Michael Fabricant Portrait

Michael Fabricant

Conservative - Lichfield

Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Administration Committee
1st Dec 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
11th Sep 2012 - 10th Apr 2014
Committee of Selection
21st Jun 2010 - 9th May 2013
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
12th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Opposition Whip (Commons)
13th May 2005 - 6th May 2010
Administration Committee
3rd Mar 2009 - 6th May 2010
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Trade and Industry) (Trade and Economic Affairs)
1st Jun 2003 - 12th May 2005
Finance and Services Committee
19th Nov 2001 - 2nd Feb 2004
Liaison Committee (Commons)
5th Nov 2001 - 14th Jul 2003
Home Affairs Committee
26th Jul 1999 - 11th May 2001
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
28th Jul 1997 - 1st Nov 1999
National Heritage
29th Jun 1993 - 7th May 1996


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 4th July 2022
16:30
Division Votes
Monday 27th June 2022
Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 283 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 295 Noes - 221
Speeches
Monday 27th June 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
I thank my hon. Friend for mentioning the Mayor of the West Midlands—oh my gosh, I have forgotten his name; …
Written Answers
Thursday 9th June 2022
Disease Control
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his letter of 6 June 2022, …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 9th January 2018
BBC RADIO BRIGHTON
That this House notes the 50th Anniversary of the opening of BBC Radio Brighton in 1968 while also recognising that …
Bills
Wednesday 23rd January 2019
Ancient Woodland Inventory (England) 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 13th December 2021
1. Employment and earnings
8 December 2021, received £200 from the BBC, New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA, for participation as a …
EDM signed
Thursday 11th April 2019
Exiting the European Union
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019
A Bill to make amendments of the Human Tissue Act 2004 concerning consent to activities done for the purpose of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Michael Fabricant has voted in 467 divisions, and 6 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
20 May 2020 - Liaison (Membership) - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 323
7 Dec 2021 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 289 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 251 Noes - 296
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Michael Fabricant voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
View All Michael Fabricant Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(22 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(21 debate interactions)
Andrew Selous (Conservative)
Second Church Estates Commissioner
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Michael Fabricant's debates

Lichfield Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

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


Latest EDMs signed by Michael Fabricant

11th April 2019
Michael Fabricant signed this EDM on Thursday 11th April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
8th February 2018
Michael Fabricant signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 8th February 2018

TRANSFER OF CHANNEL 4

Tabled by: Caroline Spelman (Conservative - Meriden)
That this House recognises the requirement for a significant transfer of Channel 4 facilities out of London; notes that the West Midlands region has huge potential for creative arts and technology; further notes its strategically central location; notes that its young, digital and diverse population will have a positive effect …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Mar 2018)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 7
Labour: 7
Non-affiliated: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Michael Fabricant's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Michael Fabricant, 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.


Michael Fabricant has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Michael Fabricant has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Michael Fabricant


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 make provision for the periodic updating of the Ancient Woodland Inventory for England; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 23rd January 2019
(Read Debate)

A Bill to allow donation of blood by all male donors on the same basis; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 22nd October 2014

84 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
7 Other Department Questions
12th May 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps are being taken by the Commission to ensure that Members and their staff are not (a) harassed, (b) obstructed, (c) shouted at, or (d) intimidated by professional agitators in the proximity of the Palace of Westminster; and if he will make a statement.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is working with the Parliamentary Security Department to identify Members and staff who have reported the behaviour. This includes identifying those who are able and willing to provide a signed statement which with a statutory declaration can be used for criminal justice purposes. Officers are assessing each occasion that we are aware of, taking into account behaviour; the current law; and the latest guidance on protest from case law. This has taken time. Some witnesses do not want to give statements or are unwilling to go to court; without such testimony it makes any legal action very unlikely. In addition, some behaviour does not constitute a criminal offence when viewed in isolation; without witness statements, building a persuasive case around persistent behaviour is very difficult.

The Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation (PLaIT) are considering all options once they have identified what statements can be obtained, and assessing the evidence provided against the relevant legislation. PLaIT will work in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who are the ultimate decision maker on whether to prosecute and what for. It is worth noting that hearsay evidence is inadmissible in court, therefore statements need to be gathered from the principal witness, which outline the impact and can be tested in court. Even if a police officer witnessed the event, there would still need to be a victim statement which evidences the offences and impact.

There is a long history of protest outside Parliament and a number of pieces of statute legislation have been put in place to moderate protest activity. Article 9, 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 gives the freedom of thought, expression and assembly/association, and these rights mean that protest legislation remains one of the most contested in the courts; the resulting case law provides an ever changing interpretation of the laws. Therefore the use of legislation, especially new legislation, which interferes in the rights to protest needs to be carefully considered, be proportionate and likely to succeed.

11th May 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the Commission has made of the potential merits of increasing external access to Richmond House.

The Commission has not made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing external access to Richmond House and there are no plans to open the entrance into Richmond House from Whitehall. The House of Commons Commission’s decision to house Members and their staff in Richmond House was for three years from summer 2021, and the scope of this light refresh did not include opening up this entrance.

In order to open up access there would be a need for intrusive infrastructure works. There would also be an increase in operational costs as the entrance would need to be manned by Met Police. Any opening up of the Whitehall entrance would need to be evaluated against the decision of the Commission (for the three-year period) and other necessary changes to provide adequate physical security arrangements for passholders entering and exiting the building at this location would also be required.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the Commission has made of when the (a) four faces of the clock in the Elizabeth Tower will be (i) operating with the correct time and (ii) fully illuminated and (b) chimes will be reinstated.

The Elizabeth Tower and the Great Clock are currently undergoing the most extensive conservation project carried out in the 160 years since Big Ben and the quarter bells began to strike.

Following conservation off-site, the clock mechanism – which usually powers the hammers that strike the Great Bell (Big Ben) and the four quarter bells – is currently being re-installed in the Tower and tested.

Dusty works are still ongoing in the ventilation shaft of the Tower, which has required the hands of the West Dial to be kept stationary to prevent damage to both the hands and the mechanism itself.

