Lloyd Russell-Moyle Portrait

Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Labour (Co-op) - Brighton, Kemptown

Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Apr 2020 - 16th Jul 2020
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
13th Jan 2020 - 9th Apr 2020
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill (Joint)
19th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
13th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
14:00
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK Export Finance
23 Jun 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Graham Stuart MP - Minister for Exports at Department for International Trade
Louis Taylor - Chief Executive at UK Export Finance
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021
14:30
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill
23 Jun 2021, 2:30 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Chloe Smith MP - Minister of State at Cabinet Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 24th June 2021
09:30
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK-EU trading relationship
24 Jun 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Professor Catherine Barnard - Professor of European Union and Labour Law at Cambridge University
Dr Brigid Fowler - Senior Researcher at Hansard Society
Georgina Wright - Head of the Europe Program at Institut Montaigne
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 29th June 2021
08:55
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 29th June 2021
09:15
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 30th June 2021
14:00
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Monday 21st June 2021
Protecting Britain’s Steel Industry

What a ridiculous speech we just heard; let us get back to reality.

On 19 May, only 19 days after …

Written Answers
Monday 21st June 2021
Business: Coronavirus
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will bring forward plans to …
Early Day Motions
Monday 14th June 2021
Rental reform
That this House welcomes the announcement in the 2021 Queen's Speech for greater protection of tenants; notes that the 2019 …
Bills
Wednesday 13th March 2019
Tenancy (Deposits and Arbitration) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th March 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 1 February 2021, Trustee (unpaid) of Friends of UKYP, the fundraising and grant giving charity for UK Youth Parliament. …
EDM signed
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
Rise of anti-Indian racism
That this House welcomes the contributions of Indians to British society; condemns the racism they face on a daily basis; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lloyd Russell-Moyle has voted in 259 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(17 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(9 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(26 debate contributions)
Home Office
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lloyd Russell-Moyle's debates

Brighton, Kemptown Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Brighton, Kemptown signature proportion
Petitions with most Brighton, Kemptown signatures
Lloyd Russell-Moyle has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Lloyd Russell-Moyle

22nd June 2021
Lloyd Russell-Moyle signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Rise of anti-Indian racism

Tabled by: Navendu Mishra (Labour - Stockport)
That this House welcomes the contributions of Indians to British society; condemns the racism they face on a daily basis; calls on key institutions to urgently address this type of prejudice; recognises the 1.3 million Indians who fought for Britain during WWI and have contributed greatly to all levels of …
8 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Plaid Cymru: 1
14th June 2021
Lloyd Russell-Moyle signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 14th June 2021

Rental reform

Tabled by: Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Labour (Co-op) - Brighton, Kemptown)
That this House welcomes the announcement in the 2021 Queen's Speech for greater protection of tenants; notes that the 2019 and 2018 Queen's Speeches contained a commitment to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act which allows for a no-fault eviction; further notes that an estimated 694,000 private tenants have …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Lloyd Russell-Moyle's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 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.


Lloyd Russell-Moyle has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lloyd Russell-Moyle has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Lloyd Russell-Moyle


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish a single custodial tenancy deposit scheme; to provide for that scheme to invest deposits; to require interest on such investments to be used for the provision of tenant advocacy, tenant support and arbitration services; to establish a mandatory arbitration service for the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 13th March 2019
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to promote and secure youth services and provision of a requisite standard; to impose a duty on local authorities to provide youth services and establish local youth service partnerships with youth participation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th June 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

Lloyd Russell-Moyle has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


290 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
4 Other Department Questions
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the National LGBT Action Plan 2018, which of the recommendations she has instructed her Department to implement.

The 2018 LGBT Action Plan was introduced by the previous administration. We have set out our plan for LGBT advancement for this Government and our priorities are banning Conversion Therapy and hosting the Global LGBT Conference. The objective was, and continues to be, to defend, extend and promote the rights and freedoms of LGBT people here and abroad.

We have achieved a great deal for LGBT people since 2018, including appointing the UK’s first National LGBT Health Adviser, more than doubling the number of places available on the PrEP Impact Trial, running a world-leading anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme in schools and working with the Home Office to update the Hate Crime Action Plan.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she has taken to ensure her Department’s consultation on banning so-called conversion therapy prioritises the voices of survivors of that practice.

Any ban we bring forward must work for those who need it most, especially victims and survivors. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences. We have committed to launching a consultation in September and this will be vital for ensuring the action we take is informed, effective and proportionate. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of conversion therapy to respond to our consultation when it launches in September.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what franchise EU citizens with (a) pre-settled and (b) settled immigration status will have after 31 December 2020.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 66206 on 6 July 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what new border infrastructure is being planned for Newhaven.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July 2020 to Hywel Williams MP.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the guidance entitled Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do after 4 July updated on 24 June 2020, what the limited set of circumstances when groups of more than 30 people may gather are.

As stated in the guidance published at the link below, the limited set of circumstances under which gatherings in groups of larger than 30 people will be permitted will be set out in law before 4 July.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, of 29 May 2020 to Question 48589 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus and of 11 May to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, what communication he has had with the Cabinet Secretary on the non-publication of that document since the 2019 general election.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 3030 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, the Answer of 2 May 2020 to Question 48583 the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, on Business Statement, for what reason he has not published the directory of ministerial contacts.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 and of 29 May 2020 to Question 48589 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, what investigations he has made to establish why the Department has not published that document in a timely manner.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 and of 29 May to Question 48589 and of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibilities, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, for what reason that document has not been published despite (a) six months having elapsed since the general election and (b) more than one month having elapsed since the first written question in relation to republishing that document.

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583 on Business Statement, on what date he plans to update the list of ministerial responsibilities published on GOV.UK, last updated in October 2019 and before the last ministerial reshuffle.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish an update of the document entitled, Government ministers and responsibilities; and if he will make it his policy to publish that document in (a) CSV and (b) PDF formats.

Details of ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK. The List of Ministerial Responsibilities document was last updated in October 2019 and was made available in PDF and CSV formats. An update will be published in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will bring forward plans to extend the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Business Loan Scheme repayment holiday.

We have always been clear that businesses are responsible for repaying any finance they take out. However, we recognise that some borrowers will benefit from additional flexibility with regards to their repayments. That is why we announced the Pay As You Grow measures last year.

Pay As You Grow is designed to provide Bounce Back Loan borrowers more time and flexibility over their repayments by giving them the option to:

  • Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten.
  • Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan.
  • Take up a six-month repayment holiday. This option is available once during the term of their loan.

Businesses will be able to use these options either individually or in combination with each other.

While the Government covers the interest due on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities for the first twelve months, repayments of capital are required during this period unless the lender chooses to grant additional forbearance measures.

CBILS lenders are able to extend the repayment period for CBILS facilities where this is needed, to a maximum of 10 years. CBILS term extensions are offered at the discretion of lenders, and for forbearance purposes only.

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing cashflow and a list of independent advice services. Details can be found at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/dealing-with-debt/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164585 on Chemicals: Exports, if he will convene a similar meeting with environmental and public health NGOs to discuss the proposals put forward by industry stakeholders at the meeting of 15 February 2021 on reducing requirements for chemical safety data in UK REACH.

The Chemicals EU Exit & Trade Group (CEEG) is a sector panel for discussion on EU Exit and future trade issues. Discussions on industry’s UK REACH proposal were therefore part of this broader agenda.

UK REACH policy is led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). As such, Defra has been engaging with all interested parties, including NGOs on the issues which industry has raised about the impacts of the new regulatory requirements associated with the implementation of UK REACH.

As previously stated, in discussing the issues which industry has raised, the Government will take account of the benefits and risks of making any changes to the arrangements that are in place now, including the impact it would have on the Government’s commitment to maintaining high standards of protection for public health and the environment, as well as any impact on our international obligations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) minutes and (b) list of attendees of the Chemicals EU Exit Trade Group on 15 February 2021; and what steps his Department is taking in response to the issues raised by stakeholders at that meeting.

Minutes from the Chemicals EU Exit (and Trade) Group (CEEG) are not routinely published.

The attendees at the last CEEG held on the 15th February 2021 were:

Ministerial

  • Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for BEIS
  • Lord Callanan, Lords Parliamentary Under Secretary, BEIS [Co-Chair]
  • Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defra
  • Mims Davies MP, Minister for Employment, DWP

Industry

  • Calum MacLean – CEO & Group Director, Synthomer [Industry Co-Chair]
  • Steve Elliott – CEO, Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
  • Tom Bowtell – CEO, British Coatings Federation (BCF)
  • Adrian Hanrahan – Managing Director, Robinson Brothers
  • Jane Toogood – Sector Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey (JM)

Officials

  • Neil Johnson, BEIS, Director, Infrastructure and Materials
  • Chris Hobley, BEIS, Director, Trade and Investment Negotiations
  • Jo Bray, BEIS, Deputy Director, Chemicals, Bioeconomy & Plastics
  • Sally Randall, DEFRA, Director, Environmental Quality
  • Gabrielle Edwards, DEFRA, Deputy Director, Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste
  • Dr Richard Daniels, HSE, Divisional Director Chemicals Regulation Division
  • Harjinder Kang, DIT, Director, Healthcare, Life Sciences & Bioeconomy
  • Supporting officials from BEIS, DEFRA, HSE and DIT

BEIS continues to work closely with industry to understand how it is adapting to the terms of the UK/EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement, and to understand its priorities for new trade deals. Government is also engaging closely with all interested parties on the issues which industry has raised about the impacts of the new regulatory requirements associated with the implementation of UK REACH. In doing so we will take account of the benefits and risks of making any changes to the arrangements that are in place now, including the impact it would have in our commitment to maintaining high standards of protection for public health and the environment. We will also consider the impact on our international obligations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost to the public purse has been in loans via the (a) British Business Bank and (b) other lenders to (i) developers and (ii) contractors in the renewable energy industry in response to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on (A) revenue streams, (B) capital investment and (C) employment costs.

The three Coronavirus Business Interruption loan schemes are administered by the British Business Bank and delivered by accredited lenders.

The cost to Government of the schemes will not be known until the end of the life of the loan schemes. The total cost will also depend on a range of economic factors over the life of the schemes.

The British Business Bank publishes lending figures under the BBBLs and CBILS schemes, including by sector[1] as follows.

BBLS by Sector

Number of BBLS facilities

Volume of Finance under BBLS (£)

% of BBLS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

7,866

251,165,017

1%

0.6%

CBILS by Sector

Number of CBILS facilities

Volume of Finance under CBILS (£)

% of CBILS facilities

% of business population

Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities

476

139,820,670

1%

0.6%

[1] https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/coronavirus-loan-schemes-benefiting-businesses-in-all-corners-of-uk-reveals-new-analysis-from-british-business-bank/

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that domestic energy consumption does not contribute to global deforestation.

The UK only supports biomass for electricity generation which complies with strict sustainability criteria, and generating stations utilising biomass only receive subsidies in respect of compliant biomass. These criteria take into account of social, economic and environmental issues including protecting biodiversity, land use rights, sustainable harvesting and regeneration rates. They ensure that the carbon stock of the forest from which the pellets are derived is not decreased by requiring that biomass fuels are derived from forest waste wood and residues and that the forest owner adheres to relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle online (a) homophobia, (b) biphobia and (c) transphobia.

The government is committed to tackling misogyny, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, including the spread of such content online. On 12 May 2021, we published the draft Online Safety Bill, which sets out new expectations on companies to keep their users safe online. Under a new legal duty of care, in-scope companies, including social media, will need to tackle misogynistic, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic content and activity that is illegal, if it is on their services.

In addition, companies with the largest audiences and with high-risk features will need to assess the risk to adults of legal but harmful content on their services. They must also set clear terms and conditions stating what legal but harmful material they accept (and do not accept) on their service. Companies will have to do this for both priority harms which the government will set out in secondary legislation and for any emerging harms they identify in their risk assessments.

These duties will apply to misogynistic, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate speech, which do not meet the threshold of a criminal offence. Companies will need to enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently, and could face enforcement action if they do not. All companies in scope will be required to have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle (a) homophobic, (b) biphobic and (c) transphobic bullying in schools, colleges, and universities.

The government has sent a clear message that bullying should never be tolerated, and we are committed to supporting schools to tackle it. Any form of harassment or violence is abhorrent and unacceptable anywhere in society, including in our universities which should be safe and inclusive environments. Since 2016, we have provided over £3.5 million of funding through our anti-bullying programme to support schools in their effort to tackle bullying. Following the success of these programmes we are currently running a procurement exercise to fund activity in financial year 2021-22, to make sure that schools have the right support in place to prevent bullying of all pupils, including those with protected characteristics.

All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying and have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies and monitoring approaches to best suit their environment. The department provides advice for schools, which outlines schools’ responsibilities. The advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional and mental health needs. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

We have published a research report which details common strategies that specific schools have found to be effective for combating bullying, including case studies with examples about actions schools have taken to improve preventative practices and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils. It is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/approaches-to-preventing-and-tackling-bullying. We have also published ‘Respectful School Communities’, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline. This can combat bullying, harassment and prejudice of any kind, including hate-based bullying and can be found here: https://educateagainsthate.com/school-leaders/?filter=guidance-and-training-school-leaders.

We are also making sure that all children in England will learn about respectful relationships, in person and online, as part of new mandatory Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). These subjects are designed to give pupils the knowledge they need to lead happy, safe, and healthy lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. Through these subjects, children will be taught about the importance of respectful relationships and the different types of loving and healthy relationships that exist. The statutory guidance states that all pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years. Secondary schools should include LGBT content in their teaching. Primary schools are strongly encouraged and enabled, when teaching about different types of family, to include families with same sex parents.

Further and higher education providers have clear responsibilities, including under the Equality Act 2010, and should have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate and swiftly address reports of harassment. Ofsted's inspection framework for further education providers looks at whether there is ‘an environment in which learners feel safe because staff and learners do not accept bullying, harassment or discrimination. Staff deal with any issues quickly, consistently and effectively’.

The Office for Students (OfS) statement of expectations on harassment and sexual misconduct was published on 19 April and is a useful tool for providers to ensure their policies and processes reflect the expectations set out within the statement. As part of its next steps on harassment and hate crime, the OfS will then be considering options for connecting the statement of expectations to its conditions of registration.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the academisation order of Moulsecoomb Primary school, what assessment his Department has made of any potential conflict of interest of appointing, Pioneer Academy Trust as the sponsor when Director Timothy Rome was one of the Ofsted inspectors who rated the school inadequate.

Ofsted has confirmed there was no conflict of interest, given that Timothy Rome was not employed by the Pioneer Academy at the time of the inspection. His previous employment as an Ofsted inspector who has visited the school in the past does not preclude the Pioneer Academy from sponsoring the school in the present day.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of his decision to appoint the Pioneer Academies Trust as sponsor to Moulsecoomb Primary school following the alleged safeguarding incident outside the school involving a visit from the Trust on 10 May.

The Department is aware of the alleged safeguarding incident. We understand the allegation is unfounded and that the police are taking no further action having reviewed the situation.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 407 on Pioneer Academy: Complaints, how many individual complaints have been made to his Department about schools run by the Pioneer Academy.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are responsible for investigating complaints about academies. Over the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21, one complaint has been submitted to the ESFA about a school in the Pioneer Academy Trust.

The ESFA was satisfied that the academy was compliant with statutory policies and procedures and therefore the complaint was not upheld.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 404 on Pioneer Academy: Finance, what additional financial assistance has been offered to Pioneer Academy in the event that they become the sponsor of Moulsecoomb Primary.

The Pioneer Academy has been offered ‘full sponsorship’ funding, which means it is eligible to receive up to £110,000 in pre-opening costs before Moulsecoomb opens as an academy.

The Pioneer Academy has not yet been offered any additional financial assistance. Further support is sometimes provided to fund additional costs, such as necessary capital works.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rowe as regional director of the Pioneer Academy.

