Nick Thomas-Symonds Written Questions

109 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Nick Thomas-Symonds


Date Title Questioner
14 Sep 2020, 1:23 p.m. Passengers: Coronavirus Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office does not routinely release location specific statistics on the arrival of passengers by specific modes of transport.

However, the Home Office is due to publish additional statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system in the next few weeks.

This statistics will be published on the gov,uk website

10 Sep 2020, 11:19 a.m. Passengers: Coronavirus Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

Answer (Chris Philp)

84307 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by sea from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020

84308 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84309 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84310 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84311 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

10 Sep 2020, 11:19 a.m. Passengers: Coronavirus Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

Answer (Chris Philp)

84307 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by sea from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020

84308 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84309 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84310 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84311 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

10 Sep 2020, 11:19 a.m. Passengers: Coronavirus Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by sea from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

Answer (Chris Philp)

84307 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by sea from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020

84308 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84309 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84310 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84311 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

10 Sep 2020, 11:19 a.m. Passengers: Coronavirus Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

Answer (Chris Philp)

84307 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by sea from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020

84308 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84309 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers have arrived in the UK by rail from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84310 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from each country not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

84311 - To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passengers in total have arrived in the UK by air from countries not included on the list of covid-19 travel corridors since 3 July 2020.

7 Sep 2020, 2:45 p.m. Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) men and (b) women are detained in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office publishes statistics on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on people entering detention under immigration powers by place of detention and sex, are published in Table Det_D01and on people in detention at the last day of each quarter in Table Det_D02 of the ‘immigration detention detailed datasets’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures on people entering detention in Q3 2020 will be published on 26 November 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The figures published in Det_D01 relate to the first place of detention. If an individual enters immigration detention in another part of the detention estate, or in prison before being moved to Yarl’s Wood, they will be recorded under that centre.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

7 Sep 2020, 2:45 p.m. Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office publishes statistics on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on people entering detention under immigration powers by place of detention and sex, are published in Table Det_D01and on people in detention at the last day of each quarter in Table Det_D02 of the ‘immigration detention detailed datasets’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures on people entering detention in Q3 2020 will be published on 26 November 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The figures published in Det_D01 relate to the first place of detention. If an individual enters immigration detention in another part of the detention estate, or in prison before being moved to Yarl’s Wood, they will be recorded under that centre.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

7 Sep 2020, 2:45 p.m. Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) people, (b) men and (c) women were detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in each month from 1 July 2019.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Home Office publishes statistics on people entering detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on people entering detention under immigration powers by place of detention and sex, are published in Table Det_D01and on people in detention at the last day of each quarter in Table Det_D02 of the ‘immigration detention detailed datasets’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

Figures on people entering detention in Q3 2020 will be published on 26 November 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The figures published in Det_D01 relate to the first place of detention. If an individual enters immigration detention in another part of the detention estate, or in prison before being moved to Yarl’s Wood, they will be recorded under that centre.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/returns-and-detention-datasets#immigration-detention

https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

14 May 2020, 2:28 p.m. Serious Violence Taskforce Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the serious violence taskforce last met.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Serious Violence Taskforce was established in 2018 to oversee the implementation of the Serious Violence Strategy. It last met on 26 June 2019.

The Government remains incredibly grateful for the work of the Taskforce which brought together Ministers, senior leaders and key partners. The Taskforce influenced additional action and investment in this area, for example through the creation of the new £200m Youth Endowment Fund, the consultation on the new duty on agencies to reduce serious violence and the launch of the Independent Review of Drugs Misuse.

The Government’s Manifesto set out an ambitious package of reforms to deliver on the people’s priorities and tackle violent crime and safeguard people’s streets and neighbourhoods. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are driving this with a new cross-Whitehall Crime and Justice Taskforce to ensure we use every lever at our disposal to fight crime.

We will consider the future role for the Serious Violence Taskforce in delivering these priorities, within this context.

14 May 2020, 2:28 p.m. Serious Violence Taskforce Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the serious violence taskforce next plans to meet.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Serious Violence Taskforce was established in 2018 to oversee the implementation of the Serious Violence Strategy. It last met on 26 June 2019.

The Government remains incredibly grateful for the work of the Taskforce which brought together Ministers, senior leaders and key partners. The Taskforce influenced additional action and investment in this area, for example through the creation of the new £200m Youth Endowment Fund, the consultation on the new duty on agencies to reduce serious violence and the launch of the Independent Review of Drugs Misuse.

The Government’s Manifesto set out an ambitious package of reforms to deliver on the people’s priorities and tackle violent crime and safeguard people’s streets and neighbourhoods. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary are driving this with a new cross-Whitehall Crime and Justice Taskforce to ensure we use every lever at our disposal to fight crime.

We will consider the future role for the Serious Violence Taskforce in delivering these priorities, within this context.

26 Feb 2020, 5:29 p.m. Perfluorooctanoic Acid: Health Hazards Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the dangers that perfluorooctanoic acid poses to the body.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Public Health England (PHE) has made no specific assessment of the implications on policies of the dangers that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) poses to the body.

26 Feb 2020, 3:51 p.m. Perfluorooctanoic Acid: Regulation Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that perfluorooctanoic acid is not used in the manufacture of goods and products; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of regulations on the use of that acid.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds, was listed as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and banned from use under the UN Stockholm Convention with a number of time-limited specific exemptions at the Conference of Parties in May 2019.

POPs are toxic, persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and animals and have long-ranging properties. The ban on the manufacture, sale and use of PFOA will come into force in July 2020 through the POPs regulation.

The effectiveness of this legislation cannot be assessed until it is in force but UK regulators will be responsible for ensuring that these regulations are adhered to and emissions monitoring will include PFOA.

26 Feb 2020, 3:40 p.m. Montreal Protocol Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to meet the commitments of the Kigali Agreement.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol commits the UK to reduce its consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of refrigerant gases that are very damaging to the Earth’s climate, by 85% between 2019 and 2036.

Under the EU F-gas Regulation, quotas are allocated to HFC importers which are cut every three years until a 79% reduction is achieved by 2030. HFC consumption in the UK has already been cut by 37% since 2015, a world-leading phasedown which is faster than required under Kigali.

The Government will soon start a review of the F-gas Regulation, to be finished before the end of 2022, to decide how we will meet the final Kigali phasedown step between 2030 and 2036. The review will also look at how the UK can continue being even more ambitious than Kigali.

10 Feb 2020, 4:58 p.m. Coronavirus: Disease Control Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is for Government advice on the longevity of the coronavirus on (a) parcels and (b) other objects.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a newly identified virus and as such no specific data on environmental survival is available. Public Health England (PHE) advice on the longevity of 2019-nCoV on parcels and other objects has been based on informed knowledge of other related viruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

PHE’s current advice is that the virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that 2019-nCoV can be spread through post or packages.

This advice and a range of further information can be found online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-guidance-to-assist-professionals-in-advising-the-general-public/guidance-to-assist-professionals-in-advising-the-general-public

8 Jul 2019, 3:16 p.m. Rape: Prosecutions Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of reported rape cases were not passed to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police forces of England and Wales in 2017-18.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The Government does not hold data on the total number of reported rape cases which are not passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police.

The Crown Prosecution Service publishes data on the number of pre-charge decisions for rape cases.

The Government expects every report of sexual violence and rape to be treated seriously from the point of disclosure and continues to work with the police to look at ways to improve police investigations. Through the refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy we have committed to undertake an end-to-end review into the criminal justice response to rape, from the point of police report through to final outcome in court, which will include examining police referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision.

24 Jun 2019, 4:34 p.m. Rape: Prosecutions Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of reported rape cases in 2017-18 passed to the CPS by the police forces of England and Wales were returned to the police for further evidence to be gathered, and were not subsequently returned to the CPS with that further evidence.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The CPS recognises that rape and serious sexual offences have a significant and profound impact on victims. It is vital to ensure that cases are investigated thoroughly in order to bring them to justice. To achieve this, it is necessary in many cases to seek further information before a prosecutor is able to determine whether or not to charge. In such cases, an action plan requesting further evidence will be provided to the police by the CPS.

When the Police are unable to respond to the action plan, the case is administratively finalised. This is an administrative process where cases are closed on the CPS’s Case Management System if, after reminders from the CPS, the Police do not submit further information. Such cases may be reopened if, at a later date, new material is provided to the CPS by the Police enabling them to decide whether to charge.

The Police may also seek ‘early investigative advice’ from the CPS to assist in determining the evidence required for a charge. In these cases the CPS may also administratively finalise a case if after receiving CPS advice, the Police do not re-submit the case.

In 2017/18, 22% of all rape cases referred to the CPS were administratively finalised.

24 Jun 2019, 3:26 p.m. Rape: Prosecutions Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of reported rape cases that were passed to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police forces of England and Wales were returned to the police for further evidence to be gathered in 2017-18.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Rape is a horrific crime which has a significant and profound impact on victims. It is vital to ensure that cases are investigated thoroughly in order to bring them to justice. To achieve this, it is necessary in many cases to seek further information before a prosecutor is able to determine whether or not to charge. This process ensures that cases are as robust as possible once they reach the court.

In 2017-18, cases were referred back to the Police for 61% of suspects in cases recorded as rape in the system. Whilst one situation where the CPS may refer a case back to the Police is to request further evidence, it could also be in instances when the Police have sought ‘early investigative advice’ from the CPS to assist in determining the evidence required for a charge. It is not possible to separate cases where the CPS has requested further evidence and when the Police have sought early investigative advice.

18 Jan 2019, 12:18 p.m. Drugs: Innovation Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is an objective of the new NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that the most innovative drugs will be accessible to patients more quickly than they currently are.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The NHS Long Term Plan, together with other recent initiatives including the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing, describe the Government’s objectives for a health and care system that delivers world leading patient care and health outcomes.

The Government wants patients to benefit from effective new drugs and the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access agreed between the Department and the branded pharmaceutical industry commits to align the speed of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence technology appraisals for non-cancer medicines to the faster timeline for cancer medicines.

In addition, the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy set out a vision of being a world-leader in developing and bringing to market innovative medicines to improve life-chances of United Kingdom patients. It highlighted the importance of evolving and simplifying the access system for new medicines by implementing, and building on, the findings of the Accelerated Access Review.

20 Nov 2018, 5:46 p.m. Armed Conflict: British Nationals Abroad Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assistance his Department has (a) requested and (b) received from the European Counter-Terrorism Centre on apprehending foreign fighters.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The Government values the role of Europol in helping law enforcement agencies coordinate investigations into serious and organised cross border crime and terrorism. That includes the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) which was set up in 2016 as an operations centre and hub of expertise for EU Member States at Europol. Since September 2017 the UK has embedded UK Police Officers within the ECTC and works closely with our European partners through the centre.

Information exchange between UK authorities and Europol is well-established and takes place on a daily and routine basis on a wide range of criminal activity. This includes information sharing to tackle the threat of terrorism and cooperation continues to assist UK efforts to tackle cross-border terrorist activity impacting on the UK.

We cannot comment specifically on the assistance that the Department has requested and received from the ECTC as this is operationally sensitive information.

8 Nov 2018, 4:53 p.m. UK Border Force: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what additional funding has been allocated to the Border Force at UK airports to ensure it is adequately funded after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

BF received £91.7m ring-fenced funds from HM Treasury in 2018-19 to prepare for EU Exit. BF’s 2019-20 allocation for EU Exit is expected to be confirmed by HM Treasury before the start of the 2019-20 financial year.

8 Nov 2018, 12:43 p.m. Pensions: Consumer Information Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to consult on proposals for mandatory participation in pensions dashboards by pension providers.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

As set out in the Autumn Budget, The DWP will consult on the detailed design for pensions dashboards, and on how an industry-led approach could harness innovation while protecting consumers. As part of the consultation, due to be published shortly, the DWP will explore how to maximise the participation of pension schemes.

7 Nov 2018, 3:22 p.m. Crime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of any differences in the definition of serious crime would have on (a) criminal justice and (b) police cooperation between the EU and the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Government has made a strong case for an ambitious and mutually beneficial future partnership with the EU that covers: mechanisms for rapid and secure data exchange, practical measures to support cross-border operational cooperation, and continued UK cooperation with EU law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

Negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU in the area of criminal justice and law enforcement cooperation is ongoing so we cannot pre-judge the outcome, but at this stage there is no reason to expect that differences in the definition of serious crime will be an issue.

6 Nov 2018, 5:21 p.m. UK Border Force: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of (a) the adequacy of the resourcing allocated to Border Force and (b) the effect of the UK leaving the EU on that resourcing.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Border Force will always ensure it has the necessary resources to keep the border secure and will respond flexibly to emerging requirements through ongoing assessments of operational needs.

Border Force has recruited a Readiness Task Force to provide operational resilience to the frontline and allow existing staff to undertake EU exit related training. The c.300 multi-disciplinary Border Force officers will be fully deployed by the end of the year.

An additional c.600 Border Force officers are being recruited in 2018/19 to respond to the new requirements it will face as a result of EU Exit and to provide resilience at key locations.

6 Nov 2018, 4:08 p.m. Passports: Biometrics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on UK citizens using ePassport gates after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

We keep the border and immigration system under regular review however the Government has no plans to change the use of e-passport gates by UK citizens.

30 Oct 2018, 4:44 p.m. Burma: Politics and Government Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

What recent assessment he has made of the political and security situation in Myanmar.

Answer (Mark Field)

The Foreign Secretary visited Burma in September, including Rakhine. The situation is grave. He met Aung San Suu Kyi and told her clear accountability for those responsible for atrocities was critical. The UK initiated the EU’s new sanctions on seven military commanders and a strengthened arms embargo. The Foreign Secretary told the Foreign Affairs Council we would likely need to take further action in response to the UN Fact Finding Mission report. We are now discussing options for further EU sanctions with member states, including whether to sanction the Commander-in-Chief and his Deputy.

29 Oct 2018, 4:49 p.m. Counter-terrorism: Internet Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assistance his Department has (a) requested and (b) received from the European Counter-Terrorism Centre on removing online terrorist propaganda.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The UK continues to lead international efforts to prevent terrorist use of the internet. In the UK, the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) refers content to online platforms that is assessed to contravene those platforms’ terms and conditions. Following referrals from CTIRU, online platforms have removed over 300,000 pieces of terrorist-related material since its inception in February 2010.


This successful model was replicated within the EU as a response to the international nature of the online threat. The UK was instrumental in the formation of the European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU), which went live in July 2015 following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The EU IRU is one initiative of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre, part of Europol.


The UK continues to work closely with the EU and other international partners to push industry to take a more proactive approach to detecting and removing terrorist content from their platforms. The UK and the EU IRU share information, evidence and best practice on an ongoing basis to prevent terrorist use of the internet.

29 Oct 2018, 4:34 p.m. Armed Conflict: British Nationals Abroad Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Directive 2017/541 on apprehending foreign fighters under Article 9 of that Directive.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The UK did not opt in to Directive 2017/541 on combating terrorism. UK effec-tiveness on combating terrorism and countering travelling for the purpose of terrorism, as referred to by Article 9 of Directive 2017/541 is not governed through this EU legislation. The UK already has strong domestic legislation in place and opting in would not have increased further public protection.

26 Oct 2018, 1:52 p.m. Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency: Appeals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the process is for an appeal against the findings of a Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency investigation.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Cavity Insultation Guarantee Agency (CIGA), an independent commercial organisation, has a standardised customer journey and resolution process which is detailed on their website: https://ciga.co.uk/consumer-concerns. Should a customer believe that CIGA staff have not followed this process they can raise a concern directly with the Chief Executive Officer or alternatively with CIGA’s Consumer Focus Non-Executive Director.

If a Guarantee has been issued, but CIGA have not responded in a manner that is satisfactory to the consumer, the guarantee allows for any dispute between the householder and CIGA to be referred to arbitration. The Independent Arbitration service for customers is provided by the independent Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). Their role is to provide a formal way to resolve disputes between CIGA or CIGA-registered installers and their customers, when other attempts to resolve a dispute have been unsuccessful.

23 Oct 2018, 2:31 p.m. Insulation: Sales Methods Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals for compulsory training to tackle the way companies sell cavity wall insulation to vulnerable people; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Claire Perry)

There are currently no plans to bring in new legislation relating to selling to vulnerable consumers. Trading Standards Officers can already take action against salesmen who use misleading practices and aggressive pressure selling, such as those that might be used by a seller seeking to exploit the elderly and disabled. Since the implementation of the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 consumers have been able to take action against such traders to get their money back.

Beyond these regulations, my Department is working with industry to improve consumer protection for cavity wall insulation and other energy efficiency work by developing new standards and launching a more robust government endorsed quality scheme through TrustMark. This reflects the recommendations of the independent Each Home Counts review, which identified an important need for an independent, all-encompassing mark of quality that consumers can rely upon and trust.

The new quality scheme will be underpinned by rigorous standards and a code of conduct to tackle mis-selling, poor design and installation. This is a voluntary scheme for registered business delivering to households under the existing Government endorsed TrustMark scheme, but Government wants to encourage consumers to choose these trusted traders and for business to get on-board. In future, we intend to incorporate the quality mark as a requirement of Government schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

22 Oct 2018, 4:14 p.m. Airports: Biometrics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to support trials of new biometric technologies at UK airports.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office continues to explore a range of digital options to improve the security and efficiency of our visa and border systems. These proposed changes are part of the government’s commitment to ensure the security of the UK border for the safety and benefit of customers and taxpayers.

22 Oct 2018, 4:12 p.m. Immigration Controls: Airports Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect on reducing immigration queuing times at airports allowing passengers from five eyes partner countries to use ePassport gates would have.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

We keep our border and immigration system under regular review to understand what changes can made to improve the passenger experience without reducing border security.

11 Sep 2018, 4:45 p.m. Burma: Discrimination Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help tackle religious and racial discrimination in Burma.

Answer (Mark Field)

​The British Government continues to be deeply concerned by religious and racial discrimination against minorities in Burma. The Government has repeatedly raised concerns about the treatment of minorities in Burma in the Human Rights Council in September 2017 and March 2018. The Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations raised the UK's concerns about the persecution faced by minority groups in Burma in his speech to the Human Rights Council of 27 February 2018. Our Embassy continues to support projects in Burma addressing the drivers of prejudice and inter-communal violence.

11 Sep 2018, 4:43 p.m. Rohingya: Crime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the avenues available to bring the perpetrators of crimes against the Rohingya under international law to justice.

Answer (Mark Field)

The British Government condemns the atrocities in Rakhine and is committed to working with international partners to bring those responsible to justice. The UK convened a meeting of the UN Security Council on 28 August chaired by the Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations to ensure the Council remains focused on the Rohingya crisis, including the need for accountability. When the Security Council considers the final UN Fact-Finding Mission report, we will have the opportunity to discuss all options to ensure accountability. On 6 September 2018, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that courtholders jurisdiction over the deportation of the Rohingya population from Burma to Bangladesh. The UK fully supports the court in its efforts to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.

29 Aug 2018, 3:24 p.m. Cybercrime: Security Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department spent annually on cyber security (a) before and (b) after the publication of the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence Review 2015.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

Cyber Security policy and funding priorities are set out in the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016. This strategy was accompanied by a commitment to spend £1.9bn over the 5 years 2016-2021 on cyber security; This is in addition to routine spend on cyber capabilities across Government.

19 Jun 2018, 1:15 p.m. Agency Workers: Wales Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of agency workers who are on pay between assignment contracts in Wales.

Answer (Andrew Griffiths)

There is limited data available on the number of agency workers on pay between assignment contracts. The Government has previously published research which, building on academic studies, suggested that between 8-20% of the UK’s estimated 1.29 million agency workers are on pay between assignment contracts. However, this estimate was taken from desk research and a small sample of interviews, so we do not consider it representative. There is no breakdown of pay between assignment contracts by geographic area.

11 Jun 2018, 3:01 p.m. Shoplifting: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the level of shop theft in Torfaen compared with the constituency average in the last year.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects recorded crime data for shoplifting from all police forces in England and Wales. These data are published at country, police force area (PFA), and community service partnership (CSP) level.

For the latest year to December 2017, police recorded crime for shoplifting in the most relevant areas were:

Wales: 20,352

Gwent PFA: 3,994

Torfaen CSP: 692

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many microprocessor knees have been prescribed by the NHS in England since they were introduced.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average cost of a knee prosthetic is to the public purse.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

11 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Prosthetics Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, under what circumstances microprocessor knees can be prescribed to amputee patients under NHS England guidelines.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Since December 2016, when NHS England approved funding for the use of microprocessor controlled prosthetic knees, 350 knees have been prescribed.

In its financial planning and budget allocations, NHS England have assumed an average total cost of £14,400 for each microprocessor controlled prosthetic knee.

The circumstances in which a patient is eligible to be considered for a microprocessor knee is set out in the clinical policy on the NHS England website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/clin-comm-pol-16061P.pdf

3 May 2018, 4:18 p.m. Counter-terrorism: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding was allocated to the Prevent strand of the counter-terrorism strategy in 2016-17.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

This Government is committed to the Prevent programme: Prevent's spend was £37.7 million in 2016-17, and is allocated £45.5 million from 2017-18. Prevent is working and is successful. Prevent has made a significant impact in safeguarding people being drawn into terrorism.

3 May 2018, 4:18 p.m. Counter-terrorism: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding has been allocated to the Prevent strand of the counter-terrorism strategy in 2017-18.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

This Government is committed to the Prevent programme: Prevent's spend was £37.7 million in 2016-17, and is allocated £45.5 million from 2017-18. Prevent is working and is successful. Prevent has made a significant impact in safeguarding people being drawn into terrorism.

27 Apr 2018, 10:28 a.m. Young People: Voluntary Work Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has plans to make an assessment of the effect of participation in National Citizen Service on the level of young people taking part in youth full-time social action.

Answer (Tracey Crouch)

The NCS Trust’s online Opportunity Hub matches young people who have graduated from the NCS programme to further opportunities, including full time social action opportunities.

DCMS is carefully considering the recommendations made by the recently published independent Review of Full Time Social Action by Young People and will respond in due course.

27 Apr 2018, 10:27 a.m. Young People: Voluntary Work Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Independent review of Full-Time Social Action, published in January 2018, what plans his Department has to establish a Ministerial group on youth full-time social action.

Answer (Tracey Crouch)

We are considering the recommendations in the Full Time Social Action Review’s report, including the recommendation regarding the establishment of a ministerial group. The Government Response to the Review’s report will be published in due course.

22 Mar 2018, 3:21 p.m. Developing Countries: Internally Displaced People Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of its support for internally displaced people; and whether her Department plans to take any steps to improve the effectiveness of that support.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

DFID has many programmes which address the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), all of which are subject to regular review of their effectiveness. At a global level, the UK is supportive of the idea of a UN High Level Panel on IDPs to assess the effectiveness of the current response to internal displacement and galvanise further political and operational action. We are discussing this closely with other interested States and UN agencies.

21 Mar 2018, 4:31 p.m. International Assistance: Internally Displaced People Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking with foreign governments to help internally displaced people overseas.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

The UK is committed to meeting the needs of displaced populations, including internally displaced persons (IDPs). 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the International Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and we hope to see a step up in global attention on this issue. In particular, the UK is supportive of the idea of a UN High Level Panel on IDPs to galvanise political and operational action and we are discussing this closely with other interested States and UN agencies.

7 Mar 2018, 3:35 p.m. Nuclear Disarmament Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, what steps the Government is taking to support gradual multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

​I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 January to PQ 124479.

7 Mar 2018, 3:26 p.m. Nuclear Disarmament Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whether the Government plans to attend the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in May.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

We do not believe the UN High Level Conference in May 2018 will lead to effective progress on nuclear disarmament. It will not address the serious threats to international peace and security posed by nuclear proliferation nor will it take account of the international security environment. We will consider our approach to the Conference closer to the time.

7 Mar 2018, 10:51 a.m. Burma: Politics and Government Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what further steps the Government is taking to secure a UN resolution condemning persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar and calling for the return of refugees’ citizenship.

Answer (Mark Field)

​The UK co-sponsored resolutions on Burma in both the UN General Assembly (November 2017) and UN Human Rights Council (December 2017). Both resolutions raised serious concerns about the situation in Rakhine and called for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the displaced Rohingya. They also set out support for early implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Recommendations, including on citizenship.

The UN Security Council, in response to a UK led call, convened a further session on 13 February to discuss the Rohingya crisis. We will work to ensure the UN Security Council remains focused on the Rohingya crisis and will consider how best to use the various tools, including resolutions, at the Council’s disposal.

7 Mar 2018, 10:33 a.m. Burma: Rohingya Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Answer (Mark Field)

The Government has consistently urged the Government of Burma the risks in Rakhine since they came to power in April 2016, and urging them to address the underlying issues in Rakhine, including discrimination against the Rohingya people. The UK has supported the Rakhine Advisory Commission (RAC), established by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to look at these underlying issues. The UK believes that full implementation of the RAC recommendations are the best opportunity to achieve a long-term and sustainable settlement in Rakhine State which includes the Rohingya.

The Foreign Secretary visited Burma on 10-11 February and spoke with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi about finding a peaceful solution to the humanitarian crisis and for the Rohingya to be able to return to Rakhine province. The Foreign Secretary continues to raise the plight of the Rohingya in his discussions with his counterparts in other countries, as well as in discussions at the EU and UN.

2 Mar 2018, 3:02 p.m. Bank Services: Fraud Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he intends to bring forward legislative proposals to reduce the success of telephone banking scams.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The activities underpinning telephone banking scams, such as impersonating a bank, are captured under the Fraud Act 2006. The Joint Fraud Taskforce which brings together Government, banks and law enforcement will continue to develop a collective response to fraud.

27 Feb 2018, 3:56 p.m. Bank Services: Fraud Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle telephone banking fraud.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The Government launched the Joint Fraud Taskforce in 2016 to bring together banks, law enforcement and Government to develop a collective response to fraud against individuals and banks. The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign was developed jointly by the banking industry, Government experts and the Joint Fraud Taskforce. The campaign is designed to help encourage the public to protect themselves from fraud and scams, providing advice on how to avoid falling victim to fraud, including around telephone banking scams. The current campaign, “My money, my info, I don’t think so” provides advice to help the public develop resilience to requests from fraudsters relating to financial and personal information. This Government is also committed to stopping stolen funds from getting into the hands of criminals, and where possible, enabling stolen money to be returned back to the victims of fraud. A priority area for the Taskforce is to establish a technical solution and regulatory framework that will ensure that more fraud losses can be returned to victims.

27 Feb 2018, 3:56 p.m. Bank Services: Fraud Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support collaboration between banks and police banking fraud teams on tracing funds obtained through telephone banking fraud.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The Government launched the Joint Fraud Taskforce in 2016 to bring together banks, law enforcement and Government to develop a collective response to fraud against individuals and banks. The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign was developed jointly by the banking industry, Government experts and the Joint Fraud Taskforce. The campaign is designed to help encourage the public to protect themselves from fraud and scams, providing advice on how to avoid falling victim to fraud, including around telephone banking scams. The current campaign, “My money, my info, I don’t think so” provides advice to help the public develop resilience to requests from fraudsters relating to financial and personal information. This Government is also committed to stopping stolen funds from getting into the hands of criminals, and where possible, enabling stolen money to be returned back to the victims of fraud. A priority area for the Taskforce is to establish a technical solution and regulatory framework that will ensure that more fraud losses can be returned to victims.

23 Feb 2018, 2:33 p.m. Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government’s priorities are for the next Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference; and what steps they are taking to implement those priorities.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

The Government believes that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should remain the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. We urge all states that have not yet done so to join the NPT as non-Nuclear Weapons States. At this year's Preparatory Committee we will continue to engage with a wide range of states on how we can tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament and enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The UK plays a leading role on disarmament verification and we will continue to press for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament and increased transparency and trust between Nuclear Weapons States in order to develop the global conditions in which nuclear armed states feel confident enough to relinquish their weapons.

22 Feb 2018, 5:47 p.m. Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

​The British Government does not intend to sign, ratify or become party to the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. We firmly believe that the best way to achieve a world without nuclear weapons is through gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated using a step-by-step approach, consistent with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

20 Feb 2018, 12:06 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mandatory PIP reconsiderations resulted in the original decision being upheld in 2016-2017.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The number of Personal Independent Payment (PIP) Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) cleared can be found in the official published statistics: “Data tables: Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2017”. The relevant data can be found in Table 7b. This data shows the number of mandatory reconsiderations for New Claims and Reassessments broken down by month since PIP was introduced and split by outcome type:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2017

Latest available data to October 2017.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were refused personal independence payment in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who were refused personal independence payment had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Tribunals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who were refused personal independence payment had that decision changed at Tribunal in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

1 Feb 2018, 2:57 p.m. Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Tax Allowances Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce tax relief to enable HGV drivers to claim an allowance for food and provisions bought in advance of overnight stays.

Answer (Mel Stride)

Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers are, like other employees, able to claim tax relief for the cost of food and provisions incurred in the course of business travel.

There are no plans to introduce tax relief for food and provisions purchased in advance for business journeys.

31 Jan 2018, 2:31 p.m. Nuclear Disarmament Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to help achieve multilateral disarmament world-wide.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

​As a responsible nuclear weapons state, the Government is committed to the long term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. We continue to work with partners across the international community to press for key steps towards multilateral nuclear disarmament, including the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and successful negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. We continue to play a leading role in disarmament verification and in the Preparatory Committees ahead of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

31 Jan 2018, 2:30 p.m. Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to help reduce nuclear tensions worldwide.

Answer (Sir Alan Duncan)

​The UK will attend the next Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in April 2018 where we will engage with a wide range of states on how we can together tackle the challenges that we face on non proliferation and disarmament. The DPRK has yet to signal it is ready to abandon its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes which pose an unacceptable threat to the international community and we are working closely with our international partners to exert maximum political and economic pressure on DPRK to change its direction. We are strong supporters of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is successfully curtailing Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

21 Dec 2017, 4:21 p.m. Public Sector: Pay Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the equity for workers of the outcomes achieved by the pay review bodies that determine public sector pay.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The remit of the Pay Review Bodies continues to be to provide evidence based advice on pay. We will consider their recommendations when they report from Spring 2018. Our assessment of public sector pay shows that wages in the public sector are roughly equivalent to those in the private sector, and, in addition, public sector workers benefit from more generous pensions.


In line with their duties under equalities legislation, Ministers fully consider equalities impacts and implications when setting the Government’s pay policy. It is for Departments to consider the equalities impacts of their proposals on workforce strategy and pay.

19 Dec 2017, 1:45 p.m. Hate Crime: Convictions Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how many incidents of hate crime resulted in convictions in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.

Answer (Jeremy Wright)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of defendants flagged as committing hate crime offences that were prosecuted and convicted through its Case Management System.

The table below shows the volume and proportion of hate crime prosecutions and convictions during each of the last three years.

-

2014 - 15

2015 - 16

2016 - 17

-

Volume

%

Volume

%

Volume

%

Convictions

12,220

82.9%

12,846

83.2%

12,072

83.4%

Unsuccessful

2,518

17.1%

2,596

16.8%

2,408

16.6%

Total

14,738

15,442

14,480

Data Source: Case Management Information System

The CPS does not hold a record of the number of reported incidents of hate crimes. Such information is recorded by the 43 police forces. The data reported in the table above shows prosecutions completed by the CPS after receipt of the case papers from the police.

19 Dec 2017, 1:27 p.m. Hate Crime: Disability and Homosexuality Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service has adequate resources to tackle crimes against gay and disabled people.

Answer (Jeremy Wright)

Tackling hate crime is a priority for the CPS and for wider government and the CPS is committed to allocating sufficient resource to tackle hate crime across all monitored strands. The CPS has resourced a network of Hate Crime Coordinators in each of its Areas, acting as a central point of contact for specialist advice and providing oversight of hate crime cases.

In 2016-17, disability hate crime performance included the highest ever volume of completed prosecutions at 1,009, with a conviction rate of 79.3%. There were also 1,375 completed prosecutions for homophobic hate crime, with a conviction rate of 83.2%.

11 Dec 2017, 5:05 p.m. Hate Crime: Disability and Homosexuality Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many incidents have been recorded for hate crime against (a) gay and (b) disabled people in each of the last five years for which data is available.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The Home Office collects information on the number of hate crimes recorded by the police, by monitored strand - including sexual orientation and disability. The latest statistics are published in the ‘Hate crime, England and Wales, 2016 to 2017’ statistical bulletin, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2016-to-2017

This Government is committed to tackling hate crime. The UK has a strong legislative framework to tackle hate crime. We are working across Government with police, (including National Community Tensions Team), the Crown Prosecution Service and community partners to send out a clear message that hate crime will not be tolerated and we will vigorously pursue and prosecute those who commit these crimes.

11 Dec 2017, 5:04 p.m. Hate Crime: Disability and Sexuality Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to combat hate crime motivated by a victim’s sexuality or disability.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

This Government abhors all forms of hate crime, including hate crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived sexuality or disability. That is why we are taking a cross-Government approach to tackling the issues through the Hate Crime Action Plan published in July 2016.

The Government will continue to deliver against the commitments under the action plan which includes recently announced funding for seven new community-led projects, three of which focus specifically on tackling disability hate crime and one which focuses specifically on LGBT hate crime. The Home Secretary has also recently announced funding for the creation of a national online hate crime hub, improving the response to all forms of hate crime.

5 Dec 2017, 12:46 p.m. Employment: Learning Disability Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to where his Department has reallocated funding from the previous Work Programme and Work Choice to increase the employment opportunities of people with learning disability; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The Work and Health Programme, a new contracted provision that will build on lessons learnt from the Work Programme and Work Choice, will start in England and Wales between November 2017 and March 2018. Disabled people, who will be the majority of referrals, can volunteer for the programme at any time.

On Thursday 30 November 2017 we published ‘Improving Lives the Future of Work, Health and Disability’, which sets out details of a lifecourse approach to improving employment opportunities for people with a Learning Disability

In addition:

  • We are introducing 200 Community Partners into Jobcentres - these are external appointments with experience of disability who will engage with disabled people, Jobcentre Plus staff and local employers to strengthen the support we offer disabled people seeking work, including those with learning disabilities.

  • Supported Employment “place and train” will be delivered through the Local Supported Employment initiative. A key element of this is the use of Job Carving, which involves working with an employer to create a job which meets the employer’s needs and can be done by a person with a learning disability.

  • The Supported Work Experience proof of concepts will offer young disabled people, including young people with learning disabilities, the opportunity to take part in short work experience placements.

  • Access to Work has put in place a Hidden Impairment Support Team that aims to give advice and guidance to help employers understand how they can support employees with conditions like a Learning Disability.

  • DWP’s Disability Confident campaign has achieved commitments from over 5000 employers. DWP is requiring all its large contractors to be Disability Confident Leaders within 12 months from Jan 2017 and all main Government departments are now signed up to Disability Confident, ensuring that Government’s contracted services become better employers of people with disabilities, including learning disabilities.
20 Nov 2017, 3:57 p.m. Public Sector: Pay Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the pay review bodies that determine public sector pay.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

In line with 2016 Cabinet Office guidance, departments conduct regular tailored reviews of pay review bodies and their status as non-departmental public bodies.

An example of a regular tailored review completed by a department of its pay review body can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-pay-review-body-triennial-review-2014

13 Nov 2017, 6:35 p.m. Archives: Public Interest Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what definition her Department uses for the phrase archiving in the public interest.

Answer (Matt Hancock)

We recognise the importance of the permanent preservation of archives for long-term public benefit by museums, galleries, archives and libraries. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Bill permit such organisations to process personal data (including sensitive personal data) without consent, where necessary for “archiving purposes in the public interest”, subject to appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of data subjects. It also exempts archiving services from complying with certain rights of data subjects (for example, rights to access, rectify or erase their data), where the exercise of such rights would seriously impair or prevent them from fulfilling their objectives.

‘Archiving in the public interest’ is a new term in data protection law. The Data Protection Act 1998 made no express reference to it and it is not defined in the GDPR, but Recital 158 to the GDPR may help to understand it. It says:

“Public authorities or public or private bodies that hold records of public interest should be services which, pursuant to Union or Member State law, have a legal obligation to acquire, preserve, appraise, arrange, describe, communicate, promote, disseminate and provide access to records of enduring public value for general public interest.”

This is likely to apply to a wide variety of community, private, public sector, charitable/trust and voluntary sector archives. It could also include archives that may be closed to researchers at the present time, but which would become accessible at some future date, and archives which are held in analogue or digital format. The definition would not, however, cover organisations which gather and use data, information and records purely for their own commercial gain or that have no enduring public value.

We recognise that concerns have been raised about the reference in the Recital to archiving organisations being under a ‘legal obligation’ to archive. While this may reflect the archival system in some other EU member states, it does not reflect the position in the UK. Many smaller archives, particularly in the private sector, are unlikely to have any statutory obligations to archive.

We do not think the best approach is to create new statutory duties requiring organisations to archive. This could force organisations to archive that had no intention or means of doing so. Instead, we want to reassure bona fide archiving services that they will be able to continue to process personal data for the purposes of archiving in the public interest, regardless of whether they have a statutory obligation to do so. The reasons for this are:

  • Recitals act as explanatory notes to European regulations and have no direct legal effect. They may be taken into account by regulators and the courts when interpreting and applying the law, but they are not the law.
  • In any event Recital 158 should be read in conjunction with Recital 41 which says that “where this regulation refers to a legal basis or legislative measure, this does not necessarily require a legislative act adopted by a parliament”, providing that such a legal basis is clear and precise and its application is foreseeable to persons subject to it.
  • In the UK, most archives operate on a permissive basis under the general provisions of common law or statutory permissive powers, such as the British Library Act 1972 or the Local Government (Records) Act 1962. It may be open to organisations to rely on such a basis to satisfy the requirements of Recital 158.
  • Where there are no clear permissive powers, organisations may still be able to point to funding agreements, management agreements or constitutional documents which set out the purposes of the archive, particularly if the failure to adhere to such purposes could have legal or quasi-legal effects, for example for a body’s charitable status. Although this may not amount to a statutory obligation to archive, it would give organisations a legal basis upon which to rely.
  • Up until now, organisations responsible for archiving may have relied on exemptions from subject access rights under the ‘historical research’ provisions in section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998. These provisions will continue in the new Data Protection Bill, and have not been abolished by GDPR. Most of the exemptions from data subjects’ rights in relation to archiving also exist in relation to historical research. If archiving services cannot confidently rely on the exemptions for archiving in the public interest, they may be able to rely on exemptions for historical research as an alternative. We recognise that there is some debate about this point within the sector because some archives may not exist for historical research purposes. In that case, a legal basis for archiving will be needed, but it does not need to be statutory.
20 Oct 2017, 11:41 a.m. Parking Offences: Wales Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether the power to legislate to make parking on the pavement an offence in Wales is a reserved or devolved matter.

Answer (Alun Cairns)

Road traffic offences are not devolved under the current conferred model of Welsh devolution, and will be reserved under the new reserved powers model which comes into effect on 1 April 2018. This means that whilst the National Assembly for Wales cannot legislate to make parking on the pavement a traffic offence it could legislate to make it a traffic contravention subject to civil enforcement.

19 Oct 2017, 1:50 p.m. Hinkley Point C Power Station: South Wales Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how he plans to ensure the safety of the South Wales coastline in relation to potential effect of radioactive sediment from the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant.

Answer (Richard Harrington)

Licensing for marine disposal of sediments around the South Wales coastline is a devolved matter for Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government. Nuclear safety and environmental protection are of paramount importance to the UK Government. The UK has a strong regulatory system and companies involved in the civil nuclear industry are required to meet robust standards overseen by independent regulators.

19 Oct 2017, 1:44 p.m. Hinkley Point C Power Station: South Wales Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of radioactive sediment from the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant on the South Wales coastline.

Answer (Richard Harrington)

Licensing for marine disposal of sediments around the South Wales coastline is a devolved matter for Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government. Nuclear safety and environmental protection are of paramount importance to the UK Government. The UK has a strong regulatory system and companies involved in the civil nuclear industry are required to meet robust standards overseen by independent regulators.

19 Oct 2017, 1:41 p.m. Hinkley Point C Power Station: South Wales Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had discussions with the Welsh Government on minimising any potential effect of radioactive sediment from the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant on the South Wales coastline.

Answer (Richard Harrington)

Licensing for marine disposal of sediments around the South Wales coastline is a devolved matter for Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government. Nuclear safety and environmental protection are of paramount importance to the UK Government. The UK has a strong regulatory system and companies involved in the civil nuclear industry are required to meet robust standards overseen by independent regulators.

19 Oct 2017, 12:20 p.m. Action Fraud: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the National Cyber Security Strategy, how much funding has been allocated to the Action Fraud helpline.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

In November 2016 the Government published a new five year National Cyber Security
Strategy 2016 - 2021, which defines our vision and ambition for the future: a UK that is
secure and resilient to cyber threats. The strategy is being implemented through the
National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP), which allocates transformative investment to
lead government departments to support delivery of the objectives set out in the strategy.

In 2017/18, we have committed £30 million of NCSP money for law enforcement and
combating cyber crime. Of this, £4,801,300 has been allocated to the City of London
Police, which includes £3,200,000 funding specifically for Action Fraud.

In 2016/17, the City of London Police received £3,153,296 NCSP funding, of which
£2,775,000 was spent on funding for Action Fraud.

The Home Office also separately funds the Action Fraud/ National Fraud Intelligence
Bureau (NFIB) capability. In 2016/17 this totalled £7,443,000. £8 million has been
allocated to this capability in 2017/18.

16 Oct 2017, 4:16 p.m. Batten Disease: Brineura Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to make Brineura (cerliponase alfa) accessible for sufferers of Batten's disease.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Brineura (Cerliponase alfa) for treating Batten’s disease (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2) was referred to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for appraisal on 1 March 2017 under the highly specialised technologies programme. NICE is developing guidance which is currently scheduled for publication in June 2018.

NICE develops authoritative, evidence-based guidance on best practice for the National Health Service. NICE operates with a high degree of independence from Government and is responsible for the recommendations that it makes to the NHS. Its guidance is based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and is developed through engagement with stakeholders.

16 Oct 2017, 10:10 a.m. Cybercrime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the cyber security standards set out in paragraph 5.3.11 of the National Cyber Security Strategy were implemented.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government is committed to ensuring that the commitments set out in the National Cyber
Security Strategy 2016 – 2021 are carried out and that we accurately monitor and regularly report
on progress in meeting them. The Cyber Security Standards, which define the minimum security
measures that departments must implement with regards to protecting their technology and digital
services to meet HMG Security Policy Framework obligations, are due to be issued in November
2017.

10 Oct 2017, 3:09 p.m. Judges: Training Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Attorney General's oral contribution of 27 October 2016, Official Report, column 410, whether he plans to review guidance given to judges on what they may say to juries with regard to admissibility of a complainant's sexual history.

Answer (Dominic Raab)

The Attorney General and the previous Justice Secretary committed to look at how the law on the admissibility of complainants’ sexual history is operating in practice. MoJ keep all areas of criminal justice procedure under ongoing review.

Guidance with regard to admissibility of evidence is a matter that falls to the judiciary. Judicial training in England and Wales, is also the statutory responsibility of the Lord Chief Justice, and this is exercised through the Judicial College. Further advice to Crown Court judges on jury directions can be found in the Crown Court Compendium which is a Judicial College publication and is publicly available at https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/crown-court-bench-book-directing-the-jury-2/

This includes advice on the directions a judge may give to a jury to counter the risk of stereotypes and assumptions about sexual behaviour and reactions to non-consensual sexual conduct.

19 Sep 2017, 9:33 a.m. Cybercrime: Finance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the National Cyber Security Strategy, if he will list spending on each project supported by the Cyber Investment Fund.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government has allocated £10 million to establish a Cyber Innovation Fund which will support the UK’s national security requirements by providing innovative start-ups with financial and procurement support. This investment forms part of a suite of innovation initiatives within the National Cyber Security Strategy that will develop the cyber security sector and support the UK’s national security requirements in cyber. The mechanism to deliver funding is currently under evaluation in consultation with industry partners.

19 Sep 2017, 9:31 a.m. Cybercrime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the security ratings for new products set out in paragraph 5.2.6 of the National Cyber Security Strategy were implemented.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is considering the need for the right incentives to be in place to build security into internet-connected products and services. The National Cyber Security Centre website provides clear information to consumers directly and via its website, for example on the use of password managers.

19 Sep 2017, 9:30 a.m. Cybercrime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many suppliers have adopted the cyber security standards set out in paragraph 5.3.11 of the National Cyber Security Strategy.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

On 1 October 2014, Government required all suppliers bidding for specified sensitive and personal information handling contracts to be certified against the Cyber Essentials scheme. Cyber Essentials is a government-backed scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks whilst demonstrating their compliance with appropriate cyber security standards.

As of August 2017 there have been 7,907 Cyber Essentials certificates issued to UK businesses. We do not specifically track the number of certified government suppliers.

11 Sep 2017, 1:24 p.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department made of public transport provision for former Cwmbran Pension Centre staff whose posts will be relocated to North Cardiff.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

DWP conducted some early analysis based on staff home postcodes and pre-existing rail and bus timetables and timings; this was a preliminary exercise when a number of potential sites were under consideration. However, whilst the Department has identified a potential location north of Cardiff for a new strategic hub, it is not yet confirmed. It is therefore too early to determine which existing offices will move to a hub location in the future, or to make further assessment of public transport provision. The site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years.

11 Sep 2017, 12:14 p.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the closure of Cwmbran Pension Centre on local communities.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The Cwmbran Pension Centre site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years, and as such no decision has yet been made on the closure of the site. As a large employer, DWP understands the potential impact that a closure or relocation of an office may have. Generally though the economic impact of employment is dispersed beyond the specific location of a workplace – because people spend most of their money where they live. I would also add that as our estate is made up of leased buildings, the landlords may offer premises to new tenants once DWP vacate.

11 Sep 2017, 11:54 a.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what consultation was undertaken with staff at Cwmbran Pension Centre before the decision to relocate those staff to North Cardiff.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The Cwmbran Pension Centre site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years, and as such no decision has yet been made on the closure of the site or relocation of staff. However it is worth reiterating that in the future and should the decision be made to relocate jobs, there will be a period of staff consultation where they will be invited to discuss their individual circumstances.

7 Sep 2017, 4:09 p.m. Legal Profession: Training Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to his oral contribution of 27 October 2016, Official Report, column 410, whether he plans to look at guidance given by the Crown Prosecution Service to the lawyers who appear before the courts and regularly deal with applications of sexual offences.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

Specially trained rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) prosecutors are committed to robustly opposing applications pursuant to Section 41 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 where it is appropriate to do so and are assisted in this process by online legal guidance and by face-to-face training which is compulsory for all RASSO prosecutors. With a view to ensuring that performance is maintained in this important area the CPS is currently developing a new training course on the Section 41 provisions which is designed to assist both RASSO prosecutors and members of the independent Bar. The CPS is also in the process of updating legal guidance for prosecutors on rape and sexual offences which will feature a detailed section on the operation of the Section 41 provisions. The new training course and guidance will be launched later this year. As part of a wider evaluation of the operation of the Section 41 provisions I intend to look at both of these new CPS training products when they have been completed.

5 Sep 2017, 2:32 p.m. Breast Cancer: Drugs Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions his Department has had with clinicians and patient groups on improving the implementations of bisphosphonates for the prevention of secondary breast cancer.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its guidelines on the diagnosis and management of early and locally advanced breast cancer. The use of adjuvant bisphosphonates has been identified as one of the key areas that will be covered in the update which is scheduled for publication in July 2018. In the meantime, NICE will shortly be publishing an evidence summary on the use of adjuvant bisphosphonates in early breast cancer. NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to take account of NICE guidelines and local population needs when making commissioning decisions.

5 Sep 2017, 2:32 p.m. Breast Cancer: Drugs Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent progress has been made on improving the consistency of implementation of bisphosphonates for the prevention of secondary breast cancer.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its guidelines on the diagnosis and management of early and locally advanced breast cancer. The use of adjuvant bisphosphonates has been identified as one of the key areas that will be covered in the update which is scheduled for publication in July 2018. In the meantime, NICE will shortly be publishing an evidence summary on the use of adjuvant bisphosphonates in early breast cancer. NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to take account of NICE guidelines and local population needs when making commissioning decisions.

5 Sep 2017, 11:27 a.m. Personal Independence Payment: Parkinson's Disease Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with Parkinson's disease have received personal independence payment at the (a) disability living standard, (b) daily living enhanced, (c) mobility standard and (d) mobility enhanced rate since 2013.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The table below shows the Mobility and Daily Living award status of the 6,640 Personal Independence Payment awards made between April 2013 and April 2017 where the main disabling condition recorded was Parkinson’s disease.

Claimants can be eligible to receive one of or both Daily Living and Mobility components of Personal Independence Payment.

PIP Daily living and Mobility component awards made between April 2013 and April 2017 with main disabling condition recorded as Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease

Number of awards

Daily Living Award Status

a) Awarded Standard Daily Living component

2,030

b) Awarded Enhanced Daily Living component

4,530

Mobility Award Status

c) Awarded Standard Mobility component

1,650

d) Awarded Enhanced Mobility component

3,290

5 Sep 2017, 11:21 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Parkinson's Disease Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with Parkinson's disease have been placed in the (a) support group and (b) work-related activity group with a prognosis statement of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) 12 months, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years and (vi) more than two years since the introduction of employment and support allowance in 2008.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The information requested is shown in the table below.

Individuals with a main disabling condition of Parkinson’s disease placed in the Support Group (SG) or Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), by prognosis and assessment type, October 2008 to December 2016

Prognosis

Total

3 Months

6 Months

12 Months

18 Months

2 Years

In the longer term

Initial assessments

SG

2,000

-

-

200

100

300

1,300

WRAG

700

100

100

200

100

100

200

Repeat assessments

SG

1,200

-

-

100

100

200

1,000

WRAG

400

-

-

100

100

100

200

IB reassessments

SG

1,300

-

-

-

-

200

1,000

WRAG

300

-

-

-

-

100

100

Source: Application data is derived from administrative data held by the DWP and assessment data provided by the Healthcare Provider.

Notes:

  1. The figures are rounded to the nearest 100. ‘–‘denotes figures that are zero or less than 50. The total includes those with a prognosis of terminally ill and also where the prognosis is unknown.
  2. The information is provided for Work Capability Assessment decisions made from October 2008, for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and from March 2011, for Incapacity Benefit reassessments (IBR), to December 2016; the latest data available at time of request.
  3. The outcome recorded is the final DWP Decision Maker’s decision or the recommendation made by the Healthcare Professional where the Decision Maker’s decision is not yet available.
  4. An individual may have made more than one ESA claim and had more than one assessment in the time period shown. These individuals will only be counted once in each of the figures provided.
  5. The primary medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of Parkinson’s Disease would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities assessed by the work capability assessment.
5 Sep 2017, 11:13 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employment and support allowance claimants with (a) cystic fibrosis, (b) rheumatoid arthritis, (c) motor neurone disease, (d) multiple sclerosis and (e) Parkinson's disease have been (i) placed in the support group, (ii) placed in the work-related activity group and (iii) found fit for work since 2008.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The available information is shown in the following table:

Individuals placed in the Support Group (SG), Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) or found Fit for Work (FFW), by assessment type and main disabling condition October 2008 to December 2016

Initial assessments

Cystic Fibrosis

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Parkinson's Disease

Multiple Sclerosis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

SG

1,000

1,400

2,000

9,000

4,200

WRAG

100

100

700

2,700

3,600

FFW

100

-

700

2,100

4,900

Repeat assessments

SG

500

300

1,200

8,800

5,200

WRAG

100

-

400

1,700

2,900

FFW

-

-

100

500

1,500

IBR assessments

SG

600

200

1,300

16,100

6,500

WRAG

100

-

300

2,600

5,000

FFW

-

-

-

300

1,200


Source: Application data is derived from administrative data held by the DWP and assessment data provided by the Healthcare Provider.

Notes:

  1. The figures are rounded to the nearest 100. ‘–‘denotes figures that are zero or less than 50.
  2. The information is provided for Work Capability Assessment decisions made from October 2008, for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and from March 2011, for Incapacity Benefit reassessments (IBR), to December 2016; the latest data available at time of request.
  3. The outcome recorded is the final DWP Decision Maker’s decision or the recommendation made by the Healthcare Professional where the Decision Maker’s decision is not yet available.
  4. An individual may have made more than one ESA claim and had more than one assessment in the time period shown. These individuals will only be counted once in each of the figures provided.
  5. The Department uses the International Classification of Diseases Disease code, 10th Revision (ICD(10)) published by the World Health Organisation, for causes of incapacity. http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en - Motor Neurone Disease is recorded under the Spinal Muscular Atrophy and related syndromes category.
  6. The primary medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of Cystic Fibrosis would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities assessed by the work capability assessment.
5 Sep 2017, 10:50 a.m. Children: Poverty Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of children were living in poverty in Torfaen in each year for which data is available.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

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

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

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

25 Jul 2017, 1:34 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people in Torfaen constituency had personal independence payments overturned as a result of (a) mandatory reconsideration and (b) an appeal hearing in each of the last five years for which data is available.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The latest available data on personal independence payment (PIP) clearances split by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn) can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html

Table 1 below shows the number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Mandatory Reconsideration decisions where the award was changed by year since the introduction of PIP in the Parliamentary Constituencies of Torfaen, Delyn and Jarrow.

Table 1 - Number of Mandatory Reconsiderations decisions where the award changed by financial year of decision.

Year of Mandatory Reconsideration

2013/14

2014/ 15

2015/ 16

2016/ 17

2017/18 (April 17 only)

Total

Torfaen

Less than 5

80

70

110

20

280

Delyn

Less than 5

30

30

60

10

130

Jarrow

Less than 5

20

40

80

10

150

Tables 2-4 below show the Number of appeals found in favour of appellant by financial year, data from Ministry of Justice.

Table 2

Jarrow1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

0

0%

2014-153

PIP4

15

58%5

2015-163

PIP4

76

49%

2016-173

PIP4

123

51%

Table 3

Torfaen constituency1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

Less than 5

Less than 5

2014-153

PIP4

80

69%

2015-163

PIP4

488

74%

2016-173

PIP4

516

70%

Table 4

Delyn constituency1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

0

0%

2014-153

PIP4

22

42%

2015-163

PIP4

194

52%

2016-173

PIP4

479

67%

1 Social Security and Child Support data are attributed to the hearing venue nearest to the appellants’ home address. For appellants living in Jarrow appeals are attributed to the South Shields venue. For appellants identified as living in Torfaen Constituency this would be Langstone Tribunal venue. For appellants identified as living in Delyn Constituency this would be this would be either Prestatyn or Wrexham Tribunal Venues.

2. Percentage Found in favour of Appellant this is based on the number found in favour as a percentage of the appeals cleared at hearing. In line with the published stats, data are not available at a level more-detailed than hearing venue.

3 By financial year - from April to March.

4 PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 to 64 and rolled out from 8 April 2013. As such, appeal volumes in HM Courts & Tribunals Service in the Year 2013-2014 are low.

5 Indicates the population where the decision was in favour with 30 appeals or less

24 Jul 2017, 12:24 p.m. Metropolitan Police: Safer Neighbourhood Teams Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many metropolitan police officers there were serving in Greater London in Safer Neighbourhood Teams in (a) 2011 and (b) 2016.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of officers primarily employed in Neighbourhood Policing/Safer Neighbourhood roles by police force area.

The number of full time equivalent police officers in the Metropolitan Police,

primarily employed in Neighbourhood Policing/Safer Neighbourhood roles, can be found in the data tables published alongside the annual ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales

Data as at 31 March 2016 can be found in Table F4 of the police workforce statistics published in July 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/544954/police-workforce-tabs-jul16.ods

Previous data were collected under a different framework, with different definitions. Therefore, data prior to 31 March 2015 are not directly comparable with later years. Although some functions may appear to be similar between the two, there are often differences in definitions, and so any attempts to compare across the two frameworks should be done with caution. Data under the old framework have been published since 2012, and can be found in the supplementary data tables of the relevant police workforce publications via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales

Officers with multiple responsibilities or designations are recorded under their primary function. The data do not therefore provide a complete picture of all officers assigned to neighbourhood policing functions. A more reliable measure is the number of officers employed in ‘Local policing’ roles, which includes both neighbourhood and response functions. This measure is available for 2015 and 2016, but not for previous years where a different framework was used.

Any comparisons at force level should be made with care due to collaboration arrangements between forces for particular functions. Additionally, police functions data are often affected by re-structuring within police forces. Therefore comparisons over time for specific functions should be made with care.

24 Jul 2017, 12:23 p.m. Counter-terrorism: Police Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers were assigned to counter-terrorism duties in (a) 2011 and (b) 2016.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects and publishes police workforce data annually on the number of officers primarily employed in Counter Terrorism/Special Branch roles as part of the Police workforce, England and Wales statistical bulletin. This can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales.

Data as at 31 March 2016 can be found in Table F4 of the police workforce statistics published in July 2016 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/544954/police-workforce-tabs-jul16.ods and record that 3,888 officers were designated as primarily involved in counter-terrorism or Special Branch.

This figure does not include all officers supporting counter-terrorism work and excludes many of those posts funded separately by the Counter-Terrorism Policing Grant and those in some national counter-terrorism functions. For reasons of national security, we do not publish the number or location of posts funded by the Counter-Terrorism Policing Grant. The published figures do not, therefore, reflect the total number of officers assigned to counter-terrorism policing.

Previous data were collected under a different framework, with different definitions. Therefore, data prior to 31 March 2015 are not directly comparable with later years. Although some functions may appear to be similar between the two frameworks, there are often differences in definitions, and so any attempts to compare across the two should be done with caution. Data under the old framework have been published since 2012, and can be found in the supplementary data tables of the relevant police workforce publications via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales

Any comparisons at force level should be made with care due to collaboration arrangements between forces for particular functions. Additionally, police functions data are often affected by re-structuring within police forces. Therefore comparisons over time for specific functions should be made with care.

24 Jul 2017, 12:22 p.m. Metropolitan Police Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to reduce the number of police officers in the Metropolitan Police Force during the course of the current Parliament.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The 2015 Spending Review protected overall police spending in real terms, and the 2017/18 police funding settlement maintained that protection.

It is a local decision for Police and Crime Commissioners, working with Chief Constables, to determine the composition and size of their workforce.

20 Jul 2017, 4:37 p.m. Energy: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of people in Torfaen constituency who are customers on the poorest value energy tariff.

Answer (Margot James)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) run a quarterly survey of domestic electricity and gas suppliers. This survey has coverage of around 85 per cent of the market. Data is supplied to BEIS, on numbers of customers by tariff, by region, and by payment type, but as this data is supplied in confidence, individual tariff or company data cannot be made publically available.

Aggregate statistics are produced and published as part of our quarterly energy prices (QEP) publication. In quarter 1 2017, we estimate 66 per cent of standard electricity and 65 per cent of gas customers were on variable tariffs. Our current methodology does not breakdown standard variable tariffs from other variable tariffs or by constituency. Data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/quarterly-domestic-energy-price-statistics

20 Jul 2017, 4:25 p.m. Nigeria: Education Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has plans to increase the proportion of the Government's international aid budget spent on education in Nigeria.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

The education budget in Nigeria is likely to remain around the same proportion as it is currently. The UK is establishing an education in emergencies programme in North-East Nigeria which is supporting delivery of education during the crisis, in addition to the current education portfolio.

20 Jul 2017, 4:24 p.m. Nigeria: Education Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to support the provision of education for the children of Nigeria.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

UK supported education programmes are delivering school improvements, addressing barriers that girls face in attending schools, improving teacher development systems and generating evidence on what works to improve learning outcomes for children. They have delivered these services to over 7 million children across 11 states in Nigeria since 2010.

20 Jul 2017, 4:23 p.m. Nigeria: Education Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the Government's international aid budget is spent on education in Nigeria.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

The UK spent £30.2 million on education programmes in 2016/17 which represents around 10% of DFID's bilateral support to Nigeria.

20 Jul 2017, 1:16 p.m. Public Sector: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of people in Torfaen constituency worked in the public sector in each year for which data is available.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

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

20 Jul 2017, 12:49 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of constituents in Torfaen constituency who were categorised as lifelong recipients of disability living allowance were subsequently judged as ineligible for personal independence payments in each year for which data is available.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

18 Jul 2017, 2:25 p.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the National Cyber Security Centre has to help universities (a) fight organised cyber-crime and (b) further prevent a cyber-attack.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

We launched our five year National Cyber Security Strategy in 2016 to ensure that the UK has the right capability and capacity to defend our people, businesses, and assets; deter our adversaries; and develop the skills and capabilities we need across all sectors.

The NCSC regularly publishes advice and guidance for securing organisations’ networks operating in the UK, including universities, and it works closely with law enforcement partners to tackle all forms of cyber-crime.

18 Jul 2017, 2:23 p.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, in what ways the National Cyber Security Centre interacts with Government Departments; and whether that Centre meets regularly with those Departments.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) regularly works with Government Departments and agencies to provide authoritative and coherent advice on how to protect their networks and manage the cyber risks to the data they hold. The NCSC has dedicated engagement teams which cover all economic sectors and departments. The NCSC draws on these relationships when coordinating the government’s response to national level cyber security incidents.

18 Jul 2017, 2:22 p.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will ensure that regular reviews of the National Cyber Security Centre take place and the outcomes of those reviews are placed in the Library.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reports quarterly to the Cyber and Government Security Directorate (CGSD) of the Cabinet Office on the delivery of its objectives against the National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS). CGSD manages the five-year National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP), and sets policy for Government.

18 Jul 2017, 2:22 p.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to measure the effectiveness of the National Cyber Security Centre; and whether any targets have been set by his Department.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reports quarterly to the Cyber and Government Security Directorate (CGSD) of the Cabinet Office on the delivery of its objectives against the National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS). CGSD manages the five-year National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP), and sets policy for Government.

13 Jul 2017, 2:53 p.m. Cybercrime Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to help the public to protect themselves against the threat of cyber-crime.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

Cyber security, including cyber crime, is a top priority threat to national security. This is why the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 is supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.

The NCSP funds the Cyber Aware campaign which works with a range of public and private sector partners to encourage the public (and Small and Medium Enterprises) to adopt more secure online behaviour like using a strong separate password for your email account and downloading the latest software updates.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was launched on 1 October 2016. The Centre provides a single, central body for cyber security at a national level. It will help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online and acts as a bridge between industry and government, providing a unified source of advice and support on cyber security, including the management of cyber security incidents.

The NCSC are developing a series of Active Cyber Defence measures, to be implemented by industry, that aim to automatically protect UK internet users from the vast majority of high-volume/ low–sophistication cyber attacks. These measures will block, disrupt and neutralise malicious cyber activity before it reaches users.

The UK Government can’t do this alone. The private sector has a crucial role and a responsibility in countering cyber crime so that the UK is one of the safest places to do business online and in which the public are protected.

12 Jul 2017, 4:35 p.m. National Cyber Security Centre: Pay Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employees of the National Cyber Security Centre are included in the one per cent public sector pay cap.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

NCSC staff are subject to the same control on average public sector pay awards which applies across the public sector.

The Government greatly values the important work that public servants do in delivering essential public services.

Our policy on public sector pay balances the importance of recruiting and retaining high-quality people in our public services with making sure that our public finances remain sustainable, so that we can continue to see the improvements in our public services that we have seen under this Government. This approach has not changed and the Government will continually assess that balance.

12 Jul 2017, 11:33 a.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans are in place for the National Cyber Security Centre to assist companies in fighting against organised cyber-crime and preventing cyber-attacks.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The cyber security of the UK is a top priority for Government. The Government are investing £1.9 billion in the National Cyber Security Strategy and have opened the National Cyber Security Centre who work with law enforcement and with public and private sector organisations to make the UK the safest place for everyone to live and do business online.

The NCSC provides guidance and advice on its website to a wide range of organisations including companies of all sizes. Advice is tailored to the type and size of company, with specific guidance being produced for small businesses. NCSC works closely with the National Crime Agency (NCA), Regional Organised Crime Units in awareness raising and, for example, NCA and NCSC recently published a joint assessment on the Cyber Threat to UK Business. NCSC also partners with Law Enforcement in responding to and investigating serious instances of cyber crime.

12 Jul 2017, 11:32 a.m. National Cyber Security Centre Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans are in place for the National Cyber Security Centre to assist schools in fighting against organised cyber-crime and preventing cyber-attacks.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The cyber security of the UK is a top priority for Government. The NCSC provides guidance and advice on its website to a wide range of organisations including schools. NCSC technical experts provide a range of advice and guidance on the website on topics such as passwords, ransomware, malicious advertisements, phishing, and device security. This guidance and advice will continue to be developed in response to technological changes, assessment of risk and cyber security incidents.

NCSC is also building for the future, working with DCMS and DfE to grow a skills pipeline via its CyberFirst initiatives.

12 Jul 2017, 11:31 a.m. National Cyber Security Centre: Staff Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people are employed at the National Cyber Security Centre; and what estimate he has made of changes to that number in each of the next five years.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was established formally on 3 October 2016. At that time, the NCSC had a team of approximately 700 people. For reasons of National Security, we will not be providing further releases on staff numbers.