The clock hands on the West Dial are scheduled to start operating again towards the end of Spring, once these works have completed. The illumination of the dials and the return of regular striking of the bells is set to resume before the conservation project completes in the Summer.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the article by the Revd Marcus Walker, Rector of the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, London, entitled, Is this the last chance to save the Church of England, published in the Spectator on 10 July 2021, what assessment the Church has made of the implications for its policies of the (a) findings of Revd Walker and (b) potential merits of proposals to create 10,000 new lay-led churches in the next 10 years in private homes and public halls.

The Reverend Dave Male, Director of Evangelism and Discipleship for the Church of England, addressed the inaccuracies in The Spectator and subsequent articles, in a statement issued on 8th July: “I am very aware that some recent commentary in media and social media purporting to set out the future direction of Church of England has caused real anxiety, hurt and pain to many. Some of this has been based on a fundamental confusion between the Church of England’s own emerging Vision and Strategy for the 2020s and beyond, which we will be discussing at the upcoming meeting of General Synod, and a separate initiative called Myriad to create 10,000 new lay-led churches - which is not a national Church of England project. It has been claimed in some places that there is a plan to dissolve the parish system, sideline or even replace trained clergy, especially paid clergy, or to get rid of our beautiful, historic church buildings. So I want to make it abundantly clear that the Church of England is committed, now as always, to the ministry of the whole people of God including to ordained ministry in our parishes.” The full statement can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/news-releases/clergy-and-parishes-heart-church-england-now-and-future

In his presidential address and in the subsequent debate on Vision and Strategy at the July General Synod, the Archbishop of York said that the Church needed more, not fewer vocations to ordination and that the limiting factor was the lack of vocations, not the valuable work of serving clergy across the country, of all forms of ministry.

The Archbishop of York’s presidential address can be read at https://www.archbishopofyork.org/news/latest-news/presidential-address-general-synod-july-2021 and his presentation on the Vision and Strategy is here: https://www.archbishopofyork.org/news/latest-news/vision-and-strategy-address-general-synod-july-2021

More information about Vision and Strategy itself can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/leadership-and-governance/emerging-church-england/vision-church-england-2020s

Parishes remain at the heart of the Church of England's mission and ministry to the nation and the Church is delighted that growing numbers of people are answering the call to the priesthood. This year 591 clergy have committed themselves to ordained ministry within the Church, the largest number in over thirteen years. More information about vocations can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/news-releases/recommendations-stipendiary-ordained-ministry-training-highest

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Commissioners plan to take to enforce the Statutory Fees Table fixed church fees by law, in response to reports of a number of churches inflating costs on their websites which may deter people from marrying in their local church.

The Church of England wishes to welcome all couples eligible to be married in its churches. The Church provides yourchurchwedding.org as a resource to couples seeking information about all aspects of a church wedding, and this has proven to be a popular resource which is now used by over a million couples a year.

The General Synod and Parliament approve the fees charged by the parishes of the Church of England for these and other services via the Parochial Fees Order. Details of the current fees set for 2021 can be found here:

https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Parochial%20Fees%20A4_21.pdf

The cost of getting married in a church remains very modest when compared to other locations. Weddings are bespoke services, and all churches have a basic charge that covers the ceremony, including the calling of banns, the banns certificate, marriage certificate, and administration cost. Should a couple wish to opt for bells, choir, organist and flowers, etc. they are arranged by the parish for an additional fee to cover people's time and additional administration costs. An incumbent priest also has the discretion to waive some of the fees for pastoral reasons.

The National Church Life Events team has worked with Archdeacons across the country to encourage all parishes to distinguish between the statutory fee and additional charges clearer. The local Archdeacon would be best placed to discuss any individual case.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
13th Jan 2020
To ask the hon. Member representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will allow Big Ben to chime at 11pm GMT on 31 January 2020 to mark the UK leaving the EU; what estimate has been made of the cost of activating the clock mechanism to enable those chimes; and if he will make a statement.

The Speaker has indicated that this is a matter for Members of the House of Commons. The House of Commons Commission will respond to any decision of the House on this matter. In the absence of any such decision, the Commission's position on the sounding of Big Ben remains unchanged.

For the Bell to ring on 31 January, the temporary striking mechanism used for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve would need to be reattached and tested to ensure the timing is correct. Alongside this work, a temporary floor of the belfry where Big Ben is housed would also need to be installed, as extensive work is currently taking place in this area. The cost for the temporary floor and installing, testing and striking Big Ben would be approximately £120,000.

In addition to the set-up, the delay to work in the belfry would push back the planned programme of works by two to four weeks, with each week of delays costing approximately £100,000 a week. As such, the minimum cost of sounding Big Ben would be £320,000 but could be much higher (up to £500,000). These costs are based on a notice period of approximately two weeks. Should the project team be required to strike the bell with less notice, these costs would increase substantially.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's policy is on the installation of surveillance cameras in Ministerial offices; whether the relevant Ministers are informed of their existence; and what instructions are in place regarding any recordings made from those cameras.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on providing the Digital Markets Unit with the relevant statutory footing it needs to give it powers to enforce the new pro-competition regime for digital markets.

Officials in the Department are working closely with DCMS on this policy issue. The departments published a joint consultation on the policy design in August last year, will be publishing a joint response to that consultation in the coming weeks, and are working together to deliver the necessary legislation when parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will conduct a review into the operation of the coal miners' pension scheme and the transfer of surpluses from the pension fund to HM Treasury.

The BEIS Select Committee carried out an inquiry into the Mineworkers Pension Scheme last year. The Government was unable to accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee’s report and continues to believe that the existing arrangements work well for all parties. Following the publication of the report, the former Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan, met the MPS Trustees on 21 June to discuss the report and options for the way forward. She asked the Trustees to consider whether they would be willing to include the Government Guarantee in any future discussions around surplus sharing and the Investment Reserve. The Government awaits their response.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans there are to manipulate the covid-19 vaccine to sensitise it to the omicron and other variants; and when he estimates such vaccines might become available.

Recent analysis supports our understanding that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are currently being deployed in the UK, appear to work well against the current dominant variants of COVID-19 after a booster-dose. Continuing to administer these vaccines at scale remains essential in our path out of the pandemic.

The Government continues to assess our existing vaccine portfolio against current variants, working closely with vaccine manufacturers and the UK Health Security Agency to understand the efficacy of our current vaccine portfolio against new variants.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to acquire vaccines to provide protection from the most recent variants of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

We are planning for all scenarios in the fight against COVID-19 and the Vaccine Taskforce is taking a number of steps to ensure the UK is prepared to respond to current and emerging COVID-19 variants as quickly as possible.

However, current data suggests that all deployed COVID-19 vaccines in the UK - AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna - offer protection against the prevalent virus variants currently circulating in the UK, and recent data indicates that the Pfizer vaccine remains effective against Beta variant.

We continue to assess the efficacy of the vaccines currently in our portfolio against new and future variants of the virus and continue to work closely with vaccine manufacturers to ensure that vaccines that have already received UK regulatory approval could be suitably updated, where possible and where needed, to remain effective against emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether advanced orders placed for new covid-19 vaccines such as the Janseen vaccine will be designed around the latest variants known to be in existence at the time of delivery.

The UK Government has secured early access to 397 million vaccines doses through supply agreements with six separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
  • Moderna for 17 million doses
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Janssen for 20 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses

In addition, the Government has a reservation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses and a non-binding agreement with CureVac for 50 million doses.

The Government is working closely with vaccine manufacturers and Public Health England to understand the efficacy of our current vaccine portfolio against new variants and will continue to monitor the picture with variants as it develops.

The Government announced on 3 June 2021 that it has started commercial negotiations with AstraZeneca for future supplies of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that have been adapted to tackle the Beta variant first identified in South Africa.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his timetable is for bringing forward the necessary legislation to grant the Digital Markets Unit powers required to tackle competition issues posed by tech giants.

The Government consulted on our proposed approach to a new pro-competition regime, overseen by the Digital Markets Unit, last year. The consultation closed in October, and we are carefully considering the responses. We will set out the final design of the regime in our response in due course, and will introduce legislation to put the Digital Markets Unit on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to bring forward primary legislative proposals for the relevant statutory framework for the Digital Markets Unit during 2022.

The Government consulted on our proposed approach to a new pro-competition regime, overseen by the Digital Markets Unit, last year. The consultation closed in October, and we are carefully considering the responses. We will set out the final design of the regime in our response in due course, and will introduce legislation to put the Digital Markets Unit on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with Ofcom with regard to staff from the regulator moving to jobs at organisations regulated by Ofcom.

Ofcom is responsible for the recruitment, retention and terms and conditions of its staff and as such is not a matter for the Secretary of State to discuss with Ofcom.

Ofcom has a robust and comprehensive conflict of interest policy, managed and regularly reviewed by its Executive Board, that upholds high regulatory standards of independence, impartiality and integrity. The policy and procedures in place enable Ofcom’s Executive to take swift and appropriate action should a situation emerge where an employee leaves to join a company it regulates.

In the past two years Ofcom has placed circa six staff on immediate garden leave as they have left to join companies which Ofcom regulates or will regulate in the future. Ofcom does not have data immediately available for a five year period but can provide this on request once available.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the number of Ofcom staff who have left Ofcom to work for organisations that are regulated by Ofcom over the last five years.

Ofcom is responsible for the recruitment, retention and terms and conditions of its staff and as such is not a matter for the Secretary of State to discuss with Ofcom.

Ofcom has a robust and comprehensive conflict of interest policy, managed and regularly reviewed by its Executive Board, that upholds high regulatory standards of independence, impartiality and integrity. The policy and procedures in place enable Ofcom’s Executive to take swift and appropriate action should a situation emerge where an employee leaves to join a company it regulates.

In the past two years Ofcom has placed circa six staff on immediate garden leave as they have left to join companies which Ofcom regulates or will regulate in the future. Ofcom does not have data immediately available for a five year period but can provide this on request once available.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of Ofcom’s conflict of interest policies to curb regulators moving to jobs at the organisations that they regulated while at Ofcom.

Ofcom is responsible for the recruitment, retention and terms and conditions of its staff and as such is not a matter for the Secretary of State to discuss with Ofcom.

Ofcom has a robust and comprehensive conflict of interest policy, managed and regularly reviewed by its Executive Board, that upholds high regulatory standards of independence, impartiality and integrity. The policy and procedures in place enable Ofcom’s Executive to take swift and appropriate action should a situation emerge where an employee leaves to join a company it regulates.

In the past two years Ofcom has placed circa six staff on immediate garden leave as they have left to join companies which Ofcom regulates or will regulate in the future. Ofcom does not have data immediately available for a five year period but can provide this on request once available.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to issue a medal to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee on 6 February 2022; and if he will make a statement.

On Thursday 12 November 2020 plans were announced to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. This will include the issue of a Platinum Jubilee medal. The medal will be awarded to people who work in public service including representatives of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and the prison services.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support is available for local councils to maintain swimming pools while they remain closed; and if he will allow public swimming pools to open subject to protections being in place to prevent covid-19 contagion.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. Further guidance will follow on the principle of the scheme.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support (a) heritage and (b) tourism on the inland waterways during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise that waterways businesses have been severely impacted by the current crisis. My Department will continue to work closely with the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to assess how we can most effectively support heritage and tourism on inland waterways following COVID-19.

Waterways businesses and workers can access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme. The £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package will give small businesses in tourist destinations grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following COVID-19.

Through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and its working groups, we have developed COVID-secure guidance which will help heritage and tourism businesses reopen safely.

VisitBritain have also introduced an industry standard quality mark that tourism businesses - including those associated with waterways - can acquire if they are compliant with COVID-secure guidance.

The £45m Discover England Fund encourages visitors to enjoy the West Midlands’ diverse waterways, including the Trent & Mersey Canal in Lichfield.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) adding the teaching of basic English Sign Language to the curriculum and (b) providing support and guidance to schools in the teaching of sign language.

The Government is committed to supporting the education of all children and young people with special educational needs or a disability, including those with a hearing impairment.

The Department is aiming to introduce a GCSE in British Sign Language as soon as possible, so long as it proves possible to develop a qualification that meets the rigorous requirements that apply to all GCSEs. The Department is currently working with subject experts to develop draft subject content.

Schools may choose to offer basic sign language in their individual school curriculum or include it as part of their extra-curricular activities programme.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) inspections and (b) other steps his Department is taking to ensure that (i) pests and (ii) diseases are not imported into the UK from (A) agricultural, (B) horticultural, (C) meat products and (D) other goods originating from the EU.

Biosecurity is a top priority for the Government, not only to protect consumers, but also to ensure that trading partners and industry have strong assurance of the UK's standards of food safety, animal and plant health.

Since 1 January 2021, the UK has put in place strict biosecurity controls on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products from the EU. These controls on the highest risk goods will remain in place. We constantly review whether further safeguards are needed and have a scientific process to assess and respond to changing biosecurity threats.

Existing pre-notification requirements and the four-hour derogation for pre-notification will continue for all products of animal origin. Traders must continue to pre-notify to maintain traceability of imports and to allow UK authorities to collect essential data to inform design decisions. Traceability is vital for identifying consignments posing potential risk and allows us to properly manage any biosecurity incidents.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will increase fines for fly-tipping in order to provide a deterrent in response to reports that the majority of fines given to offenders caught fly-tipping are lower than the cost of hiring a skip; and if he will make a statement.

Fly-tipping is a menace – which is why we have been taking significant action to stamp it out.

Our proposals on electronic waste tracking will replace outdated paper forms with a robust online system. Our proposed reforms to licencing for waste carriers and brokers will allow us to clamp down hard on rogue waste operations, and make it easier than ever to detect unlicensed operators. These build on enhanced enforcement powers in last year’s Environment Act, and on £350,000 of Defra grant funding for local council projects to tackle areas of persistent fly-tipping.

In 2016 we legislated to introduce a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping of up to £400 – but, for more serious offences, prosecution allows for an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment. While sentencing is a matter for courts, we are working with the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group to produce a guide on how councils and others can present robust prosecutions which should support tougher sentences. We intend to publish this in the spring.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to renew the annual grant to the Canal and River Trust when the current funding period ends; and if he will make a statement.

The 15-year Grant Agreement signed in 2012 between Defra and the Canal and River Trust (CRT) requires that a review of the grant is undertaken at the 10-year point to inform a decision on any future Government funding beyond 2026/27 when the current grant period ends. This review is currently underway and will consider the case and context for any future funding arrangements, reporting by 1 July 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the Australian practice of using drainage nets to collect plastic and other small objects to prevent them from entering rivers and seas.

Waste water treatment in the UK is largely determined by the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations 1994. The Regulations have the objective of protecting the environment from the adverse effects of wastewater by setting minimum treatment levels supplemented by additional requirements to limit pollution from discharges. All discharges to the water environment require a permit issued by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. The Environment Agency will include the necessary conditions in water company discharge permits to limit sewage-related debris from entering rivers and seas. In the UK, rather than the Australian practice of using drainage nets, this is achieved through engineering design and the use of screens at the point of discharge to the environment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the guidance for riparian owners published by the Environment Agency entitled Living on the Edge, what the legal basis is for the statement in that guide that there is no public right of navigation on most non-tidal watercourses.

The legal position is complex. It is the Government’s view that those seeking to navigate inland rivers for recreational purposes where there is no navigation authority should establish that they have a legal right to do so, either through voluntary agreement with riparian landowners or otherwise.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the potential merits of legislation overseas to close wet animal markets and butcheries; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to protect the interests of animals throughout the world.

The Government, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, also raises concerns about the health and welfare of animals with other governments and international authorities at every suitable opportunity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department plans to take in relation to proposal 16 of The Landscapes Review, published in September 2019 on expanding open access rights in national landscapes.

The Government welcomes the Landscapes Review and is now carefully considering its proposals, including those concerning open access. The Government will set out its response in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Landscapes Review, published in September 2019, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of open access on water in national landscapes.

The Government welcomes the Landscapes Review and is now carefully considering its proposals, including those concerning open access. The Government will set out its response in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps the Government has taken to support bilateral trade with Israel.

On December 2nd, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade confirmed to the House that the UK will open a public consultation on an enhanced bilateral free trade agreement with Israel early next year.

Officials are in regular contact with their Israeli counterparts to implement the existing UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement. The UK is due to hold the inaugural UK-Israel Joint Committee early next year and is also planning to host a joint UK-Israel Innovation Summit in March. This will be an opportunity to highlight our ambitious trade, science and innovation relationship, and showcase the shared talents of leading British and Israeli businesses.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the viability of HS2 Phase 2b since the red unachievable rating given by the Infrastructure Projects Authority; and if he will make a statement.

HS2 Phase 2b is at a much earlier stage of development than other phases of the HS2 project, with baseline cost and schedule information still being finalised. It is also being looked at as part of the Integrated Rail Plan, which will soon outline exactly how major rail projects, including HS2 phase 2b and other transformational projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to deliver the reliable train services that passengers across the North and Midlands need and deserve. This will provide further certainty on issues like phasing on HS2 Phase 2b, which, together with approvals on baseline cost and schedule information, will allow the project to proceed to its next stage and in turn improve delivery confidence.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether an HS2 train service north bound from Birmingham Curzon Street station is contingent on completion of the HS2 line to Manchester.

No decisions have yet been taken on the train services that will operate after HS2 services start running. These decisions will be taken nearer the time, drawing on advice from West Coast Partnership Development and Network Rail, and will be subject to public consultation.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether HS2 Ltd still plans to tunnel the railway under the A38 immediately east of Streethay near Lichfield.

The alignment of the new railway is unchanged from when Parliament passed the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act in 2017.

Please note that whilst the railway itself is all below ground level, it is not a “tunnel” under the A38 as such; an overbridge will be constructed to take the dual carriageway over the new railway, which will pass under the A38 immediately to the east of Streethay housing, just at the point where the slip roads to/from Burton Road meet the dual carriageway.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he had discussions with HS2 on the inclusion in (a) the consultation on HS2 Phase 2a of the route (b) a leaflet published by HS2 and sent to relevant residents and businesses the inclusion of a paragraph which states given the extensive consultation already undertaken for Phase 2a and consideration of the scheme by both select committees in Parliament, the Government does not intend to make changes to the Phase 2a scheme or to its planned construction programme in light of this consultation; and if he will make a statement.

No, Ministers did not have discussions with HS2 Ltd on the paragraph included in the Phase 2a consultation and leaflet prior to its publication.

The leaflet published by HS2 Ltd did not accurately set out the purpose of the consultation and how responses will be analysed and considered. I have asked HS2 Ltd to send out an updated leaflet to those residents living within 1km of the route who received the first leaflet to make this clear, making clear that all responses will be carefully considered.

The aim of the Phase 2a consultation is to help the Government understand in more detail the environmental impacts of the scheme on local communities as it takes the scheme forwards, and to identify and implement further mitigation measures. It will also help the Government better understand the concerns of local communities on their local transport provision. Once the responses are analysed the Government will publish a summary report and set out how it proposes to address the issues raised.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans there are to restore the original Euston Arch at the reconstruction of Euston Station in London.

Feasibility work in 2017 indicated that reconstruction of the Euston Arch would cost in excess of £50m and present challenges in terms of recovering the original construction materials. In developing the Masterplan for Euston Station, our development partner, Lendlease, is considering how the history of the station at Euston should influence and best be reflected in the future designs. We are determined to learn the lessons from the successful Kings Cross redevelopment, which has successfully used the restoration of our beautiful heritage railway architecture.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when driving licenses depicting the flag of the European Union will cease to be issued.

The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January and is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time existing arrangements remain unchanged. This means that UK driving licences will continue to include the EU flag for the duration of the transition period.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether hand sanitisers can be installed on portable stands throughout the Parliamentary Estate.

In-House Services did try to purchase these through their supplier; however due to the current high demand for sanitisers and sanitiser units there was a 3–4 week delivery time. They have therefore purchased the units without stands and requested that the Parliamentary Maintenance Services Team (PMST) provide suitable stands.

In-House Services are currently awaiting delivery of the dispensers, and PMST are in the process of making the stands.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will meet with (a) the hon. Member for Lichfield and (b) officials from the West Midlands Rail Executive to discuss the re-opening of the existing Lichfield City to Derby via Burton on Trent freight line for use for passenger traffic.

I understand that officials from Transport for the West Midlands have met with the Hon. Member and that they are undertaking a study to evaluate the business case for this proposal. As the Minister responsible for rail, I would be happy to meet with him and officials in due course to discuss the findings.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will immediately uprate benefits in line with the current high rate of inflation; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Work is required by law to undertake an annual review of benefits and pensions, and Consumer Price Index in the year to September is the latest figure that she can use to allow sufficient time for the required legislative and operational changes before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year.

All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September.

The Secretary of State’s decisions regarding benefits and pensions uprating for this financial year were announced to Parliament on 25 November 2021. And the increase of 3.1% from April 2022 was debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his letter of 6 June 2022, reference PO-1405720, if he will make it his policy not to be a signatory to any treaty with the World Health Organisation which would enable instructions to be given to the Government on when lockdowns may or may not be imposed in any future pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

The Government supports a new international legally binding instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The process for developing this new pandemic instrument will be led by the member countries of the World Health Organization, including the United Kingdom. The instrument would become binding if and when the UK accepts it in accordance with our constitutional process. The UK would remain in control of any future domestic decisions about national restrictions or other measures and would be subject to Parliamentary approval.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance and assistance his Department provides to (a) clinical commissioning groups and (b) general practitioners on enabling Ukrainian refugees who are temporarily resident in the UK to be able to register easily and quickly for GP services.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities produces the ‘Migrant health guide’, a free, online resource designed to support primary care practitioners. It includes information on migrants’ entitlement to the National Health Service, guidance for assessing new patients, tailored health information specific to over 100 countries of origin and guidance on a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases and health issues. In addition, all arrivals will receive a welcome pack in Ukrainian, Russian or English which outlines their entitlement to free health care and includes details of how to register with a general practitioner.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will add to the National Booking System covid-19 vaccination centres which have the capacity of 500 vaccinations a week but which are below the current 1,000 vaccinations per week threshold.

The criteria for adding new vaccination centres or sites to the National Booking System (NBS) is dependent upon the delivery model. All community pharmacy vaccination sites and mass vaccination centres are automatically added to the NBS regardless of their capacity. Regional systems prioritise the addition of sites to the NBS according to local need and may also include smaller sites such as ‘pop-ups’ to meet local care needs.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to initiate a fourth mass covid-19 vaccination programme.

We have no current plans for a fourth mass COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has stated that it is not known whether recurrent boosters will be required in the long term. The current advice on booster vaccinations applies to this highly active phase of the pandemic. We will continue to be informed by the latest scientific advice from the JCVI on whether further action is required.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what collaboration is taking place between the UK and Israel in the digital health sector; and if he will make a statement.

Digital health collaboration between the United Kingdom and Israel includes the UK-Israel Tech Corridor, where the Leeds Corridor pairs National Health Service organisations with Israeli health technology companies to advance their product or clinical work. The UK also plans to host a UK-Israel Innovation Summit next year, where digital health will feature.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the proposed autumn Covid-19 booster vaccination programme will include a modified vaccine with improved efficacy against the (a) delta and (b) other covid-19 variants.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) interim advice on a potential COVID-19 booster vaccination programme states that vaccines designed specifically against variants of concern will not be available in time for booster revaccination this autumn. The use of variant vaccines will be considered by the JCVI in due course.

Final decisions on the timing, scope and cohort eligibility of any COVID-19 vaccine booster programme will be confirmed once the JCVI has provided their final advice. The JCVI’s advice will take into account the latest epidemiological situation, additional scientific data from trials such as COV-Boost, surveillance of the effectiveness of the vaccines over time and emerging variants.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who (a) installed and (b) gave the authority for the installation of a surveillance camera in the office of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care; and whether the Secretary of State was made aware of that camera.

The closed circuit television camera was installed by the Department as part of the office fit prior to moving into the building in 2017. The camera was authorised as part of an approval for the installation of cameras by the Department’s internal governance. The previous Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (the Rt hon. Matt Hancock MP) was not made aware of the camera.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether dentists will be able to return to normal working practices in (a) Step 3 or (b) Step 4 of the national covid-19 roadmap.

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to increase levels of dental activity as fast as is safely possible. Contractual arrangements for the first six months of the 2021/22 financial year have been introduced by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The revised unit of dental activity threshold set at 60% is based on data that indicates practices may now have capacity to safely achieve more dental activity. Arrangements will be monitored on a monthly basis and are expected to be in place for six months in order to provide increased stability for dental practices. National Health Service commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate.

We are working to address oral health inequalities. NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided local commissioners with a flexible commissioning toolkit to illustrate how best to use current flexibilities in commissioning to target capacity on improving access to urgent care and delivering care to high risk patient groups.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, further to the Answer of 3 March to Question 154738, what support his Department is providing for (a) research on and (b) trials of vaccines offering immunity to covid-19 which can be delivered by gradual absorption through the skin using an adhesive patch.

The Department has not currently commissioned any research into COVID-19 vaccines which can be delivered through an adhesive patch but the National Institute for Health Research, as the biggest public funder of health research in the United Kingdom, continues to welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including on COVID-19 vaccine related research.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he issue guidance to dentists on when they might be expected to return to normal working.

Dentistry has been particularly affected by the risk of COVID-19 transmission due to the number of aerosol generating procedures carried out. This has resulted in the need for an enhanced level of personal protective equipment and reduced throughput to allow for thorough cleaning and resting of rooms between patients, as set out in Public Health England’s Infection Prevention and Control guidance.

The Department is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Chief Dental Officer for England to increase levels of service, as fast as is safely possible. We have been closely monitoring what has been possible and on 29 March announced that the threshold for full National Health Service contractual payment would be raised to 60% of normal activity. We continue to explore what more can be done to increase capacity including piloting pre-appointment testing.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is providing for (a) research on and (b) trials of oral vaccines offering immunity to covid-19.

Through a joint rolling research call for COVID-19 research between the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation, funding of over £500,000 has been committed to a study looking at the safety and immunogenicity of two candidate COVID-19 vaccines administered to the respiratory tract in aerosol form, with an expected end date in August 2021.

In addition, Innovate UK, have been managing the delivery of £75 million of the £110 million Department-funded UK Vaccine Network programme. Nine Departmental projects within this portfolio were repurposed to identify other COVID-19 vaccines solutions. Also, two Innovate UK grants worth over £2.2 million in total, were awarded to Stabilitech, now known as IosBio, to assess its COVD-19 vaccine candidate that has an oral capsule delivery system in animal efficacy studies. This technology is now being tested in participants in clinical trials in South Africa and the United States.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when an outstanding payment of £483,393 dating from July 2020 will be paid to St Giles Hospice of Whittington near Lichfield.

NHS England and Improvement are in the process of reconciling the final payments covering July 2020 from this scheme. NHS England and NHS Improvement have not yet set a date by which final payments will be made but advise they expect the process to be completed and payments made, including any final funding due to St Giles Hospice, shortly.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to prevent a shortfall of GPs qualifying in 2020 due to the cancellation of the postgraduate assessments (a) Applied Knowledge Test and (b) Clinical Skills Assessment, as a result of covid-19 outbreak; and what assessment he has made of the viability of using another form of such assessment during the covid-19 lock-down.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the four statutory education bodies are rapidly developing a temporary recorded alternative to the Clinical Skills Assessment (subject to approval by the General Medical Council). The RCGP have advised that this will provide trainees with an opportunity to demonstrate their competence to be awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training and qualify as a GP.

At the same time, the RCGP is working with their testing partner to enable the Applied Knowledge Test to resume at test centres with appropriate social distancing safeguards in place from July. The RCGP is also investigating options for remote invigilation for those who are shielding.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will hold discussions with her counterparts in allied nations on the use of assets seized from Russians as future war reparations to support Ukraine with the reconstruction of homes and infrastructure damaged by the Russian armed forces.

UK sanctions have been strategically coordinated with international allies to impose severe cost on Putin and his regime. We are acting in lockstep, as our collective impact is greater than the sum of its parts; however the UK has been at the forefront of the allied response. We continue to work closely with allies on further measures that can be taken. Our sanctions send a clear message that nothing, and no one, is off the table.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of seizing assets from Russians under the Government's sanctions programme for use as future war reparations to support Ukraine with the reconstruction of homes and infrastructure damaged by the Russian armed forces.

We are looking at how we can go further to crack down on illicit money in British property and maximise the pressure on the Putin regime. Our unprecedented package of sanctions decisively delivers the highest economic cost the Kremlin has ever seen. Our sanctions send a clear message that nothing, and no one, is off the table.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what Official Development Assistance is provided to the People's Republic of China; for which projects that assistance is so provided; and if he will make a statement.

The UK ended traditional bilateral aid programmes to China in 2011. As the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, global challenges need global solutions, and we recognise that China has to be part of them as a major driver of global growth with increasing presence on the global stage. We now offer China expertise and skills, to help tackle global issues like climate change, which is firmly in the national interest, as well as using ODA to fund the ODA eligible portion of the costs of UK diplomatic staff in China, Chinese Chevening scholars and the British Council's ODA eligible activity in China.

The Statistics on International Development (SID) provides an overview of official UK spend on international development, including a breakdown of projects. The 2019 data was published on GOV.UK on 24 September, and can be viewed through the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/921034/Data_Underlying_SID_2019.ods

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on immediately uprating benefits in line with the rate of inflation; and if he will make a statement.

September CPI has been the default inflation measure for the government’s statutory annual review of benefits since 2011 because it allows sufficient time for the legislative and complex delivery process to take place for new rates to come into force in April.

In addition to uprating social security benefits, the government is also providing support to families worth over £22 billion in 2022-23 to help families with cost of living pressures. This includes cutting the Universal Credit taper rate and increasing work allowances to make sure work pays, freezing alcohol duties to keep costs down, and providing millions of households with up to £350 to help with rising energy bills.

At the Spring Statement, the Chancellor went further, announcing an increase to the annual National Insurance Primary Threshold and Lower Profits Limit to £12,570, and an additional £500m to help the most vulnerable with the cost of essentials through the Household Support Fund. Families and businesses across the UK will also benefit from a 12-month cut in fuel duty of 5 pence per litre, the largest cash terms cut, that has ever been applied to all fuel duty rates at once. This cut represents savings for consumers worth almost £2.4 billion over the next year.

And, from 1st April 2022, the National Living Wage (NLW) increased by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour for workers aged 23, which will benefit more than 2 million workers. This means an increase of over £1,000 to the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the NLW.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason a 30 day licence has been granted giving permission for any individual or entity to wind down any transactions with Russian bank VTB until 27 March.

The general licence INT/2022/1272278 (Wind Down Positions Involving VTB) was issued on 25 February to allow for an orderly wind down of contracts with the bank, which was designated on 24 February. The general licence permits only the wind down of existing activity for third parties and expires on 27 March 2022. The general licence has been granted to reduce disruption in the UK financial system, not to permit VTB to proactively exit positions. It ensures that VTB will not benefit from a situation where UK persons cannot close out their positions or wind down transactions involving the bank.
John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to protect inland waterway based businesses that are affected by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for public services, business and workers to protect against the current economic emergency.

This includes significant changes to the operation of statutory sick pay, universal credit, and employment and support allowance to ensure that people have quicker and more generous access to a support system, and we have taken further immediate steps to give businesses access to cash to pay its rent, salaries or suppliers.

Our economic response is one of the most generous and comprehensive globally and the government is now working urgently to deliver these schemes as quickly as possible.

The government is monitoring the impact measures are having with regard to supporting public services, businesses, and individuals, and keeps all policies under review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were waiting for the issue of a passport (a) in each of the last 12 months for which data are available and (b) in each month in 2019.

Since April 2021, people have been advised to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their British passport as more than 5 million people delayed applying due to the pandemic. The vast majority of all passport applications continue to be dealt with well within 10 weeks.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office carries work in progress across the year as part of normal operational planning, and approximately 250,000 passport applications are being processed each week.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Rwanda policy for asylum seekers, whether the Government provides funding to Care4Calais; what assessment she has made of the potential implications for her policies of the recent comments made by Care4Calais on her Rwanda policy for asylum seekers; and if she will make a statement.

There is no record of Care4Calais as a grant recipient for the Home Office.

There is a global migration crisis, and we must look to new world leading solutions to tackle this issue. We are fully committed to the Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda. It fully complies with international and national law and we will defend it robustly.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints have been received by the Metropolitan Police concerning the activities of the (a) Government Whips Office and (b) Opposition Whips Office in the House of Commons over the last four weeks; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number of complaints received by the Metropolitan Police concerning the activities of the Government Whips Office or the Opposition Whips Office in the House of Commons.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department or its agencies are aware of and are monitoring the activities of anti-vax group Alpha Men Assemble and Mr Danny Glass who reportedly recently held an exercise in Chasewater Park near Lichfield; and if she will make a statement.

Home Office officials are aware of the event held at Chasewater Park at the weekend and police were in attendance to ensure safety of the public.

The Government engages with partners to build a picture of the prevalence of potentially radical groups within communities. We keep our response to groups and individuals under constant review to ensure it is best placed to tackle the evolving threat.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to correspondence from her Department to the hon. Member for Lichfield's office dated 7 December 2021 on a constituent's communication on immigration, which stated that her Department's Private Office Direct Communications Unit would not reply due to their judgment that the constituent’s email was of a racist and offensive nature, what her policy is on whether (a) Ministers are shown all correspondence from Members and (b) officials can make the decision not to respond to a constituent's communication passed on by a Member.

When the Department receives correspondence, it is triaged by officials to assess the appropriate response, which includes consideration of whether a letter may not be suitable for a reply due to racist or offensive content.

Any correspondence received directly from a Member is shared with the relevant Minister’s office. Where constituency correspondence is provided directly from Member’s offices, rather than from Members themselves, the Minister’s office is not routinely shown the correspondence if it has been assessed to fall into the racist or offensive content category.

In this case there was an error in the process for assessing whether the correspondence was racist or offensive and a substantive reply should have been sent. The correspondence will now be replied to by me as the Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration as a matter of priority

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond substantively to the email from the hon. Member for Lichfield of 15 January 2021 and the follow-up email of 11 June 2021 on Educational oversight inspections of private further education colleges.

My officials have been in discussion directly with the relevant organisations and other Government departments in relation to the issue of Educational Oversight (EO) provision for further education colleges raised in the email from the hon. Member for Lichfield.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will (a) commission an investigation through her Department's agencies into the proportion of the racist tweets directed at three England football players following the UEFA Euro 2020 final that originated in the UK and (b) publish a report following that investigation.

Racist abuse is utterly unacceptable whether it takes place online or offline. Individuals who commit racist offences should face the full force of the law and we already have robust legislation in place to deal with online hate crime.

While companies have taken some positive steps, more needs to be done to tackle online harms, including hate crime. The upcoming Online Safety regulatory framework will put in place measures to tackle illegal and legal but harmful abuse, including racist abuse. If major platforms do not meet their own standards to keep people safe and address abuse quickly and effectively, they could face enforcement action. There is no reason for companies to wait until the regime is fully running to take action against this abhorrent abuse, and we will continue to press them to do so.

The police are reviewing offending material and will work with the relevant social media companies to identify account holders and progress their investigations.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what reports she has received of members of the Jewish community in Luton being advised to avoid parts of the town on 29 May 2021 when the Luton Council of Mosques organised a demonstration in solidarity with Palestine; and if she will make a statement.

We understand that a local statement was issued by Luton United Synagogue, which referred to concerns about a protest on 29 May 2021 and incorrectly stated that Bedfordshire Police were advising members of the Jewish community to avoid parts of Luton. This statement was subsequently retracted. The protest did take place with approximately 100 attendees. No disorder was reported

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take in response to anti-Semitic abuse from and reported incitements to violence by pro-Palestinian demonstrators visiting London against Jewish people on 15 to 16 May 2021; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is clear that any criminal activity, including the incitement of violence or racial hatred, is completely unacceptable. We have robust laws to tackle such criminal offences.

The Metropolitan Police Service is investigating a number of allegations in relation to recent demonstrations in London.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Mar 2021
What steps her Department is taking to prevent migrants from unlawfully crossing the English Channel; and if she will make a statement.

The danger to life from channel crossings and the criminal activity they fund is simply unacceptable.

Journeys are often illegally-facilitated and totally unnecessary, France is a safe country with a fully functioning asylum system.

We are working tirelessly to make this route unviable.

We are also introducing legislation to fix our broken asylum system and create a fairer and firmer system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he publish a timescale for allowing choral singing and performance to resume in English cathedrals and churches as covid-19 restrictions are eased; and if he will make a statement.

The roadmap to reopening published on 22 February set out the steps by which restrictions on activities will be lifted and the considerations that will determine the rate of progress. Singing, playing some musical instruments, shouting and physical activity increases the risk of transmission through small droplets and aerosols and the cumulative effect of aerosol transmission means the more people involved, the higher the risk of transmission.

From 17 May, when Step 3 of the roadmap is taken, indoors in a Place of Worship a group of up to 6 amateur singers can perform, or rehearse for performance. There is no limit on the number of professional singers but they should follow guidance for the performing arts. Outdoors, the congregation may join in with singing in multiple groups of up to 30. Congregation members should continue to follow social distancing rules. A decision on whether to allow larger performances and communal singing in a place of worship will be taken as we approach Step 4 of the roadmap, no earlier than 21 June.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2020
What guidance his Department issues to local authorities on their membership of local enterprise partnerships; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has provided clear guidance on the membership of Local Enterprise Partnerships through our National Local Growth Assurance Framework.

Each Local Enterprise Partnership is required to set out the membership requirements of their Board and Sub-Boards in a Local Assurance Framework which should be published on their website.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th Jun 2020
What recent steps his Department has taken to support the clinically extremely vulnerable during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

At the start of this pandemic we advised Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people to shield - to not leave their homes and avoid face-to-face contact – and we set up the National Shielding Service; a huge logistical exercise unprecedented since the Second World War.

This has included delivering over 3 million free food boxes to date, securing priority supermarket slots, getting people’s medicines delivered to their doorstep, and social contact.

On 1 June, following clinical advice, we announced that?clinically extremely?vulnerable?people in England?can spend time outdoors?with members of their household, or with one other person from another household if they live alone, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.

The next review will take place this week. As part of this, the Government will consider the next steps for shielding beyond 30 June. The Government will write to all individuals on the shielded patient list with information about next steps on shielding advice and the support that will be available to them after this review point.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend the law following the acquittal of the four people accused of causing criminal damage to a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.

The Crown Prosecution Service can choose to refer the case to the Attorney General, and if she agrees, she can ask the Court of Appeal to review whether the law needs to be clarified. This would not change the outcome of this specific case.

Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, we are in the process of changing the law to ensure that those found guilty of desecrating or damaging a memorial face a punishment that better reflects the high sentimental and emotional impact these actions can have.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
2nd Feb 2021
What steps his Department has taken to control the spread of covid-19 in (a) prisons and (b) young offenders institutions; and if he will make a statement.

Since March, we have acted decisively to protect our staff, prisoners and the wider community from outbreaks in prisons and the youth estate. Our compartmentalisation strategy allows us to quarantine new arrivals, isolate those with symptoms, and shield vulnerable prisoners.

We have introduced routine testing of staff, and testing of prisoners on reception and transfer, in all prisons and YOIs. Whilst every death is a tragedy, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated prison staff, we have managed to limit deaths from Covid in the prison estate to far below PHE predictions.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, if he will open an inquiry into historical charges of bullying in the House of Commons; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has made clear that there is no place for bullying, harassment, or sexual harassment in Parliament and by working cross party, we will ensure everyone working in Parliament is treated with dignity and respect. An independent inquiry into bullying and harassment of House of Commons staff was carried out by Dame Laura Cox and her report was published in 2018. Following on from this, Gemma White QC carried out an independent inquiry on bullying and harassment of past and present staff of Members of Parliament, as well as Members themselves, and her report was published in 2019. A key recommendation of both reports was that the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme should be amended, so as to ensure that those employees with complaints involving historical allegations can access the Scheme. As a result, in July 2019, the House of Commons approved the steps to make the necessary changes to extend the scheme to include historical allegations and that came into effect on 21 October 2019. An 18-month review of the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme is due in June 2020.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of announcing all Parliamentary recesses 12 months in advance subject to the progress of House of Commons business.

I announced recess dates, up to the conference recess, on 9 January 2020 (Official report, col. 616). As ever, recess is subject to the progress of business and the agreement of the House. Further provisional recess dates for 2020 will be announced to the House in due course. I will look to provide as much forward notice on recess dates as is possible.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
18th Nov 2020
What discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on (a) tourism and (b) other inward investment from England after the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The hon Member will be aware that these areas are devolved and we believe in respecting the devolution settlement.

I can reassure him that the Secretary of State for Wales and myself remain unceasing in our enthusiasm for promoting the wonderful array of attractions in Wales and the opportunities available for investors at home and abroad.
David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
14th Oct 2020
What steps his Department is taking to support the recovery of the Welsh (a) rural economy and (b) hospitality sector from the effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

The rural and hospitality sectors form the backbone of the Welsh economy. The Eat Out to Help out Scheme helped protect two million Welsh jobs. This - alongside cutting VAT, months of furlough for staff, and incentives to keep workers in jobs - demonstrates the benefits to Wales of being part of the Union.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales