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).
Give UK nurseries emergency funding if they have to close down amid COVID-19Gov Responded - 14 Apr 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.
Provide financial support to performers and creators during the COVID-19 crisisGov Responded - 22 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.
Extend grants immediately to small businesses outside of SBRRGov Responded - 29 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.
Government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19Gov Responded - 27 Mar 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.
Make nurseries exempt from business rates to support the childcare sectorGov Responded - 2 Apr 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.
Offer more support to the arts (particularly Theatres and Music) amidst COVID-19Gov Responded - 20 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.
Support the British aviation industry during the COVID-19 outbreakGov Responded - 7 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.
Business Rate Relief to be extended to all small businesses in healthcare.Gov Responded - 5 Jun 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare
Provide financial help to zoos, aquariums, & rescue centres during the pandemic.Gov Responded - 28 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Richard Thomson's petition debate contributions
Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.
These initiatives were driven by Richard Thomson, 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.
Richard Thomson has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Richard Thomson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to apply electrical safety regulations to goods advertised for sale on online marketplaces; to require online marketplaces to remove electrical products from their websites within 24 hours of them being reported as unsafe; and for connected purposes.
Richard Thomson has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy tests public attitudes towards nuclear energy, and a wide range of other BEIS issues, through our Public Attitude Tracker.
Questions on nuclear energy were asked in Wave 29, in March 2019.
This demonstrated that 35% of the public supported nuclear energy, 23% opposed nuclear energy and 38% neither supported nor opposed nuclear energy.
We recognise the importance of access to talent for creative and cultural sectors and regularly engage with industry representatives on changes which affect creative professionals from the EU working in the UK after the transition period.
We will ensure our economy is ready to attract the best and brightest from around the world as we introduce our new points-based immigration system from 1 January 2021.
Extensive engagement has taken place across the government, both at a ministerial level and official level, throughout the development of the future immigration system, including on the new graduate and student routes and other points-based routes.
The graduate route, launching in summer 2021, represents our continued commitment to support the UK’s education sector and our strong desire to make a truly world-leading offer to international students, allowing new graduates the opportunity to remain in the UK to work or to look for work after their studies. This is already a substantial improvement on the UK’s previous post-study work offer of 4 months (6 months under the limited pilot programme). Since we had originally announced the details of the graduate route last September, the government announced a further change, extending the post-study work period to 3 years for PhD graduates.
We believe that 2 years (3 years for PhD graduates) is a fair and generous amount of time to allow international graduates to have unrestricted access to the UK labour market, enabling them to gain valuable work experience and to kick-start their careers. We also believe this will help to ensure that the UK continues to be an attractive destination for international students. We will of course keep the operation of the graduate route under review once it has been implemented.
At the end of their leave as a graduate, international students who wish to stay and work in the UK for longer will also be eligible to switch into employment immigration routes. We are reviewing and simplifying the employment routes as part of the government’s work on the future borders and immigration system to ensure that they meet the UK’s needs.
The government also recently published and updated bespoke guidance for students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, setting out important flexibilities at this time. This includes confirming that those studying by distance/blended learning will be eligible to apply for the graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 and meet other requirements of the route.
We now have a world-class student visa offer befitting our world-class higher education sector, which will only improve once the student route is operational later this year and student visa processes are further streamlined.
My department engages across Government and with the Devolved Administrations on a regular basis, including through a programme of meetings which was introduced to discuss the future immigration system after the publication of the Immigration White Paper in December 2018.
EU students in the UK on, or prior to, 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – the deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.
From October 2020, all students (EU and non-EU) will be able to apply for a visa via the Student and Child Student routes, which will build on the current Tier 4 visa system. When the Student route opens there will be a number of improvements which will further streamline the immigration process. This will include extending the visa application window for prospective students to six months and allowing international students to apply for further leave as a Student or switch into other routes from inside the UK (in-country switching). Changes to the new Student route have been developed via extensive engagement with the sector and have been based upon the Law Commission’s report on the simplification of the Immigration Rules.
In addition, Government announced that PhD graduates will benefit from three years of leave in the UK under the new Graduate route when it is introduced in Summer 2021. International students graduating with undergraduate or master’s degrees will be able to stay in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years after graduation. This will continue to improve the UK’s globally competitive offer to international students.
Government has published, and updated, bespoke guidance for students setting out important flexibilities at this time. These have included enabling international students to complete distance/blended learning for the upcoming academic year, provided students’ sponsors intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow, and confirming that those studying by distance/blended learning will be eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 and meet other requirements of the route.
I apologise for the delay in responding. A reply has been prepared and will be issued very shortly.
The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation agreement will allow for smooth travel to and from the EU, Covid-19 restrictions allowing.
NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the monthly data published by NHS Digital on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. They continue to have regular conversations with regional clinical network leads and local services to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.
The data is available at the following link:
The information requested is available at the following link:
The top four priority groups including those aged 70 years old and over, care home residents and staff, have now all been offered the vaccine.
Information regarding the number of people who refuse a vaccine is not collected and data on vaccination invitations issued is not centrally held.
The Government remains committed to considering a framework for compensation, as well as actions to address disparities in financial and non-financial support for people infected and affected by contaminated blood across the United Kingdom.
On 30 June, the UK read out a statement on behalf of 27 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting concerns about human rights violations in Xinjiang and urging China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to the region. On 9 March, the Foreign Secretary raised the same concerns with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.
Duty-free on arrival did not form part of the Government's consultation on the potential approach to duty-free and tax-free goods arising from the UK’s new relationship with the EU, which took place in the Spring of 2020. The Government nonetheless acknowledged in the summary of responses to the consultation that some stakeholders had requested the introduction of duty-free on arrival. This set out that duty-free on arrival was not a scheme that the Government previously offered and was therefore not considering implementing the scheme at that time.
The Government and HMRC are determined to continue to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities and individuals who promote disguised remuneration loan schemes.
On 19 March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust action against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.
While the Government sympathises with anyone who believes they were misled into using a disguised remuneration (DR) scheme, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their tax return and to understand the consequences of their decisions. It remains right that the Government takes action to tackle tax avoidance, which is unfair to the vast majority of taxpayers who pay the correct tax.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have been clear on their commitment to support all taxpayers who may need help to pay their Loan Charge liabilities. Where a taxpayer cannot afford to pay in full on time, HMRC will seek to agree payment by instalments with them. The payment plan agreed will be based on what the taxpayer can afford and there is no upper limit over how long HMRC can potentially spread payments.
HMRC have published settlement terms for taxpayers subject to the Loan Charge. These settlement terms are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-settlement-terms-2020/disguised-remuneration-settlement-terms-2020.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are aware of 15 contractors who have used disguised remuneration (DR) schemes while engaged either by the department or by Revenue & Customs Digital Technology Services (RCDTS). In each of the cases, the contractors were engaged via an agency or a company providing a service.
HMRC do not engage in, or enter into, disguised remuneration schemes. It is possible for a contractor providing services to HMRC to use a disguised remuneration scheme without the department’s knowledge or participation. Where HMRC become aware of a contractor who is using a disguised remuneration scheme, they take robust compliance action, including the immediate termination of the engagement. Any contractor identified in the course of HMRC’s compliance work as a scheme user would be investigated in the same way as any other contractor.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are assuring disguised remuneration settlement data received to date. This includes data on those taxpayers who were unable to meet the 30 September settlement deadline for reasons beyond their control who are continuing settlement discussions.
Information on settlements will be included in HMRC’s report to Parliament on the implementation of the independent Loan Charge Review, due before the end of the year.
At the time of the independent review of the Loan Charge, about 12,000 employers and individuals still had the opportunity to keep clear of the Loan Charge by concluding settlement, having provided all the relevant information to HMRC by 5 April 2019. Indications are that as at 2 October about 60 per cent of these have either settled, informed HMRC that they had instead decided to report and pay the Loan Charge, or have been taken out of scope of the Loan Charge following the Government’s changes in response to the independent review.