Nicola Richards Portrait

Nicola Richards

Conservative - West Bromwich East

1,593 (4.4%) majority - 2019 General Election

First elected: 12th December 2019


Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill
3rd May 2023 - 23rd May 2023
Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 14th Dec 2022
Education Committee
7th Sep 2021 - 29th Mar 2022
Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill
2nd Feb 2022 - 8th Feb 2022
Glue Traps (Offences) Bill
12th Jan 2022 - 19th Jan 2022
Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill
15th Dec 2021 - 5th Jan 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
16th Sep 2021 - 4th Nov 2021
Women and Equalities Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 2nd Nov 2021
Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill (England and Wales)
27th Oct 2021 - 28th Oct 2021
Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Bill
22nd Sep 2021 - 27th Oct 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Nicola Richards has voted in 936 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Nicola Richards voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Nicola Richards voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Nicola Richards voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
27 Jun 2023 - Schools (Gender and Parental Rights) - View Vote Context
Nicola Richards voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative No votes vs 25 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 34 Noes - 40
View All Nicola Richards Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(21 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(10 debate interactions)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative)
President of the Board of Trade
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(30 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Nicola Richards's debates

West Bromwich East Petitions

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

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

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

Nicola Richards has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Nicola Richards

Nicola Richards has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Nicola Richards, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Nicola Richards has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Nicola Richards has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Nicola Richards has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help tackle the use of rape as a weapon of war in Ukraine.

We are working closely with the Ukrainian government on tackling conflict-related sexual violence, including through UK expertise to support investigations through the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group and the International Criminal Court.

As part of the UK's £220 million of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, we are helping ensure legal support and crisis accommodation for victims and documentation of gender-based violence cases.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Commission has made of the impact of reduced visitor numbers to the parliamentary estate due to covid-19 restrictions on the House of Commons' finances.

In 2020/21 the closure of the estate to visitors, along with the much-reduced number of people working onsite, significantly affected income. In 2020/21 income from tours reduced by £2.4 million. Many tours staff were reassigned to other roles so there was no clear offsetting saving. The impact on catering and retail was a net increase in costs of £4.6 million (catering) and £0.85 million (retail). With no education visits spending on the transport subsidy for schools was reduced by £0.6m.

Financial year

HoC income from paid-for tours (£m)

2018–19 (a)

1.9

2019–20 (a)

2.1

2020–21 (b)

*0.0

(a) Taken from House of Commons Administration Annual Report and Accounts for 2019–20.

(b) Taken from House of Commons Administration Annual Report and Accounts for 2020–21. See below for explanation of the figure.

*The House of Commons had budgeted to receive £2.4 million in income from tours in 2020–21 but, in the event, there was no income because tours were cancelled. It is important to note that this is income foregone, which is not the same as a net loss. (We noted on page 27 of the accounts that the loss in income is a gross figure; many tours staff were reassigned to other roles so there was no clear offsetting saving.)


In 2021 commercial tours, along with public access to retail and catering outlets, restarted over the summer. Income and expenditure in these areas continue to be closely monitored, as with all House of Commons 2021/22 budgets.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Commission has made of the mental health implications of requiring MPs' and House staff to work from home.

The House of Commons Commission has implemented relevant Government guidance which at times required individuals to work from home. Since legal restrictions were lifted no member of House staff has been required to work from home where this would have an impact on their health.

Arrangements for their staff are a matter for the Member as the employer, who likewise have been able to allow their staff to work on the estate once legal restrictions were lifted where there was a health need.

The health and wellbeing of all on the estate remains the highest priority for the Commission. A range of services are offered by the House to support the wellbeing of Members and staff, including:

  • Mental Health Guidance, including Mental Health: A Guide for Managers
  • Wellness Action Plans
  • In partnership with Mind – a number of additional resources recognising the impact of Coronavirus on individuals
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Occupational Health, Wellbeing & Medical Services


Through the use of these tools suitable arrangements for an individual can be put in place based on their specific circumstances.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many members of House of Commons staff have been made redundant because of Parliament's reduced income during the covid-19 outbreak.

No staff have been made redundant. Staff have been redeployed to alternative roles as required.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the House Service has made of the number of potential redundancies among parliamentary staff which are consequential to (a) the closure of catering and hospitality venues and (b) restrictions placed on the number of visitors to the parliamentary estate.

No redundancies have been made, or are expected, consequential to (a) the closure of catering and hospitality venues and (b) restrictions placed on the number of visitors to the parliamentary estate.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress her Department has made in tackling discrimination against people with hidden disabilities in (a) West Bromwich East and (b) England to ensure that they feel valued in (i) the job market and (ii) society.

We are clear that the Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer or potential employer to discriminate against a disabled person because of their disability. Specifically, the Act requires employers to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the disabled employee’s job or application for a job.

The Government has put in place a range of provisions to help disabled people find and stay in work across the country. Our programmes include Access to Work, Disability Confident, specialised employment support including the Work and Health Programme and the Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme.

In addition, the Government is ensuring that disabled people, including people with hidden disabilities have access to public services, such as access to the Blue Badge scheme for parking, Changing Places toilet facilities, and accessible communications. The Government, via the Cabinet Office Disability Unit, is supporting the British Standards Institution, in its development of a public information symbol to support disabled people with non-visible disabilities.

We will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People to ensure that all disabled people can play a full role in society. The Strategy will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
17th May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had recent discussions with her Qatari counterpart on (a) businesses in that country having links to Hamas and (b) the potential impact of those links on the level of risk for British business partners.

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

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has had recent discussions with (a) the Mental Health Foundation, (b) the Antisemitism Policy Trust and (c) other civil society organisations on the regulation of online forums that allow the sharing of (i) detailed instructional information about methods of suicide and (ii) other (A) dangerous and (B) hateful content; and whether she plans further such discussions.

The Secretary of State and department officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society groups, on online safety issues. During the development and passage of the Online Safety Act, the department and Ministers met with relevant civil society organisations to discuss issues such as suicide prevention and countering online hate and violence, to ensure the legislation took into account as broad a range of views as possible.

Following the Act gaining Royal Assent, there is ongoing engagement with relevant stakeholders as the legislation is implemented by Ofcom, the online safety regulator.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to small and medium sized businesses facing increased electricity costs in winter 2021-22.

The Government recognises this is a worrying time for businesses facing pressures due to the significant increases in prices. Extensive engagement continues across government at both a ministerial and official level on this situation to understand, and to help mitigate the impacts of, high global energy prices. The Government’s priority is to ensure costs are managed and energy supplies maintained.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish details of his Department’s support for pubs and restaurants in areas under tier 3 covid-19 restrictions during the Christmas period.

We are providing hospitality businesses in Tiers 2 and 3 with a wide package of support to help them through the current crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants and additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses. On 1 December, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister also announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3.

6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the financial viability of (a) swimming pools and (b) other public leisure facilities.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to leisure facilities, including swimming pools, which are great spaces for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy, and which play an important role within communities.

The ongoing responsibility of providing access to public leisure facilities lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to invest in leisure facilities.

Sport England has invested £9,564,322 in swimming and diving projects since April 2019, which includes £6,260,502 to Swim England. This is in addition to the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country after the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to support residents in Living Well Street in Greets Green, West Bromwich to tackle slow internet speeds.

Living Well Street is currently not in any rollout plans via the local body, the Black Country LEP. While not eligible for our Rural Gigabit Vouchers, this helpful checker provides several local suppliers who are able to deliver to this area which residents may find useful (https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/#suppliers).

The government has the ambition of providing nationwide gigabit-capable connectivity as soon as possible. The government will continue to take action to remove barriers to commercial network rollout, and will ensure that those in the hardest to reach areas are not left behind. £5 billion of funding has been allocated to invest in the hardest to reach areas of the UK, ensuring that all residents will have access to the digital connectivity they need and deserve. Further details of the £5 billion programme will be published in due course. As of 27 August, 26% of UK premises have access to gigabit-capable speeds; however while this is good progress, I realise there is still much more to do.

The government also introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) on 20 March 2020. The USO gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. The government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps. Further information can be found at this address: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/broadband-uso-need-to-know.

However, the vast majority of premises in urban areas such as Living Well Street are likely to be able to access a 4G or 5G mobile data service that provides USO level speeds or higher and so therefore will not qualify for assistance under the Universal Service Obligation. According to the Ofcom mobile availability checker, residents in Living Well Street can access a 4G connection across all four of the mobile network operators.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support his Department is providing to (a) self-employed and (b) freelance workers in the entertainment and events supply chain industry unable to return to work during the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS recognises the crucial role that individuals play in the UK’s entertainment and events industry, and that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many individuals operating in these sectors.

The Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors which will benefit self-employed and freelance workers by providing support to music venues and many other organisations in the Creative Industries that host live events, to stay open and continue operating.

To complement the funding for organisations made available by Government, Arts Council England (ACE) have announced £95m of additional support for individuals, including freelancers. This involves:

  • An additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups. Freelancers and National Portfolio Organisations are eligible to apply.

  • A further round of the ACE programme ‘Discover Your Creative Practice’ will open in the autumn. This will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career.

  • ACE will also be adding £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

We are committed to continuing to work with the entertainment and events sectors to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department has provided to international students studying in the UK during the covid-19 outbreak to help mitigate for the diminished opportunities available to those students to undertake casual work alongside their studies.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak has had unparalleled impact on all elements of the global and UK economy, and this academic year has been difficult for all students.

To protect students at this unprecedented time, particularly those who may have been planning to undertake a part time job, we have made an additional £85 million of student hardship funding available to higher education providers in the 2020/21 academic year. This is in addition to the £256 million of government funded student premium funding already available to higher education (HE) providers to draw on for this academic year, 2020/21.

Providers have flexibility in how they distribute this funding to their students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. Support can include help for students, including international students and postgraduates, facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location or assistance to help students access teaching remotely.

The current measures aim to target support for students in greatest need, and we have been consistently clear that if an international student needs to request access to hardship funds through their provider due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, they can be confident in expressing these concerns to their provider without any impact on their immigration status.

The HE sector has also led some valuable work in this area. For example, Universities UK international published guidance for universities to support international students in financial hardship, and in March they wrote to all UK-based embassies to ensure international students are aware of the support available to them if required. This guidance is available here: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/guidance-support-international-student-hardship-pandemic.aspx/.

To further support students in finding work post-graduation, the department has worked with the HE sector to understand what more we can do to support graduates who are looking to enter the labour market at this challenging time. In response, we have developed the Graduate Employment and Skills Guide, which was published on Monday 10 May 2021 on the Office for Students website. The guide signposts graduates to public, private and voluntary sector opportunities, to help students build employability skills, gain work experience or enter the labour market, as well as providing links to further study options and resources on graduate mental health and wellbeing.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to introduce misogyny and the treatment of women onto the national curriculum in Personal, Social, Health and Economic education for children aged 11 to 16.

The Department wants to support all young people to lead happy, healthy and safe lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference. That is why the Department has made the new subjects of Relationships Education (for primary school pupils), Relationships and Sex Education (for secondary school pupils) and Health Education (for all pupils in state-funded schools) compulsory from September 2020.

The relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) statutory guidance specifically advises schools to be alive to issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes, and to take positive action to tackle these issues. Statutory guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

In primary schools, age-appropriate relationships education involves supporting children to learn about what healthy relationships are and their importance, as well as how to develop mutually respectful relationships in all contexts, including online. In secondary schools, relationships education broadens to become age-appropriate relationships and sex education and will include factual knowledge around sex, sexual health, and sexuality, set firmly within the context of relationships.

Specifically, at secondary school pupils should be taught about the concepts of and laws relating to sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation.

To support teachers to deliver these topics safely and with confidence we have produced RSHE Teacher Training Modules which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. Each module covers safeguarding to make sure teachers, pastoral staff and the designated safeguarding lead are equipped to deal with sensitive discussions and potential disclosures.

8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to bring forward the ban on electric shock collars.

We plan to introduce regulations soon which will prohibit the use of remote controlled electronic training collars that deliver an electric shock to cats and dogs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse of case R (The Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association and Petsafe) v DEFRA was; and when she plans to introduce the ban on electric shock collars.

We have not made an assessment of the costs to the Department in responding to this case, which was concluded in Defra’s favour. We plan to introduce regulations soon which will prohibit the use of remote controlled electronic training collars that deliver an electric shock to cats and dogs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the amount of raw sewage being discharged into the UK's waterways.

Tackling the harm caused by sewer overflows is a top priority for this department.

I have met water company CEOs and made clear that the volume of sewage discharged into rivers and other waterways in extreme weather must be reduced.

To achieve this, the new Storm Overflows Taskforce - bringing together the Government, the water industry, regulators and environmental NGOs - has agreed to set a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows. The Taskforce is meeting regularly and working on plans to make progress towards that goal, and has commissioned research to gather evidence on the costs, benefits and feasibility of different options.

As announced on 11 May, we are putting forward amendments to the Environment Bill that will help to reduce the harm that storm overflows cause to our waterways. We are introducing new duties that will require the Government to publish a plan by September 2022 to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows and to report progress to Parliament on implementing that plan. We are also introducing duties requiring water companies and the Environment Agency to publish data on storm overflow operations on an annual basis. These legally binding obligations on water companies and the Government will reduce pollution in rivers – protecting wildlife and public health.

Water companies are currently committed in the 5-year business planning period (2020-25) to a significant programme of improvements to the monitoring and management of storm overflows at a cost of around £1.1 billion. This investment includes undertaking 800 investigations and 798 improvement schemes to provide environmental improvements by reducing spills from frequently spilling overflows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on fresh flower sellers of potential tariff imposition in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The UK Government intends to achieve an FTA with the EU by December 2020. We therefore do not expect the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) to apply to EU imports. The Political Declaration sets an aim for “a zero tariff and zero quota FTA”. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the cost pressures and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK.

The Government wants a free trade deal, based on friendly cooperation. The UK is a significant importer of goods from the EU, and avoiding tariffs would be beneficial to both sides, given our shared commitment to high regulatory standards We will publish more analysis in the Taxation Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on whether (a) Diamond Bus, (b) Sandwell Council and (c) Transport for West Midlands received a (i) bus service operator and (ii) bus recovery grant in each of the last three years.

Diamond Bus is a commercial bus operator and recovery funding provided to them by the Department for Transport through the Bus Recovery Grant is commercially sensitive. Diamond Bus Ltd received £1,600,478.60 in 19/20, £1,264,742.20 in 20/21 and £1,712,055.34 in 21/22 through the Bus Service Operator Grant.

Transport for West Midlands oversees transport in Sandwell Council and all funding provided to them under the Bus Service Operators Grant and Bus Recovery Grant is paid to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). WMCA has received £1,792,259 annually since 2013 through the Bus Service Operator Grant. WMCA have been allocated £7.3m from March 2020 to October 2022 to support services through the pandemic, of which they received £4.2 million via Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant, £1.2 million via Bus Recovery Grant and £1.9 million from the Local Transport Fund.

The Department for Transport also provided funding to WMCA to support its bus network for the duration of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. WMCA therefore also received an additional £23.4m under the Network Stabilisation Fund and Network Planning Fund which can be used to maintain bus services.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 23 February 2023 to Question 147435 on HIV Infection: Screening, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of opt-out blood-borne virus testing in ambulance and emergency departments in areas with a high prevalence of HIV in London.

NHS England has committed £20 million between 2022 and 2025 to fund the expansion of HIV opt-out testing in accident and emergency (A&E) departments in areas with extremely high HIV prevalence. To further maximise the opportunity afforded by the funding for HIV opt-out testing, NHS England decided to implement a combined blood borne viruses (BBV) approach to include Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C testing alongside HIV. The NHS England London region took a decision to include all A&E departments in London the project, some of which were high HIV prevalence areas.

Data from NHS England indicates that this BBV opt-out testing initiative has helped find more than 900 people unaware they are living with HIV, or not accessing HIV care and over 2500 people living with, or not accessing care for Hepatitis B and over 1000 people living with or not accessing care for Hepatitis C during the first 18 months of the programme.

On 9 November 2023, the UK Health Security Agency published an evaluation of the first year of the BBV opt-out testing in A&E departments in local areas with extremely high HIV prevalence. Findings show that the programme has made a significant contribution to BBV testing in England with more than half the number of tests done in the programme compared to BBV tests in other settings.

After careful consideration of the available evidence, the Government has now also committed £20 million to fund new research, commissioned through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), that will involve an expansion and evaluation of BBV opt out testing in a further 47 emergency departments, in high prevalence HIV areas across England (2 or more HIV cases per 1,000 residents). Funding will support 12 months of testing for each emergency department, to begin during the next financial year.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a breakdown of the number of people with HIV are not retained in care by (a) NHS region, (b) Integrated Care System, (c) NHS Trust, and (d) local authority.

This information is not held in the format requested.

The number of people not retained in care is included in the HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework published on 1 December 2022 which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hiv-monitoring-and-evaluation-framework/hiv-action-plan-monitoring-and-evaluation-framework

The following table shows the number of people not attending care for at least 15 months in 2019 to 2021.

2019

2020

2021

Number of people not attending care for at least 15 months

2,519

4,980

4,444

Among the 94,695 people seen for human immunodeficiency virus care between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020, 4,444 people were not retained in care, that is were not seen for care again for at least 15 months, by the end of 2021.

17th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Action 7 of the HIV Action Plan, what barriers his Department has identified to retention in care for people living with HIV; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle those barriers.

The HIV Action Plan is the cornerstone of our approach to drive forward progress and achieve our ambitions to end new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmissions, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030. The Plan is driven forward by an Implementation Steering Group (ISG) comprised by key delivery partners, including the voluntary and community sector. To help fulfil our commitments to optimise rapid access to treatment and retention in care, we are in the process of setting up a retention and re-engagement in care task and finish (T&F) group as a subgroup of the ISG. The T&F group is chaired by NHS England and will provide advice to the ISG on actions needed to increase the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective treatment, including addressing barriers which prevent people from accessing services. The recommendations will be considered by the ISG who will agree how best to take it forward.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the answer of 23 February to Question 147435 on HIV Infection: Screening, what criteria he will be using to assess whether his department will further expand opt-out HIV testing in areas with a high HIV prevalence.

When examining the feasibility of further expanding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) opt-out testing to areas of high prevalence, we will assess its contribution to finding cases of undiagnosed or untreated HIV and preventing further HIV transmissions in the areas it is currently being rolled out. This will be considered alongside data on progress towards our ambitions to end new HIV transmissions, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and HIV-related deaths within England by 2030, including the estimated number of people living with undiagnosed HIV, published regularly by the United Kingdom Health and Security Agency through the HIV Action Plan Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence entitled HIV testing: increasing uptake among people who may have undiagnosed HIV, published on 1 December 2016, whether his Department plans to provide funding for opt-out HIV testing in emergency departments in (a) West Bromwich East constituency, (b) Sandwell and (c) other areas with a high prevalence of HIV.

As part of the Government’s ‘Towards Zero: the HIV Action Plan for England - 2022 to 2025’, NHS England has expanded opt-out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in accident and emergency departments in areas of extremely high diagnosed HIV prevalence (over five cases per 1,000 people), a proven effective way to identify new HIV cases in line with the guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. NHS England is investing £20 million over three years from 2022 to 2025 to support this activity.

We will be considering the full evidence from the first year of opt-out testing, alongside the data on progress towards our ambition of ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030, to decide whether we further expand this programme to areas with high HIV prevalence (two to five cases per 1,000 people). We will also share the findings from the opt-out testing programme with local health systems to inform local decisions on expansion.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the UK National Screening Committee’s recommendation to introduce a targeted lung cancer screening programme.

We are considering this recommendation with NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to diagnose 75 per cent of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

NHS Digital’s latest available data shows that 55% of stageable cancers were diagnosed in stage 1 or 2 in the 2019 calendar year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the next stage of the NHS People Plan.

The NHS People Plan is a shared programme of work to grow the workforce, support new ways of working and develop a compassionate and inclusive workplace culture in order to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.

We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Health Education England and with systems and employers to determine our workforce and people priorities beyond April 2021 to support the recovery of National Health Service staff and services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is providing to elderly residents in (a) West Bromwich East constituency and (b) the wider West Midlands who live alone in assisted living accommodation.

We have published national guidance for the public, which includes advice for older people and will be relevant for those who live alone in assisted living accommodation in West Bromwich East and the wider West Midlands. The guidance can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#older-people

In addition, the NHS Volunteers Responders Programme is a national scheme which provides companionship and support to those who may be isolated from contact with others, including through the check in and chat service. The Programme will continue to be available until at least March 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 91196 on NHS: negligence, what the steps the Government has taken to ensure that the claims and court process take into account the context of NHS staff working during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to ensuring National Health Service staff have the support and resources they need to respond to the pandemic.

On 2 April, changes were announced to rules of court which gives guidance to judges to take into account the effect of COVID-19 when considering applications for extensions of time and adjournments in current cases. More information is available at the following link:

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/practice-direction-51za-extension-of-time-limits-and-clarification-of-practice-direction-51y-coronavirus

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the level of clinical negligence claims against the NHS of incidents that have occurred during its response to the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to support frontline NHS staff in relation to the emotional consequences of prolonged litigation.

We are committed to ensuring National Health Service staff have the support and resources they need to respond to the pandemic. We established the Clinical Negligence Scheme for COVID-19 to handle pandemic claims not falling under existing indemnity schemes and we communicated these plans in a letter of 2 April to NHS staff and providers. We have also taken steps, working with the NHS, professional regulators and across Government to ensure that claims, complaints and court processes can appropriately take into account the unprecedented context NHS staff are working within in response to COVID-19.

Clinical negligence claims tend to lag incidents substantially and it will be some months or even years before we can begin to assess the impact of COVID-19 on clinical negligence claims. We and NHS Resolution, the body responsible for handling clinical negligence claims on behalf of NHS organisations and independent sector providers of NHS care in England, will continue to monitor this.

NHS employers, like other employers, have a moral and statutory duty to support their staff. Every employer in the NHS makes available occupational health and wellbeing support for their staff.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948 on the annual cost of clinical negligence claims against NHS England.

The costs of clinical negligence have been rising over several years at an unsustainable rate, eating into resources available for frontline care. This is despite our substantial safety programmes.

The Department is working with the Ministry of Justice, other Government departments and NHS Resolution, looking at a wide range of options to address the drivers of cost of clinical negligence claims, which includes the effect of section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948. This is a complex issue and the work is ongoing. We will update the House in due course.

17th May 2024
To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, what recent estimate he has made of the number of British (a) dual-nationals and (b) citizens that were killed during the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas on 7 October 2023.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office were informed of the deaths of 15 British nationals killed in the terrorist attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023.

We do not have details on how many of the victims were dual nationals.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
17th May 2024
To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, whether he has had recent discussions with his Turkish counterpart on the reported granting of (a) citizenship and (b) passports to senior Hamas figures (i) Ismail Haniyeh and (ii) Saleh al-Arouri by that country.

We have not recently engaged with the Turkish Government on the reported granting of citizenship and passports to senior Hamas figures. Turkey granted citizenship to Ismail Haniyey in 2020, and Saleh al-Arouri was killed in January this year.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
17th May 2024
To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, pursuant to the Answer of 26 March 2024 to Question 20817 on Hamas: UNRWA, what assessment he has made of the threats faced by UNRWA staff members (a) John Ging and (b) Matthias Schmale.

Neither John Ging nor Matthias Schmale currently work for UNRWA. John Ging left the organisation in 2011 and Matthias Schmale in 2021, We hold regular discussions with UNRWA about their operations in Gaza and across the region. We are not currently aware of any threats made to their senior operations staff.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the return of Ukrainian children unlawfully deported by the Russian authorities.

We call upon Russia to cease these deportations immediately and return all Ukrainian children. In June 2022, we sanctioned the Russian Children's Rights Commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, and in June 2023, we announced new sanctions against 10 Russian officials and one entity involved. We have provided funding to the International Criminal Court and support to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The UK is also now a member of the 'International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children'. We are determined to hold to account those responsible for forcibly deporting and attempting to indoctrinate Ukrainian children.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will hold discussions with UNRWA on alleged threats made to their senior operations staff by Hamas.

We are not currently aware of any threats made to senior UNRWA operations staff by Hamas.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what steps his Department is taking to help secure the release of Israeli hostages.

The Foreign Secretary met the Sharabi and Popplewell families on 16 January to hear about their relatives' horrendous ordeals at the hands of Hamas. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary also met with hostage families on 21 January.

We will continue to do all we can to secure the release of all hostages. We need a humanitarian pause now to allow for the release of hostages. We will continue to do all we can.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on the alleged use of child soldiers by Hamas.

We condemn the recruiting and use of children in armed conflict and want to see an end to this abhorrent practice.

The UK is an active member of the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. The Working Group issues calls and concrete requests to those governments and armed groups listed in the Secretary-General's annual report, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We continue to call for International Humanitarian Law to be respected and civilians to be protected.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what information his Department holds on the alleged construction of cross-border tunnels into Israel by Hezbollah.

The UK has repeatedly condemned Hizballah's destabilising activity in the region, including the construction of tunnels and the stockpiling of weapons, in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. Such activity presents a threat to the security of both Israel and Lebanon and risks an escalation that is in nobody's interests.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has had discussions with his Israeli counterpart on the potential implications for his policies of claims made by the Israel Defense Forces that they have located a Hamas rocket-making facility inside a mosque in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City.

The Foreign Secretary met Foreign Minister Eli Cohen during his visit to Israel on 23 November 2023. Discussions centred on the urgent need for humanitarian aid to access Gaza during the humanitarian pause and how UK efforts can help alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The United Kingdom is outraged at Hamas' terror attacks in Israel, and supports Israel's right to self-defence, in line with International Humanitarian Law. We make clear that the terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned. The UK supports equal measures of justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the European Union on rising levels of anti-Semitism.

Antisemitism has no place in our or any society. The UK Government is committed to international cooperation to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust. Lord Pickles, the UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, visited Warsaw in October to engage with civil society, historical institutions and the Jewish community on post-Holocaust issues. The UK Government has engaged closely with counterparts in the EU institutions and Member States following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on 7 October, including as part of a meeting between the Prime Minister and Commission President von der Leyen on 2 November.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the likelihood of direct Iranian involvement in the conflict in Gaza; and what steps he is taking to deter such involvement.

The UK is clear that Hamas is fully responsible for these appalling acts of terror in Israel. We are also clear that Iran poses an unacceptable threat to Israel. We have long condemned Iran's destabilising activity throughout the region, including its political, financial and military support to several militant and proscribed groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. During his visit to the Middle East, the Prime Minister discussed the risk of regional escalation extensively with partners and we have deployed UK military assets to the region to carry out surveillance and act as a deterrent. Such activity compromises the region's security, its ability to prosper and escalates already high tensions.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Palestinian on security control in Jenin.

We continue to closely monitor the security situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The Foreign Secretary discussed the security situation in Jenin in his call with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on 5 July. We unequivocally support the Palestinian Authority's independent role in securing Area A of the West Bank, as agreed in Oslo. The UK continues to support the Palestinian Authority to develop capable, responsible security forces that respect human rights and are accountable to the Palestinian people. We call on the Palestinian Authority and Government of Israel to cooperate in securing the safety and protection of civilians across the OPTs.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of potential (a) bomb factories, (b) mines, (c) military equipment and (d) improvised explosive devices in Jenin.

The UK is actively monitoring the security situation in Jenin. We unequivocally condemn the use and possession of indiscriminate weapons by militant groups in Jenin, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which could harm civilians. The UK supports the Palestinian Authority's security jurisdiction in area 'A' of the West Bank, as agreed through the Oslo Accords. We call on the Palestinian Authority and government of Israel to cooperate in securing the safety and protection of civilians across the West Bank.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to allow proceeds from the sale of Chelsea Football Club to be made available to UK charities for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine.

In a statement announcing the sale of Chelsea FC and in subsequent statements, Mr Abramovich stated that a charitable foundation would be set up, where all net proceeds from the sale would be donated. Humanitarian experts outside of Government are now responsible for the highly complex process to establish this foundation to manage and distribute the proceeds for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine. The proceeds are currently frozen in a UK bank account. Any movement of the proceeds requires a licence from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the implications for the Middle East peace process of the Palestinian Authority's practice of paying salaries to prisoners convicted of terrorist offences.

The UK remains resolute in its commitment to Israel's security. Our clear and long-standing message to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is that the prisoner payments system should be reformed so that it is needs-based, transparent and affordable. The British Consulate General Jerusalem regularly raises this issue with the Palestinian Authority. This is also a matter that the Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon discussed with Israeli Ambassador Hotovely in their 21 April meeting. We also have robust safeguards in place to ensure that no UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners, or their families.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for the Middle East peace process of the emergence of (a) Palestinian Islamic Jihad and (b) Lions’ Den terror cells in the West Bank.

We continue to closely monitor the security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has proscribed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as a terrorist entity since March 2001. PIJ and other terrorist groups including the Lions' Den must cease all actions that are violent or provocative, or that put civilian lives at risk. There can be no justification for such acts of violence. Every Israeli and Palestinian has the right to live in peace and security. As the Foreign Secretary said in his 14 April statement, the UK will support all efforts to promote dialogue and create a pathway towards a sustainable peace.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)