Rehman Chishti Portrait

Rehman Chishti

Conservative - Gillingham and Rainham

Home Affairs Committee
16th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
8th Jan 2018 - 15th Nov 2018
Petitions Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 5th Mar 2018
Backbench Business Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 23rd Oct 2017
Justice Committee
5th Nov 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
28th Mar 2011 - 7th Apr 2014
Draft Defamation Bill (Joint Committee)
24th Mar 2011 - 12th Oct 2011


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Fire Safety Bill
voted No - against a party majority
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
Speeches
Monday 22nd February 2021
Covid-19: Road Map

Further to my question to the Prime Minister on 27 January and representations from Medway MPs, Medway will now have …

Written Answers
Tuesday 22nd December 2020
Influenza: Vaccination
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Thursday 22nd October 2020
Marriage (Authorised Belief Organisations) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the law on marriage to permit authorised belief organisations to solemnise marriages; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Paul Jackson
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Exiting the European Union
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rehman Chishti has voted in 238 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 318 Noes - 303
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
19 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 328 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 330 Noes - 262
19 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 324 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 264
19 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 326 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 328 Noes - 264
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Rehman Chishti voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
View All Rehman Chishti Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(9 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(8 debate interactions)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(7 debate contributions)
Home Office
(6 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(4 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rehman Chishti's debates

Gillingham and Rainham 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 Gillingham and Rainham signature proportion
Petitions with most Gillingham and Rainham signatures
Rehman Chishti has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Rehman Chishti

11th April 2019
Rehman Chishti signed this EDM on Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All Rehman Chishti's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rehman Chishti, 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.


Rehman Chishti has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Rehman Chishti has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

12 Bills introduced by Rehman Chishti


A Bill to amend the law on marriage to permit authorised belief organisations to solemnise marriages; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Thursday 22nd October 2020

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 the driver of a mechanically propelled vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to a cat to stop and give information or report the accident to the police; to require the keepers of certain cats to ensure they are microchipped; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 23rd July 2018

A Bill to make provision to reduce inequalities in the health care received by people with mental illness and learning disabilities; to require commissioners of health services to make an annual report to the Secretary of State on the equality of service provision to, and the health outcomes for, such people and of their qualitative experience of health care services; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th September 2016

A Bill to make the sale, ownership and use of portable laser emitting devices with output power of more than 1 milliwatt unlawful in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 13th September 2016

A Bill to make provision about the appropriate level of access to NHS services and accommodation for mothers with perinatal mental illness; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 20th July 2016

A Bill to make provision to reduce inequalities in the health care received by people with mental illness and people with learning disabilities; to require commissioners of health services to make an annual report to the Secretary of State on the equality of service provision to, and the health outcomes for, such people and of their qualitative experience of health care services; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 9th July 2015

A Bill to make the sale, ownership and use of portable laser emitting devices with output power of more than 1 milliwatt unlawful in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 9th March 2016


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th October 2015

A Bill to make provision to reduce inequalities in the commissioning of health services for people with mental illness and learning disabilities; to require commissioners of health services for people with mental illness and learning disabilities to make an annual report to the Secretary of State on the equality of service provision to, and the health outcomes for, such people and of their qualitative experience of health care services; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 7th July 2015

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 increase the maximum penalty for causing death by driving whilst disqualified to fourteen years and an unlimited fine.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 2nd December 2013

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 allow the Magistrates Court discretion to refer a third or subsequent offence for drink driving to the Crown Court for sentencing and to grant the Crown Court the jurisdiction to give a custodial sentence of up to two years.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 3rd July 2013

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 allow Magistrates’ Courts discretion to refer a third or subsequent offence for driving whilst disqualified to the Crown Court for sentencing; and to grant the Crown Court the jurisdiction to impose a custodial sentence of up to two years for such offences.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 2nd December 2013

Rehman Chishti has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


45 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that businesses that are eligible for Bounce Back loans but unable to access them through their bank receive the support they need.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is currently being delivered through 29 accredited lenders, including several non-banks and alternative lenders. If an eligible business is unable to access the scheme because their bank is not a participant, or their bank is unable to process their application or turns it down, businesses are encouraged to apply for finance with another of the lenders. These accredited lenders are all listed on the British Business Bank’s website[1].

If the application is still unsuccessful, there are other forms of finance available to eligible firms and these can be identified from a number of sources, including the Government’s online finance finder on GOV.UK.

Businesses of all sizes across England, are also encouraged to contact the nearest local government-backed Growth Hub for free impartial advice on accessing the right finance. Expert advisers will be able to discuss alternative sources of support, business planning and building resilience.

The Government’s Business Support Helpline (FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098) also provides free, impartial support and advice to businesses.

Businesses based in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will be able to access similar support through the Devolved Administrations.

[1] https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children were living in placements outside their local authority (a) from 1 April 2020 to 1 September 2020 and (b) in the same period in 2019.

This information is currently not available.

The latest figures on children looked after in England and on children missing from care or placed in out of area placements relates to the year ending 31 March 2019 are published in the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020 will be published later this year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children were living in placements outside their local authority area from 1 April 2020 to 1 September 2020 by (a) foster care, (b) registered children’s homes, (c) secure children’s homes and (d) other placement provision.

This information is currently not available.

The latest figures on children looked after in England and on children missing from care or placed in out of area placements relates to the year ending 31 March 2019 are published in the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020 will be published later this year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children went missing from care placements in each month from 1 April to 1 September 2020; and how many missing episodes they had.

This information is currently not available.

The latest figures on children looked after in England and on children missing from care or placed in out of area placements relates to the year ending 31 March 2019 are published in the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020 will be published later this year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked after children went missing from out of area care placements in each month from 1 April to 1 September 2020; and how many missing episodes each such child had.

This information is currently not available.

The latest figures on children looked after in England and on children missing from care or placed in out of area placements relates to the year ending 31 March 2019 are published in the statistical release, ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions 2018-19’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Figures for the reporting year ending 31 March 2020 will be published later this year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what safety (a) guidance and (b) support will be issued to schools that will be reopening on 1 June 2020 during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s latest guidance for schools to support their widening opening from 1 June 2020 is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

In all education, childcare and social care settings, a range of approaches and actions should be employed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Schools should follow the hierarchy of controls that, when implemented, creates an inherently safer system, where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. These include:

  • minimising contact with individuals who are unwell or who have coronavirus symptoms;
  • frequently cleaning hands;
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach;
  • regular cleaning of settings; and
  • minimising contact and mixing.

Particular advice on implementing protective measures is available here:
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.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he is allocating to schools catering for children with special educational needs during the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations, as determined by the local authority for maintained schools and through the general annual grant for academies, for the 2020-2021 financial year – April 2020 to March 2021 for maintained schools and until August 2021 for academies and non-maintained special schools. This will happen regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure and will ensure schools can continue to pay staff and meet other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

The department is providing additional funding for all schools, including special schools and alternative provision, to support them with unavoidable, additional costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Guidance on this funding is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

As well as giving schools additional funding, we are providing them with a range of support, including guidance on supporting those with special educational needs.

Our guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak sets out the different groups of vulnerable children who can attend educational settings. The guidance is available here:
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.

Our guidance on special educational needs and disabilities risk assessment builds on the guidance above. It explains the practicalities for local authorities and other providers in undertaking risk assessments for vulnerable children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans, in light of school closures. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

Our guidance on EHC needs assessments and plans explains the temporary changes to some aspects of the law. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus/education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-guidance-on-temporary-legislative-changes-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to bring forward flexible ticketing for rail travel in (a) the South East, (b) Kent and (c) Medway.

Government recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviours.

In response, the Department for Transport has proactively worked with the rail industry, and is currently considering proposals received from train operators, including Southeastern who operate in the South East, Kent, and Medway, to try to ensure better value and convenience for part-time and flexible commuters.

These are unprecedented times and our immediate focus is on ensuring that we keep the railway available and safe for those who rely upon it.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the success of Train Operating Companies' flexible ticketing trials.

Some train companies have already introduced flexible products including c2c, Chiltern, East Midlands, Gatwick Express, Greater Anglia, Northern, South Western, Govia Thameslink Railway and West Midlands Railway. These differ in their terms and conditions, and are not available to all commuters. We are currently considering proposals received from train operators to try to deliver better value and convenience for part-time and all flexible commuters.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to permit train operating companies to offer temporary rent reductions to concessions in railway stations in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

In accordance with Franchise Agreements, as varied by the Emergency Measures Agreements, Franchisees have responsibility to act at all times as Good and Efficient Operators. The Department has written to all train operating companies outlining that it is incumbent on them, as responsible commercial landlords, to actively consider any requests made for rent deferral or relief in accordance with the Good and Efficient Operator principle. We expect requests from tenants to be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account whether the tenant has made all reasonable efforts to seek assistance from wider government support schemes before any rent relief is agreed.

Any rent relief arrangements should also be developed in line with the recently published Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic which provides guidance as to how landlords should be considering requests from commercial tenants during the current period.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure concessions in railway stations operated by train operating companies are eligible for the same rent holidays and other forms of financial assistance available to concessions in stations operated by Network Rail.

In accordance with Franchise Agreements, as varied by the Emergency Measures Agreements, Franchisees have responsibility to act at all times as Good and Efficient Operators. The Department has written to all train operating companies outlining that it is incumbent on them, as responsible commercial landlords, to actively consider any requests made for rent deferral or relief in accordance with the Good and Efficient Operator principle. We expect requests from tenants to be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account whether the tenant has made all reasonable efforts to seek assistance from wider government support schemes before any rent relief is agreed.

Any rent relief arrangements should also be developed in line with the recently published Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic which provides guidance as to how landlords should be considering requests from commercial tenants during the current period.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve bus services in (a) Medway, (b) Kent and (c) the South East.

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision are primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. However, the Bus Services Act 2017 provides the tools local authorities need to improve local bus services and increase passenger numbers.

The annual Bus Service Operators Grant the Government provided for Kent County Council during 2018/19 was £1,087,788.

We have announced an additional £30 million of additional funding to improve current services and restoring lost services. Kent County Council has been allocated £1,007,624 which will be available from April 2020 if the funding requirements are met. This is from the £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package to transform bus services. The Government’s ambition is to secure a long term, sustained improvement in bus services underpinned by a National Bus Strategy for England which will be accompanied by a long-term funding settlement.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-better-deal-for-bus-users/a-better-deal-for-bus-users

On 11 February 2020, the Prime Minister announced there will be £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London which may benefit bus services serving Medway, Kent and the wider South East.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Child Maintenance Service is currently contacting people who are believed to owe child maintenance payments.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal. In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, the Child Maintenance Service is updating cases with notified changes. Where payments have been missed the Service is contacting parents to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Child Maintenance Service will resume enforcement action against people who owe child maintenance payments.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal. In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, the Child Maintenance Service is updating cases with notified changes. Where payments have been missed the Service is taking action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

Those found to be abusing the system are subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate.

We are working with key partners, such as bailiffs and courts, who support enforcement activity to establish arrangements supporting enforcement. Once our key partners are fully able to support our referrals we will then move quickly to re-establish our normal and full range of enforcement services.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the availability of the flu vaccine by early December.

General practitioners and community pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers, which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults, with deliveries phased through the season.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that local providers are supported to meet increased demand for the flu vaccination this winter. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has granted dispensation to allow the movement of vaccines locally between practices and other National Health Service provider organisations this season, to help address local shortages.

In addition, the Department has procured additional doses of adult seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of flu vaccine doses available to the NHS in winter 2020/21 are the types generally used for adults (a) at or over and (b) under the age of 65.

Information on which vaccines are recommended for the different cohorts is included in the Annual Flu Letter Update 2020/21 which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907149/Letter_annualflu_2020_to_2021_update.pdf

General practitioners and community pharmacies are responsible for ordering flu vaccines from suppliers, which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. The Department does not routinely collect information on the different vaccines that have been ordered by local providers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have died by suicide in each month from 1 April 2020 to 1 September 2020; and how many of those people had been reported missing prior to their death.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department applies to determine what goods qualify as essential health products.

The Department does not identify essential health products for policy purposes. It does, however, recognise a number of Category 1 goods – goods which are “critical to preservation of human or animal welfare and/or national security for the United Kingdom”.

The Department’s Category 1 products are human medicines, covering prescription-only, pharmacy and general sales list medicines, clinical trials and children’s vitamins; medical devices and clinical consumables; vaccines; nutritional specialist feeds, including infant milk formula and biological materials such as blood, organs, tissues and cells.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to ensure that small banks have access to adequate capital to offer eligible customers Bounce Back loans.

Our position has always been that the Government does not provide capital to financial institutions, who must source their own funding.

Challenger banks and non-bank lenders among the 29 accredited lenders under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme have played a vital role in providing 1.4 million businesses with vital financial support worth over £42 billion.

The Treasury recognises the vital role that challenger banks and non-banks play in the provision of credit to SMEs. It is grateful for the way the sector has responded to the current crisis, and remains committed to promoting competition and widening the funding options available to UK businesses.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has any plans to reduce VAT on sunscreen, which is currently not classified as an essential health product.

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

Expanding the scope of the current VAT relief would come at a considerable cost to the Exchequer. Therefore, while all taxes are kept under review, there are currently no plans to reduce VAT on sunscreen products.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to limit the rate of interest charged on long-term loans.

On 17 March, the Government announced a package of measures totalling £350 billion aimed at supporting the financial wellbeing of British businesses, individuals, and families. The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of COVID-19 and, as part of this, is continually assessing all areas of the financial sector – including rates of interest on long-term loans. The Government is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the lending sector on this issue and stands ready to announce further action wherever necessary.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to eliminate unfair practices by logbook loan companies.

In 2014, HM Treasury asked the Law Commission to review the legislation underpinning logbook loans. During consultation stakeholders raised concerns that any reform could increase consumer detriment, particularly amongst vulnerable consumers. Furthermore, the number of logbook loans also fell substantially from 52,000 loans registered in 2014 to 10,194 in June 2019. For these reasons, the government decided not to take forward reform of this legislation.

In 2014, the government also transferred regulatory responsibility for the consumer credit market to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Logbook lending is part of the FCA’s new supervisory strategy for high-cost credit lenders, which will run until 2021.

Treasury ministers and officials meet regularly with the FCA and continue to work closely to ensure consumers of financial services are treated fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to reduce uncertainty for (a) contractors and (b) businesses that are affected by the changes to IR35.

The Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019 sets out HMRC’s assessment that the reform to the off-payroll working rules is expected to affect 170,000 individuals. The TIIN can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020.

HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations and contractors prepare for the reform. This includes:

  • Offering one-to-one support to more than 2,000 of the UK’s biggest employers, and writing directly to 43,000 medium sized businesses and other organisations.
  • Providing large and medium sized businesses, public bodies, and charities with factsheets to share with their contractors, and publishing this factsheet on gov.uk.
  • Holding workshops with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, and public bodies.
  • Holding webinars at least weekly, with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, public bodies and contractors.
  • Publishing an enhanced version of the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool in November 2019 to help individuals and organisations make the right status determinations and apply the off-payroll rules correctly.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her French counterpart on the regulatory framework on the registration of small vessels and the enforcement of those regulations in the context of preventing small vessels being used in illegal Channel crossings.

Small boats used by migrants to cross the Channel are varied in type, origin and seaworthiness. While there is attraction in any enterprise which offers to reduce the supply of craft for these dangerous, illegally-facilitated and unnecessary crossings, we are not of the view that these proposals would materially affect the threat. This is because many of these vessels are insubstantial; a good number are stolen or otherwise misappropriated from legitimate owners; and the origin of these vessels is not confined to France. Therefore, any adoption of such an increased regulatory posture is viewed as a disproportionate and less effective approach to reducing supply of boats and opportunity for crossings.

We are engaged with the French in minimising supply - and are seeing results, with crossings per calm weather day down by 60% since September 2020, thanks to law enforcement work on both sides of the Channel. We have not discussed the proposal with the French and have no plans to do so at this time but will keep it under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing regulation of the registration of small vessels to help counter illegal Channel crossings.

Small boats used by migrants to cross the Channel are varied in type, origin and seaworthiness. While there is attraction in any enterprise which offers to reduce the supply of craft for these dangerous, illegally-facilitated and unnecessary crossings, we are not of the view that these proposals would materially affect the threat. This is because many of these vessels are insubstantial; a good number are stolen or otherwise misappropriated from legitimate owners; and the origin of these vessels is not confined to France. Therefore, any adoption of such an increased regulatory posture is viewed as a disproportionate and less effective approach to reducing supply of boats and opportunity for crossings.

We are engaged with the French in minimising supply - and are seeing results, with crossings per calm weather day down by 60% since September 2020, thanks to law enforcement work on both sides of the Channel. We have not discussed the proposal with the French and have no plans to do so at this time but will keep it under review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the Government’s progress on meeting the objectives of the Missing Children and Adults Strategy 2011.

People who go missing include some of the most vulnerable people in our society and the Government will do all it can to ensure those people are protected from harm.

The 2011 Missing Children and Adults Strategy provided a framework for local and national action to protect children and vulnerable adults who go missing. The Government has made significant progress in meeting the objectives of the strategy including by issuing new statutory guidance on missing children, placing new requirements on local authorities on the reporting of missing incidents, working with the College of Policing to develop new risk-based professional practice for police, and funding support for missing people and their families through charities like Missing People.

While plans to update the 2011 strategy are under consideration, we can and will go further to protect and support people who go missing. The Department for Education is working with the police, local authorities and the voluntary sector to consider how its statutory guidance is supporting local authorities and their partners to prevent children from going missing from home or care, and the Home Office is working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit to deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP) which will provide new functionality around the reporting of missing and associated found incidents across police force boundaries.

Protecting and supporting vulnerable missing people is also a key element of our action to tackle exploitation and abuse, including sexual abuse and county lines exploitation, given the clear links between people who go missing and these broader harms. This includes funding Missing People’s SafeCall service, a specialist 24/7 helpline which provides advice and support to children, young people and parents/carers concerned about county lines exploitation.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to update the Missing Children and Adults Strategy 2011.

People who go missing include some of the most vulnerable people in our society and the Government will do all it can to ensure those people are protected from harm.

The 2011 Missing Children and Adults Strategy provided a framework for local and national action to protect children and vulnerable adults who go missing. The Government has made significant progress in meeting the objectives of the strategy including by issuing new statutory guidance on missing children, placing new requirements on local authorities on the reporting of missing incidents, working with the College of Policing to develop new risk-based professional practice for police, and funding support for missing people and their families through charities like Missing People.

While plans to update the 2011 strategy are under consideration, we can and will go further to protect and support people who go missing. The Department for Education is working with the police, local authorities and the voluntary sector to consider how its statutory guidance is supporting local authorities and their partners to prevent children from going missing from home or care, and the Home Office is working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit to deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP) which will provide new functionality around the reporting of missing and associated found incidents across police force boundaries.

Protecting and supporting vulnerable missing people is also a key element of our action to tackle exploitation and abuse, including sexual abuse and county lines exploitation, given the clear links between people who go missing and these broader harms. This includes funding Missing People’s SafeCall service, a specialist 24/7 helpline which provides advice and support to children, young people and parents/carers concerned about county lines exploitation.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of missing (a) adults and (b) children, were recorded as high risk in each month from 1 April 2020 to 1 September 2020.

Annual missing persons statistics, including analysis of age and risk category, are published by the National Crime Agency’s Missing Person’s Unit. The latest report is for 2018-19 and is available at https://www.missingpersons.police.uk/en-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins.

The Government recognises the importance of accurate and timely data on both current and historic missing incidents. We are working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit through the Home Office National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP) to deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP). The NRMP will provide a snapshot of live missing incidents across police forces in England and Wales.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent illegal crossings of the English Channel.

Facilitating these crossings is illegal and no one should be attempting them in the first place. France, from where almost all embark, is a manifestly safe country with a fully functioning asylum system. Any of these migrants needing asylum should claim it in France. Those seeking to cross must traverse some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It is a reckless and dangerous crossing, putting the lives of the people who attempt it at serious risk – including children and babies.

The Government is working flat out to put a complete stop to these crossings, and all attempts to reach the UK clandestinely and action is being taken on a daily basis.

The National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force and the UK Police are working closely with French authorities to crack down on the criminals who facilitate the crossings. There is a UK-France Coordination and Information Centre opened in Calais which opened in November 2018

This law enforcement response is delivering results. French law enforcement prevented over 1000 people from crossing by small boats in April and May 2020.

In 2019, Immigration Enforcement made 418 arrests, leading to 203 convictions for a total of 437 years. Out of these, 259 arrests and 100 convictions were for people smuggling. Immigration Enforcement carried out 841 disruptions against organised crime gangs and individuals engaged in organised immigration crime, 404 of which were related to people smuggling. So far in 2020, 21 people smugglers have been convicted and put behind bars as a result of Immigration Enforcement investigations, with more investigations underway.

The UK Government has also returned over 155 small boats arrivals back to Europe since January 2019 using the legal channels available. We have a further 686 return cases which we are currently urgently progressing.

There is more we need to do beyond this. We are working on developing tactics to prevent crossings at sea, and on ways to rapidly return those who do get across. This may require primary legislation and new agreements with the French Government. These are currently under active discussion. The Prime Minister directly discussed the issue with President Macron on 18 June and the Home Secretary is in constant contact with her opposite number, the French Interior Minister. We will not rest until the crossings are entirely stopped.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to ensure Action Fraud deals with cases in (a) a timely and (b) an effective manner.

We are clear that the law enforcement response to fraud must improve. As the National Lead Force for fraud, the City of London Police (CoLP) are responsible for the performance of the Action Fraud service.

This includes ensuring that reports are dealt with in a timely and effective manner. We are working closely with law enforcement to ensure the recommendations set out in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) report, as well as the independent review led by Sir Craig Mackey into the standards, culture and management of Action Fraud, are implemented effectively in order to improve the response to fraud at the local, regional and national levels, including the support provided to victims of fraud.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to increase conviction rates for fraud offences.

The Government recognises that to increase conviction rates, there needs to be an increased pipeline of cases under investigation. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) carried out an inspection of the police response to fraud last year. The review, published in April 2019, found that significant improvements are required to ensure the model works more effectively and efficiently, including the need for a much more co-ordinated national approach with clear roles and responsibilities.

The Home Office is working closely with law enforcement to ensure the recommendations set out in the HMICFRS report are implemented effectively in order to improve the response to fraud at the local, regional and national levels, including the support provided to victims of fraud.

In addition, working with the Home Office, the National Economic Crime Centre are currently progressing work to step up the immediate operational response to fraud, delivering an immediate surge in operational activity across law enforcement to tackle fraud.

The scale and complexity of the threat from serious and organised crime, including fraud, means that we need to do more to develop our response. A formal review is in progress, led by Sir Craig Mackey QPM, to identify the powers, capabilities, governance and funding needed to enable us to improve our response to serious and organised crime in all its forms, including fraud. The final report is due in Spring 2020.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to increase prosecution rates for fraud cases.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The CPS is independent, and they make their decisions independently of the police and government.

The Government recognises that to increase prosecution rates, there needs to be an increased pipeline of cases under investigation. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) carried out an inspection of the police response to fraud last year. The review, published in April 2019, found that significant improvements are required to ensure the model works more effectively and efficiently, including the need for a much more co-ordinated national approach with clear roles and responsibilities.

The Home Office is working closely with law enforcement to ensure the recommendations set out in the HMICFRS report are implemented effectively in order to improve the response to fraud at the local, regional and national levels.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to improve Action Fraud's performance.

As the National Lead Force for fraud, the City of London Police (CoLP) are responsible for the performance of the Action Fraud service. Together with the City of London Corporation, CoLP commissioned an independent review led by Sir Craig Mackey QPM into the standards, culture and management of Action Fraud.? The findings and recommendations of that review were published on ?24th January: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/Pages/police-authority.aspx

Working with the City of London Corporation, the NCA and Home Office, the City of London Police will address Sir Craig’s recommendations regarding Action Fraud and the NFIB.

In addition, as part of the 20/21 police funding settlement, City of London Police received additional funding to allow them to recruit additional staff for the Action Fraud call centre. Despite the current challenging circumstances, work has continued to recruit and develop remote training for these additional staff at pace.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason (a) religious marriages and (b) humanist marriages are subject to different restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend under restrictions on meeting in groups of more than six people, announced on 9 September 2020.

We understand the significance that weddings hold in people’s lives. By their nature, weddings are events that bring families and friends together, so to minimise risks around transmission, a maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding. Humanist weddings can also take place with a maximum of 15 people present.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment he has made of the effect of the the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020 on christenings and humanist naming ceremonies.

The changes to the Regulations are to reduce social interaction of groups larger than six, in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19. The Regulations do not prevent life cycle events from taking place, but they are subject to the rule of six.

If a family chooses to have their life cycle event as a private ceremony, then the number of attendees must be capped at six people (unless everyone attending is from the same household or support bubble, where numbers may be higher). However, there are circumstances where life cycle events happen within the course of communal worship. In such circumstances, unless relevant exemptions apply, groups must not interact in a way which breaches the rule of six.

Where a life cycle event takes part within a communal worship service, attendees can only mingle with the groups of up to six people that they attend with and they will be subject to the restrictions and guidance for communal worship which can be found in the Guidance for the Safe Use of Places of Worship.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Expanded Retail Discount 2020-21 applies to those businesses whose activities are split evenly between retail and other activities.

My Department published guidance on the expanded retail discount on 25 March 2020. The guidance states that eligible properties are those wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; those used by visiting members of the public for assembly and leisure; or hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to decide, having regard to the guidance, whether properties fall within these categories.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has set out a proportion of a business’s activity that must be retail for it to qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount 2020-21.

My Department published guidance on the expanded retail discount on 25 March 2020. The guidance states that eligible properties are those wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; those used by visiting members of the public for assembly and leisure; or hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to decide, having regard to the guidance, whether properties fall within these categories.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the appointment of the Chair of the Criminal Legal Aid Review Part 2 is planned to be announced.

We are working closely with stakeholders including the criminal defence representative bodies to ensure that the Independent Review is set up as quickly as possible and that we appoint the right chair and advisory panel so that the review can deliver a robust, evidence-based assessment of the criminal legal aid market.

This means ensuring that the chair of the review has the right skillset, expertise and experience. At present, we are working to identify and appoint the right candidate for the role and will say more in due course.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timeframe is for the conclusion of the Criminal Legal Aid Review Part 2.

We are working to ensure that the next phase of the Criminal Legal Aid Review is set up as quickly as possible and are planning for the Independent Review to conclude in 2021. However, this timeframe will be subject to the agreement of the Chair, once appointed. We will seek to confirm the timeframe at the launch of the Independent Review.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many criminal barristers there were in each of the last 10 years.

The legal services sector in England and Wales is independent of government. The Ministry of Justice does not currently hold this information. As part of the Criminal Legal Aid Review we have been working closely with the Legal Aid Agency, Bar Council and the Crown Prosecution Service to bring together a dataset on publicly funded criminal barristers. We intend to publish the results of this analysis during the next phase of the review.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Criminal Legal Aid Review Part 2 terms of reference are planned to be published.

We are working to ensure that the next phase of the criminal legal aid review, the Independent Review, is set up as quickly as possible. We are currently developing the Terms of Reference in coordination with stakeholders, including criminal defence practitioner representative bodies, and will publish these when the Independent Review is launched.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip