Paul Howell Portrait

Paul Howell

Conservative - Sedgefield

First elected: 12th December 2019


UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords]
16th Nov 2022 - 22nd Nov 2022
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
9th Mar 2020 - 25th Oct 2022
Business and Trade Committee
9th Mar 2020 - 25th Oct 2022
Charities Bill [HL]
19th Jan 2022 - 25th Jan 2022
Finance (No.2) Bill
8th Dec 2021 - 11th Jan 2022
Nationality and Borders Bill
15th Sep 2021 - 4th Nov 2021


Department Event
Thursday 21st March 2024
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
21 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 293 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 179 Noes - 294
Speeches
Monday 26th February 2024
Social Media Access in Prisons
Why am I here talking about social media in prisons? One of my usual expressions for describing what it is …
Written Answers
Thursday 26th October 2023
GCSE: Assessments
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to ensure that pupils at schools that …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 8th December 2021
Community Wealth Fund Bill 2021-22
A Bill to transfer monies from the Dormant Assets Scheme into a new national endowment called the Community Wealth Fund, …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: United and Cecil Club
Address of donor: 97 Mill Hill Road, London W3 8JF
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th January 2022
Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to extend pensions automatic enrolment to all jobholders aged at least 18; to remove the lower qualifying earnings …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Paul Howell has voted in 836 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

1 Dec 2021 - Finance (No. 2) Bill - View Vote Context
Paul Howell voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and in line with the House
One of 302 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 212 Noes - 306
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Paul Howell voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
View All Paul Howell Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(17 debate interactions)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
Peter Gibson (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(39 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(33 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(3,726 words contributed)
Business and Planning Act 2020
(1,811 words contributed)
Community Wealth Fund Bill 2021-22
(1,756 words contributed)
Dormant Assets Act 2022
(1,517 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Paul Howell's debates

Sedgefield Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want Police Officers to be able to provide a suspension notice from the moment an offender is caught drink, drug or dangerous driving until they appear in court. It would then be for the Judge to decide whether a ban continues or they are able to continue to drive again.


Latest EDMs signed by Paul Howell

21st February 2024
Paul Howell signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
92 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 46
Scottish National Party: 41
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
View All Paul Howell's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paul Howell, 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.


Paul Howell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Paul Howell

Monday 26th February 2024

1 Bill introduced by Paul Howell


A Bill to transfer monies from the Dormant Assets Scheme into a new national endowment called the Community Wealth Fund, to be invested for the purposes of improving the local environments and quality of life of deprived communities, including through building social capital and social infrastructure; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

31 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she plans to complete pre-legislative scrutiny on the bill to ban conversion therapy in this parliamentary term.

The Government remains committed to protecting everyone who is at risk of conversion practices from harm, and will shortly publish a draft Bill and consultation response setting out our approach to banning these abhorrent practices. The draft legislation will go for pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee in this parliamentary session.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what discussions her Department has had with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the potential impact of notifiable disease outbreaks on UK exports.

The Secretary of State for Business and Trade maintains regular dialogue with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a wide range of issues relating to agriculture and trade. The government will continue to prioritise trade facilitation in our free trade agreements to benefit UK exports.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2023
Whether she plans to support the creation of regional innovation clusters.

Strengthening clusters is a top priority for building our Innovation Nation. More places in the UK hosting world-leading and globally connected innovation clusters will create more jobs, productivity and growth.
This will require significant investment from the private sector, both domestic and overseas. The interactive digital tool we will publish in September, which maps the UK’s clusters, will be crucial in helping us attract this investment and informing future policy.
In the meantime, we continue to fund a range of programmes to enhance clusters. For example, we are investing £100 million to pilot Innovation Accelerators in three city regions, helping them become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation.
Catapults have a track record of accelerating growth clusters, both building national capacity and driving local impact. For the next 5-year funding period the UK’s 9 Catapults will receive £1.6bn of direct public funding. An example is the Connected Places Catapult which is the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place leadership.
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made in the investigation into Carillion; and when that investigation is planned to conclude.

The Official Receiver investigated the failure of Carillion plc (“the Company”) and reported to the Secretary of State in relation to the conduct of the Company’s directors. Consequently, director disqualification proceedings were issued on 12 January 2021 against 8 directors and former directors of the Company. The proceedings are ongoing.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government has made available for local authorities to support wedding industry businesses and those in the supply chain for that sector that have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant provides local councils with one-off grant funding to support  hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England.  Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support businesses that are severely impacted by coronavirus and the rise of the Omicron variant, which are not eligible for other grant funding. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to review the effectiveness of the issuing of covid-19 support funding by local authorities to (a) the wedding sector and (b) other sectors.

As for previous schemes, data on the funding provided to councils to support their local businesses through the COVID-19 business support grants is published and available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

As for previous schemes, we will also monitor and publish data on funding spent per Local Authority as it becomes available. This will also depend on Local Authorities having the capacity to report back to Central Government.

We have commissioned an external evaluation of the Business Support Grant programme, for the effectiveness of its delivery.

26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support the North East Space Hub.

The recently published National Space Strategy set out our commitment to supporting businesses across all parts of the UK, helping to develop clusters based on areas of local excellence and addressable market opportunities.

The UK Space Agency has co-funded a Centre of Excellence for Satellite applications in the North-east, in partnership with the Satellite Applications Catapult, since 2014. This has helped to forge collaborative partnerships across the region’s space sector.

This has provided a strong platform and evidence base for the Northeast Space Hub and the region clearly has an important role to play to achieve our ambitions of making the UK one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what projects were supported by the first round of the Youth Investment Fund in County Durham and Darlington.

Twelve projects supporting young people in County Durham and Darlington were awarded funding from Phase One of the Youth Investment Fund. The funding has enabled local youth providers to invest in small-scale capital projects including outdoor/activity equipment, IT/Tech, a minibus, and small redevelopments that expand the reach, number and range of services they currently offer.

Phase One of the Youth Investment Fund, administered by BBC Children in Need, has delivered £12 million of funding this year to over 400 local youth organisations in levelling up priority areas in England. The full list of recipients can be found here.

Phase Two of the Youth Investment Fund is expected to open in summer 2022.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that internet speeds in rural homes matches those in urban areas.

The Government is determined to deliver great connectivity to every community in the UK and is working to close the digital divide between rural, suburban, and urban areas. We are creating a competition-friendly environment to promote deployment in areas where this is commercially viable and we are investing £5 billion through Project Gigabit to support roll-out in less commercial locations, including rural areas. In three years national coverage has rocketed from six per cent to over 66 per cent and we have already upgraded 600,000 premises in hard-to-reach areas.

Our Project Gigabit procurements are prioritising delivery to rural, hard-to-reach premises and to those with the lowest broadband speeds. Broadband providers have so far been invited to bid for contracts worth up to £292 million to upgrade up to 187,000 premises across Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, Cambridgeshire, North Dorset and West Cornwall - with initial deployment expected to commence later this year.

As part of Project Gigabit the government is also investing up to £210 million in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. The scheme provides a micro-grant of up to £1,500 for residents and up to £3,500 for businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. Further information is available on the gigabit voucher website including eligibility criteria and how to apply for the scheme.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Mar 2020
What steps his Department is taking to expand the availability of gigabit-capable broadband throughout the UK.

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit capable connectivity as soon as possible. Much progress has already been made, with full fibre coverage doubling in the past year to reach 10% of UK premises, according to the latest Ofcom figures.

This Government will continue to take action to remove barriers to network rollout and to ensure that those in the hardest to reach areas are not left behind. We have introduced legislation to make it easier for operators to deploy broadband in blocks of flats, will be legislating to mandate gigabit connectivity in new builds and will invest £5 billion of funding to support gigabit rollout in hard to reach areas.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to support the 2025 celebration of the bicentenary of the Stockton and Darlington railway.

As the birthplace of our modern railway system, the Stockton and Darlington Railway is an important part of our nation’s heritage and I fully support efforts aimed at celebrating its bicentenary in 2025.

Through their Heritage Action Zones, Historic England is funding a £700,000 programme aimed at rejuvenating and restoring the 26 mile stretch of historic railway.

This programme will help realise the railway’s potential to become a major heritage attraction and international visitor destination.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to ensure that pupils at schools that may have lost teaching time as a result of disruption caused by the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete are not at a disadvantage when sitting GCSE exams in summer 2024.

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

16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of pupil funding in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

Taking the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) allocations and the additional funding announced in the Autumn Statement together, core schools funding is increasing by £3.5 billion in 2023/24, compared to 2022/23. By 2024/25, the core schools budget will total £58.8 billion, the highest level of investment in real terms per-pupil on record.

16th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the total annual cost of providing (a) 30 hours a week of universal childcare for 48 weeks a year for children aged nine months to two years, (b) 30 hours a week of universal childcare for 48 weeks a year for children aged three and four, (c) 8.00am to 6.00pm wraparound for all primary-aged children and (d) 10 hours a day holiday childcare for 10 weeks a year for all primary-aged children assuming a (i) 50, (ii) 60 and (iii) 70 per cent take up of that provision.

Making predictions about the future costs of extended early years and childcare provision is complex, and subject to significant uncertainty. It requires predicting the size of future cohorts of children as well as making assumptions about the rate at which the government will fund provision, which would be subject to consultation, how many parents will take up new offers and for how long.

The department funds 15 hours a week of early education and care for all 3- and 4-year-olds in England for 38 weeks a year. It funds an additional 15 hours a week of early education and care for 3- and 4-year-olds in working families, also for 38 weeks a year. The department also funds 15 hours of free early education for disadvantaged 2-year-olds, which includes children with education, health and care (EHC) plans and looked after children, as well as families on low incomes. Further information is available at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.

The department does not fund wraparound care for primary aged children. The department does fund the Holiday Activities and Food programme to disadvantaged children in England. At Spending Review 2021, the department announced it is investing over £200 million per year.

The department publishes funding allocations for its existing early education entitlements for children aged 2, 3 and 4. Further information is available at: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F1124737%2FEarly_years_funding_rates_and_step-by-step_calculations_2023_to_2024.xlsx&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK. These funding rates are not applicable to children aged from 9 months to 1 years old inclusive.

The Childcare and Early Years Provider Survey also includes information on the hourly fees providers charge parents of children under 2, age 2, 3 and 4, and school age, available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/childcare-and-early-years-survey-of-parents/2021.

Expanding current entitlement offers to all children aged between 2 and 4, wraparound care for all primary-age children and additional holiday childcare could be estimated using population data published by the Office of National Statistics, available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether funding for the PE and sport premium will continue at current levels for the 2023-24 school year.

Improving school sport and physical education (PE) is a key priority. The Department recognises the important role the PE and sport premium plays in helping schools ensure that children and young people play sport and keep fit.

We are considering arrangements for the Primary PE and sport premium for the 2023/24 academic year and beyond and will confirm the position as early as possible.

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to extend the PE and sport premium for the 2021-22 academic year; what his timeframe is for extending the School Games Organisers contracts; and if his Department will work with (a) Go Well and (b) other organisations to ensure the long-term future of PE and sport for young people in school and outside formal education.

The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding and has confirmed that the Primary physical education (PE) and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will also be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport, and physical activity recovery.


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.


The Government has committed to provide an update to the School Sport and Activity Action Plan this year. It is working closely with sport organisations through the school sport and activity sector forum which represents over 50 organisations. The Department for Education and DCMS ministers recently hosted a roundtable with representatives of the forum to discuss the Government’s long-term approach to PE and school sport and the role they can play in supporting education recovery.

Schools have flexibility to work with organisations to support the delivery of high-quality PE and sport to their pupils. It is up to schools to decide whether to use their Primary PE and sport premium to pay for the sort of support offered by Go Well.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help support farmers export live animals into the European Union.

His Majesty’s Government is working with industry and inspectors to develop digital Export Health Certificates to replace paper certification for live animals, to reduce the administrative burden on traders where possible. We anticipate a staged approach to digitisation of certification for exports to tie in with wider work on the Single Trade Window, which will allow traders to meet all their import, export and transit obligations by submitting information once, and in one place.

EU BCPs can only be constructed with approval given by EU Member States. Defra has regular bilateral meetings with EU Member States where the topic of building BCPs in EU to support the export of live animals in the EU has been discussed.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Licence Revocations and Refusals searches were submitted by (a) Newcastle City Council, (b) Sunderland City Council, (c) Hartlepool Borough Council, (d) Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, (e) Darlington Borough Council and (f) Durham County Council in the last year for which data is available.

Use of the National Register for Refusals and Revocations (NR3) is recommended in the Department’s Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards which was published in 2020. The Department is monitoring usage of the NR3 and communicates with local authorities on this matter regularly.

Searches conducted by the local authorities listed over the last year:

Licensing Authority

Drivers Licensed (31 March 2022)

NR3 Searches (March 2022 – Feb 2023)

Darlington Borough Council

365

342

Durham County Council

1,405

789

Hartlepool Borough Council

352

4

Newcastle City Council

4,576

0

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

744

725

Sunderland City Council

737

481

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department have taken to help ensure a sufficient level of fully qualified HGV drivers to carry out the additional 50,000 HGV driving tests being made available each year.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has increased the number of vocational driving tests available per week to 3,000. This is a 50% increase from before the pandemic, achieved through the use of overtime and moving additional staff into testing.

DVSA has recruited 300 new car examiners to ease demand on vocational examiners, who conduct HGV driving tests, and is also recruiting 40 more vocational examiners. In addition, the delegation of the reversing manoeuvres in the HGV driving test to approved trainers, announced on 10 September 2021, will allow vocational examiners to complete more driving tests per day.

The forthcoming regulatory change to remove the requirement to take a test to tow a trailer with a car, also announced on 10 September, will result in around an additional 30,000 vocational tests a year being made available, as most of the examiners who conducted car and trailer tests are also qualified to conduct HGV and HGV and trailer tests. A further 20,000 vocational tests will be made available through removing the requirement to take a rigid lorry (Cat C) test before an articulated vehicle (Cat C+E) test.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to decrease GP surgery appointment waiting times in the context of the pressure placed on those services by the Omicron variant.

General practitioners (GPs) have been asked to prioritise COVID-19 booster vaccinations and emergency care. While appointments may be postponed, NHS 111 and community pharmacy teams are available to provide health advice.

We have agreed temporary changes to increase capacity in general practice. This includes extending the period of self-certification to access Statutory Sick Pay, suspending requests for medical information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (excluding bus and lorry drivers) and suspending the re-certification requirement for existing prescription charge medical exemptions.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who have received a positive PCR Covid-19 test in the last 90 days will still have to take a test on their return from international travel.

Travellers who have received a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the last 90 days will be required to take a PCR test on their return from international travel. There is no exemption to the testing or isolation requirements for entering England on the basis of natural immunity.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure that people with underlying health conditions who took part in the Novavax trial can receive a third dose of a covid-19 vaccination.

Novavax trial participants who are part of a priority group, such as health and social care workers, older people and people with certain medical conditions, are able to receive a booster vaccine on top of their trial doses. Individuals will be offered a booster dose by either their clinical trial team or via the National Health Service.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that the transition to the midwifery-led Continuity of Carer model is adequately resourced and supported; and whether woman who are pregnant following the death of a baby are given priority access to that service.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to midwifery-led continuity of carer, so that it becomes the default model of care for women using maternity services across England by March 2023. NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided local maternity systems with £90.05 million between 2018 to 2021 to fulfil transformational objectives, including implementing continuity of carer models. An additional £96 million was announced earlier this year, the majority of which will be invested in additional midwives and obstetric capacity.

Upcoming guidance on midwifery-led continuity of carer will include advice on the implementation of maternal medicine-focused continuity of carer teams, which could be used to accommodate women deemed higher risk due to previous loss, whilst still offering continuity of the midwife caring for them.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether covid-19 vaccines that are (a) recognised by the WHO and (b) not available in the UK will be recognised as part of a proposed vaccine passport scheme to aid working British citizens who have been vaccinated overseas.

Work is ongoing to determine which non-United Kingdom vaccines, including but not limited to those recognised by the World Health Organization, could be recognised in this country.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the prosecution of Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun in Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine has confirmed that foreign nationals fighting as members of their armed forces are Prisoners of War (PoW). This includes British Nationals captured by Russian forces or proxies and detained in non-government controlled areas of Ukraine. All PoWs must be treated in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, including the Geneva Conventions. HMG is working with the Government of Ukraine on British Nationals detainees, PoWs and potential breaches of International Humanitarian Law and liaising closely with other international partners.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress she has made on (a) securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe and (b) resolving outstanding repayments to Iran.

We remain committed to securing the immediate and permanent release of unfairly detained British nationals in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz. The Foreign Secretary and I continue to raise Iran's practice of detaining British dual nationals with our Iranian counterparts. Our Ambassador in Tehran also continues to raise these cases with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The IMS debt is a longstanding issue and we have been consistently clear that we continue to explore options to resolve this 40-year old case. We will not comment further as discussions are ongoing.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to increase the level of per pupil funding.

At last year’s Spending Round, the Chancellor announced a £7.1 billion increase in schools funding by 2022-23 compared to this year.

This will level up funding across the country and ensure at least £5,000 a year for every secondary school pupil next year, and £4,000 a year for every primary school pupil by 2021-22.

Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of a potential inconsistency in the recording of arson statistics in relation to the ​Durham police constabulary and the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

The official statistics on crime and fire do not have a comparable definition of arson which is why the two sets of figures may appear inconsistent.

When a victim reports arson to the police, it will be recorded by them in line with the legal definition set out in the Criminal Damage Act of 1971 which is ‘an act of attempting to destroy or damage property, and/or in doing so, to endanger life’.

In contrast, the official statistics on fire publish information on the number of deliberate fires attended by the fire service where the motive for the fire was ‘thought to be’ or ‘suspected to be’ deliberate. This is a broader definition than the criminal offence of arson and will include fires that have not been reported to the police.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the population density of a town or village would have to be to qualify for an Urban Pocket Park.

We are investing £9 million through the Levelling Up Parks Fund to regenerate green spaces across the UK as part of our Levelling Up agenda. The scheme will be broader than earlier Pocket Parks programmes and further details will be announced shortly.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
20th Jul 2020
What support he is providing to help local authorities experiencing a reduction in income during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have announced a sales, fees and charges co-payment scheme to compensate for irrecoverable losses in 2020/21 where those are above the level they could have been expected to plan for. We will also extend the period over which councils must manage shortfalls in local tax income relating to 2020-21. Further details of how we will support councils to manage tax losses will be announced at the spending review.