Preet Kaur Gill Portrait

Preet Kaur Gill

Labour (Co-op) - Birmingham, Edgbaston

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

(since September 2020)
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
6th Apr 2020 - 2nd Sep 2020
Shadow Minister (International Development)
12th Jan 2018 - 6th Apr 2020
Home Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 5th Feb 2018


Department Event
Tuesday 26th October 2021
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
26 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 20th July 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Less than 1% of sub-Saharan Africa has been fully vaccinated, leaving the Prime Minister’s claim that he would vaccinate the …

Written Answers
Thursday 16th September 2021
Afghanistan: Refugees
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2021 …
Early Day Motions
Monday 23rd March 2020
2021 census and a Sikh ethnic tick box
That this House notes the cross-party campaign led by the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs for a Sikh …
Bills
Wednesday 5th June 2019
Freehold Properties (Management Charges) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 1st June 2021
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
House in Belfast, owned jointly with my wife: (i). (Registered 06 July 2017)
EDM signed
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
GKN Automotive alternative plan
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to enable co-operative and community benefit societies to raise external share capital for the purpose of making environmentally …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Preet Kaur Gill has voted in 255 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Preet Kaur Gill 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
(13 debate interactions)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative)
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
(11 debate interactions)
Nadine Dorries (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(11 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Preet Kaur Gill's debates

Birmingham, Edgbaston 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).

Petitions with highest Birmingham, Edgbaston signature proportion
Petitions with most Birmingham, Edgbaston signatures
Preet Kaur Gill has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Preet Kaur Gill

22nd June 2021
Preet Kaur Gill signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
3rd September 2020
Preet Kaur Gill signed this EDM on Thursday 10th September 2020

West Midlands Gigafactory

Tabled by: Liam Byrne (Labour - Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
That this House notes that the West Midlands was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution; notes that our country must now lead the Green Industrial Revolution; further notes that the West Midlands is a global centre of battery technology for Electric Vehicles, and is already home to the UK Battery …
8 signatures
(Most recent: 10 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Preet Kaur Gill's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Preet Kaur Gill, 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.


Preet Kaur Gill has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Preet Kaur Gill has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Preet Kaur Gill


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 require landlords to provide accounts of management charges payable under section 19 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 to freehold property owners; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 5th June 2019
(Read Debate)

956 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
5 Other Department Questions
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to postpone Census 2021 in line with Scotland; what estimate he has made of the cost of postponing the census; and what steps the Office for National Statistics is taking to mitigate such costs.

The Government is not planning to postpone Census 2021 in England and Wales. I regret that Census 2021 has been postponed in Scotland.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has invested in middle income countries through the Prosperity Fund in each of the last five years.

The Prosperity Fund annual reports, produced since the Fund’s inception in 2016, provide an approximation of the ODA spend in each partner country across the lifetime of the Fund. The 2019/20 Annual Report will be published in due course.

The reports are available online:

The 2019/20 Annual Report will be published in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Punjabi speaking community engagement roles are being advertised for the 2021 Census.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Sikh community engagement roles are being advertised for the 2021 Census.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, whether there will be a Cabinet level post with responsibility for international development and a place on the National Security Council after the merger of the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I refer the hon Member to my answer to the Rt Hon Member for South West Surrey during my oral statement on 16 June , Official Report Col 680.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Cabinet Office's Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21, published on 15 July 2021, what total amount was refunded by the Cabinet Office to the Conservative Party for the work undertaken on the No 11 Downing Street residence in March 2021 as referred to on page 209 of that report.

Other than works funded through the annual allowance, the costs of the wider refurbishment of the residence are not being financed by taxpayers and have been settled by the Prime Minister personally.

Interim support provided by the Conservative Party is a matter for the party.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to page 209 of the Cabinet Office's Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21, published on 15 July 2021, what the total amount is that the Cabinet Office recharged to the Conservative Party in July 2020 for the refurbishment work that was undertaken on the No 11 Downing Street residence.

Other than works funded through the annual allowance, the costs of the wider refurbishment of the residence are not being financed by taxpayers and have been settled by the Prime Minister personally.

Interim support provided by the Conservative Party is a matter for the party.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174933, as of 16 April 2021 how much funding has been (a) committed and (b) disbursed to G7 Engagement Groups in outreach funding to help increase the reach of their activity and develop the evidence base for their recommendations.

The Government has recently appointed a production company, through a detailed tendering process which was open to companies on the Crown Commercial Services Communication Services Framework (RM3796). Three companies bid for the contract to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit. Information relating to the successful bidder, estimated contract value and the terms will be available through Crown Commercial Services contracts finder.

Information relating to the grants awarded to some G7 Engagement Groups for outreach activity will be published through the usual grants transparency process in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174933, how many and which G7 Engagement Groups have (a) bid for and (b) been awarded outreach funding to help increase the reach of their activity and develop the evidence base for their recommendations.

The Government has recently appointed a production company, through a detailed tendering process which was open to companies on the Crown Commercial Services Communication Services Framework (RM3796). Three companies bid for the contract to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit. Information relating to the successful bidder, estimated contract value and the terms will be available through Crown Commercial Services contracts finder.

Information relating to the grants awarded to some G7 Engagement Groups for outreach activity will be published through the usual grants transparency process in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 174934, how many companies applied for the contract to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit.

The Government has recently appointed a production company, through a detailed tendering process which was open to companies on the Crown Commercial Services Communication Services Framework (RM3796). Three companies bid for the contract to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit. Information relating to the successful bidder, estimated contract value and the terms will be available through Crown Commercial Services contracts finder.

Information relating to the grants awarded to some G7 Engagement Groups for outreach activity will be published through the usual grants transparency process in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate the ONS has made of the number of fines that will be issued for giving false information in the Census 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many households were sent a letter with a unique code to access the 2021 online census; and how many people requested a code (a) online and (b) via a text message to be sent to their mobile phone.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many fines were issued to people for (a) non-participation and (b) giving false information in the 2011 Census.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate the ONS has made of the number of fines it will issue for non-completion of the Census 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of (a) people and (b) households completed the Census 2021 online by the 21 March 2021 deadline; and what comparative assessment he has made of that number and ONS's projected number in that category.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what Government funding has been provided to support G7 engagement groups.

Some G7 Engagement Groups have bid for, and been awarded, outreach funding to help increase the reach of their activity and develop the evidence base for their recommendations. This funding will help Groups raise awareness of the role, purpose and impact of the G7 across the regions and nations of the UK and beyond.

Each of the Engagement Groups has been offered use of a Government-funded virtual platform to host their Summits, which should enable them to reach out and connect to a larger and wider global audience.

The Government has recently appointed a production company, through a detailed tendering process, to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit. The costs related to this will be published through the usual transparency process in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has budgeted for the G7 IT platform.

Some G7 Engagement Groups have bid for, and been awarded, outreach funding to help increase the reach of their activity and develop the evidence base for their recommendations. This funding will help Groups raise awareness of the role, purpose and impact of the G7 across the regions and nations of the UK and beyond.

Each of the Engagement Groups has been offered use of a Government-funded virtual platform to host their Summits, which should enable them to reach out and connect to a larger and wider global audience.

The Government has recently appointed a production company, through a detailed tendering process, to support the physical and digital delivery of the G7 Summit. The costs related to this will be published through the usual transparency process in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the target response rate is for Census 2021; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the (a) digital first policy and (b) covid-19 restrictions affecting visits to households on that target.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Census Support Centres are planned to be open in time for the Census 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what support the Government plans to provide for people who need help filling in their questionnaire for the 2021 Census.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the ONS contact centre will have staff on the telephone who can speak Punjabi when they open on 1 March 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many submissions his Department received in response to its August 2020 Integrated Review call for evidence.

The Government launched a call for evidence to support the Integrated Review on 13 August 2020, which ran for four weeks. Over 450 submissions were received in response.

The Government intends to publish submissions to the Integrated Review call for evidence on the government website GOV.UK. Publication is expected in spring this year alongside publication of the Integrated Review.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to publish the findings of his Department's August 2020 Integrated Review call for evidence.

The Government launched a call for evidence to support the Integrated Review on 13 August 2020, which ran for four weeks. Over 450 submissions were received in response.

The Government intends to publish submissions to the Integrated Review call for evidence on the government website GOV.UK. Publication is expected in spring this year alongside publication of the Integrated Review.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of issuing vaccine passports to those who need them in order to travel to (a) the Philippines and (b) other countries that require this certification.

We are working closely with partner countries on a range of issues relating to COVID-19 and international travel and we are committed to ensuring an approach that is internationally recognised. At present international travel is illegal, other than in specific circumstances.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) civil service staff and (b) members of the Government have taken time off work to self-isolate (i) in each Department and (ii) at each pay grade.

The information requested is not centrally held.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people employed in census community adviser roles speak foreign languages; and which languages to those people speak.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people employed in census community adviser roles there are in each ethnic group.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people employed in census community adviser roles there are from each religion.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will target (a) social distancing guidance and (b) other key messages regarding the covid-19 outbreak to groups most likely to breach Government guidance.

The Government has developed a national cross-government campaign to increase awareness of all COVID-related guidance and to provide information and reassurance to the public. Insight has been used to ensure that the main public information campaign reaches as many priority audiences as possible.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Prime Minister's Oral Statement of 16 June 2020 on Global Britain, how many staff in his Department are working on the merger of the Department for International development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and what the civil service grades of those staff is.

The Cabinet Office has a small team working on machinery of government changes. This would include the merger of the FCO and DfID. As has been the case under successive administrations, further details will not be disclosed as five or fewer individuals are involved.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the announcement by the Prime Minister on 26 May 2020, if he will publish the advice provided by SAGE on reopening certain non-essential shops from 15 June 2020.

Published material from the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

Further documents will be made available as appropriate in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's press release, Government safeguards UK elections, published on 5 May 2019, what the consultation on electoral integrity will cover.

The Government remains committed to ensuring elections are secure and fit for the modern age. Further detail will be announced in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department’s press release of 5 May 2019, Government safeguards UK elections, what progress he has made on each of the four commitments made by his Department to safeguard UK elections.

The Government takes the integrity and security of our democratic processes very seriously.

Further to my answers on 27 February (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 449), this Government is committed to ensuring elections are secure and fit for the modern age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish his Department’s consultation on electoral integrity.

The Government takes the integrity and security of our democratic processes very seriously.

Further to my answers on 27 February (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 449), this Government is committed to ensuring elections are secure and fit for the modern age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taken to promote awareness of the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Action plan among Ministerial colleagues.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all staff are treated with dignity and respect. Ministers are subject to the Ministerial Code which they are asked to familiarise themselves with upon appointment.

Dame Sue Owen’s report ‘Review of Arrangements for Tackling Bullying, Harassment and Misconduct in the Civil Service was published in September 2018 and is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/744907/TacklingBullyingHarassmentMisconduct-CivilService.pdf

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many cases of (a) bullying and (b) harassment have been recorded against (i) managers, (ii) Ministers and (iii) Secretaries of State of his Department in each of the last five years.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. friend, the Member for Louth and Horncastle, to PQ 251302 on 15 May 2019 and to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in response to an urgent question on the 2nd March 2020 (Official Record, Vol. 672 Col.609)

The annual report of the independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests sets out details of investigations undertaken by the adviser into alleged breaches of the Ministerial Code.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to tackle (a) verbal and (b) non-verbal bullying of (i) civil servants and (ii) consultants working in Government departments.

The Civil Service takes bullying very seriously and has taken robust steps to ensure behaviours in our workplaces are acceptable for all employees. We will not tolerate bullying in any form, whether it is verbal or non-verbal, and where it is identified, it will be addressed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Written Statement of 22 July 2019, Official Report, HCWS1772, what progress the Government has made on the defending democracy programme.

The Defending Democracy programme is led by the Cabinet Office, working closely with other departments, to take forward work to:

  • Protect and secure UK democratic processes, systems and institutions from interference, including from cyber, personnel and physical threats.

  • Strengthen the integrity of UK elections, ensuring that they are fit for the digital age.

  • Encourage respect for open, fair and safe democratic participation.

  • Promote fact-based and open discourse, including online.

Details of further next steps to ensure electoral integrity will be announced in due course.


Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what RAG rating the Infrastructure and Projects Authority has given to delivery confidence for the 2021 Census.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s Annual Report was published on 18 July 2019 and is available on gov.uk. It includes the Government Major Projects Portfolio dataset.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date the ONS supplied the draft Census Order to his Department.

I refer the Hon Member to the response which I gave to question 1394 on 15 January 2020.

The Census Order remains policy in formulation. It will be presented to both Houses in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 1394, on Census, on what date the ONS provided the draft Census Order to his Department.

I refer the Hon Member to the response which I gave to question 1394 on 15 January 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking in response to the 12 December 2019 judgment of the High Court in R (Gill on behalf of the Sikh Federation) v The Cabinet Office [2019] EWHC 3407 (Admin) to ensure that the Minister has responsibility for deciding upon the final form of the census particulars and the census questionnaires; and whether he plans to include in that final form a Sikh ethnic tick box response option.

The claim for judicial review in respect of the making of the Census Order without a Sikh ethnicity tick-box, brought by Amrik Singh Gill on behalf of the Sikh Federation UK, was dismissed by the High Court in December. Permission to appeal to the High Court was refused. It would be inappropriate for Ministers to comment any further.

The final topics and questions to be included in the 2021 Census will be set in secondary legislation. The draft Census Order will be presented to both Houses in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the ONS provided his Department with the draft Census Order.

The Cabinet Office has provided the Minister for the Constitution with a draft Census Order in advance of it being laid.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential risk of delay to the census 2021 after 21 March 2021.

The 2021 Census is part of the Government's Major Projects Portfolio. As such the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) provides independent assurance for the project on behalf of the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to R (Gill on behalf of the Sikh Federation) v The Cabinet Office [2019] EWHC 3407 (Admin), what assessment his Department has made of the potential risk of delay to the census 2021 as a result of legal challenge if the Sikh ethnic tick box response option is not included after the draft Census Order is presented to Parliament.

It would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing legal case.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many covid-19 vaccine doses COVAX has sent to the UK.

As set out in the answer given to the Hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion on 13th September 2021 to Question 41806, the UK committed approximately £71 million to the self-financing facility of COVAX, which enables high and upper-middle income countries to pool investments in potential vaccine candidates and supported its establishment last year. This gives us the option to buy vaccines for up to 20% of the UK population - approximately 27 million doses. The Government has separately committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will distribute 1.2 billion doses of vaccines to developing countries this year.

In addition, I am proud that as part of our commitment to the G7 to donate 100 million doses over the course of the next year, the UK has so far donated over 10 million doses to those countries most in need, of which over 6 million have gone to COVAX. Throughout the COVID-19 vaccination programme, vaccine supply and deliveries have been carefully managed by the Vaccine Taskforce to meet the requirements of the domestic vaccination programme as well as support other countries’ domestic campaigns. The recent sharing of 4 million doses with Australia is a good example of this.

The UK procured approximately 0.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through COVAX, which were delivered earlier this year. These doses helped the NHS deliver our vaccination programme as quickly as possible. No further doses have been received by the UK from COVAX.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many surplus covid-19 vaccines the UK will have accumulated by the end of 2021.

The Government has announced that the UK will donate at least 100 million surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses within the next year, including 5 million by the end of September and a further 25 million by the end of 2021.

The Government has committed that 80% of our surplus vaccines will go to COVAX, the multilateral facility responsible for distributing COVID-19 vaccines to ensure equitable global access. The remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need. The Government will set out more detail in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding was allocated to the 12 International Research Hubs from the Global Challenges Research Fund for (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

For financial year 2019/20, £40m was allocated to the Global Challenges Research Fund International Research Hubs. For each of financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22 they were allocated £41m. Final spend amounts are reported on a Calendar Year basis through the Statistics on International Development reporting process, published by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Official Development Assistance his Department plans to allocate to projects in China in 2021.

The majority of the Department’s Official Development Assistance spend is allocated thematically, rather than geographically. Information on the level of funding for work with China in 2021 will not be available until the completion of the Statistics on International Development (SID) return at the completion of this Financial Year.

BEIS only funds work with China on addressing global development challenges together. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and a key driver of global growth. Meeting the Paris Agreement and limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C is impossible without action from China.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many green homes grants have been awarded in (a) Edgbaston, (b) Birmingham and (c) the West Midlands.

Official statistics for the Green Homes Grant (Voucher) Scheme were released on 18 March. The data published in this release is for all applications received to the end of February 2021.

From this release, the number of vouchers issued are as follows:

(a) Edgbaston Parliamentary Constituency - 17

(b) Birmingham Local Authority - 923

(c) the West Midlands Region – 3,522

The figures above represent the number of measures approved for installation under the scheme, with a voucher for each measure awarded to the customer.

Further scheme statistics will be published in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the results of the Government's consultation on subsidising overseas fossil fuel projects.

The Government published its response on the 24th March. The link to this publication will be available soon.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department informed the UKRI of their Official Development Assistance budget for the financial year 2021-22.

The 21/22 Official Development Assistance allocation for my Department was confirmed on 27th January through the settlement letter issued by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. BEIS communicated proposed 21/22 ODA allocations to our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners – including UKRI – within two weeks of receiving this confirmation. These proposed allocations remain subject to final confirmation, as part of the Departmental allocations process for R&D (ODA and non-ODA). We aim to update our partners on final allocations for 2021/22 as soon as possible.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) he or (b) Ministers in his Department met with the UKRI's advisory groups prior to the announcement that his Department's allocation of Official Development Assistance in 2021-22 would leave a £120 million gap between allocations and commitments to grant holders.

All Government Departments with responsibility for spending Official Development Assistance took part in a cross-government process, led by my Rt. Hon. Friend the First Secretary of State, to review in detail how ODA is allocated between key priorities - recognising the difficult economic circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministers across multiple departments engaged in these discussions as part of the process. BEIS ministers regularly meet with UKRI on allocations and other issues.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his officials in his Department instructed representatives of UKRI to discuss planned budget reductions with stakeholders and recipients of Official Development Assistance funded projects after the Spending Review in November 2020 and the 10 March 2021.

All Government Departments with responsibility for spending Official Development Assistance took part in a cross-government process, led by my Rt. Hon. Friend the First Secretary of State, to review in detail how ODA is allocated between key priorities - recognising the difficult economic circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministers across multiple departments engaged in these discussions as part of the process. BEIS ministers regularly meet with UKRI on allocations and other issues.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on the level of employment in (a) the UK and (b) overseas of the reduced Official Development Assistance allocations to UK Research and Innovation.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22, and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are working with UKRI and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners to manage next year’s ODA allocation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reductions in ODA to the UKRI on the UK's relationships with international partners.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships, and supporting the UK research sector. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22, and as has been set out in our Integrated Review ambitions, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We are working with UKRI and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners to manage next year’s ODA allocation.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an estimate of the potential number of job losses (a) in the UK and (b) overseas as a result of the reduced Official Development Assistance allocations to UK Research and Innovation.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

BEIS is working with its ODA Delivery Partners, including UKRI, to manage the implementation of the 21/22 ODA settlement.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what level of Official Development Assistance funding The Global Challenges Research Fund is planned to receive for the financial year 2021-22.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

On Tuesday 26th January, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, having concluded the Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations of the Spending Review, issued a statement outlining each Department’s total ODA settlement for financial year 2021/22. BEIS was allocated £706 million, to be split between International Climate Finance (ICF) and Research and Development ODA, which includes the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications of the cost differential of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the UK and Uganda in achieving the Prime Minister's aim of making sure everybody gets the vaccines that they need so that the whole world can come through this pandemic together.

The UK is taking a strong global leadership role in collaborating with other countries in the development and distribution of a successful vaccine and we are encouraging other high-income countries to do the same. The UK is one of the largest bilateral donors to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which will give lower and middle-income countries equitable access to vaccines that are developed. The UK has committed £548 million to the COVAX AMC.

Pricing of COVID-19 vaccines between pharmaceutical companies and other countries is a matter for those parties involved.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) organisations and (b) individual members of the public responded to the Aligning UK international support for the clean energy transition consultation, which closed on 8 February 2021.

The UK Government is now considering the information received from the consultation, and will respond in due course, including details of the number and type of respondent.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Official Development Assistance his Department was allocated in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21; and how much it will be allocated in 2021-212.

For financial year 2019/20, the Department was allocated £1.038bn for Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend. For financial year 2020/21 the Department was allocated £1.406bn, which was revised to £1.281bn following the ODA adjustments necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the 0.7% share of our GNI. For financial year 2021/22, the Department was allocated £706m.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on ending public financing of fossil fuels overseas; and if he will make a statement.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to the Government's support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to deals the Government have signed related to finding a vaccine for covid-19, whether (a) pharmaceutical companies, (b) the Government or (c) both have the authority to declare an end to the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation declared a coronavirus pandemic on 11 March 2020 and we would expect it to declare a move to a post-pandemic period as it has done previously for the H1N1 pandemic in 2010.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether employers are required to provide alternative transport for workers who cannot work from home and need to use public transport and who shielded during the covid-19 lockdown.

In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. In order to help contain the virus, workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Employers should consult with their employees to determine who needs to come into the workplace safely taking account of a person’s journey, caring responsibilities, protected characteristics, and other individual circumstances. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the outcome of the review into funding support for fossil fuel projects overseas; and what exemptions he plans to include in the Government’s new policy on the provision of UKEF funding.

The Government keeps all policy under review and the outcome of any such reviews are published in a timely fashion.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on manufacturers in the West Midlands of not (a) updating and (b) renewing guidance on CE markings after the end of the transition period.

I appreciate that industry is looking for guidance as soon as possible. Guidance is under development and will be published shortly. However, I can confirm that the UKCA marking will come into existence on 1 January 2021.

The forthcoming guidance will address the question of CE marked goods in the UK after the transition period, however I can say now that under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement goods that were placed on the market before the transition periods ends can continue to circulate between the EU and the UK, including those which are CE marked.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement that the Government has secured access to 90 million doses of promising coronavirus vaccine candidates, published on 20 July 2020 on gov.uk, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that that access does not affect the availability of global vaccine stocks available for vulnerable groups in lower income countries.

The UK is working closely with international partners to ensure that when a vaccine is available, it will be accessible to everyone who needs it as soon as possible.

The UK has committed alongside other countries to support equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments for example, committing up to £250 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for the development of coronavirus vaccines. The UK has already committed £48 million to the COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility (COVAX) Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) which supports low and middle-income countries to access a successful vaccine.

The UK is also working closely with CEPI, GAVI (Vaccine Alliance) and the WHO to shape the emerging proposal for the self-financing arm of COVAX, which can support both domestic access and equitable access to LMICs.

We continue to work with our international partners to ensure that where countries have bilateral deals – including whether we be in the fortunate position where we have excess doses, these could be contributed to the COVAX facility.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Official Development Assistance his Department has disbursed in (a) Least Developed, (b) Other Low Income, (c) Lower Middle Income and (d) Upper Middle Income countries in each of the last five years.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was formed in July 2016. The data provided here shows the combined BEIS Official Development Assistance (ODA) cash spend position for both Climate ODA and R&D ODA, on a calendar year basis.

Country Type

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

a) LDCs

21,754,998

47,625,316

50,249,793

55,334,226

174,964,333

b) Other LICs

1,516,915

9,053,023

870,122

1,690,737

13,130,797

c) LMICs

30,574,472

47,217,944

76,697,348

93,034,109

247,523,872

d) UMICs

66,782,481

185,059,596

164,686,185

142,735,916

559,264,178

Other

601,816,475

476,361,051

557,209,148

667,036,187

2,302,422,861

TOTAL

722,445,342

765,316,930

849,712,595

959,831,174

3,297,306,042

In the above table, ”Other” covers spend that is categorised as regional / global / multi-country or spend that is unable to be categorised by country. Some of this “Other” spend would likely have been disbursed to the country categories listed in a) – d), but it is not possible to quantify the amount.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish guidance for businesses affected by a local lockdown due to the covid-19 outbreak on whether employees who live within a lockdown zone but work or trade outside that zone can continue to work.

Public Health England, the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace constantly monitor levels of infection across the country, and will work with local authorities to implement additional measures if needed.

The Government has published advice for workplace areas to factor in local outbreak measures. For example, the ‘Shift patterns and outbreaks’ section can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb97e7686650c278d4496ea/working-safely-during-covid-19-offices-contact-centres-110520.pdf. This advises that shift groups, where contact is unavoidable, happens between the same people.

It is, however, for each business to carry out its own risk assessment, in consultation with their workers, to inform the actions they should take to reduce the risks of COVID-19. All companies have the same obligations to protect the health and safety of their workers and other people who may be affected by their business.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has made to his Brazilian counterpart on the (a) continued deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, and (b) effect of that deforestation on UK businesses operating in Brazil.

I am concerned by data that suggests a recent increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, and am aware of concerns raised by UK business and consumers on risks to supply chains. Government officials working in London and Brazil routinely monitor deforestation rates and risks.

We have a long-established government partnership with Brazil to tackle deforestation, promote sustainable growth and mitigate climate change, and supported by £200m of UK International Climate Finance. This includes promoting business models that can be scaled up, like a proposed green bond to help Brazilian farmers avoid moving into pristine territory, under our UK Partnerships for Forests programme, and international partnerships to incentivise at scale the protection of standing forests through REDD Early Movers. This complements UK diplomatic and technical dialogue in Brazil, working at the Federal and State levels of Brazilian Government. The HMG-convened UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy has also been an important forum for UK businesses and consumers to work together to engage Brazilian partners on ensuring resilient, sustainable trade.

The UK stands ready to support Brazil’s current and future efforts to counter increasing deforestation rates, including as new global ambition is considered for a successful UK COP26 Presidency.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 May 2020 to Question 46121, what support is available to businesses with highly perishable stock that have been forced to close or delay reopening as a result of a local covid-19 lockdown.

The Government has made an unprecedented amount of support available to businesses in response to the Covid-19 crisis including grants, loans, self-employed income support and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). We will carefully monitor need in relation to local lockdown and determine if additional support is required.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Government guidance entitled Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19), published 13 May 2020, whether NHS staff contracted with a third party will be able to carry forward their annual leave entitlements for up to two years, in line with their front line colleagues.

Any individual who is a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 is entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory annual leave. 1.6 weeks of this annual leave can be carried forward into the next leave year if provided for in a binding written agreement between the worker and their employer.

The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 provide for the remaining four weeks of annual leave to be carried into the following two leave years if, due to the effects of coronavirus, it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take this leave in the year to which it relates. This applies to all workers who are unable to take their annual leave due to the coronavirus, including non-medical NHS staff.

It is a matter for individual employers and their workers to consider whether it is possible to facilitate a worker taking annual leave. In these unprecedented times, the Government urges employers to carefully consider the guidance and the welfare of their workforce.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Government guidance entitled Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19), published 13 May 2020, whether non-medical NHS staff will be able to carry forward their annual leave entitlements for up to two years in line with their front line colleagues.

Any individual who is a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 is entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory annual leave. 1.6 weeks of this annual leave can be carried forward into the next leave year if provided for in a binding written agreement between the worker and their employer.

The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 provide for the remaining four weeks of annual leave to be carried into the following two leave years if, due to the effects of coronavirus, it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take this leave in the year to which it relates. This applies to all workers who are unable to take their annual leave due to the coronavirus, including non-medical NHS staff.

It is a matter for individual employers and their workers to consider whether it is possible to facilitate a worker taking annual leave. In these unprecedented times, the Government urges employers to carefully consider the guidance and the welfare of their workforce.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department's share of the Official Development Assistance budget will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to Departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these budgets.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is signing new funding agreements for projects funded by Official Development Assistance.

In the short term, we are agreeing our future work in close cooperation with other Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending Departments, such as Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, to ensure the best value for money and that decisions are taken in the national interest.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the criteria his Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

In order to tackle climate change and advance our Global Britain objectives, the Department takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery that are consistent with the Government’s best practice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that banks are providing fair advice in the interests of small businesses on whether they should apply for financial support through the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or (b) Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Accredited lenders are responsible for providing loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). Businesses should approach accredited lenders in the first instance, providing information about the type and amount of finance they need to access. The lender will determine the right type of finance for a business’s needs. A full list of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) allows business with a turnover of less than £45 million to access working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million for up to six years.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

Full details of both the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) can be found on GOV.UK and the British Business Bank websites.

Decision-making on whether a business is eligible to access the CBILS or the BBLS is fully delegated to the accredited lenders, and individual lending decisions remain at the discretion of these lenders.

The Government continues to work closely with lenders to help SMEs access the finance they need.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43723 on Small Business Grants Fund: Coronavirus, what the (a) timeframe and (b) conditions are for the allocation of that additional funding to local authorities to meet the administrative costs of delivering business grants.

We are committed to meeting the administrative costs incurred by local authorities through the delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund, the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. We are working closely with a group of local authorities to understand these costs and to determine a fair and reasonable process for meeting these. We will be in touch with all local authorities with further details of this in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement of 10 May 2020, what support the Government plans to provide to businesses in the event that measures to ease the covid-19 lockdown are reversed to control local covid-19 outbreaks; and what the planned timeframe for providing that support is.

Thanks to the effort of the British public we are now at the stage where we can take the first steps to modifying the restrictions on social distancing including encouraging those who cannot work from home to go back to work. We will be monitoring the situation locally, regionally, and nationally and if there are outbreaks, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes.

We have published guidance for several work environments to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible and have set out practical steps employers can take to enable staff to work safely. We will be keeping the guidance under review as and when we move through the steps my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out on 10 May. We continue to work with stakeholders on developing sensible guidance for businesses that will give UK workers the utmost confidence on their return to work.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced unprecedented support for business and workers, including a Bounce Back Loans scheme and the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to allow business to plan for the coming months with certainty.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 10 May 2020, if he will (a) list the industries and workplaces that can now reopen and (b) publish guidance for those sectors and workplaces to follow.

The list of businesses which must remain closed at present are published online and updated when relevant at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.

However, in consultation with industry, we have also produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible if they are able to reopen. Our approach has not been split by specific business types or industries, but by the type of work environment instead, such as factories, outdoor work or offices. The guidance reminds employers that they have a duty under UK law to protect the health and safety of their workers and other people who might be affected by their business. This includes considering the risks that COVID-19 represents. The guidance is published online at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

As part of the plan for Phase 2 of reopening of the economy, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of five taskforces: pubs and restaurants; non-essential retail (including salons); recreation and leisure (including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport); places of worship; and international aviation. Officials are now working on the details of how the taskforces will operate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister's covid-19 announcement on 10 May 2020 and pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 35028 on Companies: Coronavirus, whether the guidance for workers concerned about health and safety referred to in that Answer remains Government policy.

The advice provided in the response to Question 35028 is still correct.

We have been working closely with business bodies, trade unions, Public Health England, and workplace safety experts to agree clear guidance on how individuals can return to work safely.

On 11 May, we published further guidance on how businesses should introduce reasonably practicable measures, such as risk assessments, to mitigate the risks of Covid-19. This guidance includes details of how to raise concerns.

If a business is not operating in line with the Government’s guidance, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or relevant local authority can take enforcement action. Actions include providing specific advice to employers, through to issuing enforcement notices.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 902140 on Small Business Grants Fund: Coronavirus, what additional support his Department is providing to local authorities to ensure grant funding is made available as quickly as possible.

Government is providing a package of support for businesses and workers, in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This includes £12.3bn for local authorities to deliver to SMEs under the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). On 1 May, the Business Secretary announced a further up to £617 million available to local authorities to support small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funding. Government is working closely with all local authorities to help them make payments to businesses as quickly and effectively as possible, whilst safeguarding public funds. As part of this we have provided detailed guidance and FAQs, regular briefings and one-to-one support from ministers and officials. Government will also provide additional funding to local authorities to meet the administrative costs of delivering this policy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the level of adherence to social distancing guidance in takeaway restaurant kitchens.

The Government has introduced important social distancing measures for all types of businesses to consider in order to minimise the risk of transmission in the workplace. The Government has been clear that it is vital that all employers follow this guidance, which is clinically led and based on expert advice.

The advice on social distancing measures applies to everyone. This includes all staff in a takeaway business, including those working in the kitchen, and in any external public areas where customers may need to queue to collect orders. In order to support?employers, we have provided additional guidance about how these measures might be implemented in different sectors:?https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance?

We have produced specific guidance, which applies to any food preparation or food service setting where food is sold directly to the consumer. For example, bars, pubs and restaurants operating as takeaways, cafes, food to go, food delivery and traditional takeaway (fixed and mobile); and contract catering at the point of service to the consumer such as in office or similar environments. It specifically refers to the requirement of businesses in the food industry to maintain social distancing in kitchens and other food preparation areas.

We have outlined a number of measures, which we expect employers to consider in order to reduce contact in kitchens. These include:

  • Following government guidance on managing food preparation and food service areas (gov.uk/workingsafely).
  • Allowing kitchen access to as few people as possible.
  • Minimising interaction between kitchen workers and other workers, including when on breaks.
  • Putting teams into shifts to restrict the number of employees interacting with each other.
  • Spacing workstations 2 metres apart as much as possible, recognising the difficulty of moving equipment such as sinks, hobs and ovens. Consider cleanable panels to separate workstations in larger kitchens.
  • Providing floor marking to signal distances of 2 metres apart.
  • Using ‘one way’ traffic flows to minimise contact.
  • Minimising access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers, for example with only one person being able to access these areas at one point in time.
  • Minimising contact at ‘handover’ points with other staff, such as when presenting food to serving staff and delivery drivers.

If a business is not operating in line with the Government guidance, there is a role for the relevant health and safety enforcing authority - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Local Authority. Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, for example, employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance, the enforcing authority will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on the recruitment sector.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not made a formal assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the recruitment sector specifically. The Government is working to minimise any social and economic disruption as a result of Covid-19. We hold regular meetings with representatives of businesses and workers in the recruitment sector at all levels to understand the challenges they are facing and to help develop the Government’s response.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will set up a hotline for members of the public to report organisations and companies that do not comply with Government policy on closing of premises and working from home in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

We would urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their workforce. Employers and employees should come to a pragmatic agreement about these arrangements.

Where a worker has a concern about health and safety which cannot be resolved through speaking with their employer or trade union, they can contact the relevant enforcement agency – either their local authority or the Health and Safety Executive. Where the Health and Safety Executive are made aware of an employer not complying with the relevant Public Health England guidance (including enabling social distancing where it is practical to do so), HSE will consider a range of action, from providing specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of installing (a) hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrances of essential shops and (b) protective gloves, masks and cleaning products at checkouts to limit the spread of covid-19.

Public Health England have issued guidance for employers and businesses to support them in reducing the effects of Covid-19, which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

The Government welcomes efforts by retailers to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through the implementation of this advice.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to Business Improvement Districts that have waived their levy to support local businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

Given the significant role that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) play in town centre management and regeneration, they will have a significant role in the recovery phase.

The emergency Coronavirus Act enables BIDs to delay ballots between now and 31 December 2020, extending the BID arrangements until 31 March 2021. This will allow businesses to focus on recovery from economic shock before deciding whether to participate in BID arrangements for the following five-year period.

This will support BIDs approaching their ballot in the next few months, allowing them to reprioritise their work and support the communities during this critical time. It is a proportionate response which balances the need to address the immediate crisis while also ensuring businesses are not denied the right to vote in these ballots for an extended period.

We are exploring ways we can support BIDs directly, and businesses can also benefit from the substantial package of support announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the capacity of the national grid to provide electricity to homes in the event that (a) 25 percent, (b) 50 percent and (c) 75 percent of the population have to stay at home during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) uses a number of tools to balance electricity supply and demand on a minute by minute basis.

The ESO closely monitors electricity demand, looking at a range of different scenarios across domestic, commercial and industry demand. This modelling is refined on a daily basis as further usage data becomes available.

National Grid is confident that it will be able to keep electricity flowing, as the reduction in industry and commercial demands outweighs the increase in residential demand

The ESO is also working with energy partners from across Europe to understand how different measures have impacted demanded in their areas and what patterns can be applied to the GB demand forecast

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the number of people unable to top up as a result of £5 minimum top up limits on pre-payment meters in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) the UK.

The Department does not hold the requested data.

While it was a commercial decision by British Gas to increase the minimum pre-payment meter top up from £1 to £5, I welcome the recent announcement that this has been reversed.

There are a range of pre-payment tariff and top up options available from other suppliers and customers should switch to one that best suits their needs. Customers who do not switch are protected by the Government’s price cap on default tariffs and the pre-payment meter price cap.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate she had made of the additional cost to the public purse of (a) delays, (b) structural flaws and (c) rebuilds on construction projects managed by Carillion before that company's liquidation.

The Department has not made an estimate of the specific costs relating to construction projects. The hard work of the Government means the cost to taxpayers of Carillion’s collapse has been £62m rather than the originally estimated £148m. We have ensured the continuation of all day-to-day services supplied by Carillion, with more than 15,000 workers transferred to new contractors.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions she has had with British Gas on their decision to raise the minimum top up amount for customers with prepayment meters.

This was a commercial decision for British Gas, but both Ofgem and BEIS officials have been in contact to understand British Gas’s decision and how it is supporting its vulnerable customers in particular.

Customers are protected by the price cap on prepayment meters, and those who shop around can save even more.

This week is national Big Energy Saving Week and the Government is working with the Energy Saving Trust and Citizens Advice to deliver face to face and online sessions to help people save energy and switch to better deals. Prepay customers can switch to one of the many suppliers that have lower minimum top-ups.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the report Levelling Up Our Communities: Proposals for a New Social Covenant commissioned by the Prime Minister, published September 2020, whether he plans to implement the proposal to use the Official Development Assistance budget to attract the world’s super-rich to invest their philanthropic funds in London.

The Levelling Up Our Communities report is an independent piece of work requested by the Prime Minister of my hon. Friend, the Member for Devizes (Danny Kruger). DCMS will be considering all of the recommendations mentioned in the report and an update on the government’s work will be provided in due course.

Philanthropy is at the heart of the voluntary and community sector’s funding mix, and the British people continue to give generously to support the sector’s important work. The government is keen to continue supporting the growth of philanthropy, and is looking at a range of options for future work.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to tackle inaccurate and misleading claims on health matters appearing on broadcast media.

Broadcasting regulation is a matter for Ofcom, as the UK’s independent regulator of television and radio. Ofcom sets and enforces stringent standards for licensed broadcasters to meet in its Broadcasting Code. Broadcasters must provide adequate protection to UK audiences from harmful content, including any potential harm that might arise from misleading or inaccurate health advice.

In July 2020, Ofcom advised broadcasters to be alert to the potential for significant harm to audiences related to the coronavirus, including the accuracy or material misleadingness in programmes in relation to the coronavirus or public policy regarding it.

With regard to broadcast advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority enforces the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code), through a system of co-regulation with Ofcom. The BCAP Code incorporates all relevant legislation, and sets standards for accuracy and honesty to which advertisers must adhere, including specific conditions intended to ensure that health claims in advertising receive the necessary high level of scrutiny and can be substantiated.


John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's press conference of 3 July 2020, what the timeline is for the reopening of the events and exhibitions sector as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the
Covid-19 guidance.

From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan
future events and to enable government-backed pilots to take place. They should not be
open fully to host events more widely.

From 1 October, it is expected that events of all types (such as trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance
with social distancing. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to COVID-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health
assessments.

We have worked closely with events stakeholders through both the Visitor Economy and Events & Entertainment Working Groups to develop Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance
for the business events industry. We continue to meet with the Events Industry Senior

Leaders Advisory Panel to discuss the specific issues facing the industry. Since 11 July, a range of outdoor events have been able to take place - including
agricultural shows, literary fairs and car boot sales.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the criteria his Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

To tackle and advance our Global Britain objectives, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ensures it takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery that are consistent with HMG best practice.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department's share of the Official Development Assistance will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle the increase in gambling on online casino games since the covid-19 lockdown.

We have made clear that it expects operators to be aware of the potential for increased risk of gambling harm during lockdown and to ensure that they act responsibly to protect customers. On 12 May the Gambling Commission published data which indicated that, while the majority of people are gambling the same amount or less than they did previously, there was an increase in the number of people playing certain online gambling products, including casino games (13%), when figures for March 2019 were compared to those for March 2020. We can not yet be sure how much of this growth is directly attributable to lockdown or is substitution from land-based gambling products.

Online gambling operators must comply with the existing strict requirements for the protection of children and vulnerable people. These have been further strengthened over the past year, with a ban on credit card gambling online (including via e-wallets) and compulsory integration of online operators to GAMSTOP, the online self exclusion scheme. The Gambling Commission has now issued COVID-19 specific guidance for operators aimed at strengthening protections for vulnerable people even further during the lockdown period. This includes requirements to prevent customers reversing withdrawals from their account, to cease offering bonuses or promotions to customers who are displaying indicators of gambling harms, to interact with customers who have been playing continually for an hour, and to monitor customer activities and compare these to pre-lockdown play to identify those who may be at risk. The Commission will take action against operators who fail to act responsibly and we. will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the economic effect of the covid-19 lockdown on the events and exhibitions industry.

We are aware that multiple aspects of the events and exhibition industries have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Tourism Minister has engaged regularly with the sector over the last few months to continuously assess the situation, for example by convening a panel of senior leaders from across the industry and meeting with the Events Industry Board.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

The Government is committed to helping the events industry through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector during the recovery period.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's broadcast announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020, what the Government's policy is on the voluntary sector and community support groups that wish to help vulnerable housebound and self-isolating people during the covid-19 epidemic; and if he will make a statement.

We are working closely with voluntary sector organisations to identify key partners to lead efforts and mobilise volunteers safely. The government launched the NHS Volunteer Responders programme yesterday, however, this is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure online platforms do not host sexual content which has not been consented to by people who feature in it.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. Companies will be required to take robust action to address harmful content and will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms. Non-consensual sharing of private and sexual images, often known as “revenge pornography”, is in scope of these proposals. The regulator will have sufficient powers to take effective action against companies that breach regulatory requirements, including the power to levy substantial fines.

We are also making sure the criminal law is fit for purpose. The Law Commission is conducting a second phase of its review of abusive and offensive online communications. As part of this, the Law Commission will also look at the criminal law around the non-consensual taking and sharing of intimate images, and make recommendations to ensure that the law provides effective protection against the creation and sharing of intimate images without consent.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure online platforms remove sexual content which has not been consented to by those who have been filmed or photographed.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. Companies will be required to take robust action to address harmful content and will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms. Non-consensual sharing of private and sexual images, often known as “revenge pornography”, is in scope of these proposals. The regulator will have sufficient powers to take effective action against companies that breach regulatory requirements, including the power to levy substantial fines.

We are also making sure the criminal law is fit for purpose. The Law Commission is conducting a second phase of its review of abusive and offensive online communications. As part of this, the Law Commission will also look at the criminal law around the non-consensual taking and sharing of intimate images, and make recommendations to ensure that the law provides effective protection against the creation and sharing of intimate images without consent.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to sanction online platforms which do not remove sexual content which has not been consented to by people who have been filmed or photographed.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. Companies will be required to take robust action to address harmful content and will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms. Non-consensual sharing of private and sexual images, often known as “revenge pornography”, is in scope of these proposals. The regulator will have sufficient powers to take effective action against companies that breach regulatory requirements, including the power to levy substantial fines.

We are also making sure the criminal law is fit for purpose. The Law Commission is conducting a second phase of its review of abusive and offensive online communications. As part of this, the Law Commission will also look at the criminal law around the non-consensual taking and sharing of intimate images, and make recommendations to ensure that the law provides effective protection against the creation and sharing of intimate images without consent.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he will take to mitigate health risks to the public from increased EMF/RF radiation resulting from the roll-out of the 5G network.

Exposure to radio waves is not new and health-related research has been conducted on this topic over several decades. Central to Public Health England’s advice are the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organisation and its guidelines underpin health protection policies at UK and European levels.

Provided the ICNIRP guidelines are followed, there is no convincing evidence that 5G is dangerous. Government continues to be guided by Public Health England’s advice on the matter. This states that while a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves under 5G is possible, such an increase would remain well within guidelines and can be expected to have no consequence on public health.

It is important to note that the ICNIRP guidelines apply up to 300 GHz, well beyond the maximum frequencies under discussion for 5G.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to New Philanthropy Capital's report entitled Where are England’s charities?, published 16 January 2020, what steps he is taking to support an increase in (a) charities and (b) formal volunteering in the least affluent areas of England.

Civil Society is a vital part of our nation and continues to grow in importance - there are 6,000 more registered charities today than there were in 2010 and annual sector income has grown from £54 billion to £77 billion.

Government recognises the importance and value of civil society, which is why the Civil Society Strategy was published in 2018, setting out a long term vision of how the Government can work with and for civil society to benefit our communities.

The Department has noted New Philanthropy Capital’s report and the Minister for Civil Society, who sits in the House of Lords, will meet the report’s author and will discuss its findings.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of New Philanthropy Capital's report entitled, Where are England’s charities?, published 16 January 2020.

Civil Society is a vital part of our nation and continues to grow in importance - there are 6,000 more registered charities today than there were in 2010 and annual sector income has grown from £54 billion to £77 billion.

Government recognises the importance and value of civil society, which is why the Civil Society Strategy was published in 2018, setting out a long term vision of how the Government can work with and for civil society to benefit our communities.

The Department has noted New Philanthropy Capital’s report and the Minister for Civil Society, who sits in the House of Lords, will meet the report’s author and will discuss its findings.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he has made in implementing the recommendations of the Timpson Review on school exclusions.

Good behaviour and discipline in schools is crucial if children are to reach their full potential. The Department backs head teachers to use suspensions and expulsions when required as part of creating the calm and disciplined classrooms needed to support effective teaching. The Department is also clear that expulsions should only be used as a last resort and expulsion from school should not mean exclusion from education.

Since the publication of the Timpson Review and agreeing the recommendations in principle, the Government has been pursuing a programme of work to support effective behaviour management across the school system. In April, the Department commenced the Behaviour Hubs programme, investing £10 million to help schools develop and sustain cultures where good pupil behaviour is normal. The Department has reformed training and development for teachers as part of the Early Career Framework, so that all new teachers will be shown how to effectively manage behaviour in their first two years in the profession from September 2021. The Department has also continued to work with Ofsted to tackle ‘off-rolling’ which is an unacceptable practice. Additionally, the Department will be consulting on how to help head teachers to remove phones in schools, and other revisions to the Department’s behaviour, discipline and suspensions and expulsions guidance, later in the year.

The Department intends to go further and is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people in alternative provision who are most at risk of expulsion and disengaging from education. The Department will set out its plans in the forthcoming SEND review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he has made in implementing the recommendations of the Timpson Review on school exclusions.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on graduate teaching assistants of reductions in university funding as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in the academic year 2020-21.

This continues to be an incredibly difficult time, and our entire higher education (HE) sector has a key role to play during these unprecedented times. I wrote to HE providers on 26 March 2020, asking that they pay particular attention to the additional financial hardships that are being faced by hourly paid and student staff who have been reliant on income from campus-based jobs at this time.

In the letter, I was clear that I expected that in most circumstances universities would continue paying staff as usual but, where this is not the case, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) had been developed as part of a package of support from Her Majesty's Treasury to help pay staff wages and keep people in employment.

However, HE providers are independent, autonomous bodies and are responsible for decisions about who they employ and the terms and conditions of employment they offer. HE providers should make decisions according to their own operational needs and the needs of their wider staff and student community. This includes decisions about whether to access the range of government support on offer, including the CJRS. We expect universities to comply with their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the way their employment practices affect different sections of their communities and staff at different stages of their careers.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the provision of course modules at universities being delivered as advertised.

I have been clear throughout the COVID-19 outbreak that consumer law continues to apply, and statements by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirm this. Providers need to ensure they have regard to guidance about their consumer protection obligations.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and the government is working with the sector to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies. The sector has put in significant resources and worked hard to provide and prepare learning materials for this academic year and there have been some fantastic and innovative approaches to delivering high-quality learning.

I welcome the huge amount of resource universities and higher education (HE) providers have given to ensuring blended teaching is of the high-quality expected by the government and the Office for Students (OfS). The government’s clear and stated expectation is that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students regardless of their background have the resources to study remotely.

I wrote to the OfS on 13 January, outlining the government’s expectations of the HE sector following the new national lockdown. Following this, the OfS wrote to providers’ Accountable Officers, setting out the actions that they are taking in connection with providers’ compliance with existing regulatory requirements. We expect providers to ensure that continuing and prospective students receive the clear, accurate and timely information needed to make informed decisions. This letter is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/928ddbfc-7d48-4a7b-853e-411c34d6202f/ao-letter-regulation-during-the-current-phase-of-pandemic-14-jan-2021.pdf.

Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between the provider and student. If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint. Due to the individualised nature of student contracts and student circumstances, the process which is in place ensures that institutions have the opportunity to consider student complaints effectively and offers them an opportunity for early resolution of complaints with students. This is particularly important in situations where remedies other than refunds would be more helpful or beneficial to a student.

If there are concerns, the OfS has the powers to act. It is an OfS registration condition that providers must deliver well-designed courses that provide a high-quality academic experience for all students and enable a student’s achievement to be reliably assessed.

The OfS does not get involved in individual student complaints, that is for the relevant HE provider and potentially the OIA. Students can, however, notify the OfS of issues that may be of regulatory interest to it. These are called ‘notifications’. The OfS uses this information as part of its regulatory monitoring activity and keeps HE providers under review to ensure that they comply with the ongoing conditions of registration. The OfS has produced a guide for students to support them in this process. This is available via the following link: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/ofs-and-students/notifications/. The OIA website is available via the following link: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.

The CMA has published guidance on consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and help businesses treat their customers fairly. This is available via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/consumer-protection-review-of-higher-education. This includes publishing a restatement on 30 November 2020 on their views on Consumer Protection Law. This is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5fc4bab98fa8f5474e63ab0b/HE_restatement_.pdf.

The OfS has also published guidance on student consumer protection during the COVID-19 outbreak, which is available via the following link: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/coronavirus/provider-guide-to-coronavirus/student-and-consumer-protection/.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2021 to Question 174230, on Hate Crime: Young People, when his Department last undertook an assessment of the efficacy of its policies on the prevention and reporting of hate crimes in schools.

The Government, alongside schools and teachers, is committed to supporting children and young people to thrive and reach their potential in a safe and respectful environment. Schools continue to play an important role in preparing children and young people for life in modern Britain, supporting them to understand the society in which they are growing up and teaching about respect for other people and tolerance.

We continue to work with colleagues across Government, as well as those in the school sector and communities to better understand issues around discrimination, hatred, and prejudice on an ongoing basis. For example, the Department has provided funding to anti-bullying organisations to support schools to tackle bullying, including projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate related bullying. These grants ended in March 2021, and grant holders are currently working to finalise independent evaluations of their programmes, which will be published in due course. The Department has considered next steps for anti-bullying support in schools, working closely with external stakeholders, and will shortly be running a procurement exercise to fund activity in 2021-22.

Having supported the creation and delivery of the Government’s hate crime action plan (2016-2020), officials from the Department continue to work with Home Office officials on the development of the Government’s next strategic response to hate crime. We are also currently considering recommendations from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities on education in detail.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of universities that have implemented no detriment policies in each of the academic years (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21; and what estimate he has made of the number of students that have been affected by those policies.

As autonomous institutions, higher education (HE) providers are responsible for the administration of their own exams and assessments. HE students and providers have faced unique challenges as providers have had to adapt teaching, learning and assessment methods in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some providers have put in place policies stating that students should not be awarded a degree classification below their level of academic performance prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. A ‘No detriment policy’ is designed by providers as a safety net for students to help ensure they are not unfairly impacted by these challenging circumstances. This approach may not be appropriate for all providers and we recognise that there are a number of ways to assess students which will lead to a wide variety of measures being put in place.

The government continues to work closely with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, professional bodies and the Office for Students to ensure students continue to leave university with qualifications that have real value, reflect their hard work and allow people to progress. The professional bodies have put alternative requirements in place for graduation to maintain standards, building on similar arrangements which were made for graduation last year.

I am aware that the majority of universities adopted ‘No detriment’ policies last year. We have not made a detailed assessment, or estimate, of the extent of these policies in terms of student numbers, credits not undertaken or the impact on future employment prospects.

However, I have been clear that I expect providers to make all reasonable efforts for student achievement to be reliably assessed and for qualifications to be awarded securely. It is vital that a fair approach to exams and assessment is in place and understood by students. Any policies universities put in place to ensure students are not unfairly affected by the circumstances should continue to maintain standards – and awarding powers must be used responsibly to preserve the world-class reputation of our HE.

Providers should seek to ensure this and last years’ students are not disadvantaged in the labour market by whatever measures are taken and should provide assurances as appropriate to enable employers to have confidence in qualifications awarded.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of no detriment policies implemented by universities on the future employment prospects of students; and what steps he is taking to ensure that those employment prospects are not negatively affected by those policies.

As autonomous institutions, higher education (HE) providers are responsible for the administration of their own exams and assessments. HE students and providers have faced unique challenges as providers have had to adapt teaching, learning and assessment methods in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some providers have put in place policies stating that students should not be awarded a degree classification below their level of academic performance prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. A ‘No detriment policy’ is designed by providers as a safety net for students to help ensure they are not unfairly impacted by these challenging circumstances. This approach may not be appropriate for all providers and we recognise that there are a number of ways to assess students which will lead to a wide variety of measures being put in place.

The government continues to work closely with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, professional bodies and the Office for Students to ensure students continue to leave university with qualifications that have real value, reflect their hard work and allow people to progress. The professional bodies have put alternative requirements in place for graduation to maintain standards, building on similar arrangements which were made for graduation last year.

I am aware that the majority of universities adopted ‘No detriment’ policies last year. We have not made a detailed assessment, or estimate, of the extent of these policies in terms of student numbers, credits not undertaken or the impact on future employment prospects.

However, I have been clear that I expect providers to make all reasonable efforts for student achievement to be reliably assessed and for qualifications to be awarded securely. It is vital that a fair approach to exams and assessment is in place and understood by students. Any policies universities put in place to ensure students are not unfairly affected by the circumstances should continue to maintain standards – and awarding powers must be used responsibly to preserve the world-class reputation of our HE.

Providers should seek to ensure this and last years’ students are not disadvantaged in the labour market by whatever measures are taken and should provide assurances as appropriate to enable employers to have confidence in qualifications awarded.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of providing 15 hours free childcare for three and four year olds to people who are out of work on the ability of unemployed people with children to find work; and what comparative assessment he has made of the effect of (a) that policy and (b) the provision of 30 hours free childcare for people who are in work on levels of educational attainment of the children of households with (i) higher and (ii) lower rates of unemployment.

The department offers universal 15 hours free childcare to all three- and four-year-olds in England for 38 weeks per year, regardless of parental income or employment status. The purpose of this entitlement is to provide free, high-quality early education, helping children to develop social skills and preparing them for school, with 93% of three- and four-year-olds benefitting in January 2020. 15 hours free childcare is also available for disadvantaged two-year-olds, including those from low-income households or those with special education needs or disabilities. In January 2020, approximately 143,000 children benefitted from this entitlement.

As the 15 hours policy was introduced with the primary aim of improving children’s outcomes, no evaluation has been undertaken of the impact of this policy on the ability of unemployed people with children to find work.

The 30 hours free childcare policy was introduced in September 2017 and is an entitlement for working parents of three- and four-year-olds, benefitting around 345,700 children in January 2020. It aims to help working parents with the costs of childcare so they can take up paid work if they want to or can work additional hours. To be eligible, parents must earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national minimum wage and less than £100,000 per year.

The evaluation of the national rollout of 30 hours free childcare, published in 2018, found that 27% of those using 30 hours at the time reported they were working more hours as a result of the policy. Further detail is available in the report here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/30-hours-free-childcare-final-evaluation-of-the-national-rollout.

The government is tracking the impact of early education on children’s outcomes via the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED). There is mixed evidence from SEED on how the number of childcare hours used by children at ages three to four impacts their educational attainment. There is no clear evidence of an optimal number of hours for child development as the type of setting used, the quality of the setting, the starting age in childcare and the child’s home learning environment are also important factors influencing the child’s educational development.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how external candidates who have no one to prepare an assessment of their progress or ability will be awarded grades in the context of examinations being cancelled.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Government considers that exams cannot be held in a way which is fair. We have therefore announced that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead this summer as planned.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has asked the interim Chief Regulator at Ofqual to find a clear and accessible route for private candidates, and those not in school this year, to be assessed and receive a grade. To ensure our approach is developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual have now concluded a two-week consultation on how to fairly award all pupils a grade that supports them to progress to the next stage of their lives, including consulting specifically on four different approaches for private candidates to receive a grade.

We have consulted on the following options:

  • For private candidates to complete the papers set by the exam boards for use in schools and colleges.
  • For private candidates to work with a school or college willing to assess the standard at which they are performing, using the same type of evidence the school or college is considering for its students.
  • For the exam boards to run normal exams for private candidates to take in the summer of 2021.
  • For the exam boards to run normal exams for private candidates to take in the autumn of 2021.

We are working at pace to provide further clarity to the sector and will publish the results of the consultation by the end of February 2021.

The Department and Ofqual have strongly encouraged all our stakeholders, including private candidates and their parents, to respond to the consultation. We will continue to engage with a range of relevant stakeholders when developing plans for our policy on GCSE, AS and A level assessments in 2021, as will the exams regulator, Ofqual.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether students are exempt from the restrictions on travel between areas in different covid-19 tiers.

The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in higher education (HE) is always our priority. The government is doing all it can to minimise the risks to those working and studying in our HE institutions in this unprecedented situation, whilst mitigating the impact on education.

To help bring the new variant under control and while the vaccine programme is rolled out, our aim is to minimise the number of students and staff returning to campuses and accessing university facilities.

In practical terms, this means that students doing medical, clinical and healthcare related subjects, including nursing, social care, dentistry and veterinary studies are being prioritised and can return at the start of the spring term, as planned.

Those on teacher training courses and students who must complete externally-accredited examinations, which cannot be completed remotely, can also return to in-person teaching at the beginning of term.

All other students should access learning online until at least mid-February and remain at their current address in line with national measures. Universities will tell students when to return for the spring term.

On an exceptional basis, universities should support students returning for other reasons (for example, students who do not have access to appropriate accommodation, facilities, studying space or who need to return for health reasons). In these circumstances, students may return to campus, but their courses should not resume face-to-face teaching.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish guidance for medical students on placements on (a) how and (b whether they can return home for the Christmas holiday period during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government is committed to ensuring that students who wish to return home for the winter break, are able to do so. It is essential that measures are put in place to ensure this can happen as safely as possible for students, staff and the communities that they return to.

On 11 November, the department published guidance for providers on plans for the end of the autumn term. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/student-movement-and-plans-for-the-end-of-autumn-2020-term.

As outlined in the guidance, published on 11 November, many healthcare students who are on placements are considered essential workers and such placements can continue until the end of term. We will shortly be issuing further detailed guidance on how the end of term guidance applies to all students on placements, including courses where placements may continue.

The Office for Students (OfS), the regulator of higher education in England, also issued a FAQ for students on going home for the end of term, available at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/coronavirus-end-of-term. This will also be updated shortly, to address questions students may have about their placements.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has published for (a) schools and (b) agencies on supply teachers claiming statutory sick pay if self-isolating during the covid-19 outbreak.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer?have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19.

The Government has provided guidance on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for all employers, which includes specific information on when an employee is off work because of COVID-19. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay.

Employers must pay an employee SSP if they are self-isolating and off work for at least 4 days and any of the following apply:

  • They, or someone they live with, has coronavirus symptoms:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

  • They’ve been notified by the NHS, or public health authorities, that they’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

  • Someone in their ‘support bubble’ (or ‘extended household’ if they live in Scotland or Wales) has symptoms:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-2-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/meeting-others/

https://gov.wales/guidance-extended-households-coronavirus.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) holiday clubs that will be open and (b) holiday club places that will be available in (i) Edgbaston constituency, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) the West Midlands during the summer 2020 holiday period.

Early years providers have been able to open to all children from 1 June. Since 20 July, settings have been able to return to their normal group sizes, paving the way for more children to transition back to their early education and supporting parents to be able to work.

Holiday clubs and other out-of-school settings have been able to open since 4 July, helping parents to meet their childcare needs during the school summer holidays.

We have published guidance to support holiday clubs and out-of-school settings to operate as safely as possible over the summer holiday, alongside guidance for parents. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Parents can contact their local Family Information Service for details of childcare provision available in their area during the summer holidays.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of workers who will not return to work during the summer holidays in 2020 as a result of a lack of available childcare in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands.

Early years providers have been able to open to all children from 1 June. Since 20 July, settings have been able to return to their normal group sizes, paving the way for more children to transition back to their early education and supporting parents to be able to work.

Holiday clubs and other out-of-school settings have been able to open since 4 July, helping parents to meet their childcare needs during the school summer holidays.

We have published guidance to support holiday clubs and out-of-school settings to operate as safely as possible over the summer holiday, alongside guidance for parents. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Parents can contact their local Family Information Service for details of childcare provision available in their area during the summer holidays.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June to Question 64998, what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of wider core schools funding for England that will be allocated as Official Development Assistance in (a) 2020 and (b) each of the next five years.

The department has not made an estimate of the amount of spending on official development assistance (ODA) in 2020 or future years. Our ODA spending primarily relates to the provision of education to child and unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the 12 months after they make an asylum claim in the UK. As such, the level of spending in future years will be dependent on the number of asylum seeker children that arrive in the country. It is our policy that asylum seeker children who attend a school or early years setting attract funding in the same way as all other children. This is allocated through the schools national funding formula and other grants like the pupil premium and teachers’ pay grant.

The department’s estimated spending on ODA in each year from 2015 to 2019 are given below:

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

DfE spend classified as ODA (£ million)

22

28

24

20

19

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 59568 on Department for Education: Overseas Aid, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance in cash terms on the provision of support to child and unaccompanied child asylum seekers.

It is the department’s policy that asylum seeker children who attend a school or early years setting attract funding in the same way as all other children. This is allocated through the schools national funding formula and other grants like the pupil premium and teachers’ pay grant. The department’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) contribution is an estimate of how much of the wider core schools funding for England is allocated due to having these children on schools’ rolls. Our ODA spending in future years will be primarily dependent on the number of asylum seeker children arriving in the country.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the criteria his Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The Department’s spending on official development assistance (ODA) primarily relates to the provision of education to child and unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the 12 months after they make an asylum claim in the UK. The ODA contribution is an estimate of how much of the wider core schools funding for England is allocated due to having these children on schools’ rolls. As such, our ODA spending in future years will be primarily dependent on the number of asylum seeker children arriving in the country.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department's share of the Official Development Assistance will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The Department’s spending on official development assistance (ODA) primarily relates to the provision of education to child and unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the 12 months after they make an asylum claim in the UK. The ODA contribution is an estimate of how much of the wider core schools funding for England is allocated due to having these children on schools’ rolls. As such, our ODA spending in future years will be primarily dependent on the number of asylum seeker children arriving in the country.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is signing new funding agreements for projects funded by Official Development Assistance.

The Department’s spending on official development assistance (ODA) primarily relates to the provision of education to child and unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the 12 months after they make an asylum claim in the UK. The ODA contribution is an estimate of how much of the wider core schools funding for England is allocated due to having these children on schools’ rolls. As such, our ODA spending in future years will be primarily dependent on the number of asylum seeker children arriving in the country.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report by Newman University entitled Independent research into the impact of the systematic synthetic phonics government policy on literacy courses at institutions delivering initial teacher education in England, published April 2020, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the conclusions from that report (a) that there needs to be a balanced approach to early reading development and (b) that any divergence from Government and Ofsted policies which focus on systematic synthetic phonics will become more difficult if the proposed draft initial teacher education (ITE) framework is ratified.

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (2019) sets out a core minimum entitlement that every trainee must receive. To ensure all trainees receive this entitlement, the new ITT Core Content Framework is mandatory (through the ITT Criteria) so all providers will need to ensure their ITT programmes encompass the entitlement in full.

The framework does not set out the full curriculum for trainee teachers and it leaves room for providers to integrate additional analysis and critique of theory, research and expert practice as they deem appropriate., In designing their curricula, providers should carefully craft the experiences and activities detailed in the ITT Core Content Framework into a coherent sequence that supports trainees to succeed in the classroom. It is important to stress that the ITT Core Content Framework does not replace the Teachers' Standards (2011), which remain as the bar that all teachers need to meet in order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. Providers are therefore obliged to ensure their courses will ensure their trainees are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics.

The department contracted Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to provide an independent review of all the peer reviewed evidence on what makes good teaching. This includes the latest evidence and research on approaches to literacy. There is sound evidence that systematic phonics is a highly effective method for teaching early reading.

In 2016, England achieved its highest ever score in reading, moving from joint 10th to joint 8th in the progress in International Reading Literacy Study ranking. This follows a greater focus on reading in the primary curriculum, and a particular focus on phonics. In 2019, 82% of pupils in Year 1 met the expected standard in the phonics screening check, compared to just 58% when the check was introduced in 2012. In 2018 we launched a £26.3m English Hubs Programme. The English Hubs programme is supporting nearly 3000 schools across England to improve their teaching of reading through systematic synthetic phonics, early language development, and reading for pleasure.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of teacher trainees learning approaches to literacy which have been successful in other countries and other parts of the UK other than systematic synthetic phonics.

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (2019) sets out a core minimum entitlement that every trainee must receive. To ensure all trainees receive this entitlement, the new ITT Core Content Framework is mandatory (through the ITT Criteria) so all providers will need to ensure their ITT programmes encompass the entitlement in full.

The framework does not set out the full curriculum for trainee teachers and it leaves room for providers to integrate additional analysis and critique of theory, research and expert practice as they deem appropriate., In designing their curricula, providers should carefully craft the experiences and activities detailed in the ITT Core Content Framework into a coherent sequence that supports trainees to succeed in the classroom. It is important to stress that the ITT Core Content Framework does not replace the Teachers' Standards (2011), which remain as the bar that all teachers need to meet in order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. Providers are therefore obliged to ensure their courses will ensure their trainees are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics.

The department contracted Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to provide an independent review of all the peer reviewed evidence on what makes good teaching. This includes the latest evidence and research on approaches to literacy. There is sound evidence that systematic phonics is a highly effective method for teaching early reading.

In 2016, England achieved its highest ever score in reading, moving from joint 10th to joint 8th in the progress in International Reading Literacy Study ranking. This follows a greater focus on reading in the primary curriculum, and a particular focus on phonics. In 2019, 82% of pupils in Year 1 met the expected standard in the phonics screening check, compared to just 58% when the check was introduced in 2012. In 2018 we launched a £26.3m English Hubs Programme. The English Hubs programme is supporting nearly 3000 schools across England to improve their teaching of reading through systematic synthetic phonics, early language development, and reading for pleasure.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report published by Newman University in April 2020 entitled, Independent research into the impact of the systematic synthetic phonics government policy on literacy courses at institutions delivering initial teacher education in England; and if he will make a statement.

All trainee teachers must meet the Teachers' Standards (2011) in order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status, including for those training to teach early reading to demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic synthetic phonics.

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (2019) sets out a core minimum entitlement that every trainee must receive. To ensure that all trainees receive this entitlement, the new ITT Core Content Framework is mandatory (through the ITT Criteria) so all providers will need to ensure their ITT programmes encompass the entitlement in full.

The framework specifies that trainees must learn that systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective approach for teaching pupils to decode. The framework does not set out the full curriculum for trainee teachers, ITT providers may wish to integrate additional analysis and critique of theory, research and expert practice as they deem appropriate.

The Department contracted the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to provide an independent review of all the peer-reviewed evidence on what constitutes good teaching. This includes the latest evidence and research on approaches to literacy. There is sound evidence that systematic synthetic phonics is a highly effective method for teaching early reading. The Department is clear that in future we will review the ITT Core Content Framework and the ECF together in light of the best evidence, as it emerges.

In 2016, England achieved its highest ever score in reading, moving from joint 10th place to joint 8th place in the International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) ranking. This follows a greater focus on reading in the primary curriculum and a particular focus on phonics. In 2019, 82% of pupils in Year 1 met the expected standard in the phonics screening check, compared to just 58% when the check was introduced in 2012.

In 2018 the Department launched the English Hubs Programme, which supports nearly 3,000 schools across England to improve their teaching of reading through systematic synthetic phonics, early language development and reading for pleasure.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the existing legislative framework to end conversion therapy.

The Government Equalities Office are reviewing the current legislative framework to see where and how the harmful and unacceptable practices referred to as conversion therapy may already be captured by existing laws and offences.

As my honourable friend will know, there are certain abhorrent and violent practices which may be classed as conversion therapy such as ‘corrective’ rape, or other forms of physical abuse, which are already covered by existing criminal offences. Where such practices are already unlawful, we will ensure the law is clear, well understood and enforced.

Where dangerous conversion therapy practices are not already unlawful, we are examining the best ways to prevent them being conducted, without sending such practices underground.

We will outline plans to end Conversion Therapy practice in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to meet the National Education Union to discuss proposals on reopening schools.

The Department is currently working closely with the sector to determine the best way for schools to open for more pupils, in line with the five key tests set out by the Government. There continues to be extensive engagement with teaching unions, including the National Education Union (NEU), and other school stakeholder organisations at both an official and ministerial level, including a weekly meeting involving my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and NEU officials.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what meetings he held with the National Education Union on the proposals outlined in the Prime Minister's statement of 10 May 2020 prior to that statement being made.

The Department has worked closely with the sector, including unions such as the National Educational Union (NEU), and will continue to do so over the coming weeks to support the wider opening of schools, colleges and childcare settings. Throughout this process, the Department has hugely valued the dialogue we are having with unions and school leaders to inform our decisions, and we need to maintain this dialogue.

Details of engagement with NEU:

  • Weekly meetings with senior policy officials and key stakeholders including main teaching unions, governance, social care, school trusts and local government;
  • A weekly meeting with wider stakeholders including support staff, further education and school business organisations;
  • A weekly meeting between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and the main teaching unions and stakeholder groups; and
  • Ad hoc additional stakeholder meetings to address key issues as and when they arise.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement of 10 May 2020, what steps he will take to ensure that teachers returning to work have access to adequate personal protective equipment.

On 11 May 2020, we published new guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings#shielded-and-clinically-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

As the guidance sets out, wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff or children to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is only needed in a very small number of cases, which are set out in the published guidance. In these very specific circumstances, education providers should use their local supply chains to obtain PPE.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 10 May 2020, what support will be made available to people who have childcare responsibilities who may now be required to go back to work.

Schools and childcare providers have remained open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, and parents are strongly encouraged to take up those places.

From Wednesday 13 May, all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Employers should be as flexible as possible to support their employees with childcare responsibilities.

We want to get children back into education and childcare as soon as possible because it is the best place for them to learn. From 1 June we have asked primary schools to prepare to reopen to children in Nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6. Secondary schools have been asked to offer support year 10 and 12 students. We have also asked early years providers (including childminders) to open to children of all ages. This will also support more families to be able return to work.

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, childminders have been asked to continue caring for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. To align with the government’s position on nannies, we have confirmed that paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household from Wednesday 13 May 2020. This includes childminders, who may choose to look after the children of one household if they are not already looking after vulnerable children or those of critical workers. From 1 June 2020, childminders can look after children of all ages, in line with their current Ofsted registration, and within usual limits on the number of children they can care for.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his announcement on 1 May 2020 that schools could reopen on 1 June 2020, what his Department's policy is on pupils who live with people who are vulnerable to covid-19.

We have not set a date for schools reopening. Schools will only reopen when the scientific advice indicates that it is the right time to do so, based on five key tests.

The Department is working in close consultation with the sector as we consider how to reopen schools when the time is right and will ensure everyone has sufficient notice to plan and prepare. The safety of staff, students and their families is our upmost priority.

The Government has published guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#staying-at-home-and-shielding.

We have also published guidance on social distancing within schools, which includes guidance for staff and pupils who are in a vulnerable health group or live within someone who is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support school students who do not have internet access during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 19 April 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that devices will be provided for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for exams (in Year 10), or receive support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools have been given guidance on how to place online orders for government-funded and allocated devices for eligible children and young people.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we will also provide the capability for them to access the internet.

Additionally, the country’s major telecommunication companies will make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

For those in rural areas or without a connection, schools will be able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television; as well as their existing resources and the many resources offers which have been made by publishers across the country.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that university students who do not have access to (a) the internet and (b) a computer at home are able to complete their studies.

As my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Higher education (HE) providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. When making changes to the delivery of their courses, HE providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Where students do not have access to the Internet, a computer at home, or cannot afford to purchase it, the expectation is that HE providers will provide support through their own hardship funds

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to universities on Articles of Faith.

As independent and autonomous organisations, higher education providers (HEPs) have responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the protected characteristics of their staff and students. These include in relation to religion and belief. We expect them to discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law.

HEPs are also responsible for meeting their legal obligations relating to free speech, and this includes expressing religious views. HEPs have a duty to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech within the law for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the chief executive of the student loans company on the potential merits of refunding loans for the third term of this academic year.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) will continue to make scheduled tuition and maintenance payments to both students and providers. Both tuition and maintenance payments will continue irrespective of whether learning has moved online. This has been communicated via the SLC website. We are continuing to monitor the position.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure deaf pupils will be able to access online teaching resources when schools and Higher education institutions are closed.

The Department recognises that many schools are already using online resources to enable children’s education to continue. We are working with the BBC and others to provide advice and support directly to schools and parents. As part of this, we will ensure appropriate consideration is given to how accessibility and inclusion arrangements can be supported.

The Department also recognises the steps that universities are taking to meet the needs of their students, in line with Office for Students’ expectations and Quality Assurance Agency’s guidance around considering the needs of students with disabilities.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral statement of 18 March 2020, what steps he is taking to ensure that children and young people whose educational institution is closed are able to access mental health services provided through those institutions.

The department is working with NHS England and Public Health England who are providing guidance on seeking mental health support, including guidance for parents and carers of children and young people on addressing mental health and wellbeing concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak. Where in place, mental health support teams are also actively considering how they continue to deliver a service to support children and young people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support children with special educational needs and disabilities but who do not have an Education, Health and Care plan when schools are closed.

We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements and support are in place for all the department’s sectors, from the early years and childcare to schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.

We understand that parents will be worried about continued provision for their children with special educational needs while schools are closed. Local authorities, schools and colleges, together with parents, should assess the risks to children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) to judge whether they can be safely cared for at home or whether it is safer for them to remain at school or college. Local authorities and education settings have discretion to do a similar risk assessment for any individual children and young people who do not have an EHC plan but who have complex needs that could mean it is safer for them to be at school or college than at home. Guidance to help parents understand the changes, including information on vulnerable children can be found at the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential adequacy of the support available to vulnerable children in the event that schools close as a result of covid-19.

Supporting vulnerable children is a priority at this time. That is why, on Wednesday 18 March, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education announced that schools will remain open for vulnerable children alongside the children of critical workers. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care plans. Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining provision for vulnerable children can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

We recognise that local authorities and other safeguarding partners are under increased pressure during this period. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are considering all options to ensure that they are able to continue to keep children safe throughout this period. This includes HM Treasury creating an emergency response fund, initially set at £5 billion, to fund pressures in the NHS, support local authorities to manage pressures on social care and support vulnerable people, and help deal with pressures on other public services.

Special and special residential schools and colleges should be supported to remain open, wherever that is possible, to provide vital services and support to children with complex needs and their families.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure vulnerable children receive pastoral support in the event of schools closing as a result of covid-19.

Supporting vulnerable children is a priority at this time. On Wednesday 18 March, my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education announced that schools will remain open for vulnerable children, alongside the children of critical workers. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care plans. We want vulnerable children to continue to attend education settings so their pastoral needs can continue to be met.

In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and education setting should explore the reasons for this, directly with the parent.

Social workers will remain in contact with vulnerable children and families throughout this challenging time, including remotely if needed.

The latest guidance for on support for vulnerable children and young people can be found using the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide social workers with protective clothing so that they can continue visiting children during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department will work with schools, childcare settings and local authorities to ensure that adequate supplies of personal and domestic cleaning products are available and are working cross government to achieve this. We will issue further detailed guidance regarding the supply of Personal Protective Equipment to settings that require it.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprentices have (a) undergraduate and (b) master’s degrees, by apprenticeship level.

The department does not collect robust data on the prior attainment of learners on apprenticeship programmes and whether they hold undergraduate or masters degrees.

We are committed to ensuring all apprenticeship standards deliver value for money, meet the skills needs of employers and help individuals acquire the skills they need to get ahead.

The apprenticeship funding rules require training providers to undertake an assessment of prior learning. This is to determine whether an individual needs to do an apprenticeship that lasts a minimum of 12 months and requires at least 20 per cent off-the-job training, and to ensure that every apprenticeship leads to the acquisition of new skills, knowledge and behaviours.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) is responsible for working with employer trailblazer groups to design and approve apprenticeships standards; this includes deciding which qualifications may be included in standards, and whether those qualifications should be funded by government as part of the apprenticeship.

To ensure that high-quality apprenticeships are available to learners, the Institute reviews standards on an ongoing basis. It is currently reviewing the Level 7 Senior Leader standard, which may include a MBA qualification, to ensure that it meets the current policy intent and provides value for money.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many times he has used his power to direct academies in (a) Edgbaston constituency, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Birmingham to accept looked-after children in each of the last five years.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities of all schools to prioritise looked-after children and previously looked-after children in their admissions criteria. Academies, trusts and local authorities work together at a local level to prioritise the admission of looked-after children. As a last resort, a local authority can request a direction for the academy to admit a looked after child from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

ESFA has collected and recorded data on such directions since March 2017. Since then, no such directions have been issued to an academy in the Edgbaston constituency. In the West Midlands as a whole, two such directions have been issued, one of which was in Birmingham.

Published guidance on academy admissions can be found on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academy-admissions.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to introduce a new funding round for the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

Since 2014, we have invested £200 million in the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme to give local authorities and children’s social care organisations the permission, funding and support to test ways of doing things differently and to improve outcomes for vulnerable children.

We are committed to supporting innovation and want to make sure we use funding available in 2020-21 to learn from the current projects showing most promise. We are looking at how we can best spread learning to other areas, including considering the evaluations of projects which report in the coming months. We are in discussions with projects and hope to announce next steps shortly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of contextual safeguarding.

Through the children’s social care Innovation Programme, the Department for Education is funding the London Borough of Hackney up to £2 million to test “contextual safeguarding theory”. This approach creates a system in which practitioners can appropriately assess and intervene when risk of harm comes from beyond an adolescent’s family. The project is being externally evaluated and we expect the final report in March 2020.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendations in the report by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) of 12 November 2019, entitled About Time: Life as a middle leader; and what discussions he has had with the NAHT on that report.

I refer the hon. Member for Birmingham Edgbaston to the answer I gave on 8 January 2020 to Question 179.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to invest in continuing professional development for middle leaders in schools, as recommended in the National Association of Head Teachers' report of 12 November 2019, entitled About Time: Life as a middle leader.

The Department has put in place a range of measures to support middle leaders, including those that address the recommendations of the National Association of Head Teachers report.

Improvements to National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), including the NPQ for middle leadership, for aspiring and serving middle leaders, have been well received by the profession. NPQ scholarships target funding towards the professional development of primary and secondary middle leaders in the country’s most challenging schools. The Department is also currently developing new specialist NPQs to support and promote career pathways beyond traditional leadership routes that can enable teachers and leaders to progress and excel in specialist areas. The Department is working closely with the sector on the design of these new qualifications and will release further details in due course.

The Department wants to continue to strengthen support for those already in middle-leadership roles through collaboration with the profession. For example, the High Potential Middle Leaders programme (branded Expert Middle Leaders) targets funding towards accelerating the professional development of primary and secondary middle leaders in the country’s most challenging schools, to enable them to raise attainment within their schools and develop their potential for senior leadership.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings and recommendations of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) report entitled About time: life as a middle leader, published in November 2019; and what discussions he has had with representatives of the NAHT on that report.

The Department has put in place a range of measures to support middle leaders, and which address the findings raised in the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) report. Ministers and officials regularly engage with NAHT on issues relating to school leadership.

Improvements to National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), including for middle leaders, have been well received by the profession. NPQ scholarships and our High-Potential Middle Leaders Programme target funding towards the professional development of primary and secondary middle leaders in the country’s most challenging schools. The Department is currently developing new specialist NPQs to support and promote career pathways beyond traditional leadership routes that can enable teachers and leaders to progress and excel in specialist areas. The Department is working closely with the sector on the design of these new qualifications and will release further details in due course.

The Teacher Workload Survey 2019 indicated there has been a reduction in the reported working hours for teachers and middle and senior leaders of five hours per week over the past three years, largely in the areas targeted through our recently updated workload-reduction toolkit. The Teacher Workload Survey 2019 is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/842053/teacher_workload_survey_2019_report.pdf.

We are committed, as set out in a joint letter with the sector published in November 2018, to support school leaders to identify and reduce unnecessary workload in their schools, and to undertake further work ourselves to reduce the pressures on schools and so enable teachers and leaders at all levels to improve their work–life balance and focus on their development. The Department published the 2019 Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy last year, which was developed with teachers, education unions and leading professional bodies, to focus reform and investment on helping school leaders establish more supportive school cultures and on promoting flexible working.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of extending badger cull licences on the badger population in the UK.

We recently consulted on the next phase of our bovine TB eradication strategy as part of our objective for TB-free status in England by 2038. The consultation, which closed on 24 March, included:

i) proposals to stop issuing intensive cull licences for new areas after 2022 and could see new four-year licences, after two-years of culling, be revoked after a progress evaluation by the Chief Veterinary Officer.

ii) proposals to restrict supplementary badger control licences to two years and to prohibit the issuing of new licences for areas licensed after 2020.

iii) proposals to reduce the duration of badger cull licenses, rather than extending them.

A Government response and next steps will be published in due course. Changes to the intensive and supplementary cull licences will be implemented by Natural England through revised guidance from Defra, which we also consulted on. Details can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb-2020/eradication-of-btb-england/.

As part of the licensing criteria, for intensive and supplementary badger control, Natural England sets minimum and maximum numbers of badgers to be removed. This is to ensure the badger control operations deliver disease reduction benefits without endangering the local badger population.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the criteria his Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

To tackle the triple challenge of climate change, biodiversity and poverty alleviation, Defra ensures it takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery. Defra will remain focused on these three priorities in the event of an Official Development Assistance budget reduction.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year. HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and will agree any changes to these.

The Government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA. In the short term, we have paused some new decisions while we agree our future work in close cooperation with other aid spending Departments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department's share of the Official Development Assistance budget will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

To tackle the triple challenge of climate change, biodiversity and poverty alleviation, Defra ensures it takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery. Defra will remain focused on these three priorities in the event of an Official Development Assistance budget reduction.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year. HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and will agree any changes to these.

The Government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA. In the short term, we have paused some new decisions while we agree our future work in close cooperation with other aid spending Departments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is signing new funding agreements for projects funded by Official Development Assistance.

To tackle the triple challenge of climate change, biodiversity and poverty alleviation, Defra ensures it takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery. Defra will remain focused on these three priorities in the event of an Official Development Assistance budget reduction.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year. HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and will agree any changes to these.

The Government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA. In the short term, we have paused some new decisions while we agree our future work in close cooperation with other aid spending Departments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress has been made by the Environment Agency on (a) inspecting and (b) repairing assets affected by the 2019 winter floods.

The Environment Agency (EA) has carried out approximately 20,000 post-incident inspections following the flooding events in November 2019 and February 2020. These inspections are now complete and the results have been used to plan projects for the EA’s recovery programme that will deliver asset repairs. The EA is finalising submissions but expects to have approximately 600 projects across England. To date, 51 projects have been completed and the EA is commissioning its supply chain and planning the delivery of the rest of the programme. It is expected that all assets will be restored by the end of October 2020, or the EA will have sufficient temporary measures in place to mitigate risks to communities while works complete over winter.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2020 to Question 40719 on supermarkets: coronavirus, what steps he is taking to ensure that supermarkets improve the accessibility of online shopping for people with sight loss.

The Government has been working closely with local authorities, retailers, food businesses and charities to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have access to the food and essential goods that they need.

We have published guidance online that explains what steps people can take if they are unable to access food. This guidance has been shared with local authorities, retailers and charities to help them respond to enquiries from those seeking help. The guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-accessing-food-and-essential-supplies.

Various sight loss charities are working directly with some of the major supermarkets to take forward some practical initiatives to help people with sight loss to access supermarkets.

We have secured a number of supermarket delivery slots for the dedicated use of vulnerable people who are having difficulties in securing access to food and who have no other options available to them. We are working closely with local authorities and charities to help make sure these delivery slots are made available to those who need them most. We have built a bespoke digital service to enable local authorities and a number of charities to directly refer individuals for access to the prioritised slots.

In addition, over 600,000 people are now registered as NHS Volunteer Responders. Verified volunteer responders can receive tasks to help those in their communities, including through shopping for vulnerable people for food and essential supplies. Health and care professionals and approved charities (including Citizens Advice and Age UK) are now able to refer vulnerable individuals into the system to receive support from volunteers.

It is now possible for individuals to self-refer for assistance from the NHS Volunteer Responders if they consider themselves to be vulnerable and in need of support.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2020 to Question 33719 on Supermarkets: Coronavirus, what steps he is taking to ensure supermarkets improve the accessibility of online shopping for (a) people with disabilities and (b) housebound people.

Supermarkets have been working at pace to expand the total number of delivery and click and collect slots and we are working with major retailers to ensure that they prioritise delivery slots for those who are most vulnerable and at risk. This means that we have shared with supermarkets the details of those who have registered as clinically vulnerable and needing to shield, and who need help accessing food. These details are then processed by supermarkets, who match these names against their own customer databases. They then offer people the option of priority access to online delivery.

We have also been working quickly to support vulnerable people who do not fall into the shielded definition. This includes all people who are unable to access food and other essential supplies due to a Covid-19 related change in physical and / or financial circumstance. Most supermarkets are offering prioritised delivery or click and collect slots to those they have identified as vulnerable from their customer database (for example by age, shopping habits, previous use of vulnerable customer helplines etc.). We are working closely with retailers and local authorities to stand up a service to allow local authorities to refer vulnerable people to supermarkets for a priority delivery or click and collect slot.

We are also working with a range of suppliers to make available an increased range of food packages that can be ordered online or over the phone.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of adoption of the extremely vulnerable category in policies pertaining to online shopping.

The Government is working to ensure that approximately 1.8 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus have access to the food they need. The Government continues to contact this cohort of shielded individuals and ask them to register via the online Government webportal or via the phone if they need help accessing food.

In partnership with industry, the Government started to deliver shielding packages in late March, to those that are clinically extremely vulnerable and have requested this support. These packages consist of essential supplies and food. Supermarkets are also prioritising online delivery slots for those that are most in need and have expanded their capacity for home deliveries.

Just over 800,000 have registered online via the online webportal. Of this group, just over 250,000 have indicated that they need support to access food. Supermarkets are reporting good rates of matches to their customer bases and high numbers of orders. We are asking those who need to shield to also make sure that they are registered online directly with supermarkets, so that they can be matched and offered delivery.

We are also working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically extremely vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. This includes those who are elderly, disabled or have health conditions that make it difficult for them to get the food they need. We are speaking to food retailers, delivery organisations and volunteer groups to help prioritise those individuals to access essential food. Wherever possible, people should continue to rely on friends, family and wider community support.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of the number of refrigerated vans to meet the increased demand for grocery deliveries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers have highly resilient supply chains and have adapted quickly to these changes in demand to ensure people have the food and products they need. While we have had, and continue to have significant discussions with retailers over this period these issues have not arisen specifically. Deliveries both to stores and to people’s homes play an important role, and retailers and suppliers are best placed to make decisions about logistics and distribution.

We have been supporting the industry in their response to this unprecedented situation by introducing measures to help businesses to keep food supply flowing. These include temporary relaxation of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together, extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has had discussions with supermarkets on the potential merits of dividing grocery deliveries between perishable and non-perishable items to ensure efficient usage of delivery fleets.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers have highly resilient supply chains and have adapted quickly to these changes in demand to ensure people have the food and products they need. While we have had, and continue to have significant discussions with retailers over this period these issues have not arisen specifically. Deliveries both to stores and to people’s homes play an important role, and retailers and suppliers are best placed to make decisions about logistics and distribution.

We have been supporting the industry in their response to this unprecedented situation by introducing measures to help businesses to keep food supply flowing. These include temporary relaxation of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together, extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people that are unable to leave their home and depend on online shopping for their groceries receive deliveries that are (a) timely and (b) complete.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to these changes in demands, and we welcome the actions they are taking to support demand for online deliveries, including hiring more staff and prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

To help industry respond to this unprecedented demand we have introduced new measures to support online deliveries. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up more quickly, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours. We are also temporarily relaxing certain elements of competition law to ensure retailers are able to collaborate effectively in the national interest, for example by sharing distribution depots and delivery vans.

The Government is working to ensure that up to 1.5 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus will have access to the food they need. A new Local Support System has been put in place to make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family receive basic food and essential supplies. The Government is working with a partnership of the food industry, local government, local resilience forums and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items are being delivered to those who need it.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to expand the global membership of the Global Ocean Alliance.

Joining the Global Ocean Alliance indicates that countries will support a new global target of protecting at least 30% of the global ocean within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030 at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP15) in Kunming, China in October 2020 (30by30). This target would replace the current 10% target agreed in Aichi in 2010.

The UK-led Global Ocean Alliance is currently made up of Belgium, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden and Vanuatu. Many other countries have also expressed their support for the 30by30 target.

English waters have 177 MPAs covering 40% of English seas. The UK has 357 MPAs protecting 25% of UK waters spanning almost 220,000 km2. Furthermore, the Overseas Territories Blue Belt Programme is on track to deliver 4 million km2 marine protection around the UK Overseas Territories by 2020.

Globally, the World Database on MPAs, a joint project of the UN Environment Programme and the International Union for Nature Conservation, shows the percentage of the ocean covered by protected areas at 7.91%.

To increase the proportion of the global ocean that is in MPAs, the Government is working with supportive countries and NGOs to encourage other countries to join the Global Ocean Alliance and thereby increase the possibility that the 30by30 target will be adopted later this year in Kunming.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to meet the Government's target of protecting 30 per cent of world oceans by 2030.

Joining the Global Ocean Alliance indicates that countries will support a new global target of protecting at least 30% of the global ocean within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030 at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP15) in Kunming, China in October 2020 (30by30). This target would replace the current 10% target agreed in Aichi in 2010.

The UK-led Global Ocean Alliance is currently made up of Belgium, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden and Vanuatu. Many other countries have also expressed their support for the 30by30 target.

English waters have 177 MPAs covering 40% of English seas. The UK has 357 MPAs protecting 25% of UK waters spanning almost 220,000 km2. Furthermore, the Overseas Territories Blue Belt Programme is on track to deliver 4 million km2 marine protection around the UK Overseas Territories by 2020.

Globally, the World Database on MPAs, a joint project of the UN Environment Programme and the International Union for Nature Conservation, shows the percentage of the ocean covered by protected areas at 7.91%.

To increase the proportion of the global ocean that is in MPAs, the Government is working with supportive countries and NGOs to encourage other countries to join the Global Ocean Alliance and thereby increase the possibility that the 30by30 target will be adopted later this year in Kunming.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of the world's oceans that are in marine protected areas.

Joining the Global Ocean Alliance indicates that countries will support a new global target of protecting at least 30% of the global ocean within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030 at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP15) in Kunming, China in October 2020 (30by30). This target would replace the current 10% target agreed in Aichi in 2010.

The UK-led Global Ocean Alliance is currently made up of Belgium, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden and Vanuatu. Many other countries have also expressed their support for the 30by30 target.

English waters have 177 MPAs covering 40% of English seas. The UK has 357 MPAs protecting 25% of UK waters spanning almost 220,000 km2. Furthermore, the Overseas Territories Blue Belt Programme is on track to deliver 4 million km2 marine protection around the UK Overseas Territories by 2020.

Globally, the World Database on MPAs, a joint project of the UN Environment Programme and the International Union for Nature Conservation, shows the percentage of the ocean covered by protected areas at 7.91%.

To increase the proportion of the global ocean that is in MPAs, the Government is working with supportive countries and NGOs to encourage other countries to join the Global Ocean Alliance and thereby increase the possibility that the 30by30 target will be adopted later this year in Kunming.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of PM2.5 emissions in Birmingham.

National statistics on emissions of air pollutants in the UK are published annually at the following URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants.

An interactive map of emissions of PM2.5 and other pollutants is available to the public at a 1 km2 resolution and is updated annually. The map for 2017 can be found at the following URL: https://naei.beis.gov.uk/emissionsapp/. It is possible to summarise the emissions map by local authority using the functions on the map webpage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in NO2 emissions in Birmingham.

National statistics on emissions of air pollutants and trends in the UK, including nitrogen oxides, are published annually at the following URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to tackle plastic pollution in British waters.

The Government is making great strides in tackling marine plastic pollution, and we have made some good progress. In 2018, our ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products helped to stop billions of tiny pieces of plastic entering the ocean. Our charge for single-use carrier bags has also led to a 90% reduction in plastic bag usage and a reduction of plastic bags surveyed on the seabed.

Our 25 Year Environment Plan establishes our target of reducing all forms of marine plastic pollution where possible, and our Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will achieve this. We have committed to introducing a deposit return scheme to encourage the reuse of items prevalent in marine litter, and we will explore the use of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes to incentivise innovation for items such as plastic packaging and fishing gear.

We collaborate closely with our neighbouring countries through the OSPAR Convention to reduce the flow of waste into the North-east Atlantic. We are delivering on our commitments in the Marine Litter Regional Action Plan and leading on efforts to tackle the issue of abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of (a) changing (i) subsidies and (ii) grant support and (b) other steps to encourage the transition of UK agriculture towards a more sustainable plant-based system.

The Agriculture Bill will allow us to replace the restrictive EU Common Agricultural Policy with an ambitious new Environmental Land Management scheme. This scheme is based on the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ and will deliver financial support for farmers who protect our environment and deliver high animal welfare and food quality standards in a sustainable way. As such, this scheme will significantly contribute to the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and others such as net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Defra has commissioned its lead Non-Executive Director, Henry Dimbleby, to lead an Independent Review to develop a series of recommendations that will help shape a National Food Strategy, considering the entire food system from field to fork. The terms of reference of the review include seeking to ensure that our food system restores and enhances the natural environment for the next generation in this country, and is built upon a resilient, sustainable and humane agriculture sector. The Independent Review, launched on 25 June 2019, will publish its interim report in spring 2020 and its final report the following winter. The Government has committed to publishing a White Paper in response within six months of the review being published.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she plans to take to ensure the provision of a nutritionally balanced plant-based meal on each public sector menu.

Defra mandates certain food and catering standards to encourage the provision of higher quality and nutritious foods, accounting for dietary advice from Public Health England (PHE). Defra continues to support other departments and institutions, such as NHS trusts and schools, in their efforts to provide the relevant information and mechanisms to inform appropriate arrangements regarding dietary choices.

Whilst Defra offer advice on food procurement standards, we do not stipulate the content of public sector organisation menus; we believe that food procurers and caterers are best placed to make decisions about their menus.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when the Government plans to make its pledge of funding for Nutrition for Growth post-2020.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 74465 on 22/07/2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what her priorities are for the GAVI board meeting to discuss the COVAX facility.

As GAVI's largest donor, the UK is proud of the impressive results GAVI has achieved in vaccinating over 760 million children, and saving 13 million lives since 2000.

As the world grapples with the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK has been clear that the equitable global distribution of a vaccine will be the best defence against it, enable collective recovery, and reduce the risk of repeat outbreaks. We therefore strongly support Gavi using its expertise and experience to lead on accelerating global access to COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX Facility.

The UK was represented by two senior DFID officials at the GAVI Board, where the priority is to ensure that the COVAX Advance Market Commitment delivers timely and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in the poorest countries.

The UK's overarching priority for its £1.65 billion contribution to Gavi from 2021-25 is to maintain and improve routine immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases in the poorest countries.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2020 to Question 71769, if she will list the (a) NGOs and (b) other stakeholders that have been consulted on the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

As with any government change of this nature, the announcement came first to Parliament. The Government will continue its ongoing engagement with key stakeholders, including on issues relating to the merger. Plans on how we will do this with different partners will be shared in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues, (b) multilateral donor partners, (c) civil society organisations and (d) other stakeholders on (i) the potential reduction in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget and (ii) governmental prioritisation of ODA spending.

The International Development Secretary has had ongoing discussion with key stakeholders during the review of ODA spending in 2020. She has worked with Cabinet colleagues throughout the HMG review to identify savings in this year's ODA budget. This involved participating in the meetings chaired by the First Secretary of State to oversee the review, and contributing to the final session of the review with the First Secretary of State and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. She wrote to all DFID private sector and civil society suppliers in May and published a statement on 1 June announcing that DFID would have to pause any new work given the GNI context. Following the outcome of the ODA savings exercise, the First Secretary of State has written to key suppliers to inform them about the outcome. This has been published on DFID's supplier portal, making it available to all DFID's suppliers. Regular and structured engagement was put in place with leading NGOs and CSOs, led by Baroness Sugg and DFID Permanent Secretary Nick Dyer to discuss prioritisation of aid spending during the review. A recent meeting with a number of CSOs took place on the 24 July, led by Baroness Sugg, which covered the conclusions of the review process.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect on local partners in the global south of a reduction in the UK's official development assistance budget.

Local partners are fundamental to the UK's delivery of ODA being effective and impactful. This is particularly demonstrated through their knowledge, partnerships and agility. Ministers reviewed every strand of the ODA budget, evaluating the impacts of spend and making sure we can maintain operational capacity. Prioritisation decisions in DFID were made at the project level and considered various criteria such as: how programmes contribute to development impact; value for money; national interest; the impact on suppliers and supply chains - including local partners; and to what extent we could feasibly save money from a specific project. Bilateral projects were also assessed against the vulnerability of each country.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Answer of 20 July to Question 73967, when the Government will begin targeted engagement with stakeholders on the Integrated Review, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy Review.

The Government continues to ensure that some of the best minds in the UK and beyond are feeding into the Review's conclusions.

We have started targeted engagement with academic stakeholders and will engage more widely still in the coming weeks; including with Parliament, Devolved Administrations, civil society, and our allies and partners. The Government has also now issued a Call for Evidence to help inform the Integrated Review. This will facilitate contributions from the public and our stakeholders with an interest and role in our nation's security and prosperity, and in tackling the global challenges the UK will face over the coming years.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department (a) has renegotiated or (b) plans to renegotiate contracts at a reduced value to account for a potential reduction in the Official Development Assitance budget.

The UK's 0.7 per cent Gross National Income target is directly linked to the performance of the UK economy. Like all other Government Departments, we need to make some tough prioritisation choices which will likely include the renegotiation of some of our contracts in light of the expected drop in GNI. In doing so, we will ensure that renegotiated contracts continue to deliver value for money for UK taxpayers and maximum impact for beneficiaries.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent guidance she has issued to her Department's in-country offices on contract negotiations with local partners in the global south.

DFID provides a myriad of commercial support services and guidance, which is available to programme teams across the business. This includes, but is not limited to, Smart Guide rules and a newly launched Aid Learning Platform (ALP).

The ALP e-manual facility encompasses a range of modules to develop Officials’ commercial acumen relevant to contract management, including negotiation skills, risk management and programme design. This guidance is constantly updated to reflect ongoing training needs across the organisation. This training applies to all officials across our network and not just the global south.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether all existing UK Aid Match commitments will be maintained by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

All government departments are working through how their plans will need to change in light of the risk of a significant recession this year. DFID is no exception. The Government’s 0.7% GNI target is directly linked to the performance of the UK economy. No decision has been taken, but we are considering the full range of our work. In the short term, we have paused new financial arrangements while we agree our future work in close cooperation with other aid spending Departments.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many applications her Department has received for the covid-19 Rapid Response Facility, how many of those applications (a) have been approved, (b) have been rejected and (c) remain under review.

The Department for International Development’s Rapid Response Facility (RRF) launched a call for proposals on 7 April 2020 to help support the preparedness, mitigation and response to COVID-19. DFID received 73 eligible applications of which 7 projects were selected for funding. Other applicants were informed that their proposals were not selected for funding in this round but, as with our broader COVID-19 humanitarian funding, further RRF support would remain under review.

The Rapid Response Facility is only one of the mechanisms through which the UK government is directly funding NGOs to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. For example, a round of UK Aid Direct funding was opened for applications relating to COVID-19 and we have announced that the UK will aid match the first £5 million of donations from the British public to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) new COVID-19 Appeal. Furthermore, NGOs are delivery partners for a very large proportion of DFID's activity.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with representatives of (a) PCS and b) FDA unions on the roles of their members in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

DFID and FCO senior officials informed their respective Trade Union representatives as soon the creation of the new Department was announced. Consultations will continue throughout the process. Within DFID we have regular weekly engagement with our trade unions (FDA and PCS). These discussions have not yet involved the Secretary of State directly. We will formally consult as required on any specific areas of HR policy as work progresses.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps she has taken to support diaspora communities in the UK seeking to send remittances abroad to have access to transparent transaction costs in relation to those remittances.

The Government has taken steps to improve transparency in the remittance sector, not just in the UK but globally. We co-lead with the Swiss Government with the support of multilateral organisations on the Global Call to Action to keep remittances flowing and to improve transparency in the sector.

The department is working closely HM Treasury to improve transparency in the sector. In the UK, we have worked cross Government to develop communication lines to encourage the diaspora community to use digital channels and to review the different options available before sending funding.

We are working with industry associations and leading remittance service providers on how best to improve transparency in the sector and are reviewing the key lessons from other development agencies who have sought to improve transparency in remittances in their countries.

We understand the need for remitters to be well informed (especially about the cost of sending money abroad) and are working towards solutions that are sustainable, effective and represent good value for money.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department has disbursed to multilateral institutions in response to the covid-19 pandemic; and how much of that aid has reached the Global South to date.

The UK is playing a leading role in the international response to the Covid-19 pandemic, pledging up to £774 million of UK aid to help developing countries (the 'global south') address the immediate and longer-term impacts of the crisis. Of the £774 million, £220 million has gone to UN agencies in the UN's Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), such as the World Food Programme and UN Refugee Agency, as well as humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross and international NGOs. DFID is also adapting its programmes across its country network to respond to COVID-19 and address the needs of the most vulnerable, as outlined in the GHRP. This funding will help address urgent needs in vulnerable countries, accelerate progress towards a vaccine, reinforce infection control and help the poorest countries address the economic impact of the crisis.

On 4 June, the UK hosted the Global Vaccine Summit, where world leaders, foundations, corporations and organisations pledged $8.8 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The UK remains Gavi's largest donor, having pledged £1.65bn for 2021-25 to help strengthen health systems in the global fight against COVID-19 and immunise a further 300 million children in the world's poorest countries against other deadly diseases. We are a leading donor and shareholder to the multilateral development banks, which have announced financial packages totalling more than £200bn. Given the unprecedented high demand for rapid finance, the UK has doubled its pledge from £2.2bn to £4.4 billion to IMF loan resources for concessional lending to low-income and vulnerable developing countries, and pledged up to £150m to the IMF Catastrophe Containment Relief Trust for the poorest countries to receive debt relief on IMF repayments.

We will continue to work closely with our multilateral partners and fora such as the G7 and G20 to galvanise the global fight against Covid-19 and shape the multilateral response to ensure it addresses the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much the CDC Group has invested via private equity funds in each of the last five years.

CDCs invests through Private Equity Funds to provide growth capital to companies in Africa and South Asia to create jobs and transform economies, focussing on the small and mid-size companies that face the biggest financing gap.

CDC's backing for Fund managers helps promote the adoption of higher Environmental, Social and Governance standards and support the development of self-sustaining local finance markets.

In the last five years CDC made new investment commitments to private equity funds of:

  • 2015 - £238m
  • 2016 - £289m
  • 2017 - £273m
  • 2018 - £311m
  • 2019 - £284m.
James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of Standard Chartered Plc endorsement of the Government of China’s proposed security law for Hong Kong on the future of CDC's partnership with that company.

The UK Government speaks regularly with international financial services firms about a range of issues. It is for individual companies to make their own judgements. We have made our own position very clear on China's proposal to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.

CDC has a successful partnership with Standard Chartered focused on delivering development impact at scale in Africa and South Asia. For example, during the Ebola crisis CDC’s partnership with Standard Chartered helped provide vital working capital to businesses struggling to pay wages and meet operating expenses when the economy was seizing up.

Now, during the COVID-19 crisis CDC’s trade and supply chain finance partnerships with Standard Chartered are providing much needed liquidity to businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Being a counter-cyclical investor supporting local businesses during the crisis forms a central element of CDC’s COVID-19 response.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many and what proportion of CDC's investments in which it owns more that 20 percent are based in tax havens.

Wherever possible, CDC invests directly into the country in which an investee company is located. If CDC invests through an intermediate country, it does so only if the country is compliant with international tax transparency standards as monitored by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Tax information. CDC publishes the overall tax contribution of its portfolio; the principal countries in which each investee company pays taxes; the place of incorporation; and the legal domicile of each business or collective investment vehicles in which they invest.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 54991 on CDC Group: Hospitals, what the total initial investment value into those hospitals was.

The total initial investment value of these investments was approximately $190 million.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency; and if she will publish that assessment.

Until a just solution for Palestinian refugees is found, the UK continues to be a firm supporter of UNRWA and is committed to helping ensure the Agency’s sustainability and effectiveness. DFID undertakes an annual review of UNRWA’s programme performance. The most recent publication is available online (https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-204546/documents).

In 2019, the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) concluded an independent assessment of UNRWA, describing the Agency as competent and resilient, delivering services despite a challenging, resource-constrained environment. The assessment is public and accessed online.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the disaggregation of data by age is (a) improved and (b) prioritised in the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; and what progress the Government has made on the implementation of the Inclusive Data Charter Action Plan.

Responding to the needs of older people is essential in our efforts to tackle extreme poverty. This is being highlighted right now as we see the vulnerability of older people to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are paying attention to their needs in our response our COVID-19 and are engaging internationally to push for others to do the same.

DFID published our Inclusive Data Charter Action Plan in 2019, setting out our ambitions to increase the collection and use of disaggregated data, and to improve disaggregation at a global level. This includes our £45 million investment in the World Bank Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building fund, which strengthens the capacity of statistical systems in developing countries, including on age disaggregated data.

We are a key stakeholder in the Titchfield City Group on Ageing, an international group set up to improve data on ageing and age disaggregation.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to implement the Department's disability inclusion strategy in the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office from September 2020.

This Government is committed to supporting a long-term movement for change on the neglected global issue of disability inclusion. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to this agenda.

The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy is expected to conclude later in the year, which will define the Government’s ambition for the UK’s role in the world and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the FCDO. Both the review and the merger are evidence of the Prime Minister’s commitment to a unified British foreign and development policy that will maximise our influence around the world, including on disability inclusion.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Official Development Assistance spending of Government Departments will be reported against the OECD-DAC disability marker after September 2020.

The UK will continue reporting the disability policy marker in the official development assistance OECD-DAC annual data return after September 2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps she has taken to uphold the UN Global Goals promise to leave no-one behind.

The UK Government is committed to playing its part in Global efforts to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind. Through both our COVID-19 response and in our future plans, we will continue to pay particular attention to the needs of the most vulnerable. We are working hard to ensure the needs and priorities of women and girls, people with disabilities, and vulnerable and at-risk groups in the crisis are met in the global response to the pandemic.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress her Department has made on ending the preventable deaths of (a) mothers, (b) new-born babies and (c) children by 2030.

The UK is committed to ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030. Between April 2018 and March 2019 alone, DFID reached at least 23.5 million total women and girls with modern methods of family planning, saving 8,300 women’s lives and preventing the trauma of 89,900 stillbirths and 52,900 new-born deaths.

This is more important than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working to ensure essential health services continue despite the challenges. Our approach covers sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and new-born health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, all of which can help prevent mothers, new-borns and children dying unnecessarily.

A core focus of our ending preventable deaths work is to partner with governments and international health actors to strengthen health systems in the poorest countries. We are also leading internationally: the UK hosted the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June and raised $8.8 billion for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance’s, next five years (2021-2025) of work, which includes the UK’s pledge of £1.65 billion. Using these vital funds, GAVI will immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives against vaccine preventable diseases.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office maintains progress on ending the preventable deaths of (a) mothers, (b) new-born babies and (c) children by 2030.

The UK is committed to ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030. By aligning our efforts, the merger will maximise UK influence and expertise so that we are in the best position to deliver this commitment.

The Prime Minister, in his statement to the House of Commons, highlighted that the UK will need to work in partnership to help vulnerable countries to improve their health systems. This is essential to ending preventable deaths, as are the UK government’s recent reassurances that we remain committed to preventing and treating malnutrition, as well as advancing and defending comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance has been (a) allocated and (b) distributed to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response and has publicly committed up to £764 million of UK aid in addition to flexing existing programmes to respond to COVID-19. Following agreements and disbursement schedules DFID has disbursed £314 million to date.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed reductions in Official Development Assistance expenditure on UK (a) humanitarian and (b) development assistance to Yemen.

Yemen remains a key priority for the UK Government.

I announced that the UK will commit £160 million of new aid for the current financial year (2020/21) at the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Pledging Conference on 2 June. This was the third highest pledge at the conference and brings the total UK commitment to nearly £1 billion since the conflict began in 2015.

This funding will be provided through humanitarian and development agencies and will provide support to at least 300,000 vulnerable people each month to help them buy food and household essentials, treat 40,000 children for malnutrition and provide 1 million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the cumulative financial value was of the projects and programmes which have received red ratings by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact in each of the last five years.

ICAI’s reviews cover thematic policy areas rather than individual projects and programmes. It is not possible to extract the cumulative financial value of projects and programmes covered by all reviews based on the methodology used.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the cumulative financial value was of the projects and programmes which have received amber ratings by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact in each of the last five years.

ICAI’s reviews cover thematic policy areas rather than individual projects and programmes. It is not possible to extract the cumulative financial value of projects and programmes covered by all reviews based on the methodology used.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the cumulative financial value was of the projects and programmes which received amber/red ratings by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact in each of the last five years.

ICAI’s reviews cover thematic policy areas rather than individual projects and programmes. It is not possible to extract the cumulative financial value of projects and programmes covered by all reviews based on the methodology used.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help ensure that funding package to help fight coronavirus and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen announced on 2 June 2020 by the Foreign Secretary, is additional to planned humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

The UK’s £160 million commitment to Yemen for this financial year (2020/21) will help tackle the spread of COVID-19 by providing over 700,000 medical consultations, training 12,000 healthcare workers to work in a safe environment and providing a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres, to continue providing existing health services.

This funding will also respond to existing humanitarian needs in Yemen by providing support to at least 300,000 vulnerable people each month to help them buy food and household essentials, treat 40,000 children for malnutrition and provide 1 million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.

We have already disbursed 32% of our £160 million funding to Yemen this year and expect to have disbursed over 50% by the end of July.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 61560, on what day was she given formal notice of the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I am in regular contact with the Prime Minister and other ministers about how the UK allocates and spends ODA. Decisions on Machinery of Government changes are made by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both the Foreign Secretary and me ahead of his announcement in the House.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 on to Question 61564 on Department for International Development: Reorganisation, whether she held discussions with any civil society and development partners on the potential merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before the decision to merge those Departments was made.

Civil society organisations and our development partners play invaluable role in our fight against poverty. We continue to engage extensively with them as we shape the new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance her Department has spent in China in each of the last five years.

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not spend Official Development Aid (ODA) bilaterally in China, nor has it done in any of the last five years. China does, however, receive ODA through multilateral institutions that DFID provides core funding to. The Statistics on International Development (SID) provides data on this at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878406/Table-A10-7April2020.ods

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance her Department has spent in India in each of the last five years.

The Department for International Development (DFID) invests in and partners with India to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and address climate change, while generating returns and creating trade, investment and other partnership opportunities for the UK.

Financial Aid to India ended in 2015. DFID deploys technical assistance and expertise to stimulate mutual prosperity and generate new markets. DFID uses Development Capital Investment to invest in Indian companies, alongside co-investment from Indian Government bodies, with the returns coming back to HMG in due course. Thus far £63.43 million has been returned.

In the past five years DFID has spent the following amounts in India. Data for 2019 will be published in the Autumn.

2015

2016

2017

2018

Technical Assistance

£86,757,207

£32,092,840

£22,164,717

£23,518,884

Development Capital Investment

£33,606,105

£22,115,930

£25,526,321

£21,812,215

Financial Aid

£30,027,560

£0

£0

£0

Total

£150,390,872

£54,208,770

£47,691,038

£45,331,099

India also receives ODA through multilateral institutions to whom DFID provides core funding. Information on all UK ODA spend is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-development/about/statistics.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of a potential loss in productivity as a result of combining her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Government will implement the creation of the new Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in the most cost-effective way possible. This is primarily about bringing together our international efforts so we can maximise the UK’s influence and positive impact around the world. By aligning our efforts, we will maximise our influence and expertise and ensure we are in the best position to confront the challenges that lie ahead. This will strengthen our ability to lead the world’s efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and allow us to seize the opportunities ahead, as we prepare to take on the G7 presidency and host COP26 next year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the Government's plans are for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact after the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. We remain committed to full transparency in our aid spending and there will continue to be parliamentary and independent scrutiny of the aid budget – the form this takes following the merger will be set out in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she was made aware of the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Decisions on Machinery of Government changes are made by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both the Foreign Secretary and me ahead of his announcement in the House.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she had meetings with the Prime Minister ahead of the announcement that her Department is to merge with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Decisions on Machinery of Government changes are made by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both the Foreign Secretary and me ahead of his announcement in the House.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with which civil society and development partners she held discussions on the potential merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before the decision to merge the Departments was made.

The Prime Minister has decided to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to form a new international department – the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The Government will continue to engage closely with interested stakeholders, including UK and international NGOs, in the weeks and months to come as we work to create the new department, which will unite our development expertise and first class diplomatic service to make the UK a greater force for good in the world.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that Official Development Assistance spent in Brazil supports the rights of indigenous communities living in the Amazon region.

The Prosperity Fund programme in Brazil will support better public services, more sustainable energy and investment, and more efficient international trade. The programme is evolving to ‘build back better’ after the COVID-19 pandemic, including focusing on vulnerable groups and in the Amazon region, working on issues such as solar energy, primary health, and skills development. All Prosperity Fund programmes follow robust due diligence procedures and take a ‘do no harm’ approach as a minimum standard. The UK is working with indigenous communities across Brazil, including in the Amazon region. The UK supports the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) Early Movers programme, which helps indigenous communities to develop sustainable income sources and strengthen food security: 19,593 families have benefitted so far. Through Partnerships for Forests, the UK also supports almost 2,000 indigenous people to strengthen livelihoods through sustainable forest management. The UK Government is committed to promoting and defending the human rights of all individuals, including indigenous peoples.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will publish the criteria her Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

To tackle poverty and advance our Global Britain objectives, DFID takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery that are consistent with HMG best practice.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department's share of the Official Development Assistance budget will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). This commitment is linked to GNI. HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these allocations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department is signing new funding agreements for projects funded by Official Development Assistance.

The government reviews the ODA funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on ODA.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make it her policy to apply public interest conditions to Government funding for the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility to help ensure that recipients of funding (a) use technology transfer and open licences, (b) charge at cost price and (c) publish information on (i) price calculations and (ii) research findings and approach.

Gavi and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) co-chair the COVAX partnership to accelerate the development of and access to COVID-19 vaccines. The COVAX Facility will be a set of financing mechanisms managed under the COVAX partnership to support vaccine development and access. The UK funds Gavi and CEPI to use their extensive experience and relationships with developers, industry, international organisations and governments to drive collaboration and negotiate effective agreements to accelerate development and access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The UK has provided £48 million so far to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for COVID-19 vaccines, part of the COVAX Facility. It builds on the success of the pneumococcal vaccine AMC. Gavi will negotiate fair pricing and supply volumes with companies for future COVID-19 vaccines for eligible countries.

The UK has provided £250 million to CEPI to accelerate development of COVID-19 vaccines. CEPI’s core equitable access policy guides terms for the partnerships it enters with vaccine developers and manufacturers.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has paused any new recruitment during the covid-19 outbreak.

DFID has not paused new recruitment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 40722, on CDC Group: Hospitals, what the total value was of (a) initial and (b) current investments into those hospitals.

The value of the CDC investments listed in answer to Parliamentary Question 40722 was $190 million at the time of submitting that answer. The value of investments fluctuates during the period over which they are held by CDC. As a result of the disruption caused by the current pandemic across global markets, market volatility is particularly high at present. The last available valuation for the above investments is $196 million.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has paused funding decisions for new projects and programmes in the Global South not directly related to tackling the covid-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption across the world from direct health impacts caused by the virus itself, and indirect effects caused by the response, including on economies, livelihoods and education. We have so far pledged up to £764 million of UK aid, tackling the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating both its primary and secondary impacts.

Funding decisions are taken on an ongoing basis. We are reviewing our programming to ensure UK aid is spent as effectively as possible to help the world’s poorest. DFID will continue to deliver projects directly related to tackling the coronavirus pandemic but also many projects related to other development issues.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to introduce a stabilisation fund for international non-governmental organisations to continue to deliver aid to people living in extreme poverty in the global south.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) are key partners for DFID in our response to COVID-19 and we have pledged new funding specifically for CSOs to support our work to tackle the virus. This includes funding allocated through the Rapid Response Facility and significant funding through the DFID Unilever COVID-19 Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition. A new UK Aid Direct funding round has also been launched, some of which has been set aside for rapid access by existing UK Aid Direct grant holders who are able to respond immediately to COVID-19. In addition, International Non-Government Organisations will receive funding through multilateral organisations as downstream partners as part of the UK’s response. As DFID’s country network adapts programming to respond to COVID-19, country teams are considering how they can do this through partners, including through CSOs.

We are working flexibly with existing civil society partners to respond to the pandemic, maintain delivery of essential programmes and manage the impacts on organisations and staff. DFID is also offering support to all suppliers, including civil society, in line with the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants. This allows for relief on services and goods provided in the UK, to DFID aid programmes as a last resort and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants. UK-based CSOs are also eligible for the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

NGOs are fundamental parts of DFID’s work. Given DFID’s support for them runs so deeply through everything we do, there is no plan to create a specific fund.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with representatives of the World Health Organisation on future core voluntary contributions from the UK.

The UK’s funding for WHO is based on our assessment of the organisation’s needs. The scale and timing of future core voluntary contributions will be considered as part of this assessment.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support the plans of governments of Caribbean and Asian for the forthcoming monsoon and hurricane seasons.

In the Caribbean, DFID works with Governments of the Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth Caribbean as well as regional organisations to strengthen hurricane preparedness. This includes: provision for rapid funding to finance regional disaster surge response through the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, and the establishing of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), an insurance mechanism which makes pay-outs to Caribbean national Governments when they are impacted by a disaster. In addition, humanitarian relief items have been pre-positioned in the region.

In Asia, DFID works with partner Governments - including countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar – to support existing preparedness operations, including for cyclone and monsoon seasons. For example, DFID funds the START Fund, which is set up to respond quickly to emerging crises like severe weather events and aims to preposition stocks and bolster existing crises mechanisms. In response to the recent cyclone Amphan, £800,000 was rapidly released to NGOs from START Fund Bangladesh to provide water, health, food, non-food items and shelter, as well as UN-led humanitarian Coordination.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to help support communities manage social tensions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

In many countries with weak governance or ongoing conflict, COVID-19 risks raising social tensions, reducing respect for human rights and, in some contexts, may pose challenges to peace processes. Higher levels of instability create obstacles to an effective response, for example limiting humanitarian access, and may pose risks to UK national security.

DFID is committed to ensuring that, through all channels of support, our assistance reaches the most marginalized and vulnerable. We are taking steps to ensure that both our immediate responses to COVID-19 and long-term recovery efforts do not exacerbate conflict and instead help to build peace and improve governance. We are encouraging our implementing partners to demonstrate accountability, strengthen local owner- and leadership and adopt inclusive, conflict sensitive approaches. We are also working with partners, governments, media providers, civil society and local community and faith leaders to counter misinformation.

As pledged in our manifesto, this Government will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability and justice across the world.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department plans to increase the levels of funding for (a) large and (b) small and medium non governmental organisations.

NGOs of all sizes are key policy and delivery partners for DFID and we are committed to working with the sector to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19. In country we estimate that around a quarter of existing DFID programmes are implemented directly through NGOs partners. Many NGOs will also receive funding as part of DFID’s significant investment in the multilateral response to COVID-19.

The Chancellor has set out the risk that the UK economy will face a significant recession this year. All government departments are working through how their plans will need to change in the light of this. DFID is no exception. The Government’s 0.7% GNI target is directly linked to the performance of the UK economy and we need to prepare for this by prioritising our lifesaving aid. No decision has been taken yet, but we are considering the full range of our work.

However, we expect NGOs will in many cases receive additional funding through new centrally-managed programmes and funding mechanisms: including through the Rapid Response Facility, a COVID-19 themed UK Aid Direct round, DFID’s new partnership with Unilever, the START Fund, and a possible contribution to a Disasters and Emergency Committee appeal.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department's press release, UK calls for global action to protect vital money transfers, published on 22 May 2020, what recent steps her Department has taken to make it easier for diaspora communities in the UK and other countries to continue to transfer money to their relatives during the covid-19 pandemic.

Previous DFID support is already helping to make money transfers easier, by helping 65 million people in the poorest countries access digital financial services so they can receive funds – including from diaspora communities in the UK – via their mobile phones or online. DFID support is also helping to give 2 million more people access to digital remittance services so that they can send and receive money from home.

In the crisis, the UK Government has made it clear that in the UK people can continue to visit money transfer businesses should they need to, while observing social distancing and staying safe.

And as referenced in the question, the UK has launched – along with Switzerland, and with support from the World Bank and UN agencies – a global Call to Action on remittances, which calls on policymakers, regulators and remittance service providers round the world to take action to ensure that diaspora communities can continue to transfer money to their relatives during the crisis.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department's press release, UK calls for global action to protect vital money transfers, published on 22 May 2020, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that remittance service providers reduce fees for people making payments during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK has launched, along with Switzerland and with support from the World Bank and UN agencies, a global Call to Action on remittances, which calls on policymakers, regulators and remittance service providers round the world to take action to ensure that diaspora communities can continue to transfer money to their relatives during the crisis.

This Call to Action specifically calls on remittance service providers to explore measures such as reducing remittance transaction costs. We are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals target of reducing the global average costs of remittances to 3% by 2030, from the current level of around 6.8%.

The World Bank is conducting regular surveys of remittance costs in a number of corridors during the crisis. These surveys show that for most of the corridors surveyed that start in the UK, remittance costs are lower now than before the crisis.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that the funding her Department commits to tackling the covid-19 pandemic in developing countries does not negatively affect programmes to tackle climate change.

Tackling climate change and building resilience remain priorities for the Government. Our international response to COVID-19 is focused on securing a strong global health response, accelerating the search for a vaccine and new treatments, and supporting the global economy. We believe that there is a connection between healthy lives, healthy societies and a healthy environment.

The steps taken to support and rebuild economies will have an impact on future sustainability, resilience and well-being. At the invitation of the United Nations Secretary General, the Prime Minister recently addressed other world leaders on ‘recovering better for sustainability,’ and as we prepare for COP26, the Government is urging the world to take the opportunity to make the recovery clean, inclusive and resilient.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support Overseas Development Institute fellows who have been evacuated due to covid-19 to complete their contracts when it is safe to do so.

The ODI Fellowship Scheme recruits and posts early career economists and statisticians of different nationalities to work as civil servants in developing country institutions for two-year placements. Approximately 80% of Overseas Development Institute fellows have been evacuated to their home countries. Seventeen remain at post, most of whom are engaged in supporting their host governments’ COVID-19 response. We are liaising closely with ODI on their plans to return fellows to post when it is safe to do so and to ensure the continuing safety of those remaining. Most fellows are working remotely and are continuing to support their host governments. We are working with ODI to ensure that fellows are able to operate effectively in these circumstances.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the Government’s commitment to ensure that every girl in the world receives 12 years of quality education.

Ensuring 12 years of quality education for all children, especially girls, remains a UK priority. As the effects of the COVID-19 crisis play out, the socio-economic impact on girls has become increasingly clear, with the education of poor girls in particular being disproportionately affected.

The UK’s response to the pandemic entails mitigating short term risks by focussing on safety, nutrition, wellbeing and learning whilst schools are closed; and supporting countries to protect and maintain education budgets and work towards reopen schools safely in the longer term.

DFID is adapting its bilateral education programmes in 18 countries. The Global Partnership for Education, to which the UK is the largest donor, is flexing over £200 million to support education sector stability in response to the pandemic. We have also announced further funding to support emergency education in fragile contexts.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many (a) veterans, (b) widows of veterans and (c) households have been supported through the Commonwealth Veterans Programme in each of the last two financial years.

The first disbursements to recipients of this programme began in April 2019. In the financial year 2019/2020, 2,490 veterans and 3,229 widows of veterans were supported through the Commonwealth Veterans Programme. Disbursements are currently underway for this financial year (April 2020 to March 2021). To date, 1,815 veterans and 1,960 widows of veterans have received support. We do not track the number of households benefitting from this programme, because support is made on an individual basis.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate she has made of the number of commonwealth veterans and their families who worked for UK armed forces before their countries gained independence who are now living in poverty.

It is estimated that there are just over 11,600 older people from Commonwealth or former Commonwealth countries who served in the British Armed Forces prior to their countries gaining independence. Of this number, it is known that around 6,200 are living in absolute poverty.

Through the Commonwealth Veteran’s Programme, DFID provides regular cash transfers to Commonwealth veterans and their widows and widowers in 29 countries to ensure they receive the equivalent of two healthy meals a day to prevent them from going hungry.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help ensure that there is no cliff edge in nutrition financing.

The UK remains committed to preventing and treating malnutrition as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children. Addressing poor nutrition is also important in the face of COVID-19. We will continue to invest beyond 2020 in programmes to address malnutrition and to work closely with the Government of Japan to ensure the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit is a success.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will publish her Department's guidance to country offices on re-prioritising projects and programmes as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Across the DFID country office network, we are adapting over one hundred existing health and humanitarian programmes, and close to two hundred existing social protection, economic, governance, conflict and other programmes, across 35 countries and regions relevant to the COVID-19 response. The flexing and adaptation of DFID programmes must consider numerous factors, ensuring that our strategy is tailored to the local context. There are no plans to publish internal guidance to country offices.

In addition, the UK has pledged £764 million to support efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. We are taking decisive and co-ordinated action, guided by the WHO and based on science and evidence.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 12 May 2020 to Question 43725, if she will publish the Government policies to ensure pharmaceutical companies in receipt of public funds allow equitable access to covid-19 vaccines and medical tools for people living in the Global South.

DFID supports international organisations and partnerships to develop new medical technologies for diseases affecting people in low-income countries, including COVID-19. These organisations and partnerships are committed to developing products that meet developing country needs and are affordable and accessible. They adopt a range of policies and partnership approaches to achieve this, which are relevant to contexts, stakeholders and challenges particular to different disease areas and product types.

We encourage dialogue across industry, international organisations and governments on how best to facilitate access to medicines, including through the use of TRIPS-compliant licensing models in developing countries. We encourage the use of non-exclusive voluntary licensing, the transfer of technology to developing countries and business model innovation.

The Government is committed to supporting access to COVID-19 medical technologies for developing countries, and we are working closely with international partners, including through the ACT-accelerator, to support this ambition. We have committed £250 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, £40 million to the?Wellcome?Therapeutics Accelerator and up to £23 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, to support equitable access to COVID-19 medical technologies.

Furthermore, we are ensuring that publicly funded work to find a vaccine in the UK supports global efforts. If the Oxford University trials are successful, AstraZeneca have said they will work with global partners on distributing a vaccine internationally, making it available to developing countries.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to continue funding the Overseas Development Institute fellowship scheme.

A performance evaluation of the ODI Fellowships Scheme will be completed by November 2020 and its conclusions will inform decisions on future funding.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with international (a) organisations and (b) multilaterals on international co-ordination mechanisms and strategies to help ensure equitable access to covid-19 medical products and technologies for low and middle income countries in the last month.

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, including for low-income countries. The Secretary of State speaks regularly with international and multilateral organisations on these issues, including the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, the WHO Vaccines Special Envoy, Sir Andrew Witty, and the head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Seth Berkley, to name a few. Our officials also regularly speak with organisations leading the international response.

The UK is active in international collaboration and a leading funder for the COVID-19 global response. We co-led the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative event on 4 May, at which 7.4 billion Euros were pledged. The Prime Minister took part by video message, calling for global collaboration to rapidly develop a vaccine, ensuring availability for everyone who needs it. The UK supports the Action for COVID-19 Tools Accelerator. The UK's First Secretary of State participated in its launch by WHO on 24 April. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, supporting equitable access to COVID-19 medical technologies.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to help ensure global co-operation on increasing public covid-19 vaccine production capacity.

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines.?We need unprecedented global collaboration and resourcing to drive the speed and scale needed. That is why the Prime Minister joined G20 Leaders on 26 March and called on governments to work together to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible and make it available to anyone who needs it.

The UK supports the Action for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator launched by the World Health Organization on 24 April, which the UK's First Secretary of State participated in. The ACT Accelerator is a global call to action to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. On 4 May the Prime Minister joined world leaders at the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference in calling for truly global collaboration in ensuring everyone around the world can access new coronavirus vaccines, treatments and tests when they are developed.

We have committed £250 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for the development of a coronavirus vaccine - the largest contribution of any country. This, alongside our £1.65 billion pledge to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people in the Global South.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will take further steps to allocate Official Development Assistance funding to support research and development of covid-19 (a) diagnostics, (b) treatments, and (c) vaccines.

The UK is at the forefront of global research focussed on the development of potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, and is already providing Official Development Assistance to key organisations central to the global response. The UK co-led a successful pledging event on 4 May that raised 7.4 billion Euros for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and testing, and we are hosting the Global Vaccines Summit on 4 June.

We have committed over £313 million of UK aid towards research to develop potential vaccines through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, for treatments through the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator, and for diagnostic tests through the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. In addition, on 29 April, we pledged a total of £1.65 billion over 5 years to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. We will continue to review the need for further development assistance as the pandemic progresses.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to support countries that have not reached the peak of the covid-19 outbreak to lower those peaks with prevention projects and programmes.

We are helping countries that have not yet reached the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak to respond to COVID-19 by funding bilateral programmes and multilateral organisations, globally and in specific countries.

This includes (1) supporting governments of lower income countries to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19, (2) providing medical supplies and equipment to health facilities, (3) raising public awareness on the importance of hygiene for preventing the spread of infection; and (4) increasing access to the tools that people need to follow this advice such as handwashing stations, hygiene products and drinking water.

To date, the UK has committed £744 million to support global efforts to tackle COVID-19. £276 million of this will support vulnerable countries to respond and to become more resilient to the impact of COVID-19.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance have yet to reach the peak for covid-19 infections.

The number of new reported cases of COVID-19 is increasing every day in almost all countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Data from the World Health Organization shows that the only ODA-eligible countries where the epidemic currently appears to be shrinking are: Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Namibia, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Eritrea, Mauritius, Montserrat, Cambodia, Laos. Most ODA eligible countries are therefore unlikely to have reached peak infections.

So far, the UK has pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible. This includes support to Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to model the future trajectory of the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries. This will help countries predict when they will reach their peaks, and to put in place measures to reduce their size.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 40723 on Overseas Aid: Coronavirus, which of her Department's planned spend and objectives have been deprioritised in order to divert resources to the covid-19 response.

To maximise DFID’s resources for our COVID-19 response we are: using HMG’s crisis reserve, adapting and scaling up existing programmes that respond to COVID-19, and reviewing programmes that can be slowed or paused to free up resources e.g. preparation for delayed international events or support for delayed elections. We will continue to closely monitor the scenarios and impacts of COVID-19 in vulnerable countries, to ensure the best possible use of 0.7 in our response to COVID-19 and HMG’s wider development priorities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 40723 on Overseas Aid: Coronavirus, how many FTE staff have been moved to work on (a) her Department's and (b) other Departments' covid-19 response.

DFID along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is leading on the UK Government’s international response to COVID-19. DFID is surging staff internally to support this effort as its priority.

57 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff have been moved into a new central team coordinating the overall COVID-19 response and a further 4 FTE staff have been surged into this team from across government. Delivery of the response itself is spread across the Department, with many staff across our International, Economic Development, Policy, Science and Research and geographical/corporate Divisions focusing on the immediate COVID-19 response and longer-term recovery.

DFID has loaned staff with specific skillsets to other government departments in support of their COVID-19 work. 9 FTE staff have been deployed to support other government departments at this time.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 41134 on Department for International Development: Ministers' Private Offices, which of her Department's Ministers have their private offices in the (a) Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (b) Department for International Development and (c) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

There are seven joint private offices across DFID, FCO and Defra: four offices are in the FCO at King Charles St, two offices in DFID at 22 Whitehall, and one office at Defra at 2 Marsham Street. Additionally, there are shared office spaces in DFID and the FCO for Ministers and private offices to use when away from their home location.

FCO – King Charles Street

DFID – 22 Whitehall

DEFRA - 2 Marsham St

Rt Hon James Cleverly MP

Baroness Sugg CBE

Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

James Duddridge MP

Wendy Morton MP

Nigel Adams MP

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will publish her Department's plan to ensure equitable access to vaccines and medical tools for people in the Global South.

The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, and is already strategically funding key organisations at the centre of the global response. We have committed over £313 million of UK aid to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. This funding is alongside our investment in GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, worth an equivalent of £330 million a year for five years, which will support the development, manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests for people around the world.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government will take to ensure pharamceutical companies in receipt of public funds allow equitable access to covid-19 vaccines and medical tools for people living in the global south.

The UK has long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines and vaccines in the UK, and for people living in the Global South. We have committed £250 million of UK aid – the largest contribution of any country - to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a portfolio of Covid-19 vaccines that, once available, will be available to all. CEPI works with a range of partners to support equitable access for products that it supports. The UK has further committed £40 million to the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and £23 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), both of which are central to efforts to accelerate development and access to new treatments and tests.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what representations she has made to her counterpart in the US Administration on ensuring equitable access for countries in the Global South to (a) a covid-19 vaccine and (b) medical equipment needed to treat covid-19.

The Secretary of State has had a range of discussions on this issue with G7 counterparts along with a range of global partners on access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. We support global collaboration, joining efforts to ensure equitable access to potential COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, including for the poorest countries.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to place conditions on ODA funding to large pharmaceutical companies that are developing vaccines and medical tools for covid-19.

DFID routes ODA funding for research into the development of vaccines and other medical tools to tackle COVID-19 through Product Development Partnership and other multilateral not for profit organisations. Besides having the best scientific expertise in their respective field, these funding platforms also have the legal and administrative expertise to ensure that, once developed, products are affordable and accessible to provide low and middle-income countries with the tools they need to tackle this disease in their country.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to support communities reduce the level of (a) social tension and (b) in countries in the Global South during the the covid-19 pandemic.

In many countries with weak governance or ongoing conflict, COVID-19 risks raising social tensions and posing a challenge to peace processes and respect for human rights. Higher levels of instability pose risks to UK national security and poses obstacles to an effective response, e.g. by limiting humanitarian access.

DFID is taking steps to ensure that both our immediate responses to COVID-19 and long-term recovery efforts do not exacerbate conflict and instead help to build peace and improve governance. As pledged in our manifesto, this government will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability and justice across the world.

As such, there has never been a more important time to deliver our UK aid commitment and we have so far pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible.

The UK is also ensuring that those people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 can continue to receive humanitarian assistance during the pandemic. We are a key contributor to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which is supporting the most vulnerable, including refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, migrants and host communities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to monitor the equity of social distancing measures implemented in response to the covid-19 pandemic by (a) national governments and (b) security services in the Global South.

In low- and low-middle income settings, DFID recognises the need for social distancing to be developed and implemented in a context-sensitive way within the wider range of disease control measures. This will both increase adherence (therefore slowing spread of the disease) and minimise negative secondary impacts of these measures.

DFID is working with the World Health Organization and other international organisations, to build context-specific evidence on how social distancing measures can be of most overall benefit to low- and low-middle countries. This includes DFID funding research to model the impacts of disease control measures (including social distancing) on cases and deaths from COVID-19 in addition to indirect secondary impacts. This will help countries to make informed decisions on which interventions are likely to deliver the best outcomes for their populations.

DFID is developing a strong, coordinated, monitoring, evaluation and learning system around COVID-19, which includes risks associated with the role of security actors. The cross government COVID-19 Conflict, Security and Governance Hub has been established to monitor, analyse and support action on risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes governments enforcing lock-downs using the security services, with potential for exacerbating underlying instabilities. The hub is setting up a system to monitor risks such as these as part of a wider cross-country monitoring system. In addition, many DFID Country Offices are working with government counterparts to establish their own country-based monitoring systems and live ‘stability-trackers’.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2020 to Question 35022, on Overseas Aid: Coronavirus, whether she has plans to allocate funding to civil society organisations in countries in the Global South that are (a) affected and (b) at risk of being affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) in the global south are key partners for DFID. Many of DFID’s programmes support local CSOs in order to deliver humanitarian and development outcomes, including providing humanitarian support to tackle the spread and consequences of COVID-19. As DFID’s programming adapts to respond to COVID-19, we are also considering what work needs to be adapted or paused as our partners are affected by the pandemic, either directly or in response to the risk.

DFID’s recent announcement of £200 million of funding to the global response, brings the total announced funding to £744 million to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of the pandemic. This includes £20 million directly to CSOs to support them on humanitarian response, the majority of which will go through the Rapid Response Facility. It also includes £130 million for the UN agencies. CSOs based in the global south will be able to access some of this funding as downstream partners. We are encouraging the UN to channel the funding as quickly as possible, including to CSOs. Extra funding opportunities will also be available through DFID’s new partnership with Unilever to support hygiene practices in developing countries.

Much of DFID’s work is delivered through our extensive country office network and we know CSOs play a key role in delivery of our COVID-19 response through our country programmes. We are reviewing our programme portfolio in light of the COVID-19 response which will enable us to identify existing activities which can already support the response and others which can be adapted or scaled up, such as our support to health systems and humanitarian crises.

DFID is offering support to suppliers and partners where this is appropriate, and will apply the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants, which allows for relief on services and goods provided in the UK to DFID aid programmes as a last resort, and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2020 to Question 35017, on Overseas Aid: Developing Countries, what recent assessment she has made of the overall financial health of supply partners; and which organisations are at risk as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

DFID is actively monitoring the overall financial health of our supply partners to understand the impact of COVID-19 on our supplier base and delivery capacity.

We are offering support to suppliers and partners where this is appropriate, in line with the UK government position and will apply the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants, which allows for relief on services and goods provided in the UK, to DFID aid programmes as a last resort and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants.

We have also assessed the Business Continuity Plans of our strategic supply partners and commissioned a weekly survey of 300 private sector and civil society suppliers to give us a heat map of impacts at programme, portfolio, and sector levels. Some supply partners are at greater risk, but it would not be appropriate to name specific organisations. We will consider financial data as part of our response to any request for supply partner relief.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which of her Ministers' private offices are based in the (a) Foreign Office or (b) Department for international Development.

There are seven joint Private Offices - four are in FCO at King Charles St, two are in DFID at 22 Whitehall, and one at DEFRA at 2 Marsham St. There are also shared offices in DFID and FCO where Private Offices can work.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which private hospitals CDC Group holds investments in; and what steps those private hospitals are taking to tackle to tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

Healthcare providers in CDC’s portfolio are undertaking numerous steps to support national governments in their efforts to respond to COVID-19. They are working with governments on requests for specific support such as designating isolation wards or units, equipping themselves with COVID-19 clinical practices and ensuring the safety and security of their staff.

CDC’s investments, both direct and intermediated via funds, into hospitals include: Asian Institute of Medical Sciences; Rainbow Hospitals; CARE; STS Holdings / Evercare Hospital, Dhaka; HCG Africa; Abraaj Admiralty; Metropolitan Hospital; Avenue Group; Nairobi Women's Hospital; Evercare Lahore; Rome; Sante; Vaatsalya; BSR Hospital; Vikram Hospitals; TMR International Hospital; Medecins de Nuit (MDN); Joint Medical Holdings; Medical Investments Limited (MIL); Professional Services Inc. (PSI); Gate Healthcare 1 Pak (Private) Limited; Avicenna Healthcare 1 Pak (Private) Limited.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of cancelling bilateral and multilateral debt repayments for countries in the global south in tackling the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public finances of low-income developing countries. During 2020, developing countries were projected to spend around $26 billion on servicing external debts to bilateral and multilateral creditors. In this time of crisis, it is vital that creditors work together to ensure that servicing debts does not prevent countries protecting their citizens and economies.

The UK, alongside the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors, has committed to a temporary suspension of debt service repayments from the poorest countries. This official sector effort could provide up to $12 billion of additional fiscal space until the end of the year, allowing countries to redirect finances towards mitigating the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. This initiative provides time to assess what further assistance these countries may need.

The G20 has asked the Multilateral Development Banks to explore whether there are options for them to participate in a suspension of debt service payments over the same period as the G20 initiative, while maintaining their current credit ratings and low cost of funding, which are important for supporting their client countries.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of her Department's work responding to the covid-19 outbreak on her Department's objectives and priorities.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest threat we have faced in our lifetimes, and here in the UK and across the globe we are seeing the devastating impact of this virus. The UK is at the forefront of the international response, having so far pledged £744 million of UK aid.

In order to ensure we can divert sufficient resources to HMG’s COVID-19 response, DFID is reprioritising its planned spend and objectives for this financial year and beyond. This is both for our immediate COVID-19 response and to support longer-term recovery through rebuilding livelihoods, economies and health systems.

We will continue to work to deliver the 2019 Manifesto priorities, for example on girls’ education, and help vulnerable people, systems, and economies whilst prioritising the global COVID-19 response.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to provide additional funding in response to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's estimate of a $2 trillion to $3 trillion financing gap for developing counties over the next two years.

The UK has led the way in responding to the economic impact of coronavirus, producing a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business in the UK and help to avert the global slowdown that the UN Conference on Trade and Development describes.

There has never been a more important time to deliver our UK aid commitment and we have so far pledged £744 million of UK aid to support the global efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes giving up to £150million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to support vulnerable economies. We also support the suspension of debt repayments from the poorest countries by G20 and Paris Club creditors.

We are helping to prevent the poorest countries from collapse by supporting their economies and access to skills and education. Economic disruption hits the world’s poor the most, and would deepen a global recession, making it harder for all of us to bounce back and prosper.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on ensuring humanitarian access remains in states which have taken lockdown measures in response to the covid -19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for International Development and the Foreign Secretary are working closely together to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

The UK is using all available diplomatic channels, including its position in multilateral organisations, such as the UN, to ensure that international humanitarian law and global commitments regarding humanitarian access, and the protection of refugees and other vulnerable groups are maintained during this crisis.

The UK is also a key contributor to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which supports humanitarian access through securing the continuity of the supply chains for essential commodities and services, and supporting the most vulnerable, including refugees, internally displaced peoples, migrants and host communities.

To date, the UK has committed £744 million to support global efforts to combat COVID-19. This includes significant support to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to help National Societies meet the needs of people in hard to reach areas. DFID is also supporting governments and other partners to ensure that supply chains remain open and assistance is targeted to those who need it the most.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment her Department has made of how lessons from the Ebola epidemic can be used to help support countries during the covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to COVID-19 and Ebola present markedly different challenges. However, there are lessons from tackling Ebola that have relevance to other infectious disease outbreaks, including COVID-19. In particular, investment in research and development – especially in vaccines – has been vital in limiting the current Ebola epidemic. To tackle COVID-19, the UK has committed over £313 million into innovative research and development of vaccines, rapid diagnostics and promising therapeutics for coronavirus.

Other relevant lessons from combatting Ebola include the importance of:

(i) effective community engagement to promote local participation in a response

(ii) delivering a multi-sectoral response to address people’s broad needs

(iii) ensuring strong coordination across domestic, international and UN partners, and an empowered UN leadership from the onset.

We continue to apply what we have learned as we work to help end the pandemic and mitigate the health, humanitarian and economic impacts on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps she has taken to help (a) tackle overcrowding and (b) provide adequate sanitation in camps which support refugees and internally displaced persons.

Refugees and internally displaced people are amongst the most vulnerable to the COVID 19 pandemic. Many live in close quarters without access to proper healthcare or shelter, often in crowded camps where social distancing and regular handwashing are particularly difficult.

The UK is at the forefront of responding to refugee crises globally. Existing DFID programmes are already providing access to public health information, clean water, sanitation and health services for both displaced people and host communities. We are also working closely with all our international partners to coordinate a global response to COVID-19 that addresses the particular needs and vulnerabilities of displaced populations.

To date, we have committed £744 million in the international fight against COVID-19. Our most recent funding includes new support to the UN’s refugee agency and other partners to help install hand-washing stations and isolation and treatment centres in refugee camps, support vulnerable displaced families, provide protection and education services for forcibly displaced children, and increase access to clean water for displaced people living in areas of armed conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to support poor and vulnerable people living in middle income countries who are vulnerable to covid-19.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19, through our diplomatic efforts and the provision of £744 million of UK aid to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts. This will provide a safety net for the most vulnerable and support the poorest economies against collapse including in vulnerable middle income countries. The UK is using its significant investment and influence within the international system to leverage a strong and co-ordinated response globally and at the country level.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to guarantee that a potential vaccine to tackle covid-19 is affordable and accessible to all countries.

The UK is at the forefront of efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Our goal is to end the pandemic, save lives and start global economic recovery. At the G20 last month, the Prime Minister called on all governments to work together to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible and make it globally available.

The UK has committed over £313 million into innovative research and development of vaccines, rapid diagnostics and promising therapeutics for COVID-19. We are funding key international organisations such as Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, to ensure safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines can be rolled out at scale to ensure equitable access.

The UK welcomes the Action for COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator launched at WHO last week, a global collaboration to accelerate global access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. The First Secretary of State participated in this launch.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with private creditors on cancelling the debt repayments of countries in the global south to enable those countries to focus their finances on resourcing their health systems.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income developing countries. In this time of crisis, it is vital that creditors work together to ensure that countries especially vulnerable to the pandemic are able to protect their citizens and economies.

The UK, alongside the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors has committed to a temporary suspension of debt service repayments from the poorest countries.

The G20 has called on the private sector to participate and the UK is working with the Paris Club and Institute of International Finance, which represents nearly 450 financial services institutions from over 70 countries, to ensure a coordinated approach to comparable treatment.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with women’s rights organisations based in the global south to help to inform her Department's response to the covid-19 pandemic.

We know that women and girls will be particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely to increase domestic violence, exacerbate the burden of care on women, and increase maternal mortality.

Southern women’s rights organisations (WROs) will be among the first responders on the front line and most likely to reach vulnerable women and girls. They are best placed to ensure the response is informed by the voices and needs of women.

DFID has therefore engaged directly with key women’s funds and women’s rights organisations to understand the impact on the ground and ensured their participation in wider civil society consultations. The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence has shared conclusions of its rapid assessment from 122 women’s rights organisations.

This evidence is informing our response. This includes providing £10 million of UK aid to the United Nations Population Fund and £20 million to the UN Children’s Fund to scale up protection and support services for women and girls. We launched a call for proposals under our Rapid Response Facility which required all projects to mainstream gender, protection and safeguarding.

Consultation will continue as the situation evolves and as we move into recovery and response.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that funding allocated by her Department to prevent and tackle the spread of covid-19 in developing countries is not used to (a) support the security sectors and (b) facilitate human rights abuses in those countries.

DFID has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and aid diversion. Our Smart Rules framework, including pre-disbursement due diligence checks, project monitoring requirements and risk management processes, is designed to ensure that we spend wisely in all our programmes, particularly those delivering in high risk environments. We work closely with our implementing partners to ensure that DFID funds, in line with the International Development Act, are directed only to the aid outcomes or recipients they are intended for, with effective safeguards in place to maximise value for money for the UK taxpayer.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance has been (a) committed and (b) distributed to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response and has publicly committed up to £744 million of UK aid. Following agreements and disbursement schedules DFID has disbursed £132.5 million to date. This does not include substantial spend through existing programmes.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she plans to respond to Question 15079 asked by the hon Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston on 12 February 2020.

Due to a parliamentary system error, this PQ on East Africa Locusts remained unpublished. We have answered Question 15079 today.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the cancellation of the 2020 Nutrition for Growth summit, what plans her Department has to announce funding for nutrition.

Global commitments to nutrition made at the 2013 Nutrition For Growth Summit come to an end this year. Continued investment to prevent and treat malnutrition is important, particularly as countries face worsening levels of malnutrition in the face of COVID-19. The Secretary of State reiterates the importance of nutrition in her endorsement for the DFID-funded Global Nutrition Report, which will be published in May.

DFID is looking at options for the UK commitment now that both the Olympic pledging event and the main Nutrition for Growth Summit have been postponed. The UK remains committed to preventing and treating malnutrition as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children. We will provide an update on our plans in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she last met with Henrietta H Fore, the chief executive of UNICEF.

The Secretary of State for International Development last spoke to Henrietta H. Fore on 9 March 2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she last met with Stephanie Draper, the chief executive of Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development.

The Secretary of State has not yet met with Stephanie Draper, although she has corresponded with her twice since her appointment in February of this year. Baroness Sugg, who is the delegated lead for engagement with civil society, has had virtual meetings with Stephanie Draper several times recently, including on a one to one basis. The last time they met was today, as part of a Steering Group on civil society sector response on COVID-19.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to (a) support and (b) scale-up local health systems in the Global South.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of building strong and resilient health systems to protect against health threats, achieve universal health coverage and ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children. We are supporting health systems to manage the primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic by flexing our funding and programming. This builds on our long-term investments to strengthen and scale up health systems through: technical assistance and financial support directly to countries; supporting the World Health Organisation, global health initiatives and other agencies to provide technical assistance and programmes; and funding research and new products that increase access and reduce prices for essential health commodities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with Nick O'Donohoe, CEO of the CDC, about the role CDC investments can play in ensuring private sector health companies provide free treatment and care to tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State and members of her Ministerial team have had a number of calls with the CDC Chair which have included CDC’s response to COVID-19. The primary line of communication between the Secretary of State and CDC is through the Chair of the board, and DFID Officials engage with CDC Management.

Department Officials are engaging closely with CDC Board and Management on its response to COVID-19. CDC is supporting its existing portfolio, including in the healthcare sector, to safeguard impact and help firms and their workforces weather the crisis. CDC is also looking to make new investments that can provide systemic liquidity to companies, especially Small Medium Enterprises, and at investments that can directly mitigate some of the adverse health impacts of COVID-19 by increasing access to healthcare and equipment. The latest updates on CDC’s response are available on its website (https://www.cdcgroup.com/covid-19).

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to add flexibility to existing grants to NGOs to enable them to support countries affected by covid-19 in the Global South.

DFID is engaging with supply partners to address the challenges posed to them and DFID-funded projects by COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with supply partners to find pragmatic solutions to support both our partners and continuation of our programmes where appropriate.

DFID is offering support to suppliers and partners where this is appropriate, in line with the UK government position and will apply the provisions of the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note and associated guidance for grants, which allows for relief on services and goods provided in the UK, to DFID aid programmes as a last resort and on a case-by-case basis for DFID contracts and grants.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding available through the rapid response facility to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries during the covid-19 pandemic.

Decisions on allocating funds through the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) are being made in relation to the wider DFID COVID-19 response. We will keep further funding under review as we do with all our humanitarian interventions. DFID is also adapting its programmes across its country network to respond to COVID-19 and has committed significant new funding through the multilateral system. We expect NGOs to play a key role in delivery through these channels. In addition, extra funding has been allocated to NGOs through the DFID Unilever COVID-19 Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she last met with Dr Seth Berkley, the chief executive of GAVI.

The Secretary of State for International Development last met with Dr Seth Berkley on Monday 27 April 2020.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2020 to Question 35046 on Developing Countries: Coronavirus, when the impact assessment will be completed; and if she will publish the findings of that assessment.

The nature of the Covid-19 pandemic means that a number of factors continue to interact in ways that are difficult to predict with certainty. These include the duration and severity of the pandemic, the intensity and efficacy of containment efforts, the extent of supply chain disruptions, commodity price levels and many other uncertainties. As a result, DFID will be continuously assessing the economic impacts on an ongoing basis, working with our partners to understand the real-time challenges facing workers and farmers and supporting the most vulnerable through our response.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding the Government plans to provide to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in each year from 2021 to 2025.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s work is critical to the delivery of the UK’s objective to end preventable deaths, having helped save 13 million lives since its inception in 2000, and has a crucial role to play in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK remains deeply committed to supporting this work, including through the provision of significant funding to Gavi and hosting the Gavi replenishment at the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 on 4 June. The level of funding for Gavi’s next strategic period is currently being considered.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what additional humanitarian support her Department is providing to (a) the elderly, (b) women and girls and (c) refugees and internally displaced people in countries affected by covid-19 that (i) have weak public health systems and (ii) are affected by conflict.

The UK is at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19, our £744 million commitment to tackling this pandemic makes us one of the largest donors globally.

The weakness of developing countries’ healthcare systems is one of the principal risks to the global spread of the virus. Countries experiencing conflict and humanitarian crises are those least able to cope. Vulnerable groups – including the elderly, people with disabilities, women and girls and displaced people – are particularly at risk.

We are already strengthening fragile health services in the world’s poorest countries by ensuring that our aid targets those who are most vulnerable, based on their needs. This includes supporting countries to integrate the needs of refugees and Internally Displaced People in their response to the crisis.

We are funding the UN’s Population Fund to support the most vulnerable women and girls and the International Committee of the Red -Cross to reach people in the most fragile regions of the world. UK aid is, for example, helping to install new hand-washing stations, isolation and treatment centres in refugee camps as well as increase access to clean water for those living in areas of armed conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with (a) the Prime Minister and (b) other Cabinet colleagues on postponing the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Prime Minister has directed that work on the Integrated Review should now be formally paused across Whitehall. This is due to the pressing need to focus on COVID-19, which will, of course, have significant international implications. We will provide an update on timing once it is clearer how and when we will be able to resume full work on the Review.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support frontline organisations in the global south which are tackling the (a) spread and (b) consequences of the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK is using our foreign aid budget and British expertise to stop the spread of the global coronavirus outbreak, find a vaccine and save lives around the world. We have so far pledged £744milion of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible.

DFID is engaging with supply partners to address the challenges posed to them and their projects by COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with supply partners to find pragmatic solutions to support both our partners and continuation of our programmes where appropriate.

The COVID-19 response will continue to develop rapidly and we are assessing and monitoring the overall financial health of supply partners to identify organisations we believe are at risk due to COVID-19.

We will deliver a comprehensive COVID-19 response through programming to support the global health and economic response, funding for vaccine development, preparing for the recovery phase and leadership within the international community.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she is taking steps to establish an emergency fund to support organisations delivering projects in the global south which have cash-flow problems.

DFID is engaging with supply partners to address the challenges posed to them and DFID-funded projects by COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with supply partners to find pragmatic solutions to support both our partners and continuation of our programmes where appropriate.

The COVID-19 response will continue to develop rapidly and we are assessing and monitoring the overall financial health of supply partners to identify organisations we believe are at risk due to COVID-19.

We will deliver a comprehensive COVID-19 response through programming to support the global health and economic response, funding for further vaccine development, preparing for the recovery phase and leadership within the international community.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps her Department is taking to tackle the humanitarian consequences of the covid-13 outbreak.

The UK is helping to lead the global response to COVID-19, working with our international partners to stop its spread. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks and impact of this pandemic in the developing world. The UK has, so far, pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible and tackle its humanitarian consequences.

The UK strongly supports the United Nation’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle COVID-19. Our latest UK aid funding of £200 million, announced on 12 April, will back humanitarian organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries which often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. This includes £130 million to UN agencies in response to their COVID-19 humanitarian appeals.

By preventing the virus from spreading in the poorest countries we will save lives and reduce the risk of future waves of infection spreading around the world, including to the UK.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support civil society organisations in countries affected by covid-19.

DFID is speaking with all its partners, including civil society organisations, to understand and help address the challenges posed to them and their work by COVID-19. We are working collaboratively and flexibly with these partners to find pragmatic solutions and are committed to continuing our work with the sector to reach the poorest and most vulnerable.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance (ODA) is being allocated to reduce the (a) spread and (b) effect of covid-19 in developing countries; and what ODA is being spent on with regard to that infection.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian and economic risks of this global pandemic. We have committed up to £544 million of UK aid to combat COVID-19 and to reinforce the global effort to find a vaccine. We are keeping all further international funding under regular review.

The UK’s response includes:

- Support channelled through multilateral partners, including funding in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Strategic Response Plan which will help prevent the spread of this pandemic by supporting developing countries to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms.

- Investment in research and development to support the development of a possible vaccine, as well as more immediate gains such as rapid diagnostics and therapeutics.

- Up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, to help enable developing countries to direct greater resources to their healthcare efforts, helping prevent the virus from spreading around the world.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her Answer of 17 March 2020 to Question 28702 on Developing Countries: Debts Written Off, what the value of UK ODA Crisis Reserve is.

The UK ODA Crisis Reserve is an annual allocation of £500m, enabling ?exible, quick and effective cross government responses to crises as they happen as set out in the UK Aid Strategy published in 2015.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the £150 million of Official Development Assistance to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust is an additional contribution above the annual 0.7 percent of Gross National Income.

Funding will be allocated from the UK ODA Crisis Reserve which is built into our annual 0.7% budget allocation. The UK ODA Crisis Reserve was established as part of the UK Aid Strategy in 2015, to respond to unforeseen urgent priorities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many cases of (a) bullying and (b) harassment have been recorded against (i) managers, (ii) Ministers and (iii) Secretaries of State of her Department in each of the last five years.

Bullying and harassment are recorded under the same category. No cases have been recorded against Ministers or Secretaries of State in each of the last 5 years. No cases of bullying and harassment were recorded against managers in 2015 and 2016. Less than 5 cases were recorded against managers in both 2017 and 2018. 7 cases were recorded against managers in 2019. DFID has taken multiple steps to help raise awareness of bullying and harassment (including sexual), including communications from our senior leaders which encourage staff to report concerns and reaffirm their commitment to listening, taking action and tackling all concerns raised. The department has a range of options in place to facilitate reporting and support staff when they do.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2020 to Question 18684 on Developing Countries: Human Trafficking, for what reasons her Department took the decision not to collate disaggregated data on adolescence age.

The programme works with vulnerable children and young people and there are ethical and data protection considerations that need to be addressed before we can disaggregate to this level. ‘Children on the Move’ will provide a final figure of adolescent girls reached at the end of the programme (December 2020). Figures will be primarily based on children who receive case management, the most reliable tool to capture such data.

The programme is also undertaking multi-country research on the drivers of migration for boys and girls, including the risks they face along the way. This is using both qualitative and quantitative data. Once completed, the research will supplement the learning on how, and how many, adolescent girls are at child protection risks due to migration.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2020 to Question 18684 on Developing Countries: Human Trafficking, whether her Department has made an estimate of the number of adolescent girls protected by the Children on the Move programme.

Adolescent girls (aged 10-19) are amongst the age range of children and young people being reached by critical protective services in ‘Children on the Move’. We do not currently disaggregate to this level, apart from in the skills building component, called UPSHIFT. UPSHIFT targets at-risk young people – of whom approximately 47% are adolescent girls.

‘Children on the Move’ is currently reviewing ethical and data protection issues as it shifts to increasing the level of age disaggregation used. We expect that by the end of the programme (December 2020) we will have figures on how many adolescent girls have been reached by the programme.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to his written statement on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy HCWS126, if he will include in that review a commitment to help end extreme poverty around the world.

The Integrated Review will be a wholesale reassessment of the UK’s foreign, defence, security and development policy. The specific inclusion of development as part of the review demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that the UK’s development, security and foreign policies are complementary.

The Review will be underpinned by the commitment the Government has already made to spend 0.7% of GNI to international development. The Government is committed to the 0.7% target and to continuing to use our aid budget to fight disease, support people living through conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, and help girls all round the world get a quality education.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps she has taken to provide humanitarian support to displaced people in Syria.

We are gravely concerned about escalating regime and Russian military action and its humanitarian impact in North West Syria, where more than 948,000 people have been displaced since 1 December, of which 80% are women and children. Many of these people have been displaced multiple times and many more are at risk of imminent further displacement.

In response to increased needs, this financial year DFID has allocated £118 million to organisations delivering aid cross border primarily into North West Syria. This has helped to provide hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with food, clean water, shelter, and healthcare including psychosocial support. We have provided funding to response partners including the UN to preposition essential supplies to support innocent families and civilians displaced by conflict, and are supporting all our partners to respond to this humanitarian crisis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, for what reasons she removed ageing as a Ministerial responsibility within her Department.

The Department recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers and face multiple exclusions in developing countries across the globe.

Baroness Sugg has direct responsibility for ageing as part of her portfolio on inclusive societies.

Ageing is an important factor in DFID’s efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. This is reflected in our departmental strategy papers. Both the Disability Inclusion Strategy and the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people with a cash transfer to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2020 to Question 8428, how many of the 400,000 children protected by the Children on the Move Programme were adolescent girls.

‘Children on the Move’ is operating over three years (2017-2020) to prevent and respond to violence, abuse and exploitation of children who are at greatest risk of migration and modern slavery. Adolescent girls are amongst the target group.

By December 2019, 377,003 children had been reached with protective services under phase one and two of the programme. Disaggregated data on sex was not available for phase one and not available for adolescence age in both phases. The second phase of the programme has reached a total of 160,651 children to date, of which girls of all ages, including adolescent girls, constitute 47% (75,606).

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2020 to Question 8428, if her Department will take steps to collect data on the trafficking of adolescent girls.

The UK uses the best available data to tackle trafficking and modern slavery, including of adolescent girls. Sources include the International Organization for Migration’s database of human trafficking cases (available online through the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s data on trafficking in persons (available through the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons).

DFID works with our delivery partners to ensure women and girls are protected from abuse during crises. To ensure we have the best possible evidence to achieve this, we require delivery partners to use sex and age disaggregated data in their reporting.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2020 to Question 8428, how many adolescent girls were supported by the £12 million UK Aid Connect Programme from 2018 to 2022.

The UK Aid Connect programme “Effective Approaches to End Worst Forms of Child Labour”, led by World Vision, will enable boys and girls to enjoy their rights to be protected from the worst forms of child labour in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. The programme started in 2018 and by 2022, more than 24,000 people will benefit directly of which about 14,500 are children including roughly 7,000 boys and 7,500 girls.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance her Department spent delivering microcredit in each of the last five years.

The cost of extracting the information required would be disproportionate. Microcredit is, and has been, an integrated component of numerous broader humanitarian, livelihoods and economic development programmes over the five year period in question. Significant official time and analysis would be required to identify and quantify the aggregate spend.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2020 to Question 8427 on Developing Countries: Education, how many girls supported through the Girls' Education Challenge are aged (a) 5 to 12 and (b) 13 to 18.

The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) Phase 2, launched in 2017, aims to reach 1.5 million marginalised and highly marginalised girls.

GEC projects are currently reaching approximately 468,000 girls aged between 5 and 11; approximately 732,000 girls and young women aged between 12 and 19; and 85,000 young women aged between 20 and 24.

A further 15,000 girls aged 10-19 are supported by a project in Mozambique which does not record age breakdown.

Up to 190,000 girls are also being supported through GEC ‘Leave No Girl Behind’ projects, focused on highly marginalised adolescent girls who have dropped out of or never attended school. These projects started delivering in 2019 and data is being collected during 2020 on the numbers and characteristics of the girls reached. The vast majority of these girls will be 12 years or older, given the focus on adolescent girls.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January 2020 to Question 8427 on Developing Countries: Education, what estimate she has made of the proportion of adolescent girls out of school in emergencies.

UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) estimates that around 100 million girls of lower and upper secondary school age were out-of-school globally in 2019. Whilst the number of children living in emergencies has increased in the last decade, no reliable estimates currently exist for the proportion of adolescent girls who are out- of- school and affected by emergencies. DFID is supporting the UNESCO UIS and other partners to improve global data sources related to SDG4. In 2015, the Global Education Monitoring Report estimated that girls were two and a half times more likely to be out of school in conflict-affected countries.

Supporting delivery of SDG 4 by promoting 12 years of quality education for all children, especially girls, by 2030 is a top priority for the UK Government.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the implications for its policies of the finding from the World Bank Group report entitled Profiting from Parity that Microcredit has only limited effects on business outcomes for women.

DFID continually reviews emerging evidence in order to ensure that its programmes maximise value for money for UK taxpayers. The “Profiting from Parity” report indicates that early studies on the impact of microcredit have found mixed results on income growth and consumption levels, including for women entrepreneurs. However, other research provides strong evidence that under particular circumstances, when products are suitably tailored for the specific needs of the borrower, microcredit can have a positive impact on development by enabling individuals to help themselves out of poverty. Responsible microfinance can help people build personal resilience against economic shocks, smooth their incomes over time, and explore business growth opportunities, as well as facilitating broader developmental outcomes, such as access to affordable and reliable water, electricity, healthcare and education. This is especially true for women, who typically access more microfinance than men. The UK is committed to supporting financial inclusion as a key enabler to achieving the SDGs, and particularly on tackling the persistent gender gap in access to finance which is crucial for building women’s economic empowerment.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what level of profit are private partners allowed to make from money provided to them through the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigerian Education.

The over-riding procurement policy requirement is that competitions must be based on value for money, defined as “the best mix of quality and effectiveness” which encourages free and open competition consistent with the public procurement regulations.

Profit levels are determined using open and competitive procurement processes. DFID’s process requires suppliers to provide full cost transparency both at bidding stage and throughout the lifecycle of the programme which includes the ability for DFID to intervene if original profit levels as bid are exceeded.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigerian Education programme benefits the most marginalised (a) communities and (b) children.

The programme will work to improve the quality of teaching and learning of foundational basic skills for marginalised children, including children affected by conflict, rural girls and children living with disabilities.

The programme will support communities to enhance the participation of marginalised children, drawing on approaches such as promoting community education initiatives and by addressing harmful social and cultural practices that limit opportunities for marginalised girls and children living with disabilities.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the £83.0 million allocated to the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria will be spent on supporting the (a) state and (b) the private sector.

Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria targets 54% of funds to support state systems to enable more focused teaching and learning, more efficient and effective use of resources to support foundational skills and a greater focus on achieving results.

6% of the programme’s funds will be used to support improved non-state systems, including low cost private education.

The remaining 40% of the programme will support community engagement on education, education in emergencies and research and evidence.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to support countries in Africa affected by swarms of desert locusts.

We are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in East Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies.

The UK has contributed £7 million to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Regional Emergency Appeal for the spraying of pesticides on the ground and by air to control the locust outbreak. In addition, DFID’s existing humanitarian and development programmes in the region are working to address food insecurity and poverty challenges by flexing to respond to this crisis. As rising temperatures due to climate change make such events across Africa more likely, we are also helping communities adapt longer term to climate shocks.

Our support is having an immediate impact, and we continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to help further.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the economic effect of climate change does not result in a disproportionate reduction in adolescent girls accessing education.

Coping with climate change is a challenge that faces us all and it is having wide ranging effects on economies, livelihoods, access to education and natural resources. The poorest communities, and girls and women within them, are likely to be hardest hit, which is why we are investing in building the resilience of the world’s poorest by doubling our International Climate Finance which since 2011, has helped 57 million people cope with the effects of climate change.

We know that girls are two and half times more likely to be out of school in emergencies, including climate related emergencies. That’s why at the G7 Summit in 2019, the Prime Minister announced an unprecedented £90 million commitment for education in emergencies over 4½ years. This included £85 million to Education Cannot Wait the global fund for education in emergencies. UK support has helped the fund reach over a million of the most vulnerable girls, including those affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The £90 million investment is a key plank of the PM’s plan to ensure more girls benefit from 12 years of education.

As the leading global actor on girl’s education, we will continue to make substantial investments supporting marginalised girls in education. The UK’s Flagship Girls’ Education Challenge, the largest global fund to girls’ education, is now supporting up to 1.5 million girls across 17 countries.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much his Department spent from the public purse on preventing the trafficking of adolescent girls in humanitarian crises in (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18 and (c) 2018-19.

Since 2017 the Government has more than doubled UK aid spending to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking – committing just over £200 million to date.  This includes work to prevent the trafficking of adolescent girls.

We do not have figures specifically for humanitarian crises. However, examples of our current work to protect vulnerable children in protracted crises include:

  • a £10 million Children on the Move Programme (in partnership with UNICEF) over the period 2017-2020 to protect up to 400,000 children at risk of violence and slavery in the Horn of Africa; and
  • a £12 million UK Aid Connect Programme over the period 2018-2022 to address child labour in fragile and conflict affected states in Africa (such as the DRC).

Full details of this work can be found at https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made on the effect of the recent tensions between the US and Iran on the provision of humanitarian support in Iraq.

It is critical that humanitarian actors can operate safely and without restrictions in Iraq. We are working closely with partners to ensure that there is no interruption to delivery, especially to those who remain displaced by the conflict against Daesh. DFID has committed £261m in humanitarian support to Iraq since 2014, providing a vital lifeline to millions with shelter, medical care and clean water.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that trade deals respect the rights of religious minorities.

HM Government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief for all. HM Government regularly reports on violations of these freedoms, including in an annual report published by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of rights and responsibilities. We will continue to take a balanced approach with our partners, delivering the best outcome for the United Kingdom, maximising the benefits of trade and upholding our values.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to use public money to fund new overseas fossil fuel projects ahead of COP26.

On 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the British government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, apart from a small number of tightly-bound exceptions that are still to be determined. Following the conclusion of the public consultation, which closed to submissions on 8 February, the date of implementation of the new policy will be confirmed shortly.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with the President of COP26 on the continued use of public money to fund fossil fuel projects overseas.

The Secretary of State has not had any meetings with the President of COP26 since his appointment.

On 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the British government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, apart from a small number of tightly-bound exceptions that are still to be determined. The date of implementation of the new policy will be confirmed shortly.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to her oral contribution of 11 January 2021, Official Report column 72, when she plans to publish details on the emerging markets trade scheme.

The Secretary of State referred to an emerging market trade scheme that will improve upon the existing Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) to create new opportunities for trade around the world. HM Government will make an announcement about these improvements to the scheme later this year, following consultation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the projected emissions are for each fossil fuel project currently under consideration to be funded by UK Export Finance by scope (a) one, (b) two and (c) three.

Until 31st March 2020 it was UK Export Finance (UKEF) policy and practice to collect the estimated annual operational CO2-equivalent (CO2e) Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of projects only where they fall under the scope of the OECD Council Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (OECD Common Approaches) or the Equator Principles, and where they are expected to be in excess of 25 000 tonnes CO2e annually.

Eight of the fossil fuel related cases currently under consideration by UKEF are requests for support through the Export Development Guarantee (EDG). The EDG provides general working capital to support the operations of eligible UK exporters, and is not tied to specific contracts or projects. UKEF does not, therefore, hold information about project-level greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions for these cases.

The estimated emissions for those projects for which UKEF does hold figures are as follows:

Country

Type of project

Scope 1/2 emissions (Tonnes of CO2e/year)

Scope 3 emissions Tonnes of CO2e/year)

Brazil

Upstream oil and gas

480,000

Not available (data not yet collected or estimated by the project)

Turkmenistan

Compressors for a gas pipeline to a power station

108,625

Not available (data not yet collected or estimated by the project)

Brazil

Upstream oil and gas

2,088,000

Not available (data not yet collected or estimated by the project)

We do not hold project related GHG emissions data relating to trade finance applications.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what type of fossil fuel projects in UKEF’s programme pipeline will reach financial close in the next six months.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support. Those requests can be made, and subsequently withdrawn, at any time.

UKEF is currently considering support for 10 projects involving fossil fuels which may be completed by the end of July 2021. Eight of these are requests for support through UKEF’s Export Development Guarantee (EDG). The EDG provides general working capital to support the operations of eligible exporters, and is not tied to specific contracts.

The two individual projects for which UKEF is considering support are in the following sectors and locations:

Brazil: Oil and gas
Turkmenistan: Compressors for a gas pipeline to a power station

UKEF currently also has 12 applications for trade finance cover in the sector that may be completed by the end of July 2021. These are all related to oil and gas projects, and are located as follows:

Azerbaijan: 2
Belgium: 1
China: 2
Egypt :1
Malaysia: 3
Mozambique: 1
Oman: 1
Qatar: 1

However, the decision whether or not to provide support for any of these projects or applications will also have to take into account the implementation of the new policy announced by the Prime Minister on 12 December. The date of implementation of the new policy will be determined following the consultation that was launched on the same day.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether any Official Development Assistance was used to fund the hosting of the Africa Investment Conference.

The Africa Investment Conference was funded from the Department for International Trade (DIT) Africa core budget, which excludes Official Development Assistance.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Government announcement on an end to support for the fossil fuel sector overseas and to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, whether those projects remain under consideration for 2021.

The new policy on ending government’s support to fossil fuels overseas announced by the Prime Minister at the Climate Ambition Summit will be implemented as soon as possible following the conclusion of the consultation process that was launched on 12 December.

During the consultation period and ahead of the implementation of the new policy, the government will continue to apply current policy for all in-scope activities including proposals for high carbon projects, with consideration of relevant factors including climate change. During this period, UK Export Finance (UKEF) will apply government’s current policy and continue to consider applications for support in the oil and gas sector.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, whether each project is (a) upstream, (b) midstream or (c) downstream.

The seven applications under consideration by UK Export Finance (UKEF) referred to in the response to Question 91998 are broken down as follows:

Two of them are upstream, one is midstream, two are downstream, and one is for power. The other application relates to UKEF’s EDG product for which the applicant is active in a range of sectors including both the O&G and renewables sectors.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, how much funding from the public purse is being requested for each of those seven projects.

The seven projects referred to in my response to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston’s previous question, UIN: 91998, are still under consideration by UK Export Finance (UKEF), and no decisions have been made. UKEF is considering the extent and form its support might take and it is too early to quantify the value of our support.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998, how much funding the Government has provided to (a) thermal coal mining and (b) coal power plants overseas in each of the last 10 years.

Support provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF) takes the form of guarantees, loans or insurance fully funded by premiums.

Until this year UKEF did not seek details of whether the exported goods would be used for thermal or metallurgical coal; the table below therefore represents support related to the sector in general.

UKEF has provided the following support for (a) coal mining and (b) coal power plants overseas during the last ten years:

Coal mining

Coal power plants

2010/11

0

0

2011/12

£16.7m

0

2012/13

£52.2m

0

2013/14

0

0

2014/15

0

0

2015/16

0

0

2016/17

£23m

0

2017/18

0

0

2018/19

0

0

2019/20

£59.9m

0

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, what the type of fossil fuel project is for each request being considered by UKEF.

The fact that UK Export Finance (UKEF) is considering a transaction is not necessarily indicative of future support.

The projects currently being considered relate to: petrochemical, chemical derived fertiliser, gas fired power station efficiency upgrades, power related pipeline, floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) activities, water pumps for oil and gas platforms, wastewater treatment, and equipment for oil and gas production, as well as potential support to be provided under UKEF’s Export Development Guarantee product.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many fossil fuel projects UK Export Finance has planned for 2021; and where these projects will be located.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to HMG support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support. These requests can be made, and subsequently withdrawn, at any time.

When considering a request for support, UKEF conducts extensive due diligence, including environmental, social, and human rights due diligence and consideration of climate change, to understand the risk it is being asked to take. There are various reasons why an application to UKEF might not result in support being provided, or, if support is offered, why delays in providing that support might arise. All these factors make determining when UKEF support may, or even will be provided difficult and imprecise.


UKEF is currently considering requests for support for 7 projects involving fossil fuels (none of which are coal-related, in line with government policy) which may be supported in 2021. UKEF has also received a further 10 applications for trade finance cover in the sector. It is possible that not all these transactions will be concluded
in 2021, or indeed in subsequent years.

Those projects are in the following countries:

Algeria

1

Azerbaijan

2

Brazil

2

Canada

1

China

2

Egypt

1

Iraq

1

Italy

1

Malaysia

2

Thailand

1

Turkey

1

Turkmenistan

1

UK

1

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps she has taken to support producers in the global south whose trade has been disrupted as a result of the covid-19 pandemic

The UK is championing a comprehensive and coordinated trade and development response to COVID-19. This includes advocating for developing country interests at the G20 and World Trade Organisation (WTO) and adapting our policy and programming portfolios to provide immediate support.

Through the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund, Manufacturing Africa programme and our funding to the World Bank, we are supporting countries to better understand the impacts of COVID-19, design their policy response accordingly, engage in the WTO, increase their production of Covid related goods such as personal protection equipment, and ease the passage of goods across borders.

The government has also developed the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility which seeks to enable vulnerable people and supply chains to recover from and remain resilient to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, by leveraging the reach and influence of responsible businesses through partnerships. The Facility, made up of £4.85 million UK aid and £2 million from businesses, will focus primarily on supply chains and workers in the agriculture and garment sectors. The partnerships are with 16 of the UK’s largest retailers and wholesalers (including Primark, Monsoon, New Look, M&S, Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s), reaching 165,000 workers directly, over 800,000 more broadly across UK supply chains in 8 countries in Africa and South Asia (Myanmar, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana).

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect of the continued destruction of the Amazon on Brazil-UK trading relations.

HM Government is concerned about deforestation in the Amazon and the impact on the climate and biodiversity.

My Department is clear that trade does not have to come at the expense of the environment and is committed to upholding Britain’s high environmental standards as part of her sovereign trade policy.

HM Government is working with Brazilian counterparts and other interested parties, and has committed £200m through International Climate Finance programmes aimed at tackling deforestation. We will continue to monitor the situation in the Amazon closely and to raise it in our ongoing dialogues with the Government of Brazil.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect of the deforestation of the Amazon on Brazil-UK trading relations.

HM Government is concerned about deforestation in the Amazon and the impact on the climate and biodiversity.

My Department is clear that trade does not have to come at the expense of the environment and is committed to upholding Britain’s high environmental standards as part of her sovereign trade policy.

HM Government is working with Brazilian counterparts and other interested parties, and has committed £200m through International Climate Finance programmes aimed at tackling deforestation. We will continue to monitor the situation in the Amazon closely and to raise it in our ongoing dialogues with the Government of Brazil.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the criteria her Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

To tackle poverty and advance our Global Britain objectives, the Department for International Trade (DIT) takes evidence-based spending decisions and maintains high standards of programme delivery that are consistent with Her Majesty’s Governments (HMG) best practice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department's share of the Official Development Assistance will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its Gross National Income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). Since this commitment is linked to the size of the economy, the level of ODA spend is likely to decrease this year. HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department is signing new funding agreements for projects from the Official Development Assistance budget.

The Government reviews the Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding it allocates to projects on a regular basis in order to ensure delivery of its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA.

The Department for International Trade has no current plans to enter into new funding agreements utilising the UK’s ODA.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to her Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18647 on Trade Agreements: Negotiations, how many and which countries her Department has held preliminary trade talks with.

We have been talking with a range of partners to develop our trading arrangements.

Through the trade working groups established with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, we have laid much of the groundwork to start negotiations for free trade agreements.

We are also continuing our programme to replicate the effects of existing EU trade agreements – by the time we left the EU, we had signed trade continuity agreements with 48 countries.

In addition, we engage with trading partners through our overseas network, discussions with embassies in London, ministerial discussions and visits, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys, and HM Trade Commissioners. This includes with partners such as China, India and Brazil.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February to Question 15042, on what date her Department plans to publish its objectives for future free trade agreements.

The Secretary of State for International Trade made a Written Ministerial Statement on 6 February, HCWS101, setting out the Government’s proposed approach to free trade agreements (FTAs). This set out that we will publish negotiating objectives accompanied by an initial economic assessment, as well as the Government response to the public consultation. There will be further statements made in the coming weeks, setting out our plans for FTAs with global partners.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 11628 on Trade Agreements: Disclosure of Information, if he will publish the membership of the Strategic Trade Advisory Group.

Membership of the Strategic Trade Advisory Group is published and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/strategic-trade-advisory-group.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 11628 on Trade Agreements: Disclosure of Information, which organisations are members of the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups.

Over 250 organisations are members of the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups. I intend to publish the names of these organisations shortly.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the Strategic Trade Advisory Group has met since its inception.

The Strategic Trade Advisory Group has met three times since its inception. I have been in the Chair for two of these meetings.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups has met since its establishment.

In total, the network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups (17 separate groups) have met 55 times.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many and which countries her Department is currently in trade talks with.

The UK is working with countries around the world to improve our trade and investment relationships. We will begin formal negotiations for free trade agreements with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as swiftly as possible. We are also interested in seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Alongside this we are continuing our programme to replicate existing EU trade agreements, working with trading partners to ensure continuity for UK businesses following the transition period. And the UK is also building stronger relationships with key trading partners, such as China and India, through regular trade dialogues, including Joint Economic and Trade Committees.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what criteria she plans to use to guide negotiations on future free trade agreements.

The Government intends to publish its objectives for future free trade agreements before commencing negotiations. These will be used to guide negotiations.

Our approach to trade policy is focussed on developing an economy that delivers good, skilled, well-paid jobs for individuals and creates the conditions for competitive, world-leading businesses to prosper and grow across the UK, and greater choice and value for our consumers. As we made clear in our manifesto, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare or food standards, and the NHS is not on the table.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February to Question 11626 on Trade Agreements, whether she has had discussions with her Canadian counterpart on gender-based impact assessments in addition to those on economic empowerment.

We are aware that Canada has published online their gender-based impact assessment for the possible trade agreement between Canada and Mercusor. The UK has not had any discussion with Canada on this.

The Department of International Trade is committed to exploring the best domestic and international approaches for promoting women’s economic empowerment through trade.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of undertaking gender-based impact assessments (a) prior to and (b) after the enforcement of free trade agreements.

The UK is committed to promoting gender equality in the UK and around the world.

The Department for International Trade has set out its intention to publish scoping assessments for new free trade agreements, prior to negotiations commencing. The scoping assessment will provide preliminary assessments of the potential implications for different groups of the labour market. Specifically it will assess whether there are any disproportionate impacts on groups with protected characteristics. Such assessments will continue to inform the implementation of agreements.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent steps she has taken to help enable parliamentary scrutiny of future free trade agreements.

The Government is committed to ensuring that our trade policy is transparent and subject to appropriate scrutiny. Parliament will have the opportunity to scrutinise both UK-EU and UK-Rest of World negotiations. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade made a Written Ministerial Statement on 6 February, HCWS101, setting out the Government’s proposed approach to free trade agreements (FTAs) with priority partners including the USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This set out that we will publish negotiating objectives accompanied by an initial economic assessment, as well as the Government response to the public consultation. There will be further statements made in the coming weeks, setting out our plans for FTAs with global partners.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her Canadian counterpart on gender-based impact assessments of free trade agreements.

The Government is committed to pursuing trade agreements which are not only free but fair, and which advance women’s economic empowerment.? We are exploring the best domestic and international approaches and seeking to cooperate with our international partners on how to increase women’s ability to access the benefits of trade.

A strategic partnership was established between the UK and Canada?in 2017, which includes a working group on gender equality. The Department for International Trade has participated in the trade and women’s economic empowerment workstream which focuses on sharing best practice.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure public scrutiny of future free trade agreements.

The government is committed to ensuring that our trade policy is subject to appropriate public scrutiny and informed by the views of a diverse range of stakeholders. To date this has included leading one of the largest consultation exercises run by the UK Government, and regular events and briefings across the UK.

We have also established the Strategic Trade Advisory Group and network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups that bring together a wide variety of stakeholders, from businesses to civil society organisations, to help inform our trade policy.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for International Development on including civil servants from that Department in negotiations on free trade agreements.

Trade negotiations will be a cross-Government effort. Negotiating teams will be led by a Department for International Trade (DIT) chief negotiator and will include experts from other departments and arm’s length bodies. Typically, a trade negotiation will involve teams of differing sizes and expertise depending on their complexity and the interests of the UK and our partners.

The Department for International Development’s Trade for Development Team are co-located within DIT and the two departments have worked closely together to deliver continuity agreements over the past year. This arrangement will continue now that the UK has left the EU, ensuring that international development is a priority for the UK’s independent trade policy.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure (a) social and (b) environmental protections are included in any future free trade agreements.

We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of workers or the environment. We are exploring all options in the design of future trade and investment agreements, taking into account?responses to the Government consultation exercise.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what meetings she has had with organisations and activists focusing on trade justice in the last 12 months.

Since 24 July 2019 my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has not had any meetings focusing on trade justice.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to support learner drivers whose theory test certificate has expired over the course of the last year before they have been able to pass their practical test.

A candidate whose theory test certificate expires will have received the service for which they paid the fee. If a practical test is already booked at the time when the theory test expires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will refund the fee for the practical driving test.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons; to ensure that a candidate’s knowledge is current. It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that they drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to update guidance for public transport providers to ensure that health risks for workers who shielded during the covid-19 lockdown are minimised.

Our priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to keep people, especially vulnerable workers in high risk groups, safe by minimising the risk of transmission in transport settings. We keep our guidance under constant review as COVID-19 incidence and scientific evidence changes. Our safer transport guidance for operators contains detailed advice on communications, crowd management protocols, cleaning regimes and ventilation settings transport providers should use to provide a safe service for all passengers. It also sets out clear steps on how transport employers can protect their workers who are at higher risk from COVID-19, based on recommendations we have received from Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for the completion of the Government's review into the use of a device which performs an interactive communication while driving; and when legislative proposals as a result of that review will be brought forward.

The Government plans to bring forward proposals arising from its review of the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving very soon. The timing of any resultant legislative changes will be considered in light of feedback on the proposals.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the capacity for social distancing on the public transport network in Birmingham.

The Department regularly engages with West Midlands Combined Authority and managing social distancing on public transport is a matter for operators, working with the relevant Local Transport Authority as necessary.

The Department has produced safer transport guidance for transport operators. We recommend that people should remain at 2m where possible, however recognising there are situations where this isn’t possible a 1 metre distance plus suitable mitigations. People are being asked to consider walking and cycling where possible, if using public transport people must wear a face covering (unless exempt), should wash their hands before and after travelling and try to avoid busy times and routes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for opening the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme to members of the public.

The Department remains committed to launching the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme this summer. Over one thousand bike shops and mechanics are now registered with the scheme and we are ready to make vouchers available to the public when the time is right.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he will take to ensure that pay rises are distributed equitably among all pay bands at Highways England.

I would like to reassure you that the Secretary of State is placing significant focus on pay in the Department’s arm’s length bodies including Highways England (HE). Responsibility for setting pay levels within HE sits with the company, overseen by its Remuneration Committee. HE manages pay in accordance with public sector pay guidance from Cabinet Office, and a framework set by the Department for Transport, which places controls on the numbers and pay of the highest paid staff.

The 2019 pay awards for all HE employees, including those in the senior cadre, were based on 1%; however, following recently completed negotiations, an additional, backdated award is being made which will mean that employees below senior level will receive awards for 2019 based on a total of 2%. This will mean that using HE’s approach to pay review individuals will receive awards in the range 1.5% to 4% for 2019/20.

Performance Related Pay (PRP), in relation to 2018-19 performance for the grades below the senior group resulted in 4,106 staff receiving a payment, with an average value of £1,392.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to tackle pay disparities between senior executives and staff at pay bands one to eight at Highways England.

I would like to reassure you that the Secretary of State is placing significant focus on pay in the Department’s arm’s length bodies including Highways England. Responsibility for setting pay levels within Highways England sits with the company, overseen by its Remuneration Committee. HE manages pay in accordance with public sector pay guidance from Cabinet Office, and a framework set by the Department for Transport, which places controls on the numbers and pay of the highest paid staff.

The company’s approach to pay aims to strike the right balance between value for money and building and maintaining the organisational capability required to operate the strategic road network and deliver DfT’s investment programmes.

The 2019 pay awards for all HE employees, including those at the senior level, were based on 1%; however, following recently completed negotiations between the company and the Trade Unions, an additional, backdated award is being made which will mean that employees below senior level will receive awards for 2019 based on a total of 2%. This will mean that using HE’s approach to pay review individuals will receive awards in the range 1.5% to 4% for 2019/20.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage airports to become carbon neutral.

The Government’s climate change targets include airport emissions, and so airports will need to reach net zero by 2050.

Airport emissions are largely generated by surface access and power and heat generation, both of which will be addressed through measures targeted at those sectors. For example, this includes an investment of nearly £1.5 billion? to support the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles, with grants available for plug-in vehicles and schemes to support chargepoint infrastructure. We are also consulting on bringing forward our ambition to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans forward to 2035 or earlier, as per the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.

Airports are not legally responsible for emissions from aircraft operations.

On emissions from aircraft operations, we are planning to consult shortly to update the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how the aviation sector can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps is he taking to ensure that the roll-out of smart ticketing on the rail network does not exclude people without access to the necessary technology from purchasing rail travel.

Smart tickets are making it more convenient to buy and use rail tickets.? We have invested £80m and worked with industry so that smart tickets are accepted at stations across almost all the network.?Passengers who?do?not have access to technology?may continue purchasing?paper tickets. We have not asked operators to withdraw these and will consider withdrawal only when we are satisfied that all rail users can continue to purchase train tickets as readily as they can do today.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding the Government has allocated to transport programmes throughout the Midlands.

Figures on public sector expenditure at national and regional levels are part of the Government’s Country and Regional Analysis (CRA) statistics.

The statistics include spend on transport by all public sector organisations including the Department for Transport, Local Authorities, Public Corporations (in the case of transport, this is mainly spend by London Underground) and other government departments including devolved administrations.

When comparing expenditure across regions a number of factors should be considered. The benefits from spend on transport interventions will often accrue to passengers far beyond the residents of the immediate local area or region. This is particularly the case for spending on the railways which connect cities and regions across the country and deliver broader benefits beyond the region concerned. Inevitably allocations are not always precise.

Table 1: Public expenditure on all transport in the Midlands, by all public sector bodies (£ million)

East Midlands

West Midlands

Midlands total

2014/15

1,023

1,459

2,482

2015/16

1,179

1,898

3,077

2016/17

1,024

1,871

2,895

2017/18

1,083

2,002

3,085

2018/19

1,286

2,758

4,044

These expenditure values are in nominal terms and have not been adjusted for inflation.

Source: Table A.8e - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/country-and-regional-analysis-2019

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Office for National Statistics' labour market statistics data published in February 2021, what steps she is taking to tackle the disproportionate rise in unemployment among (a) Black African, (b) Black Caribbean and (c) Black British people compared to white people in the UK from 2019 to 2020.

The Government is committed to levelling up and uniting the country, including improving the employment outcomes of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Throughout these unprecedented times the Government has provided a crucial safety net to record levels of claimants, ensuring all our customers receive the support they need, when they need it.

We have focussed on providing financial and extensive support through our Plan for Jobs. This will protect, support and create jobs, targeting young people, the long term unemployed, and those in need of new training and skills. The Plan for Jobs includes the Kickstart scheme, an expanded youth offer, and the expansion of the Work and Health Programme, all offering new support to those, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, who lose their job during the pandemic.

The Government is also considering the recommendations on how to increase opportunity and ensure fairness for all made in the recent independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people aged 16 to 35 have become unemployed between March 2020 and March 2021 in (a) Birmingham, Edgbaston constituency, (b) Birmingham and (c) the West Midlands.

The most up-to-date relevant information is provided by the Claimant Count. This is available for 16-34 year olds for Feb 2021 at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/default.asp

Guidance for users can be found at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/home/newuser.asp

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of unemployment amongst 16 to 35 year olds and (b) steps her Department is taking to reduce unemployment among that age group in (i) Birmingham, Edgbaston constituency, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) the West Midlands region.

(a) The Department regularly publishes statistics on the Alternative Claimant Count, and these are available by age and local authority, region and constituency here:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The ACC provides a measure of local levels of claimant unemployment over time and across areas back to 2013

(b) The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is committed to supporting everyone who has been affected by the unprecedented impact of Covid19 on the economy and the labour market.

In July 2020 the Chancellor confirmed a Plan for Jobs, which placed DWP at the heart of providing significantly expanded employment support to people becoming newly unemployed and those falling in to long-term unemployment, investing £30bn nationally in a mix of measures to create, support and protect jobs. This included £2bn for the Kickstart scheme, £2.9bn for the Restart programme, funding to increase the number of JCP Work Coaches by 13,500 and a range of other measures focussed on boosting worksearch and skills.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications have been made, covering how many vacancies, to the Kickstart scheme in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands, to date.

So far applications from Gateways and employers covering 32,113 jobs have been approved.

We are currently finalising out MI data at a local level and we will be able to provide further
information such as regional figures in the early new year.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the most recent unemployment figures are for (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands by, (i) gender, (ii) age, (iii) religion, (iv) ethnicity, and (v) socioeconomic group.

Estimates of the number of people who are unemployed are compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS). The LFS provides national and regional unemployment estimates whilst the APS, which is a modified version of the LFS, allows sub-regional analysis.

Estimates are based on a sample of cases and therefore subject to sampling uncertainty. Unemployment estimates at sub-regional geographies such as local authorities and parliamentary constituencies are especially uncertain, as are estimates by sub-group of the population.

Many estimates of unemployment used in this answer are publicly available on the NOMIS website (https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/). Other sources are outlined in the footnotes.

Table 1: Estimates of unemployment in a) Birmingham and b) the West Midlands by specified group

Gender

Age1

Religion2

Ethnicity1,4

Socio-economic group5

Male

Female

16-24

24-49

50-64

White

Ethnic Minority

Birmingham (000s)

30[1]

241

24

23

7

- 2

23

31

- 5

West Midlands (000s)

66[3]

643

54

64

24

- 2

94

49

- 5

1 Source: Apr 2019-Mar 2020, Annual Population Survey

2 National unemployment rates are available in the “Religion, education and work in England and Wales: February 2020” available at the following link, more detailed breakdowns have low sample sizes https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/religioneducationandworkinenglandandwales/february2020

3 Apr 2020-Jun 2020, Labour Force Survey, total unemployed - aged 16 and over

4 https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/work-pay-and-benefits/unemployment-and-economic-inactivity/unemployment/latest#title

5 ONS publish employment by socio-economic classification on NOMIS but not unemployment

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2020 to Question HL6367, if she will publish the (a) guidance to Work Coaches and Case Managers, and (b) performance framework by which those coaches will be monitored.

DWP is committed to providing the best possible support for all our claimants to meet their individual circumstance. Jobcentre and Service Centre staff undergo a comprehensive learning journey designed to equip them with the tools, skills and behaviours required to provide a high quality service to all claimants. They receive on-going learning in their roles and have access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals.

Team Leaders are responsible for monitoring and assuring the quality of services provided to individual claimants. This is completed through a combination of observation (of interviews), feedback, coaching and appraisal.

Universal Credit guidance for Work Coaches and Case Managers is routinely placed in the House of Commons library and it is updated at regular intervals. There are no plans to depart from that practice. This guidance covers the quality of service expected of Work Coaches.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the performance framework for job centre advisers measures performance by the proportion of claimants who have left benefit regardless of whether the claimant entered employment or training.

DWP is committed to providing the best possible support for all our claimants to meet their individual circumstance. Jobcentre and Service Centre staff undergo a comprehensive learning journey designed to equip them with the tools, skills and behaviours required to provide a high quality service to all claimants. They receive on-going learning in their roles and have access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals.

Team Leaders are responsible for monitoring and assuring the quality of services provided to individual claimants. This is completed through a combination of observation (of interviews), feedback, coaching and appraisal.

Universal Credit guidance for Work Coaches and Case Managers is routinely placed in the House of Commons library and it is updated at regular intervals. There are no plans to depart from that practice. This guidance covers the quality of service expected of Work Coaches.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many work coaches will be recruited in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands.

It is too soon in the recruitment process to be able to identify specific numbers for each city or location. Recruitment will be targeted based on local demand, plus current available and emerging estate space and Job Centre operating model changes.

Central England & Wales region (which covers Birmingham and the West Midlands) plan to recruit c1,200 new work coaches. This will be between now and the end of October in the first wave of recruitment, further planned recruitment later in the year will grow these numbers.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many investigations of workplace concerns relating to (a) covid-19 and (b) non-covid-19 concerns, where checks have been made to ensure that measures have been put in place to comply with the law, have been made in (i) Birmingham and (ii) the West Midlands in each month since January 2020; and how many enforcement notices served in respect of those investigations.

The table below shows the number of Covid-19 and non Covid-19 workplace concerns investigated by operational staff i.e. either Inspectors or Visiting Officers, by region and the number of Notices served.

2020

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

TOTAL

Birmingham

COVID concerns investigated*

0

0

0

17

13

6

4

40

Notices issued

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Non-COVID concerns investigated*

13

12

9

6

8

6

7

61

Notices issued

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

West Midlands

COVID concerns investigated*

0

1

0

167

93

55

30

346

Notices issued

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

3

Non-COVID concerns investigated*

60

59

50

36

36

40

28

309

Notices issued

1

6

1

2

2

0

0

12

*includes those currently under investigation

NB the data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 22nd July 2020 and the numbers of investigations are based upon the date that the record was created. The Notice numbers are based upon the issue date and may change due to a lag between the date issued and the details being recorded in the operational database.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the criteria her Department plans to use for prioritising Official Development Assistance spending in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department's share of the Official Development Assistance will be reduced in the event of a decrease in GNI.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department is signing new funding agreements for projects from the Official Development Assistance budget.

The UK has a legal commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). HM Treasury allocates ODA budgets to departments and is responsible for decisions on changes to these.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 48675 on Industrial Health and Safety, how many of the enforcement notices served in each month since January 2020 in relation to covid-19.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received in excess of 7,000 Covid-19 related workplace concerns, predominately from workers and members of the public. The majority of concerns are dealt with by HSE’s call handling team with HSE’s field staff dealing with the more difficult cases. It has only been necessary to serve four enforcement notices to secure compliance which were each served in May 2020. The remaining cases were resolved through verbal advice or correspondence.

NB: the above quoted numbers were taken from HSE’s operational database on 3rd June 2020 and are subject to change e.g. as there can be a delay before actions are updated on the database.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 48675 on Industrial Health and Safety, how many investigations of workplace concerns relating to (a) covid-19 and (b) other concerns, where checks have been made to ensure that measures have been put in place to comply with the law, have been made in each month since January 2020, and how many enforcement notices served.

The table below shows the breakdown, by month, of workplace concerns investigated by the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) field staff. In April 2020, HSE introduced a change to its recording system to identify concerns relating to Covid-19 and therefore it is not possible to identify such concerns which were made before then.

The number of enforcement notices served is also provided and arises from all HSE’s regulatory activities.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Total

Covid-19 Concerns*

-

-

-

1714

992

160

2866

Non-Covid- 19**

521

488

446

329

215

26

2025

Enforcement Notices

378

560

483

68

108

31

1628

*the number of Covid-19 related concerns created on HSE’s database by month and where an outcome is recorded.

**the number of non-Covid-19 concerns created on HSE’s database by month and which have a status of “closed”.

NB: the above data was extracted from an operational database on 5th June 2020 and is subject to change e.g. due to the delay between action being taken and recording the information onto the database.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will establish direct line to the Health and Safety Executive for hon Members to report concerns that have been raised by constituents.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a robust system in place for anyone needing to report health and safety matters. Contact arrangements to report matters to HSE can be accessed via our website: https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm#

To deal with the additional volume of Covid-19 related concerns HSE is receiving, they encourage the use of their established contact arrangements to ensure health and safety concerns are assessed by risk rather than by the method of reporting.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the letter from the Government Equalities Office to the hon Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston in December 2019, ref COGEO-001047, when the timetable for ending conversion therapy will be released.

The Government takes this issue very seriously and fundamentally disagrees with attempts to forcibly change someone’s sexuality.

My officials are working at pace on the matter, and we will outline plans to end its practice in due course.

We have commissioned research that looks at the scope of practices and experiences of those subjected to conversion therapy. Once the findings have been reviewed, we will continue engaging other key stakeholders, and ensure we quickly progress an effective approach.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) inspections have been carried out and (b) enforcement notices have been issued by the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last four months.

The number of proactive inspections carried out and enforcement notices issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in each of the last four months are below:

Calendar Month 2020

Proactive Inspections

Enforcement Notices Served

January

897

375

February

1040

562

March

587

483

April

78

68

Up to 18th May

50

57

1) The above data was extracted from HSE’s operational database on 18th May 2020 and is subject to change e.g. the administrative process of recording the information in the database can take up to 10 days.

2) In March, HSE temporarily suspended proactive visits to sites to allow social distancing measures to be put in place to protect visiting staff. It has since developed plans for resuming proactive site inspections.

3) The above data excludes investigations of workplace concerns including those relating to COVID-19, where checks have been made to ensure that measures have been put in place to comply with the law.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many spot checks have been conducted by the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last 10 years.

Information on the number of proactive inspections carried out from 2011/12 is published in the Health and Safety Executive’s Annual Reports and Accounts which can be found here. HSE aims to publish figures for 2019/20 during the summer. Figures on the numbers of inspections were not required as part of the Health and Safety Executive’s targets or performance measures prior to 2011/12 and were therefore not collated.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of suspending the requirement to complete the online work journal in order to continue receiving universal credit payments for people who do not have computer or internet access from home during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP took the decision to temporarily suspend both the requirement to attend a face to face appointments and to conduct checks on conditionality compliance with work search for 3 months from 19th March 2020. This means no sanctions will be applied for these reasons for the 3 month period, though DWP still encourages people who can work to seek work.

For people that are unable to access or use digital services, assistance to make and maintain their Universal Credit claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helpline.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when the Government plans to publish its response to the consultation on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, published in July 2018.

Any changes to the Gender Recognition Act must be carefully planned. We will take into account the need to protect single sex spaces for women and girls, and also that adults who decide they are transgender are free to live their lives as they wish. We will publish our response to the consultation once our next steps have been agreed.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government plans to uprate the state pension paid to people living in the EU each year in the next three years.

The three year State Pension up-rating guarantee was part of the Government’s no deal preparations. The Withdrawal Agreement has now been ratified.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK state pensioners living in the EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 will have their state pensions increased annually as long as they continue living there.

Currently, the basic state pension and amounts of new state pension up to the full rate are increased in line with the “triple lock” mechanism, which ensures they will rise each year by the highest of either 2.5 per cent, the rate of price inflation or average earnings growth.

People will get their state pensions up-rated in the EU even if they claim their pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as they meet the UK state pension qualifying conditions and are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The position of those who do not fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will be covered by the future relationship with the EU, which is yet to be negotiated.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, across the UK, how many unused covid-19 vaccines have reached their expiry date in each of the last nine months.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the demographic breakdown of people who have been hospitalised with covid-19 after receiving (a) one and (b) two doses of a vaccine.

Public Health England publishes the age and sex breakdown of hospitalisations for COVID-19 for the most recent four week period on a weekly basis at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports-2021-to-2022-season

The analysis is based on data from a sentinel network of acute National Health Service trusts contributing enhanced data.

PHE publishes technical briefings which provide the latest data regarding hospitalisations and deaths by variant, including the Delta variant, as well as data concerning those hospitalised with the Delta variant of COVID-19 who are vaccinated with one and both doses and unvaccinated. These data are retrospective and do not represent current hospitalisations. Data is available from 1 February 2021 at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investigation-of-novel-sars-cov-2-variant-variant-of-concern-20201201

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) the design, (b) methodology, (c) selection and eligibility criteria and (d) early data from the daily testing pilot as of 18 July 2021.

Organisations participating in the workplace daily contact testing pilot were selected because they had expressed an interest in joining the pilot and already had an asymptomatic test site in the workplace. The workplaces selected were also designed to ensure a spread of different types of organisation, including additional public sector organisations, to assess the operational implications of running daily contact testing.

To be eligible to take part in the workplace daily contact testing pilot, people working at the selected workplaces who were identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 had to:

- have no COVID-19 symptoms;

- give their informed consent to taking part;

- not live with anyone who has COVID-19 or symptoms;

- not live in Scotland or Northern Ireland;

- not travel in or out of Scotland or Northern Ireland while taking part in daily contact testing for work or personal reasons;

- commit to test for at least 5 of the 7 scheduled days.

A document setting out details of the pilot design, including the selection and eligibility criteria, is currently under review prior to publication. The pilot was designed to evaluate the operational feasibility of on-site daily contact testing in workplaces; it was not a research study and did not, therefore, follow a specific methodology. Data from the pilot will not be published as it is not validated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has issued guidance to the NHS on the use of the NHS Test and Trace app among its staff.

Guidance on use of the COVID-19 app was issued to NHS England, healthcare organisations and stakeholders in October 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of NHS staff in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England who (i) use the NHS Test and Trace app and (ii) have been notified to self-isolate by that app in each week since the beginning of 2021.

The data is not available in the format requested.

It is not possible to determine whether an app user is a member of National Health Service staff or use app data to estimate on how many members of NHS staff have been notified to self-isolate by the app in any given area or time period.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has sent surplus personal protective equipment to India to help tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom has sent three oxygen generators, 1,200 ventilators and 495 oxygen concentrators in response to the Indian Government’s most urgent priorities. We have approached the Government of India to offer excess personal protective equipment. However, to date, they have not requested such support from the UK Government.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to ONS statistics published on 6 May 2021, for what reason risk of death involving covid-19 increased for Sikhs and Muslims compared to Christians between the first and second wave of covid-19; and what steps he plans to take in response to that data.

The exact reasons for these findings are still unknown.

The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) published her second quarterly report on 26 February 2021, which set out work conducted since the first quarterly report, including reviewing the effectiveness of current actions being undertaken by the Government to lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19. The report reflects that considerable efforts are underway to address these disparities, including through the Community Champions scheme led by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which has provided £23.75 million in funding to local authorities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of NHS dental patients who have had to secure (a) services and (b) treatments from private providers because it was unavailable from their NHS provider in the most recent period for which figures are available.

We have made no such estimate as data is not collected on private dental provision.

In circumstances where patients are unable to access an urgent dental appointment directly through a National Health Service dental practice, they should contact NHS 111 for assistance.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of treatments for severe periodontitis, including x-rays and other auxiliary support on the NHS.

No assessment has been made. National Health Service dental practices are expected to deliver the full range of clinically necessary dental care during the pandemic, including treatments for periodontitis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving priority status for covid-19 vaccinations to guides and drivers for pupils at special schools due to the proximity of those guides and drivers to children with SEND.

For phase two of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s interim advice set out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, rather than by occupation. Age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations.

If guides and drivers for pupils at special schools are captured in phase one or two due to age or clinical need, then they will be vaccinated accordingly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to amend covid-19 guidance to allow both parents to visit children in hospital together.

Revised hospital visiting guidance was published on 16 March 2021. This guidance confirms that both parents/guardians are permitted to visit a child in hospital in circumstances where the family bubble can be maintained. However, anyone with a positive test or showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit.

The revised guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C1112-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-v2.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what initiatives he has supported to (a) target public health messages and (b) tackle vaccine misinformation to improve the take-up of the covid-19 vaccine among carers.

The Department has established an extensive communications programme to target public health messages and tackle vaccine misinformation to improve the take-up of the COVID-19 vaccine among carers. This includes bespoke communications materials shared on the CARE Workforce App; a weekly newsletter and via social media channels; a paid advertising campaign targeting social care workers with digital advertising to build vaccine confidence and encourage booking vaccine appointments; a stakeholder toolkit with resources for distribution by care providers and representative bodies; and positive messaging using influencers, health experts, faith leaders and social care workers who have already been vaccinated to boost confidence and tackle misinformation. We have also held briefings with faith groups, charities and care providers who have expressed interest in co-creating vaccine content and acting as ambassadors.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which age groups are planned to have received a covid-19 vaccine ahead of the FA Cup Final on 15 May 2021.

Whilst an exact timeline of which age groups are planned to have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine by 15 May 2021 is not available, we are on course to offer a vaccine to all priority groups including those aged 50 years old and over by 15 April and all adults aged 18 years old and over by 31 July.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with private healthcare providers in Birmingham to support the (a) social care backlog and (b) response to covid-19 outbreak.

A national agreement is in place between NHS England and NHS Improvement in collaboration with the Independent Healthcare Providers Network and independent sector providers to ensure National Health Service patients benefit from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.


No social care services are provided through the agreement with the independent providers. Local authorities are best placed to understand and plan for the care needs of their populations and to develop and build local market capacity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of recruiting and training (a) trainee dental and veterinary students and (b) beauticians who perform botox/fillers to assist with the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine.

Those administering the vaccines are either existing healthcare staff or those recruited specifically for the programme– including those who signed up to the NHS Bring Back scheme.   There are a number of roles within the vaccination programme and these will require different levels of qualifications and experience.

The Department recently changed legislation to allow a wider group of people to administer vaccines, including more health care professionals as well as others who have passed a programme of training developed by Public Health England and Health Education England. New vaccinators will be assessed in person and closely supervised to ensure their and patients’ safety.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote the uptake of the covid-19 vaccine among social care staff; and if he will publish figures on the number of care workers who have (a) received and (b) refused to have the vaccine.

A five-week consultation was launched on 14 April to inform decision-making to make vaccination a condition of staff deployment in older adult care home providers. We have also introduced a minimum four-visit schedule to ensure as many care home staff and residents can be vaccinated on-site as possible. For those workers who may not have been present when the vaccination team visited the specific care home, access via other vaccination services has been available. Care home workers who would like to be vaccinated can now also arrange vaccination directly through their general practitioner.

Additionally, a significant programme of work is underway to help boost uptake in all communities, including for care workers and social care staff, as set out in the UK COVID-19 Uptake Plan which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-uptake-plan/uk-covid-19-vaccine-uptake-plan

NHS England publish weekly data on the number of vaccines doses administered to National Health Service trust and social care staff in England, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Data on those who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine is not collected centrally.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of prioritising for covid-19 vaccination unpaid carers who care for a person who is too frail to receive the vaccine themselves.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. The JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer contracted COVID-19, should be included in Priority group 6 alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, where people in Birmingham, Edgbaston constituency will be able to access a long covid clinic.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided £10 million to fund over 40 pioneering ‘long COVID-19’ specialist clinics including ten in the North Midlands region. The plans for these clinics were published on 15 November and commissioning guidance was made available on 6 November.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to ensuring post-COVID-19 syndrome assessment clinics will be made available from early December 2020. In response, each integrated care system is working towards the provision of at least one such service in each system, though the exact location for each system is yet to be detailed.

A number of these clinics are already established and new clinics will start to accept patients at the end of November and early December. More details will be made available shortly.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to assess the effect of new research into the range and frequency of covid-19 symptoms on the adequacy of his guidance on the main symptoms of covid-19 which are used to recommend that individuals book a test for the virus; and how often that assessment takes place.

We will continue to review the evidence available to us through the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, the Office for National Statistics and other sources and we continue to be guided by the science on our approach.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support the Government is providing to Birmingham City Council to assist with covid-19 contact tracing in that area.

As of 12 October 2020, local authorities are eligible for a series of payments from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund. We have committed another £465 million in funding for Engl