The Department has not received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rome as regional director of The Pioneer Academy.

Trusts are not required or expected to provide the Department with this information.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any complaints about the Pioneer Academy.

The Department has not received any complaints about The Pioneer Academy trust. We occasionally receive complaints about individual schools within trusts which are investigated and/or shared with the appropriate bodies.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much total funding his Department has awarded to the Pioneer Academy.

The Pioneer Academy has previously received capacity funding to support it to grow. The academy trust received £75,000 in financial year 2014-15 and £70,000 in financial year 2016-17 from the Regional Academy Growth Fund, and £85,400 from the Multi-Academy Trust Development and Improvement Fund in financial year 2018-19.

The academy trust has also received funding for the schools it has sponsored. This is in line with the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsored-academies-funding-guidance-for-sponsors.

Academies within trusts are funded via general annual grant payments made by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Information on the trust’s income and expenditure, as well as individual schools, is available on the Department’s ‘school financial benchmarking’ website here: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Trust?companyNo=7691324.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial assistance his Department has provided to the Pioneer Academy following that academy's agreement to sponsor Moulsecoomb Primary School.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any correspondence on the appointment of Timothy Rowe as regional director of the Pioneer Academy.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much total funding his Department awarded to the Pioneer Academy.

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



Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received any complaints of any form about the Pioneer Academy.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending fines for non-attendance of enrolled students in schools where parents or students have medical reasons such as clinically vulnerable or for anxiety reasons until at least 29 March 2021.

School attendance will be mandatory from 8 March 2021 and all the usual rules apply. It is important that children attend school for their education, well-being and long term development. We have asked schools to implement a range of protective measures to ensure they are as safe as possible.

We know from growing evidence that many children identified at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak as clinically extremely vulnerable are not at increased risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19 and children are gradually being removed from the shielding patient list as appropriate, following review with a clinician. Pupils who have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while shielding advice applies nationally.

Where parents have concerns about their child’s attendance at school, we ask that they discuss their concerns with the school and the protective measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk.

Where pupils are not able to attend school, as they are following clinical or public health advice related to COVID-19, the absence will not be penalised.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on equality of opportunity for pupils of the cancellation of GCSE exams and not iGCSEs due to the covid-19 outbreak in the 2020-21 academic year.

International GCSEs are not regulated by Ofqual and it is therefore a matter for the two exam boards that run them – Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson – whether exams go ahead this summer, so long as they are not prevented from doing so by public health requirements. The Department understands that both exam boards have decided that exams for their international GCSEs will not go ahead in the UK in summer 2021 due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, and pupils will be awarded grades based on teacher assessment instead. They will decide themselves exactly how this is carried out for their qualifications. Further information is available on the relevant websites: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/news/news-details/view/update-for-cambridge-schools-on-the-2021-exam-series-20210219/ and https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/campaigns/pearson-covid-19.html.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he has provided instructions to the Leader of the House to amend the Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.

I refer the hon Member to the answer my Rt Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary gave to the hon Member for North East Fife on 18 June, Official Report, Col 947.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether free school meal vouchers will continue to be offered throughout the (a) May half-term and (b) summer holidays.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks.?This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time. We currently have no plans to extend the scheme into future holiday periods.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the provision of laptops to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people during the covid-19 outbreak to university students.

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Higher Education (HE) Providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. When making changes to the delivery of their courses, providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Where students do not have access to the internet, a computer at home, or cannot afford to purchase it, the expectation is that HE Providers will provide support through their own hardship funds.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to rebate students on their university fees for the period of the covid-19 lockdown.

The government continues to work with the higher education (HE) sector to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies to the best of their abilities.

Universities offering high-quality tuition online will continue to charge fees. Fee loans are paid directly to higher education providers at the start of the third term. We are working closely with sector representative bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 and the immediate financial implications for students and providers.

We only expect full tuition fees to be charged if online courses are of good quality, fit for purpose and help students progress towards their qualification. If universities want to charge full fees, they will have to ensure that the quality is there. The government has made it clear that, if providers are unable to deliver adequate online teaching, then it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms, which would effectively mean that they were being charged twice.

The government is also working with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, professional bodies and the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, to ensure that students continue to leave university with qualifications of value. The OfS has published guidance for registered providers about how it will approach the regulation of quality and standards during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is clear that standards must be maintained (further details are available at the following link): https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/guidance-for-providers-about-quality-and-standards-during-coronavirus-pandemic/. Actions that providers are taking now may continue to be required in the 2020-21 academic year if there is prolonged disruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is important that students receive a good standard of education. Whether an individual student is entitled to a reduction of their fees will depend on specific contractual arrangements between the HE providers and the student.

If a student is concerned about their education, or about the steps that their provider has taken to respond to the situation, they should speak to their HE provider in the first instance. The government expects student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly, and sympathetically by institutions to resolve any concerns. Students who are not satisfied with their provider’s final response can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint if their institution is based in England or Wales.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to ensure that students receive all key stages of learning they may have missed during the covid-19 lockdown.

The Department is doing everything it can to ensure that schools have the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all students.

The Department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. We recognise that many schools and colleges have already shared resources for children who are at home, and we are grateful for this.

The Department has issued guidance for schools which signposts to an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The Department has also issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who are learning from home at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Leading state schools have worked together to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize. Further information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department is also considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged, to make up for time spent out of school.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether all plans are in place for schools to teach high-quality Relationships and Sex Education from September 2020.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools have adequate resources to teach Relationships and Sex Education from September 2020.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will (a) ensure that the implementation guidance on Relationships and Sex Education is clear that the inclusiveness of such education is essential to its high quality and (b) support schools to develop inclusive practice.

The new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) will become compulsory in September 2020. Many schools are already teaching aspects of these subjects as part of their sex and relationship education provision or personal, social, health and economic education programme. Schools have flexibility to determine how to deliver the new content in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Department is investing in a central programme of support for the new subjects, which is planned to be available to all teachers from spring 2020. The programme will focus on tools that improve schools’ practice and will offer opportunities for teachers to improve subject knowledge, build confidence and share best practice. The Department’s internal budgets for 2020-21, including supporting the implementation of the new subjects, have not yet been set and this will be confirmed in due course.

This support will be accessed through a new online service and will include an implementation guide, which will accompany the statutory guidance, case studies from early adopter schools, and innovative materials to support staff training.

We will ensure that all of the Department’s materials supporting implementation of the new subjects are inclusive, and recognise fully the need to disseminate the good practice in teaching about LGBT relationships that is seen in large numbers of our schools as well as the importance of reflecting the needs of pupils with a special educational need or disability when planning the curriculum for these subjects.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure it has the capacity to (a) implement legally enforceable (i) restrictions on and (ii) authorisations for chemicals after the transition period and (b) access chemicals regulation information in the period before a replacement for the European Chemicals Agency database is created.

At the end of the transition period, EU REACH will be transposed into UK law. Defra has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency and the Devolved Administrations to develop the processes for restriction and authorisation and we are confident that the processes will be operational when the domestic regime comes into force.

Under the domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make a decision on a restriction on the basis of a proposal dossier and an opinion prepared by the HSE. To give this restriction legal effect, the Secretary of State will make and lay a statutory instrument to amend annex XVII of the domestic regime. If the restriction relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision.

A company must apply for and be granted an authorisation if it wishes to place on the market or use any substance that is on the authorisation list. Under domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether an authorisation will be granted. Again, if the authorisation relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision. This decision and the reasons for it will be sent to the applicant and the HSE and the decision will be published. The Secretary of State’s decision will be made on the basis of the HSE’s opinion on the application for authorisation.

Our REACH legislation also provides transitional provisions for UK-based companies that hold (EU) REACH authorisations or are registered downstream users of authorisations at the end of the transition period or where the authorisation application has reached the stage where the European Chemicals Agency has adopted an opinion, but the Commission has not yet granted a decision.

The aim of the transitional provisions we have put in place is to strike a balance which provides for a database to underpin robust, evidence-based regulation while placing achievable duties on business. Existing UK registrations and the duties on registrants will remain unbroken from Day 1. These duties include the duty to identify, transmit and apply appropriate risk management measures for chemicals, and the duty to hold all information relevant to their registration and to provide it to the UK regulator.

Our transitional provisions provide grace periods within which registrants must submit the data required to underpin their registration to the regulator. We have listened to concerns raised by stakeholders about the current timelines to supply that data and as a result, we intend to extend the existing registration deadlines set in legislation (subject to parliamentary and devolved administration scrutiny). This will allow industry more time to reach agreement with commercial partners to access the chemical substance registration data that they need and therefore reduce the risks of disruption to supply chains.

UK companies that have already registered a chemical with ECHA will be “grandfathered” into the UK system with no break in their legal access to the market. Those registrants would then have 120 days from UK REACH coming into force to provide UK authorities with some initial information on their substance.

The initial notification stage for UK downstream users of EU based registrations has been extended from 180 to 300 days from 1 January 2021. This is to allow UK downstream users the opportunity to assess how existing UK based registrants meet the 120-day deadline before starting their own 180-day process. We have also extended the deadline for completing a full registration supported by full data packages to 2, 4 and 6 years from the end of the initial 300-day period. The deadline for final submission of data underpinning the full registration is dependent on tonnage bands and hazard profile, with the highest tonnage and most hazardous chemicals first.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18441 on Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances and with reference to the delay in publishing the Government’s Chemicals Strategy, if he will take steps to introduce a restriction on those chemicals as a group in line with the EU REACH restriction proposal ahead of that strategy.

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of chemicals that are widely used in consumer and industrial products.

A number of PFAS are already banned or highly restricted. There are existing restrictions on the use of certain PFAS under the Stockholm Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, and under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

At the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own independent chemicals regulatory framework, UK REACH. Existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law and therefore will continue to apply in the UK. Our commitments as a signatory to the Stockholm Convention will also continue to apply.

Future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.

Defra continues to work with regulators to improve the understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure it is able to (a) implement legally enforceable (i) restrictions on and (ii) authorisations for chemicals after the transition period and (b) access chemicals regulation information in the period before a replacement for the European Chemicals Agency database is created.

At the end of the transition period, EU REACH will be transposed into UK law. Defra has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Environment Agency and the Devolved Administrations to develop the processes for restriction and authorisation and we are confident that the processes will be operational when the domestic regime comes into force.

Under the domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make a decision on a restriction on the basis of a proposal dossier and an opinion prepared by the HSE. To give this restriction legal effect, the Secretary of State will make and lay a statutory instrument to amend annex XVII of the domestic regime. If the restriction relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision.

A company must apply for and be granted an authorisation if it wishes to place on the market or use any substance that is on the authorisation list. Under domestic legislation, the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether an authorisation will be granted. Again, if the authorisation relates to a matter of devolved competency, the Secretary of State will seek the consent of the Devolved Administrations when making the decision. This decision and the reasons for it will be sent to the applicant and the HSE and the decision will be published. The Secretary of State’s decision will be made on the basis of the HSE’s opinion on the application for authorisation.

Our REACH legislation also provides transitional provisions for UK-based companies that hold (EU) REACH authorisations or are registered downstream users of authorisations at the end of the transition period or where the authorisation application has reached the stage where the European Chemicals Agency has adopted an opinion, but the Commission has not yet granted a decision.

The aim of the transitional provisions we have put in place in that legislation is to strike a balance which provides for a database to underpin robust, evidence-based regulation while placing achievable duties on business. Existing UK registrations and the duties on registrants will remain unbroken from Day 1. These duties include the duty to identify, transmit and apply appropriate risk management measures for chemicals, and the duty to hold all information relevant to their registration and to provide it to the regulator on request.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will undertake a consultation on the terms of reference for the delegation of powers from the European Chemicals Agency to the Health and Safety Executive and the environment agencies in regard to (a) public participation, stakeholder engagement and transparency, (b) collaboration with other agencies and (c) whether it will include a role for the UK’s public health bodies.

The REACH (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 establish a UK regulatory framework and build domestic capacity to deliver the functions currently performed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). It is this Statutory Instrument (SI) that sets the terms of reference for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to take on ECHA's role.

As well as parliamentary scrutiny of the SI, we engaged with a range of stakeholders both before and after the Regulations were passed by Parliament. In addition, the SI itself contains a range of provisions to ensure that the UK Agency (HSE) consults publicly on its processes, decisions and opinions; develops appropriate contacts with stakeholders; acts transparently; and works collaboratively with other public bodies.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff the Government plans to recruit to (a) the Environment Agency and (b) the Health & Safety Executive to deliver the proposed post-transition Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); and (i) what positions that recruitment will fill and (ii) what the timescale for that recruitment is.

The continued effective and safe management of chemicals to safeguard human health and the environment is our overarching objective now that we have left the EU. The preparations we made for the possibility of a no deal exit mean that we are well placed to be ready with our own independent regulatory regime for 1 January 2021. This includes ensuring that both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA) have the necessary capability and capacity to carry out their responsibilities. Once we have staffed up to full operating capability we expect to spend about £13 million per year on the UK’s new REACH regulatory system. This figure covers the following costs:

Operation and maintenance of the REACH IT system; and staff resourcing in Defra, HSE and EA to ensure:

  • the necessary levels of technical specialist input into risk and socio-economic assessment of chemicals for the UK (for example, authorising the use of and restricting chemicals as appropriate);
  • high quality policy advice can be provided; and
  • we can increase UK and international stakeholder engagement.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to publish a further consultation on the design of the deposit return scheme.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to introduce (a) a deposit return scheme and (b) extended producer responsibility.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for consumers to switch from aluminium cans in multi-packs to large plastic bottles as an unintended consequence of a deposit return scheme.

The Government is keen to avoid any unintended consequences. An Impact Assessment will be published alongside the second consultation which assesses the costs and benefits of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), the costs to business, and covers the wider environmental impacts of implementing a DRS. We are continuing to consult with stakeholders to advise us of any unintended consequences which could arise.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Final recommendations report of the Global Resource Initiative.

The Global Resource Initiative taskforce published its final recommendations report on 30 March. This report comes at a time of an unprecedented global challenge, and the priority of the UK Government must remain focused on supporting the response to COVID-19. The Government is committed, however, to addressing the major challenges identified in the report and providing global leadership on these issues which are also important in supporting a recovery that is based on solid foundations including a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and issue our formal response later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to support and protect the world’s forests, support sustainable agriculture and work towards zero-deforestation supply chains.

The UK is part of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership that aims to eliminate deforestation from agricultural commodity chains and supports a 100% sustainable palm oil supply chain in Europe.

Through International Climate Finance, Defra contributes to a joint pledge between the UK, Germany, and Norway to provide $5 billion to encourage ambitious action from developing countries to protect their forests and promote more sustainable patterns of land use.

The Government has established an independent taskforce, the Global Resource Initiative, to provide us with recommendations as to how we could support the efforts of producer countries to improve the sustainability of products and reduce deforestation. The taskforce recently published its final report that sets out an ambitious and strategic package of measures the Government could take to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint, with a focus on forest risk commodities. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and we will issue our formal response later this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure the maintenance of labour (a) supply and (b) standards in the farming industry during covid-19 outbreak.

(Part A)

The ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak have meant that there will be a shortfall in the numbers of workers who usually travel to the UK from Europe to work during the harvest season, with the demand for workers peaking from late May through the summer.

Farming leaders have already kick-started a recruitment drive for work on farms, with thousands of British people already expressing an interest in picking up seasonal agricultural work over the coming weeks and months. With many British workers furloughed from their jobs, and students having to put their summer plans on hold, the Government is supporting industry efforts to help farmers bring in this year’s harvest, working to build on these numbers.

The majority of roles for the early part of the harvest season have already been filled. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will shortly be launching a public- facing campaign to highlight the roles available from late May onwards and to encourage people to apply. The Government has confirmed that those who have been furloughed from their jobs due to coronavirus, and who are contractually allowed to work for another employer, can take on this seasonal work.

A new government-industry digital hub for seasonal work information and job opportunities has been launched to provide guidance on getting into farm work and links to the available jobs and recruiters. The website can be found at pickforbritain.org.uk and will be updated regularly over the coming weeks to help match jobs to workers as the demand grows.

(Part B)

The UK is proud of its world-leading standards of food safety, environmental protection and animal health and welfare. We will not compromise our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk whatever the circumstances.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the merger of his Department and the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both Secretaries of State ahead of his announcement in the House.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to support improved (a) healthcare and (b) delivery of healthcare services to indigenous women in Brazil.

The UK Prosperity Fund’s Global Better Health Programme aims to strengthen the health system in Brazil through technical collaboration. In particular, the programme focuses on addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and driving improvements in quality of care to reduce infection, injury or premature death. This will directly benefit women and poorer groups who are often particularly affected as a result of these health challenges. The programme in Brazil is currently in the inception stage, as part of which we will consider with our country partners the likely impact of the programme on different demographic groups such as indigenous women.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to her Department's press release, Creation of four major new Trade and Investment Hubs across the UK, published on 23 March 2021, if she will expand the remit of those hubs to widen outreach by engaging customers on trade across the UK.

The new Trade and Investment Hubs will be home to teams of export and investment specialists. These teams can provide businesses with expert support and advice to help them maximise their export potential. They will also help businesses boost their trade in new markets overseas, gain better access to major trade markets like Japan, the US and India, and feed directly into the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) free trade agreements programme.

The new Hubs build on the nationwide support already offered by DIT. This support includes the UK Export Finance offer, the £38m Internationalisation Fund, the Export Academy programme, our network of around 300 International Trade Advisors across England, and over 400 Regional Export Champions.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to his Department's press release, Creation of four major new Trade and Investment Hubs across the UK, published on 23 March 2021, what steps her Department is taking to work with (a) consumers and (b) other interest groups via specific outreach in those areas and other parts of the UK.

The new Trade and Investment Hubs will be home to teams of export and investment specialists. These teams can provide businesses with expert support and advice to help them maximise their export potential. They will also help businesses boost their trade in new markets overseas, gain better access to major trade markets like Japan, the US and India, and feed directly into the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) free trade agreements programme.

The new Hubs build on the nationwide support already offered by DIT. This support includes the UK Export Finance offer, the £38m Internationalisation Fund, the Export Academy programme, our network of around 300 International Trade Advisors across England, and over 400 Regional Export Champions.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 17 September 2020 to Question 89802, whether the next board of trade meeting will be advertised prior to it taking place.

The next Board of Trade meeting forms part of my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade’s itinerary. On security grounds, details of the next Board of Trade meeting will not be advertised prior to the meeting.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September 2020 to Question 86738, when the date and location of the next board of trade meeting will be advertised.

I refer the Hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown to the answer given to him by my Hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade on 11 September 2020, UIN: 86738.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, (a) on what date and (b) where the next meeting of the Board of Trade is planned to take place.

The date and location of the Board’s next meeting is still to be decided.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which Minister in her Department was responsible for the approval of any arms export licences for (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) its coalition partners from 17 July 2016 to 9 January 2018.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade is ultimately responsible for decisions on all strategic export licences.

Her predecessor, my Rt Hon. Friend for North Somerset, held the post during the dates referred to.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on environmental protection and human rights of maintaining (a) free trade and (b) open supply chains during the covid-19 outbreak.

Free trade has a vital role in addressing the immediate impact and resolving the longer-term effects of this pandemic. It is imperative that we keep our markets open to maintain the flow of essential goods and services, including medical products, which will protect lives and livelihoods.

HM Government intends to support Britain’s economy to become stronger, cleaner, and more resilient after this crisis. This will boost exports and create employment in the low-carbon industries of the future, while ensuring we address challenges including climate change and continue to protect the environment.

The United Kingdom has a strong history of promoting our values globally and we will continue to do so.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which sites used by holders of general export licences for military goods have not been inspected by her Department under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 in each of the last 36 months apart from the BAE site at Warton.

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences. The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences.

The scope of the general licences includes only items and destinations that are consistent with the Consolidated Criteria. Those published by the Department for International Trade have all been pre-assessed for risk and agreed by all relevant departments that they can be published. Our compliance checks are focused where higher risks of non-compliance lie.

An answer detailing the sites that have not been inspected in the past 36 months can only be provided at disproportionate cost, as my Department would have to manually review every existing and surrendered open licence registration.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake inspections of (a) the Raytheon sites at (i) Glenrothes and (ii) Harlow, (b) the MBDA sites at (i) Stevenage, (ii) Lostock and (iii) Henlow, (c) the BAE site at Samlesbury and (d) the Rolls Royce factory at Bristol; and what the outcome was of each of those inspections.

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

The obligation is for a business to inform us of the address where records relating to exports made under general licences are kept. As such we are not able to ascertain where records may be held for specific sites and there is no requirement under the legislation that businesses provide that information.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of the licences they use. Whilst the outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive, the Hon. Gentleman may still find it helpful to know that the following inspections took place:

(a) Raytheon
(i) Glenrothes – 23 November 2016
(ii) Harlow – 5 November 2015

(b) MBDA
(i) Stevenage – 31 August 2017
(ii) Lostock – 19 October 2017
(iii) Henlow – no records held at this site

(c) BAE at Samlesbury – 5 April 2017

(d) Rolls Royce at Bristol – 18 September 2017

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake an ad hoc inspection of BAE System’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia; and what the outcome was of that inspection.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences, rather than specific events such as regular freighter flights.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences. The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5th and 6th April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has issued arms export licences for finished bombs to Raytheon UK in the last five years.

No licences have been granted to Raytheon UK for finished bombs in the last five years.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to extant licences for the export of controlled goods from Raytheon UK to Saudi Arabia, if she will set out (a) the type of those licences, (b) their start and end dates, (c) their item codes in the Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation and (d) the quantity of goods exported under those respective licences.

Providing the detailed information requested would disclose commercially sensitive information, however we can advise there is one extant Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) granted to Raytheon UK for export to Saudi Arabia. The licence was issued in the first quarter of 2018, with a two year validity and covers the item rating ML4.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 1036 on Raytheon: USA, how many licences have been issued by her Department since 20 June 2019; what item codes those licences refer to; and whether they are open or standard licences.

Seven Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been granted to Raytheon UK, between 20 June 2019 and 30 September 2019 for export to the USA. The licences are valid for two years and cover the following ratings: ML4, ML11 and ML22.

Licensing data is provided based on information published as Official Statistics up to September 2019. Licences granted from 1 October 2019 onwards have not yet been published as official statistics on GOV.UK and therefore information about those licences cannot be disclosed.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will list the current extant arms export licences for Paveway bombs issued to Raytheon UK, including the (a) end-user nations, (b) expiry date and (c) licence type.

There are no extant licences issued to Raytheon UK for Paveway bombs.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department plans to publish the court-ordered independent review of the compliance of past licences issued to Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies.

The Court of Appeal has not ordered an independent review of the compliance of past licences issued to Saudi Arabia and its Coalition allies.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 1036 on Raytheon: USA, whether any of those arms export licences were for munition components.

Export licences issued to Raytheon since 20 June 2019 included munition components to the USA.

The Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences on GOV.UK and the latest available data was published on 14 January 2020 covering the period 1 July – 30 September 2019.

These reports contain detailed information on export licences issued, refused or revoked, by destination, including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. These can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has issued arms export licences for the export of items on the UK strategic export control list from Raytheon UK to the US since 20 June 2019.

Export licences have been issued to Raytheon since 20 June 2019, permitting the export of controlled items to the US.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she plans to take to ensure that the granting of licences by her Department to UK companies to export items to third countries for re-export within finished weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen does not violate the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019.

Licence applicants are required to tell us the final destination of the item to be exported, including where that item is incorporated into a higher-level product.

Government takes that final destination and the nature of the higher-level product into account when making decisions against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and in the case of export to Saudi Arabia when ensuring compliance with the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to extant licences for the export of controlled goods from Raytheon UK to the US, if she will set out (a) the type of those licences, (b) their start and end dates, (c) their item codes in the Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation and (d) the quantity of goods exported under those respective licences.

Providing the detailed information requested would disclose commercially sensitive information, however we can advise there are 39 extant Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) granted to Raytheon UK, between January 2018 and September 2019 for export to the USA. The licences are valid for two years and cover the following ratings: ML4, ML10, ML11 and ML22.

Licensing data is provided based on information published as Official Statistics up to September 2019. Licences granted from 1 October 2019 onwards have not, as yet, been published as official statistics on GOV.UK and therefore information about those licences cannot be disclosed.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what equality impact assessment his Department has undertaken on the effect on people whose two-year deadline for Compulsory Basic Training has expired during the covid-19 outbreak.

No assessment has been made. The two-year validity period of a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificate, which is set out in legislation, is in place to ensure learner moped and motorcycle riders can ride safely on their own, with L-plates, while they practise for a full moped or motorcycle test.

Mobile emergency workers who hold a valid CBT certificate are able to take a motorcycle test during the current restrictions if put forward by their employer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 91850, on School Streets Initiative, when he plans to enact Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to enable local authorities outside London to enforce school streets schemes.

Further to the previous answer, work is underway on drafting the regulations needed to bring the Part 6 powers into force, which will take several months to complete. It is not possible at this stage to say exactly when in 2021 the powers will be available to local authorities.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 91850, when he plans to bring into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, so that local authorities outside London can enforce school streets schemes.

The moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 require a set of statutory instruments to be made covering enforcement, level of penalties, financial provisions, approved devices, adjudication and representations and appeals. This will take several months to bring into force, after which those local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers can apply for a designation order for moving traffic enforcement.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he would publish the (a) names and (b) organisations of the members of his Department’s Net Zero Transport Board.

The Net Zero Transport Board comprises a wide variety of stakeholders including transport experts, behavioural insight specialists, technology, academia and environmental NGOs. Details of the membership, alongside minutes of the first meeting, which focused on a green recovery from coronavirus, will be published shortly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) terms of reference, (b) minutes of its first meeting and (c) dates of future meetings of his Department’s Net Zero Transport Board.

The Net Zero Transport Board is an external advisory board, brought together to advise on the Government’s approach to transport decarbonisation. The minutes of its first meeting on a green recovery from coronavirus, alongside the terms of reference and details of the membership, will be published online shortly. Dates of future meetings will not be published in advance, but minutes of each meeting will be published on a recurring basis.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which railway routes on the England and Wales rail network have temporary non-compliance status from Network Rail and allow the practice of dumping human waste and effluent on railway tracks.

Non-compliance status is granted to operators and not routes.

The following franchised train operators have applied for, and been granted, temporary non-compliance status: Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales.

Other operators, such as charter and heritage, for which the Department is not responsible for have also been issued with non-compliance status by Network Rail.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what risk assessment his Department has made of the effect on railway workers from human waste and effluent on tracks in England and Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been clear that our priority remains the safety of staff and passengers.

We have issued comprehensive guidance to employers on the steps they should take to make their workplaces Covid-secure, which outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England.

Operators have been instructed to undertake Covid-19 staff-safety risk assessments to determine how best to maintain the health of staff through safe distancing and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate. All guidance documents are available on the government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the planned timescale is for bringing into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 enabling local authorities outside London to enforce school streets schemes.

The commencement of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 is a longstanding and complex issue which we are looking at carefully, including the role that moving traffic enforcement powers could play in helping councils to deliver their transport recovery plans. No decisions have yet been taken.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what powers local authorities have been granted to close roads to create more cycling and pedestrian space during the covid-19 outbreak; and for how road closures can be in place for.

Local traffic authorities already have powers to close roads and to make changes to their use, including making space for cyclists and pedestrians, through the use of Traffic Orders. My Department has recently published guidance for authorities on how to deal with some practical difficulties with publicising and making orders during current restrictions, for example, publication in local newspapers when these may have either closed or moved online and posting site notices. This guidance has been circulated to local authorities already and will be kept under review. It is temporary and will be withdrawn when circumstances allow. It is available on our website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-orders-advertising-during-coranavirus-covid-19

We will continue to consider other assistance and support that we can offer to authorities as part of our response to coronavirus and plans for restart and recovery.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking in response to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that the National Rail Passenger Survey does not reflect passengers' experience of rail travel in the UK.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons some train operating companies are provided with the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey three weeks in advance.

As set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics, a small number of individuals can be given access to official statistics before their public release; these are limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance purposes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department has not implemented the proposal by Transport Focus for continuous rail passenger interviewing.

Whilst Transport Focus provided the Department with a proposal for a move to continuous National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) fieldwork in 2017, the costs of the options provided were prohibitive at that time.

The rail industry does not rely solely on the NRPS and since 2017, the Department has been working with industry to develop a wider range of evidence to understand and improve rail performance, including more continuous measurement of passenger views and experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Office for Statistics Regulation’s conclusion that Transport Focus should extend engagement on National Passenger Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) to a broader range of users to ensure that different user perspectives are fed into the future development of the NRPS statistics.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey collects data on passenger support for the presence of on-train and station staff.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey includes questions on the accessibility of railways for disabled people that (a) travel by rail and (b) do not currently travel by rail.

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that there is a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse of the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) by using a journey-based approach, what steps his Department plans to take to review how the results of the NRPS are used in the (a) award and (b) review processes for rail franchising.

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The previous Secretary of State met with DUP MP’s to discuss the proposals. Subsequently, officials provided advice to both the previous and current Secretary of State on the options available to facilitate a feasibility study.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 139101, what estimate her Department has made of the (a) number of applications in the backlog awaiting issuance of National Insurance numbers to people that cannot use the visa route and (b) time it will take her Department to clear that backlog.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the Department are not conducting face-to-face National Insurance Number (NINo) interviews at present. Applicants who have verified their ID via a Visa application are able to apply for a NINo using a postal route. As of 17 January 2021, there are 16,245 NINo applications awaiting a decision. Of the total outstanding applications, 1,588 have applied via the Visa Postal route, and 14,657 have applied via an alternative Postal route.

In a business as usual position our benchmark is 15 days. However, people who do not have a visa, are part of the digital trial so this may take longer.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many national insurance numbers have been issued to EU citizens in each of the last five years.

The Department publishes quarterly statistics on National Insurance Number (NINo) allocations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK. All of this information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-insurance-number-allocations-to-adult-overseas-nationals-entering-the-uk

The available information on the number of NINos issued in the last 5 years to EU Nationals can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the extent of the backlog of National Insurance the covid-19 outbreak.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the Department are not conducting Face to Face National Insurance Number (NINo) interviews at present. Applicants who have verified their identity via a Visa application are able to apply for a NINo using a postal route.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what equality impact assessment her Department has made in relation to its policy not to issue national insurance numbers to applicants without a visa during the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to allocate a National Insurance number, the Department must validate each applicant’s identity. This was predominantly done through a face to face identity check. As part of the Department’s assessment to meet government guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, all non-essential face to face activity was suspended.

For those customer groups, where a face to face identity check is required, we are developing and testing alternative identity verification solutions.

We recently included EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who have been granted settled or pre-settled status as part of their EU Settlement Scheme, into the test, as their identity will have been verified, through this process, by the Home Office.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on (a) tax and (b) national insurance payments of her Department not issuing national insurance numbers to many applicants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department and HMRC have assessed the effects on customers paying tax and National Insurance Contributions without a National Insurance Number (NINo).

The collection of tax and National Insurance is a matter for HMRC. HMRCs employer checklist provides advice to employers on what information is required when submitting payroll returns for those employees who do not have a NINo.

