Ross Thomson Portrait

Ross Thomson

Conservative - Former Member for Aberdeen South

Ross Thomson is not a member of any APPGs
9 Former APPG memberships
Cats, Competition for Heathrow Expansion, Cyprus, Dog Advisory Welfare, Knife Crime, Loan Charge, Malawi, Turkey, Yazidi People
Scottish Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Division Voting information

Ross Thomson has voted in 438 divisions, and 13 times against the majority of their Party.

18 Jul 2019 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative No votes vs 65 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 328 Noes - 65
9 Apr 2019 - Section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 131 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 420 Noes - 110
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 71 Conservative No votes vs 118 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 396 Noes - 83
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 74 Conservative Aye votes vs 112 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 85 Noes - 392
8 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 71 Conservative No votes vs 114 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 390 Noes - 81
3 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 91 Conservative No votes vs 212 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 220 Noes - 400
3 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 110 Conservative Aye votes vs 190 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 123 Noes - 488
3 Apr 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 95 Conservative Aye votes vs 203 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 105 Noes - 509
27 Mar 2019 - EU Exit Day Amendment - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 93 Conservative No votes vs 150 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 105
12 Mar 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 75 Conservative No votes vs 235 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 242 Noes - 391
16 Jan 2019 - UK Participation In The EU Agency For Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust): Post-Adoption Opt-In Decision - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 288 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 577 Noes - 20
15 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 118 Conservative No votes vs 196 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 432
24 Oct 2018 - Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill - View Vote Context
Ross Thomson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative No votes vs 195 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 344 Noes - 26
View All Ross Thomson Division Votes

All Debates

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

View all Ross Thomson's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Ross Thomson

11th April 2019
Ross Thomson signed this EDM on Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Exiting the European Union

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

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ross Thomson, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Ross Thomson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ross Thomson has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Ross Thomson


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to make the theft of pets an offence; to apply certain post-conviction powers under those Acts to such an offence; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 3rd July 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

Ross Thomson has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


70 Written Questions

(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
2 Other Department Questions
24th Jun 2019
To ask the Prime Minister, what meetings she held with the Chancellor of Germany between 1 and 6 July 2018.

I hold meetings with other leaders regularly in order to further the UK’s foreign policy interests. Information about these meetings is in the public domain and can be found on the gov.uk website and in Hansard.

24th Jun 2019
To ask the Prime Minister, what records were kept of meetings she held with European heads of state in the 12 months to 6 July 2018.

I hold meetings with other leaders regularly in order to further the UK’s foreign policy interests. Information about these meetings is in the public domain and can be found on the gov.uk website and in Hansard.

7th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to reduce the risk of fraud from the availability of personal information on the Companies House database.

The Government considers that it is important that the information on the companies register should not become a tool for abuse. In response to concerns about the availability of residential address information on the register, we brought regulations into force in April to make it easier for people to have this information suppressed. We are also currently considering a broad package of reforms to Companies House, including the protection of personal information. We plan to consult on these reforms in 2019.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decommissioning of oil platforms on the economy in north east of Scotland.

With increasing numbers of offshore oil and gas fields reaching the end of their economic life, forecasts from industry estimate that the annual expenditure for decommissioning over the next 5 years will be in the region of £1.7 to £2 billion. While decommissioning is a major cost for industry, and the taxpayer, it offers significant opportunities for the supply chain that will deliver the constituent elements of decommissioning activity. This encompasses a wide range of activities, covering a broad range of skills and expertise.

With recent estimates from industry suggesting that decommissioning will represent around 11 per cent of total expenditure on oil and gas for 2017, decommissioning is already benefitting the north east of Scotland and the rest of the UK’s economy. Whilst we don’t have specific figures around the economic impact of the increase in decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations, we expect to see an increasing proportion of the offshore oil and gas industry focussing on decommissioning activities in the coming years.

16th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) Scottish local authorities on maximising the value of the 2015 Aberdeen city deal for the local and regional economy.

UK Government, Scottish Government and Aberdeen City Region agreed the full Aberdeen City Region Deal in November 2016. The Government continues to work closely with all partners to ensure the deal drives growth and builds economic resilience, helping to diversify the wider economy of the North East of Scotland. The Deal provides £250 million for the City Region including investment in the establishment of the new Oil and Gas Technology Centre to exploit remaining oil and gas reserves and drive innovation in decommissioning technology.

5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress is being made on creating sector deals as part of the industrial strategy.

There is good progress being made on a number of early sector deals, including the life sciences sector, which published a report to Government last week and intent to have reached agreement on six sector deals for the white paper later this year. The early sector deals will serve as an example of how Government can work with sectors of the economy to enhance their earning power. We are prepared to work with any sector which can organise strong leadership to address shared challenges and opportunities to grow the earning potential and engagement in their sector.

.

28th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries of Thursday 15 November 2018, Official Report column 545, whether he plans to include proposals to tackle the misleading advertising of fibre broadband in his forthcoming Statement of Strategic Priorities to Ofcom.

The 2017 Digital Strategy set out that Government would work with regulators and industry to ensure that the advertising of broadband reflects the speeds that consumers can expect to receive and accurately describes the technology used.

Since the Digital Strategy was published, the ASA has implemented new guidance, which states that speed claims should be based on the download speeds available to at least 50% of customers at peak time, and no longer on 'up to' speeds available to at least 10% of customers. Ofcom has also updated its Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds.

The ASA also reviewed the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe part-fibre and full-fibre broadband and concluded in November 2017 that the term 'fibre' is unlikely to mislead consumers as currently used in the advertising of part-fibre broadband services. In June 2018, the Administrative Court granted CityFibre permission to proceed with its Judicial Review (JR) of the ASA's decision. The next stage is for the Administrative Court to make a substantive decision on the JR.

The Government remains committed to working with regulators and industry to ensure that consumers receive clear, concise and accurate information in order to make informed choices about their broadband, particularly as the rollout of new technologies like full fibre broadband increases. As part of this, we will monitor developments in other countries, including Italy’s current trial of a traffic light system for broadband advertising.

The Government will be consulting on its Statement of Strategic Priorities for telecommunications, spectrum and post shortly.

28th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries of 15 November 2018, Official Report column 545, what steps he is taking to tackle the misleading advertising of fibre broadband.

The 2017 Digital Strategy set out that Government would work with regulators and industry to ensure that the advertising of broadband reflects the speeds that consumers can expect to receive and accurately describes the technology used.

Since the Digital Strategy was published, the ASA has implemented new guidance, which states that speed claims should be based on the download speeds available to at least 50% of customers at peak time, and no longer on 'up to' speeds available to at least 10% of customers. Ofcom has also updated its Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds.

The ASA also reviewed the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe part-fibre and full-fibre broadband and concluded in November 2017 that the term 'fibre' is unlikely to mislead consumers as currently used in the advertising of part-fibre broadband services. In June 2018, the Administrative Court granted CityFibre permission to proceed with its Judicial Review (JR) of the ASA's decision. The next stage is for the Administrative Court to make a substantive decision on the JR.

The Government remains committed to working with regulators and industry to ensure that consumers receive clear, concise and accurate information in order to make informed choices about their broadband, particularly as the rollout of new technologies like full fibre broadband increases. As part of this, we will monitor developments in other countries, including Italy’s current trial of a traffic light system for broadband advertising.

The Government will be consulting on its Statement of Strategic Priorities for telecommunications, spectrum and post shortly.

28th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries of 15 November 2018, Official Report column 545, whether it is his policy that the use of the term fibre in the advertising of part-copper broadband represents misleading advertising.

The 2017 Digital Strategy set out that Government would work with regulators and industry to ensure that the advertising of broadband reflects the speeds that consumers can expect to receive and accurately describes the technology used.

Since the Digital Strategy was published, the ASA has implemented new guidance, which states that speed claims should be based on the download speeds available to at least 50% of customers at peak time, and no longer on 'up to' speeds available to at least 10% of customers. Ofcom has also updated its Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds.

The ASA also reviewed the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe part-fibre and full-fibre broadband and concluded in November 2017 that the term 'fibre' is unlikely to mislead consumers as currently used in the advertising of part-fibre broadband services. In June 2018, the Administrative Court granted CityFibre permission to proceed with its Judicial Review (JR) of the ASA's decision. The next stage is for the Administrative Court to make a substantive decision on the JR.

The Government remains committed to working with regulators and industry to ensure that consumers receive clear, concise and accurate information in order to make informed choices about their broadband, particularly as the rollout of new technologies like full fibre broadband increases. As part of this, we will monitor developments in other countries, including Italy’s current trial of a traffic light system for broadband advertising.

The Government will be consulting on its Statement of Strategic Priorities for telecommunications, spectrum and post shortly.

16th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to develop an international student growth strategy.

The government fully recognises the important economic and cultural contribution that EU and international students make to the UK’s higher education sector. We want that contribution to continue and are confident – given the world class quality of our higher education sector – that it will. We welcome international students and there continues to be no limit on the number who can come here to study, nor any plans to limit any institution’s ability to recruit them.

The UK remains a highly attractive destination for non-EU students, with their numbers remaining at record highs – over 170,000 non-EU entrants to UK higher education institutions for the seventh year running. The UK is a world-leading destination for study, with 4 universities in the world’s top 10 and 16 in the top 100 – second only to the USA. We actively promote study in the UK through the GREAT Campaign and to over 100 countries through the British Council.

In the immigration white paper, published on 19 December 2018, the government proposed to increase the post-study leave period for international students following completion of studies to 12 months for those completing a PhD, and to 6 months for all full-time postgraduate students and undergraduate students at institutions with degree awarding powers. Going beyond the recommendations set out by the Migration Advisory Committee, these proposals will benefit tens of thousands of international students.

25th Jul 2019
What steps he is taking to tackle marine pollution.

Our Resources and Waste Strategy sets out actions we are taking, including a ban on the sale and/or supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds by April 2020. We are leading global efforts through the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance, which we support with a package worth up to £70m. We also work with the International Maritime Organisation to tackle litter from ships and are helping shape a new international action plan on shipping litter.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the UK's plastic waste has been shipped to other countries since 2010.

Since 2010 the amount of plastic waste exported to other countries for reprocessing has fallen from 850,000 tonnes a year in 2010 to 600,000 tonnes in 2018. In total over this period around 7 million tonnes have been shipped. This is based on HM Revenue and Customs trade data.

The UK is recycling more than ever, achieving a 46% plastic packaging recycling rate in 2017 and exceeding the EU target of 22.5%.The Government is clear we must export less waste and that any waste we do need to export is properly handled.

The recently published Resources and Waste Strategy is focused on increasing the supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK, thereby reducing exports of plastic waste. Any waste that will be managed abroad must be subject to strict controls and the government is committed to strengthening these controls.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to provide companion dogs with the same protections as assistance dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

The offence of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control (section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991) applies to attacks on other dogs, livestock and any other animals including companion dogs, as it does to attacks on people and assistance dogs.

This is based on the judgement in the Court of Appeal in R v Gedminintaite [2008] EWCA Crim 814. This case has shown that consideration of a dog being dangerously out of control is not restricted to situations where a person is present.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the newly-established intelligence-led approach to the enforcement of the Pet Travel Scheme.

The UK carries out more checks of pets at the border than most other EU member states. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) works in partnership with Dogs Trust, enforcement bodies and transport carriers to identify non-compliant animals destined for Dover and Folkestone ports. This partnership in collaboration with the intelligence-led Task Force has led to over 800 puppies being seized since 2015.

Demand drives the illegal trafficking of puppies. Defra works with stakeholders to drive up standards for advertising, and to educate potential owners on how to responsibly buy a pet. Defra has published guidance on buying a pet. We have recently consulted on a ban on third party sales of puppies and kittens, and are completing the analysis of the results.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many reports of illegally imported puppies the Animal and Plant Health Agency have been called out to in 2018.

Enforcement action regarding illegally imported puppies is not within APHA’s remit, but is carried out by Local Authorities.

In 2018 the Animal and Plant Health Agency have been called out 44 times following referrals by carriers or border officials, eight of these related to the importation of puppies.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to raise awareness of the Blue Belt programme during the International Year of the Reef.

The Blue Belt Programme supports the delivery of the UK Government’s manifesto commitment to provide long-term protection to the waters around the UK and its Overseas Territories. We are currently on course to deliver over four million square kilometres of marine protection by 2020.

As the waters around the UK Overseas Territories hold substantial tropical reefs, the UK Government has re-engaged with the International Coral Reef Initiative as a founding member. This re-engagement has been welcomed by all parties. In addition, the UK Government has highlighted the importance of coral reefs in its 25 Year Environmental Plan where its ambition is to champion and support coral reef conservation and biodiversity in the UK and its Overseas Territories.

This year is the Third International Year of the Reef. We are seeking ways to promote the importance of coral reef conservation, together with the Blue Belt programme, through the course of the year as well as during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the humanitarian effect of the situation in Sudan; and what steps his Department is taking to support those at risk in that country.

The Government continues to monitor the humanitarian situation in Sudan with concern. Close to two million people live as Internally Displaced People inside Sudan, with around 600,000 living precarious lives as refugees beyond its borders. Sudan also hosts close to a million refugees.

In early 2018 Sudan’s economy entered a phase of widespread crisis resulting in real incomes collapsing and prices of commodities increasing. The United Nations states that 5.7 million people, including all of those displaced, are in need of humanitarian support, although they estimate the number at risk is 8 million people due to the current economic crisis.

The United Nations has developed a response to meet the needs of 4.4 million people that would cost $1.2bn, and relies on the governing authorities in Sudan to facilitate safe passage of these supplies and aid workers to reach those in need of assistance. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Sudan is prioritising the humanitarian response and has already contributed £30 million this fiscal year. In addition, the UK has raised the humanitarian situation in multilateral fora, including at the European Union on 7 June calling for all to respect International Humanitarian Law and enhance the environment for protection of civilians.

20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle human trafficking in developing countries.

DFID is at the forefront of the UK’s efforts to tackle modern slavery, one of the biggest human rights challenges of our time. The UK launched the Call to Action to end forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking in 2017 and it has now been endorsed by close to 90 countries. The UK will continue to take a leading role driving change through the multilateral system to help achieve sustainable development goal (SDG) 8.7 and other relevant goals to end modern slavery in all its forms.

Using UK Aid which now totals over £200m, our programmes work to reduce vulnerability to exploitation and address the permissive environments that allow modern slavery and human trafficking to thrive. We are supporting countries’ efforts to tackle the root causes of trafficking by: creating jobs and livelihoods; changing business and recruitment practices to eradicate exploitation in supply chains; helping build law enforcement capacity increase detection and prosecution of perpetrators; and improving services to protect victims.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that international NGOs consider religious vulnerability in their definition of need.

The UK’s commitment to the poorest and most vulnerable in all settings is unwavering, as is our requirement that all UK-funded humanitarian partners work according to international humanitarian principles, placing protection at the centre of their work. Our partners carry out vulnerability assessments to ensure aid effectively reaches those most in need, including those from religious minorities, as it is recognised that religion may be a factor in causing vulnerability.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help tackle modern slavery in developing countries.

Tackling modern slavery is a cross-government priority, and DFID is committed to driving change through the UN and other multilateral channels. At last year’s UN General Assembly, our Prime Minister launched the “Call to Action to end Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking”, which has been endorsed by 43 countries from all regions of the world. We will continue to push for more country endorsements and ensure that it delivers action on the ground.

We are also expanding our work in developing countries to tackle the root causes of slavery and support victims, whilst addressing the factors that enable the criminality of modern slavery to thrive. As part of the Prime Minister’s commitment to double ODA spend on modern slavery to £150 million, DFID is developing £40 million of new programming which will help over 500,000 vulnerable men, women and children.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure access for humanitarian aid to Yemen.

As the Prime Minister set out in her November visit to Riyadh, the UK continues to call for complete and unhindered access for commercial and humanitarian imports of food, fuel and medical supplies particularly through the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef. Following the Secretary of State’s visit to Riyadh in December we were pleased to see the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lift all access restrictions. To encourage commercial imports which provide over 80% of Yemen’s food and fuel, we are providing £1.3 million to the UN’s Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) this financial year (2017/18) and have provided UK experts on the ground in Djibouti to increase the number of UNVIM inspections of commercial vessels entering Yemen.

The UK will continue to play a leading role in the humanitarian response and efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. Our funding of £205 million to Yemen for 2017/18 makes us the third-largest humanitarian donor to Yemen overall, and the second-largest to the UN Humanitarian Appeal.

6th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps his Department is taking to encourage businesses in the energy sector to take advantage of new export opportunities and international trade.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) promotes trade and investment across the world and champions global free trade.

This department's support is targeted where government can add most value. We prioritise our global export promotion activity by identifying the sector-market combinations that present the greatest opportunities to achieve the maximum impact and success. The Department currently has 23 High Value Campaigns across the energy sector including oil & gas, civil nuclear and renewables.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) actively works with project sponsors to bring business to the UK. In the past 5 years, UKEF has provided over £2bn in support of energy exports.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support self-employed people who need to claim employment support allowance.

We have successfully rolled out Universal Credit in all job centres nationally. Consequently, self-employed people, who have a health condition, can now claim either Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

Claimants who are eligible to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance can do so by calling the Universal Credit helpline to request a claim form or by downloading and printing the form available on Gov.uk. Full details about how to apply (including information requesting forms in alternative formats such as braille) can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-esa

Claimants who are not eligible to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance can claim Universal Credit online. For those unable to access or use digital services, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helplines. The Universal Credit Service Centre will establish the best means of support available.

A home visit can be arranged to support a claimant in making their initial claim and completing any other administrative tasks required to ensure their application is completed.

Additionally, to help claimants who may struggle making a claim, Universal Support is available, which is advice, assistance or support to help Universal Credit and New Style Employment and Support Allowance claimants with managing their claim or award.

From 1 April 2019 Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland will deliver a new “Help to Claim” service to support vulnerable claimants through the process of making a claim.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will hold discussions with representatives of the Scottish Government on the effect of her policies on WASPI women in Scotland.

I have had regular correspondence with the Scottish Minister for Social Security on 16/07/2017, 25/08/17 and 05/02/18. As I said in my letter of 5th February,

Should the Scottish Government wish to exercise their considerable powers to provide financial support to those impacted by the changes to the State Pension age they are able to do so. This would be entirely a matter for them and the UK Government would not seek to stop them”.

There are no plans to meet with representatives of the Scottish Government to discuss this issue.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people had personal independence payment decisions overturned because of (a) mandatory reconsideration and (b) an appeal hearing in Aberdeen South constituency in each year since April 2013.

The table below shows the number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decisions and the number and proportion of mandatory reconsideration decisions and appeal decisions where the award was changed, by financial year of the initial PIP decision since the introduction of PIP in the Parliamentary Constituency of Aberdeen South.

Number of PIP decisions, and number and proportion of mandatory reconsiderations decisions and appeal decisions where the award changed, by financial year of initial PIP decision.

Financial year of initial PIP decision

Number of PIP decisions

Number of awards changed at MR

Proportion of PIP decisions changed at MR

Number of awards changed at appeal

Proportion of PIP decisions where award changed at appeal

2013/14

100

#

#

#

#

2014/ 15

560

10

1%

#

#

2015/ 16

680

20

2%

30

5%

2016/ 17

1,030

50

5%

40

4%

2017/18 (April 17 to Oct 17)

580

30

5%

10

2%

Total

2,950

110

4%

90

3%

Data has been rounded to the nearest 10 and nearest percent.

‘#’ means fewer than 5 in this category.

There will be some degree of retrospection in these figures over time due to changes in individual case outcomes, particularly with appeals. It is expected that there will be lower numbers of completed appeals in recent months due to the time lag in appeal completion.

Latest available data to October 2017

30th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the economic effect on Scotland of the increase in statutory minimum employee pension contributions in 2018 and 2019; and what estimate he has made of the number of people in Scotland who will be affected by those changes.

Automatic enrolment was designed to increase the number of people saving for their retirement, and has been a great success to date. By the end of September 2017, over 8.7 million people had been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension – this included 523,000 people in Scotland

We do want to encourage people to save more than the minimum, but we need to balance this with the fact that many people are not saving anything and contributing to a pension will be new to them. We also recognise that employers needed time to adjust so as to implement the reforms, and to help manage their costs. As such, our focus is on increasing the number of people saving and increasing contributions gradually over the next two years. For an individual, these are currently at 1 per cent, rising to 3 per cent in April 2018 and 5 per cent in April 2019

We are currently undertaking a review of the policy and operation of automatic enrolment. This includes looking at the existing coverage of the policy; strengthening the evidence base concerning future contributions and how to improve individuals’ engagement with workplace pension saving so as to maximise saving for their retirement. The review work is led by a DWP team and supported by an external advisory group. We will report to Parliament by the end of 2017.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will convene an emergency international summit, hosted in London, to co-ordinate a response to the attacks on Christians around the world.

We British Government Ministers regularly raise our concerns about the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, where this occurs. The Government works with a large number of NGOs, to help promote and protect freedom of religion or belief. We use information from a wide range of sources to inform our work. The Foreign Secretary has asked the Bishop of Truro to conduct an independent review of the persecution of Christians around the world to help inform this important area of our work to ensure it is targeted and effective. There are no plans to host an emergency international summit on this matter.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will hold discussions with his Nigerian counterpart on (a) the rescue of Leah Sharibu and other people kidnapped by Boko Haram and (b) ending the violence against Christians in Nigeria’s middle belt.

The UK repeatedly calls for the release of all those abducted by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) including Leah Sharibu. We will continue to use our public messaging and extensive engagement with the Government of Nigeria to secure their release. The Government of Nigeria has given assurances that they are making all efforts to secure Leah's release.

We regularly raise our concerns about intercommunal violence with the Nigerian Government at the highest levels. Our assessment is that religious identity is a factor but the root causes are highly complex, including disputes over land, farming rights, the impact of climate change, grazing routes and access to water. Our High Commission in Abuja is engaging closely with international partners, the Nigerian government, state governments and the National Economic Council to develop measures which address the underlying causes of the conflict, including the recently-announced bi-partisan National Livestock Transformation Plan.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will co-ordinate an international effort to encourage Christians and other religious minorities who have left Iraq and Syria to return to those countries to rebuild their lives.

The UK supports the right of all Iraqi and Syrian refugees, regardless of religion, to return to their homes safely, voluntarily and in dignity, when conditions allow.

Syria is not currently an environment for safe, voluntary and dignified refugee return. We are calling for a negotiated political settlement to end the conflict and create the conditions for refugees to return.

During my visit to Iraq in January I raised the importance of voluntary returns of refugees and internationally displaced persons with representatives from the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. To help enable these returns, the UK has committed over £47 million to directly improve conditions in areas liberated from Daesh in Iraq, including an additional £6.9 million which I announced during my visit.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Christians on death row on charges of blasphemy in Pakistan .

It is the British Government's longstanding policy to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances and in all countries. We remain deeply concerned by the misuse of the blasphemy laws and the treatment of minority religious communities, including Christians, in Pakistan.

We regularly raise our human rights concerns with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. Most recently my colleague Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, discussed the treatment of minority communities with Pakistan's Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, during his visit to Pakistan on 18 and 19 February. At the UN Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan in November 2017, the UK pressed Pakistan to strengthen the protection of minorities and to explain the steps being taken to tackle the abuse of the blasphemy laws.

To ensure the United Kingdom is supporting Christians in the best possible way, the Foreign Secretary has commissioned an independent, global review of the support provided to Christians overseas. The Review will consider what additional practical steps the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can take to support persecuted Christians. It will be led by the Bishop of Truro, Rt Revd. Philip Mounstephen, and will make an initial report around Easter.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the rights of Christian minorities in Burma.

The British Government continues to express out concern at restrictions on freedom of religion and belief in Burma. The Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations raised the UK's concerns about persecution faced by Christian and other minorities in Burma in his speech to the Human Rights Council in February 2018. The UK, working with the EU and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, secured a UN Human Rights Council Resolution on 27 September 2018 that called for the amending or repealing of discriminatory provisions of the "protection of race and religion laws" in Burma covering religious conversion, interfaith marriage, monogamy and population control. The British Ambassador met the Burmese Minister for Religious Affairs on 9 August 2018, and underlined the importance of interfaith dialogue.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help protect the rights of Christian workers in the Middle East.

The Foreign Secretary and the Minister for the Commonwealth and the UN have had a number of recent engagements with religious leaders, interested organisations, partner governments and parliamentarians on the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of human rights of Christians and all religious minorities around the world, including in the Middle East. We are also engaged on issues which impact on the situation of Christians working in the Middle East, including the rights of migrant workers and refugees and the ability of members of religious minorities to access labour markets in relevant countries in the region.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent meetings he has had with the Government of Oman on the provision of humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

​Addressing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a key priority for the UK and we continue to raise the issue in regular conversations with our regional and international partners. The Foreign Secretary regularly discusses regional issue with the Government of Oman, most recently on 24 January during his visit to Oman.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Palestinian Authority to encourage that body to accept the Israeli invitation to return to direct peace negotiations without preconditions.

​The UK continues to press both the Israelis and Palestinians to engage in direct negotiations that will lead to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. The Foreign Secretary and I reiterated our support for a negotiated two-state solution when we met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki in London on 8 January. I also encouraged the Palestinians to re-engage in peace negotiations when I spoke to Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki on 21 January.

15th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Palestinian Authority on accepting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's invitation to return to direct peace negotiations without preconditions.

The UK is committed to making progress towards a two-state solution. We regularly press both the Israelis and Palestinians to engage in direct negotiations that will lead to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. The Foreign Secretary and I reiterated our support for a negotiated two-state solution when we met Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki in London on 8 January.

19th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received on the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum's threat to the Igbo population of Nigeria.

​My department has received several letters from MP's and members of the public about threats made against the Igbo people in Nigeria.

The Governors of the Northern States of Nigeria condemned these threats, as did Vice President Osinbajo, then Acting President, who also called for unity.

We echo President Buhari's recent call for calm and reconciliation between the many ethnic groups and communities that make up and contribute to the strength and diversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British Government is concerned by violence in Nigeria but we do not assess that there is institutionalised persecution of the Igbo or any other peoples by the Nigerian authorities. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with Nigerian Government to help tackle threats to security and to address the underlying causes of instability.

7th Dec 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to ensure that those affected by the 2019 loan charge are not forced into bankruptcy by the repayments.

Disguised Remuneration (DR) schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of ordinary remuneration with the sole purpose of avoiding income tax and National Insurance contributions. On average loan scheme users have twice as much income as the average UK taxpayer, when taking into account the loan they received.

HMRC is working hard to help individuals get out of tax avoidance for good and are encouraging anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay to contact them as soon as possible to discuss their options. HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline for those wanting to settle their avoidance scheme use, and discuss payment options.

HMRC does not want to make anybody bankrupt and very few cases ever reach that stage. They will work with all individuals to reach a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

HMRC has simplified the process for those who choose to settle their use of avoidance schemes before the loan charge arises, so that those earning less than £50,000 a year and are no longer engaging in tax avoidance can agree a payment plan of up to five years without the need for detailed supporting information. There is no maximum period within which an overall settlement can be agreed, and all individual cases will be dealt with appropriately and sympathetically.

Since the announcement of the 2019 loan charge at Budget 2016, HMRC has agreed settlements on disguised remuneration schemes with employers and individuals of over 650 million pounds. More than 90% of this amount was collected from employers, with less than 10% from individuals.

7th Dec 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Sub-Committee report entitled The powers of HMRC: treating taxpayers fairly, HL 242.

The Government will respond to the sub-Committee’s report in due course and in the usual way.

23rd Nov 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in the Aberdeen South constituency affected by the 2019 Loan Charge.

The 2019 loan charge is targeted at disguised remuneration (DR) schemes. These are artificial tax avoidance schemes where earnings are paid in the form of non-repayable loans made by a third party.

DR schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of ordinary remuneration with the sole purpose of avoiding income tax and National Insurance contributions. When taking into account the loan they received, loan scheme users have on average twice as much income as the average UK taxpayer.

Since the announcement of the 2019 loan charge at Budget 2016, HMRC has agreed settlements on disguised remuneration schemes with employers and individuals of over 650 million pounds. More than 90% of this amount was collected from employers, with less than 10% from individuals.

HMRC have also simplified the process for those who choose to settle their use of avoidance schemes before the charge arises, so that those earning less than £50,000 a year and no longer engaging in tax avoidance can agree a payment plan of up to five years without the need for detailed supporting information. There is no maximum period within which an overall settlement can be agreed, and HMRC will deal with individual cases appropriately and sympathetically.

50,000 individuals are estimated to be affected by the introduction of the DR loan charge across the UK. Information is not held at constituency level.

29th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits arising from the proposals on transferable tax history in the oil and gas sector set out in Autumn Budget 2017.

At the Autumn Budget, the government announced it would introduce a Transferable Tax History for oil & gas companies. This will give investors in UK oil and gas fields certainty that they will be able to get tax relief for decommissioning assets. This should encourage new investment in older oil and gas fields, keeping them producing for longer and supporting employment.

The main industry body, Oil and Gas UK, in response to the Budget announcement have said that a Transferable Tax History would be ‘a vital step that can bring in new investment to increase recovery from existing fields and fund fresh investment which is key to generating activity for our hard-pressed supply chain. It will also help extend the lives of many mature fields and postpone decommissioning.’

This builds on the £2.3bn of fiscal support the government has already provided to the UK oil and gas industry, including a package of tax cuts across Budget 2015 and 2016, £40m of funding for seismic surveys to support exploration, and the introduction of a new Investment Allowance. As a result, the UK now has one of the most competitive tax regimes in the world for oil and gas, further supporting investment and jobs.

26th Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of proposed closure of all HM Revenue and Customs offices in Scotland outside Glasgow and Edinburgh on the distribution of public sector resources between the (a) central belt and (b) rest of Scotland.

HMRC will have two regional centres which will serve the whole of Scotland. They will be located in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the locations which most comprehensively met HMRC’s selection criteria. The spread of HMRC‘s regional centres around the UK supports the Government’s strategy of jobs in every region and nation of the UK.

25th Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the economy of north-east Scotland of the proposed closure of all HM Revenue and Customs offices north of Glasgow and Edinburgh, including the office at Ruby House, Aberdeen.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) established a clear set of location principles to determine where to site its regional centres and considered these principles alongside the impact on its people. Its Locations Programme will bring teams together in large offices, enabling them to work together to maximise tax revenue and tackle fraud and evasion irrespective of where it occurs.

HMRC is confident that the regional centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow, together with its specialist site at Gartcosh, will serve the whole of Scotland effectively.

24th Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential savings to the public purse from the proposed closure of the Ruby House HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) office in Aberdeen; and what account was taken in making the decision to close that office of the potential effect of that proposed closure on HMRCs' ability to collect tax.

HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Locations Programme will save more than £300 million up to 2025, and will deliver annual cash savings of £74 million in 2025/26, rising to more than £90m by 2028.

Moving to Regional Centres will also deliver benefits to tax collection and customer service. The Locations Programme will bring teams together in large offices, enabling them to work together to tackle fraud and evasion, irrespective of where it occurs. The benefits have therefore been considered as a whole and not in isolation of an individual office.

HMRC is prioritising its commitment to maximising tax revenue, increasing compliance and reducing the tax gap.

24th Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed closure of the Ruby House HM Revenue and Customs office in Aberdeen on the local economy.

HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Locations Programme will save more than £300 million up to 2025, and will deliver annual cash savings of £74 million in 2025/26, rising to more than £90m by 2028.

Moving to Regional Centres will also deliver benefits to tax collection and customer service. The Locations Programme will bring teams together in large offices, enabling them to work together to tackle fraud and evasion, irrespective of where it occurs. The benefits have therefore been considered as a whole and not in isolation of an individual office.

HMRC is prioritising its commitment to maximising tax revenue, increasing compliance and reducing the tax gap.

20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to increase education and awareness of female genital mutilation in the UK.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government is clear that we will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong suffering to women and girls.

The Home Office’s FGM unit delivers nationwide outreach on FGM. The Unit is providing outreach support to local areas and working to raise awareness of resources available to professionals, including training, best practice examples and information on legislation and policy. Resources include an e-learning package, various communication materials such as leaflets and posters highlighting the legislation and health impacts of FGM, and an online resource pack for local areas.

We ran a communications campaign between October 2018 and February 2019 to tackle FGM. The campaign sought to prevent FGM by changing attitudes among affected communities through raising awareness of the negative long-term health consequences of FGM. The campaign also raised awareness that FGM is a crime and encouraged communities to report via the NSPCC’s FGM helpline. The campaign supported the objectives of the cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.

Earlier this year, the Home Office trained around 1,300 professionals across the country on FGM and forced marriage protection orders. The events raised awareness of the scope and effectiveness of the orders, along with a practical guide to applying, with the aim of encouraging professionals to always consider them in any safeguarding plans.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been deported to countries with which the UK holds a Memorandum of Understanding since 2013.

The Home Office does not separately record returns by the arrangements that support them including Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), with foreign countries and as such the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost


The UK has a range of returns arrangements with receiving countries including bilateral MOU, EU Readmission Agreements, formal readmission agreements and informal operational arrangements which provide the basis for administrative removal and deportation. There are also formal returns arrangements for third-country nationals to other European countries through the Dublin Regulations.

The latest published statistics for the number of returns to individual countries is available from the GOV.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/803187/returns5-mar-2019-tables.ods

16th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will commission an independent review of the (a) adequacy, (b) cost effectiveness and (c) effect on the diversity of students of credibility interviews within the student immigration system.

An internal review of point of application credibility interviews for interna-tional students was conducted in 2018 to ensure that interviews are adding value to the case consideration process and not unnecessarily inconven-iencing customers. Up to date risk information was factored in to this review. Regular engagement with universities and other educational institutions en-sures that feedback is collected in relation to the application process.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to prevent the illegal sale of knives and other offensive weapons online.

The Government continues to work with the police and partners, including retailers to ensure we have strong controls in place to prevent sales of knives to under 18s. In March 2016 we agreed a set of commitments with major retailers including Amazon UK and Ebay UK to prevent the underage sales of knives more generally in their stores and online. The commitments include a requirement to have robust measures in place to ensure age verification for sales, in-store and online.

In addition, on 14 October 2017, the Government launched a consultation on new laws on offensive weapons which included proposals to restrict the online sales of knives to further prevent sales to under 18s. The consultation was closed on 9 December and we are now considering the responses.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to prevent the sale of illegal drugs online.

We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online. Anything that is illegal offline should be illegal online.

The Government and law enforcement agencies take the unlawful advertising and sales of drugs on the internet very seriously. Tough enforcement is a fundamental part of the Government’s drug strategy and we are taking coordinated action to tackle illegal drugs alongside other criminal activity.

Law enforcement agencies continue to work with internet providers to shut down UK-based websites found to be committing offences, building on work already underway to tackle the sale and supply of illegal drugs in the UK and overseas and tackle associated organised crime.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to cooperate with the United States and Canada on tackling transatlantic drug crime.

The UK enjoys close and longstanding cooperation with the USA and Canada in tackling transatlantic drug crime. Joint work involves regular and timely exchange of operational intelligence, enabling the disruption of drug trafficking via air and sea routes across the Atlantic.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
4th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what status citizens of the Republic of Ireland will have in the UK after the UK leaves the EU; and whether she plans to review the Ireland Act 1949.

The close historic, social and cultural ties between the UK and Ireland have led to the creation of additional rights above those associated with common membership of the EU. Leaders in the UK and Ireland have confirmed their commitment to protecting these rights enjoyed by UK and Irish nationals when in the other State.

As outlined in the UK Government policy paper released on 26 June, relating to the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, we want to protect the rights enjoyed by UK and Irish nationals when in the other State. Irish citizens residing in the UK will not be required to apply for settled status to protect their entitlements.

While the special status afforded to Irish citizens within the UK is rooted in the Ireland Act 1949 it has been provided for by subsequent primary and secondary legislation, including the Immigration Act 1971, and UK-Ireland bilateral agreements which are distinct from EEA Treaty rights.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to tackle alleged sexual harassment in the Armed Forces.

No one should have to work in an environment where they are sexually harassed or experience other forms of inappropriate behaviour which are clearly incompatible with the high values and standards we expect of our people. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing this issue through a range of activities, including surveys and climate assessments, awareness campaigns, and training around equality, diversity, inclusion and values. Addressing this type of behaviour is also a leadership issue and covered in leadership training modules. In addition, each unit in the Armed Forces has at least one trained Equality and Diversity Inclusion Adviser, who has a key role in advising the Commanding Officer on Equality Legislation and, where incidents occur, providing advice to those involved on the option of informal resolution of the matter or submission of a Service complaint.

We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report sexual harassment. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the continuation of Officer Training Corps and University Air Squadrons in universities.

The Army has 15 University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) and two University Officer Training Regiments (UOTR) covering a number of affiliated universities across the UK, delivering military, leadership and personal training development opportunities. We are committed to maintaining a nationwide footprint of UOTCs and UOTRs. Under the Army's Basic Training Transformation Programme, the current UOTC structure is being examined. The study is ongoing with no decision imminent.

The RAF has 15 University Air Squadrons (UAS) which incorporate a number of affiliated universities across a wide catchment area in the UK in geographically essential locations. UAS are a vital part of developing and recruiting talented individuals into the RAF. There are no plans to change this.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to provide further education for armed forces personnel on leaving the services.

The Ministry of Defence promotes lifelong learning for members of the Armed Forces. Eligible personnel can access two schemes which help individuals pursue their personal development through further and higher education, both during their Service and up to five years after discharge, subject to the qualifying criteria being met.

The Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) scheme provides financial support towards the cost of higher-level learning and is funded by the single Services. ELC takes the form of a single up-front payment of up to £3,000 in each of a maximum of three Financial Years. Funding is available for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England, Northern Ireland and Wales), a Level 6 or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), or an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider if pursued overseas.

Eligibility for ELC funding depends on length of service and date of enlistment, as set out in Joint Service Publication 822 ‘Defence Direction and Guidance for Training and Education’ (Part 1, Section 6.5, Paragraph 3). A copy of JSP 822 can be found at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jsp-822-governance-and-management-of-defence-individual-training-education-and-skills

In addition to the ELC scheme, Service leavers and Service personnel in their qualifying resettlement phase may use their enrolled ELC entitlement to access the Further Education and Higher Education Scheme (FE-HE). This can fund a first full Level 3 (GCE A level or Vocational Equivalent), or a first Higher Education qualification (such as a Foundation Degree or First Undergraduate Degree), with the tuition fees capped at £9,000. The scheme is comprised of the Defence contributions to the Armed Forces ELC scheme, supplemented by resources made available by partner Government Departments and Devolved Administrations. Full details of eligibility for FE-HE are set out in JSP 822 Part 1, Section 6.6, Paragraph 6.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the projected costs to the public purse are which arise from his Department's contracts with on-base facility providers in each of the next five years.

This information is not held in the format requested.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has to support commemorations of the First World War during 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Government and the nation will never forget the service and sacrifice of those who served during the First World War. It is our duty to remember and honour the fallen.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has contributed significantly to the Government's four-year First World War commemorative programme, both at home and abroad, and continues to do so; the programme is led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This is in addition to single Service initiatives delivered at, for instance, Regimental (or equivalent) level.

In 2018 the MOD will further support the Government's programme at a commemorative event to mark the appointment of Marshal Foch as Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front, a service to mark the Battle of Amiens, and at a number of events throughout the UK to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, including the traditional London-based Cenotaph Service.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what funding his Department plans to provide for officer training corps units in (a) England, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) Wales, (d) Scotland and (e) the UK in the current financial year.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 November 2017 to Question 112448 to the hon. Member for Belfast East (Gavin Robinson), which includes the planned funding for University Officer Training Corps for financial year 2017-18.

16th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the benefits of military museums on relations between the armed forces and local communities.

In February 2017, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published its review of the three Service Museums: The National Museum of the Royal Navy, the National Army Museum and the RAF Museum.

The review recognised the value of the focus of the three Service Museums on maintaining the heritage of the Services, as well as being the custodians of key heritage assets for the Nation. This supports broader defence and cultural objectives through outreach and community engagement.

The MOD Service Museums review can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-armed-forces-service-museums

4th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what representations his Department has received on the closure of the Veteran's First Point charity service in the Grampian region; and if he will make representations to the Scottish Government to encourage it to fund that service.

Veterans First Point (V1P) was established in 2013 to work with local NHS partnerships to provide a range of mental health support, information and signposting. The closure of V1P Grampian, including its funding, is a matter for V1P, the Scottish Government and NHS Grampian rather than the Ministry of Defence.

4th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what financial support is currently available for veterans charities to apply for.

The £10 million per annum Covenant Fund makes grants to support the Armed Forces community and has funded projects across the UK to improve support and introduce new services to help veterans.

20th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners given a custodial sentence for domestic violence have reoffended within a year of their release since 2015.

There is no specific offence of domestic violence. Conduct amounting to domestic violence can be present in a wide range of offences and is not readily identifiable from court sentencing outcomes.

Information on how many prisoners who received a custodial sentence for offences involving domestic violence reoffended within a year of their release since 2015 may be held on court records, but could only be obtained at disproportionate cost as a manual search of court records would be required.

22nd May 2019
What recent assessment she has made of the benefits to Northern Ireland of being part of the UK.

This Government has made clear on many occasions that we will never be neutral in expressing our support for the Union.

Northern Ireland benefits hugely from the Union and my steadfast belief is that Northern Ireland’s future is best served within a stronger United Kingdom.

8th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether his Department has made an assessment of the economic contributions of Ministry of Defence contracts to the shipbuilding industry in Scotland.

The £3.7 billion Ministry of Defence contract for the first three Type 26 frigates, to be followed by five more, and the £635 million investment in the Offshore Patrol Vessel programme have guaranteed the shipbuilding industry on the Clyde work for 20 years and safeguarded 1,700 shipbuilding jobs in Scotland.

Additionally, the second of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers is currently being fitted out in Rosyth, and the National Shipbuilding Strategy has set out our commitment to a competition to design and build Type 31e frigates here in the UK.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what plans his Department has to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the Aberdeen City Deal.

Robust governance structures and processes were established prior to the commencement of the Aberdeen City Region Deal. These provide assurance to the government that there is open and transparent decision making, governance and project delivery.

Central to the governance arrangements is the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee which oversees the implementation and monitoring. In addition there is an Aberdeen City Region Deal Programme Implementation Board which meets quarterly to review progress against agreed implementation milestones and objectives. Scotland Office officials sit on the Implementation Board.

Overall scrutiny of the implementation of the Aberdeen City Region Deal is the responsibility of the Scottish City Region Deal Delivery Board which is comprised of senior officials from Scotland Office, the Cities and Local Growth Unit and the Scottish Government. The Delivery Board meets quarterly to review progress.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what plans his Department has to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the Aberdeen City Deal.

Robust governance structures and processes were established prior to the commencement of the Aberdeen City Region Deal. These provide assurance to the government that there is open and transparent decision making, governance and project delivery.

Central to the governance arrangements is the Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee which oversees the implementation and monitoring. In addition there is an Aberdeen City Region Deal Programme Implementation Board which meets quarterly to review progress against agreed implementation milestones and objectives. Scotland Office officials sit on the Implementation Board.

Overall scrutiny of the implementation of the Aberdeen City Region Deal is the responsibility of the Scottish City Region Deal Delivery Board which is comprised of senior officials from Scotland Office, the Cities and Local Growth Unit and the Scottish Government. The Delivery Board meets quarterly to review progress.