consensus of Commonwealth Heads of Government. In 2007 the Heads of Government endorsed the recommendation of the Commonwealth committee on membership not to establish any other membership status.

The UK welcomes applications to join the Commonwealth where countries can demonstrate the necessary requirements and dedication to the Commonwealth's core values, particularly in relation to human rights, good governance and the rule of law. Countries wishing to join the Commonwealth should express their interest to the Commonwealth Secretariat. Decisions on membership are made by consensus of all Commonwealth member states.

1st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether observer status will be provided for British Overseas Territories during the Commonwealth Summit in London in April 2018.

​The UK is committed to strengthening the links between the Commonwealth. The only category of Commonwealth membership is that of sovereign states. The UK will discuss the policy priorities for the Heads of Government Meeting with the Overseas Territories ahead of next April and represent them at the summit.

14th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to address the accelerating deforestation of the Ivory Coast due to the illegal growth of cocoa crops.

We are very much engaged in supporting efforts to end deforestation, including through the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Cocoa and Forests Initiative, which was launched in London in March. Under this initiative, the cocoa and chocolate industries have committed publicly to end deforestation associated with cocoa production in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. DFID has provided support for consultations on Joint Frameworks for Action on Cocoa and Deforestation with government, farmers and civil society in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, to ensure the industry commitment is implemented.

12th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department plans to give to ensure that the Kenyan elections due to be held on 17 October 2017 are conducted in a free, fair and democratic manner.

We are committed to supporting the electoral process in Kenya to help ensure free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. The UK has provided non-partisan technical assistance, working with international partners to support election management, legal reforms and efforts to resolve disputes and reduce violence.

11th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has raised the issue of the continuing imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo with his counterpart in China; and if he will make a statement.

As the Foreign Secretary stated on 13 July, we are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Liu Xiaobo. He was a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and lifelong campaigner for democracy, human rights and peace. His death is a huge loss and our thoughts are with his wife, Liu Xia, his wider family, friends and supporters.

I raised the case of Liu Xiaobo directly with the Chinese Ambassador on 5 July, and clearly requested that Liu Xiaobo be allowed full access to the medical treatment of his choice and for all restrictions on him and his family to be lifted. We also raised his case at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue which was held in Beijing on 27 June.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the UN Human Rights Council Resolution to establish an international investigation into violence and human rights violations in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On 23 June the UN Human Rights Council agreed by consensus to establish an international investigation into the violence and human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The text of the resolution establishing the investigation states that it should be carried out “in accordance with international standards and practice”, which will ensure that the investigation is impartial and independent. During the negotiations the UK worked closely with other members of the Human Rights Council to ensure that a consensus could be found that both ensured the independence of the investigation and recognised the importance of national investigations into the violence.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had discussions with the Government of Pakistan on the death sentence for blasphemy placed on Taimoor Raza.

The UK remains firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We have repeatedly called upon the Government of Pakistan to end capital punishment and, at a minimum, commit publicly to renewing the previously imposed moratorium on the death penalty. We regularly raise our concerns about freedom of expression and the misuse of the blasphemy laws with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. Our concerns are reflected in the latest update to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual human rights report.

The Foreign Secretary raised religious tolerance and misuse of the blasphemy laws during his visit to Pakistan in November 2016. My predecessor, my Hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Mr Sharma), discussed the death penalty and the importance we attach to freedom of expression with Kamran Michael, Pakistani Minister for Human Rights, and Barrister Zafarullah Khan, the Prime Minister's Special Assistant for Human Rights, during his visit to Pakistan in January 2017.

The Government will continue to urge Pakistan to honour in practice its human rights obligations, including those related to the death penalty and freedom of expression and religion.

19th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the new guidance on sexual orientation and gender identity in Afghanistan which may lead to the return of failed LGBT asylum seekers to Afghanistan.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials provided evidence to the Home Office (Annex A of the Country Policy and Information Note) in advance of the publication of the updated guidance.

The FCO will continue to provide analysis to the Home Office on issues relevant to the Country Policy. The Home Office consider each claim on its individual merits. Where someone is found to be at risk of persecution or serious harm in their country of origin because of their sexuality or gender identity, refuge will be granted.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his US counterparts on the barring of African delegates from the US summit on Sustainable Development in Africa in March 2017.

None. Decisions on visas for entry to the United States are a matter for the Government of the United States.

23rd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Violette Uwamahoro and her family following her arrest and detention in Rwanda.

​Officials at the British High Commission in Kigali are in touch with local authorities and providing consular assistance to Violette Uwamahoro, including visiting her in detention. Consular officials are also in contact with her family.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to support the eradication of female genital mutilation in the Gambia since the election of President Adama Barrow.

The UK stands ready to support The Gambia and its new government. We are considering what assistance we can offer in support of human rights, democracy and the institutional and economic capacity of The Gambia. The UK is committed to supporting women and girls around the globe especially against the practice of female genital mutilation.

8th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help bring the former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, to trial at the International Criminal Court for human rights abuses.

President Barrow has committed his government to a transitional justice plan with a truth commission at its core. It is the UK's view that there needs to be a thorough investigation into the allegations against former President Jammeh and his administration. Evidence needs to be gathered before a decision is taken on possible prosecution, domestic or otherwise, and that this is a decision for The Gambian Government to make. The Gambian Attorney General asked for UK support to fund a Special Adviser which we have agreed to do for a 3 year period.

8th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in other EU member states and representatives of global institutions on assistance for the new Gambian administration.

The UK is at the heart of discussions within the EU and with individual member states about how to best support The Gambia through this transition period. The EU's immediate and concrete engagement to support the Gambia was reflected by the signature of a short-term commitment of €75m by Commissioner Mimica and the announcement of an intended second funding package of €150m for the medium term in February 2017. The British Government is considering in which other areas we may be able to support The Gambia. Discussions continue with other interested parties to ensure maximum impact.

8th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and what proportion of (a) military and (b) civilian UK personnel are currently deployed on UN (i) peacekeeping operations and (ii) special political missions are women.

The UK currently has 429 military personnel deployed on UN peacekeeping operations, of which 24 are women. One of the three military staff officers deployed to the UN Special Political Mission in Colombia is female.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not keep additional statistics on the number of British nationals employed directly by the UN as civilian staff serving on missions.

Full statistics on troop and police contributors (including a breakdown by gender) are published on the UN website:
http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/contributors.shtml

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many (a) military and (b) civilian UK personnel are currently deployed on UN (i) peacekeeping operations and (ii) special political missions; and on which operations such personnel are deployed.

The UK currently deploys 429 military personnel and one civilian adviser to UN peacekeeping operations. Four UK military staff officers are deployed to UN special political missions.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not keep additional statistics on the number of British nationals employed directly by the UN as civilian staff serving on missions.

Full statistics on troop and police contributors are published on the UN website: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/statistics/contributors.shtml

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the work of the UN Secretary-General's Coordinator for improving the UN's response to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The British Government is committed to tackling sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) as made clear by the Minister of State, my noble Friend, the Rt Hon. the Baroness Anelay of St Johns at the UK hosted UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in September 2016 where she outlined the importance of working with the UN to eradicate the scourge of SEA, for the credibility of peacekeeping missions, and for the people we serve to protect. The UK has provided £1 million to support the UN's work on SEA, and that of Dr Jane Holl Lute the UN Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for SEA. This support has allowed the Department of Field Support's Conduct and Discipline Unit to enhance pre-deployment vetting and training. It has also helped Dr Holl Lute to coordinate a range of activity across the UN to address fragmentation in the UN system, including producing detailed response manuals for Missions and adopting a victim-centred approach to minimise further harm to the victim.

The British Government also continues to support the Department for Peacekeeping Operations to implement an SEA communications strategy to raise local awareness of SEA and promote redress for victims. Given the history of SEA cases, awareness raising activities such as these are vital for ensuring the trust of the communities in which UN personnel are based.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
9th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the (a) staff and (b) annual budget is of the UK diplomatic representation in Mauritania.

The UK diplomatic representation in Mauritania comprises one staff member and an annual budget of £162,504 for the Financial Year 2015/16.

25th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that President Kabila abides by the 31 December 2016 agreement reached in the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that free and fair elections take place in that country before the end of 2017.

We welcome the political deal signed on 31 December. As I said in my statement of 6 January, it is imperative that this deal is implemented as soon as possible so that elections can take place this year. We continue to encourage the Democratic Republic of the Congo government and the opposition to cooperate and consolidate the progress they have already made.

The UK has earmarked £11.4 million to support a transparent electoral process provided that a realistic budget and timetable are released, and all the conditions set out in the Constitution and in UN Security Council Resolution 2277 are met. If necessary we will push for EU sanctions to be imposed on those who obstruct the democratic process and commit human rights violations.

20th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking (a) in Mauritania and (b) internationally to tackle slavery.

The British Government continues to make representations on human rights concerns at the highest levels with the Mauritanian government. Most recently, the Head of the British Office in Nouakchott raised the issue of slavery alongside EU Heads of Mission in a meeting with the Mauritanian Prime Minister and eight other ministers on 9 December 2016.

The British Government also works internationally to tackle slavery. In December 2016, Baroness Anelay of St Johns met the UN Special Rapporteur on Modern Slavery, Ms Urmila Bhoola, and Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid to discuss concerns about slavery in Mauritania.

28th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to tackle civil unrest in Ethiopia since its national state of emergency was declared.

We are urging the Government of Ethiopia to implement the State of Emergency with restraint and for the shortest time possible. We have been clear that continued police repression, and refusal to allow peaceful protest and space for political discussion, will fuel unrest and instability. The President of Ethiopia has outlined a number of measures, including electoral reform, to address protestors' concerns. We are urging their swift implementation and offering UK support to their reform agenda.

28th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to prevent Boko Haram blocking UN aid to refugees in Cameroon.

The UK was one of the first donors to respond to the humanitarian crisis across the Lake Chad Basin and we have recently announced £80m in humanitarian funding over and above the £90m already contributed. Our High Commissioner in Cameroon met President Biya on 17 November and re-affirmed the United Kingdom's continued commitment to supporting Cameroon and its neighbours, including through the Multi-National Task Force in the fight against Boko Haram. We will be deploying additional capacity to Cameroon to support that effort.

We are also leading efforts to mobilise other members of the international community to consider where they can do more and to raise awareness of this humanitarian crisis globally. This has included chairing a Lake Chad Basin meeting in the margins of UN General assembly in September 2016 and co-chairing an event with ECHO in the margins of the WFP Executive Board meeting in November 2016. We are also encouraging UN agencies to deploy more field staff to the region.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the Kenyan government to ensure that Somali refugees in the Dadaab camp are being repatriated in a humane, safe and dignified manner.

​We are working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees and the governments of Kenya and Somalia to ensure that refugee returns from Dadaab to Somalia are voluntary, and sustainable and in line with international refugee law.

On 16 November, Kenya's Interior Minister announced that Kenya was postponing the closure deadline for Dadaab by six months. We welcomed this announcement.

The UK recently announced we are providing an additional £20 million to support accelerated safe voluntary returns of refugees to Somalia from Kenya, by helping to ensure that refugees who want to return have the support and possibility of livelihoods necessary for their safe and long-term resettlement in Somalia.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the postponement of their presidential elections to April 2018.

The UK has raised the postponement of presidential elections with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a number of occasions. Mr Wharton, the Department for International Development Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, visited the DRC in November, and I visited in August. We met government officials including the current Prime Minister, the Vice-PM for Interior/Security and the Minister for Justice. Mr Wharton and I pressed the DRC government to make more progress towards holding timely elections in 2017, as proposed by technical experts, and to respect the human rights of protesters. Furthermore, we emphasised the importance of elections to the DRC’s continuing development.

Additionally, our Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Danae Dholakia, attended International Conference of the Great Lakes Region in Luanda in October where she lobbied the DRC government on similar lines. Our Embassy in Kinshasa maintains a constant dialogue with the government on resolving the current political crisis peacefully.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the government of Ghana to ensure that the elections taking place next month in that country are conducted in a free and fair manner.

​The UK has been vocal in stressing the importance of free, fair, credible and transparent elections with key stakeholders in Ghana, including all major candidates, parties and election management bodies. I met the Electoral Commissioner on 2 November in London. The High Commissioner in Accra will be following the elections closely with other diplomatic missions on the ground and Electoral Observer Missions from the EU, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, and the international community.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that the elections taking place in December 2016 in the Gambia are conducted in a free and fair manner.

​The UK has been vocal in its opposition to crack down on fair and free campaigning ahead of the election on 1 December and has been active in opposing the imprisonment of the Opposition leader, Ousainou Darboe, and his supporters. Our Ambassador will be following the election closely with other diplomatic missions on the ground. We will urge the African Union and Economic Community Of West African States to intervene if there are any reports of the will of the people being ignored or suppressed. We are also disappointed that the EU Electoral Experts Mission has been refused permission by the Government of The Gambia.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made in finding the British-trained Barrister Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem, following his disappearance in Bangladesh In 2016.

I am aware of the case of Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem. It is alleged that Mr Quasem was abducted from his home in Bangladesh in August 2016, and that he remains missing. As Mr Quasem is not a British National we have not raised his specific case with the Bangladesh authorities. Ministers regularly raise our concerns about enforced disappearances and attacks on political freedoms with the Government of Bangladesh.

I did so just recently with the High Commissioner for Bangladesh and Foreign Secretary Haque on 2 November

16th Jan 2018
What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect of funding allocations on the quality of services provided by the NHS since 2010.

In 2017 we announced capital funding for a number of trusts, to help them to make local service improvements.

This included up to £80m for Greater Manchester – including funding to support the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

I am sure that the Hon. Member will join me in welcoming this investment.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
11th Sep 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing statutory regulation of pre-paid funeral plans.

The provision of a pre-paid funeral plan is defined as a regulated activity and falls within the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory remit unless specific exemption criteria are met. This arrangement and these exemption criteria are set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001.

HM Treasury sets the legislative framework for the regulation of financial services, including the provision of pre-paid funeral plans, and continues to keep such exemptions under review.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Jul 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the levels of household debt in the (a) Borough of Rochdale and (b) UK in the last 12 months.

The latest data shows median household financial debt in the North West is the second lowest of any English region.

In the UK as a whole, household debt-to-income has increased marginally from 141% 12 months ago to 145% in Q1 2017. This remains significantly below the pre-crisis peak of 160% in Q1 2008.

The independent Financial Policy Committee (FPC) was set up by the government to assess and mitigate financial stability risks, including from household debt. The FPC has taken action to ensure against a significant rise in highly indebted households.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
23rd Mar 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations the Government made to other G20 members on including financing action on climate change in the G20 trade statement.

The UK remains committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the goal to jointly mobilise, alongside other developed countries, USD100bn of climate finance a year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources. The G20 Finance Ministers communique is the result of negotiation between all G20 members and invited organisations, and this is one in a series of statements by G20 members. There will be further communiques issued this year including by G20 Leaders at the Summit on 8 July.

23rd Nov 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that women are not disproportionately affected by the Government's fiscal policies.

The Government is helping more women than ever before to start businesses and get the support they need to work.

In the last parliament, 2.2 million women were taken out of income tax. This year’s increase in the personal allowance will lift over 680,000 further people out of income tax by 2017/18, of whom over 60% will be women.

Around two thirds of those who will benefit from the National Living Wage are estimated to be women.

The planned doubling of the free childcare entitlement for working families with three- and four-year-olds is worth up to £5,000 per child per year.

It is also equally important for the future finances of both women and men that the Government remains committed to tackling the deficit and strengthening the economy.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the financial loss to investors as a consequence of the collapse of the former Bradford and Bingley Building Society/Bank in 2008.

In 2009 Peter Clokey of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was appointed as an independent valuer to consider whether shareholders and holders of rights associated with dated subordinated notes were entitled to compensation after the collapse of Bradford & Bingley. On 5 July 2010 he published his report setting out his determination that no compensation is due to former shareholders and bondholders. The case was referred to the Upper Tribunal who upheld the decision in 2012 and concluded that the valuer carried out his valuation function wholly in accordance with the Compensation Scheme.

7th Mar 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the financial loss to shareholders as a consequence of the collapse of the former Bradford and Bingley Building Society/Bank in 2008.

In 2009 Peter Clokey of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was appointed as an independent valuer to consider whether shareholders and holders of rights associated with dated subordinated notes were entitled to compensation after the collapse of Bradford & Bingley. On 5 July 2010 he published his report setting out his determination that no compensation is due to former shareholders and bondholders. The case was referred to the Upper Tribunal who upheld the decision in 2012 and concluded that the valuer carried out his valuation function wholly in accordance with the Compensation Scheme.

19th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria were considered by his Department which led to the decision not to relax Tier 4 visa requirements for overseas students from India.

Careful consideration is given to which countries could be added to Appendix H of the Immigration Rules, taking into account objective analysis of a range of factors including the volume of students from a country and their Tier 4 immigration compliance risk.

The list of countries in Appendix H will be regularly updated to reflect the fact that countries’ risk profiles change over time.

19th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria his Department used to determine which countries qualified for the recent relaxation of Tier 4 visa requirements for overseas students.

Careful consideration is given to which countries could be added to Appendix H of the Immigration Rules, taking into account objective analysis of a range of factors including the volume of students from a country and their Tier 4 immigration compliance risk.

The list of countries in Appendix H will be regularly updated to reflect the fact that countries’ risk profiles change over time.

1st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on continued participation in the European Arrest Warrant in order to prevent people using the border between Gibraltar and Spain to evade justice.

The Government has recently set out proposals for an ambitious agreement to support our future cooperation with the EU on security and law enforcement.

Agreeing effective arrangements for surrendering individuals who seek to evade justice by fleeing across country borders will form an important element of our future partnership with the EU.

The Government’s proposals are set out in full in “Security, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice – a future partnership paper” which was published on 18 September available on the gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/security-law-enforcement-and-criminal-justice-a-future-partnership-paper

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report from Refugee Action, entitled Slipping through the gaps, published in July 2017, for what reasons her Department is not meeting targets for section 95 and section 98 support for asylum seekers; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office has discussed the report with Refugee Action and will continue this dialogue as we examine the detailed findings. We take complaints about performance failures seriously and we have robust procedures in place to inspect, investigate and resolve issues when specific information is received.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for free accommodation and cash support to cover their essential living needs. If they have an emergency need for accommodation they can ask to be put in initial accommodation whilst their applications are being processed and the vast majority of such requests are processed on the same day.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allocate resources to ensure that van hire firms and the police are able to share intelligence and information in order to prevent terrorist attacks using hired vans as weapons.

Partners from across Government, the police and the security services are considering what more can be done to prevent terrorist attacks using vehicles, including the use of hire vehicles. This is wide ranging work and includes consideration as to whether and where increased sharing of data and more effective use of intelligence systems and processes may assist these efforts.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
1st Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that asylum seekers have access to decent housing in all areas of the UK.

The contract for asylum accommodation requires contractors to provide accommodation that is safe, habitable and fit for purpose; the requirements are equivalent to the Decent Homes Standards. The contract requires a strict inspection regime for the suppliers and a Home Office contract compliance team undertakes further inspections. When an inspection identifies a defect there are strict time frames within which a remedy must be provided. Over the life of the current contracts the standards of accommodation have improved.

The Home Office works closely with local government to increase the number of local authorities that participate in the asylum dispersal scheme; the number of areas participating has increased by over a third in the last two years.

10th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of changes to support for asylum seekers on local authority services.

The Immigration Bill reforms support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants. It restricts the availability of support, consistent with our international and human rights obligations, and removes incentives to remain in the UK illegally. The measures have been subject to public consultation and will be subject to a new burdens assessment.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria his Department used to determine which countries qualified for the recent relaxation of Tier 4 visa requirements for overseas students.

Careful consideration is given to which countries could be added to Appendix H of the Immigration Rules, taking into account objective analysis of a range of factors including the volume of students from a country and their Tier 4 immigration compliance risk.

The list of countries in Appendix H will be regularly updated to reflect the fact that countries’ risk profiles change over time.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria were considered by his Department which led to the decision not to relax Tier 4 visa requirements for overseas students from India.

Careful consideration is given to which countries could be added to Appendix H of the Immigration Rules, taking into account objective analysis of a range of factors including the volume of students from a country and their Tier 4 immigration compliance risk.

The list of countries in Appendix H will be regularly updated to reflect the fact that countries’ risk profiles change over time.

22nd Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Fire and Rescue Services on the retro-fitting of sprinkler systems in residential tower blocks.

My Department has been holding regular discussions with representatives of the fire and rescue services on a wide range of fire safety matters. These discussions have been reflected in the advice provided on 22 June to local authorities and housing associations on interim mitigating measures.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the variation in spending by each local authority on physical activity services per capita.

Information for 2014-15 is available in tables RO3 (Social care and Public Health) and RS (Revenue Summary) available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2014-to-2015-individual-local-authority-data-outturn

Local authorities receive a ring-fenced public health grant from the Department for Health but physical activity is a non-prescribed public health function. Local authorities are best placed to assess and deliver the services their communities need and are locally accountable for those decisions, therefore this spending has not been formally analysed by the department.

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what proportion of all local authority spending was spent on physical activity services in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Information for 2014-15 is available in tables RO3 (Social care and Public Health) and RS (Revenue Summary) available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2014-to-2015-individual-local-authority-data-outturn

Local authorities receive a ring-fenced public health grant from the Department for Health but physical activity is a non-prescribed public health function. Local authorities are best placed to assess and deliver the services their communities need and are locally accountable for those decisions, therefore this spending has not been formally analysed by the department.

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of UK membership of the EU on each policy area and function of local authorities.

None.

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of UK withdrawal from the EU on each policy area and function of local authorities.

None.

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
9th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there has been in the level of rough sleeping in the UK since 2010.

Rough sleeping statistics for individual local authorities and England are published in Table 1 of the Department’s Rough Sleeping in England publications for each year. These are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of people under the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 sleeping rough in the UK in the last 12 months.

Information on the ages of rough sleepers is not collected centrally.

We will increase central investment over the next four years to £139 million for innovative programmes to prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We have also protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities, through the provisional local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20.



Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how his Department is working with the voluntary sector to reduce the level of rough sleeping.

The Government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society. That is why we are maintaining homelessness funding over this Spending Review period, building on our significant investment since 2010. We will increase central investment over the next four years to £139 million for innovative programmes to prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We have also protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities, through the provisional local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20.

But one person without a home is one too many, and I have had the opportunity to see first hand the vital role that voluntary sector organisations play in supporting vulnerable homeless people off the streets and into independence. I will continue to work closely with the voluntary sector and local authorities on how we improve the impact of homelessness services and break the cycle of homelessness. This includes the Department’s programme of work with Homeless Link, the national umbrella body for single homelessness organisations in England. I also host a regular forum with Chief Executives from the sector on how we best meet the needs of vulnerable homeless people, including rough sleepers, which is next meeting on 1 February.


Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of levels of rough sleeping in town centres on the use of town centres by the general public.

The Government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society. But one person without a home is one too many, which is why we are maintaining homelessness funding over this Spending Review period, building on our significant investment since 2010. We will increase central investment over the next four years to £139 million for innovative programmes to prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We have also protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities, through the provisional local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20.

It is for local authorities to determine what homelessness services are required to best meet the needs of their local area, including provision of suitable accommodation. More rough sleepers are being found and helped quicker thanks to our investment in StreetLink, which gives the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough. Since the launch of StreetLink in December 2012, over 16,000 rough sleepers have been found and connected with local services so that they can get the help that they need to get them off the streets. We are committed to do more to improve services for homeless people with complex needs. Building on London’s approach of using social investment to improve outcomes for rough sleepers, we will be setting up a new Social Impact BondFund to help the most complex and entrenched rough sleepers.


Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
14th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of people under the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 sleeping rough in Greater Manchester in the last 12 months.

Information on the ages of rough sleepers is not collected centrally.

We will increase central investment over the next four years to £139 million for innovative programmes to prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. We have also protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities, through the provisional local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20.



Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response time to dwelling fires was for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Information on average response times to dwelling fires for each fire and rescue service and for each year is available in Table 3b of the Department’s Fire incidents response times: England publication at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response time to dwelling fires was for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Information on average response times to dwelling fires for each fire and rescue service and for each year is available in Table 3b of the Department’s Fire incidents response times: England publication at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response time to dwelling fires was for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Information on average response times to dwelling fires for each fire and rescue service and for each year is available in Table 3b of the Department’s Fire incidents response times: England publication at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response time to dwelling fires was for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Information on average response times to dwelling fires for each fire and rescue service and for each year is available in Table 3b of the Department’s Fire incidents response times: England publication at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response time to dwelling fires was for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Information on average response times to dwelling fires for each fire and rescue service and for each year is available in Table 3b of the Department’s Fire incidents response times: England publication at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-incidents-response-times-england-2014-to-2015

17th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Essex Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

17th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

17th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

17th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change was in the number of firefighter posts in the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

13th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change was in the number of firefighter posts in the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November 2015, PQ 13946.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Durham Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November, PQ 13946.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November, PQ 13946.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November, PQ 13946.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November, PQ 13946.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 6 November, PQ 13946.

3rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there was in the number of firefighter posts in Kent Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

3rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there was in the number of firefighter posts in the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

3rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there was in the number of firefighter posts in Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

3rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there was in the number of firefighter posts in Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

3rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there was in the number of firefighter posts in Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

29th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

29th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

29th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

29th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

29th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Dorset Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics

28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Avon Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics


28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the change in the number of firefighter posts was in Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics


28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what change there has been in the number of firefighter posts was in Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service in 2013-14.

Information on the number of full time equivalent firefighter posts for each fire and rescue service and for each year, together with greater detail, is available in the Department’s Fire and Rescue Operational Statistics publication (Table 2 for full time equivalent posts) at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fire-and-rescue-authorities-operational-statistics


28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many Youth Diversion events were undertaken by English fire and rescue services in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Fire and rescue services in England reported almost 24,300 visits which they defined as “fire setter and anti-social behaviour schemes and other youth diversion visits” in 2013/14, although not all services were able to provide figures. They also reported almost 24,000 visits defined as “other youth fire safety programmes”.

28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many statutory Fire Safety Inspections were carried out by English fire and rescue services in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Fire and rescue services carried out almost 67,300 Fire Safety Audits / Inspections in 2013/14.

28th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many road traffic collisions English fire and rescue service attended in 2013-14.

In 2013/14 fire and rescue services in England attended over 28,100 road traffic collisions. They also attended over 1,200 other transport incidents.

This information for all fire and rescue services, together with greater detail and more up-to-date data (for 2014/15), is available in the Department’s Fire Statistics Monitor publication (Table 7):

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-statistics-monitor-april-2014-to-march-2015


26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many visits fire and rescue services made to schools in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Fire and rescue services reported that they undertook around 627,000 Home Fire Safety checks during 2013-14.

Data are also collected on fire safety campaigns and initiatives. These include, but do not separate out, schools visits.

26th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many home fire safety checks were completed by fire and rescue services in 2013-14.

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Office.

Fire and rescue services reported that they undertook around 627,000 Home Fire Safety checks during 2013-14.

Data are also collected on fire safety campaigns and initiatives. These include, but do not separate out, schools visits.

4th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2014 from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Official Report, column 1167, what progress he has made on ensuring that if a firefighter fails a fitness test through no fault of their own and they do not qualify for ill health retirement, they will get a redeployed role or an unreduced pension.

The amendment of the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England, which places firefighter fitness principles on a statutory basis, came into force on 12 January 2015. The National Framework sets out that fire and rescue authorities must not only have fitness policies in place, but policies to support those who become unfit, including fully exploring opportunities for reasonable adjustments and redeployment. The National Framework also records my decision to set in train an independent review of these principles and their operation in three years time, and in the light of that review, to take such additional action as might be required to ensure the commitments made to Parliament are secured. No firefighter will see any change to their expected Normal Pension Age until 2022.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
23rd Apr 2019
What assessment he has made of the effect of recent changes in courts staffing and courts closures on access to justice.

Any decision to close a court is not taken lightly, but in circumstances where 41% of our courts operated in 2016-17 at half their available capacity and where we are investing £1 billion in courts and bringing them up to date, the Ministry of Justice has to think carefully about where our court resources are most effectively and efficiently spent.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were prosecuted for causing serious injury by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving received a suspended sentence in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average prison sentence was for causing serious injury by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving received a suspended sentence in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average prison sentence was for causing death by dangerous driving in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

19th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in 2018 received the maximum 14 year jail sentence.

The Ministry of Justice will publish data relating to the number of people prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences in 2018 for ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ on 16 May 2019.

12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving received the maximum five year jail sentence in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.12 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, bespoke analysis shows that 3 offenders found guilty of the offence ‘causing serious injury by driving’ received a 5 year custodial sentence; 1 in 2013 and 2 in 2017.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average prison sentence given to people jailed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving was in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.12 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, bespoke analysis shows that 3 offenders found guilty of the offence ‘causing serious injury by driving’ received a 5 year custodial sentence; 1 in 2013 and 2 in 2017.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving received a suspended sentence in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.12 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, bespoke analysis shows that 3 offenders found guilty of the offence ‘causing serious injury by driving’ received a 5 year custodial sentence; 1 in 2013 and 2 in 2017.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.12 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, bespoke analysis shows that 3 offenders found guilty of the offence ‘causing serious injury by driving’ received a 5 year custodial sentence; 1 in 2013 and 2 in 2017.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been prosecuted for causing serious injury by dangerous driving in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people who have been prosecuted, convicted and given suspended sentences or immediate custodial sentences for causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.12 Causing serious injury by dangerous driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, bespoke analysis shows that 3 offenders found guilty of the offence ‘causing serious injury by driving’ received a 5 year custodial sentence; 1 in 2013 and 2 in 2017.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving received the maximum 14 year jail sentence in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people prosecuted, convicted and given a suspended sentence or immediate custodial sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.4 Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, no offender found guilty of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ received a 14 year custodial sentence.

11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average prison sentence given to people jailed for causing death by dangerous driving was in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people prosecuted, convicted and given a suspended sentence or immediate custodial sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.4 Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, no offender found guilty of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ received a 14 year custodial sentence.

11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving received a suspended sentence in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people prosecuted, convicted and given a suspended sentence or immediate custodial sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.4 Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, no offender found guilty of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ received a 14 year custodial sentence.

11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people prosecuted, convicted and given a suspended sentence or immediate custodial sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.4 Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, no offender found guilty of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ received a 14 year custodial sentence.

11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving in each of the last five calendar years.

The number of people prosecuted, convicted and given a suspended sentence or immediate custodial sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, and the average custodial sentence length in each of the last five years has been published up to December 2017 and can be found in the ‘Outcomes by offence data tool’, available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/733981/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2017-update.xlsx

In the Offence filter, select ‘4.4 Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (MOT)’, and the table will populate with the proceedings and outcomes for this offence by calendar year:

Prosecutions – row 23

Convictions – row 24

Suspended sentences – row 34

Average custodial sentence length – row 54

In the last five years, no offender found guilty of ‘causing death by dangerous driving’ received a 14 year custodial sentence.

19th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of court cases which will have to be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to establish if they were affected by compromised data from private forensic drug testing firm Randox Testing Services Laboratory.

This issue remains the subject of an ongoing police investigation to determine how many cases may have been affected and retesting of samples continues at pace. As such, it is not possible to provide an estimate at this time.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to introduce legislation increase prison sentences for causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving in a (a) specific Bill or (b) as part of a Bill that has driving within its scope.

The government is committed to increasing the maximum penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years’ imprisonment to life.

We are currently considering the legislative vehicle for these provisions, taking into account the wider legislative programme and other proposals for safer roads, including those arising from the Department for Transport’s review of cycle safety.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation that closed on 1 February 2017 on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury.

The consultation on driving offences and penalties issued by the previous government closed on 1 February. The government is now considering the consultation responses. Any announcement will be made in due course.

Dominic Raab
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
18th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Government plans to publish its response to its consultation on Driving Offences and Penalties relating to causing Death or Serious Injury, issued in December 2016.

A government response to the consultation “Driving Offences and Penalties relating to causing death and serious injury” will be published as soon as possible but will be subject to the normal restrictions that apply during the period before a general election.

7th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2018 to Question 905625 on industry: Scotland, whether his discussions on the economic effect of the industrial strategy on Scotland included the involvement of trade unions.

The Industrial Strategy has been developed following thorough consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including trade unions. As part of our ongoing engagement on the implementation of the Industrial Strategy in Scotland Lord Duncan of Springbank attends the quarterly meetings of the Scottish Business Growth Group at which the Scottish Trades Union Congress is represented. The forum has looked at the role of the Industrial Strategy in contributing to the development of workplaces and working practices in Scotland.

6th Jun 2018
What discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) Scottish Government Ministers on the economic effect of the industrial strategy on Scotland.

I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues and the Scottish Government on a wide range of issues relating to the Scottish economy, including ensuring we continue to build on the UK and Scottish Governments’ commitment to maximising the impact of the Industrial Strategy in Scotland.