HMRC have measures in place to ensure customers pay the right amount of tax and National Insurance contributions at the right time.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much in discretionary housing payments was allocated between March and July (a) 2020 and (b) 2019.

Since 2013 the Department has requested that Local Authorities provide details of their use of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funds. This monitoring information is collected twice yearly; in the middle and at the end of the financial year.

The returns are published on-line, and the information to the end of March 2020 is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-financial-year-2019-to-2020/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-analysis-of-end-of-year-returns-from-local-authorities-april-2019-to-march-2020

DHPs for Scotland were devolved from 1 April 2017, information and statistics on the use of DHPs in Scotland are available here: DHPs in Scotland

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much in 2020-21 discretionary housing payments had been distributed nationally as of August 2020.

We have provided £180m in Discretionary Housing Payment (DHPs) funding to Local Authorities (LAs) to support vulnerable claimants with housing costs in the private and social rented sector in England and Wales for 2020/21. This includes an extra £40m as announced last year at the spending round.

Each year the Department publishes the annual LA allocations; the current year allocations are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-benefit-subsidy-circulars-2020/s22020-2020-21-discretionary-housing-payments-government-contribution-for-english-and-welsh-local-authorities

Since 2017 DHPs have been fully devolved in Scotland; the Scottish Government is responsible for informing Scottish LAs of their individual allocations.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding has been allocated to the Health & Safety Executive for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period and (b) establishing a new building safety regulator following the Grenfell Tower disaster; and whether these funding allocations are in addition to the £14 million announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 12 May 2020 for making workplaces safe during the covid-19 outbreak.

The total funding allocated to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period for 2020/21 is £3.46m. This funding is provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Allocations for future years will be decided as part of the Spending Review process for 2020.

HSE has not yet been allocated any funding in respect of (b) the new Building Safety Regulator. Costs to the organisation are currently being met by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). HSE and MHCLG are currently discussing future funding arrangements for this work.

The additional HSE funding of up to £14m is additional funding and is ring-fenced for dealing with additional work arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the under-occupancy charge during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) policy has helped to contain growing housing support expenditure, encourage mobility within the social rented sector, strengthen work-incentives and make better use of available social housing. There are currently no plans to change this policy. It would not be practical to make such temporary adjustments to the size criteria, which require regulatory changes, to reflect self-isolation or shielding when the household, property and rental costs have not changed.

Previously, Housing Benefit claimants who live in the social rented sector generally had their rents met in full and their entitlement was not affected by whether or not they under occupied their homes. However, this was no longer considered sustainable and from April 2013 Housing Benefit for working-age tenants in the social rented sector has been restricted. These restrictions apply where people live in a property that is too large for their needs.

As with all spending decisions difficult choices have to be made about priorities and where to focus additional resources. Those unable to meet a shortfall in their rent can seek assistance via the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHPs) scheme. DHPs can be paid to those in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit who face a shortfall in meeting their rental housing costs.

In addition, we have just announced an extra £40 million for DHPs in 2020/21 in England and Wales.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the £16,000 savings threshold for eligibility for universal credit.

A key principle of UC is that it supports people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. While it is important to protect the incentive to save for claimants on low earnings, people with substantial capital can take responsibility for their own support. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to citizens who need it and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

If capital exceeds £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC, unless the capital can be disregarded, for example personal injury compensation payments. Capital above £6,000 will reduce the amount of UC paid by £4.35 per month for every £250 of capital or part thereof.

If someone has money in their account that is to be used for business purposes, for example for paying tax, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for business purposes. People should make clear in their application the savings that are business assets, and note it in their online journal.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Pride Month, what steps he is taking to improve mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Advancing mental health equalities is a priority outlined in the Mental Health Implementation Plan. All local health systems are expected to set out how they will specifically reduce health inequalities by 2023-24. We recognise that inequalities exist in access, experience and outcomes of mental health care for LGBTQ+ people. The National Health Service recently published its Advancing Mental Health Equalities Strategy to support local health systems to better address inequalities in mental health services. Implementation of the strategy will be overseen by the Advancing Mental Health Equalities Taskforce.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that trans and non-binary individuals have equitable access to healthcare.

The National Health Service has included a new gender and trans status question in the GP Patient Survey to improve evidence around the experiences of trans and non-binary people. The results of the survey will be published in late summer 2021. NHS England continues to work across a range of projects to address inequalities experienced by trans and non-binary people.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the rate of false negatives produced by lateral flow covid tests.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local health commissioners are allocating funding to public health (a) information on and (b) services for the provision of the HIV prevention drug PrEP that are accessible to the trans and non-binary community in 2021-22.

The Public Health Grant in 2021/22 includes £23.4million to cover local authority costs of the routine commissioning of HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The Department and Public Health England (PHE) will continue to work closely with local authorities across England to support the routine commissioning of PrEP in 2021/22.

PHE is currently developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the routine commissioning of PrEP, which will use established surveillance systems and include measures of PrEP need and use among key population groups to inform equitable delivery and access. We will also consider issues relating to equitable access to PrEP as part of the development of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is take to consult trans and non-binary communities in the development of the Government's Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan.

As part of the development of the Government’s Sexual and Reproductive Strategy and the HIV Action Plan, we will be engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including organisations that represent trans and non-binary communities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the stigma experienced by the trans and non-binary communities in accessing HIV (a) prevention, (b) testing and (c) care.

The Government is committed to achieving zero new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, as well as tackling stigma and health inequalities that exist around HIV. Issues related to health inequalities and stigma experienced by trans and non-binary communities will be considered as we develop our Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and HIV Action Plan, which we plan to publish in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the (a) quality and (b) quantity of HIV research on trans men.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the largest public funder of health research in the United Kingdom. The NIHR funds a wide range of research on HIV. Transgender men are named as potential study participants and beneficiaries of the results of the research of several NIHR funded research projects across programmes including the Public Health Research Programme and Research for Patient Benefit Programme, with a combined value of just under £8.5 million. The NIHR continues to welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on HIV in transgender men.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advise British Nationals who are living with HIV and residing in the EU and receiving medication from HIV clinics in the UK that they are required to complete the appropriate paperwork and pay the appropriate fee before customs release that medication.

The Department for Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has been providing United Kingdom nationals with detailed information on how to access healthcare as a resident in the European Union via the ongoing UK Nationals in the EU transition campaign, which has been led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Department of Health and Social Care is currently working with officials in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office colleagues to assist several individuals with access to their HIV medication while living in the EU. We recommend, as per our ongoing campaign messaging, UK nationals register correctly for healthcare in the country where they live in order to access their HIV treatment.

The Department cannot comment on customs regulations for EU countries. UK nationals who live in or are visiting the EU are advised to check with the relevant Embassy in the UK if they wish to import medication or have an outstanding issue with medications being held at the border. They will be able to advise individuals of the correct process for having their medication cleared at customs. Those individuals living in the EU will want to confirm their access to these local healthcare services through their local healthcare provider.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advise British Nationals who are living in the EU that they are required to obtain UK Global Health Insurance Cards (GHICs) and European Health Insurance Card (EHICs) or private health care insurance to ensure that they can access their HIV medication while living in the EU.

The Department for Health and Social Care, in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has been providing United Kingdom nationals with detailed information about how to access healthcare as a resident in the European Union via the ongoing UK nationals in the EU transition campaign. The Department is currently working with officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to assist several individuals with access to their HIV medication while living in the EU. We recommend, as per our ongoing campaign messaging, UK nationals register correctly for healthcare in the country where they live in order to access their HIV treatment.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is permissible to travel aboard for cosmetic dental surgery whilst abiding by the quarantine and testing rules during the period of covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced in January 2021.

It is currently illegal to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason to do so, which includes attending medical appointments. Anyone choosing to travel should consider the public health advice and travel restrictions in the country they are visiting.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has signed with security firms for the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

Three security providers have been secured through an existing Crown Commercial Service Framework.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contracts his Department has signed with catering firms for the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

We have procured a central travel agency, Corporate Travel Management, to oversee the individual contracts with hospitality companies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether military personnel will be used as part of the quarantine program for people arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list.

We have no plans to use military personnel for managed quarantine facilities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to make guidance available on visiting rights during the covid-19 outbreak for people detained under the Mental Health Act.

Guidance on ‘Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID pandemic: principles’ was published on 13 October 2020, and is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0751-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-principles-131020_.pdf


The guidance focuses on ensuring infection control and making sure that patients can access the therapeutic support and visits they need during the pandemic, including for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. This guidance also advises on the number of visitors permitted under social distancing rules.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to promote (a) knowledge and (b) take-up of PrEP among communities affected by HIV in addition to gay and bisexual men.

The Public Health England (PHE) commissioned HIV Prevention England (HPE) programme is currently running a campaign that aims to raise awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among black African communities. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.startswithme.org.uk/

PHE’s Innovation Fund, has funded seven projects between 2017 and 2019 that tested and evaluated new approaches to raising awareness of PrEP in communities including, trans people, Latin Americans, black African men and women and women of colour. More information is available at the following links:

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/public-health-england-hiv-prevention-innovation-fund-cohort-2-evaluation-report

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/public-health-england-hiv-prevention-innovation-fund-cohort-3-evaluation-report

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to collect data on equitable access to PrEP throughout England; what steps he is taking to ensure that all population groups benefit from PrEP; and when he plans to publish such data.

Public Health England, in collaboration with stakeholders, is currently developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the routine commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This will use established surveillance systems and include measures of PrEP need and use among key population groups to inform equitable delivery and access. These data will be published in routine sexually transmitted infection and HIV surveillance outputs in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to make PrEP available in (a) primary care, (b) maternity care, (c) pharmacies and (d) other healthcare settings in addition to sexual health clinics.

The settings in which Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis should be made available outside of sexual health services will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make the £16 million of funding initially announced for the PrEP roll-out in 2020-21 available in 2021-22 and subsequent years; and whether he plans to ring-fence that funding for the provision of access to PrEP.

Decisions on the future funding for pre-exposure prophylaxis will be a matter for the Spending Review and will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the roll-out of PrEP since funding was made available to local areas on the 2 October 2020.

Good progress is being made and routine commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis is already in place in some areas and many others will be ready to go live shortly. This is particularly welcome given the demands placed on both local government and sexual health services in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department and Public Health England continue to work closely with local authorities and other stakeholders to support the roll-out of routine commissioning. This includes a package of information and resources shared with local authorities in July.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether access to the PrEP drug is capped; and whether additional funds will be made available if demand for PrEP appointments exceeds the current ringfenced funding of sexual health clinics.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will supply pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to sexual health services commissioned by local authorities. The Department has provided just over £11 million funding to local authorities to cover the costs of routine commissioning of PrEP for this year. We have also provided a package of materials to support local commissioning. There are no plans to allocate additional funding for PrEP in this financial year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2020 to Question 91129, whether he plans to maintain free on-street car parking for hospital workers after the covid-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 parking pass entitles on-duty National Health Service staff members, health or social care workers, or NHS Volunteer Responders, to free parking in local authority-owned off-street car parks and on-street bays in England.

We are grateful to councils for continuing with this offer and have no plans to remove the guidance.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people with no recourse to public funds will be eligible for the Government's recently announced covid-19 self-isolation payment.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme came into effect on 28 September and will run until 31 January 2021. To be eligible for the Support Payment an individual must be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

For individuals that do not qualify for the Test and Trace Support Payment but require corresponding financial support to self-isolate, there will be a discretionary fund in place. Further guidance on this will be shared with local authorities shortly.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the void rate is for covid-19 tests in Lighthouse Laboratories under pillar 2 as at 16 September 2020; and what the void rate was at those laboratories in each month since April 2020.

Positive, negative and void results are shared on Public Health England’s dashboard with local authorities and Directors of Public Health.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the covid-19 test sensitivity rate is for each of the Lighthouse Laboratories under pillar 2; and what standard sensitivity rate has been agreed with his Department.

The information is not held in the format requested. All tests have been assessed as performing to manufacturers’ specifications before being used.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much additional funding he has allocated to NHS labs for Pillar 1 covid-19 testing.

This year’s Budget announced a £12 billion plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses, whose finances are affected by COVID-19. This includes funding to ensure the National Health Service and other public services receive the funding they need to respond to the outbreak as the situation develops and recover and return to normal afterwards.

The breakdown of the expenditure for the 2020/2021 financial year will be published as part of the Department’s 2020-21 Annual Report and Accounts, expected in July 2021. The Department is unable to circulate this information prior to publication. The data will be fully verified and audited as part of the exercise.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of tests from drive through centres are (a) self-administered and (b) administered by a member of staff.

Of the 79 drive-through centres, or regional test sites, currently in operation, the information requested is as follows:

- Assisted – two;

- Self-administered – 19; and

- Hybrid – 58.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 tests at drive through centres are (a) self administered and (b) swab-administered by a member of staff.

Of the 79 drive-through centres, or regional test sites, currently in operation, the information requested is as follows:

- Assisted – two;

- Self-administered – 19; and

- Hybrid – 58.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who the prime contractors with direct contracts are with his Department to run the Lighthouse Laboratories.

The Department cannot comment on individual contracts due to commercial sensitivity, but public notices of the contracts awarded have been published as normal at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) void rate and (b) number of void tests was for Lighthouse Laboratories under Pillar 2 for the last month.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) value and (b) cost is of the contracts to run the Lighthouse Laboratories; and what the planned duration is of those contracts.

Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these contracts, the Department is unable to provide specific details.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timescale is for ending free parking for NHS workers.

As the Prime Minister said in his oral contribution of 8 July (Official Report, column 966), hospital car parks are free for National Health Service staff for this pandemic – they are free now – and we are going to get on with our commitment to make them free for patients who need them as well. This remains the Government’s position.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy; and if he will make a statement.

Preliminary work on developing the national sexual and reproductive health strategy began in autumn 2019. This work was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.

Work on developing the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly. Information on the timescale for developing the strategy and plans for publication will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.

Work on developing the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are moving forward with the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, work on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy will be restarting shortly. Information on the timescale for developing the strategy and plans for publication will be announced in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it is policy on HIV to set out a plan to (a) reduce inequalities in HIV services, (b) tackle stigma and discrimination associated with living with HIV, (c) increase testing of HIV and (d) improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.

The Government has committed to eliminating new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. In October 2019, as part of the Government response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on sexual health, the Department also committed to the development of an updated sexual and reproductive health strategy. We will consider issues around inequalities, tackling stigma and discrimination and other relevant issues as part of the strategy development. We are proud that the United Kingdom is one of the first countries in the world to meet the UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets and the NHS continues to provide world class treatment and care for people with HIV. In England, a range of approaches to HIV prevention are already in place; including the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis, encouraging condom use, needle exchange programmes, self-sampling and promoting expanded HIV testing and diagnosis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure homeless people diagnosed with HIV and HCV during the covid-19 outbreak are retained in clinical care.

NHS England are working across the National Health Service, public health and social care, local government and voluntary sector to ensure that people who are homeless, in particular those who are rough sleeping and have been provided with temporary accommodation to keep them safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, have a holistic health and care assessment as part of the planning for their longer term accommodation options.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued operational guidance to support local areas on oversight and implementation of the health response for the rough sleeping population. They have also published a Clinical Homeless Sector Plan, which sets out clinical advice and guidance on delivering a health-led, multi-agency approach to reducing the risk of infection and severe illness among the homeless population.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase access to home-based and community testing for HIV during the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England (PHE) supports HIV testing initiatives across England through its national programmes where appropriate.

During the COVID-19 outbreak PHE has committed to supporting the 56 Dean Street Breaking the Chain campaign via HIV Prevention England, the national HIV Prevention Programme and the national HIV self-sampling service. From 5 June 2020, residents of all local authorities in England can order a free self-sampling kit through the national HIV self-sampling service. PHE has committed to paying for 7,000 HIV tests, including syphilis opt-out testing, throughout the promotional period.

PHE is in the process of tendering a new Sexual and Reproductive Health Framework that will enable local authorities to provide a range of online and postal sexual and reproductive health services including HIV and sexually transmitted infections self-sampling, chlamydia treatment, emergency contraception and oral contraception.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with (a) local authorities and (b) the Greater London Authority on HIV and HCV testing for homeless people during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to work with those bodies on that testing in the future.

No discussions have been had with local authorities or the Greater London Authority on HIV and HCV testing for homeless people during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities and the Greater London Authority are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning services for homeless people.

PHE also provides a range of data to local authorities which monitors national and local hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus testing and treatment activity and can inform local commissioning of services during the COVID-19 outbreak and into recovery, including for homeless people.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test swabs have been sent for analysis overseas since the start of the outbreak of that disease.

The vast majority of our tests are processed through the Lighthouse Laboratories and associated laboratories domestically, and only a small proportion of tests have been sent abroad for processing.

In May 2020, 66,648 tests were sent to the United States of America as demand exceeded laboratory network capacity. We have, and continue to, work hard to expand capacity.

Between late August 2020 - 3 October, 271,716 tests were sent to Italy and 126,338 to Germany.

The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) national surveillance study currently sends around 150,000 tests per month to Germany for processing as part their agreement with the testing provider.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the protection of personal data within the coronavirus tracing app.

The app does not collect identifiable data from users. We have published a Data Protection Impact Assessment and Privacy Notice for the first phase of the app and will provide updates to these to keep app users fully informed if changes of the use of and access to data need to be made to continue to support the fight against COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has (a) forwarded to the British Society for Immunology and (b) received evidence that people who have recovered from covid-19 have long-term immunity to it.

There is a general medical consensus, based on scientific knowledge of other coronavirus infections, that after recovery from COVID-19 infection, people will have effective immunity. However, until more people have had the virus and recovered, and until we have performed studies of the long-term antibody response, it is currently unclear for how long this immunity will last. We will continue to monitor the science and evidence closely.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to re-open the 40 PrEP impact trial sites that are not currently recruiting gay and bisexual men.

Participation in the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept.

As at the end of 2019, thousands of places remain available on the trial at over 100 clinic sites. It is the goal of this research to make full use of up to 26,000 places. Clinics that are able to do so, will be able to request additional places should they become available and continue recruitment of eligible gay and bisexual men. As participation in this research trial is on a voluntary basis, a small number of closed clinics sites may not reopen.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local authorities do not have a PrEP impact trial site.

Participation in the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept.

As at the end of 2019, thousands of places remain available on the trial at over 100 clinic sites. It is the goal of this research to make full use of up to 26,000 places. Clinics that are able to do so, will be able to request additional places should they become available and continue recruitment of eligible gay and bisexual men. As participation in this research trial is on a voluntary basis, a small number of closed clinics sites may not reopen.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on ending violence against trans people around the world; and what steps he is taking to tackle discrimination against trans and non-binary in national and international sporting events.

The UK Government is clear that all crimes directed towards LGBT+ people are completely unacceptable, and have no place in society.

On the participation of transgender and non-binary players in sport, the Government's overriding sporting objective remains the guarantee of fair and safe competition. It is therefore right that sports bodies have their own rules on trans issues, and can determine the right position for their own sport.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) Argentinian Government and (b) other members of the Equal Rights Coalition on their country's self-ID legislation for trans individuals; and if the Government will take steps to implement international best practice on LGBTQ+ rights.

The UK is committed to working with our international partners to promote and protect the rights of LGBT+ people.

In our role as co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) the UK and Argentina led a consultative process to develop the ERC's first Strategy and Five-Year Implementation Plan to guide and shape the ERC's work to advance LGBTI+ equality. The UK works closely with ERC member states, including Argentina, to share best practice on LGBTI+ rights and plan to launch the Five Year Strategy at an ERC conference on 6 and 7 July. The Implementation Plan is based on International best practice and urges ERC member states to "provide legal gender recognition through an accessible, quick, and transparent administrative process and without abusive requirements (including sterilization, divorce, treatment or diagnostic) as a minimum standard."

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports from the United Nations Human Rights Office of excessive force being used by the Colombian National Police against protesters.

The UK Government remains concerned about reports of human rights violations in Colombia. The fundamental human right to peaceful assembly and association must be guaranteed. Colombia is a UK 'Human Rights Priority Country' and we have raised our concerns with the relevant state actors in Colombia since protests began. Most recently, I spoke with acting Foreign Minister Adriana Mejía on 14 May to express our concerns, and welcome Colombia's commitment to transparent investigations into allegations of abuse.

We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully any excessive use of force, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints thoroughly investigated. We will continue to work closely with the UN Verification Mission, and the UN Office of the High Representative for Human Rights in Colombia, as well as the wider international community, in support of their efforts to reduce tensions, and promote dialogue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has plans to review arms export licences issued for Colombia in response to the reported human rights abuses committed by Colombian police during protests in April and May 2021.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation for Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq in the context of the current Turkish military campaign which began on 24 April 2021.

The UK is closely following the situation in northern Iraq. We welcome recent discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the PKK in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The safety of civilians is paramount and the UK continues to urge dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to protect civilians. We respect Iraqi sovereignty, and acknowledge Turkey's security concerns regarding the PKK whilst ensuring regional security and combatting terrorism.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's bilateral international investment in the fight against HIV.

The majority of UK investments on efforts to end the AIDS epidemic, are through support to multilateral organisations, particularly our substantial investment in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

In recognition of the critical role that civil society organisations play in the AIDS response to address inequalities and hold governments to account we are also supporting the Robert Carr Fund. The UK is proud to be a founding member of this Fund and has committed £15 million since its start. We will make an announcement on future investments to the Fund later this year.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's financial support for UNAIDS.

The UK is a long-standing, committed supporter of UNAIDS which plays a vital role in tackling HIV/ Aids around the world. In 21/22 the UK will provide £2.5 million to UNAIDS. As with all the FCDO's ODA programmes, we will be working closely with UNAIDS to ensure the UK's funding is used for maximum impact on health outcomes.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's participation in global HIV (a) research and (b) treatment development.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI. Despite this, the UK remains a development superpower, with an ODA budget on track to exceed £10 billion this year. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) ODA will be targeted to addressing seven global challenges facing the world poorest which includes global health security and research and technology.

FCDO will now work through what this means for individual programmes, in line with the priorities we have identified.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the 2021-22 allocation of Official Development Assistance to government departments on the UK's financial support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Foreign Secretary's review of ODA spend for 21/22 confirmed that Global Health remains one of the UK's top ODA priorities. The UK is a committed supporter of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB & Malaria. The UK is the second biggest donor to the Global Fund's 6th replenishment period. As with all the UK's global health partners, we will be working closely with the Global Fund to ensure the UK's funding is used for maximum impact on health outcomes.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Council of Europe's call for access to lawyers in Turkey and recent reports that lawyers have been denied access to Abdullah Öcalan, if his Department will make assurances in respect of the welfare of that person.

We are clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens, including the welfare of detainees such as the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. We continue to encourage the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards, such as access to legal representation and medical care. I raised human rights issues in December 2020 with my Turkish counterpart. Working with our international partners, we will continue to encourage Turkey, including at Ministerial level, to act in line with the conventions of the Council of Europe and to make greater progress on wider human rights reforms. We therefore welcome the Turkish government's recently published human rights action plan and hope it will be swiftly and comprehensively implemented.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Working Principles on Transition are informing the planning for the proposed changes in the level of the UK's Official Development Assistance budget.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Working Principles on Transition, developed by DFID in 2019 are being used to inform the (a) planning and (b) operationalisation of the Strategic Framework for Official Development Assistance.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has recommitted to the Working Principles on Transition that were developed under the Department for International Development.

The Foreign Secretary has set out new measures to ensure every penny we spend goes as far as possible and to make ODA more strategic and effective than ever, under a new strategic framework for ODA. This includes using instruments appropriate to the needs and state of development. HMG will focus on technical assistance to build governments' own capability to deliver growth and development as they exit poverty, and focus our cash where the poverty need is highest.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in developing the Strategic Framework for ODA, whether the Government plans to develop a needs-based approach to aid allocation that considers a range of (a) financial indicators and (b) social and political measures.

The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. This will also take into account considerations of need, including levels of poverty, ability of countries to self-finance poverty reduction and the UK's comparative advantage, to ensure that every penny we spend on ODA goes as far as possible and has the greatest impact the UK could help achieve.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which (a) Minister and (b) official has lead responsibility on Sustainability, Transitions and Co-Financing.

Each Minister takes oversight of these issues as they pertain to the geography that they lead on. The Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, is also responsible for Finance and therefore plays an oversight role.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the planned reductions to the UK Official Development Assistance budget, whether FCDO country teams are mandated to produce impact assessments and assess the potential effect of reductions in aid on marginalised communities.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The move to a target of spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7%, is a temporary measure and we will return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. The UK remains a world leader in international development, and based on current GNI forecasts will spend over £10bn of ODA in 2021. Our aid budget will continue to serve the primary aim of reducing poverty in developing countries.

My department is now working through the implications of the overall reduction in spending for individual programmes. No decisions have yet been made on individual budget allocations. Decisions on aid allocations will take into account the impact on marginalised communities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 December 2020 to Question 128714 on Self-determination of States, whether the right to choose includes remaining British, incorporating with another state and choosing independence.

The UK Government supports the option of Overseas Territories retaining their link with the UK, as well as considering other arrangements consistent with the principle of self-determination, subject to the specific circumstance of each territory. The UK Government's long-standing position is that where independence is an option for an Overseas Territory and it is the clear and constitutionally expressed wish of the people to pursue independence, the UK Government will meet its obligations to help the Territory to achieve it.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will list the training for Uganda's (a) police and (b) prison service that has been funded by UK Official Development Assistance since 2019.

Since 2018, the UK has provided civil society organisations with £55,450, through UK Official Development Assistance, to train the Uganda Police Force and Uganda Prison Service in taking a human rights based approach when working with minority groups. Police officers work through domestic and international human rights legislation, the implications for their work, understanding the right of individual vulnerable groups and understanding their role in promoting human rights. Frontline prison workers are taught about the rights and needs of vulnerable prisoners and helps to change attitudes and practices towards vulnerable persons in detention. To date, over 2000 police and prison staff have been trained under this initiative.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions his Department is holding with stakeholders to help ensure equality of global access to covid-19 vaccines.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, and has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an international initiative managed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support global equitable access to vaccines. This puts the UK among the COVAX AMC's largest bilateral donors. Our commitment will contribute to the supply of 1 billion doses to COVID-19 vaccines in up to 92 developing countries in 2021, vaccinating up to 500 million people. The AMC aims to start deliveries in the first quarter of 2021. The UK regularly engages with stakeholders on COVAX through its governance mechanisms, including the UK's seat on the Gavi Board.

The UK is also a founding member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a coalition of leading international organisations and partners, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), to drive accelerated development and access to new COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. COVAX is the vaccine pillar of the ACT-Accelerator. The UK is represented on the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council, and regularly engages with partners and stakeholders on strategic direction, resource mobilisation, and implementation. The UK has committed up to £813 million to ACT-Accelerator partners, including the COVAX AMC.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take to support the conclusion from the Council of Europe’s Committee Against Torture on the unacceptable circumstances for prisoners on Turkey’s prison island of Imrali.

We are clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens. We continue to encourage the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards, such as access to legal representation and medical care. We welcome Turkey's response to the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) 2019 report which reinforced its commitment to zero tolerance against torture and determination to cooperate with the CPT. We will continue to encourage Turkey, including at Ministerial level, to act in line with the conventions of the Council of Europe and to make greater progress on wider human rights reforms.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa on 22 October 2020, Official Report, column 491WH on the 5,000 complaints investigated by Bahraini Ombudsman's office, what the source is for the number of complaints investigated; and what assessment he has made of the accuracy of that figure.

The Ombudsman's Office has made public statements that it has investigated 5,500 complaints and requests for assistance since its inception in 2012. The figures are published online in the Ombudsman's annual report.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the Human Rights Watch 2020 Annual Report's finding that (a) human rights in Bahrain have not improved, (b) online repression has increased and (c) the use of the death penalty continued to be marred by torture allegations and due process violations; and what assessment he has made of the effect of those findings on UK technical assistance to Bahrain.

We take note of a number of sources of information and continue to monitor closely developments on all matters that relate to human rights within Bahrain, publishing our assessments in the annual Human Rights Report, most recently in July 2020.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bahraini counterpart on the status of Sheikh Zuhair Ashoor who has been detained incommunicado in Bahrain since July 2020.

We are aware of the case of Zuhair Ashoor and welcome the public statement from the National Institute Human Rights confirming both Mr Ashoor's wellbeing and his personal decision not to communicate with anyone, including his family. We note family statements on social media that Mr Ashoor has now been in touch.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 December 2020 to Question 128714 on Self-determination of States, whether his policy to territories subject to the process of decolonisation also applies to territories not administered by the UK.

The UK Government supports the principle of self-determination, which is reflected in international law and applicable to all States. The application and exercise of that principle in non-self-governing territories that are not administered by the UK is, however, subject to the specific circumstances of each territory including its constitutional relationship to its administering power. As set out in my Answer of 16 December, the UK Government's responsibility is to ensure the security and good governance of the British Overseas Territories and their peoples. The UK and inhabited Overseas Territory governments remain in agreement that the Territories are internally self-governing and that the UK Government should retain responsibility for the powers necessary to uphold its constitutional obligations in the Territories.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the principle of self-determination to determine the status of territories subject to the process of decolonisation.

The UK's relationship with its inhabited Overseas Territories is a modern one based on partnership, shared values and the right of the people of each Territory to choose to remain British.

Where the people of an inhabited Territory choose to remain British, we will maintain and deepen our special relationship with them. The UK and the Territories recognise that our relationship brings mutual benefits and responsibilities. The UK Government's responsibility is to ensure the security and good governance of the Territories and their peoples. The UK Government expect Overseas Territory governments to meet high standards in maintaining the rule of law, respect for human rights and integrity in public life, delivering efficient public services and building strong and successful communities. The UK and inhabited Overseas Territory governments remain in agreement that the Territories are internally self-governing and that the UK Government should retain responsibility for the powers necessary to uphold its constitutional obligations in the Territories.

The UK and its Overseas Territory governments hold an annual Joint Ministerial Council to monitor and drive forward collective priorities for action in the spirit of partnership.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what funding the Government has made available to support the implementation of the six chapters of the Colombian peace agreement signed in 2016.

The UK has provided significant funding to support the implementation of the historic Peace Accords signed between the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Since 2015, we have committed over £60 million through the Conflict, Security, and Stabilisation Fund (CSSF) to support the implementation of the peace agreement.

The UK is the largest single donor to the UN Trust Fund for Colombia. UK funding has included, but is not limited to, support for the Colombian institutions tasked with implementing and overseeing the different chapters of the peace agreement; supporting reintegration, rural development, and assistance to victims; the transitional justice mechanisms, including the work of the truth commission to gather testimony from Colombians in the UK; and a number of Colombian NGOs working on peace and stability.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of Colombian police opening fire against unarmed protestors during protests in Bogota on 10 September 2020.

We are aware of the concerning reports of some police firing at crowds outside police stations in Bogotá during September's protests. The UK has been clear that we support the right of all Colombians to protest peacefully. We look to the Colombian authorities to investigate fully the excessive use of force against protesters, and take appropriate action against those responsible. Security services must be held accountable for their actions, with all complaints being thoroughly investigated.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what police training arrangements there are between the UK and Colombian governments.

Through the Conflict, Security, and Stabilisation Fund (CSSF), the UK provides assistance to the Colombian police to improve its work with communities, its approach to gender-based violence, and wider respect for human rights. The FCDO is currently supporting projects helping with the transformation of the Colombian National Police in the wake of the peace accords, including work with the police to help build better police-community relationships, and improve their capacity to work on conflict prevention and mitigation.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason his Department has not released a full copy of the file FCO 37/3978 Involvement of UK companies training Sri Lankan security forces, 1985.

This file has been reviewed under the Public Records Act and has been transferred to The National Archives (TNA). The file is currently held closed at TNA on grounds of sensitivity under Freedom of Information Act exemptions. The FCDO only withholds information from release under the Public Records Act in line with legal exemptions.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has provided access to the Metropolitan Police war crimes team access to the file FCO 37/3978 for its investigation into the activities of British mercenaries in Sri Lanka in the 1980s.

The FCDO has shared the full contents of this file with the Metropolitan Police in the context of this investigation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had since 9 October 2020 with his counterparts in the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq on the security and constitutional status of Sinjar.

We have regular discussions with Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) counterparts including on Sinjar, most recently last week when our Ambassador to Iraq met with the President and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region. We have underlined our strong support for the recently proposed joint security agreement between Government of Iraq (GoI) and the KRG in Sinjar province and the need to work closely with the local population to ensure success. We continue to encourage cooperation between the GoI and KRG on these issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq on the (a) safety and security of the Ezidi population of Sinjar and (b) importance of recognising and including the local democratic structures of the population in any decision-making process for that area.

We have regular discussions with Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) counterparts, including on Sinjar. We have welcomed the recently proposed joint security agreement between the Government of Iraq and the KRG in Sinjar province and stressed that to be effective, the new security structure in Sinjar will need to work closely with the local population to ensure success.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received from (a) Ambassadors and (b) other stakeholders on the merging of his Department and the Department for International Development.

We will engage closely with interested stakeholders in the weeks and months to come as we work to create a new department, which will unite our development expertise and first class diplomatic service to deliver in the national interest and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of and (b) support he has offered to resolve the ongoing accusations of fraud during the recent presidential election in Guyana.

The UK is deeply concerned by events following the elections in Guyana on 2 March 2020, as set out in a statement by the Foreign Secretary on 10 March. We call upon the President to preserve the principle of free, fair and credible elections. Allegations of electoral fraud and premature declarations of victory prior to the completion of a credible process pose a grave threat to the democratic principles of Guyana.

We stand ready to offer assistance to ensure a credible election result is produced.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to help ensure that freedom of the press is maintained in Guyana.

The British Government is fully committed to promoting freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Guyana. Indeed, Guyana has a variety of print and online media who express divergent views. We believe that media freedom is vital for healthy societies everywhere and that journalists ought to be able to investigate and report without undue interference. The UK and Guyana have a close dialogue on a number of bilateral and global issues of mutual interest, including on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. On 10 March, the Foreign Secretary released a public statement calling for the preservation of free, fair and credible elections, and offered assistance to ensure that a credible election outcome is produced.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Brazilian counterpart on the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

The UK has been dedicated to addressing the issue of deforestation in Brazil for a long time. Since 2012, the UK has invested nearly £154 million in a number of International Climate Finance programmes in Brazil aimed at tackling deforestation, preventing forest fires, and implementing the Forest Code. The Prime Minister also raised the environment with President Bolsonaro during a phone call on 15 January. The UK will continue to monitor the situation in the Amazon closely and raise these critical issues in our ongoing dialogue with Brazil.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the release of Uighur Muslims from training centres after they have been identified as non-threats by authorities.

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on ensuring that Uighur Muslims are allowed access to the same public facilities as non-Muslim Chinese people.

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made in his discussions with his Chinese counterpart on allowing Uighur Muslims aged under-18 the right to attend a mosque.

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the human rights implications of the ongoing imprisonment of Uighur Muslims in China.

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the increased issuance of mining licences in Brazil on Brazil's indigenous people.

We are monitoring the situation. We regularly discuss issues affecting indigenous peoples with Brazilian authorities, and will continue to do so. The UK is committed to promoting and defending the human rights of indigenous communities in Brazil.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Brazilian counterpart on the (a) overcrowding of, (b) understaffing at and (c) lack of resources available to prisoners in prison facilities in that country.

We are aware of significant concerns about prison conditions in Brazil. We have raised our concerns with the Brazilian authorities and will continue to do so.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he is making to his Brazilian counterpart on (a) freedom of expression and (b) freedom of the press in that country.

The British Government is fully committed to promoting freedom of expression and freedom of the press. We believe that media freedom is vital for healthy societies everywhere and that journalists ought to be able to investigate and report without undue interference. The UK and Brazil have a close dialogue on a number of bilateral and global issues of mutual interest, including on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Brazilian counterpart on the exports of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia by that country.

The UK signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in 2008 and acts in full accordance with its obligations. As part of this, the UK regularly uses its interventions at the Convention's meetings to call on all States not party to the Convention to accede without delay. The UK and Brazil have a close dialogue on a range of global issues of mutual interest. The UK has raised the importance of Brazil's accession to the CCM with Brazilian authorities and funded projects in Brazil to strengthen the public debate around this issue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he plans to have with his EU counterparts to ensure that the gourmet lobster trade industry in Tristan da Cunha is not affected by EU tariffs imposed after the transition period.

The Government has always been clear that we are committed to engaging Overseas Territories as the UK exits the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account.

We are seeking a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU and want to have the greatest possible tariff- and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours, so that our companies, including those operating in the Tristan da Cunha lobster industry, have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets.

We also welcome the substantive input we have received from the Tristan da Cunha Government as the United Kingdom prepares for negotiations with the EU.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to the Cayman Islands Government in relation to that Government's referendum on a new cruise port facility.

Port redevelopment is an area of devolved responsibility to the elected Government of the Cayman Islands. A Judicial Review on the Cayman Islands Referendum Law was heard on 22-23 January, with the judgment expected later this month. As this is a devolved matter and currently subject to Judicial Review it would not be appropriate for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to intervene. The United Kingdom Electoral Commission has provided advice to the Government of the Cayman Islands and the Governor's Office has previously arranged for observers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to oversee the referendum.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the UK has provided to the Cayman Islands to help (a) prevent significant damage from and (b) respond to (i) earthquakes and (ii) other future natural disasters.

The British Government works closely with its Overseas Territories, including the Cayman Islands, to help build local resilience to disasters. The Governor's Office and Hazard Management Cayman Islands jointly develop policy and deliver operational responses to disasters.

Recent initiatives include a Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded project to develop a more effective early warning system to provide timely information to the public during sudden onset disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The Governor's Office alongside the Ministry of Defence are also developing a new Defence Regiment in the Cayman Islands which will provide a step change in the support available to the civilian authorities following a disaster. In addition the United Kingdom is supporting projects on public information campaigns, training for first responders and the provision of new satellite emergency communications equipment. In 2019 the United Kingdom part funded the purchase and running costs of a new helicopter for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Air Operations Unit. This enables the authorities to provide effective damage assessments, search and rescue and medevac services in Cayman and other British Overseas Territories following disasters. The helicopter was used to provide emergency relief in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and for damage assessments following the earthquake which struck the Cayman Islands on 28 January. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, RFA Mounts Bay, has been deployed to the region for the past 3 years and has provided immediate humanitarian assistance to the three British Overseas Territories, Anguilla, the BVI and TCI which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 as well as to the Bahamas in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. RFA Mounts Bay will be replaced in March 2020 by other Ministry of Defence naval vessel.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support he has offered to Turks and Caicos to help the development of a new national security strategy.

The United Kingdom played an instrumental role in supporting development of a new National Security Strategy in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), launched jointly by the Governor and Premier of TCI on 22 January. Alongside the strategy's launch, Sandhurst Military Academy ran a week-long national security training exercise, undertaken by senior officials across TCI government and regional partners.

A Security Advisor from the United Kingdom is currently seconded to TCI to coordinate work around national security; having led work to build on the initial steps taken by TCI's policing and Joint Law Enforcement Teams to develop the finalised National Security Strategy.

The Premier of TCI has expressed her thanks for the United Kingdom's support in implementing the National Security Strategy. As part of our ongoing commitment, the United Kingdom is also supporting the establishment of a defence force which will assist the maritime police to protect the Territory's borders.

While the United Kingdom retains reserve responsibilities for national security, this mutually supportive relationship will best serve the interests of the Overseas Territories.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has provided financial support to the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands to manage the costs of irregular migration.

Following an increase in activity in 2018, the UK deployed a five-person team to review and support the Turks and Caicos Islands' (TCI) approach to managing migration and provided funding for TCI to upgrade their radar capability.

A comprehensive Maritime Security and Border Integrity Assessment of the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda was published in 2019 and a UK Security Advisor has been seconded to TCI since September 2019 to strengthen National Security capability on the Territory. This has led to the launch of TCI's first National Security Strategy, which addresses irregular migration as a key threat.

As of our ongoing commitment to support the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the UK continues to provide financial and technical support for investigations into human trafficking, and is supporting TCI to establish a Defence Force which will assist the Maritime Police in protecting the Territory's borders.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he will take to ensure that the Falkland Islands continues to have tariff free exports to the EU after the transition period.

The Government has always been clear that we are committed to engaging Overseas Territories as the United Kingdom exits the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account.

We are seeking a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU and want to have the greatest possible tariff- and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours, so that British companies, including Falkland Islands companies, have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets.

We also welcome the substantive input we have received from the Falkland Islands' Government as the United Kingdom prepares for negotiations with the EU.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he will take to ensure that the financial services sector in the Cayman Islands is not adversely affected by the UK leaving the EU.

During the United Kingdom's EU membership, the Overseas Territories have accessed the EU market for services on a third country basis, meaning there is no direct impact of the United Kingdom's departure from the EU on the Cayman Islands' ability to access to the EU market for services.

The Government has always been clear that it will robustly represent the Overseas Territories' interests internationally and the Government is fully committed to engaging all the Overseas Territories as we exit the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account in United Kingdom-EU negotiations.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment has his Department has made of recent trends in the level of irregular migration into Turks and Caicos from Haiti.

Recent years have seen a rise in the numbers of people making the dangerous journey by sea from Haiti to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The overloaded vessels - carrying at times over 200 people - attempt to arrive into the Islands clandestinely, often under the cover of darkness and over dangerous reefs. The newly launched National Security Strategy for TCI aims to deter and ultimately reduce the number of migrants attempting the journey, including by increasing TCI's capability to intercept boats at sea. Improved coordination and higher rate of interception, means that fewer vessels are now reaching TCI. Those arrested at sea, and brought to land, are repatriated by air to Haiti.

The United Kingdom and TCI Government are reviewing our ability to intercept vessels far earlier in their journey, and are working with international partners including the US Coastguard to achieve this. The National Security Strategy also focuses on tackling the criminal networks that exploit migrants making the journey.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to help ensure that Tristan da Cunha’s fishing industry is adequately protected from increased restrictions over fishing areas.

Under the Blue Belt programme, United Kingdom funding has been provided to support the Overseas Territories protect and manage their marine environments. The programme is currently on course to protect 4 million square kilometres of ocean around the British Overseas Territories. In delivering the Blue Belt initiative, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation(MMO) are working with the Government of Tristan da Cunha to ensure that the large scale Marine Protected Areas which have been designated, or are being developed, around the UKOTs are effectively managed, monitored and enforced. Traditional surveillance techniques, including sea and aerial patrols, are also being supplemented with trials of new techniques including satellite surveillance (radar and optical imagery); autonomous underwater vehicles; and unmanned aerial systems, to detect any illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Further funding was announced in August for FY 2020/21 to continue this important programme.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the UN on sending UN delegates to Kashmir to assess the humanitarian and political situation in that region.

Kashmir was discussed in closed sessions of the UN Security Council in August 2019 and January 2020. We are monitoring the situation in Kashmir closely and the Foreign Secretary has discussed the situation there with his Indian and Pakistani counterparts. British High Commission officials visit the region periodically and meet with local authorities and others to discuss a range of issues.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to organise mediations between the Kashmiri and Indian Governments.

HMG's longstanding position is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Our emphasis is on encouraging the Governments of India and Pakistan to open channels of communication and engage in dialogue as a means to resolving differences. The pace and scope of any dialogue is for India and Pakistan to determine. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to act as a mediator.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential for (a) an escalation of the conflict and (b) nuclear warfare in Kashmir.

We continue to monitor the situation in Kashmir and we urge all parties to refrain from actions that could jeopardise regional stability. We are in regular contact with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The Prime Minister has underlined the importance of resolving issues through dialogue to his counterparts in both India and Pakistan. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in Kashmir with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia, raised the issue with the Indian Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much Lydian International paid the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to sponsor the Queen’s Birthday Party Event at the British Embassy in Armenia in June 2018.

British Embassies routinely attract corporate sponsorship to fund the annual Queen's Birthday Party celebrations in order to minimise costs to British taxpayers.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department conducted a (a) cost-benefit and (b) risk analysis to its investment, via the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corporation, and support for Lydian International’s Amulsar mine.

​The United Kingdom's membership and support for international financial institutions helps advance sustainable and inclusive growth in developing economies. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) have robust environmental, social and governance safeguards and review projects and investments to seek to ensure consistency with these. The United Kingdom uses its role as a leading shareholder of the EBRD and IFC Board to encourage robust standards to be met.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 5 September 2019 to Question 285002 on Armenia: Gold, whether UK public money in Lydian International’s Amulsar mine via UK membership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Financial Corporation is defined as an official UK investment.

​The United Kingdom's membership and support for international financial institutions helps advance sustainable and inclusive growth in developing economies. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) have robust environmental, social and governance safeguards and review projects and investments to seek to ensure consistency with these. The United Kingdom uses its role as a leading shareholder of the EBRD and IFC Board to encourage robust standards to be met.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward proposals to extend (a) business rates relief and (b) the reduced 5 per cent rate of VAT.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have paid no business rates for 15 months on their eligible properties. From 1 July, eligible premises will continue to benefit from a 66% capped relief as restrictions ease, until the end of March 2022. This means that over 90% of eligible businesses will receive the equivalent of a 75% reduction in their business rates bill across the financial year.

Budget 2021 also announced the extension of the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) for the tourism and hospitality sector. The relief will now end on 30 September 2021. On 1 October 2021, a new reduced rate of 12.5% will be introduced for these goods and services to help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate. The new rate will end on 31 March 2022.

This relief has cost over £7 billion and has helped support the cash flow and viability of 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs. While the Government keeps all taxes under review, there are no plans to extend the reduced rate of VAT further.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the risks to consumers of buy-now-pay later products.

The Woolard Review into the unsecured credit market found several potential harms from interest-free buy now pay later products. The Government recognises those risks. That is why on 2 February the Government announced its intention to regulate Buy Now Pay Later products. On 17 March, the Government tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill to allow the Government to bring Buy Now Pay Later products into the scope of FCA regulation in a proportionate way.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the cost to the public purse has been in (a) grants and (b) payments to (i) developers and (ii) contractors in the renewable energy industry in response to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on (A) revenue streams, (B) capital investment and (C) employment costs.

There has been no sector-wide support offered by Government through grants or payments to the renewable energy industry in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many companies within the renewable energy industry have been eligible to access the various UK-wide support schemes introduced to protect the economy, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.

The Government also continues to support the deployment of large-scale renewable energy through the Contracts for Difference scheme.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will waive the limit on Small Donations Scheme claims against regular documented gift aid claims.

The Government has no plans to waive this limit - known as the matching rule - because it is vital to protect the integrity of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. The scheme has substantially fewer record-keeping requirements than Gift Aid which would make it vulnerable to fraud should the matching rule be waived.
Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the adequacy of funding for support for people who are unemployed.

The Government recognises that many families will have to rely on the safety net of the welfare system as a result of this crisis. That is why we have introduced significant temporary measures to boost its generosity, including a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance, and an increase to the Universal Credit housing element so it covers the lowest third of local rents. The OBR estimates our welfare measures will increase spending by over £9 billion this year.

We are also focussing on getting people back into work. We announced unprecedented support in the Plan for Jobs, including £1.2 billion to significantly expand and enhance work search support, including by doubling the number of work coaches, additional investment into the Flexible Support Fund, and making use of external providers to expand support even further. The Government also launched a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, creating hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment, as well as a guaranteed foundation of support for young people on Universal Credit.

The Plan for Jobs also invested £8.6 billion in infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects to create jobs.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals seeking asylum in the UK from homophobic, biphobic or transphobic persecution abroad are (a) treated fairly and with dignity and (b) protected from persecution and harassment during their application.

All LGBTQ+ individuals seeking asylum in the UK are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken, including where it may be sensitive or difficult to disclose.

Each case is considered on its individual merits by caseworkers who receive extensive training. All available evidence is carefully and sensitively considered in light of published country information ensuring all individuals are treated fairly and with dignity.

The Home Office work closely with a range of organisations specialising in asylum and human rights protection to trans and LGB communities.

We ensure LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are signposted to relevant NGOs specialising in the support of these individuals. This is done through an information leaflet given to all asylum claimants at the point of claim which includes sections on legal advice, additional help and assistance with links to relevant legal bodies and support organisations.

LGBTQ+ claimants can access specialist support upon claiming asylum from Rainbow Migration (formerly known as the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG)) who will guide them through the asylum procedure, including providing relevant information. They also offer one-to-one and group peer support to claimants.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle rising homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and hate incidents in the UK.

All forms of abuse and hatred are unacceptable.

The UK has a robust legislative framework to respond to hate crimes, which target race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity. The Government published the hate crime action plan (Action Against Hate: The UK Government’s plan for tackling hate crime) in 2016 and refreshed this Plan in October 2018.

The Government has commissioned a Law Commission review of the adequacy of current hate crime legislation. The review will report this year and we will respond to it when it is complete.

Also, the Home Office has funded multiple projects aimed at tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime including:

  • Kick It Out, who produced resources to raise awareness of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse in football stadia;
  • Barnardo’s, who worked with schools in East Ridings of Yorkshire to promote understanding of LGBT lives and prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime;
  • Galop, who produced and distributed a series of factsheets and research to understand tackle online homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse; and
  • The Proud Trust who worked with the British Transport Police and rail companies to make public transport safer for LGBT people and encourage the reporting of hate crime.

Government action to tackle broader discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people includes:

  • A commitment to holding an international conference on LGBT rights in 2022.
  • Announced a further £3.2 million of UK-funded projects in September 2020 to help Commonwealth Governments and civil society groups reform outdated laws and end the legacy of discrimination and violence.
  • The DfE announced £750k of funding in June 2020, including a project for victims of hate-related bullying.
  • We will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy as soon as parliamentary time allows and we will make new funds available to ensure that victims have better access to the support they need.

The Government will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, including Galop and Stonewall, to ensure that these actions are having a positive impact on the range of LGBTQ+ communities affected by hate crime and wider discrimination.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what legislative and other steps she is proposing to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes in the UK ahead of the UK’s Safe To Be Me international LGBT+ conference in 2022.

All forms of abuse and hatred are unacceptable.

The UK has a robust legislative framework to respond to hate crimes, which target race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity. The Government published the hate crime action plan (Action Against Hate: The UK Government’s plan for tackling hate crime) in 2016 and refreshed this Plan in October 2018.

The Government has commissioned a Law Commission review of the adequacy of current hate crime legislation. The review will report this year and we will respond to it when it is complete.

Also, the Home Office has funded multiple projects aimed at tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime including:

  • Kick It Out, who produced resources to raise awareness of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse in football stadia;
  • Barnardo’s, who worked with schools in East Ridings of Yorkshire to promote understanding of LGBT lives and prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime;
  • Galop, who produced and distributed a series of factsheets and research to understand tackle online homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse; and
  • The Proud Trust who worked with the British Transport Police and rail companies to make public transport safer for LGBT people and encourage the reporting of hate crime.

Government action to tackle broader discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people includes:

  • A commitment to holding an international conference on LGBT rights in 2022.
  • Announced a further £3.2 million of UK-funded projects in September 2020 to help Commonwealth Governments and civil society groups reform outdated laws and end the legacy of discrimination and violence.
  • The DfE announced £750k of funding in June 2020, including a project for victims of hate-related bullying.
  • We will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy as soon as parliamentary time allows and we will make new funds available to ensure that victims have better access to the support they need.

The Government will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, including Galop and Stonewall, to ensure that these actions are having a positive impact on the range of LGBTQ+ communities affected by hate crime and wider discrimination.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with her Australian counterpart on new reciprocal visa access.

As part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with Australia, led by the Department for International Trade, Home Office officials have been involved in discussions in line with the government’s published objectives for a UK-Australian FTA on enhanced opportunities for business travel, and Australian proposals on other aspects of UK-Australian mobility, including youth mobility.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to expand the Tier 5 visa scheme to include European countries.

Following the end of free movement, as part of the new single global points immigration system, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, alongside nationals of all other European countries, are able to benefit from the full range of core T5 (Temporary Worker) routes.

Whilst the Hon Member is not clear which of the routes under Tier 5 he is actually referring to, it might from the wording be the T5 (Temporary Worker) Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS). This is a cultural exchange programme, allowing young people aged 18 to 30 from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to two years. It currently includes one European Country, San Marino, following a bilateral agreement between our two nations.

Each YMS is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK nationals. The Home Office will not add nations to the scheme unilaterally in the absence of such an agreement. We do however, remain open to concluding further agreements on this reciprocal basis, including with European countries.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect on freedom of the press of arrests of journalists in Kent and Northern Ireland covering protests.

Decisions on arrests are an operational matter for the police. They do so in line with their duties to keep the peace, to protect communities, and to prevent the commission of offences, working within the provisions of the legal framework set by Parliament.

The Government is clear that freedom of the press is an absolute priority. That is why the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport set up the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists last year which brings together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and civil society. The Committee will publish its National Action Plan shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of the arrest of members of the press covering the recent Napier Barracks protest.

Decisions on arrests are an operational matter for the police. They do so in line with their duties to keep the peace, to protect communities, and to prevent the commission of offences, working within the provisions of the legal framework set by Parliament.

The Government is clear that freedom of the press is an absolute priority. That is why the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport set up the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists last year which brings together representatives from government, journalism, policing, prosecution services and civil society. The Committee will publish its National Action Plan shortly.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2020 to Question 114290 on Home Office: Correspondence and the Answer of 15 December 2020 to Question 126107 on Members: Correspondence, whether her Department has the capability to measure the average time it takes to respond to correspondence from hon. Members.

Currently different areas of the Department work on different IT systems for correspondence, which makes calculating average response times more complex. A programme of work is underway to transfer all correspondence onto one system.

Previous answers have given the link to published data for UKVI against meeting the 20-day service standards, this is published quarterly.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 December 2020 to Question 125288, what steps she plans to take to determine whether the durable partnership was formed before 31 December 2020.

The evidence required under the EU Settlement Scheme that the durable partnership was formed and was durable by 31 December 2020 will depend on the circumstances of the case.

The applicant may be required to provide a relevant document as a durable partner which was issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, or the applicant may be able to provide other evidence of cohabitation, such as bank statements or utility bills in joint names at the same address, residential tenancy or rental agreements or mortgage statements.

Further information for applicants is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-settlement-scheme-evidence-of-relationship-to-an-eu-citizen.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 117315 on Members: Correspondence, how her Department monitors its adherence to its 95 per cent target.

The Department uses a workflow tool which all Operational MPs correspondence is registered on. We are able to run reports each day which summarises the daily situation in relation to intake and output and the age of each piece of MPs correspondence. The report also monitors the daily progress of output towards the weekly 95% target.

The latest published data on UKVI performance against the service standard is held at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-august-2020 and this includes data up to and including the end of quarter 2-2020/21. We are proposing the release of data for quarter 3, in due course.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what routes for settlement will be available to unmarried durable partners of EU citizens with pre-settled status after 31 December 2020.

After the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the durable partner of an EU citizen with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme can also apply to the scheme, where the partnership was formed and was durable before that date and the partnership remains durable at the date of application.

Where the durable partnership was formed after the end of the transition period, the durable partner of an EU citizen with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme can apply to come to or remain in the UK as their unmarried partner under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average response time is for her Department to respond to enquiries from hon. Members.

The Home Office does not measure the average time for responding to correspondence from hon. Members.

However, in line with Cabinet Office guidance, the Home Office has a target of responding within 20 working days where a response is required.

As you will understand, the Home Office has, during the current year, dealt with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. The Home Office ensures that urgent cases raised by hon. Members are prioritised and is taking steps to provide substantive responses in as short a time as possible.

All correspondence received from hon. Members is being reviewed and will be responded to as soon as possible.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's average response time to enquiries from hon. Members was in (a) August, (b) September and (c) October 2020.

The Home Office does not measure the average time for responding to correspondence from hon. Members.

However, in line with Cabinet Office guidance, the Home Office has a target of responding within 20 working days where a response is required.

As you will understand, the Home Office has, during the current year, dealt with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. The Home Office ensures that urgent cases raised by hon. Members are prioritised and is taking steps to provide substantive responses in as short a time as possible.

All correspondence received from hon. Members is being reviewed and will be responded to as soon as possible.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people applying for a skilled workers visa after 31 December 2020 will be subject to a market labour test.

As already set out in the Government’s Policy Statement on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System, published on 19 February, and the 13 July Further Details document, we will be abolishing the Resident Labour Market Test.

This will take effect when the new Skilled Worker route launches later this year.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants are waiting for an appointment with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services as of 12 October 2020.

We regularly review the number of customers who have made an application but are yet to book a UKVCAS appointment. The number is influenced by a range of factors and therefore is not a proxy for the number actually ‘waiting’ for an appointment. For example, our insight tells us some customers are unable to travel to a service point as they are shielding, others have chosen not to book/continue with their application due to a change in circumstances but have not yet withdrawn their application and some have deferred booking for other reasons.

During the summer months, following the COVID-19 closure on 27 March and subsequent reopening of UKVCAS service points from 1 June, UKVI invited customers to book in a managed way, following date order. However, since 23 September, customers have been able to book appointments immediately after making their application, thus returning to the pre-COVID-19 process.

The number of appointments added into the system is not constant as it depends on a number of factors. As of 10am on 13 October, this morning there were 12,032 appointments offered for w/c 19 October 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many appointments UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services are making available each week.

We regularly review the number of customers who have made an application but are yet to book a UKVCAS appointment. The number is influenced by a range of factors and therefore is not a proxy for the number actually ‘waiting’ for an appointment. For example, our insight tells us some customers are unable to travel to a service point as they are shielding, others have chosen not to book/continue with their application due to a change in circumstances but have not yet withdrawn their application and some have deferred booking for other reasons.

During the summer months, following the COVID-19 closure on 27 March and subsequent reopening of UKVCAS service points from 1 June, UKVI invited customers to book in a managed way, following date order. However, since 23 September, customers have been able to book appointments immediately after making their application, thus returning to the pre-COVID-19 process.

The number of appointments added into the system is not constant as it depends on a number of factors. As of 10am on 13 October, this morning there were 12,032 appointments offered for w/c 19 October 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fines have been issued for failing to self isolate when returning from overseas.

On 30 September, the National Police Chiefs’ Council published its monthly data related to police use of Covid-19 enforcement notices issued under all emergency health protections. The data covers up to 21 September and shows that 38 fines had been issued to individuals who have contravened the International Travel regulations by failing to self-isolate after arriving in England from a country on the UK government list. These were issued across 14 forces.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the equity of processing applicants for asylum on (a) UK Crown Dependencies and (b) British Overseas Territories.

The UK has a long and proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations. Tens of thousands of people have rebuilt their lives in the UK and we will continue to provide safe and legal routes in the future.

We have seen unprecedented numbers of small boat arrivals in the UK during 2020 – and we are determined to make this route unviable. We have been looking at what other countries do in response to similar situations – but that doesn’t mean we will do those things; and no decisions have been taken by Ministers.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will permit the extension of visas where the person with the expiring visa cannot get a flight to their home country.

As is already stated in the published guidance on exceptional assurance for visa applicants in the UK and abroad: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents, if you intend to leave the UK but have not been able to do so and you have a visa or leave which expires between 1 September and 31 October 2020 you may request additional time to stay, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’, by contacting the coronavirus immigration team (CIT). https://hsforms.smartcdn.co.uk/webform.html

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2020 to Question 84331 on Immigration, whether people will be able to make applications in October 2020.

On 10 September the Home Office laid Immigration Rules to enable the new points-based Student Route and Child Student routes to open on 5 October 2020. Eligible applicants will be able to apply under these routes from that date.

The opening of these routes is a significant milestone in the delivery of the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The Skilled Worker route will open later this year.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the earliest date is for applications to be made under the new points based immigration system.

The new UK’s Points-Based System will be operating from 1 January 2021.

We will open key routes from Autumn 2020, so people can start to apply ahead of the new system taking effect in January 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Australians used the Tier 5 visa route in 2019.

The Home Office publishes data on Tier 5 visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of Tier 5 visas by nationality are published in table Vis_D02 of the entry clearance detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets#entry-clearance-visas-granted-outside-the-uk).

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the entry clearance summary tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on entry clearance visas.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK citizens travelled to Australia under the Working Holiday Visa in 2019.

The Home Department does not currently hold this information. UK nationals’ usage of Australia’s working holiday provision is provided on an annual basis by the Australian Home Affairs department.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the proposed support the Government is offering British national overseas (BNO) passport holders to all people who are eligible for BNO status but might not currently hold a valid passport.

The practical details are still being worked out, but I can confirm amendments to the arrangements for BN(O)s will be applicable to all BN(O) status holders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask Secretary of State for the Home Office, what border controls will be put in place to restrict transmission of covid-19 as other countries begin to ease lockdown measures.

In order to keep overall levels of infection down, as the Government prepares for social contact to increase, a series of measures and restrictions will be introduced at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

Further details, and guidance on measures including screening, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that Uighur Muslims are allowed to enter the UK if they possess a valid UK visa.

All UK visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with UK immigration rules and guidance with the onus on the applicant to demonstrate they satisfy the immigration rules.

A Uighur Muslim individual with a UK visa follows the same entry procedures as all other visa holders.

After obtaining a visa all individuals need to establish their eligibility for admission at the UK border. Nationals of non-EEA countries must seek Leave to Enter in accordance with Immigration Rules from a Border Force officer. Ordinarily passenger passports or national identity cards are checked electronically at the border, but there are also times when extra checks are conducted at the discretion of Border Forcer entry officers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the policy paper entitled The UK's points-based immigration system: policy statement, published on 19 February 2020, what the requirements will be for employers to become approved sponsors.

Requirements for employers to become approved sponsors can be found in the ‘Tiers 2 and 5: guidance for sponsors’ at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsor-a-tier-2-or-5-worker-guidance-for-employers.

We keep this guidance under review and will make changes in due course to reflect the introduction of the new points-based immigration system, from January 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery by (a) rank and (b) role are deployed with the Giraffe radars in Saudi Arabia.

For operational and personal security reasons I cannot disclose the number, ranks or roles of those deployed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which organisations in Saudi Arabia the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery is working with during its Giraffe radar deployment to Saudi Arabia.

This deployment supports the Royal Saudi Air Force in defending the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against the increased air threats that it currently faces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advice or assistance Royal Navy personnel have provided to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces on their blockade of Yemen since 2015.

We have a very small number of liaison officers in Saudi Armed Forces headquarters. The role of these liaison officers is to provide the UK with greater insight into Saudi processes and operations. They remain under UK command and control and work to support vital access for food, fuel, and medicine by providing support to help the UN's Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) to facilitate commercial imports into Hodeidah and Saleef ports by giving the Coalition confidence that weapons are not coming in on commercial ships. The critical Red Sea ports of Hodeidah and Saleef remain operational and the majority of Yemen's imports are getting in.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Royal Navy by (a) rank and (b) role are stationed at Musandam Naval Base on Jazirat Umm al Ghanam as at 7 December 2020.

There are no Royal Naval personnel stationed at Musandam Naval Base on Jazirat Umm al Ghanam.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Royal Saudi Air Force pilot Mahna al-Biz received training from armed forces personnel in (a) the UK and (b) Saudi Arabia before 13 September 2017.

The hon. Member's question is assumed to refer to Lt Col Muhanna Al-Baiz, who completed Typhoon conversion training in the UK, delivered by RAF personnel, in 2011 - 2012.

Lt Col Al-Baiz would have received routine continuation training in Saudi Arabia, some of which will likely have been from BAE Systems pilots, including RAF personnel on secondment to the company.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, have any British personnel accompanied the deployment of Giraffe radars to Riyadh since February 2020 to assist Saudi Arabia to track and identify objects in its airspace.

UK Defence personnel have accompanied the deployment of Giraffe radars to Riyadh. This deployment is purely defensive in nature and helps Saudi Arabia with the very real threats it faces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado pilots were taught to fly the Tornado by the RAF in (a) the UK and (b) Saudi Arabia.

It is over 20 years since Tornado conversion training was delivered by the RAF to Saudi pilots in the UK. Information on the number of Saudi pilots trained during this period is no longer held.

The RAF has not delivered such training in Saudi Arabia.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, are Royal Navy personnel on loan to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) permitted to sail on RSNF vessels off Yemen.

All Royal Navy personnel currently on loan to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) are in land-based roles and are not permitted to board RSNF vessels.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what guidance his Department has issued on the use by the Armed Forces of covert human intelligence sources who participate in crime; and if he will publish that guidance.

The Ministry of Defence does not comment on intelligence matters and I am therefore withholding the information as its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 107090 on Armed Forces: Surveillance, what the names are of the two specialist units of the armed forces trained to run covert human intelligence sources.

The Ministry of Defence does not comment on intelligence matters and I am therefore withholding the information as its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which units of the armed forces are trained to run covert human intelligence sources (a) in the UK and (b) overseas.

Two specialist units within the Armed Forces, and each of the three Service Police forces, have CHIS handling capabilities utilising appropriately trained personnel.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many covert human intelligence sources have been run by the armed forces (a) in the UK and (b) overseas in the last five years.

The Ministry of Defence does not comment on intelligence operations and does not release information about any numbers or locations of covert human intelligence sources it may have.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s current Typhoon pilots were taught to fly the Typhoon by the RAF.

Since 2008, 25 Saudi pilots have completed Typhoon conversion training alongside the RAF. We do not maintain a record of how many of these pilots continue to fly the Typhoon, nor do we monitor the size of current RSAF Typhoon pilot cadre.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many pilots are undergoing RAF training to fly the Typhoon, by nationality.

As at 30 September 2020, the number of pilots training on the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit, by nationality, are as follows:

Nationality

Number of pilots (*Rounded)

UK (RAF Pilots)

20

Qatar

~

Saudi Arabia

~

United States of America

~

*In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, the data has been rounded in the table to the nearest 10 and a '~' denotes a number equal to or less than 5.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the location is of the RAF bases in the UK where Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon pilots are learning to fly the Typhoon.

RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what types of munitions Royal Saudi Air Force pilots are able to simulate using from the Hawk T2.

All student pilots, including Royal Saudi Air Force student pilots, can simulate the use of the following types of munition during training on the Hawk T2:

Generic Medium Range Air to Air Missile

Generic Short-Range Air to Air Missile

Generic Gun for Air to Air Training and Air to Ground Strafe profiles

Emulated Paveway IV (Precision Guided Munition) for Air to Ground profiles.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the simulator used by Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon pilots in the UK is operated by a private contractor.

The simulator is operated under a joint enterprise between BAE Systems, the Royal Air Force and Defence Equipment and Support.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of whether UK-trained pilots have undertaken combat missions in Yemen.

Decisions on the employment of trained Royal Saudi Air Force personnel, including aircrew, are matters for the Saudi Arabian Government as they would be for any sovereign nation.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the UK does not monitor whether UK-trained pilots have gone on to undertake combat missions in Yemen.

Decisions on the employment of trained Royal Saudi Air Force personnel, including aircrew, are matters for the Saudi Arabian Government as they would be for any sovereign nation.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his Saudi counterpart on whether UK-trained pilots have undertaken combat missions in Yemen.

Decisions on the employment of trained Royal Saudi Air Force personnel, including aircrew, are matters for the Saudi Arabian Government as they would be for any sovereign nation.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) training and (b) other support Saudi pilots trained in the UK to fly Typhoons receive from the (i) RAF and (ii) his Department's contractors after they have returned to Saudi Arabia.

BAE Systems personnel, including seconded RAF personnel, provide routine training support to RSAF aircrew in Saudi Arabia. This refresher training supports type-qualification on all UK-supplied platforms. BAE Systems personnel also maintain simulators providing synthetic training on the Typhoon platform.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the base locations are in Saudi Arabia of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Typhoon pilots who have been trained to fly in the UK by the RAF.

Information about Royal Saudi Air Force bases is publicly available online.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Saudi Arabian pilots trained in the UK have undertaken missions for the Royal Saudi Air Force in the war in Yemen.

The utilisation of trained Royal Saudi Air Force aircrew is not monitored by or otherwise confirmed to the UK.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Saudi Arabian pilots are training at RAF bases in the UK; and what models of aircraft they are training on.

The number of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) pilots currently training at RAF bases in the UK is less than 10. The Hawk T2 and Typhoon aircraft are used for this training.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when Royal Saudi Air Force pilots last trained to fly the Typhoon in the UK; and whether that training is ongoing.

Training for Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) aircrew has continued and is ongoing, with the most recent RSAF aircrew graduating from flying training in April 2020.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when Royal Saudi Air Force Hawk T2 pilots last conducted air-to-ground attacks at the Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range; and what munitions they fired.

The Hawk T2 simulates weapons. Therefore, no weapons have been fired at Pembury Sands Air Weapons range by Royal Saudi Air Force pilots in the course of their training.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what type of of munitions have been fired at Pembrey Sands air weapons range by the current group of Royal Saudi Air Force pilots undergoing Hawk T2 training at RAF Valley.

No weapons or munitions have been fired at Pembrey Sands by the Royal Saudi Air Force pilots currently undergoing Hawk T2 training at RAF Valley. The Hawk T2 only simulates weapons.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon pilots last undertook training in air-to-ground attacks in the UK where that training took place; and what munitions those pilots fired.

Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon pilots only undertake air to ground training in a simulator and through a classroom brief; therefore, no munitions have been fired.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the UK Port Task Group is in Duqm in Oman; how many personnel that group has; and what the source is of its funding.

The UK Port Task Group, which is funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, has temporarily deployed 20 personnel to assist with a planned port visit to support Defence activity at the UK Logistics hub.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many additional British personnel will be stationed at the UK logistics hub in Duqm, Oman, once it has tripled in size.

The £23.8 million investment in the UK logistics hub at Duqm port will triple the size of the existing UK base. This investment will help facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean including the ability to support the UK's two aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The possibility of additional personnel to support this Logistics hub at Duqm is being considered as part of the ongoing Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department’s media officers made of the implications for their adherence to Government Communication Service propriety guidance on dealing with all news media even-handedly when they decided not to deal with the media organisation Declassified UK.

The Department is looking into the specifics raised in the hon. Member’s question and we will write to him shortly.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason his Department’s press office decided to no longer deal with the news outlet Declassified UK.

The Department is looking into the specifics raised in the hon. Member’s question and we will write to him shortly.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people have received payments from his Department or any other Government department as a result of alleging unlawful detention or maltreatment in UK custody since the 2003 invasion of Iraq; and how much in such payments the Government has so disbursed.

Details of 330 of the 1,000 civil claims where an agreement with the claimant in terms of damages to be paid as a result of alleging unlawful detention or maltreatment in UK custody since the 2003 invasion of Iraq are already in the public domain following responses provided to FOI requests received, and the High Court judgment of December 2017 relating to the trials of the four lead claims in the Iraqi Civilian Litigation (ICL).

Discussions continue between the claimants' solicitors and Departmental officials with regard to the resolution of the remaining claims in the ICL

The terms of these discussions and any outcomes remain the subject of a confidentiality agreement and we are therefore unable to provide a detailed and complete response to this question at this time.

We are unable to comment as to whether any people might have received payments from any other Government Department as a result of alleging unlawful detention or maltreatment in UK custody since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Air Force personnel are on secondment to BAE Systems in Oman; and what the roles of each of those seconded personnel are.

There are currently no Royal Air Force personnel on secondment to BAE Systems in Oman.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when RAF personnel last serviced the Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado that was shot down over Yemen on 14 February 2020; what steps have been taken to replace that Tornado; and what support has been offered to its crew members.

RAF personnel do not service Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado aircraft.

Operational planning for the Tornado fleet and aircrew support are matters for the Royal Saudi Air Force.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department last revised its Directive to the Senior British Loan Service Officer in Oman; if he will publish that Directive; and whether that Directive permits British loan service personnel to engage in internal security operations in Oman.

I am withholding details of the Directive to the Senior British Loan Service Officer in Oman as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another state.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 14 January 2014 to Question 182081, if he will list the current appointments of all British forces personnel to foreign armed forces and governments by rank and task.

I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's definition is of UK personnel in each of the categories of (a) loan service personnel, (b) exchange officers, (c) liaison officers, (d) embeds and (e) secondees.

The definitions of these categories are as follows:

Loan Service. Loan Service is defined as being the loan of Service personnel from the United Kingdom Armed Forces to assist a Commonwealth or foreign country. Loan Service personnel are subject to United Kingdom Service regulations; they are administered and receive pay and allowances in the usual way and are consequently subject to United Kingdom income tax. They are not subject to Host Nation taxation.

Exchange Officers. Exchange officers are deployed into key posts globally. They may be deployed for Service-specific or joint operational reasons. They work for the HN, usually in exchange for a HN officer working in the UK. They create Defence Engagement effect by projecting a positive image of the UK, generating understanding of host nation tactics, procedures and capability, and symbolising the close cooperative relationship between services. Exchange officers provide an opportunity to assist UK efforts in other ways, such as by gaining insight into another nation's ways of thinking or working practices.

Liaison Officers. Defence deploys a wide range of liaison officers to foreign militaries and sometimes elsewhere within a foreign partner's security architecture. Liaison officers are specifically intended to facilitate information sharing and provide a means to deliver persistent influence on the HN. In general, liaison officers remain under the command and control of the sending nation.

Embedded Officers. The UK also has a significant number of embedded officers, mainly serving in US headquarters. Embedded officers create tailored DE effect, depending on their role and the agreement of the HN. In general, embedded officers come under the command and control of the HN.[1]

Secondee Service. Secondee Service places UK military personnel within a company, such as BAE Systems or NETMA. While such service is considered a tour of duty it is governed by bespoke TACOS for the duration of the secondment, agreed between the Company, the individual and the RAF. Seconded personnel temporarily leave the Air Force, are paid by the company but retain their right to promotion etc. Seconded service supports DE access and influence in a similar way to loan service.

[1] Embedded UK personnel operate as if they were the host nation's personnel under that nations' chain of command, but they remain subject to UK domestic, international and host nation law'.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason BAE Systems’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia routinely goes via RAF Akrotiri; and what interaction personnel at RAF Akrotiri have with the aircraft, its passengers and its cargo.

These BAE Systems operated flights provide logistics support for UK-supplied aircraft and systems operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, which play a key role in the defence and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These flights night-stop at RAF Akrotiri, both inbound and outbound from Saudi Arabia, for the wellbeing of the crew, to refuel and to assure the security of the aircraft and its cargo.

These flights do not carry passengers, nor is cargo loaded or off-loaded at RAF Akrotiri. During the present Covid-19 crisis the crews are provided with dedicated on-base accommodation, which allows them to be isolated fully from RAF Akrotiri personnel.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what cargo on carried by BAE Systems’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia via RAF Akrotiri.

These BAE Systems operated flights provide logistics support for UK-supplied aircraft and systems operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, which play a key role in the defence and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These flights night-stop at RAF Akrotiri, both inbound and outbound from Saudi Arabia, for the wellbeing of the crew, to refuel and to assure the security of the aircraft and its cargo.

These flights do not carry passengers, nor is cargo loaded or off-loaded at RAF Akrotiri. During the present Covid-19 crisis the crews are provided with dedicated on-base accommodation, which allows them to be isolated fully from RAF Akrotiri personnel.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Royal Air Force’s airstrike against Daesh in an isolated location west of Tuz Khurma in Northern Iraq on 10 April 2020 was in response to an attack by Daesh on Hashd al-Shaabi fighters in the district of Tuz Khurma on that day, and whether Hashd al-Shaabi requested that air strike.

The Royal Air Force airstrike on 10 April 2020 was not in response to an attack by Daesh on fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, and it was not in response to a request from that organisation.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has an agreement to provide pilots for (a) non-combat and (b) combat situations for the Typhoon aircraft purchased by the Royal Air Force of Oman from BAE Systems.

The UK provides fewer than five RAF Typhoon pilots in role to serve on Loan Service. The Loan Service team is in place across the Sultan's Armed Forces to deliver advice, capability development and training directly to the Sultan's Armed Forces and is employed in a variety of roles to achieve this.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK personnel serve with the Royal Air Force of Oman’s (a) No. 8 Squadron and (b) No. 6 Squadron; and what the (i) rank and (ii) task is of those personnel.

Under the Loan Service agreement with Oman, the UK currently has fewer than five Loan Service personnel working with No. 8 and No. 6 Squadron. I am withholding the exact number of UK personnel to mitigate the risk of them being identified by the information provided. I am also withholding details relating to rank and role as disclosure would, or would likely, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another state.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the career destinations were of recruits enlisted at the Army Foundation College but not completing phase two training in each year since 2015.

Information is not held about the future career paths of those, including those enlisted at the Army Foundation College, who do not complete phase two training and so leave the Army.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications of social distancing for the requirement in the Wills Act 1837 that a person who may be a vulnerable individual be in the physical presence of two independent witnesses when signing a will; and if he will enable (a) video conferencing and (b) privileged wills in those cases during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is currently reviewing the case for reform of the law on making wills given current circumstances.

The constraints of the Covid-19 situation must be balanced against the important safeguards in the law to protect elderly and vulnerable people in particular against undue influence and fraud. Having two independent witnesses provides safeguards to those making wills. Privileged wills are a long established convention restricted to people making wills when on active military service where the normal formalities cannot be observed, but which do not equate to the current civil circumstances. Other reform measures are being considered at present.

In the longer term, the Government will consider reforms to the law on wills arising from the forthcoming Law Commission report on wills, which will explore a range of issues reviewing the current law and the case for reform (including on the use of technology).

The Government is committed to considering further work on witnessing documents by video-conference generally, in the light of the recent Law Commission report on Electronic Execution of Documents, which will help to inform potential reforms to the law on wills in the future.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, if he will bring forward amendments to Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.

The Government’s view is that select committees in the House of Commons should generally mirror Government departments, though this is ultimately a matter for the House. Precise changes will be announced in due course.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, whether he has received instructions from Cabinet Colleagues to bring forward amendments to Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.

The Government’s view is that select committees in the House of Commons should generally mirror Government departments, though this is ultimately a matter for the House. Precise changes will be announced in due course.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons