Pauline Latham Portrait

Pauline Latham

Conservative - Mid Derbyshire

First elected: 6th May 2010


Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill
18th Jan 2023 - 25th Jan 2023
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
5th Jan 2022 - 12th Jan 2022
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jun 2021
Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly Quadripartite Committee)
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
13th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committees on Arms Export Controls
10th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
International Development Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Oral Question
Wednesday 28th February 2024
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral Question No. 12
Whether he has had discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022.
Save to Calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Off-road Biking
I call Jim Shannon.
Written Answers
Tuesday 30th January 2024
Electricity Generation: Carbon Emissions
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022
A Bill to make provision about the minimum age for marriage and civil partnership; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Falkland Island Government
Address of donor: Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly, Gilbert House, Stanley, Falkland Islands FIQQ 1ZZ …
EDM signed
Monday 19th February 2024
VAT on hair and beauty salons
That this House recognises the significant contribution made by hair and beauty salons to high streets across the country; notes …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 21st February 2023
Sun Protection Products (Value Added Tax) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to exempt sun protection products from VAT; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Pauline Latham has voted in 668 divisions, and 16 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham 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
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham 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
20 May 2020 - Liaison (Membership) - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 323
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
22 Mar 2023 - CRIMINAL LAW - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 14
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Pauline Latham 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 Pauline Latham 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(28 debate interactions)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(24 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(37 debate contributions)
Home Office
(33 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(25 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Pauline Latham's debates

Mid Derbyshire 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).

Pauline Latham has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Pauline Latham

7th February 2024
Pauline Latham signed this EDM on Monday 19th February 2024

VAT on hair and beauty salons

Tabled by: Kirsten Oswald (Scottish National Party - East Renfrewshire)
That this House recognises the significant contribution made by hair and beauty salons to high streets across the country; notes the severe pressure which businesses in the hair and beauty sector are currently facing due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, increasing bills, and payroll pressures; understands that salons which operate …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 7
Green Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
1st July 2020
Pauline Latham signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 1st July 2020

National Museum of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic History and Culture

Tabled by: Oliver Heald (Conservative - North East Hertfordshire)
That this House recognises the important role played by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC since it opened its doors to the public on 24 September 2016, documenting and enabling the study of the life, history and culture of African Americans; notes that …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jul 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 9
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Labour: 1
View All Pauline Latham's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Pauline Latham, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Pauline Latham

Pauline Latham has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Pauline Latham


A Bill to make provision about the minimum age for marriage and civil partnership; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to revoke parental or judicial consent which permits the marriage or civil partnership of a child and to criminalise child marriage or civil partnership under the age of 18; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 6th October 2020
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to raise the minimum age of consent to marriage or civil partnership to eighteen; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 5th September 2018
(Read Debate)

143 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
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Commissioners provide to churches in Mid Derbyshire constituency on Historic England's Heritage at Risk.

In the Mid Derbyshire constituency the Church of the Holy Trinity in Belper, and All Saints Church in Ockbrook and Borrowash, are on the 'At Risk Register'. Support and advice for parishes about the management of their building is available from their local Archdeacon, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and from the national ChurchCare website, including on available grants: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/churchcare

Around 2,500 Church of England buildings are listed by Historic England, with 45% of all England's Grade I listed buildings being cathedrals and churches. The average annual cost for the maintenance and repairs to parish churches is estimated at £150 million, and the maintenance of churches across the country is mostly financed by generous local donors and volunteers.

The Church remains grateful for the continuation of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. Money invested in church buildings brings positive benefits to the wider community: the 2021 House of Good report by the National Churches Trust (https://www.houseofgood.nationalchurchestrust.org/) found that "the annual social and economic value of church buildings to the UK is worth around £55 billion. This sum, calculated using the latest HM Treasury Green Book guidance, includes the contribution churches make to wellbeing and to local economies."

The Government commissioned an independent review of the sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals in 2017, known as the 'Taylor Review'. The Church is still awaiting the formal response from the Government to this report; however, the National Church Institutions have started to implement several of the recommendations. The Taylor Review can be read here: The Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In November 2023 the Church of England awarded £9 million to dioceses for repairs and specialist advice to parishes. This will fund 30 support officers across the country to give specialist advice on the management, conservation, repair and development of church buildings, including community use alongside worship. A further £6.2 million has been allocated across 41 dioceses for making grants of up to £12,000 for repairs to churches. The grants will focus on small-scale but urgent works and projects that could save larger sums in the long term. The fund will also be able to help cover the cost of essential improvements for the mission and ministry of a church. More information can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/church-england-announces-ps9-million-help-parishes-repairs-and

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he will take to ensure his Department meets the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Cabinet Office supports the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals across Government, and is responsible for reporting on Goal Five (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and Goal Ten (Reduce inequality within and among countries), through the work of the Government Equalities Office.

Last year’s Single Departmental Plan provided an update of these Goals, and highlighted the work the Cabinet Office has done to support Government work towards Goals Seven (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy), Eight (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all), Twelve (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) and Seventeen (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development).

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the UK’s June 2019 Voluntary National Review of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be implemented by his Office to reflect the work required across government to achieve them.

Cabinet Office continues to play an important role in maximising progress on the Government's priorities, including supporting a coordinated approach to domestic implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), following the UK’s Voluntary National Review.

19th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make it her policy to prevent the importation of goods originating from illegal Israeli settlements into the UK.

There are no current import sanctions on goods originating from Israeli settlements. However, goods originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not entitled to tariff and trade preferences under either the trade agreement between the UK and Israel, or the agreement between the UK and the Palestinian Authority.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the lifecycle carbon emissions per MWh for generating electricity by (a) burning (i) wood, (ii) coal and (iii) gas and (d) using nuclear energy.

The lifecycle emissions of individual plants depend strongly upon the efficiency of generation, supply chains, production techniques, agricultural practices, and transport distances. Typical values in CO2 equivalents for the UK are Wood: 96 kg/MWh, Coal: 968 kg/MWh, Natural gas: 411 kg/MWh and Nuclear: 12 kg/MWh.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when her Department plans to publish the outcomes of its consultation on Improving boiler standards and efficiency.

The Government will publish its response to the consultation, Improving Boiler Standards and Efficiency, in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the proposed Clean Heat Market Mechanism on (a) jobs, (b) inward investment and (c) homeowners.

The Department estimates that developing the UK heat pump market to 600,000 installations per year will support over 30,000 futureproof low-carbon jobs by 2028. The Clean Heat Market Mechanism is a key part of the policy framework that the Government is bringing forward to support this expansion of the heat pump market. The Government anticipates significant investment opportunity in this growing market for both domestic-origin and inward investors. As the market for heat pumps expands, the Government expects to see improvement in the range and affordability of consumer propositions related to heat pump installations available to UK home- and building-owners.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of the proposed Clean Heat Market Mechanism on investment in heat pump production by UK-based businesses.

The Government supports an expansion of UK heat pump manufacturing and has set out an ambition for a thirty-fold increase in the number made and sold in the UK each year. The Government recently launched a £30 million Heat Pump Manufacturing Investment Accelerator Competition to complement the support offered by the new capital allowances announced in this year’s Spring Budget.

The Government is publishing a policy framework, including the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, to give clarity around the scale of the UK heat pump market.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the use of funds levied as a result of missed targets through the proposed Clean Heat Market Mechanism on (a) investment in manufacturing of and (b) support for homeowners for purchasing heat pumps.

In the consultation, the Government has proposed proportionate and realistic targets for the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, along with a set of other flexibility options for scheme participants. The Government is confident that all market actors will be able to meet the scheme targets, avoiding the need to make payments in lieu. If companies do choose to make any such payments, these will go to the Government’s Consolidated Account.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing an independent regulator which monitors the treatment of direct suppliers in the fashion industry, similar to the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.

In response to the single enforcement body consultation published in 2021, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to continue engaging with the enforcement bodies and industry partners to strengthen our understanding of the garment trade. We will continue to review this issue and consider options to drive up standards across the sector.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to provide (a) support and (b) advice to people who are medically dependant on refrigerated medicines in the event of power cuts in winter 2022.

The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for working with the nation’s health and social care sectors to support individuals with electricity dependent medical equipment at home, including those who need to use medical equipment that requires a power supply.

The UK has a secure and diverse energy system. The Government is confident in its plan to protect households and businesses in the full range of scenarios this winter, in light of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. BEIS continues to work closely with industry and across Government to mitigate the impacts associated with the upcoming winter.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, (a) on what basis his Department decided to begin subsidising the burning of wood pellets at Drax power station, (b) for how long that subsidy has been in place and (c) if he will halt that subsidy and carry out a full review of the evidence basis for the policy.

Sustainable biomass can be used to produce renewable and low-carbon electricity and has system benefits, such as dispatchability and inertia, and stable established supply chains and prices, providing energy security within a net zero consistent energy system.

Drax has been supported under the Renewables Obligation since 2011, and under the Contracts for Difference scheme since 21st December 2016 to generate renewable electricity. There is no cost to the public purse as both schemes are paid for by compulsory levies on electricity suppliers.

The Government only supports sustainable biomass and generators only receive subsidies for biomass that complies with the UK’s strict sustainability criteria.

The forthcoming Biomass Strategy will detail the Government’s assessment of the priority use of biomass across the economy.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps increase or lift the capacity cap in future Contracts for Difference allocation rounds.

Capacity caps can drive competitive auctions and deliver value for money for consumers.

A capacity cap was first deployed in the third Contract for Difference auction in 2019, which secured nearly twice the capacity of the previous auction with a 30% reduction in clearing prices.

We will publish auction parameters well in advance of the next auction in 2021, taking into account our ambitions for net zero.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to apply any capacity caps as soft instead of hard constraints in future Contracts for Difference allocation rounds.

In March this year, the Government published a consultation on proposals to amend the Contracts for Difference scheme for future allocation rounds. This included options to introduce flexibility in the use of capacity caps as either a 'hard' or 'soft' constraint. The consultation closed on 29 May and responses are being analysed. A government response to this consultation will be published in due course.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how he plans to diversify the Pot structure of Contracts for Difference to ensure optimal auction results.

In March this year, the Government published a consultation on proposals to amend the Contracts for Difference scheme for future allocation rounds. This included options for changes to the current pot structure. The consultation closed on 29 May and responses are being analysed. A Government response to this consultation will be published in due course.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to encourage the creation of new jobs in the renewable energy sector as part of the economic recovery from the effect of covid-19.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Government intends to deliver a UK economy which is greener, more sustainable and more resilient. The UK already has over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains and it is estimated that the low-carbon economy could grow more than four times faster than the rest of the economy between 2015 and 2030 and support up to 2 million jobs.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s main mechanism for supporting new large-scale renewable electricity generation projects in Great Britain.

In the latest CfD allocation round 12 new renewable electricity projects were awarded contracts at record low costs across a range of technologies, which could see the creation of 8,000 jobs across the UK.

Offshore wind employs around 14,000 people in the UK. The Offshore Wind Sector Deal that was agreed last year between the government and industry aims to increase UK employment to 27,000 jobs by 2030 - these jobs will support communities right across the UK.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure that technologies with long-term potential for decarbonisation are not adversely affected by the Contracts for Difference auction model.

In March this year, the Government published a consultation on proposals to amend the Contracts for Difference scheme for future allocation rounds. This included options for changes to the current pot structure to ensure it continues to reflect changes in expected costs across technologies and best supports our ambitions for long term decarbonisation. The consultation closed on 29 May and responses are being analysed. A Government response to this consultation will be published in due course.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the British Business Bank will lower its interest rates to help support businesses to expand as the economy reopens and covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Business Interruption loan schemes are delivered by the British Business Bank through accredited lenders. Individual lending decisions are at the discretion of these lenders. The accreditation agreement makes clear that the interest rate at which the?lender is prepared to lend at, and any associated fees, should be based on a?lender’s normal pricing framework.

For the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Government pays the interest and any lender-levied fees in the first 12 months. For BBLS the interest rate is set at 2.5% per annum.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to collaborate with regionally-focused private equity firms to help encourage local businesses to expand as the economy reopens and covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government is already collaborating through regionally-focused private equity firms which are benefiting from funding from the government-backed British Business Bank (BBB) programmes such as the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund. As of June 2020, the BBB’s dedicated regional funds support more than £240m worth of finance.

In order to support its regional activities further, BBB launched the £100m Regional Angels programme in 2018 – which is designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early stage equity finance for smaller businesses across all regions; and the UK Network – which engages with business finance stakeholders in each of the English regions and Devolved Nations, to increase small businesses’ awareness and understanding of the finance options best suited to their needs. The Future Fund is also open to companies from all regions and from all backgrounds.

We are considering a range of options that look at enhancing both new and existing levers to increase the supply of equity finance, particularly in regions, as part of the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review discussions in order to support local businesses to expand as the economy reopens.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission made an assessment for the implication of its policies in 2017 when International Game Technology (IGT) reported that 27% of its suppliers had a high or medium exposure to modern slavery.

The Commission does not have a specific responsibility in relation to scrutinising subcontractors of the National Lottery Operator, and as such, was not previously aware of IGT’s report.

The National Lottery is run by Camelot under licence by the Gambling Commission, and as such it is for the operator to ensure compliance with a range of reporting requirements, including under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Section 5 National Lottery Licence requires the Operator to comply with all relevant laws to the extent they impose obligations or restrictions on it. It also requires any subcontractors to operate with due propriety.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission made an assessment of the implications of its policies in 2017 when International Game Technology reported that 27% of its suppliers had a high or medium exposure to modern slavery.

The Commission does not have a specific responsibility in relation to scrutinising subcontractors of the National Lottery Operator, and as such, was not previously aware of IGT’s report.

The National Lottery is run by Camelot under licence by the Gambling Commission, and as such it is for the operator to ensure compliance with a range of reporting requirements, including under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Section 5 National Lottery Licence requires the Operator to comply with all relevant laws to the extent they impose obligations or restrictions on it. It also requires any subcontractors to operate with due propriety.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provision of core funding to community arts organisations through (a) local authorities and (b) private charities.

DCMS provides funding to community arts projects in England through a number of our arm’s-length bodies. Arts Council England, for example, invests in communities through their Lottery-funded Creative People and Places (CPP) programme. There are 41 CPP programmes covering 58 local authority districts across the country targeting the least engaged places in England. Arts Council England will invest over £38 million of Lottery funds into this programme for the period 2022-25.

Local authorities also need to continue to recognise the huge benefits that investing in arts and culture can bring and many already do, building successful partnerships to deliver arts and culture to their communities. The Local Government Finance Settlement made available £54.1 billion in 2022/23 for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion in 2021/22. The majority of this funding is not ringfenced, in recognition of local authorities being best placed to understand local priorities, such as their community arts offer.

While we are unable to quantify the total provision of core funding to community arts organisations by private foundations at this time, DCMS continues to work with key actors across the civil society sector to improve the data and evidence available.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the implementation of the (a) full recommendations of the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance and (b) recommendation in that review's report of the immediate imposition of shadow regulator on helping to prevent the administration of Derby County Football Club.

The Government continues to engage on a regular basis with the English Football League and the administrator about Derby County Football Club. Ultimately, it is for the EFL, the administrator and the club to resolve issues to ensure the survival of Derby County FC, but the government has urged pragmatism from all parties to find a solution for the benefit of fans and the community that the club serves. The EFL must equally preserve the integrity of the league on behalf of all member clubs, but all parties want to see one of the founding members of the Football League continue this season and beyond under appropriate ownership.

It is positive that the EFL has granted a four-week extension to Derby County FC and its administrators to demonstrate proof of funding through to the end of the season. This extension must now be used to ensure a suitable outcome is reached and the government has made this point to the EFL and administrators.

The Government welcomes the findings of the Fan Led Review and has endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review, that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game. The Government will now consider the detail of all the recommendations, including those made on ensuring future financial stability, and work at pace to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with the administrators of Derby County Football Club on ensuring a swift resolution to the ongoing administration.

The Government continues to engage on a regular basis with the English Football League and the administrator about Derby County Football Club. Ultimately, it is for the EFL, the administrator and the club to resolve issues to ensure the survival of Derby County FC, but the government has urged pragmatism from all parties to find a solution for the benefit of fans and the community that the club serves. The EFL must equally preserve the integrity of the league on behalf of all member clubs, but all parties want to see one of the founding members of the Football League continue this season and beyond under appropriate ownership.

It is positive that the EFL has granted a four-week extension to Derby County FC and its administrators to demonstrate proof of funding through to the end of the season. This extension must now be used to ensure a suitable outcome is reached and the government has made this point to the EFL and administrators.

The Government welcomes the findings of the Fan Led Review and has endorsed in principle the primary recommendation of the review, that football requires a strong, independent regulator to secure the future of our national game. The Government will now consider the detail of all the recommendations, including those made on ensuring future financial stability, and work at pace to determine the most effective way to deliver an independent regulator, and any powers that might be needed.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she plans to publish strategic guidance on Regional Expert Partnerships engaging with local partners when refining proposals in the SEND Improvement plan.

Strategic guidance was issued to all 32 local authorities within the Change Programme Partnerships (CPPs) (formerly Regional Expert Partnerships) on 5 October 2023. The strategic guidance supports the set-up phase of the Change Programme. CPPs will be required to set up a CPP Steering Group which will have representation from all partners including school leaders, Parent Carer Forums, and health leads. Each local authority participating in the Change Programme will also establish a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Partnership and produce a local area inclusion plan. Both SEND and AP Partnerships and local area inclusion plans will be tested and refined through working with the local authorities in the CPPs.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to release the strategic guidance on how Regional Expert Partnerships will engage with local partners on refining proposals in the SEND Improvement Plan.

The high level strategic guidance and its accompanying strategic delivery plan template will be shared with Change Programme Partnerships (CPPs) ahead of the launch event on 19 September 2023. The event will bring together local authorities and their partners from all nine CPPs to set out expectations for testing the reforms and ensure robust action plans are being put in place. It will also provide access to teams from the Department for Education and the external Delivery Partner who will support CPPs throughout the lifetime of the programme, including helping them to draft their strategic plans.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 April 2023 to Question 180364 on Alternative Education and Special Educational Needs, what objective criteria is to be used when selecting local authorities using published SEND performance data.

The department will be sharing strategic guidance with all Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) for delivery of the Change Programme, which will include setting out the local partners they must engage with. Engagement with all partners across all local areas involved in the REPs, including schools, health partners and families, is integral to successfully delivering, testing and refining the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) reforms set out in the Improvement Plan.

Throughout the lifetime of the programme, there will be a constant feedback loop between the department and the REPs in order to monitor the findings and share learning and best practice. This will include the REPs feeding back on the progress of delivering the reforms and any barriers they may be facing. The department will be transparent throughout this process and is currently establishing how it will provide public updates as the programme progresses.

The department previously shared that all REPs would be led by a lead local authority, selected through objective criteria based on published SEND performance data. The department used this data to identify a shortlist of local authorities in each Department for Education region, who were subsequently invited to submit an expression of interest to be considered for the role. To be eligible for the shortlist, prospective lead local authorities must not:

  • Have a live written statement of action from the previous Ofsted/ Care Quality Commission (CQC) Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have an 'inconsistent’ or ‘widespread/systemic failure’ outcome from the new Ofsted/CQC Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have a Section 114 notice.
  • Be on our Safety Valve programme.

They must also be in the top 75% of authorities nationally against:

  • Rates of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment requests.
  • Rates of EHC plan assessments completed in 20 weeks.
  • Special Educational Needs exclusions.

The department then ranked the remaining authorities based on their Designated School Grant surplus/deficit and shortlisted the top three local authorities in each region.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to publish (a) the feedback from the Regional Expert Partnerships to her Department and (b) discussions on how the proposals within the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plans published in March 2023 are to be refined.

The department will be sharing strategic guidance with all Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) for delivery of the Change Programme, which will include setting out the local partners they must engage with. Engagement with all partners across all local areas involved in the REPs, including schools, health partners and families, is integral to successfully delivering, testing and refining the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) reforms set out in the Improvement Plan.

Throughout the lifetime of the programme, there will be a constant feedback loop between the department and the REPs in order to monitor the findings and share learning and best practice. This will include the REPs feeding back on the progress of delivering the reforms and any barriers they may be facing. The department will be transparent throughout this process and is currently establishing how it will provide public updates as the programme progresses.

The department previously shared that all REPs would be led by a lead local authority, selected through objective criteria based on published SEND performance data. The department used this data to identify a shortlist of local authorities in each Department for Education region, who were subsequently invited to submit an expression of interest to be considered for the role. To be eligible for the shortlist, prospective lead local authorities must not:

  • Have a live written statement of action from the previous Ofsted/ Care Quality Commission (CQC) Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have an 'inconsistent’ or ‘widespread/systemic failure’ outcome from the new Ofsted/CQC Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have a Section 114 notice.
  • Be on our Safety Valve programme.

They must also be in the top 75% of authorities nationally against:

  • Rates of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment requests.
  • Rates of EHC plan assessments completed in 20 weeks.
  • Special Educational Needs exclusions.

The department then ranked the remaining authorities based on their Designated School Grant surplus/deficit and shortlisted the top three local authorities in each region.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to implement guidance to Regional Expert Partnerships on how many local partners they need to engage with when refining proposals in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plans published in March 2023.

The department will be sharing strategic guidance with all Regional Expert Partnerships (REPs) for delivery of the Change Programme, which will include setting out the local partners they must engage with. Engagement with all partners across all local areas involved in the REPs, including schools, health partners and families, is integral to successfully delivering, testing and refining the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) reforms set out in the Improvement Plan.

Throughout the lifetime of the programme, there will be a constant feedback loop between the department and the REPs in order to monitor the findings and share learning and best practice. This will include the REPs feeding back on the progress of delivering the reforms and any barriers they may be facing. The department will be transparent throughout this process and is currently establishing how it will provide public updates as the programme progresses.

The department previously shared that all REPs would be led by a lead local authority, selected through objective criteria based on published SEND performance data. The department used this data to identify a shortlist of local authorities in each Department for Education region, who were subsequently invited to submit an expression of interest to be considered for the role. To be eligible for the shortlist, prospective lead local authorities must not:

  • Have a live written statement of action from the previous Ofsted/ Care Quality Commission (CQC) Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have an 'inconsistent’ or ‘widespread/systemic failure’ outcome from the new Ofsted/CQC Area SEND inspection framework.
  • Have a Section 114 notice.
  • Be on our Safety Valve programme.

They must also be in the top 75% of authorities nationally against:

  • Rates of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment requests.
  • Rates of EHC plan assessments completed in 20 weeks.
  • Special Educational Needs exclusions.

The department then ranked the remaining authorities based on their Designated School Grant surplus/deficit and shortlisted the top three local authorities in each region.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how the Regional Expert Partnerships intended to design and test the proposals in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan published in March 2023 will be established.

Through the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Change Programme, the department will establish up to nine Regional Expert Partnerships (REP) to test and refine our reforms. Each REP will be led by a local authority, selected using objective criteria based on published SEND performance data. An additional two to three local authorities will be included in each REP, based predominantly on their geographical proximity to the lead local authority, so we can test in a wide range of local areas with differing performance, capacity and capability. Wherever possible, each REP will be located within a single Integrated Care Board, to ensure close collaboration with health partners.

REPs will be required to engage with their local partners, including health, social care, Multi-Academy Trusts, mainstream, specialist and alternative provision schools, and parents, children and young people, to involve them in testing and refining the reforms.

Real-time learning from the REPs will be fed back to the department on a regular basis, and will inform discussions at the national SEND and AP Implementation Board.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to plans set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan published in March 2023 to work with a delivery partner and regional expert partnerships to implement a Change Programme, if she will publish tender documents for the appointment of that delivery partner.

On the 6 March, the department published the invitation to tender for the Delivery Partner to support the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Change Programme, with a closing date of the 17 April. This was done through the department’s Management Consultancy Framework 3, inviting interested organisations to bid for the contract.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how the additional funding for schools announced in the Autumn Statement will be distributed.

On 6 December, the Department confirmed further details on how the £2 billion additional funding for schools announced in the 2022 Autumn Statement will be allocated in 2023/24.

£400 million will be allocated to Local Authorities’ high needs budgets, with the rest allocated to schools through a new grant, and to boost the pupil premium.

Mainstream schools will receive this additional funding through a new grant from April 2023, on top of the core funding allocations they receive via the National Funding Formula. The methodology for calculating allocations for schools via this new grant will largely mirror that of the 2022/23 Schools Supplementary Grant. The Department will publish further details and funding rates for the new grant before the end of December 2022.

For a typical primary school with 200 pupils, this new revenue equates to approximately £28,000 additional funding. It equates to approximately £170,000 for a typical secondary school with 900 pupils.

Local Authorities will be obliged to pass on increases comparable to that for mainstream schools to special and alternative provision schools, from the £400 million that will be allocated to their high needs budgets. The Department will confirm details on how this will work shortly.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department is providing additional funding to schools whose budgets fall below the minimum per pupil funding level.

The minimum per pupil funding levels (MPPLs) in the schools National Funding Formula have been set so that, in the 2023/24 financial year, every primary school will receive at least £4,405 per pupil, and every secondary school at least £5,715.

All schools, including schools funded by reference to the MPPLs, will also receive additional funding in the 2023/24 financial year, following the 2022 Autumn Statement. A typical 200 pupil primary school can be expected to receive approximately £28,000, on average. A typical 900 pupil secondary school can be expected to receive £170,000. The Department will announce further details on allocations shortly.

The MPPL values are compulsory in Local Authority funding formulae, which determine actual funding allocations for maintained schools and academies. Academy trusts have flexibilities over how the funding they are allocated in respect of their individual academies is then distributed across academies in their trust. This means that in some cases, an academy could receive a lower per pupil funding amount than the MPPL value. This may reflect, for example, activities that are paid for by the trust centrally, rather than by individual academies.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Plan for Water, published in April 2023, if she will take steps to ensure that existing weirs are not removed without (a) a full assessment of their potential use for hydroelectric power (b) a local consultation carried out by the Environment Agency.

Through the development of the River Basin Management Plans, the Environment Agency evaluates in each water body where redundant physical modifications are damaging ecology and should be removed. Not all physical modifications are redundant and able to be removed, for example straightened rivers. More information is publicly available at: Physical modifications: challenges for the water environment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Environment Agency evaluates key criteria when determining if a weir is removed including ownership, use(s), condition, maintenance costs, any associated risks and additional benefits that the physical modifications provide. These evaluations consider local site-specific factors too, such as biodiversity, flood mitigation, water supply and other ecosystem services.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Plan for Water, published in April 2023, how will her Department determine which physical modifications are redundant and should be removed.

Through the development of the River Basin Management Plans, the Environment Agency evaluates in each water body where redundant physical modifications are damaging ecology and should be removed. Not all physical modifications are redundant and able to be removed, for example straightened rivers. More information is publicly available at: Physical modifications: challenges for the water environment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Environment Agency evaluates key criteria when determining if a weir is removed including ownership, use(s), condition, maintenance costs, any associated risks and additional benefits that the physical modifications provide. These evaluations consider local site-specific factors too, such as biodiversity, flood mitigation, water supply and other ecosystem services.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department issues to planning authorities on approving planning applications in respect of land which adjoins ancient woodland and habitats of species, such as fallow deer, dormice, lapwings and bats.

The Government wants to make sure that our ancient woodlands are adequately protected and suitably managed to provide a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits to society.

The National Planning Policy Framework states that development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and ancient or veteran trees, should be refused unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable compensation strategy exists.

Natural England and the Forestry Commission have published ‘standing advice’ for ancient woodland, ancient trees and veteran trees. It is a material planning consideration for local planning authorities and as such should be taken into account when making planning decisions that affect ancient woodland, ancient trees or veteran trees.

Furthermore, on 27 May 2022 the Government published the newly updated Keepers of Time policy which recognises the value of England’s ancient and native woodlands and ancient and veteran trees. It restates our commitment to evaluate the threats facing these habitats and sets out our updated principles and objectives to protect and improve them for future generations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of hunting trophies from endangered species that have been imported into the UK since December 2019.

The UK recorded 63 imports of hunting trophies under CITES in 2019 and 26 imports in 2020.

Data for 2021 is currently being finalised and will be made available through the CITES trade database at https://trade.cites.org/.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential (a) costs and (b) benefits of banning imports of hunting trophies into the UK; and whether such assessments took into account the potential impact of such a ban on (i) levels of biodiversity and (ii) evolutionary harm to species.

The consultation and call for evidence on hunting trophies ran from 2 November 2019 to 25 February 2020. We received views and evidence on the costs and benefits of further restrictions, including the potential impacts on biodiversity and species.

The summary of responses and Government response to the consultation and call for evidence are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hunting-trophies-controlling-imports-to-and-exports-from-the-uk/outcome/summary-of-responses-and-government-response--2.

Further information will be published when legislation is brought forward in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to ban trophy hunting imports.

This year we have already introduced our Animal Sentience and Kept Animals Bills to Parliament and we intend to legislate further to protect animals abroad as soon as parliamentary time allows. We will be setting out our detailed plans for action soon, including by publishing the Government’s response to the consultation on trophy hunting imports.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that his Department’s standards of modern zoo practice include (a) conservation activities on supporting endangered species through the collection of genetic material for research and (b) the provision of formal education sessions..

Section 1A of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 currently sets the conservation, research and education requirements that licensed zoos in Great Britain must meet. The Government is proposing, via the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill currently before Parliament, to allow these standards instead to be set in the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice (‘the Zoo Standards’). This will mean that they may be updated more easily in future. The Zoo Standards are in the process of being updated by Defra, in consultation with the UK’s Zoos Expert Committee, and will include new conservation, research and education standards in preparation for the new legislation. Defra is aiming to publish a draft of the new Zoo Standards, for a targeted consultation of relevant zoo stakeholders, later this year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many litres of untreated sewage spilled into the River Derwent in Mid Derbyshire in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

Event Duration Monitors (EDM) record the number of times there has been a discharge of storm sewage and for how long each discharge was for. The Water Companies send in an annual summary which gives the total number of discharges per year and the total duration per year for each site where it is a permit requirement. The 2020 data is not yet available as it is submitted at the end of February.

Event Duration Monitors started being installed in 2016 and have been progressively installed across Combined Sewer Overflows, Sewage Pumping Stations and Sewage Treatment Works. Not all sites require EDM monitoring, this depends on the sensitivity of where the discharge is made.

Direct storm sewage discharges to the River Derwent, Derbyshire (Source to confluence with River Trent)

Year

2018

2019

Number of sites reporting EDM Data

26

45

Total number of storm sewage spills

983

1788

Total duration (hours) of storm sewage spills

3845

12475

The discharge from these water company assets (in this case Severn Trent Water Ltd) is only permitted to occur when there is elevated flow in the combined (sewage and surface water) sewerage network due to rainfall/snowmelt. The discharge is known as storm sewage and the impact on water quality is reduced due to the increased dilution both within the sewer and the receiving watercourse.

In January 2021 the Storm Overflows Taskforce announced plans by the water companies to accelerate work to install monitoring devices on all storm overflows by 2023. The Environment Agency is working with all water companies to increase the transparency of EDM data by 2022. This will provide readily accessible data in a consistent format, which will give greater visibility and increase responsibility of water companies to go faster and further in reducing harm from storm overflow discharges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2020
How often her Department assesses the effectiveness of UK funding allocated to the World Bank on ending poverty throughout the world.

The UK is a major funder of the World Bank, a crucial tool in our development work. My Department monitors and assesses the effectiveness of the World Bank continually. We formally review each funding stream to the World Bank Group annually and we publish our assessment online. Our latest assessment concluded that the International Development Association – the concessional arm of the Bank - is ‘performing above expectations’. Amongst other things our money has contributed to the immunisation of 330 million children in the last 9 years.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment the Department has made of the prevalence of FGM abroad; and what assessment he has made of the trends in the level of FGM in each of the 20 years..

The exact number of girls and women worldwide who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains unknown, however, UNICEF estimates that at least 200 million have been cut in more than 31 countries. Most of these countries are in Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia. Prevalence varies hugely across these countries, from less than one percent to almost universal. Today, a girl is about one-third less likely to be cut than 30 years ago. But global efforts need to go further and faster if we are to meet the Global Goal to end FGM by 2030. At current rates, 68 million girls are at risk of being cut in the next decade. The UK is leading change in partnership with the Africa-led movement to end FGM, providing £50 million of support over the next five years. UK aid has already helped 10,000 communities, representing over 27 million people, pledge to abandon FGM.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits of supporting developing countries to criminalise FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation is a human rights abuse and an extreme form of gender discrimination. Criminalising FGM and properly enforcing the law is key to ending the practice. The UK has already supported The Gambia, Nigeria, and Mauritania to make FGM illegal. DFID recently allocated £2.5 million to the UN, to work with governments to enforce laws in countries where FGM is already illegal but continues to be practised. Evidence shows that legal change is a critical step towards changing attitudes towards FGM. But this must be part of a multi-pronged approach with community-led change at its heart. The UK supports the Africa-led Movement to end FGM, which works at several levels, including by empowering grassroots activists to hold their governments to account.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Statement of 9 March 2023, HCWS625, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of reducing the active travel budget for the remainder of the Parliament from £308 million to £100 million on his Department meeting its active travel goals.

The Department projects that around £3 billion will be invested in active travel over the five years to 2025, from a wide range of different funding streams, more than any previous Government has invested. The Government’s most recent assessment of progress towards meeting its active travel goals was set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy report to Parliament in July 2022, a copy of which is available in the House Libraries. The Department will provide an updated assessment in its next report to Parliament in due course.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the value for money it has achieved by investing in (a) all active travel schemes and (b) cycling schemes.

Value for money is one of several factors the Department considers when evaluating the effect of its investments. Investment in active travel schemes typically delivers high value for money.

Increased rates of active travel can deliver mental and physical health benefits, improvements to the quality of journeys made, and benefits associated with mode shift from motor vehicles, such as improved air quality and reduced congestion. Investment in active travel schemes also supports the government’s decarbonisation strategy by increasing the number of trips made using carbon neutral modes.

The average benefit-cost ratio, weighted by scheme cost, for Active Travel Fund 4 estimated that for every £1 of investment in active travel infrastructure schemes, there would be a return £2.40 of economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Behaviour change interventions funded by the Department have been estimated by our delivery partners to have a benefit cost ratio of 2.5 in 2021/22 for the Big Bike Revival and 5.5 in 2022/23 for Walk to School Outreach programmes.

7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many votes each of the six shortlisted locations for the new national headquarters for Great British Railways received in the public vote conducted between 5 July and 15 August 2022.

We will announce the chosen location for the Great British Railways Headquarters (GBR HQ) before Easter. A number of factors are being considered, including the result of the public vote. The number of votes cast for each location will be made public when we announce the winner.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government provides financial support for the maintenance of the roads surrounding the Cluster Houses World Heritage Site in Belper.

During the period 2022/23 to 2024/25 the Government is providing over £23.6 million to Derbyshire County Council towards the maintenance of the local public road network in their area including Belper. It is up to Derbyshire how best to spend this funding to fulfil their statutory duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980. The Department encourages good practice in highway maintenance through channels such as the Well Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice produced by the UK Roads Leadership Group (UKRLG).

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) Joint Biosecurity Centre’s most recent risk assessment data for the entire covid-19 traffic light list and (b) current risk assessment status of all countries and destinations on the green, amber and red lists.

The traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include:

  • genomic surveillance capability
  • COVID-19 transmission risk
  • Variant of Concern transmission risk

A summary of the JBC methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions.

Current risk assessment status of all countries are reflected in the traffic light system. Countries are categorized according to their the level of risk with Green indicating low-risk, Amber indicating medium-risk and Red indicating high-risk.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his announcement of 24 June 2021, if he will publish the criteria that need to be met in order for the Government to proceed with the removal of quarantine requirements for arrivals from amber list countries who are fully vaccinated against covid-19.

There are a number of factors to be considered, including Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s view on the participation of children in the vaccine programme, as well as consideration for travellers who are exempt from vaccination, such as those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or those on clinical trials. Further detail will be set out shortly on these issues and how and when it will be operationalised.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how third country hubs are dealt with in his Department’s plan for reopening international travel as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The UK government has introduced a traffic light system to support the safe restart of international travel. Decisions on red, amber and green list countries are taken by ministers informed by risk assessments provided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre alongside wider public health factors. This includes international transport hubs.

Passengers must follow the applicable requirements for the highest risk country or territory that they have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. This includes transit stops. Passengers are also required to record the countries and territories they have transited through on their Passenger Locator Form.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to reduce the covid-19 restrictions on international travel for passengers who have been vaccinated.

All arrivals into the country, irrespective of vaccination status, must follow the same testing and isolation requirements as per the traffic light system. We are considering evidence and policy options relating to the role of vaccinations in facilitating more seamless inbound travel where it is safe and fair to do so, and will set out our position in due course.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will include provisions in the NHS workforce plan to increase the nuclear medicines workforce; and what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supply of that workforce to meet future demand for (a) molecular radiotherapy and (b) other treatments.

The Government has committed to publishing the Long-Term Workforce Plan shortly. This will include projections for the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals that will be needed, taking full account of improvements in retention and productivity. This plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills, to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

NHS England are currently leading work to revise the Brachytherapy and Molecular Radiotherapy Service Specification and to understand current service readiness to expand access to new molecular radiotherapy treatments, should they be approved by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of regional variations in the provision of molecular radiotherapy.

Molecular radiotherapy is currently commissioned alongside brachytherapy via a national service specification. There are currently 38 trusts in England that are commissioned to deliver these services however, given the spectrum of treatments available under this service specification, there is some variation in what each provider offers.

For this reason, NHS England is developing a standalone molecular radiotherapy service specification. This will clarify the service model and review demand and access arrangements. The service specification will also take into account any future developments in treatment technologies and recommendations made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2022
What steps he is taking to improve (a) health outcomes and (b) early diagnosis for people with aortic dissections.

In March 2022, NHS England launched an Aortic Dissection Toolkit to support the implementation of robust clinical pathways to identify and manage both Type A and Type B aortic dissection.

All English regions are working with the Cardiac Pathways Improvement Programme to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help reduce waiting times at emergency departments for (a) patients and (b) ambulances with patients in (i) England and (ii) the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS England’s Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery 10 Point Action Plan includes an increased role for NHS 111 as the first point of triage, measures to improve patient flow through hospitals and reduce pressure on emergency departments and ensuring medically fit patients can be discharged as soon as possible.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust is extending its same day emergency care service to seven days a week and reducing demand on accident and emergency through expanding community rapid intervention services and collaborating with the local health and care system to increase primary care capacity. The Trust plans to develop its medical workforce, establish a frailty assessment area for elderly patients and maximise the use of its urgent treatment centre.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase research funding into aortic dissection.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including aortic dissection.

In December 2020, the Department convened a multidisciplinary group of experts and patient representatives together to identify high-priority research questions for aortic dissection. In response to an outcome paper from this workshop, the NIHR launched a call on ‘Early endovascular repair in type b uncomplicated sub-acute aortic dissection’ and is currently exploring the development of a brief to cover outstanding questions and signal the NIHR’s desire to commission research in this important area.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence has been provided to Ministers on the comparative effectiveness of (a) mandatory self-isolation and (b) a mandatory testing regime for arrivals into the UK from amber destinations for managing the risk to public health from covid-19.

We are unable to provide the evidence provided to Ministers as it relates to the formulation of ongoing border policy and its release could prejudice decision making.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the extent of under-reporting of adverse drug reactions to the Yellow Card scheme.

The reporting rate for spontaneous adverse drug reactions (ADR) is variable and can depend on a multitude of factors. Although some historical studies have estimated only 10% of ADRs are reported, the actual rate is unknown and variable because it is influenced by public awareness and seriousness of the event.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing fluoroquinolone toxicity as a diagnosis in response to (a) tendon injury, (b) mitochondrial dysfunction and (c) oxidative stress attributed by some patients to the use of that drug.

The Yellow Card Scheme is the system used in the United Kingdom for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs). This acts as an early warning system for the identification of previously unrecognised adverse reactions and also provides valuable information on recognised ADRs, allowing the Commission on Human Medicines and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to identify and refine the understanding of risk factors that may affect the clinical management of patients.

The following table shows spontaneous suspected ADR reports for fluoroquinolones in association with tendon injury, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress to 25 May 2021 in the UK.

Reaction

Number of reports

Tendon disorders*

1,381

mitochondrial cytopathy, mitochondrial toxicity, mitochondrial myopathy acquired

1

Oxidative stress

2**

Source: MHRA Sentinel database for Adverse Drug Reactions.

Notes:

*Tendon disorders includes 21 different relevant reaction terms.

**These reports are duplicates and have been subsequently merged on the database.

The frequency of tendonitis range from 1 in 100 to less than 1 in 10,000, depending on the specific fluoroquinolone medicine. For the products that provide an estimate of the frequency of tendon rupture, this is listed as less than 1 in 10,000. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are among the possible mechanisms that might lead to tendon injury or other ADRs caused by fluoroquinolones, but this association is not fully understood and mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are not listed as ADRs in the product information for fluoroquinolones.

The MHRA continues to review information about the safety of all medicines, including fluoroquinolones, and will take appropriate regulatory action as appropriate on the basis of new safety information. Serious side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics can be varied, potentially affecting several different parts of the body. An assessment of the potential merits of fluoroquinolone toxicity as a clinical diagnosis in response to tendon injury, mitochondrial dysfunction or oxidative stress has not been made.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of patients who are prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics suffer adverse reactions in the form of (a) tendon injury, (b) mitochondrial dysfunction and (c) oxidative stress.

The Yellow Card Scheme is the system used in the United Kingdom for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs). This acts as an early warning system for the identification of previously unrecognised adverse reactions and also provides valuable information on recognised ADRs, allowing the Commission on Human Medicines and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to identify and refine the understanding of risk factors that may affect the clinical management of patients.

The following table shows spontaneous suspected ADR reports for fluoroquinolones in association with tendon injury, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress to 25 May 2021 in the UK.

Reaction

Number of reports

Tendon disorders*

1,381

mitochondrial cytopathy, mitochondrial toxicity, mitochondrial myopathy acquired

1

Oxidative stress

2**

Source: MHRA Sentinel database for Adverse Drug Reactions.

Notes:

*Tendon disorders includes 21 different relevant reaction terms.

**These reports are duplicates and have been subsequently merged on the database.

The frequency of tendonitis range from 1 in 100 to less than 1 in 10,000, depending on the specific fluoroquinolone medicine. For the products that provide an estimate of the frequency of tendon rupture, this is listed as less than 1 in 10,000. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are among the possible mechanisms that might lead to tendon injury or other ADRs caused by fluoroquinolones, but this association is not fully understood and mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are not listed as ADRs in the product information for fluoroquinolones.

The MHRA continues to review information about the safety of all medicines, including fluoroquinolones, and will take appropriate regulatory action as appropriate on the basis of new safety information. Serious side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics can be varied, potentially affecting several different parts of the body. An assessment of the potential merits of fluoroquinolone toxicity as a clinical diagnosis in response to tendon injury, mitochondrial dysfunction or oxidative stress has not been made.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase awareness of fluoroquinolone toxicity among healthcare professionals.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued reminders for healthcare professionals that fluoroquinolones should not be used in conditions that are not serious or improve on their own and that they should only be used for acute episodes of chronic bronchitis and uncomplicated cystitis if other antibiotics cannot be used.

This also includes stronger warnings about the potential side effects of fluoroquinolones in the product information for healthcare professionals and for patients and mandating pharmaceutical companies to issue letters to healthcare professionals on the new restrictions and stronger warnings about these serious risks, including signs and symptoms which can appear.

The MHRA is working with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the British National Formulary to promote appropriate use of fluoroquinolones and ensure that the restrictions are aligned with United Kingdom national guidance on the antibiotic treatment of infections.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of treatment provisions for people diagnosed with advanced stage Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma.

T-cell Lymphomas are recognised as a rare form of cancer that require pan regional arrangements for referral and treatment. Cancer Alliances have pathways in place to support diagnosis as part of their skin cancer pathways. NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing to work with providers of specialised services to deliver best-quality evidence-based care and treatment for patients living with rare cancers.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reintegrating Public Health England's contraceptive care responsibilities and workflows within the NHS.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed the Government to reviewing the commissioning arrangements for a range of services including sexual and reproductive health, to ensure that they can deliver the best outcomes for the people who need them. The Department confirmed in 2019 that local authorities will continue to be responsible for commissioning sexual and reproductive health services, but that they must work much more closely with the National Health Service to deliver joined-up care for patients and to embed prevention into the full range of health and other public services.

The Department are currently considering a range of options for where Public Health England’s wider public heath functions, including supporting the commissioning and delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, could sit in the future as part of the reform to the public health system. We will be engaging in more detail on these issues and setting out next steps on the reform programme over the coming months.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in public health grant on women's access to effective and appropriate contraception.

The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including the provision of free contraception. Contraception is also widely available free of charge through general practice. The Government provides funding to local authorities for their public health responsibilities, including sexual health services, through the public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties.

The Department secured a Spending Round settlement in 2019 for local government, with the public health grant receiving a welcome increase in real terms in 2020/21. Decisions on future funding will be a matter for the Spending Review.

No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the public health grant on access to contraception.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health’s report, ‘Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, has raised a number of important issues. The recommendations in the report will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, published by the All-party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health on 10 September 2020, whether he has plans in place to maintain the level of funding for contraceptive outreach services for marginalised and under-served communities.

The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including the provision of free contraception. Contraception is also widely available free of charge through general practice. The Government provides funding to local authorities for their public health responsibilities, including sexual health services, through the public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties.

The Department secured a Spending Round settlement in 2019 for local government, with the public health grant receiving a welcome increase in real terms in 2020/21. Decisions on future funding will be a matter for the Spending Review.

No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the public health grant on access to contraception.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health’s report, ‘Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, has raised a number of important issues. The recommendations in the report will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in public health grant on access to contraception for (a) women living with an abusive partner, (b) BAME women, (c) women in lower socio-economic groups, (d) women under 18 and (e) other marginalised groups.

The Government has mandated local authorities in England to commission comprehensive open access sexual health services, including the provision of free contraception. Contraception is also widely available free of charge through general practice. The Government provides funding to local authorities for their public health responsibilities, including sexual health services, through the public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties.

The Department secured a Spending Round settlement in 2019 for local government, with the public health grant receiving a welcome increase in real terms in 2020/21. Decisions on future funding will be a matter for the Spending Review.

No specific assessment has been made of the impact of the public health grant on access to contraception.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health’s report, ‘Women's Lives, Women's Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic’, has raised a number of important issues. The recommendations in the report will be considered as part of our upcoming work to develop the sexual and reproductive health strategy.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the NHS is not using SureScreen CoVid-19 rapid antibody tests.

Local National Health Service trusts interested in securing serology or antibody tests are responsible for procuring those tests and deciding on the type of test kits. The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency is the national regulator for medical tests and any test can legally be marketed and deployed in the United Kingdom once it receives a CE mark.

The Government’s antibody testing programme continues to evolve in line with emerging needs, including to support ongoing research and surveillance studies.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequate diagnosis of Aortic Dissection at A&E departments.

We recognise that accurate and rapid assessment of suspected acute aortic dissection is crucial. Computerised tomography plays a central role in the diagnosis to allow expedited management and all acute hospitals with emergency departments have the capacity to make the diagnosis.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are aware of the findings of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch’s recent investigation into delayed recognition of acute Aortic Dissection, and these recommendations have been included in the actions being taken forward with hospitals.

NHS England and NHS Improvement Specialised Commissioning is progressing the Thoracic Aortic Dissection service specification and have identified resource to support this as one of the priorities within the Specialised Vascular Clinical Group work programme.

It should also be noted that the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Getting It Right First Time Cardiothoracic Review recommended that acute aortic syndrome patients are only operated on by rotas of acute aortic syndrome specialist teams. This is being actioned across cardiac and vascular teams. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Specialised Cardiac Improvement Programme has developed a guide and toolkit to support implementation with the first Region rolling out from April 2020.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has reassessed its position on providing aid to India in the context of Indian government spending on space exploration.

India's space exploration programme, including its recent moon landing, makes a valuable contribution to the international scientific community.

The British Government stopped providing traditional development aid to India in 2015.

Most UK funding to India is now in the form of business investments which help India reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. These investments have the dual aims of supporting development and backing private enterprises with the potential to be commercially viable so that the British Government can then reinvest in India or elsewhere.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has reassessed its policy on the provision of official development assistance to India, in the context of the Indian Government's spending on space exploration.

India's space exploration programme, including its recent moon landing, makes a valuable contribution to the international scientific community.

The British Government stopped providing traditional development aid to India in 2015.

Most UK funding to India is now in the form of business investments which help India reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. These investments have the dual aims of supporting development and backing private enterprises with the potential to be commercially viable so that the British Government can then reinvest in India or elsewhere.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) safeguards and (b) reporting mechanisms are in place to monitor the spending of UK Overseas Development Assistance in relation to tackling hunger in Northern Uganda.

The UK provides humanitarian assistance in the Karamoja region and to refugee and refugee-hosting populations throughout Uganda through the 'Building Resilience and an Effective Emergency Refugee Response' (BRAER) programme. In financial year 2021-22, the programme helped to provide 1.3 million people with humanitarian assistance, including relieving hunger and treating malnutrition among women and children. The programme's effectiveness is assessed, and its spending monitored, through regular field visits, feedback from beneficiaries, FCDO scrutiny of implementing partners' financial reports, annual audits and annual programme reviews - the latter are published online at https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-205206/documents.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK funded aid projects to help relieve hunger in Uganda.

The UK provides humanitarian assistance in the Karamoja region and to refugee and refugee-hosting populations throughout Uganda through the 'Building Resilience and an Effective Emergency Refugee Response' (BRAER) programme. In financial year 2021-22, the programme helped to provide 1.3 million people with humanitarian assistance, including relieving hunger and treating malnutrition among women and children. The programme's effectiveness is assessed, and its spending monitored, through regular field visits, feedback from beneficiaries, FCDO scrutiny of implementing partners' financial reports, annual audits and annual programme reviews - the latter are published online at https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-205206/documents.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Expanding Social Protection Programme Phase II project.

The UK has supported the development of Uganda's social protection system for the last ten years, working closely with the Government of the Republic of Ireland and the Government of Uganda, most recently through the Expanding Social Protection Programme Phase II (ESP II). This has established a Senior Citizens' Grant (SCG) which is currently benefitting over 350,000 Ugandans over 80 (60% of whom are women). The Government of Uganda has been fully funding the SCG since July 2021, and the ESP II programme will close later this year. The programme's effectiveness is assessed through annual programme reviews, which are published at https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-204861/documents.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to provide further support and flexible funding to local NGOs in East Africa whose recipients have been affected by drought in that region.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to countries in East Africa. We will provide at least £156 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa in financial year 2022/2023. to help support communities affected by conflict, drought, flooding and other pressures. We will continue to work with NGOs. In Ethiopia in 2021 the UK provided US$18 million to the UN's Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF). The EHF mechanism supported a range of international and Ethiopian NGOs, disbursing US$23 million to the latter. Similarly, the UK-funded 'Building Resilient Communities in Somalia' programme has supported a number of Somali NGOs alongside international civil society organisations.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 6268 on Tigray: Armed Conflict, what the timescale is for deployment of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Team of Experts to Tigray.

The UK is appalled by reports of atrocities including widespread rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by different armed groups in Tigray. As stated in response to question 6268, we are currently identifying personnel from the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Team of Experts who can deploy to the region to strengthen justice for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. We do not have a fixed date for deployment yet. COVID-19 restrictions and the conflict environment are practicalities that have to be factored in, but we are working to deploy as soon as possible.

The UK is supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN agencies, specialised NGOs and 9 civil society partners to provide adequate essential services to survivors. We currently contribute to the UNICEF, International Red Crescent and national Ethiopian Red Cross response supporting a total of 545 survivors (542 females and 3 males) with case management services.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance has been allocated to programmes based in the Tigray; and for what purposes that funding has been allocated.

The UK provided £241 million of bilateral Official Development Assistance in 2020/21. The UK made the decision in November 2020 to pause financial aid payments to the Government of Ethiopia destined for Tigray but we continue to provide support to people in Tigray via UN and NGO partners. £22 million has been allocated to the humanitarian response in Tigray to support those in need.

UK-funded partners such as UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and International Committee of the Red Cross are providing food, shelter, water and healthcare in challenging circumstances. The UK is in the process of allocating budgets for programmes this financial year. As we do this, we will continue to review and adapt to the context.

The UK is also supporting civil society partners in Tigray to deliver gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health response, which includes helping rape survivors. Final budgets are under review but we are also planning to support the documentation and investigation of such crimes.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Official Development Assistance the UK has allocated for the current financial year to help victims of rape and torture in Tigray.

The UK provided £241 million of bilateral Official Development Assistance in 2020/21. The UK made the decision in November 2020 to pause financial aid payments to the Government of Ethiopia destined for Tigray but we continue to provide support to people in Tigray via UN and NGO partners. £22 million has been allocated to the humanitarian response in Tigray to support those in need.

UK-funded partners such as UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and International Committee of the Red Cross are providing food, shelter, water and healthcare in challenging circumstances. The UK is in the process of allocating budgets for programmes this financial year. As we do this, we will continue to review and adapt to the context.

The UK is also supporting civil society partners in Tigray to deliver gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health response, which includes helping rape survivors. Final budgets are under review but we are also planning to support the documentation and investigation of such crimes.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress has been made of the deployment of the UK Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative team of experts to Tigray.

The UK is appalled by reports of atrocities including widespread rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by different armed groups in Tigray. This is unacceptable. The G7, under the UK Presidency, issued a communique on 5 May which condemned rape and sexual exploitation, and other forms of gender-based violence and called for all parties to cease hostilities immediately, ensure respect for human rights and international law and hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including sexual violence, accountable. The UK will support the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that their joint investigations into atrocities in Tigray with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are independent, transparent and impartial and that those responsible for these human rights abuses are held to account.

We are working to promote justice for survivors of sexual violence, to provide support to survivors and children born of conflict related sexual violence and to prevent sexual violence from occurring. British Embassy staff conducted a specific protection mission in Shire in Tigray on 4-7 April. It included the assessment of the current Gender-Based Violence response, specific emergency services provided in camps and the gaps that need to be filled. They interviewed staff and volunteers supporting survivors of sexual violence to identify essential activities required to address the immediate needs of the survivors as well as the accountability needs to ensure well-informed and effective assistance. We are currently identifying personnel from the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Team of Experts who can deploy to the region.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to report any evidence of sexual violence in Tigray to relevant international justice mechanisms.

The UK is appalled by reports of atrocities including widespread rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by different armed groups in Tigray. This is unacceptable. The G7, under the UK Presidency, issued a communique on 5 May which condemned rape and sexual exploitation, and other forms of gender-based violence and called for all parties to cease hostilities immediately, ensure respect for human rights and international law and hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including sexual violence, accountable. The UK will support the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that their joint investigations into atrocities in Tigray with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission are independent, transparent and impartial and that those responsible for these human rights abuses are held to account.

We are working to promote justice for survivors of sexual violence, to provide support to survivors and children born of conflict related sexual violence and to prevent sexual violence from occurring. British Embassy staff conducted a specific protection mission in Shire in Tigray on 4-7 April. It included the assessment of the current Gender-Based Violence response, specific emergency services provided in camps and the gaps that need to be filled. They interviewed staff and volunteers supporting survivors of sexual violence to identify essential activities required to address the immediate needs of the survivors as well as the accountability needs to ensure well-informed and effective assistance. We are currently identifying personnel from the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Team of Experts who can deploy to the region.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that neglected tropical diseases programmes affected by a reduction in Official Development Assistance funding are able to continue operating.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid, and exiting from some programmes, including the Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme. We will still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change, and improve global health, which remains a top priority for UK ODA. We will focus on the UK's position at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 through our commitments to COVAX, Gavi, and WHO, and through bilateral spend where the need is greatest in Africa. Where we have taken the decision to exit programmes, this will be done in a measured way, working closely with our delivery partners.

The UK has made a significant contribution to global efforts towards protecting hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Malaria is not classified as an NTD by the World Health Organisation. We remain committed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reducing funding for neglected tropical disease programmes on progress towards the elimination of (a) malaria, (b) elephantiasis and (c) blinding trachoma.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid, and exiting from some programmes, including the Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme. We will still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change, and improve global health, which remains a top priority for UK ODA. We will focus on the UK's position at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 through our commitments to COVAX, Gavi, and WHO, and through bilateral spend where the need is greatest in Africa. Where we have taken the decision to exit programmes, this will be done in a measured way, working closely with our delivery partners.

The UK has made a significant contribution to global efforts towards protecting hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Malaria is not classified as an NTD by the World Health Organisation. We remain committed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reducing funding for neglected tropical disease programmes on the worldwide prevalence of (a) malaria, (b) elephantiasis and (c) blinding trachoma.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid, and exiting from some programmes, including the Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme. We will still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change, and improve global health, which remains a top priority for UK ODA. We will focus on the UK's position at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 through our commitments to COVAX, Gavi, and WHO, and through bilateral spend where the need is greatest in Africa. Where we have taken the decision to exit programmes, this will be done in a measured way, working closely with our delivery partners.

The UK has made a significant contribution to global efforts towards protecting hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Malaria is not classified as an NTD by the World Health Organisation. We remain committed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 187201 on India: Overseas Aid, what strategies are considered when allocating UK aid to non-Governmental programmes in India; and what non-Governmental programmes in India receive UK aid.

In January this year, the Foreign Secretary led a cross-government process to review, appraise and finalise Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations across all geographies, to maximise the Government's strategic focus in the use of ODA next year. In completing this process, officials considered any impact on women and girls, the most marginalised and vulnerable, people with disabilities and people from other protected groups, when developing advice to Ministers.

Information on our programmes in India, including our implementing partners, is published online and can be viewed on devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk.

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction to the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s foreign aid budget for India, excluding money spent in emergency aid to support health infrastructure during India's second wave of covid-19.

We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19. The UK has been the first country to deliver life-saving medical support to India and continues to work closely with the Government of India to identify what support we can provide in the coming days, based on their most pressing needs.

As the Foreign Secretary set out in his Written Ministerial Statement on 21 April, we have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world. Since 2015, the UK has given no aid money to the Government of India. The FCDO makes investments and deploys world-leading expertise in areas of mutual interest. Our work in India reduces poverty, tackles climate change and creates new partners and markets for the UK.

Following a thorough review, the FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate of COVID. Throughout this process, we have strived to ensure that every penny of our aid brings maximum strategic coherence, impact and value for taxpayers' money. We are now working through what this means for individual programmes, in line with UK strategic priorities identified. We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against COVID-19. The UK is working closely with the Government of India to identify further assistance we can provide in the coming days, based on their most pressing needs.

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction to Official Development Assistance on the UK’s foreign aid budget for China.

As the Foreign Secretary set out in his Written Ministerial Statement on 21 April, we have prioritised our aid to be more strategic and remain a force for good across the world. Following a thorough review, the FCDO's aid budget has been allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate of COVID-19. Throughout this process, we have strived to ensure that every penny of our aid brings maximum strategic coherence, impact and value for taxpayers' money. We have cut FCDO aid programming to China by 95 per cent in 2021, focusing the remaining programme funding on specific programmes that support British values around open societies and human rights. We are now working through what this means for individual programmes, in line with UK strategic priorities identified.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much and what proportion of the UK's total Official Development Assistance budget was allocated to sexual and reproductive health and rights (a) including family planning and reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health and (b) excluding child health as calculated using the Muskoka 2 methodology in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018 and (iii) 2019.

All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) official aid spend can be found in the Statistics on International Development UK Aid report at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/statistics-on-international-development

The latest Muskoka2 donor estimates were published as part of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights in the Donor Delivering Report and cover 2016 to 2018. The report is available at: https://www.epfweb.org/node/90

A more detailed Muskoka2 donor estimates report covering 2002-2017 is available at: https://datacompass.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1526/

An updated Muskoka2 report is expected to be published on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine datacompass website later this year. Musoka2 estimates are not available for 2019 onwards due to reporting timeframes of multilateral agencies and external data compilation.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when the UK’s new international development strategy will be published; and how civil society organisations will be able to contribute to the consultation process.

The Foreign Secretary will lead on a new development strategy to ensure close alignment of UK aid and development aims with the objectives set out in the Integrated Review (IR). The Government has consulted widely on the IR and will be discussing the development strategy with partners and other stakeholders. The strategy will be published in due course.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK continues to uphold its Grand Bargain commitments on localisation.

