Ronnie Cowan Portrait

Ronnie Cowan

Scottish National Party - Inverclyde

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure)

(since July 2018)
Transport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 20th Nov 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Sunday 22nd May 2022
16:00
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 24th May 2022
13:30
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 7th June 2022
09:30
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The Scrutiny of International Treaties and other international agreements in the 21st century
7 Jun 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Lord Frost CMG - Former Chief Negotiator at Task Force Europe
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 9th June 2022
09:30
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Propriety of governance in light of Greensill
9 Jun 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Lord Pickles - Chair at Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 40 Scottish National Party Aye votes vs 0 Scottish National Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Monday 16th May 2022
Making Britain the Best Place to Grow Up and Grow Old
We cannot provide equal opportunities and a stimulating environment throughout life that will enable people to live truly fulfilling lives …
Written Answers
Wednesday 18th May 2022
UK Visas and Immigration: Telephone Services
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many calls have been received by the UK Visas …
Early Day Motions
Monday 12th April 2021
Tail O' The Bank Credit Union
That this House notes, the difficult and unprecedented year for Tail O' The Bank Credit Union who have stayed open …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 13th December 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 2 December 2021, Trustee of Man On! Inverclyde, a suicide prevention peer support service for the men of Inverclyde. …
EDM signed
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Plastic Free Pint campaign
That this House supports the international campaign Plastic Free Pint by A Plastic Planet, which seeks an outright ban on …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ronnie Cowan has voted in 327 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Ronnie Cowan 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
(17 debate interactions)
Will Quince (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(9 debate interactions)
Kit Malthouse (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(19 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(14 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ronnie Cowan's debates

Inverclyde 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 Inverclyde signature proportion
Petitions with most Inverclyde signatures
Ronnie Cowan has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Ronnie Cowan

17th May 2022
Ronnie Cowan signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 18th May 2022

Plastic Free Pint campaign

Tabled by: Martyn Day (Scottish National Party - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
That this House supports the international campaign Plastic Free Pint by A Plastic Planet, which seeks an outright ban on plastic pint cups without delay; notes that globally 500 billion plastic cups are used each year and lined up end to end they would span 50 MILLION kilometres – the …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 19 May 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 1
Labour: 1
10th May 2022
Ronnie Cowan signed this EDM on Tuesday 10th May 2022

Roza Salih's election as a Councillor in Scotland

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House celebrates the huge achievement of Roza Salih, a Kurdish-born, Scottish human rights activist and campaigner who has become the first former refugee to be elected as a local councillor in Scotland; congratulates Roza on her election on May 6 2022 to serve as a councillor for the …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 18 May 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 25
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Independent: 1
Labour: 1
View All Ronnie Cowan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ronnie Cowan, 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.


Ronnie Cowan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ronnie Cowan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Ronnie Cowan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Ronnie Cowan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


133 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what advice his Department is providing to UK citizens who own a second home within the EU in relation to access after the end of the transition period.

The Government is not seeking to agree specific mobility arrangements for owners of a second home.

After the end of the transition period, UK nationals will require permission from the relevant Member State to stay longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Government has made of the economic effect of the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU; and if the Government will publish that assessment.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 59762 on 23 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with industry stakeholders on funding for an equitable and affordable switch to greener and cleaner heating ahead of the upcoming Spending review.

The Government has been engaging with a range of industry and consumer groups on funding options to enable an equitable and affordable switch to greener and cleaning heating. Further details of these policies are set out in the Heat and Building Strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) steps his Department is taking to ensure effective provision of post office services across the UK and (b) funding his Department has provided to support that provision in each of the last five years.

The Government protects the branch network by setting minimum access criteria and protects services by setting minimum services to be provided at post offices across the UK. These criteria ensure that 90% of the population are within one mile of the nearest post office branch and that 99% of the population are within three miles of the nearest post office branch.

The Government invested £640 million in the Post Office between 2015 and 2018, £370 million from 2018 to 2021 and £227 million in 2021/22. This funding allows Post Office Ltd to safeguard services in the uncommercial parts of the network and invest for the future.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward regulations to restrict the (a) sale of fireworks and (b) times when they can be set off by the public; and if he will make a statement.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks and disturbances to people and animals. Existing legislation controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit.

In its 2019 inquiry into fireworks, the House of Commons Petitions Committee concluded it could not support banning public sales and use of fireworks. The potential for unintended consequences would be counterproductive for public safety, including individuals sourcing illegal and unsafe products online.

The Government remains committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through an effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the selling of cosmetics products in the UK will require a non-UK EU Responsible Person during the transition period of the UK leaving the EU.

It is the intention that those placing cosmetic products on the UK market during the transition period will require a responsible person based in the UK or EU.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for the UK cosmetics portal to go live.

The timeframe for whether the UK Cosmetics Portal needs to go live is dependent on the outcome of negotiations on the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU. The Government has made preparations so that the UK cosmetics portal can go live as soon as it is needed.

24th Mar 2022
If she will make it her policy to introduce a statutory levy on gambling operators to fund services relating to gambling harms.

The Government’s Review of the Gambling Act called for evidence on how best to recoup the regulatory and societal costs of problem gambling. We will publish a white paper in the coming weeks.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when her Department plans to publish a White Paper on the reform of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Gambling Act Review is a priority for the department. We will publish a White Paper with our conclusions in the coming months.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate the Government has made of the value of front-of-shirt football team sponsorships by cryptocurrency platforms.

I am aware of the growth in commercial partnerships between cryptocurrencies and professional sport. On 18 January 2022, the government set out its intention to legislate later this year to bring certain cryptoassets into financial promotion regulation. The FCA has also publicly consulted on its detailed rules for the regime. This would ensure that relevant cryptoasset promotions are held to the same high standards for fairness, clarity and accuracy that pertain in the financial services industry.

Cryptocurrencies are not within the legal definition of gambling in themselves and therefore are not in scope of the Gambling Act Review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment of the potential risks of sports sponsorship by cryptocurrency platforms.

I am aware of the growth in commercial partnerships between cryptocurrencies and professional sport. On 18 January 2022, the government set out its intention to legislate later this year to bring certain cryptoassets into financial promotion regulation. The FCA has also publicly consulted on its detailed rules for the regime. This would ensure that relevant cryptoasset promotions are held to the same high standards for fairness, clarity and accuracy that pertain in the financial services industry.

Cryptocurrencies are not within the legal definition of gambling in themselves and therefore are not in scope of the Gambling Act Review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the ongoing Gambling Review White Paper will look into the engagement of fan token cryptocurrencies.

I am aware of the growth in commercial partnerships between cryptocurrencies and professional sport. On 18 January 2022, the government set out its intention to legislate later this year to bring certain cryptoassets into financial promotion regulation. The FCA has also publicly consulted on its detailed rules for the regime. This would ensure that relevant cryptoasset promotions are held to the same high standards for fairness, clarity and accuracy that pertain in the financial services industry.

Cryptocurrencies are not within the legal definition of gambling in themselves and therefore are not in scope of the Gambling Act Review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential implications of footballers advertising non-fungible tokens to fans.

I am aware of the growth in commercial partnerships between cryptocurrencies and professional sport. On 18 January 2022, the government set out its intention to legislate later this year to bring certain cryptoassets into financial promotion regulation. The FCA has also publicly consulted on its detailed rules for the regime. This would ensure that relevant cryptoasset promotions are held to the same high standards for fairness, clarity and accuracy that pertain in the financial services industry.

Cryptocurrencies are not within the legal definition of gambling in themselves and therefore are not in scope of the Gambling Act Review.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her planned timetable is for commencing trials of a single customer view for online gambling; and whether she has discussed those trials with gambling operators.

The Gambling Commission has worked closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office to understand how a single customer view can be delivered in compliance with all relevant data protection requirements. The Information Commissioner’s Office recently published a report confirming it should be possible under data protection law for data to be shared safely and securely between online operators to help prevent gambling related harm. The report does not comment on how any single customer view should work in practice. We expect the industry to prioritise the trial of its planned single customer view solution as a next step and will continue to monitor developments closely.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of Public Health England's review of the evidence on gambling harms, published on 30 September 2021.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of Terms of Reference and a Call for Evidence. The Review is wide-ranging and aims to ensure that the regulation of gambling is fit for the digital age. The Call for Evidence included questions on the need for changes to the system of consumer redress, the appropriate mechanism for recouping the societal and regulatory costs of gambling and on barriers to high quality research. We will publish a white paper setting out our conclusions and vision for the sector in due course, and this will include an indication of how any changes will be implemented, whether by legislation or other means.

Public Health England’s review will be a valuable contribution to our Gambling Act Review and we are considering it carefully. Alongside the Review, we will work with the Department of Health and Social Care and key stakeholders to address the knowledge gaps identified in the evidence review and improve data collection more broadly.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government has a timetable for announcing the regulation of loot boxes; and whether that regulation will required primary legislation.

We ran a call for evidence from September to November 2020 to examine concerns around loot boxes in video games. The government is continuing to evaluate the evidence received from over 30,000 responses to the call for evidence, along with an independent Rapid Evidence Assessment commissioned from the InGAME research and innovation centre. Additionally, we have continued a dialogue with the games industry to develop effective and proportionate solutions in response to issues identified from the evidence. The government response outlining planned next steps is due to be published in the coming months.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department is taking steps to financially redress people who lost money with the collapse of the Football Index.

The government appreciates the significant impact that the collapse of the novel gambling product Football Index had on former customers. Administration proceedings for BetIndex, the company which operated Football Index, are continuing. These are looking at the assets and liabilities of the operator and what is owed to customers. It is likely that this process will result in some amounts being reimbursed to creditors.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to protect children from alcohol marketing on TV and digital spaces.

UK Government has measures in place to protect children and young people from alcohol advertising. Material in the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice Codes (CAP and BCAP codes) relating to the advertising and marketing of alcohol products is exceptionally robust, recognising the social imperative of ensuring that alcohol advertising is responsible and in particular that children and young people are suitably protected. If new evidence emerges that clearly highlights major problems with the existing Codes, then the Advertising Standards Authority has a duty to revisit the Codes and take appropriate action.

The government also continues to work with the Portman Group, the social responsibility body and regulator for alcohol labelling, packaging and promotion in the UK. It operates its Codes of Practice to ensure that alcohol is marketed in a socially responsible way, only to those aged 18 and over, and in a way that does not appeal particularly to those who are vulnerable people. The Codes are widely supported by the industry, with over 150 Code signatories including producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and trade associations.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the devolved Administrations on alcohol marketing and industry sponsorships during televised sporting events such as football and rugby matches.

I communicate regularly with my counterparts at devolved administrations, including through our arm’s length body for elite sport UK Sport, however I have not held discussions with them about this matter, or industry sponsorship, in relation to televised sporting events. There are already very stringent regulations in place for the marketing of alcohol through the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) codes of practice for advertising.

If new evidence emerges that clearly highlights major problems with the existing advertising Codes of practice, then the ASA has a duty to revisit the Codes and take appropriate action.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what data and research he has on the player base of people playing (a) loot boxes, (b) social casinos, (c) twitch gaming and (d) e-sports betting.

We continue to work with the video games industry, other government departments, and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure games are enjoyed safely. We launched a call for evidence in September to understand players’ experiences with loot boxes and to examine evidence of potential harms. This received over 30,000 responses and we have been working to evaluate fully the evidence gathered. The response will be published in the coming months and will set out preferred actions and potential solutions to any issues identified from the evidence.

The government regularly engages with the Gambling Commission and other bodies to discuss emerging trends, including esports betting. Esports betting is regulated with the same protections as any other sports, and operators must abide by the same regulation and license conditions.

Data from the Gambling Commission’s quarterly surveys shows that in the year to December 2020 9% of adults reported they had ever bet on esports with money or items. Further details can be found at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/publication/taking-a-more-in-depth-look-at-online-gambling#ref-4 The government does not collect statistics on the player base of people opening loot boxes, playing social casino games or accessing twitch gaming streams.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of increases in (a) gambling advertising on levels of gambling and (b) gambling on levels of gambling-related harm.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of that we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and will consider carefully any evidence of links between advertising and gambling related harm. The call for evidence closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. We are currently considering the evidence submitted and aim to publish conclusions by the end of the year.

Professor Per Binde’s 2014 literature review, conducted for the Responsible Gambling Trust (now GambleAware), explored five possible mechanisms by which gambling advertising could impact problem gambling behaviour:

  1. Stimulating a current gambler’s gambling behaviour to an extent that it becomes problematic;

  2. Inducing a non-gambler to start gambling in a way that quickly becomes problematic;

  3. Inducing a non-gambler to start gambling in a way that eventually becomes problematic;

  4. Maintaining or exacerbating existing problem gambling behaviour; or

  5. Creating a positive societal attitude (particularly amongst young people) towards gambling.

Of these potential impacts, Binde’s review found empirical evidence only for the fourth. While this research found evidence that advertising may adversely impact problem gamblers’ efforts to cut down, it did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 2347 on Gambling: Advertising, whether the Government has an evidential basis for the absence of a causal link between (a) exposure to gambling advertising and (b) the development of problem gambling.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of that we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and will consider carefully any evidence of links between advertising and gambling related harm. The call for evidence closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. We are currently considering the evidence submitted and aim to publish conclusions by the end of the year.

Professor Per Binde’s 2014 literature review, conducted for the Responsible Gambling Trust (now GambleAware), explored five possible mechanisms by which gambling advertising could impact problem gambling behaviour:

  1. Stimulating a current gambler’s gambling behaviour to an extent that it becomes problematic;

  2. Inducing a non-gambler to start gambling in a way that quickly becomes problematic;

  3. Inducing a non-gambler to start gambling in a way that eventually becomes problematic;

  4. Maintaining or exacerbating existing problem gambling behaviour; or

  5. Creating a positive societal attitude (particularly amongst young people) towards gambling.

Of these potential impacts, Binde’s review found empirical evidence only for the fourth. While this research found evidence that advertising may adversely impact problem gamblers’ efforts to cut down, it did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of advertising breaks which will contain a gambling advert during the upcoming European Championships; and if he will take steps to prohibit gambling adverts from being broadcast before the 9.00pm watershed.

The Government does not hold data on the volume of broadcast gambling advertising and so cannot provide an estimate of the number of advertising breaks that will contain a gambling advert during the UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising also prohibits adverts being shown around or during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The government has not seen any evidence which demonstrates a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and the development of problem gambling. However, all gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of gambling advertising during the upcoming European Championships on people at risk of gambling-related harm.

The Government does not hold data on the volume of broadcast gambling advertising and so cannot provide an estimate of the number of advertising breaks that will contain a gambling advert during the UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising also prohibits adverts being shown around or during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The government has not seen any evidence which demonstrates a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and the development of problem gambling. However, all gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Ofcom, (b) the Advertising Standards Authority and (c) the Gambling Commission on sponsorship of UK sport by Asian gambling operators.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

All gambling companies offering gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain, wherever they are based, must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. All sponsorship arrangements must be responsible and not targeted at children or vulnerable people.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the impact of gambling sponsorship arrangements across sport, esport and other areas.


2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he and his officials have had on gambling advertising in sport with (a) gambling industry organisations and (b) sports industry organisations.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. The government intends to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. We are also aware of international research which suggests an association between exposure to the promotion of betting brands during live sport and increased intention to bet amongst adults, including adults who score more highly on the Problem Gambling Severity Index screen used to assess problem gambling. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates a causative link between exposure to operator logos on sports shirts and the development of problem gambling in childhood or adulthood.

Ministers and officials continue to meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss matters within scope of the Gambling Act Review. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the viability of alternative funding models for sport in lieu of gambling sponsorship.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. The government intends to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. We are also aware of international research which suggests an association between exposure to the promotion of betting brands during live sport and increased intention to bet amongst adults, including adults who score more highly on the Problem Gambling Severity Index screen used to assess problem gambling. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates a causative link between exposure to operator logos on sports shirts and the development of problem gambling in childhood or adulthood.

Ministers and officials continue to meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss matters within scope of the Gambling Act Review. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of gambling advertising on sports shirts on (a) children and (b) vulnerable people.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. The government intends to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. We are also aware of international research which suggests an association between exposure to the promotion of betting brands during live sport and increased intention to bet amongst adults, including adults who score more highly on the Problem Gambling Severity Index screen used to assess problem gambling. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates a causative link between exposure to operator logos on sports shirts and the development of problem gambling in childhood or adulthood.

Ministers and officials continue to meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss matters within scope of the Gambling Act Review. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which Departments will participate in the review of gambling legislation.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and wider government on issues related to gambling and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry and provides advice to government on gambling related matters, including on the scope of the Gambling Act Review.

As outlined in answer to Question 96926, the Gambling Commission commissioned and published a scoping review looking at the feasibility of a longitudinal study of gambling behaviours and problem gambling, and how that study would best be conducted, and the Commission is now considering next steps.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a longitudinal study of gambling-related harm.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and wider government on issues related to gambling and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry and provides advice to government on gambling related matters, including on the scope of the Gambling Act Review.

As outlined in answer to Question 96926, the Gambling Commission commissioned and published a scoping review looking at the feasibility of a longitudinal study of gambling behaviours and problem gambling, and how that study would best be conducted, and the Commission is now considering next steps.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Department for Health and Social Care, (b) the Gambling Commission and (c) the Prime Minister's Office on the establishment of a review of gambling legislation.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and wider government on issues related to gambling and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry and provides advice to government on gambling related matters, including on the scope of the Gambling Act Review.

As outlined in answer to Question 96926, the Gambling Commission commissioned and published a scoping review looking at the feasibility of a longitudinal study of gambling behaviours and problem gambling, and how that study would best be conducted, and the Commission is now considering next steps.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 91087 on Football: Gambling, if he will make an assessment of (a) the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to place the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling on a statutory basis and (b) the effect of gambling advertising on children.

The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age, and further details will be announced in due course.

As set out in the answer to Question 91087, in August 2019 the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) Code for Socially Responsible Advertising was amended to ban betting adverts on TV during live sport before the 9pm watershed. Industry figures indicate that exposure to sports gambling advertising during the times covered by the whistle-to-whistle ban has fallen by 96%. In addition, data published by the Advertising Standards Authority looking at children’s exposure to gambling advertising in 2019 – including the first 6 months of the whistle to whistle ban – shows that children’s exposure to sports betting advertising on TV has fallen to 0.3 per week. The Gambling Commission’s code of practice for operators already requires adherence to the IGRG code, and failure to do so can be used as evidence in any compliance or enforcement activity that the Commission undertakes.

As outlined in the answer to Question 73907, the Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble. It also found that there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on levels of problem gambling of permitting the advertising of gambling on football shirts; and whether the forthcoming Gambling Review will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) placing on a statutory basis the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling and (b) banning gambling advertising from football.

Problem gambling is a complex issue and there are multiple and varied factors which contribute to its development in individuals. Figures from the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys and Health Surveys suggest that problem gambling rates in Great Britain have remained stable at below 1% since 1999.

Gambling sponsorship must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with industry stakeholders on increasing the legal age limit to play the National Lottery to 18 years old; and if he will make a statement.

The government held a consultation seeking views on whether to raise the minimum age for playing National Lottery games as part of work on the next National Lottery licence. In response to this consultation the government received evidence from a range of industry stakeholders and has had ongoing discussions with a number of respondents. The responses are currently being considered and I will formally respond in due course.

In addition to the evidence received through the consultation, DCMS has been engaging with the Gambling Commission on recent trends in National Lottery play, particularly amongst the younger age group.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to bring forward proposals on reform of the Gambling Act 2005.

The government committed in its manifesto to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. A timeline for the review and its scope will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has had recent discussions with football authorities on the involvement of gambling companies in the streaming of future football matches.

My predecessor met with Mark Bullingham, CEO of the Football Association, to discuss this matter in January.

The FA confirmed that no FA Cup matches will be exclusively streamed through gambling operators from this year's fourth round, through to the changes in its current domestic broadcast contract in 2021.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if operating legally in all jurisdictions is a condition of license for gambling companies to operate throughout the world.

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. The Gambling Commission expects operators to obey the laws of other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires operators to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction.

Operators must inform the Gambling Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain. Where this is the case, the Gambling Commision asks operators why they do not consider themselves to be acting illegally by providing gambling facilities in these jurisdictions. This may be because they are licenced to operate in that jurisdiction, or because they have satisfied themselves in some other way that they are not breaking the law by providing gambling facilities. If operators are found to not to be acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions, the Gambling Commission will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Queen's Speech of December 2019 and background briefing notes, what discussions her Department has had with relevant stakeholders on the Government's proposals to review the Gambling Act 2005.

Ministers and officials engage regularly with stakeholders and details of ministerial meetings are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dcms-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-1-april-to-30-june-2019

The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age and a wide range of stakeholders will be consulted as part of this process. We will announce further details in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has placed sanctions on Russian owned and operated fishing vessels that may have obtained fish quotas or licences to fish within UK waters.

We have not issued licences to fish in British fishery limits to any vessels which fly the Russian flag. We do not believe that any vessels owned or operated by Russian nationals currently fish in UK waters. UK quotas are only allocated for use by British-registered vessels.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on the future of pet travel between the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period.

There will be no change to the current health or documentary requirements for pets entering GB from the EU from 1 January 2021, in the immediate term. This is to ensure a smooth transition.

The Department has submitted an application to the European Commission to become a 'Part I' listed third country in relation to non-commercial movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets from the UK into the EU. Acceptance of this application would mean very similar documentation and health requirements to those that are required now for pet owners and users of assistance dogs travelling to the EU. The Commission is considering our application.

The requirements for entry to the EU after the end of the transition period are dependent on the UK's listed status and information on requirements will be communicated via further updates on GOV.UK. It is the duty of a responsible Government to adequately prepare those who travel with pets to the EU under any listing scenario, including in the event that GB becomes an unlisted third country. We issued guidance in early August to ensure that those who wish to travel with their pet on the 1st January 2021 will be able to do so. We have recommended that pet owners visit their vet four months in advance of travel to the EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding her Department has provided for refugees at Camp Moria, Lesbos.

The UK has a strong relationship with Greece on our shared migration objectives. We continue to offer support to the Greek Government to alleviate the pressures on the islands and deliver sustainable improvements within the Greek migration system. This includes, until the end of March 2020, deployment of interpreters to the Reception and Identification Service on the Greek islands to support the processing of migrants and the identification of those most vulnerable. Our large-scale humanitarian programming ended in 2017 when the Greek Government took over the humanitarian response, with €1.3 billion of EU funds made available. The UK recently agreed an additional contribution of £510,000 to provide urgently needed humanitarian goods for migrants in Greece this winter.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of e-scooters; and what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government, (b) road safety campaign and (c) scooter manufactures on the safety of e-scooters.

The Department has set out a series of technical standards for e-scooter models to comply with, in order to participate in trials, and have been working closely with operators of e-scooters to ensure their models demonstrate compliance with these standards.

Officials and Ministers have met with a wide range of stakeholders in developing and implementing e-scooter trial policy, including the Scottish Government, manufacturers and safety groups.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the DVLA will resume accepting (a) online and (b) postal applications and documentation from people wishing to register car purchases.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are operating as normal, including those for registering new vehicles and notifying the DVLA that the keeper of a vehicle has changed. Customers may also submit paper applications and notifications, but these will take longer to process.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of people who received a cash refund for cancelled holidays within the required 14-day period as a result of the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the challenges businesses and consumers are experiencing regarding refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. We appreciate the distress and frustration consumers may be experiencing.

The department does not hold this information, we are, however working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who have booked holidays that have been cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will receive a full refund in cash if they are ATOL protected; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the challenges businesses and consumers are experiencing regarding refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. Airlines are working hard to answer the high call volumes and to process the very large number of applications for refunds.

The Government appreciates the distress and frustration consumers may be experiencing. The Department for Transport is in regular conversation with UK airlines and working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

The Civil Aviation Authority wrote to UK airlines and some non-EU carriers last week to emphasise their approach on the issue of refunds and setting out their expectation that airlines make refunds in a reasonable period.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to include e-scooters in the cycle to work scheme.

The Department has no plans to include e-scooters in the Cycle to Work Scheme. The Cycle to Work Scheme is an employee tax-benefit scheme that enables employees to hire cycles and cycle safety equipment for active travel to work from their employer, or from a third party, in return for a deduction from their earnings via salary sacrifice. The Future of Mobility Regulatory Review is considering appropriate legislation and support framework for emerging micro-mobility vehicles including electric scooters.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding has been allocated from the Public Purse to Port Glasgow Train Station through the Access for All scheme.

The process to select options to make Port Glasgow more accessible is underway. The anticipated cost of the project will be known once a single design has been identified. Sufficient funding is available to deliver an accessible route both into the station, and to and between each platform. All Access for All projects are due to be completed by 2024 at the latest.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Cold Weather Payments have been issued by her Department to households in Inverclyde in each of the last five years.

The Cold Weather Payment scheme is administered at weather station level rather than at a constituency or regional level. The coverage area for each weather station is determined by the Met Office, which assesses the most appropriate weather station for each postcode area. Cold weather payments are triggered when the average temperature recorded at the weather station has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0oC or below over seven consecutive days, during the Cold Weather season (November to March)

The constituency of Inverclyde covers all or part of the following postcode areas: PA11, PA13, PA14, PA15, PA16, PA17, PA18 and PA19.

These postcode areas are covered by the weather station Bishopton, which also include constituencies other than Inverclyde.

Table 1 Postcode districts mapped to Weather Stations

Weather station

Postcode Districts Covered

Bishopton

G1-5, G11-15, G20-23, G31-34, G40-46, G51-53, G60-62, G64, G66, G69, G71-78, G81-84, ML4-5, PA1-19, PA21-27, PA32.

Table 2 summarises the number of triggers in the Bishopton weather station over the last 5 complete Cold Weather Payment seasons and the estimated number of payments in the Bishopton weather station area.

Table 2 Estimated number of Cold Weather recipients linked to the Bishopton weather station

Year

Triggers for Bishopton weather station

Estimated number of payments for Bishopton weather station

20/21

1

139,000

19/20

0

0

18/19

1

137,000

17/18

2

276,000

16/17

0

0

Where there have been no cold weather triggers in the Bishopton weather station area, no payments were made to eligible recipients.

Notes

  1. The number of eligible claimants given here is an estimate as information on the exact number is not readily available. These figures are produced by determining the volume of eligible recipients in each weather station area at the start of the winter season. These figures are then used throughout the winter to estimate payments and expenditure based on the actual triggers recorded.

  1. The number of payments made is not necessarily the total number of individuals benefitting from a Cold Weather Payment. Any individuals making a joint claim for one of the qualifying benefits, such as a couple living together, will receive one payment between them rather than one payment each. Furthermore, if a weather station triggers more than once throughout a cold weather season then the recipients will receive more than one payment.
Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department plans to allocate funding for the replacement of the Post Office card account.

Yes.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) information and (b) support his Department plans to provide to people who use the Post Office card account in the context of the pending closure of that account.

The Department is writing to all Post Office card account customers to inform them that Post Office card accounts are ending and asking them to update their payment method to a transactional bank, building society, credit union or internet-based account. Those who are unable to access or use a bank account will receive a payment card for the Payment Exception Service along with information which explains how the service works. DWP’s Financial Inclusion Customer Contact Centre are also available to support and answer queries from claimants and pensioners, and arrange a home visit where required.

DWP’s most vulnerable customers have successfully been using the Payment Exception Service since it replaced the Simple Payment Service in 2018. It is a basic cash-in cash-out service and is easy for customers to use. For Post Office card account customers migrating to the Payment Exception Service they will be able to continue to collect their payments using a payment card at their local Post Office.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to migrate customers from the Post Office card account.

This process has been ongoing for some time. The Department is writing to all Post Office card account customers to inform them that Post Office card accounts are ending and asking them to update their payment method to a transactional bank, building society, credit union or internet-based account. All Post Office card account customers receive two letters during the phased migration. Post Office card account customers who do not update their payment method to a transactional account are being migrated on a month-by-month basis to the new Payment Exception Service.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help support departmental staff who have been working from home since the outbreak of covid-19.

We take the Health and Safety of DWP staff and customers very seriously. We have robust risk assessments and guidance to ensure all appropriate mitigations are in place to keep our people safe.

As part of regularly reviewing our risk assessments, working with our departmental and local trade union colleagues, we consult the legislation and guidance of the devolved administrations ensuring that any differences are reflected within the risk assessment and communicated to staff based in offices in Scotland and Wales.

Staff based in Scotland should be following the safety measures included in the DWP risk assessments that incorporate any differences in Scottish government guidance.

Since the start of the pandemic, DWP has rigorously followed guidance from the respective governments in the devolved nations, thus allowing people to work safely from the office, or at home. We are committed to continuing this approach as we learn to live with the virus and return more of our people to the workplace in a safe, steady and controlled way.

We are constantly reviewing our position as and when new government guidance is issued. No matter where our people are working now, or in the future, their safety and compliance with government guidance is our number one priority.

If your constituents remain concerned about their own, or their colleagues’ personal safety and / or any of the practices within their specific office, they can raise this with their line manager.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the planned removal of the £20 per week uplift to the standard allowance of universal credit on claimants in Inverclyde constituency.

No impact assessment has been made.

The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) for working-age adults in working families have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 8% of working age adults in working families were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 9% in 2009/10.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for UC claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; Restart, which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to UC claimants who are unemployed for a year; and JETS, which provides light touch employment support for people who are claiming either Universal Credit or New Style Jobseekers Allowance, for up to 6 months, helping participants effectively re-engage with the labour market and focus their job search. We have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job. In total, our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the £20 uplift in universal credit on levels of child poverty in (a) Scotland and (b) Inverclyde constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department's Complaints Resolution Team plans to start accepting constituent cases from hon. Members.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, the Department for Work and Pensions have seen a significant increase in the number of people applying to our safety net welfare system. Our resources are currently focused on making payments and progressing these new claims.

All complaints and correspondence from Honourable Members are still being accepted by the Complaints Resolution Team (CRT) and are being processed and dealt with as soon as we are able. At this time the attention of the CRT is focused on cases that concern vulnerable citizens and unlocking benefit payments. Honourable Members are encouraged to contact the Department if we have not identified a case as a priority.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding is being allocated to extend the Help to Claim universal credit scheme for a further financial year in Scotland.

Help to Claim assists people to make a Universal Credit claim and receive their first full payment on time through tailored practical support from Citizen’s Advice Scotland advisers.

To maintain this support, the Department has agreed to fund Citizens Advice Scotland up to a further £4.1m for a second year of Help to Claim.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a basic income to provide financial assistance to people affected by covid-19.

We have strengthened the safety net for the most vulnerable with over £6.5 billion invested into improving our welfare system for this year. There is no intention to introduce a universal basic income.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of removing the five-week wait for claimants to receive their first universal credit payment during the covid-19 outbreak.

New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to people who have requested them.

The Universal Credit assessment period and payment structure are fundamental parts of the design and the current advance system works, and works quickly.

It is not possible to award a Universal Credit payment as soon as a claim is made, as the assessment period must run its course before the award of Universal Credit can be calculated. In order to allow the Universal Credit system to cope with the unprecedented demand, we must limit the changes made to its framework.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure the effectiveness of the initial personal independence payment assessment in order to mitigate the recourse to appeal.

We monitor all elements of PIP Providers’ performance, including quality of assessments. There is an independent audit function that continually monitors the quality of assessment reports and provides feedback to Providers. Providers are held accountable against a number of performance measures. If the Providers do not meet the agreed standards, financial remedies can apply.

Turning to the decision making process itself, last year we implemented a new approach to handling applications for Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) in PIP which includes contacting claimants, where appropriate, to see if there is information that would enable us to change the decision. To support this, we are investing additional time for communication, evidence gather and review. This approach supports our aim - to make the right decision as early as possible - so claimants don’t need to progress to the appeal stage. Early results have been positive and the same approach has now been adopted in ESA and UC. We continue to engage with stakeholders to explore how we can further improve the effectiveness of the MR process.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to make an announcement on the appropriate delivery mechanism for the universal credit transition fund.

From April 2020, a new £10 million transitional fund will be available to partner organisations to provide extra help to the most vulnerable, improving access to welfare and labour market opportunities.

Further information on the fund and how organisations can bid to access it will be available shortly.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to complete the process of back paying claimants who were incorrectly moved from severe disability premium on to universal credit.

The SDP gateway has been in place for over a year to prevent those claimants entitled to the Severe Disability Premium (SDP) as part of their legacy benefit from claiming Universal Credit. We have successfully identified eligible former SDP claimants who have already moved to Universal Credit due to a change in circumstances, providing them with monthly payments and a lump sum in arrears, where appropriate.

As of 17 January 2020, 15,397 claims have been paid an SDP transitional payment. The average (median) value of the lump sum payments is £2,280. To date, over £51.5m has been disbursed to support former SDP claimants, including the recurring payments that have now commenced.

Positive progress has been made and caseload growth has now slowed, however, in the event a new case is discovered payments will be in place quickly. It is not possible to estimate when we will have paid everyone who is entitled as some people become entitled to these payments retrospectively, and therefore the caseload is not a fixed number.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to increase research funding for mental health.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest funder of mental health research in the United Kingdom with spending of £93.4 million in 2019/20. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR’s funding is available through open competition and we encourage researchers to submit applications in this area.

We are also funding the Mental Health Research Initiative to build the capacity and capability of mental health research in region currently under-represented in mental health research.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on how to protect children from alcohol marketing to support their health and wellbeing in the short and long term.

The Department of Health and Social Care works closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on a range of issues. We are committed to ensuring that children and young people are suitably protected from irresponsible promotions, advertising and marketing of alcohol.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with industry stakeholders on the adequacy of funding for the treatment of Motor Neurones Disease ahead of the upcoming Spending review.

There have been no specific discussions.

NHS England and NHS Improvement commission the specialised care and treatment that patients with Motor Neurone Disease may receive from the specialised neurological treatment centres across England. Funding decisions for these are made in line with local priorities. The Department continues to engage with stakeholders including a recent meeting between ministers and the MND Association on ways to significantly boost further research on MND and access government funding for research within existing routes.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing covid-19 vaccinations to (a) UK cruise ship employees and (b) other UK seafarers working in UK waters.

The Department of Health and Social Care alongside the Department for Transport continues to assess how the Government can best support the vaccination of UK cruise ship employees and other UK seafarers working in UK waters. The UK Government encourages all eligible cruise ship employees and seafarers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice.

We are working closely with DfT, the Devolved Administrations and NHS England and Improvement to ensure that operational challenges in vaccinating these groups are mitigated so all those who are eligible can access the vaccine in an efficient and convenient way.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made a clinical assessment of the effect on rates of problem gambling of shirt-front gambling sponsorship in sport.

On 8 December 2021, as part of the continued commitment to address gambling-related harms, the Government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005, with publication of a Call for Evidence. This includes a call for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements in sport. The initial Call for Evidence will close on 31 March 2021.

The Department continues to work collaboratively with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, supporting the comprehensive review of the Gambling Act 2005, ensuring the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and protecting children and vulnerable people from gambling-related harms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for Sativex have been issued by the NHS in each month since November 2019.

There have been 1,700 items for Sativex prescribed on an NHS prescription, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement for the period November 2019 to August 2020, the latest data available. The following table shows the number of items by month.

Month

Items

November 2019

172

December 2019

177

January 2020

175

February 2020

160

March 2020

177

April 2020

187

May 2020

154

June 2020

167

July 2020

178

August 2020

153


The NHS Business Service Authority is unable to provide the number of National Health Service prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products dispensed in the community in England. This information is being withheld in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, due to the number of items attributed to less than five patients and potential for patient identifiable information to be published.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department (a) is taking to improve access to medicinal cannabis for people living with multiple sclerosis and (b) if he will publish a Government strategy for improving access to medicinal cannabis.

Two prescription medicines - Sativex – for the treatment of spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis patients, and Epidyolex – for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy, have been made available for prescribing on the National Health Service, where clinically appropriate. This follows clear demonstrated evidence of their safety, and clinical and cost effectiveness.

We continue to work hard with the health system, industry and researchers to improve the evidence base for other cannabis-based medicines, and to implement the recommendations of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s review on barriers to accessing unlicensed cannabis based medicinal products. This includes the design of clinical trials and the establishment of a national patient registry.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines the NHS issued in 2020.

There have been 1,700 items for Sativex prescribed on an NHS prescription, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement for the period November 2019 to August 2020, the latest data available. The following table shows the number of items by month.

Month

Items

November 2019

172

December 2019

177

January 2020

175

February 2020

160

March 2020

177

April 2020

187

May 2020

154

June 2020

167

July 2020

178

August 2020

153


The NHS Business Service Authority is unable to provide the number of National Health Service prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products dispensed in the community in England. This information is being withheld in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, due to the number of items attributed to less than five patients and potential for patient identifiable information to be published.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what increase there has been in the number of patients seeking assistance from the NHS when gambling is a relevant factor, since 2007.

We do not hold this information centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many private prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines have been prescribed and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority in each month from November 2018 to August 2020.

The NHS Business Services Authority is unable to provide the number of National Health Service prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products dispensed in community pharmacy in England. This information is being withheld in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, due to the number of items attributed to less than five patients and potential for patient identifiable information to be published.

313 private prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products were prescribed and dispensed in community pharmacy in England (November 2018 – February 2020). During the COVID-19 outbreak, the NHS Business Services Authority temporarily suspended the processing of private prescriptions of this nature, so data between March 2020 and August 2020 is currently unavailable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many unlicensed cannabis-based products have been prescribed on an NHS prescription, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement in each month from November 2018 to August 2020.

The NHS Business Services Authority is unable to provide the number of National Health Service prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products dispensed in community pharmacy in England. This information is being withheld in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, due to the number of items attributed to less than five patients and potential for patient identifiable information to be published.

313 private prescription items for unlicensed cannabis-based products were prescribed and dispensed in community pharmacy in England (November 2018 – February 2020). During the COVID-19 outbreak, the NHS Business Services Authority temporarily suspended the processing of private prescriptions of this nature, so data between March 2020 and August 2020 is currently unavailable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 57346 on Cannabis: Medical Treatments, what progress the Government has made on implementing a patient registry to monitor outcomes among medical cannabis patients.

The patient registry for cannabis-based products for medicinal use is currently being developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement with input from specialist clinicians and other advisory bodies. The purpose of this registry is to collect a uniform data set for patients prescribed these products, including patient outcomes. NHS England and NHS Improvement intends to pilot the registry this autumn, to enable operational use as soon as practicable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the guidance entitled, The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials, published by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in March 2020, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in the Home Office on ensuring that import licences for cannabis-based products for medicinal use are granted without delay; and if he will make a statement.

The Department continues to work closely with the Home Office and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to maintain the supply of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) to ensure that patients with prescriptions from specialist doctors can access their medicine. The Home Office and the MHRA treat all import requests for CBPMs as emergency supplies, and on receipt of the correct documentation, applicants receive decisions within a few working days.

The Government made changes to import policy in March 2020 to enable pharmaceutical wholesalers to apply to import CBPMs in anticipation of prescriptions, instead of only applying to import the quantity specified on a prescription. We are continuing to work with industry to ensure supply remains uninterrupted during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for cannabis-based products for medicinal use have been issued on the NHS since the rescheduling of those products.

There have been 3,546 items for licensed and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines prescribed on a National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement for the period November 2018 to February 2020 (latest data available).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials of his Department has had with officials of the Home Office to ensure there are no undue delays in granting import licences for cannabis-based products for medicinal use; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware that some wholesalers and pharmacies have reported challenges in importing a range of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use. It is clear that for some products, long lead times and delays in receiving export licences from the authorities in the country of manufacture, have led to delays in the supply against prescriptions and pose a potential risk to patients receiving their medicines on time.

The Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Home Office, NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the process of agreeing what action can be taken to help alleviate these delays, including exploring mechanisms to allow licensed wholesalers to hold a small reserve stock linked to an evidenced demand by specialist prescribers; and ensuring that the United Kingdom meets its obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Any changes will be reflected in the guidance published by the MHRA.

In the meantime, the Home Office and the MHRA are treating all import requests for cannabis-based products for medicinal use as emergency supplies and on receipt of the correct documentation, applicants can expect a decision within a few working days.

No meetings have taken place with representatives of patient groups concerning the reported delays to imports of cannabis-base products for medicinal use. Officials did meet with patient groups in the development of this policy when the previous Government rescheduled cannabis-based products for medicinal use under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what meetings (a) he, (b) Special Advisers to ministers of his Department, and (c) officials of his Department have attended with representatives of patient groups on the import of cannabis-based products for medicinal use since 1 January 2018.

We are aware that some wholesalers and pharmacies have reported challenges in importing a range of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use. It is clear that for some products, long lead times and delays in receiving export licences from the authorities in the country of manufacture, have led to delays in the supply against prescriptions and pose a potential risk to patients receiving their medicines on time.

The Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Home Office, NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the process of agreeing what action can be taken to help alleviate these delays, including exploring mechanisms to allow licensed wholesalers to hold a small reserve stock linked to an evidenced demand by specialist prescribers; and ensuring that the United Kingdom meets its obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Any changes will be reflected in the guidance published by the MHRA.

In the meantime, the Home Office and the MHRA are treating all import requests for cannabis-based products for medicinal use as emergency supplies and on receipt of the correct documentation, applicants can expect a decision within a few working days.

No meetings have taken place with representatives of patient groups concerning the reported delays to imports of cannabis-base products for medicinal use. Officials did meet with patient groups in the development of this policy when the previous Government rescheduled cannabis-based products for medicinal use under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the guidance document entitled, The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials, published by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, whether his Department has plans to update that guidance.

We are aware that some wholesalers and pharmacies have reported challenges in importing a range of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use. It is clear that for some products, long lead times and delays in receiving export licences from the authorities in the country of manufacture, have led to delays in the supply against prescriptions and pose a potential risk to patients receiving their medicines on time.

The Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Home Office, NHS England and NHS Improvement are in the process of agreeing what action can be taken to help alleviate these delays, including exploring mechanisms to allow licensed wholesalers to hold a small reserve stock linked to an evidenced demand by specialist prescribers; and ensuring that the United Kingdom meets its obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Any changes will be reflected in the guidance published by the MHRA.

In the meantime, the Home Office and the MHRA are treating all import requests for cannabis-based products for medicinal use as emergency supplies and on receipt of the correct documentation, applicants can expect a decision within a few working days.

No meetings have taken place with representatives of patient groups concerning the reported delays to imports of cannabis-base products for medicinal use. Officials did meet with patient groups in the development of this policy when the previous Government rescheduled cannabis-based products for medicinal use under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medical cannabis were issued by the NHS in 2019.

NHS England and NHS Improvement is using extant systems to monitor the use of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in England. In England, these systems monitor the number of items dispensed and associated costs in primary care and the volume of products used and associated cost in secondary care. NHS England and NHS Improvement Controlled Drug Accountable Officers are also collecting local intelligence in both the National Health Service and independent sector.

The NHS Business Services Authority is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to it. The NHS Business Services Authority does not hold information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines which have been issued but not fulfilled.

The following table shows the number of items for Nabilone, Sativex and Epidyolex (licensed cannabis-based medicines) and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on an NHS prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement between January and October 2019 (October 2019 is the most recent dispensing data held by the NHS Business Services Authority).

Month

Licensed Cannabis-based medicines

Unlicensed cannabis-based medicines

Nabilone

Sativex

Epidyolex *

January 2019

44

167

2

February 2019

36

159

1

March 2019

51

171

2

April 2019

49

156

2

May 2019

59

176

2

June 2019

47

187

2

July 2019

54

158

2

August 2019

46

174

1

September 2019

58

179

0

1

October 2019

46

173

0

1

Total

490

1,700

0

16

Grand Total

2,206

Note:

*Epidyolex was unlicensed prior to September 2019; no NHS prescriptions for Epidyolex have been submitted at the time this data was produced. In addition to the above, approximately 185 patients have accessed Epidyolex through the manufacturer’s (GW Pharma) early access programmes, ahead of a licensing decision by the European Medicines Agency.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support the people of Myanmar in respect of the political and humanitarian situation in that country.

The UK is clear in its condemnation of the coup and the appalling violence by the military, which has left over 1000 people dead. We are deeply concerned at the worsening political, Covid and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. The military continues to imprison opposition figures, journalists and foreign nationals and they have maintained their brutal crackdown on dissent. The UK is calling for a peaceful and inclusive resolution to the crisis. We continue to call publicly for a return to democracy and the release of all those in arbitrary detention. We have used our role on the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and our G7 Presidency to secure strong statements on the coup. We have also imposed seven tranches of sanctions on the regime and are working to prevent the flow of arms to Myanmar.

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is extremely serious. Displacement and humanitarian needs are increasing, with insecurity and the military junta blocking humanitarian access across the country. We are working through small scale local civil society organisations which are able to mobilise community support and reach places the UN and international humanitarian community cannot access. Through our humanitarian mechanism we provide the most vulnerable populations in Myanmar with access to essential services: water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, food, healthcare and shelter materials.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions her Department has had with representatives of the Myanmar Government regarding the political situation in that country.

The UK has had no high level engagement with the military regime in Myanmar since the 1 February coup. The UK Government condemns the military coup in Myanmar, the violence against the people of Myanmar and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. To this end, the UK has sanctioned the State Administration Council (SAC) and military members of the SAC to send a clear message that we oppose their activities. We are engaging with the junta only where necessary.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Transport and (b) devolved Administrations on the Global Travel Taskforce and restarting cruises as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The FCDO continues to work closely with the Department for Transport about international cruise restart and the Global Travel Taskforce. On the domestic restart of cruises, officials from the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive liaise with the Department of Transport and are closely involved in the taskforce's work.

International cruises will restart alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the "traffic light" system. This will be subject to continued satisfactory evidence from the domestic restart and cruising in other countries. Travel advice will continue to be informed by the latest public health risk assessments.

For now, national restrictions on international travel remain in place, including only permitting travel abroad for a limited number of reasons set out in law. Holiday travel is not included.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his international counterparts on restricting the sponsorship of UK sport Asian gambling operators marketing illegal products.

The Foreign Secretary has not made any representations to Governments in Asian countries on the sponsorship of UK sport by Asian gambling operators.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he and his officials have had with the Governments of Asian countries on the sponsorship of UK sport by Asian gambling operators seeking to market products in countries where those products are illegal.

We are not aware of any approach by Governments in Asian countries on the sponsorship of UK sport by Asian gambling operators.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to UK citizens being repatriated that have nowhere to self-isolate on return; and if will he make a statement.

The Government recognises the challenges faced by those who have nowhere to self-isolate on return to the UK, should self-isolation be required: no one who presents symptoms at check in for a Her Majesty's Government repatriation flight will be allowed to board. The Government has made in excess of £3.2bn of funding available to local authorities in England to assist them in managing the pressures arising out of the pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) travel advice and (b) recourse to funds his Department is providing to people who've booked travel and accommodation abroad to attend sporting events which become cancelled or played behind closed doors.

The global response to coronavirus is developing rapidly, with many countries imposing travel restrictions and closing borders and we have now taken the step to advise against all but essential travel globally. We urge all British nationals in country to speak to their travel provider if they wish to return to UK and follow the guidance of local authorities while they remain overseas. Travellers should speak to their tour operator, airline, transport/accommodation provider and insurance company (as applicable) to discuss the options available to them.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will make it its policy to (a) include legislative proposals protecting access to cash in next year's Queen's Speech and (b) engage with UK Finance's Access to Cash Action Group to inform those proposals.

The Government recognises that cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, particularly to those in vulnerable groups. The Government has committed to legislating to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

To support the development of legislation, the Government has undertaken an Access to Cash Consultation seeking views on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel reasonable distances to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities. The consultation closed on 23rd of September, and the Government will set out next steps in due course.

Alongside the Government’s commitment to legislate, industry also has an important role to protect access to cash. The Government therefore welcomes the announcement to fund additional shared service Bank Hubs and the direction set by the recent announcement from the Cash Action Group on industry commitments to support access to cash. I look forward to seeing what results these industry initiatives deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Which analysis, published 9 December 2021, on the increased rate of bank branch closures in the last 12 months, if he will make it his policy to set a timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, particularly to those in vulnerable groups. The Government has committed to legislating to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

To support the development of legislation, the Government has undertaken an Access to Cash Consultation seeking views on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel reasonable distances to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities. The consultation closed on 23rd of September, and the Government will set out next steps in due course.

Alongside the Government’s commitment to legislate, industry also has an important role to protect access to cash. The Government therefore welcomes the announcement to fund additional shared service Bank Hubs and the direction set by the recent announcement from the Cash Action Group on industry commitments to support access to cash. I look forward to seeing what results these industry initiatives deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress he is making on ensuring people have access to cash throughout the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises that cash is important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and has committed to legislating to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

Last year, the Treasury published a Call for Evidence, which sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government has recently announced that it will consult this Summer on legislative proposals for protecting cash for the long term.

The Government has also made legislative changes to support the widespread offering of cashback without a purchase by shops and other businesses as part of the Financial Services Act 2021. These changes will come into effect in late June of this year. The Government’s view is that cashback without a purchase has the potential to be a valuable facility to cash users, and to play an important role in the UK’s cash infrastructure.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the announcement of a compensation scheme for London and Capital Finance bond holders of 19 April 2021, whether his Department has considered paying similar compensation to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to offset claims they have already settled.

Following an extensive investigation, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) found that certain London Capital and Finance (LCF) bondholders were eligible for FSCS compensation.

The FSCS has now paid out £57.6m to over 2,800 LCF bondholders, and has identified and contacted all bondholders whom it believes are eligible for compensation.

As previously announced, the government will establish a compensation scheme for all LCF bondholders who are not eligible for FSCS compensation. Details of this scheme were set out in a Written Ministerial Statement on 19 April. The government expects the scheme to have paid all bondholders within 6 months of securing the necessary primary legislation, which it will bring forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The scheme will not make payments to the FSCS to offset settled claims, as these claims were paid to eligible bondholders in line with FSCS rules. HM Treasury’s separate compensation scheme will compensate those bondholders who are not eligible for FSCS compensation, recognising the unique and exceptional circumstances around LCF’s failure. This compensation will be capped at 80% of bondholders’ initial investments up to a cap of £68,000.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on bringing forward legislative proposals to allow cashback without a purchase.

The Government has supported an amendment to the Financial Services Bill that will introduce legislative changes to allow for the widespread offering of cashback without a purchase by shops and other businesses.

The Government’s view is that cashback without a purchase has the potential to be a valuable facility to cash users, and to play an important role in the UK’s cash infrastructure. The recent Call for Evidence on Access to Cash invited views on this issue. It noted that cashback with a purchase was the second most frequently used method for withdrawing cash in the UK behind ATMs in 2019. There were 123 million cashback transactions when using a debit card to make a purchase amounting to a total value of £3.8 billion.

Pre-existing legislation, which derives from the EU’s Second Payment Services Directive, has meant that if a merchant wanted to offer cashback without requiring the customer to make a purchase, that shop, or its agent, would have to be authorised or registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This presents a significant burden for many businesses.

This legislative change to enable cashback without a purchase will allow merchants to offer this service without being authorised or registered with the FCA. It is only possible now that the UK has left the EU and is a welcome step towards protecting access to cash for the future.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the Government's timeframe is for bringing forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash; and whether he has made an assessment of how those potential proposals are planned to interrelate with the existing work of the FCA, his Department and industry to protect access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK and has committed to protecting access to cash for those that need it. The Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October 2020 seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Call for Evidence closed on the 25 November 2020. The Government is considering responses and will set out next steps in due course.

The FCA and PSR have also been leading a programme of work with industry, including engaging with consumer groups, to reach agreement on sustainable long-term solutions for cash access. HM Treasury has been closely involved in this work; the findings from which are being used to inform the Government’s approach on cash.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with stakeholders on access to cash; and which stakeholders he has met on that issue in the last six months.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people have access to banks and cash withdrawals during the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to Covid-19, banks, building societies, credit unions and Post Offices are working with the Treasury and the financial regulators to maintain access to their services, including access to cash, while balancing the needs of their customers with the safety and welfare of staff. The vast majority of branches are open, though many are open for reduced hours. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued guidance to regulated firms, including on provision to allow a trusted third party to make payments on behalf of vulnerable customers who may be shielding or self-isolating.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance HMRC has issued to businesses on placing employees on temporary contracts for services on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Guidance has been issued for employers with employees on temporary contracts and was most recently updated on 1 July 2020. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Further guidance has been provided for employers to calculate an employee’s usual hours, including those who are paid by reference to services performed. This can be found under the ‘work out your employee’s usual hours if they are paid per task or piece of work done’ section of the following guidance which was most recently updated on 1 July 2020: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the UK’s cash infrastructure.

The Government recognises that widespread access to cash is extremely important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK. The Government is engaging with the financial regulators, including through the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s cash infrastructure and remains committed to protecting access to cash for those who need it, while supporting digital payments.

At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. This will ensure that those who continue to rely on cash can continue to do so in the long-term.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) Payment Systems Regulator on a minimum service guarantee for cash; and what the planned timescale is for the introduction of new legislation protecting access to cash announced in Budget 2020.

The Government recognises that cash remains extremely important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK. The Government remains closely engaged with the financial regulators to monitor and assess risks around cash access and acceptance resulting from COVID-19. This includes working closely with industry to ensure access to cash.

At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash in the longer-term. The Government is engaging with regulators – the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England – and stakeholders across industry while designing legislation, to ensure the needs of cash users continue to be met. Further details on timing for legislation will be set out in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support his Department is providing to people who require access to offline or face-to-face banking during the covid-19 outbreak.

Banks, building societies, the Post Office and credit unions are working closely with the Treasury and the financial regulators to maintain branch access for essential services while balancing the needs of their customers with the safety and welfare of staff. The vast majority of branches are open, though many are open for reduced hours.

Banks, building societies and credit unions are keeping their websites up to date and we would encourage customers, wherever possible, to use online services for their banking. If customers are not able to use online forms of banking, they may choose to use telephone banking rather than using a branch. The Government advises any customer who has questions or concerns about their banking to contact their provider.

Bank customers can also use the Post Office for essential banking services as an alternative to their branch and can continue to use ATMs or cash machines as normal for cash withdrawals and balance enquiries. Furthermore, several retail banks have in place solutions for vulnerable customers who may be self-isolating, including making payments through a trusted person.

Furthermore, several retail banks have in place solutions for vulnerable customers who may be self-isolating, including making payments through a trusted person.
John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of retailers refusing cash as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what progress has been made on bringing forward legislative proposals to protect consumer access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains extremely important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK. The Government remains closely engaged with the financial regulators to monitor and assess risks around cash access and acceptance resulting from COVID-19. This includes working closely with industry to ensure access to cash.

At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash in the longer-term. The Government is engaging with regulators – the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England – and stakeholders across industry while designing legislation, to ensure the needs of cash users continue to be met. Further details on timing for legislation will be set out in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with (a) businesses and (b) trade unions on (i) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (ii) reports of businesses re-hiring former employees and then placing those employees on furlough; and if he will make a statement.

The Treasury has discussions with a range of stakeholders, including business groups, trade union representatives, and more widely.

The Government values the diversity of views that these groups provide in the policy development process, including that of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Rehired employees may be furloughed in certain circumstances. More information, including eligibility criteria, is available in the GOV.UK guidance.

5th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure businesses who do not bank with a high street provider are able to apply for a Bounce Bank Loan.

Under the new Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), launched on 4 May, businesses can apply for a loan from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of a firm’s turnover. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments charged to the business by the lender, and no repayments are due by the business during this period. The interest rate after the first 12-month period has been agreed between the Government and lenders at 2.5%, ensuring that the smallest businesses can access the finance they need in a matter of days.

There are 16 lenders that are offering loans under the scheme. More details on participating lenders can be found here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/

Any lender that wishes to become accredited to offer Bounce Back Loans should contact the British Business Bank, who administer the scheme.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) stakeholders and (b) representatives from the Financial Conduct Authority on the review of the calculation of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is an independent non-governmental body. The FSCS carries out its compensation function within rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), who are also independent from government.

The FSCS levy is set annually by the FSCS within the limits set by the FCA and PRA. It is for the FCA and PRA to consider the impact of the levies on the firms they regulate, acting in line with their statutory duties. The Government has no role in setting the levy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has received any income as a result of calls to the passport hotline made by hon. Members' offices.

The HM Passports option on the MP enquiry line has received 797 calls between 4 April and 12 May 2022. We only have data from 4 April as this is when the specific passport option was made available. UKVI has not received any money as a result of calls to the MP Enquiry line, including the HM Passports specific option.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many calls have been received by the UK Visas and Immigration hotline on passport cases from hon. Members' offices between 1 March and 12 May 2022.

The HM Passports option on the MP enquiry line has received 797 calls between 4 April and 12 May 2022. We only have data from 4 April as this is when the specific passport option was made available. UKVI has not received any money as a result of calls to the MP Enquiry line, including the HM Passports specific option.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much monies her Department has received as a result of calls to the Homes for Ukraine hotline made by hon. Members' offices.

842 - The MP enquiry line is an 0345 number which is a local rate number, so calls to this line cost the same as calls to a geographic number and will be dependent on your telephone service provider. UKVI does not charge for calls to this number.

843 - The Ukraine option on the MP enquiry line has received 3223 calls between 1 March and 11 May 2022

844 - UKVI has not received any money as a result of calls to the MP Enquiry line, including the Ukraine specific option.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many calls have been received by the Homes for Ukraine hotline from hon. Members' offices between 1 March and 11 May 2022.

842 - The MP enquiry line is an 0345 number which is a local rate number, so calls to this line cost the same as calls to a geographic number and will be dependent on your telephone service provider. UKVI does not charge for calls to this number.

843 - The Ukraine option on the MP enquiry line has received 3223 calls between 1 March and 11 May 2022

844 - UKVI has not received any money as a result of calls to the MP Enquiry line, including the Ukraine specific option.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much it costs per minute to call the hon. Members telephone hotline for UK Visas and Immigration.

842 - The MP enquiry line is an 0345 number which is a local rate number, so calls to this line cost the same as calls to a geographic number and will be dependent on your telephone service provider. UKVI does not charge for calls to this number.

843 - The Ukraine option on the MP enquiry line has received 3223 calls between 1 March and 11 May 2022

844 - UKVI has not received any money as a result of calls to the MP Enquiry line, including the Ukraine specific option.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many current licences there are for growing Hemp in the UK.

The cannabis plant can be grown for the production of cannabis-based medicinal products and these would be authorised by Home Office controlled drugs licences which could include other controlled drugs depending on the nature of the pharmaceutical manufacturing taking place on any given site.

There are no licences for growing industrial hemp for the production of medicinal cannabis. This is because Home Office Industrial Hemp licences are only granted for the non-controlled parts of the plant (seeds and fibre/stalk) and these materials would not be used to produce cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

There are currently 110 extant licences to cultivate low THC cannabis (Industrial Hemp) in the UK. The licences are generally issued for a validity period of three growing seasons and this number therefore will include licences issued in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cautions have been issued for (a) all drug possession offences and (b) possession of cannabis under sections 5(1) and (2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in each year since 2011.

The Home Office collects and published data on the number of crimes and investigative outcomes recorded by the Police on a quarterly basis in England and Wales.

Information on the number of caution outcomes recorded for each offence including possession of cannabis, can be found here: Police recorded crime and outcomes open data tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For information about the crimes recorded by the police in Scotland, please refer to the Recorded Crime in Scotland publication, which can be found here:

Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2020-2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Police Recorded Crime Statistics (psni.police.uk)

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what quantity by weight of (a) cannabis, (b) heroin, (c) morphine, (d) cocaine (including crack), (e) benzodiazepines, (f) synthetic cannabinoids, (g) amphetamines, (h) MDMA, (i) LSD, (j) magic mushrooms and (k) anabolic steroids were seized by (i) the police, (ii) Border Force, (iii) prison services, (iv) armed forces and (v) other government agencies in (A) UK territory, (B) UK territorial waters, (C) international waters and (D) overseas territories in each year between 1971 and 2020.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the quantity of class A, class B and class C drugs seized in England and Wales by the police, including the British Transport Police, and Border Force. This data is published annually. The quantities of drugs seized are summarised in terms of kilograms, doses (in thousands) or plants, depending on the drug type.

Official statistics on seizures of drugs in England and Wales between 2000 and 2020 are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/seizures-of-drugs-in-england-and-wales.

Statistics on seizures of drugs in England and Wales between 1978 and 2000 can be found on the National Archive Research Development and Statistics website: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Data for earlier years is not available. Information on drugs seized by the prison services, armed forces and other government agencies, and data on seizures made outside England and Wales is not held by the Home Office.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of rescheduling psilocybin.

The Government has made no recent assessment of the potential merits of rescheduling psilocybin, which remains a Schedule 1 substance under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (the 2001 Regulations).

Ministers continue to take a close interest in any new evidence relating to controlled drugs and they would seek expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs before making any amendments to the 2001 Regulations.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials of her Department have had with EU counterparts on the expansion of visa-free travel between the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period.

For those taking short trips to the UK, it is UK’s intention EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will not be required to obtain a visa and will be able to visit under, our standard visitor rules for non-visa nationals, for up to 180 days. Those coming to live and work in the UK will be subject to the arrangements in the new Points Based Immigration System.

The EU has already legislated UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This will apply from the end of the transition period to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen area for purposes such as tourism.

Stays beyond the standard Schengen visa-free allocation from 1 January 2021 onwards will be for individual Member States to decide and implement through domestic entry rules and visa arrangements for non-EU citizens.

The UK continues to urge the EU to reflect on the more generous position the UK’s standard visitor rules for non-visa nationals offers compared to the position they have legislated for UK nationals in the EU.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the processing time of Letters of Declaration for the import of cannabis-based products for medicinal use by the Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit; what steps she is taking to tackle delays in that processing; and if she will make a statement.

All applications are considered individually on their merits and with regards to our obligation under International Conventions and Domestic law. Applications for importation of Cannabis Based Products for Medicinal Use in Humans (CBPMs) are already expedited, where documentation and regulatory approval is provided, in recognition of the need to ensure continuity of the supply of unlicensed medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency guidance- “The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials” - was updated in March 2020 to enable pharmaceutical wholesalers to move from a system where they can only apply to import the quantity specified on a prescription, to a system that allows the import of CBPMs in anticipation of prescriptions.

Licensed wholesalers could hold supplies of products to be drawn on when in receipt of a prescription from a specialist doctor on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register. The Drug & Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) continues to expedite applications made in response to this updated guidance, where all relevant documentation and regulatory returns have been made by the wholesalers.

No officials have been seconded from the Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit. Since 25 March 2020, it has delivered its regulatory functions remotely, issuing a total of 1,699 controlled drug import-export licences.

It is presently operating a next day turnaround for applications where all required information has been submitted with the application.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the guidance document entitled, The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials, published by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in March 2020, what steps the Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit in her Department is taking to speed up the process of granting import licences for cannabis-based products for medicinal use since that guidance was published; and if she will make a statement.

All applications are considered individually on their merits and with regards to our obligation under International Conventions and Domestic law. Applications for importation of Cannabis Based Products for Medicinal Use in Humans (CBPMs) are already expedited, where documentation and regulatory approval is provided, in recognition of the need to ensure continuity of the supply of unlicensed medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency guidance- “The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials” - was updated in March 2020 to enable pharmaceutical wholesalers to move from a system where they can only apply to import the quantity specified on a prescription, to a system that allows the import of CBPMs in anticipation of prescriptions.

Licensed wholesalers could hold supplies of products to be drawn on when in receipt of a prescription from a specialist doctor on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register. The Drug & Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) continues to expedite applications made in response to this updated guidance, where all relevant documentation and regulatory returns have been made by the wholesalers.

No officials have been seconded from the Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit. Since 25 March 2020, it has delivered its regulatory functions remotely, issuing a total of 1,699 controlled drug import-export licences.

It is presently operating a next day turnaround for applications where all required information has been submitted with the application.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials in the Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit in her Department have been seconded to work on the response to covid-19; and if she will make a statement.

All applications are considered individually on their merits and with regards to our obligation under International Conventions and Domestic law. Applications for importation of Cannabis Based Products for Medicinal Use in Humans (CBPMs) are already expedited, where documentation and regulatory approval is provided, in recognition of the need to ensure continuity of the supply of unlicensed medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency guidance- “The supply, manufacture, importation and distribution of unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans specials” - was updated in March 2020 to enable pharmaceutical wholesalers to move from a system where they can only apply to import the quantity specified on a prescription, to a system that allows the import of CBPMs in anticipation of prescriptions.

Licensed wholesalers could hold supplies of products to be drawn on when in receipt of a prescription from a specialist doctor on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register. The Drug & Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) continues to expedite applications made in response to this updated guidance, where all relevant documentation and regulatory returns have been made by the wholesalers.

No officials have been seconded from the Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit. Since 25 March 2020, it has delivered its regulatory functions remotely, issuing a total of 1,699 controlled drug import-export licences.

It is presently operating a next day turnaround for applications where all required information has been submitted with the application.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who the attendees of the summit on tackling drug misuse held in Glasgow on 27 February 2020 were.

The UK Drugs Summit brought together healthcare professionals, drug recovery experts, senior police officers, voluntary sector organisations, Ministers and officials from the UK Government and devolved administrations, those with lived experience of drug dependence and experts from the US and Portugal.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will announce more details on the drugs summit taking place in Glasgow on 27 February 2020.

The Summit will be an opportunity for dialogue between partners from all parts of the UK on the challenges of, and potential solutions to tackling the harms of, drug misuse. There will be representation at the Summit from all parts of the UK, including contributions from Glasgow, from public health leads of all four nations, and from UK Government Ministers as well as Ministers from each of the devolved administrations.

The Summit will bring together different perspectives across healthcare, law enforcement, prevention and recovery. As part of this there will be discussion of the forthcoming findings of the independent Review of Drugs, hearing from Professor Dame Carol Black about the demand and supply landscape and the nature of drug misuse. Dame Carol’s work will make an important contribution to the evidence base that we can use to take action to tackle drug misuse and the harms it causes.

Announcements on the Summit were made on 23 October 2019 and 24 January this year. Further information will be issued in due course. The full list of invitees is being finalised, taking account of suggestions from the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as from a range of UK Government departments and others. Invitations that have so far been issued include those to the chief medical officers for each part of the UK and chief scientists in relevant departments and in the devolved administrations. Further invitations will be issued over the coming days.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what relevant organisations and stakeholders have been invited to attend the drugs summit in Glasgow on 27 February 2020.

The Summit will be an opportunity for dialogue between partners from all parts of the UK on the challenges of, and potential solutions to tackling the harms of, drug misuse. There will be representation at the Summit from all parts of the UK, including contributions from Glasgow, from public health leads of all four nations, and from UK Government Ministers as well as Ministers from each of the devolved administrations.

The Summit will bring together different perspectives across healthcare, law enforcement, prevention and recovery. As part of this there will be discussion of the forthcoming findings of the independent Review of Drugs, hearing from Professor Dame Carol Black about the demand and supply landscape and the nature of drug misuse. Dame Carol’s work will make an important contribution to the evidence base that we can use to take action to tackle drug misuse and the harms it causes.

Announcements on the Summit were made on 23 October 2019 and 24 January this year. Further information will be issued in due course. The full list of invitees is being finalised, taking account of suggestions from the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as from a range of UK Government departments and others. Invitations that have so far been issued include those to the chief medical officers for each part of the UK and chief scientists in relevant departments and in the devolved administrations. Further invitations will be issued over the coming days.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what meetings (a) she, (b) Special Advisers to ministers in her Department, and (c) officials in her Department have attended with representatives of patient groups on the import of cannabis-based products for medicinal use since 1 January 2018.

Home Office Ministers, Special Advisers and officials have regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to expedite the processes for granting import licences for cannabis-based products for medicinal use.

All applications are considered individually on their merits and with regards to our obligation under International Conventions and Domestic law. Applications for importation of CBPMs are already expedited, where documentation and regulatory approval is provided, in recognition of the need to ensure continuity of the supply of unlicensed medicines. Applications for import licences are normally decided within a few working days.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reason there is currently no statutory duty to record gambling as a relevant factor in the determination of a suicide.

The Government recognises that quality information on the circumstances leading to self-harm and suicide, including issues relating to gambling addiction, can support better interventions. Coroners may be made aware of information about the motivation or contributory factors in a suicide. However, it is likely that any such information collected by coroners would not necessarily be complete or consistent, and therefore not always useful for delivering these interventions.

Expecting coroners routinely to assess the motivation for individual suicides would take the coronial role fundamentally beyond its legal parameters, which are to determine who died, and how, when and where they died. Coroners are not permitted, by law, to appear to determine any question of civil or criminal liability against another person.

However, in addition to the inquest conclusion, coroners have a statutory duty to make a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report to a person where an investigation gives rise to a concern that future deaths will occur, and the coroner considers that action should be taken to reduce that risk. PFD reports are about learning and improvements to public health, welfare and safety and could, for example, raise concerns relating to gambling addiction where the circumstances of the individual case give rise to a concern. To promote learning, any PFD report and the responses to it must be sent to the Chief Coroner, who may publish them on the judiciary website.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing coroners to record gambling addiction as a relevant factor to a death by suicide.

The Government recognises that quality information on the circumstances leading to self-harm and suicide, including issues relating to gambling addiction, can support better interventions. Coroners may be made aware of information about the motivation or contributory factors in a suicide. However, it is likely that any such information collected by coroners would not necessarily be complete or consistent, and therefore not always useful for delivering these interventions.

Expecting coroners routinely to assess the motivation for individual suicides would take the coronial role fundamentally beyond its legal parameters, which are to determine who died, and how, when and where they died. Coroners are not permitted, by law, to appear to determine any question of civil or criminal liability against another person.

However, in addition to the inquest conclusion, coroners have a statutory duty to make a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report to a person where an investigation gives rise to a concern that future deaths will occur, and the coroner considers that action should be taken to reduce that risk. PFD reports are about learning and improvements to public health, welfare and safety and could, for example, raise concerns relating to gambling addiction where the circumstances of the individual case give rise to a concern. To promote learning, any PFD report and the responses to it must be sent to the Chief Coroner, who may publish them on the judiciary website.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many convictions there have been for (a) all drug possession offences and (b) possession of cannabis under sections 5(1) and (2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in each year since 2011.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on convictions for all drug possession offences and possession of cannabis offences in England and Wales, up to December 2020, available in the ‘Outcomes by Offence’ data tool, which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987715/outcomes-by-offence-2020.xlsx

For convictions for possession of any drug under sections 5(1) and (2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, follow the steps below.

  • Select the following in the Offence filter:

  • ‘92D.01 Possession of a controlled drug – Class A’,

  • ‘92D.02 Possession of a controlled drug – Class B (excluding cannabis)’,

  • ‘92D.03 Possession of a controlled drug – Class C (excluding cannabis)’,

  • ‘92D.04 Possession of a controlled drug – unknown class’,

  • ‘92E.01 Possession of a controlled drug – Class B (cannabis)’ and

  • ‘92E.02 Possession of a controlled drug – Class C (cannabis)’

  • The number of convictions will be found on Row 24.

For convictions for possession of cannabis under sections 5(1) and (2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, follow the steps below.

  • Select the following in the Offence filter:

  • ‘92E.01 Possession of a controlled drug – Class B (cannabis)’ and

  • ‘92E.02 Possession of a controlled drug – Class C (cannabis)’

  • The number of convictions will be found on Row 24.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to ensure employment tribunals can take place in a timely manner during the covid-19 outbreak.

Employment Tribunals have continued to sit during the covid-19 lockdown restrictions by making use of online and remote technology to hear cases and ensure continued access to justice for users. Face to face hearings are now starting to resume where it is safe to do so in line with comprehensive and ongoing risk assessments. The details of Employment Tribunal receipts and disposals during the period of lockdown restrictions can be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-management-information-may-2020

Having responded effectively to the immediate crisis, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is now fully focused on recovering its operations to increase courts and tribunals capacity to deal both with normal workloads across jurisdictions and outstanding cases. HMCTS has recently published a progress update on its recovery plans.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896779/HMCTS368_recovery_-_COVID-19-_Overview_of_HMCTS_response_A4L_v3.pdf

The Employment Tribunal Presidents have also published a document setting out how Employment Tribunals operate both now and in the months ahead.

www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FAQ-edition-date-1-June-2020.pdf

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many employment tribunals, relating to variations of contract during the covid-19 outbreak, have taken place in Scotland.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service do not hold the information requested.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)