Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
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).
These initiatives were driven by Ranil Jayawardena, 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.
Ranil Jayawardena has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Ranil Jayawardena has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill applying to England to provide for the introduction of first past the post elections of mayors, the London Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioners; to require elections for mayors, the London Assembly, Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities to take place on the same day; to abolish the election of councillors by halves or thirds to local authorities; to allow a person to be a Member of the House of Commons and to hold any elected local government office, including that of Police and Crime Commissioner, at the same time; and for connected purposes.
The Government has not undertaken an assessment of the correlation between the level of turnout at elections and detection of electoral fraud.
The Government has not made an assessment of the effect on the public purse of holding combined elections every four years. Not all local authorities hold their council elections on a four-year cycle and new elected positions can be created, as we have seen for local authority and combined authority mayors in recent years.
Combined polls will often result in lower overall costs to public funds both in respect of the Consolidated Fund and the relevant devolved administration or local authority sources. Combination has also been shown to increase turnout in instances where a poll that traditionally experiences low turnout is combined with a poll where turnout is higher.
The Government is committed to achieving the right regulatory balance between supporting excellent business practice and protecting workers, consumers, and the environment. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him by my hon. Friend the Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety on 22 January 2020 to Question 6799.
The government is committed to reducing gambling-related harm and works closely with the Gambling Commission. We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 and will announce further details in due course. We welcome the National Audit Office’s report on Gambling Regulation: Problem Gambling and Protecting Vulnerable People and are considering its recommendations carefully.
The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit capable connectivity as soon as possible. Much progress has already been made, with full fibre coverage doubling in the past year to reach 10% of UK premises.
This Government will continue to take action to remove barriers to network rollout and to ensure that those in the hardest to reach areas are not left behind. We have introduced legislation to make it easier for operators to deploy broadband in blocks of flats, will be legislating to mandate gigabit connectivity in new builds and will provide £5 billion of funding to support rollout in hard to reach areas.
Specifically in Hampshire, the government has invested heavily in this county, with over £15million of government funding allocated. Full fibre coverage stands at 9%, marginally below the UK figure of c.10%.
Virgin Media switched on full gigabit capability to Southampton in September 2019, whilst CityFibre, Toob and Trooli have all announced plans to invest in full fibre networks. Toob is aiming to cover 100,000 premises in Southampton with full fibre by the end of 2021, while Trooli has been undertaking work in the villages of Ropley and Bramdean.
The Government is also supporting deployment in Hampshire with projects in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight through the Local Full Fibre Networks programme.
The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising prohibits gambling advertising on television before 9pm, except in a limited number of circumstances, those being for bingo, lotteries, and until last year, sports betting around televised sport. In August 2019 the Industry group for Responsible Gambling extended its voluntary commitment to include advertising during sporting events. This includes a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on all TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sport, starting five minutes before the event begins, and ending five minutes after it finishes. This also applies to live streaming of events online. Additional measures include an end to betting adverts around highlight shows and re-runs, and an end to pre-watershed bookmaker sponsorship of sports programmes. The code also bans free sign-up offers being targeted at new customers before 9pm and requires all TV adverts to feature a responsible gambling message for the duration of the advert.
Gambling operators who advertise to a UK audience have to comply with the advertising codes of practice issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The codes apply across all advertising platforms, including broadcast, online and social media. A wide range of provisions in the codes are designed to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. For example, gambling adverts must not appear during programming commissioned for or principally directed at children, or during programmes likely to appeal directly to children. Gambling adverts also must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible. These rules also apply to on demand services.
We will continue to monitor issues around gambling advertising and consider any new evidence carefully, including the ASA’s forthcoming report looking at children’s exposure to age restricted advertising in 2019.
Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is a core objective of the regulation of gambling in Great Britain, and a priority for the government. The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 and will announce further details in due course.
Depending on the category of machines they offer, Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) may require either a licence from the Gambling Commission or a permit from the local authority. FECs which are not licensed by the Commission may offer only category D machines and fall under the control of the local authority. Category D machines include crane grabs and penny falls; slot machines with a money prize are permitted a maximum stake of 10p and maximum prize of £5.
In considering applications for FEC permits, the local authority must have regard to the licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005, which include preventing children from being harmed and exploited by gambling. The machine supplier must also be licensed by the Gambling Commission.
Voluntary action is being taken by the sector to improve safer gambling standards in all FECs and the government will continue to challenge operators to build on this. For example, in November the arcades trade association BACTA announced a new rule in its Code of Conduct preventing young people under the age of 16 playing on category D slot machines with a money prize unless accompanied by an adult.
The evidence suggests that the number of children and young people participating in gambling is reducing. The Gambling Commission’s annual survey of young people in 2019 found that 11% had spent their own money on a gambling activity in the 7 days prior to taking part in the study, compared to 14% in 2018 and 23% in 2011.
Ministers and officials of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport work closely with their counterparts in the Department for Health and Social Care on the issue of problem gambling. The Health Secretary has announced that a cross-government addiction strategy, which will include gambling, is to be published in 2020 and the two departments are collaborating on this.
Gambling operators who advertise to a UK audience have to comply with the advertising codes of practice issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The codes apply across all advertising platforms, including broadcast, online and social media. A wide range of provisions in the codes are designed to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. For example, gambling adverts must not target children or portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible.
Last year the government announced its intention to review how online advertising is regulated in the UK, looking at how well the current regime is equipped to tackle the challenges posed by developments in online advertising. The announcement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/jeremy-wrights-statement-on-the-cairncross-review. Further details of the review will be published shortly.
The department wants parents to have access to a range of affordable childcare, giving them increased flexibility in their working hours. The government funded early years entitlements is intended to deliver 15-30 hours a week (for 38 weeks of the year) of free, high quality, flexible childcare for eligible two-, three- and four-year olds. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies and sun cream), additional hours or additional services (such as trips) and providers may charge parents for these.
While many providers will offer 15-30 hours of free childcare per week during term time (38 weeks of the year), this offer can be delivered flexibly. All of the free entitlements can be stretched by taking fewer hours per week over up to 52 weeks of the year to cover term-time and the school holidays.
Some providers will only offer free hours during school term times or only offer free hours stretched over the year whilst others provide a mixture of the two. As set out in the department’s statutory guidance for local authorities, to ensure that parents can make informed decisions on their choice of childcare, providers should publish a statement of how they deliver the free entitlements and any additional charges for optional activities.
?Since the Department introduced the English Baccalaureate performance measure in 2010, which includes languages, the proportion of GCSE entries from pupils in state-funded schools in a modern foreign language (MFL) has increased from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. The reformed National Curriculum now makes it compulsory for pupils in maintained schools to be taught a foreign language in Key Stage 2.
We are investing in a range of programmes to increase uptake of languages at GCSE. Our £4.8m MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018, and is designed to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4. We have also launched a pilot project in MFL undergraduate mentoring for secondary school pupils to drive up participation in the subject, specifically targeting areas of high disadvantage to extend access to languages for all pupils.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the agenda of the Department for Education. This includes relevant topics covered by the new subjects of relationships education (for primary age pupils), relationships and sex education (for secondary age pupils) and health education (for all pupils in state-funded schools). The Department for Education has worked with other Departments, including the Department for Health and Social Care, in developing the content for the new curriculum subjects which will be taught in schools from September 2020.
The Department for Education wants to equip young people for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. The statutory guidance for the new subjects was published in June 2019, which is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf.
The subjects will support all young people in terms of managing risk, making informed decisions, as well as in key aspects such as mental wellbeing and online behavior. Under the topic of internet safety and harms, it sets out that young people should be taught about the risks related to online gambling, including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them, and how to be a discerning consumer of information online.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has not recently had such discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The Government supports the re-use as far as possible of suitable brownfield land for housing and other development needs over development on green field sites. We have announced further measures to support regeneration of brownfield land in our ‘Planning for the future’ policy paper dated 12 March 2020. Planning practice guidance also recognises that some brownfield land is of high environmental value, providing habitats for protected or priority species and other environmental benefits.
Fly-tipping is unacceptable wherever it occurs and tackling this crime is a priority for the Government. We therefore welcome suggestions and initiatives being explored by enforcement agencies to tackle this unacceptable crime.
The role of central Government is to enable and support local action: providing a clear legal framework of rights, responsibilities and powers, setting national standards and, where possible, making sure that the costs of dealing with fly-tipping issues are passed to those responsible for causing the problem.
The Government is committed to encouraging local solutions for local problems. This is particularly relevant in tackling fly-tipping, which requires a local approach, tailored to the characteristics of the area and the community in which the problem occurs. The naming of fly-tipping offenders is not current Government policy and, given our commitment to encouraging local solutions to reflect local circumstances, it is not for central Government to assess or publish national guidance promoting a single approach.
However, building on a commitment in our Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra is developing a toolkit to tackle fly-tipping. The toolkit will include examples of existing good practice to prevent fly-tipping, as well as advice and guidance on how local authorities can set up and run effective fly-tipping partnerships and share intelligence. We encourage local authorities to provide evidence and share details of successful initiatives with Defra, and the toolkit could in the future therefore include reference to the naming of those responsible for fly-tipping, alongside a number of other initiatives that are being used throughout England.
The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures.
The Department for Health and Social Care is currently working to review and improve industry standards of practice and provide clear information for consumers to make informed choices about cosmetic procedures.
This work includes an assessment of the health risks and psychological impact of current access arrangements to injectable cosmetic procedures by children and young people.
DFID has committed over £600 million funding between 2011 – 2021 to conserve nature and wildlife. Nature-based solutions that protect the environment and biodiversity will be a priority for the UK’s increased investment in International Climate Finance of at least £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26, announced by the Prime Minister at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019. DFID’s focus is on protecting biodiversity and ecosystems as a whole and we do not disaggregate our spend by species.
Commonwealth developing countries are major recipients of UK ODA. In 2017, they received around £3.57 billion (equating to around 25% of overall UK ODA), of which £1.96 billion was UK bilateral ODA and £1.61 billion was imputed UK share of multilateral ODA.
In 2017, the UK spent around £1.5 billion on Aid for Trade, as determined by OECD figures.
Decisions on the levels of future UK ODA will be determined in the context of the next Spending Review.
The UK is working with Commonwealth partners to deliver the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) ambition of boosting intra-Commonwealth trade to beyond $2 trillion by 2030.
In October 2019 my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade chaired the sixth Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, which reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s support for free trade and discussed the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment.
We will continue to increase cooperation ahead of the next CHOGM in June 2020.
Guidance has been issued and is available at the following link:
We have central stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) and are also accessing the European Union Exit and pandemic influenza stockpiles which have been released for use. The Department is working with National Health Service and others in the supply chain to ensure these are delivered to the frontline as soon as possible.
Staff experiencing shortages have been asked to contact a supply disruption helpline centre by email or on a helpline.
The Department is working with wholesalers to ensure a longer-term supply of all aspects of personal protective equipment, including gloves, aprons, facemasks and hand sanitiser.
We are aware of the interruption to the supply chain of personal protective equipment, in particular face masks for the safe delivery of dental care.
We have been working with the four main dental wholesalers. Face masks have been released from the pandemic flu stock to relieve some of the current pressure and stock is available.
All illicit drugs are harmful, and there is no safe way to take them. The Government does not condone the illicit supply of drugs. Public Health England coordinate public information campaigns on drug consumption.
It is important that fathers have time to bond with their baby and support their partner. ‘Health Building Note 09-02: Maternity care facilities’ sets out best practice guidance on the design and planning of healthcare facilities so that partners and other supporters feel welcome in maternity services. This includes the provision of overnight accommodation for partners within birthing spaces and postnatal rooms or close to the unit. Maternity services need to understand their local populations and develop local policies that enable fathers to support their partners as much as they want to whilst respecting the privacy of other women.
Parents of babies who may require neonatal critical care should also be supported to stay with their baby. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out how we will redesign and expand neonatal critical care services to improve the safety and effectiveness of services and experience of families.
E-cigarettes in the United Kingdom are tightly regulated by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) and the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 (NIP). These regulations include preventing sale to under 18s, restrictions on mainstream TV and radio advertising, and limit both tank sizes and nicotine content.
Local trading standards have powers for enforcement of both regulations. The Government has also funded the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to undertake a review of compliance of nicotine vaping products. The latest report, ‘The Tobacco Control Survey for England 2018/19: A Report of Trading Standards Service Activity’ reports that 34 councils were able to report the number of visits with volunteer young people where sales had occurred. 90 test purchase attempts resulted in an underage sale being made. This results in a 40% test-purchase-to-sale rate.
We are monitoring youth use closely and will take action, if necessary, to ensure that regular use among children and young people does not increase, and that e-cigarettes do not become a gateway to tobacco use. We continue to keep the evidence base on e-cigarettes under review and the next Public Health England annual review is due to be published next month.
NHS X and NHS England are responsible for data collection for NHS services and the Department has no mandate to require data relating to cosmetic interventions is recorded.
The Department is exploring the regulation of the cosmetic interventions industry. We are working with stakeholders to explore the options for collecting data around the incidence and impact of consumers seeking treatment through NHS services.
The Government remains committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.
The Department continues to consult with stakeholders on industry standards of practise and the health risks posed by current access arrangements to non-surgical cosmetic procedures. On the basis of the evidence gathered to date, the Government supports the principle of increased protections for children and young people for some injectable cosmetic procedures. The Department is exploring the legal implications and potential impacts of an age restriction that would bring these procedures in line with other body modifications such as tattoos and sunbed use.
In North East Hampshire, 31 out of 34 community pharmacies have committed to provide the service. As at 20 January 2020, 159 referrals for minor illness and 199 for urgent supply of medicines have been made.
We have incentivised sign-up by community pharmacies by providing an upfront payment to help them prepare for delivering this new service. Over 10,600 pharmacies are now providing this service and in the first 10 weeks over 100,000 referrals were made to community pharmacy for same-day advice. We are also currently running a mass media campaign to encourage the public to use their ‘Pharmacy First’ for advice and support on minor illness.
The matter is subject to an ongoing legal process and therefore the Department is unable to comment pending judicial ruling.
There are no plans to restrict treatment to people who are in a stable relationship. The Government expects all clinical commissioning groups to commission fertility treatment services in line with their Public Sector Equality Duty.
The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on 6 January 2020 found that people who had used e-cigarettes only were at significantly lower risk of stroke than those who smoke. There was no significant difference in risk between non-smokers who use e-cigarettes and non-smokers who do not. The study can be found at the following link:
Public Health England’s advice remains that smokers should stop smoking completely and that e-cigarettes can be helpful, particularly for the most heavily addicted smokers. This can be viewed at the following links:
PHE keeps the peer reviewed research on e-cigarettes under continuous review.
We do not collect data at the level of detail needed to identify patients treated by hospital accident and emergency departments, as a result of vaping liquids laced with either cannabis or spice.
The UK marked Commonwealth Day on 9 March. In his statement, the Prime Minister outlined the enduring bond between the Commonwealth network of 54 countries, who are united in its promotion of peace, democracy and human rights. At Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM18) in London, the UK announced £500m of projects and programmes to support delivery of the Commonwealth leaders commitments under the headings of security, prosperity, democracy and sustainability. After hosting CHOGM18, the UK took up the role of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, a position held by the Commonwealth country which has hosted the most recent CHOGM.
The UK has been an active Chair-in-Office, committed to strengthening and renewing the Commonwealth, through its three pillars - the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Member States and Commonwealth organisations and networks. We have driven delivery of Commonwealth leaders commitments, supported the Commonwealth to have a stronger voice as an advocate for multilateral cooperation in the rules-based international system and increased solidarity between members. The UK has also championed reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Initiatives have been undertaken in a diverse range of policy areas, from climate change and marine protection, to cyber security, mediation of conflict and promotion of intra-Commonwealth trade. 31 Commonwealth countries are together now tackling marine plastic pollution, whilst over 3,000 women entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth have been supported to internationalise their businesses, and barriers to trade have been reduced.
The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19 and firms experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.
As the Chancellor set out in his letter to the aviation sector, should individual firms still find themselves in difficulty after exhausting all other options, the Government is prepared to enter negotiations with them as a last resort. Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.
At Budget, the Chancellor confirmed a record £27.4 billion to improve England’s strategic roads from 2020 to 2025. This funding will help maintain and improve the Reading-Gatwick road corridor, which includes converting part of the M4 to a smart motorway. Highways England will complete work to upgrade the 18 km stretch of the M23 near Gatwick Airport to a smart motorway this year. They are also looking at ways to optimise capacity on the existing M25.
No assessment has been made. The Government has committed an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2023/24 for the NHS as part of its Long-term plan, which has been enshrined in law.
The NHS Long-term plan includes a commitment to expand the coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, which includes plans to open around 15 clinics by 2023/24.
In line with successive administrations, the details of Ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.
Gambling Duties raise around £3bn in revenue for the Exchequer per year. As is the case with taxes in general, the revenue raised goes into the consolidated fund.
The number of households with a single-earner income of over £50,000 is based on Department for Work and Pensions analysis of Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the 2017-18 Family Resources Survey (FRS).
The survey sample sizes are too small to produce robust estimates at local authority or constituency level. The Department for Work and Pensions estimate that in the UK in 2017-18 there were 2.7m households with one person earning over £50,000 per year from employment (either as an employee or self-employed). Of these, 700,000 households contained only one person in employment.
The Government has made substantial increases to the personal allowance and higher rate threshold in recent years. In April 2019, the Government increased the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000. This ensured that nearly one million fewer people pay the higher rate of tax compared to 2015-16 and that a typical higher rate taxpayer pays over £1,800 less income tax than in 2010-11.
The Home Office has not received representations on this matter. However, the Government is clear that cocaine is a harmful drug and we remain absolutely committed to reducing its supply and use. The first part of Professor Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs, published on 27 February, sets out the evidence on trends around the supply and use of cocaine.
The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years.
In October 2019 Home Office confirmed officer allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift.
Hampshire Police has been allocated 156 officers in year one of the uplift, to be recruited by the end of March 2021. This is supported by an increase of up to £26.1m in 2020/21. Decisions on the allocation of officers for years two and three are yet to be taken.
From April 2020 the Home Office will publish quarterly updates outlining the progress on delivering the police uplift.
While there are various studies suggesting that the prevalence of problem gambling is higher in offenders than the general population, the issue of problem gambling and gambling addiction has not been raised as a specific issue during our conversations about acquisitive crime with the NPCC and others.
The Home Secretary has regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery.
The £10 million announced by the Home Secretary is additional funding which will further support police forces to uplift the number of officers carrying taser by up to 10,000. My Department is working closely with the police on allocating funding.
It is over two fininacial years, so the answer is no.
Outdoor advertisements are controlled by local planning authorities under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. Local authorities have a wide range of enforcement powers to deal with advertisements if they are displayed unlawfully and it is for them to determine the most appropriate course of action to take when an advertisement is displayed in contravention of the regulations.
The private parking industry is currently self-regulating. However, the Government is committed to enacting the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 as soon as possible. It will lead to the creation of an independent code of practice for private parking companies, covering parking fine notices and related issues. On 3 November 2019 we announced we were contracting with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop the Code of Practice as British Standard, to ensure the new regulation will be robust and of the highest quality. We are also committed to carrying out a public consultation on the draft Code of Practice, allowing all interested parties to directly respond to the proposals.
The Government is committed to making the housing market work for everyone, which means building the homes that people need in places that they want to live. This is why Government has set out reforms alongside £44 billion of financial support to increase housing supply and diversify the market. This includes, long term funding for infrastructure where people want to live and where there is the greatest housing need. Since 2010 over 1.5 million additional homes have been delivered in England and 2018-19 saw the highest level of net additions in the last thirty-one years. To help those looking to buy a home now, we are committed to making the buying and selling process quicker, cheaper and less stressful.
There is no requirement for Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs) when imposing a custodial prison sentence. The Government’s policy in relation to the care and management of individuals who are transgender in custody, including those holding a GRC, was published in July 2019 and is available on Govt.UK. The number of transgender offenders in custody is published annually as part of the HMPPS Equality Statistics.
No discussions have taken place between the Justice Secretary and Health Secretary on this matter. Any decision on whether to criminalise excessive drinking of alcohol during a known pregnancy would be a matter for the Department for Health and Social Care.
I refer the Hon. Member to my previous response given to PQ 3793 on 30 October 2019.
The threat from dissident republican terrorism continues to be SEVERE in Northern Ireland. This Government’s first priority is to keep people safe and secure right across the United Kingdom. Vigilance against this continuing threat is essential and we remain determined to ensure that terrorism never succeeds.