We are committed to delivering an efficient and effective humanitarian system and the implementation of World Humanitarian Summit Grand Bargain commitments, including recognising national and local organisations and communities as first responders to crises. We have been one the largest donors to the UN Country-Based Pooled Funds, who channel a substantial proportion of their funding to local and national actors - 25% in 2019 - and support the Start Network, which facilitates action among local and national NGOs, as well as the Red Cross Movement. We continue innovative approaches to promote greater localisation, notably an £18 million fund launched in 2020 for UK NGOs responding to COVID-19 designed to encourage improved partnerships with local and national actors. The UK is at the forefront of discussions to develop a successor arrangement to the Grand Bargain beginning later this year, working with the UN, Red Cross and civil society.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction to Official Development Assistance on tackling child stunting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5% of GNI. We will remain a world-leading ODA donor and still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health. We are working through what this means for individual programmes. Decisions will be announced in due course.

The UK remains a committed development partner to the Democratic Republic of Congo, including on reducing child stunting. In the last year, we have supported 4 million children with community-based nutrition including counselling on exclusive breastfeeding, Vitamin A supplementation, and growing nutritious crops.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how the G7 will co-ordinate international action to tackle rising food insecurity and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Famine prevention is a priority theme of the UK's G7 Presidency. As part of this, the UK Special Envoy, Nick Dyer, is chairing a Panel on Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crisis to agree a Compact to prevent famine in 2021 and slow the growth in humanitarian need through stronger approaches to early action. The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the priority countries for the UK's Call to Action on famine and food insecurity.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle food security and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tackling severe food insecurity and malnutrition is one of the UK's top priorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since 2017, UK aid has provided 1.97 million people with food aid, cash and vouchers to reduce food insecurity and treated over 300,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition.

The UK is also leading a global call to action on the risk of famine and appointed Nick Dyer as the UK's Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs. DRC is a priority country for food insecurity and the UK's Call to Action. During my visit to DRC in November 2020 and a subsequent call with President Tshisekedi in March 2021, I discussed with the Government the need to address insecurity and conflict in the East, one of the key drivers of the humanitarian crisis.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much and what proportion of the UK's total Official Development Assistance budget was allocated to sexual and reproductive health and rights including family planning and reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health as calculated using the (a) Muskoka 1 and (b) Muskoka 2 methodology in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018 and (iii) 2019.

All FCDO official aid spend can be found in the Statistic for International Development: UK Aid report at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/statistics-on-international-development

a) The last published donor estimates based on Muskoka 1 cover 2002 to 2015 and can be found at: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30276-6/fulltext#seccestitle10

b) The latest Muskoka 2 donors estimates were published as part of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights in the Donor Delivering Report and cover 2016 to 2018.

The report is available on: https://www.epfweb.org/node/90

Musoka 2 estimates are not available for 2019 onwards due to Multilateral agencies' reporting timeframes and external data compilation.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that decisions on changes to the Official Development Assistance budget will secure the best possible value for money for the residual spend.

On November 26 the Foreign Secretary announced new measures to ensure every penny of the UK aid budget goes as far as possible and makes a world leading difference.

As well as focusing our aid on strategic priorities in countries where the UK's development, security and economic interests align, these measures included three ways to improve the quality of aid across government. To increase coherence, FCDO decided the final allocation of ODA to other departments, a process which the Foreign Secretary concluded in January 2021. Programmes were judged against their fit with the UK's strategic priorities, evidence of impact achieved, and whether they represent value for money. Finally, the Spending Review agreed to establish a new administrative cost framework to give departments greater flexibility to design the best projects, rather than outsourcing work to expensive consultants.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what criteria his Department will use when deciding which elements of the aid budget to change.

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

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken since changes to the Official Development Assistance budget were announced in July 2020 to inform his Department’s delivery partners of the effect on their programmes.

FCDO has engaged partners about the budget changes announced in July 2020. Most of those changes have been implemented and affected aid delivery partners have been notified of our decision. FCDO is currently working through a process of prioritisation to align its development spending in 2021 with the new GNI target. No decisions have yet been taken on individual budget allocations.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that decisions on changes to the Official Development Assistance budget are evidence-based and informed by the experiences of its delivery partners.

The new approach to aid announced by the Foreign Secretary in November 2020 marks our commitment to promoting science, research and data, and a rigorous use of evidence in the design of our interventions. Programmes will be designed to strive for the best possible development outcomes and impact, recognising that development action often takes place in risky and difficult environments. We insist on the rigorous use of evidence and scrutiny in programme design.

At the time of the FCDO merger the Foreign Secretary committed to reinforce the role of the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) to strengthen further transparency and accountability in the use of taxpayers' money. In December, FCDO completed a review of ICAI to strengthen its impact and provide practical, action-oriented recommendations to support Government in delivering UK aid.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2021 to Question 149769 on Uganda: Overseas Aid, what representations he had made to his Ugandan counterpart on alleged human rights abuses by the Ugandan security services since the Ugandan general election on 14 January 2021; and what steps his Department is taking to support (a) human rights, (b) democracy and (c) the rule of law in that country.

Following the Presidential election results on 16 January 2021, I set out, in a statement, our significant concerns about the overall political climate surrounding the elections and have urged the Government of Uganda to meet its international human rights commitments. The treatment of opposition candidates and their supporters since the Ugandan elections is concerning and does not provide for an open political landscape for democracy to flourish. Following the unacceptable constraints placed on the opposition candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, the British High Commission in Kampala pressed the Ugandan authorities to remove restrictions on his political freedoms prior to the lifting of his de facto house arrest on 25 January. The recent violence towards journalists on 17 February was unacceptable and we welcomed the commitment of the Chief of Defence Forces to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. Our High Commissioner continues to engage with political leaders across all parties to discuss these issues and push for democratic engagement and reform.

The UK Government supports programmes for civil society groups and organisations in Uganda that promote democracy, robust institutions, and transparent elections. We have worked with Uganda over a number of years, helping to strengthen institutions in Uganda to uphold democratic freedoms and advocate for the equal treatment of all Ugandans according to the terms of the Ugandan constitution and laws. As a long-standing partner to Uganda, the UK will continue to follow post-election developments closely, and engage with the Ugandan Government and Ugandans to advocate for democracy.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October to Question 97554 on Maternal Mortality: Overseas Aid, what the internationally accepted methods for estimating maternal health spend are; and what assessment he has made of the comparability of those estimates and his Department's data on periods up to 2018 made with the Methodology for Calculating Baselines and Commitments:G8 Member Spending on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

The internationally accepted method for estimating Maternal Newborn and Child Health spend is the Methodology for Calculating Baselines and Commitments: G8 Member Spending on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

This methodology was used to estimate UK Government spend on maternal mortality in the answer to Question 97554 published on 5 October. The UK government has spent an average of approximately £1 billion per year on Maternal Newborn and Child Health between 2013/14 - 2017/18, on a range of bilateral and multilateral programmes.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 October to Question 106974, on which page of the material to which he provided links the figure is given for the (a) proportion of his Department's Official Development Assistance budget spent on frontline diplomatic activity in 2019, (b) total amount of Official Development Assistance spent by the FCO on frontline diplomatic activity in 2019 and (c) total amount of Official Development Assistance spent by the FCO in 2019.

The full breakdown of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) 2019 Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend is detailed at this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/921034/Data_Underlying_SID_2019.ods. By filtering by year, the FCO and sector code 91010, you can calculate that the FCO spent £306 million on frontline diplomatic activity in 2019.

The FCO's total ODA spend in 2019 was £679 million (page 14 of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/927135/Statistics_on_International_Development_Final_UK_Aid_Spend_2019.pdf). Spend on frontline diplomatic activity was 45 per cent of the FCO's total 2019 ODA spend.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) calculate and (b) publish the amount of Official Development Assistance spent by his Department on aid-related frontline diplomacy in support of aid flows in each (i) region and (ii) country in each of the last 10 years.

Data in the Statistics on International Development (SID) is captured and defined in line with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee reporting directives. Aid-related frontline diplomacy is captured under the OECD administrative sector code 91010, and broken down by country in the SID from 2012. From 2016 to 2018, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published this data by region, before reverting to publication by country again in 2019. Over the course of this period, the Government has both improved the way it records its ODA eligible administrative spend and made changes to the way we present and publish the SID data to improve transparency and compliance with national statistic publication requirements. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is unable to collate the aid-related frontline diplomacy costs by country before 2012 or from 2016 to 2018 within the timescale provided without incurring disproportionate cost. The regional costs for 2012 to 2015 and for 2019 can be calculated using the published SID data.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to include an updated UK aid strategy in the Integrated Review.

In light of the decision to move to a one-year Spending Review, we are considering the implications for the completion of the Integrated Review, and will provide an update in due course

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to increase (a) the number of Departments administering Official Development Assistance (ODA) and (b) the proportion of ODA spending administered by his Department, excluding the cross-government funds, over the next five years.

As with all public expenditure, HM Treasury allocates Official Development Assistance funding to departments at each Spending Review. As announced on 21st October 2020, the Chancellor has decided to conduct a one-year Spending Review in order to prioritise the response to COVID-19, and our focus on supporting jobs. We expect this process to conclude in late November.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of his Department's Official Development Assistance budget was spent on frontline diplomatic activity in 2019.

Statistics on International Development (SID) - which is a national statistic - provides an overview of official UK spend on international development, including a breakdown of types of spend. Frontline Diplomatic Activity is recorded as 'Administrative costs not included elsewhere' using Sector Purpose code 91010. The SID covering spending for 2019 and the accompanying data was published on GOV.UK on 24 September, and can be viewed through the following links:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/927135/Statistics_on_International_Development_Final_UK_Aid_Spend_2019.pdf

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

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) ensure that the Government meets its commitment to invest £500 million fighting malaria for 2019-20 and (b) renew the Government’s commitment to invest £500 million fighting malaria per annum.

The UK is committed to tackling malaria and this is linked to our manifesto commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children. As the Spending Review process has not yet concluded, we are unable to comment in detail on specific future spending options. It remains in the UK's interest to use ODA to make the world healthier, safer and more prosperous and to continue to invest in strong health systems and reducing the global burden of malaria.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much the UK has (a) spent and (b) committed to be spent with the intention of helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing maternal mortality by a further two-thirds by 2030.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) review of maternal health results in 2018 made five recommendations, including adopting a long-term approach to maternal health planning, linking strongly to health system strengthening work and increasing the focus on quality of care. We welcomed all recommendations and the 2020 follow up review acknowledged our swift progress, finding that the UK had 'enhanced its emphasis on the need for good quality, respectful care for women and their babies and increased focus on adolescents and poorer women within its new family planning programmes'. ICAI also recognised the UK Government's commitment to Ending the Preventable Deaths of Mothers, Newborns and Children by 2030 and to international advocacy for comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights.

Using internationally accepted methods, we estimate that the UK Government has spent an average of approximately £1 billion per year on Maternal Newborn and Child Health between 2013/14 - 2017/18, on a range of bilateral and multilateral programmes. Maternal health remains a key priority throughout our health work, with recently announced investments including £600 million to the Reproductive Health Supplies programme to buy family planning supplies for millions more women and girls in the world's poorest countries each year.

The UK commitment to ending preventable deaths has created further momentum to ensure the right balance in the FCDO portfolio across family planning, health services and other essential interventions for maternal and newborn health and wellbeing. This holistic approach is essential if we are to maximise the impact of our money and policy, and more important than ever before given the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for health services across the world. In responding to the ICAI recommendations, we are reviewing our approach to maternal health results to include more context based country data and to increase our focus on long-term, sustainable change.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what changes have been made to UK Aid spending on reducing maternal deaths which satisfactorily address the amber/red ratings for impact, effectiveness, sustainability and value for money given by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact in 2018.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) review of maternal health results in 2018 made five recommendations, including adopting a long-term approach to maternal health planning, linking strongly to health system strengthening work and increasing the focus on quality of care. We welcomed all recommendations and the 2020 follow up review acknowledged our swift progress, finding that the UK had 'enhanced its emphasis on the need for good quality, respectful care for women and their babies and increased focus on adolescents and poorer women within its new family planning programmes'. ICAI also recognised the UK Government's commitment to Ending the Preventable Deaths of Mothers, Newborns and Children by 2030 and to international advocacy for comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights.

Using internationally accepted methods, we estimate that the UK Government has spent an average of approximately £1 billion per year on Maternal Newborn and Child Health between 2013/14 - 2017/18, on a range of bilateral and multilateral programmes. Maternal health remains a key priority throughout our health work, with recently announced investments including £600 million to the Reproductive Health Supplies programme to buy family planning supplies for millions more women and girls in the world's poorest countries each year.

The UK commitment to ending preventable deaths has created further momentum to ensure the right balance in the FCDO portfolio across family planning, health services and other essential interventions for maternal and newborn health and wellbeing. This holistic approach is essential if we are to maximise the impact of our money and policy, and more important than ever before given the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for health services across the world. In responding to the ICAI recommendations, we are reviewing our approach to maternal health results to include more context based country data and to increase our focus on long-term, sustainable change.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact entitled Assessing DFID’s Results in Improving Maternal Health, published in October 2018, what methodology he is using to measure progress against the finding that DFID’s portfolio was not well balanced across family planning, health services and other interventions, so as to maximise medium-to-long-term-impact.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) review of maternal health results in 2018 made five recommendations, including adopting a long-term approach to maternal health planning, linking strongly to health system strengthening work and increasing the focus on quality of care. We welcomed all recommendations and the 2020 follow up review acknowledged our swift progress, finding that the UK had 'enhanced its emphasis on the need for good quality, respectful care for women and their babies and increased focus on adolescents and poorer women within its new family planning programmes'. ICAI also recognised the UK Government's commitment to Ending the Preventable Deaths of Mothers, Newborns and Children by 2030 and to international advocacy for comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights.

Using internationally accepted methods, we estimate that the UK Government has spent an average of approximately £1 billion per year on Maternal Newborn and Child Health between 2013/14 - 2017/18, on a range of bilateral and multilateral programmes. Maternal health remains a key priority throughout our health work, with recently announced investments including £600 million to the Reproductive Health Supplies programme to buy family planning supplies for millions more women and girls in the world's poorest countries each year.

The UK commitment to ending preventable deaths has created further momentum to ensure the right balance in the FCDO portfolio across family planning, health services and other essential interventions for maternal and newborn health and wellbeing. This holistic approach is essential if we are to maximise the impact of our money and policy, and more important than ever before given the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for health services across the world. In responding to the ICAI recommendations, we are reviewing our approach to maternal health results to include more context based country data and to increase our focus on long-term, sustainable change.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to publish a response to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Assessing DFID’s results in nutrition review, published on 16 September 2020.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs aims to respond to the ICAI review of DFID's results in Nutrition within six weeks of the report's publication date. This is the usual timescale for Government responses to ICAI reviews and will enable the Government to give proper consideration to the report and the recommendations made within it.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his Department's timescale is for responding to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact’s forthcoming reports on (a) The UK’s approach to tackling modern slavery through the aid programme, (b) Management of the UK’s 0.7 per cent ODA Spending Target and (c) Sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeepers.

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs aims to respond to Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) reviews within six weeks of the reports' publication dates.

This is the usual timescale for Government responses to ICAI reviews and enables the Government to give proper consideration to reviews and the recommendations made within them.

8th Sep 2020
What plans he has to help meet all of the Sustainable Development Goals following the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the Department for International Development.

The UK was at the forefront of agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, and we remain committed to being at the forefront of global efforts to achieve them. On the 2 September, we appointed Nick Dyer as the UK’s first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, which has strong links to the SDGs including Goal 2 on Zero Hunger. The FCDO brings together the best of our development and diplomatic expertise, projecting the UK as a Force for Good in the world, with a continued focus on supporting the bottom billion. Championing global progress on the SDGs, and using our G7 and COP presidencies, will be crucial to these aims. The SDGs also play a vital role in post-COVID-19 recovery.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that HMRC payroll compliance checks are (a) manageable and (b) proportionate for businesses.

HMRC strive to ensure that all of the compliance checks carried out, including those on payroll compliance, are proportionate and manageable for those that we deal with. During a check, our officers will only request information and documents that are needed to check the customer’s tax position. They work with the customer to ensure any deadline to provide information is reasonable and achievable, considering the size and nature of the request. HMRC officials regularly engage Treasury officials and Ministers on compliance strategy, approach and priorities.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether officials at his Department have had discussions with their counterparts at HMRC on the Department's policy for conducting compliance investigations of businesses' payrolls in the period since the outbreak of covid-19.

HMRC strive to ensure that all of the compliance checks carried out, including those on payroll compliance, are proportionate and manageable for those that we deal with. During a check, our officers will only request information and documents that are needed to check the customer’s tax position. They work with the customer to ensure any deadline to provide information is reasonable and achievable, considering the size and nature of the request. HMRC officials regularly engage Treasury officials and Ministers on compliance strategy, approach and priorities.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will remove VAT on (a) suntan lotion and (b) other similar products in the context of the rising cost of living.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, however, there are currently no plans to reduce or remove VAT on sunscreen products.

Although sun protection products are subject to the standard rate of VAT, high-factor sunscreen is provided VAT free when dispensed by a pharmacist.

25th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will remove VAT on (a) suntan lotion and (b) other similar products to help ensure that families are able to access those products in the context of the rising cost of living.

Under the current VAT rules, sun protection products are subject to the standard rate of VAT. High-factor sunscreen is on the NHS prescription list for certain conditions and therefore is provided VAT free when dispensed by a pharmacist.

Expanding the scope of current VAT reliefs would impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. VAT raised around £130 billion in 2019-20 and helps to fund key spending priorities including on health, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere. In addition, this request must be viewed in the context of almost £50 billion of requests for relief from VAT received since the EU referendum. Finally, it is never guaranteed that any reduction in tax on a given item would be passed on by the manufacturers to the end consumer.

More widely, the Government is supporting the hardest hit with £37 billion of help to address the cost of living and cutting hundreds of pounds off household bills. Almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households across the UK will receive support of at least £1,200 this year, including a new one-off £650 cost of living payment. This intervention will substantially ease the burden on families in the face of high inflation.

Although the Government keep all taxes under review, there are currently no plans to reduce or remove VAT on sunscreen products.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take to ensure that breweries that produce between 2,101 and 5,000 hectolitres can compete with breweries that produce between (a) 5,001 and 10,000 and (b) 10,001 and 20,000 hectolitres.

The Treasury committed to reforming Small Brewers Relief (SBR) and our review of SBR is ongoing. A technical consultation was launched in January this year to help inform the Government’s review. The consultation document provides further information on the Government’s assessment of changes and we are currently analysing the responses.

The Treasury believes that reducing the starting taper from 5,000 to 2,100 hectolitres (880,000 pints a year to 370,000 pints a year) strikes a balance between guaranteeing the full value of the relief for truly small breweries, while providing those between the 2,100 to 5,000 hectolitres threshold a smoother transition to the main duty rate. Officials are continuing to work closely with HM Revenue and Customs to deliver a relief that is sustainable and supports brewers of all sizes in the long-term.

The Government has made it clear that changes to SBR will not come into effect until at least January 2022. We will consider the state of the industry as it recovers from Covid-19, and the need to provide sufficient time for brewers to adapt, before making any changes.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reduce the Small Brewers Relief 50 per cent duty threshold from 5,000 to 2,100 hectolitres.

The Treasury committed to reforming Small Brewers Relief (SBR) and our review of SBR is ongoing. A technical consultation was launched in January this year to help inform the Government’s review. The consultation document provides further information on the Government’s assessment of changes and we are currently analysing the responses.

The Treasury believes that reducing the starting taper from 5,000 to 2,100 hectolitres (880,000 pints a year to 370,000 pints a year) strikes a balance between guaranteeing the full value of the relief for truly small breweries, while providing those between the 2,100 to 5,000 hectolitres threshold a smoother transition to the main duty rate. Officials are continuing to work closely with HM Revenue and Customs to deliver a relief that is sustainable and supports brewers of all sizes in the long-term.

The Government has made it clear that changes to SBR will not come into effect until at least January 2022. We will consider the state of the industry as it recovers from Covid-19, and the need to provide sufficient time for brewers to adapt, before making any changes.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he is making available to agency workers who cannot find work and whose agencies will not furlough those workers because they are unwilling or unable to pay national insurance contributions and pension costs.

Since November, employers are only asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is lower than the previous level in September and October, and for an average claim accounts for just 5 per cent of total employment costs, or £70 per employee per month. Furthermore, many small employers can benefit from the Employment Allowance for support with their NICs bill, and, since March, businesses have received billions in loans, tax deferrals, Business Rate reliefs, and general and sector-specific grants. This support can be used by businesses to cover the costs of NICs and pension contributions, ensuring that they can continue to furlough their employees.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that overseas sellers are aware of the need to register to pay UK VAT for goods under £135 from 1 January 2021; and when he plans to publish guidance on registration.

HMRC have published guidance on 20 July 2020 and 20 November 2020 setting out information on the proposed changes for overseas sellers and online marketplaces and what businesses will need to do in order to prepare, including when and how to register for VAT.
16th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how (a) much funding and (b) many full-time equivalent staff have been allocated to the Forced Marriage Unit in each financial year since its was founded; and how many cases have been reported to that unit in each of those years.

The Government is committed to tackling forced marriage. On 27 February 2023, we brought into force legislation which raised the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18, and expanded the offence of forced marriage so it is illegal to do anything to cause a child to marry before they turn 18, even if coercion is not used.

The joint Home Office and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has been actively raising awareness of the new forced marriage legislation in all its presentations and across its social media platforms since January 2023.

The FMU runs regular workshops and presentations for police officers, social workers, local authorities, registrars and others. In 2022, the FMU delivered training to 1,537 professionals and the unit has reached over 3,000 professionals by the end of September 2023. This includes bespoke training sessions on request to police forces. Over 650 police officers have been given this training since the legislation changed in February 2023. The Home Office also worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on HBA to ensure that forces were prepared for the commencement of the legislation. This included a joint national meeting with relevant force leads and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before the legislation came into force.

While the Home Office does not directly hold data on safeguarding measures introduced by police forces to help ensure that suspected child marriage cases are managed adequately, we do work closely with the dedicated NPCC lead for Honour Based Abuse to ensure forces have the support they need. In addition, the College of Policing published authorised professional practice guidance for officers on ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) which has been updated together with domestic abuse training and the Police Education Qualifications Framework to incorporate material about the new legislation.

Whilst there have not been dedicated meetings on this subject with Home Office Ministers and the DHSC and DfE Secretaries of State, Ministers do meet regularly to discuss matters of crime and safeguarding, with a dedicated VAWG Ministerial Steering Group taking place later this month.

The FMU is jointly funded by the Home Office and FCDO. It currently has six full time staff, two joint heads (one from each department) and four case workers. The Unit’s operating costs including staff time, outreach activity and casework are funded through the departmental budgets of its parent organisations.

Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the new offence of arranging for a child to marry as part of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022 are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and are not currently available as the offence only came into force in February 2023. Statistics on the offence will be available in future publications of MoJ’s Criminal Justice System Statistics. The Government does not hold data on arrests or investigations for the offence. The FMU publishes annual statistics, including on the total number of cases per year, online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/forced-marriage-unit-statistics.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding and how many full-time equivalent staff have been allocated to the Forced Marriage Unit in each financial year since its foundation; and how many cases have been reported to that unit in each of those years.

The Government is committed to tackling forced marriage. On 27 February 2023, we brought into force legislation which raised the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18, and expanded the offence of forced marriage so it is illegal to do anything to cause a child to marry before they turn 18, even if coercion is not used.

The joint Home Office and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has been actively raising awareness of the new forced marriage legislation in all its presentations and across its social media platforms since January 2023.

The FMU runs regular workshops and presentations for police officers, social workers, local authorities, registrars and others. In 2022, the FMU delivered training to 1,537 professionals and the unit has reached over 3,000 professionals by the end of September 2023. This includes bespoke training sessions on request to police forces. Over 650 police officers have been given this training since the legislation changed in February 2023. The Home Office also worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on HBA to ensure that forces were prepared for the commencement of the legislation. This included a joint national meeting with relevant force leads and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before the legislation came into force.

While the Home Office does not directly hold data on safeguarding measures introduced by police forces to help ensure that suspected child marriage cases are managed adequately, we do work closely with the dedicated NPCC lead for Honour Based Abuse to ensure forces have the support they need. In addition, the College of Policing published authorised professional practice guidance for officers on ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) which has been updated together with domestic abuse training and the Police Education Qualifications Framework to incorporate material about the new legislation.

Whilst there have not been dedicated meetings on this subject with Home Office Ministers and the DHSC and DfE Secretaries of State, Ministers do meet regularly to discuss matters of crime and safeguarding, with a dedicated VAWG Ministerial Steering Group taking place later this month.

The FMU is jointly funded by the Home Office and FCDO. It currently has six full time staff, two joint heads (one from each department) and four case workers. The Unit’s operating costs including staff time, outreach activity and casework are funded through the departmental budgets of its parent organisations.

Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the new offence of arranging for a child to marry as part of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022 are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and are not currently available as the offence only came into force in February 2023. Statistics on the offence will be available in future publications of MoJ’s Criminal Justice System Statistics. The Government does not hold data on arrests or investigations for the offence. The FMU publishes annual statistics, including on the total number of cases per year, online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/forced-marriage-unit-statistics.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has (a) provided training for police officers on and (b) taken steps to monitor enforcement by police of the new crime of arranging for a child to marry since the introduction of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022; whether her Department has published guidance for police officers on (i) preventing and (ii) intervening in suspected child marriage cases; what data her Department holds on safeguarding measures introduced by police forces to help ensure that suspected child marriage cases are managed adequately; and whether she has had discussions with the Secretaries of State for Health and for Education on (A) training on, (B) monitoring of, (C) guidance on and (D) safeguarding measures for the management of such cases by (1) social workers and (2) teachers.

The Government is committed to tackling forced marriage. On 27 February 2023, we brought into force legislation which raised the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18, and expanded the offence of forced marriage so it is illegal to do anything to cause a child to marry before they turn 18, even if coercion is not used.

The joint Home Office and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has been actively raising awareness of the new forced marriage legislation in all its presentations and across its social media platforms since January 2023.

The FMU runs regular workshops and presentations for police officers, social workers, local authorities, registrars and others. In 2022, the FMU delivered training to 1,537 professionals and the unit has reached over 3,000 professionals by the end of September 2023. This includes bespoke training sessions on request to police forces. Over 650 police officers have been given this training since the legislation changed in February 2023. The Home Office also worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on HBA to ensure that forces were prepared for the commencement of the legislation. This included a joint national meeting with relevant force leads and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before the legislation came into force.

While the Home Office does not directly hold data on safeguarding measures introduced by police forces to help ensure that suspected child marriage cases are managed adequately, we do work closely with the dedicated NPCC lead for Honour Based Abuse to ensure forces have the support they need. In addition, the College of Policing published authorised professional practice guidance for officers on ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) which has been updated together with domestic abuse training and the Police Education Qualifications Framework to incorporate material about the new legislation.

Whilst there have not been dedicated meetings on this subject with Home Office Ministers and the DHSC and DfE Secretaries of State, Ministers do meet regularly to discuss matters of crime and safeguarding, with a dedicated VAWG Ministerial Steering Group taking place later this month.

The FMU is jointly funded by the Home Office and FCDO. It currently has six full time staff, two joint heads (one from each department) and four case workers. The Unit’s operating costs including staff time, outreach activity and casework are funded through the departmental budgets of its parent organisations.

Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the new offence of arranging for a child to marry as part of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022 are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and are not currently available as the offence only came into force in February 2023. Statistics on the offence will be available in future publications of MoJ’s Criminal Justice System Statistics. The Government does not hold data on arrests or investigations for the offence. The FMU publishes annual statistics, including on the total number of cases per year, online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/forced-marriage-unit-statistics.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) convictions, (b) prosecutions, (c) arrests and (d) live, ongoing criminal investigations there were for the new crime of arranging for a child to marry between the introduction of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022 and 31 July 2023; and how many referrals the Forced Marriage Unit has received for child marriage cases in that time period.

The Government is committed to tackling forced marriage. On 27 February 2023, we brought into force legislation which raised the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18, and expanded the offence of forced marriage so it is illegal to do anything to cause a child to marry before they turn 18, even if coercion is not used.

The joint Home Office and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has been actively raising awareness of the new forced marriage legislation in all its presentations and across its social media platforms since January 2023.

The FMU runs regular workshops and presentations for police officers, social workers, local authorities, registrars and others. In 2022, the FMU delivered training to 1,537 professionals and the unit has reached over 3,000 professionals by the end of September 2023. This includes bespoke training sessions on request to police forces. Over 650 police officers have been given this training since the legislation changed in February 2023. The Home Office also worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on HBA to ensure that forces were prepared for the commencement of the legislation. This included a joint national meeting with relevant force leads and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before the legislation came into force.

While the Home Office does not directly hold data on safeguarding measures introduced by police forces to help ensure that suspected child marriage cases are managed adequately, we do work closely with the dedicated NPCC lead for Honour Based Abuse to ensure forces have the support they need. In addition, the College of Policing published authorised professional practice guidance for officers on ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) which has been updated together with domestic abuse training and the Police Education Qualifications Framework to incorporate material about the new legislation.

Whilst there have not been dedicated meetings on this subject with Home Office Ministers and the DHSC and DfE Secretaries of State, Ministers do meet regularly to discuss matters of crime and safeguarding, with a dedicated VAWG Ministerial Steering Group taking place later this month.

The FMU is jointly funded by the Home Office and FCDO. It currently has six full time staff, two joint heads (one from each department) and four case workers. The Unit’s operating costs including staff time, outreach activity and casework are funded through the departmental budgets of its parent organisations.

Statistics on prosecutions and convictions for the new offence of arranging for a child to marry as part of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022 are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and are not currently available as the offence only came into force in February 2023. Statistics on the offence will be available in future publications of MoJ’s Criminal Justice System Statistics. The Government does not hold data on arrests or investigations for the offence. The FMU publishes annual statistics, including on the total number of cases per year, online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/forced-marriage-unit-statistics.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of banning disposable BBQs in public places, given the impact on emergency service resources in having to deal with fires on moors and outdoor spaces.

The Government is looking at the impact of disposable barbecues, as part of a research project led by Defra. Depending on the evidence, we will of course examine appropriate responses.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is to date of the Afghan relocation programme (ARAP); and whether funding for ARAP is classified as Official Development Assistance and payable from the present ODA budget.

The current estimate of MOD cost of supporting the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) is £8.25 million. This includes:

  • Pre Op PITTING movement of ARAP persons to UK.
  • The ARAP share for Op PITTING.
  • Early costs arising from the movement of ARAP persons from 3rd

The MOD continues to incur costs for the movement of persons to the UK, but is not responsible for the significant costs will be incurred by Home Office in delivering the Managed Quarantine Service, bridging accommodation and wrap around support for the ARAP population in the UK, including costs of accommodation and services once in the UK.

We do not anticipate that this expenditure will be classified as Official Development Assistance

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to promote collaboration between local planning authorities on planning applications that have implications for (a) school places and (b) other public services in neighbouring local authorities.

The provision of the right infrastructure at the right time is very important to new and existing communities. It allows infrastructure like schools, GP surgeries and new roads to be provided in a more effective, transparent and efficient manner. While I agree that there should be collaboration between local authorities and key infrastructure providers to ensure these matters are properly planned for, we believe this is best done as part of the plan-making process.

To this end, we will be introducing an Infrastructure Levy to replace the complex and discretionary Section 106 regime. The levy will be a mandatory, non-negotiable charge, set and collected locally. It will give a greater say to local councils on what their infrastructure priorities are and give greater transparency to local people about how funds will be spent and what infrastructure will be delivered.

To strengthen infrastructure delivery further, we will be introducing a requirement for local authorities to prepare infrastructure delivery strategies. These will set out a strategy for delivering local infrastructure, including education and other types of community facilities, and spending Infrastructure Levy proceeds. We are also introducing a new requirement for infrastructure providers and other bodies to provide assistance to local authorities in drafting their local plans. This will ensure local authorities get the information they need in a timely manner so that they can identify how infrastructure and new housing development should be sited and provided


I agree that it is vital for local planning authorities to work together to make sure that cross-boundary issues are properly addressed, and we expect them to plan for and deliver the housing and infrastructure our communities need.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his Department's policy is on the extent to which local planning authorities should take into account local objections when considering applications to build on green belt land, in the context of site SGA26 in Mid Derbyshire.

I regret that, due to the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial role in the planning system, I am unable to comment on the details of a specific Local Plan, including proposed sites.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to make funding available to local authorities to arrange civic celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee in 2022.

The Government has written to local authorities in the United Kingdom, highlighting the many opportunities for their communities to get involved in Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) set out a cross-Whitehall vision through the High Streets Strategy which includes the Government’s commitment to support celebrations and the involvement of local communities.

In addition, those local authorities who have signed up to take part in the Government’s Welcome Back Fund may choose to use their allocation to undertake preparations for the Platinum Jubilee, before the fund ends on 31 March 2022.

16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to ensure that all local authorities are able to return to full, in-person meetings on local authority premises after the end of covid-19 social distancing restrictions in July 2021 thereby avoiding the need to hire large venues to accommodate social distancing.

The Government recognises that councils have delivered above and beyond throughout the pandemic. To support the reopening of local authority buildings and the return to face-to-face meetings, we advise use of the 'Working Safely During Coronavirus' guidance available on gov.uk which provides advice on precautions to manage risk.

Meetings where councils deem in-person attendance is not required can continue virtually. This would include non-statutory or other informal meetings.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to prepare for the commencement of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2022.

The Act is planned to come into force on 27 February 2023.

In advance, officials at the General Register Office have been working to ensure that their IT systems are updated so that it is no longer possible for Registrars to accept notice for 16 and 17 year olds to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

Secondary legislation required as a result of the Act has been drafted and is currently being reviewed and agreed across Government.

Officials have been working to ensure impacted groups such as the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and schools are aware of the change in law.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to end child marriage across England and Wales.

The Government continues to listen carefully to the debate on the legal age of marriage. Justice officials liaise closely with officials in other departments that have an interest in this matter and in forced marriage, which Government made an offence in 2014.

I am aware of my Hon. Friend’s Private Members’ Bill which seeks to raise the age for marriage and civil partnership formation in England Wales from sixteen or seventeen to eighteen years of age. It also seeks to provide for related offences including an offence of failing to protect a child from entering marriage. Her Bill would also place a requirement on certain professionals to notify the police, if any such marriage has taken place, or could take place, and seeks to provide for a new child marriage protection order.

My noble and learned friend Lord Wolfson, in his new role as minister for family justice, will arrange to meet with my hon. friend shortly to discuss these important issues with her.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland, whether he is taking steps to ensure UK compliance with the recommendations of the 2018 report from the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Regulations we made, consistent with the duty placed on the Government under section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019, have been in place since 31 March 2020. The Regulations provide a new framework for lawful access to abortion services in Northern Ireland. The Regulations deliver equivalent outcomes in practice to the rest of the UK so that women and girls can enjoy similar rights in accessing abortion services locally in Northern Ireland.

Since April 2020, some service provision has commenced on the ground in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health clinics across most Health and Social Care Trusts. According to figures released by the Department of Health in October 2020, over 719 abortions have been provided to women and girls locally in Northern Ireland.

My Department and I are continuing to engage and work with the Northern Ireland Health Minister and the relevant Northern Ireland departments, in implementing the remaining CEDAW recommendations on matters for which they are responsible, including the full commissioning of abortion services in line with the Regulations we made, at the earliest opportunity.

17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will have discussions with the Scottish Government on the UK's obligations under the Sustainable Development Goals to ban child marriage by 2030.

I am pleased that the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act recently came into force in England and Wales, and I note the important work and contribution from the Member for Mid Derbyshire. As a devolved matter, it is for the Scottish Government to decide on the age of marriage. Nonetheless, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice wrote to the then Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government last December, encouraging the Scottish Government to follow the UK Government’s lead. I hope the Scottish Government will take action on this soon, in order to meet our targets under the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he has had discussions with the First Minister on the legal age of marriage in Scotland.

I am pleased that the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act recently obtained Royal Assent - and I thank my honourable Friend for her important work in this area.

The Scottish Government is aware of the Act’s contents. As a devolved matter, it is for the Scottish Government to decide on the age of marriage.

Nonetheless, I would encourage the Scottish Government to follow suit.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland